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Biscuit's birth story.

2008-06-10 - 10:30 a.m.

It was bizarre, knowing exactly when to expect Biscuit to come into the world. No wondering and waiting for labour to start; no maybe now, maybe later, maybe they’ll bring me in early because of complications – just an appointment for 8:00 on a Tuesday morning and a list of instructions about when to stop eating and drinking and what to pack. (Shawna trivia fact: both my children were born on Tuesdays.)

I was nervous about the surgery and how it would unfold, and how the recovery would be. I was also fretting a bit about Grommet and how the week of staying at her grandparents would be for her. Time moved onwards however – as it tends to do – and there was no stalling or backtracking and only time to check the lists one more time, put Grommet to bed and explain to her again what would happen for her the next morning and rest of the week, throw any last-minute things together, and get some sleep before our alarm would go off at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am.

At 5:05 Grommet woke up. I was glad because it gave me a chance to see her again before we left her in the care of Uncle Bob, who was driving her to daycare that morning. I got the chance to kiss and cuddle her and send her back to sleep. At a quarter to six we left for the hospital, and we pulled up to it at the requested 6:00 am arrival time. I checked in and went to the semi-private room they’d assigned me until a private room became available (my insurance covered a private so that’s what I’d asked for).

Not to complain overly much here (I can do that later), but we were kind of taken aback right away: the nurse who’d done my blood work the day before had told me to wait until I got to the hospital to find out where they were putting the IV in so I could then apply the Emla patch my doctor had recommended. This is a lidocaine patch that numbs the skin if applied an hour prior to an injection, and since I’m kind of a chicken about IVs my doctor had suggested I use one. Anyway, the nurse had said that I should wait and that they could do “other things” while waiting the hour for it to take effect and, like an idiot, I believed her. What’s the very first thing they wanted to do? Start the IV. Of course. So, no chance for that. I think it sat on me for 10 minutes and even then the IV person decided on a different location than the one that had been indicated to me initially. Man, I hate IVs. This was only the first of many times I was not impressed with the nursing staff at this hospital.

Anyway, they got the IV in and did some other minor prep stuff to me like drawing some maternal blood (i.e., mine) for the cord blood donation we’d decided to do, then it was time to wheel off down the hall to the recovery room, where they finished prepping me for the OR. My doctor came in to ask if I had any questions – I wanted to know if anyone would take a picture of J being handed his son for the first time and she said yes if there was anyone who had a free hand at the time, but the nurse who was attending said no she wouldn’t do it because it was against hospital policy to allow pictures in the OR and the doctor would clearly not be able to do it herself, being preoccupied with slicing me open and putting me back together, more’s the pity – then it was into the OR with me.

J wasn’t allowed in for the spinal anaesthetic this time (our last hospital had allowed him to be there to hold my hand for that part) and the initial freezing shot really stung – more than I remembered it doing last time but I could be wrong (conversely, the IV was much less bothersome than last time because after the initial stinging I didn’t feel it, whereas last time it had bothered me for the entire 24 hours it was in. Win some, lose some I guess.) However, the various punctures that I’d been told would sting or cause a lot of pressure in my spine were okay so I guess that freezing did its job, and once the deed had been done, things seemed to move pretty quickly. The overall procedure was definitely easier to undergo this time without the exhaustion of having laboured and with a spinal block instead of an epidural, which meant that I was less drugged and more mentally present. I’m not even kidding when I say that the joking between the anaesthetist and myself actually brought one of the nurses to tears from laughing.

The first indication that things were getting going was J announcing that my doctor had started to remove my old scar (they slice it out so that you only have one new scar). This was a surprise and a relief because until then I’d worried that I’d feel something, but since they’d started and I’d had no idea, that was one less thing to freak about. Awhile later I knew they were almost there because my doc said I’d feel some “pressure” as they got the Biscuit out. Hoo boy, they weren’t kidding. I thought she’d meant that I’d feel pressure in my abdomen. Instead, the other doctor moved to the top of my belly and started reefing downwards like the Biscuit was toothpaste and I was the tube, and the pressure was upwards into my chest.

I kid you not, I actually had the thought that that was what I’d pictured having a heart attack to be like. My chest felt tight and painful and squeezed, and it was all I could do to gasp out that I couldn’t breathe. Fortunately it didn’t last long and my mind was completely taken off it when I heard a baby cry and my doctor held up this beautiful, gooey, grey-slime-covered ball of an infant with the announcement “Here is your son.”

Here is your son. Wow!

J went off to the nursery with him for his initial inspection and stats, and I waited for the team to finish up (take out the placenta, give the ol’ ovaries a once-over, stitch me up… you know how it goes), which seemed to take forever but was probably only 20 – 30 minutes. Then I was wheeled into the recovery room and cleaned up a bit (bless them because man, I was kind of gross, what with being covered in blood and antiseptic and all).

Finally J came in with our new little boy and we got some family time. The first thing we did was try the whole breastfeeding thing and it was like clasping a small vacuum cleaner to my chest: he latched as soon as he got even near the boob and has been feeding like a champ ever since. I’m still, um, how shall I say this, adapting to his enthusiasm, but I have to say that it’s definitely going well.

So, that’s pretty much the whole birth story: no huge surprises or drama, just a c-section that ran on schedule and ta-dah, we’re a family of four now. Welcome to the world Biscuit. It’s wonderful having you here.

Born: Tuesday, June 2nd, 8:33 am
Weight: 7 lb, 12 oz
Length: 20.5 inches
Adorable-ness factor: infinity

Our son.

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