Sunday, July 22

a birth story, part ii.


Continued from Part 1...

Once I was ready for surgery, two nurses wheeled me quickly to the operating room. It was white, bright, and freezing cold. The doctors and nurses in the room identified themselves to me and I heard my doctor, who was on the other side of a blue drape across my body, give a quick narrative including my name, age, and medical history, explaining the procedure, and stating how much blood I was expected to lose (that was scary to hear). Josh was allowed to come in and sit down beside me. He and the anesthesiologist each held one of my hands as the surgery began. 

A c-section is a very strange procedure. Being awake and aware (though in the haze of sleep deprivation and medication) and knowing that your body is being cut open and taken apart is surreal. The doctor would say, "you're going to feel some pulling," and I would cry out, not from unbearable pain but how surprising and strange the sensation was. I told the doctors that I was okay but needed to make noise. The anesthesiologist told Josh, "if you want to look, you can stand up now," and at 9:35 p.m. I heard my baby cry. That cry meant he was alive, and I started to cry as well. The doctors said, "Heather, here's your baby," and held my son over the drape so I could look at him before whisking him over to the side of the operating room for whatever after-birth procedures he needed. As he cried, I thought, "that's my son's voice." The baby's umbilical cord had already been clamped and cut, but Josh got to cut it to the length it needed to be to fall off properly. He was 20 inches long and weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces. After he had been weighed and his APGAR signs checked, the baby went with Josh to a recovery room as the doctors finished sewing me up.

A young nurse named Emily took me to a big recovery room where I was the only patient, where Josh and the baby were waiting, and Josh placed him on my chest for our first skin-to-skin contact. The baby immediately started bobbing his head and rooting on my chest, found my nipple and latched on. Emily said it was the fastest she'd ever seen a newborn be able to do that. The recovery room was also where Josh told me the detail I'd missed in the operating room because I was so out of it: the doctor had announced that the baby's umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck twice. I think that somehow my body knew it would not be safe for me to push, and shut down the process of labor for a reason. The female body is amazing.

I could have stayed in that little bubble of love with my new family forever, but knew that our parents and sisters wanted to see the baby and know that we were both okay. He also needed a name before they met him. Josh said, "He looks really Irish right now. Connor." I asked which of our middle name choices, and he said, "Connor Phillip." Phillip was my dad's name and I knew that choice would be so special to my family. I couldn't wait to introduce our parents to their grandchild and our sisters to their nephew. We would spend the next three days in the hospital so that I could recover from my surgery and so that we could focus on bonding as a new family of three.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I think it’s pretty awesome that you choose his name after you met Connor, so it really fit him. I also love how he’s named after you dad. Congrats!!

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    1. Thank you! We knew we wanted to either use my dad's first name, Phillip, as a middle, or his middle name, Aldon, as a first.

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