Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby Scott's Birth Story - Part 1

Editor's notes: 
1. I promise not to write anything too personal or gross.
2. In the spirit of the new Hobbit movie, I'm planning to take a short, simple story and stretch it out into a 3-part high-frame-rate 3-D I-MAX spectacular series - roughly before, during and after his birth.

Most birth stories start with labor pains or a dropped pickle jar in the supermarket aisle to mask water breaking and end with the congratulatory cheers of nurses or a cab driver, but Scott's was quite a bit different.

His birth story actually started about 6 weeks ago when, during an ultrasound for something completely unrelated, it was discovered that his weight gain was lagging far behind where it should be.  Long story short, I spent the rest of my pregnancy being monitored very closely by doctors, knowing that the baby could be delivered at any time if he showed any signs of distress.  Because no one knew why he hadn't grown normally or when the delivery would be, we decided to keep the news mainly to ourselves except in cases where we had obligations that we needed to break in case the baby was delivered much earlier than expected.    

Scheduling Scott's delivery was a day-by-day, week-by-week decision, but he continued to grow and seemed happy on the inside.  However, because of concerns about stress on the baby, my doctor did not want me to go into labor on my own and, at a routine appointment on Monday, December 3, we scheduled his delivery for Monday, December 10 at 3:30 pm.  Not many mothers know when their children will be born that accurately or that far in advance!  It was a strange week counting down to becoming a family of 3. It also put Baby Scott on deadline: turn head down in the next 7 days or come out Macduff-style.  Meaning that he was (and always has been) in a breech presentation and would be born via C-section if he didn't flip into the correct position.  We did ask about a 12-12-12 delivery, but my doctor was on call on the 10th, and later we were told by a nurse that they didn't schedule any Cesarean deliveries for the 12th.   

The week before Scott was born was very busy at work, which was actually a blessing because it took my mind off anxieties about the surgery and being ready for parenthood.  Friday and Saturday evening we went out to dinner, and we spent our last child-free weekend doing some cleaning and preparing and Christmas shopping.

Monday morning I got up, walked on the treadmill for the last time, ate some breakfast, and tried to busy myself by finishing up last minute details around the house and at work.  I guess someone has to be the 3:30pm C-section delivery, but I highly recommend getting it out of the way first thing in the morning.  I was a basket case for the first part of the day.  At least that made it easy to fast for 8 hours before the surgery.

Here's the second to last picture of me when Baby Scott was still Fetus Scott:

We arrived at the hospital at 1:15pm, and started the slooowwwww process of getting ready for the delivery.

Just chillin' - for now
I had blood taken and they started an IV.  We checked baby Scott's position and determined he was still head up so I had to sign the elective C-section papers, and the anesthesiologist came in to talk about the spinal block.  The nurse did a medical history and put the fetal monitor on.  This whole process took forever with a stream of people coming in and out of the room.

We were finally getting ready to move into the operating room when the nurse looked at the fetal monitor and saw that the baby's heart rate had dipped into the 60's and stayed there for several minutes before returning to normal.  I don't know if this was a real sign of distress or if the monitor got moved when I had to move around a bunch at one point, but all of a sudden the speed of the medical team went from "old ladies baking pie" to "NASCAR pit-crew".

I was rushed into the delivery room and my doctor held my hands while the anesthesiologist did the spinal block.  At this point, Daniel was in the other room getting cleaned up to come in for the delivery.  My legs slowly got warm and heavy and they lay me on my back with my arms stretched out to the side and put a paper screen in front of my face so we couldn't see what was going on.  Even though I was completely awake and very nervous, being numb from mid-chest down made me feel detached and sedated during the surgery.  The doctor asked if I "felt that", and when I said no, she said, "Good, because it was sharp."

Dun dun dun... cliff hanger.  Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!


1 comment:

  1. Act V, Scene VIII

    Thou losest labour:
    As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
    With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
    Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
    I bear a charmed life, which must not yield,
    To one of woman born.

    Despair thy charm;
    And let the angel whom thou still hast served
    Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
    Untimely ripp'd.