We left off after 54 hours of labor, with Dr. Abtahi telling me that I'd finally be having babies in about half an hour.
Ethan and I were still trying to wake up fully and process this information as our room was almost immediately swarming with medical staff. The nurse told us we would not be coming back to that room and to pack all of our things. As Ethan hurriedly packed everything back into our bags, I was introduced to our anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist (I can't remember)... Rob. He was super nice and laid back, cracking jokes with us as he started injecting fun stuff into my IV and epidural. Within just a couple of minutes, I was being whisked down the hall toward an operating room.
When we got to the doors of the OR, a nurse told Ethan to hang back to put a surgery coverall on. We hugged, squeezed hands, and - of course - selfied, and parted ways. They pulled my bed right up next to the operating table and asked if I could move my legs to help them get me on the table. That would be a big, numb, NOPE. Someone put my right leg on the table, and I got startled when I glanced over and saw it laying there. Because I couldn't feel it being moved, and had no "connection" to it. SO WEIRD! Anyway, I'm moved over and prepped for surgery. When my doctor came in, she saw me almost shivering right off the table, and brought me a warm blanket to lay across my chest. I asked when Ethan would be able to join me, because it sure seemed like we were close to go time. The anesthetist told me the rest of the prep steps that needed to happen before he'd come in, and kept up a stream of small talk to calm and distract me.
Finally, Ethan came hustling through the door, sat down at my head, and grabbed my hand under the blankets across my chest. My two doctors (Kovac and Abtahi) and a bunch of nurses and techs were in position around me, so I took a deep breath and asked Dr. Kovac to narrate. She said, "uh sure. I'm almost through the skin layer..." Pretty sure I blurted, "What, already!?" It's still so strange to me that I was being sliced open and had no idea! Ethan told me later that as he sat down, he saw the silver flash of the scalpel as she made the first cut. So cool!
I felt a bunch of tugging and my body bouncing as Dr. Kovac told me she was separating the muscle layers. I said "Ow... wait, no, 'ow' is the wrong word... I'm not in pain... it's just weird." :-) Finally, after what felt both like hours and like mere seconds, someone announced that Baby A was almost out. We were able to watch Dr. Abtahi lift our beautiful Abigail out of me, and we heard the sweetest little cry... almost like a kitten's. I immediately started bawling :-) Someone called out her time of birth: 6:09am, 49 minutes after Dr. Abtahi came in to check my cervix. She was quickly rubbed clean and taken to the side of the room to be briefly checked out, while we waited for the doctors to deliver her brother. One minute later, "here we go" followed by a loud, indignant wail. Suddenly, we were parents of two perfect, tiny newborns. One of the nurses called out Sam's birth weight - 6lb14oz - and brought him over to Ethan. Soon after, Abbie was carried over, too, and Ethan had his arms full of brand new life. I was so mesmerized watching them and watching him watch them... when Dr. Kovac continued with her narration, I had no idea what she was saying. I said, "What?!" She repeated herself - something about a placenta - and I told her she could stop narrating... "the good part just happened."
|My reaction as Abbie cried for the first time...|
When Dr. A had finished reassembling my abdomen, I was "unprepped" - rolled side to side, had tape ripped off my back and some areas wiped clean - and moved to a bed. Someone wheeled me into recovery, and I could see Ethan and a nurse by a warmer across the room, hovering over our two tiny darlings. We got to spend two and a half wonderful hours in recovery, bonding with Abbie and Sam, trying to nurse, and soaking in their amazingness. Their blood sugars were both low, and we tried to raise them with a bottle and nursing. Finally, it was determined that they would need to go to a transitional care nursery for a few hours to be put on glucose IVs.
Brenda, my nurse from the day before, had come on shift and gotten herself assigned to me. She made sure to keep me well dosed with pain meds, and I felt pretty great. So great that I kept forgetting to breathe :-/ I was put on oxygen because my O2 sats kept dropping. That meant that I had to go to the PICU instead of a regular post-partum room, so I would have to be separated from the babies until we were all stable again. I told Ethan to stay with the babies so they wouldn't be "alone."
About 6 or so hours later, I heard Ethan's voice from the doorway, announcing that he had a surprise for me... he wheeled Abbie into the room in her bassinet. A nurse was finishing up Sam's bath, and brought him a few minutes later. They weren't entirely cleared, and had to keep IV cannulas in for a couple more hours, but we were together!
PS: If you followed along with my bumpdates, you'll appreciate this... while I was in PICU, my inlaws brought me this...