So, obviously, I am not currently 50 weeks pregnant. Samuel arrived on March 10th shortly after my 41-week appointment. We went in knowing birth was imminent, but assuming I’d either go into labor within a few days or we’d be induced that Friday. Actually, I was assuming I would be induced that Friday, but had my hopes briefly raised at my appointment that I was actually going into labor and had a chance at a natural delivery. All was looking well until they strapped on the monitors and Samuel’s heart rate dropped into the 80’s. We were rushed off to the hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not eat lunch, in particular, which became my inane focus for the next several hours during which Samuel was born. The conversation leaving the doctor’s office went something like this:
Doctor: You’re having a baby today!
Doctor: Are you okay?
Me: But, I was going to have lunch….
My doctor reiterated that I was not to eat but to go straight to the ER, and my husband insisted we follow these directions while in the car on the way there I pointed out each and every drive-through and he called our family telling them what was going on. We were met in the ER and rushed up to a labor and delivery room where they hooked me up to IV’s, belly monitors, pitocin, you name it, and I was attached to it, and all was going well until Samuel’s heart rate dropped again. The very kind nurse who had been helping me turned into the mean, mean nurse who tossed me around like a flap jack and “stimulated” Samuel’s head, which is sort of like being skewered like a shishkabob. Notice the allusions to food. It was then about 5:30 pm and I had not had lunch–for those of you who know me well, this is all you need to know. For the rest of you, picture cookie monster, picture a whirling dirvish, picture me watching my husband eat a burger and fries in the delivery room–and this was all my mind could really grasp onto when my doctor arrived to assess the situation and explained that the latent decelerations of Samuel’s heart rate after each contraction were not reassuring and required a c-section to prevent any long term restriction of oxygen to his brain. The conversation went something like this:
Doctor: The baby is not tolerating labor well.
Me: Are you sure?
Doctor: Yes-you need a c-section. (Actually, she said a bunch more than that, but this was the gyst of it)
Me: What does the research show about—
Doctor: Catharine, we’re not going to have an academic debate about this, you are having a c-section.
Me: –long pause — But, I haven’t had lunch.
To which everyone in the room responded with blank stares, not seeing the connection. My husband, however, was able to speak reason to me:
Cliff: Baby, we need to do the c-section, then I’ll give you my hamburger.
Off we went. Now, before you mistakenly think that I thought a burger was more important than my baby’s wellfare, be reasured, I was just in shock and only Cliff understood my knee jerk stress/food reaction. But, being reassured that he would see that I was fed before too long, I complied and off we went.
First of all let me just add that I do not like c-sections. I do not wish ever again to be awake during major abdominal surgery, and it is major surgery. They lay you open and then pull out your organs and lay them around you OUTSIDE of your body. I know this is true because I made Cliff take the pictures to prove it and I brought them to my postpartum visit to confirm that, yes, indeed, that is my uterus laying there on the table. I knew it, too–it was no good. I don’t advise it. It’s very distracting from the main event, which is…
Samuel Clifford, born at 6:36 pm on March 10th, weighing in at a respectible 8 lbs 7.8 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches long! He gave a lusty cry and then wimpered in what I now recognize as his “I’m not convinced I’m okay here, people!” way. It was beautiful, and if I had not been paralyzed from my chest down I would have enjoyed it a lot more, I’m pretty sure. Isn’t he beautiful!