It occurred to me just the other day that I never wrote about the day I gave birth (at least, not in much detail). Since one of my reasons for writing this blog is to have a record of Tori’s formative years, that seemed like a glaring omission. So follow along as we go back in time…
We were a half hour late getting to the hospital. This isn’t exactly surprising – we’re always late. But I had really tried to get us out of the house on time, so I was annoyed. And nervous. And, truth be told, more than a little crabby (I get that way when I’m nervous).
At any rate, by the time we got there, our “nurse” for the day was anxiously waiting for us. I put that in quote marks because he was actually a nursing student, was only on the Mom/Baby ward for the day, and had no idea what the hell he was doing. Sure, I could have refused to allow a student to take care of me, but I have a hard time saying no. It always makes me feel bad. And, anyway, it gave me yet another reason to be annoyed (greatly preferable to crap-my-pants terrified).
He rushed me through the intake process, saying really helpful things, like, “seriously?” and “wow,” and made me change into a hospital gown. That’s when they started coming at me with needles. First, someone had to draw a bunch of blood. And then, just in case that wasn’t bad enough, I had to have an IV put in.
I hate needles. Hate, Hate, HATE needles. And the woman in charge of the IV couldn’t find a good vein to put it in. By the time she was done, I was almost in tears. But, finally, it was in, and they all left, leaving Brian and I to silently stew.
That’s when I got strangely calm. For days, I’d been freaking out about the idea of having a C-section. It was absolutely the last thing I wanted. I was scared to death of being cut open. But at that moment, with the IV dripping into my vein, I felt…peaceful.
That calm lasted even after they wheeled us out of the room to wait outside the O.R. I remember cracking jokes with the nurse. Getting periodic updates from the staff as to the ETA of the doctor (he was stuck in another surgery). And continually asking for more blanket (it was freezing).
Suddenly, it was go time, and they wheeled me into surgery.
After that, I just have flashes.
Sitting slumped in front of another nurse, trying not to wince as they stuck the needle for the anesthetic in my back (it hurt. a lot).
Getting my arms strapped to the table (what did they think I was going to do, smack someone?)
Having the anesthesiologist tell me that even though I didn’t feel like I was breathing (a freaky feeling if there ever was one), I most certainly was.
Then the doc poked me with something sharp, and when I couldn’t feel it, said we were ready to go.
What seemed like seconds later, I heard the doc say, “there she is,” and I heard a baby crying. My baby.
I turned to Bri and said, “we have a little girl,” and burst into tears. But he was already bustling over to the table where they were checking her out, to take her very first pictures.
The sewing-me-up part seemed to take forever, especially since I just wanted to be able to hold Tori. Finally, they wheeled us in to recovery, and handed me my baby. Unfortunately, my arms were still half numb, so the very first time I touched her, I almost poked her eye out.
I wish I could tell you it was love at first sight, but honestly? It didn’t seem real. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the notion that this was, indeed, my baby. I was so drugged, and tired, and nauseous, that I just wanted to sleep for a little while.
The overwhelming, soul changing surge of love came later.
To Be Continued…