Questions Answered. 19.2

Last Friday, I emailed my OB (Dr. Taylor) and asked her some questions about the C-Section process.  My biggest concern about the birth, this time, is being separated from the baby for too long.  I’ve often read stories of C-Sections where the moms are left in the recovery room for hours alone while Dad and the baby are in the nursery somewhere else.  Though, of course, my first priority is the safety and health of myself and the baby, I wanted to see if she could clarify some things and address some requests I had regarding the c-section process.  Here is my email to her and her response:

 

To: Dr. Taylor
From: Me
Subject: C-Section Questions

Dr. Taylor,

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Family-Centered or “natural” C-Sections. I’m not sure what your office’s or Northside’s rules are regarding some of these things, but a lot of them are really appealing especially considering this baby will be my first after such a huge loss. I wrote down a few questions and I was wondering if you could give me your take on them with your knowledge of what NSH allows.

(Keep in mind all of these questions assume that the baby and myself are completely healthy, that I am not rendered useless by nausea or grogginess, and that there are no complications with the operation — obviously if there were any complications, I would want to completely defer to routine without question)

1. Can my right arm be left free so that I can use it to hold and/or touch the baby following delivery? (IV drip in left hand)
2. Can the baby be brought to my chest for early skin-to-skin contact in the OR? (ECG monitors away from the front of the chest.)
3. Can most tests/checks the baby needs be performed on my chest?
4. Is it possible to not be separated from the baby (in a different room) at any time?
5. Can the baby stay with me and Adam in recovery?
6. Can I try to nurse in recovery?

I’ve seen a few videos and read several stories of C-Sections that went like this, and it seems like it would be a great experience and greatly reduce my anxiety if any or all of these things were possible.

Talk to you soon!
Amanda

 

To: Me
From: Dr. Taylor
Subject: Re: C-Section Questions

Amanda,

We will certainly do our best to accommodate  all of your requests. In general, the sets during a c-section are as such:
Once the baby is delivered, the team transports the baby to the warmer to do the initial assessment – depending on which room we are in, sometimes Adam will be able to go over there to watch & take pictures.
Once they are done with their initial assessment, the baby will be wrapped and brought to you. There will be a chance for pictures and for you to touch / hold the baby. Typically at this point the baby & Adam will head to the recovery room while I finish up the surgery. Once we’re done (there usually is less than 10 mins between when they leave and when we will be finished) you will go straight to the recovery room to join Adam and the baby. Once in the recovery room, they will do the initial post surgery assessment and as soon as you are given the thumbs up, they will work with you on skin-to-skin and breastfeeding if you would like. You guys will typically be downstairs in recovery for about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs after the surgery.

In general, the baby is with you the entire time. They will do some testing the next morning that they take the baby to the nursery but if you guys want the baby in the room with you, and everything is okay, that’s what we will do! We can talk a little more about the specifics the next time I see you in the office. Hope this helps!

Best,
Dr. Taylor

 

I don’t know exactly why, but I have read and relished this email at least 10 times since I received it.  I think it’s a combination of things.  It relieves me that this is the default process at Northside for c-sections.  I would have no issue with this exactly procedure happening with us.  It also gives me something to daydream about.  Up until now, I’ve sort of thought “Oh and then the baby will be born…and then….then…well, I don’t really know exactly…” — it kind of ruins the picture in my head.  Now that I have this to go on, I can’t stop myself from getting really excited and thinking about how happy we will be down there in that recovery room this time.

I just can’t wait.  I just want to be this excited and this positive the rest of this pregnancy.  I want everything to go well and for there to be no complications at all.

Can I have that, universe?

Feeling Good. 18.0

That night (Thursday, my last post), I felt a ton of movement all at once and then more and more throughout the evening until I went to sleep.  It was the most wonderful feeling.  Since then, I have resolved myself to just be patient and be thankful for everything I have so far.

I have this really amazing gift to be able to spend so much time with my child before he or she is born.  It’s something I took for granted with Malcolm that I refuse to do again.  Malcolm spent his entire life in my body and, though I know I was thankful then, nothing can compare to the feeling I have now.  I try to stop every day at least once to reflect on how this time, though it feels like only preparation, is so precious.  Every time I feel a movement or a kick or a wobble, I have to remind myself that this is the best.

Of course, thinking this way definitely sets me up for a gigantic let down if anything bad happens, but I think I’m beyond any hope of protecting myself at this point.  Might as well love every minute and completely submit to my hope for the future.  I am so excited for our 20 week appointment (just 17 days to go!).  I can’t wait for this child to have a name.

More Waiting. 17.4

Appointment was great last week – heartbeat was normal, I measured fine, and my blood pressure was normal!

So now I’m just hanging around waiting for that big ol’ 20 week appointment.  That’s been sort of my milestone for feeling like everything will be ok.  Once we see the whole body and the heart and all the bones and everything is good, I will be able to let go of some of the rest of this stress I’ve been holding on to.  Not all of it, obviously, but some.  Maybe a lot.

I started feeling the baby move pretty definitively a week ago.  I sat down on a plane on my way to do some work in Ohio and just about as soon as I buckled my seat belt, I felt the little jabs.  I remember feeling Malcolm’s little jabs for the first time. It was the same exact feeling – I almost started crying in front of an old man who had ordered a Bloody Mary with two tiny bottles of vodka.  Something tells me that would have ended badly.

So I’ve pretty much felt a good amount of little jabs every day since then.  Until today.  I don’t know if I just haven’t noticed them or maybe I’ve been paying too much attention in the last few hours…probably a little of both.  I’m just not going to feel ok until I have consistent movement at most or all times of the day.  And it’s still a little early for that.

And so I wait.