As you are all aware by now, Mackenzie was born on January 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM. Now, some of you also know that this was not the easiest delivery we had. This is how the story began.
On Wednesday, January 17, 2007, I went in for my normal baby check-up. I was exactly 39 weeks then. My OB/GYN checked me and told me that I was 3 cm. dilated. Then he checked to make sure that the baby’s head was down near my pelvis. Well, to both his and my surprise, the baby’s head was up towards my stomach. I guess the medical term for this is that the baby was breeched. He went out to get an ultrasound machine to confirm the breech and yup, she was breeched. He started explaining to me the different options I had since I was quite far along already. He told me that normally when they have a breeched baby, they will try a version first, but most versions are attempted around 36 or 37 weeks. Well, I was way past that point, but because I was small and the baby was small, they may still try to attempt a version. If a version was out of the question, then I would need to have a C-section.
I asked what a version was and basically it was a method to turn the baby around to the correct position. The risk of this procedure was that it wouldn’t work and that the baby may still revert back to the original position when it was time to delivery, in which I would still need to have a C-section.
He went out to consult with other doctors on the best method and I requested that we try the version first, if it was still possible. He came back to tell me that they would also like to try the version first. I had an appointment on the next day at 2 PM to perform the procedure. Now, my doctor did prepare me by telling me what it was, what the risk were, what the pains were, and what all the different outcomes may be. First scenario, the baby turns and we all happy. Second scenario, the baby turns, but reverts back when it comes time to delivery. Third scenario, the version does not work and I will have to schedule a C-section. He also told me that the C-sections for Friday and Monday were already all booked up and they may ask me if I want one on Thursday after the appointment. Fourth scenario, the baby gets too “stressed” out during the procedure and an emergency C-section would need to be performed. Of course, number four is the last thing I want to happen.
With this information, I prepared myself for Thursday. Thursday was technically also my last day at work, and yes, I was still working. Quite a few people, including Michael, thought that I was crazy. I worked until noon and then got ready to go because they told us to be there around 1 PM even though the appointment was not until 2 PM. We dropped off the boys at my mother’s house and told my mother that depending on what happen, the boys may be staying over at her house for the night. The day before, I had already packed their clothes and essentials and dropped it off at their house. From there we headed for the hospital.
They prepared us for the procedure and were talking to us about what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. Since my doctor already told me all the details to the procedure, I was quite mentally and physically prepared. Michael did some researching the night before so he was also prepared (I think) for the procedure. There were a total of three doctors. Two of them were doing the actual procedure. One had the head and the other had the feet. The third doctor (the lead doctor) was monitoring the baby with an ultrasound machine. They started by putting mineral oil all over my body. The first time, they were going to try to move her counter clockwise. They told me to keep taking deep breaths and if I was in too much pain, I should tell them to stop. When the procedure started, I felt okay and I could feel the baby moving as they were pushing and shoving her around. As the procedure continued and they got the baby half way, the pain started to kick in. Let’s just say they were very comparable to intense labor pain. I had to keep focused on breathing in and out so I tried very hard to concentrate on my breathing. There were a few times where I looked at Michael and his face made me laugh. I also had to stop that because that was not a good thing to do while they were performing the procedure. As they got her head closer and closer to the bottom, the pain got worse and worse. Then suddenly, I felt no pain at all and could feel the baby’s head back up around my stomach. She went back to her breeched position.
They let me catch my breath and asked if they should continue. I told them that I was okay and they could continue. They tried the counter clockwise direction the second time and to our disappointment, the same result. According to the doctor that was pushing the baby’s head, when they got to this one position, the baby’s head dipped very low and the doctor kept losing her grip on the baby’s head therefore allowing the baby to go back to her breeched position.
Well, you would think that three times is the charm. This time, they thought that they might go clockwise and see if that would work. After a minute or so of catching my breath, they tried again, but not all threes are charmful. The third attempt failed also. By this time, I was very tired and in quite some pain. All I remember them asking me to do was turn to my left side. All I heard was turn her to the left to get more oxygen. Next thing you know, I had this oxygen mask over my face. As I was trying to figure out what was going on, they asked me to flip to my other side. By this time, I heard the doctor tell me that they were going to need to perform an emergency C-section (a code “C”). It took me a few seconds, but I finally figured out that the baby’s heart rate had dropped down into the 50’s. At that moment, I also saw a flock of doctors and nurses file into the room. Many of them introduced themselves to me. (And they expected me to remember who all of them were?) I remember looking at Michael sometimes during this whole thing and I remember seeing a very worried and concerned face.
As they were getting ready to move me into the operating room, the head doctor stopped everyone and said that we may be okay. The baby’s heart rate was slowing coming back. Within a minute or two, the code “C” was called off and most of the doctors that flocked had in left.
This was the first scare that we had for the day. As things calmed down, the head doctor stated that he didn’t feel comfortable sending me home after what had just happened and asked if it was okay if we had a normal C-section today. The thought that was going through my head at this point in time “Of course it’s fine especially since you’re telling me that you don’t want me to go home!!!”
So with that, they prepared us for the C-section. The preparation was long and dreadful. They had to first process a whole bunch of paperwork, asked a ton of questions, many of which were the same question, but just by different people from different departments. The question of “How tall are you?” was asked about 4 times. They also had to secure the correct personnel since my C-section was not scheduled. Sometime during this whole thing, they took off my watch so I had no clue how much time has past. Finally, they were ready for us in the operating room. Michael had to wait outside while I was escorted inside because they had to put a spinal anesthesia in mind. This is different from an epidural. This was a direct injection into my spine. It required somewhat the same procedures. I had to sit in this one awkward position for about 15 minutes. And to top it off, the lead anesthetist was not the one who was going to inject the needle in me. It was a wonderful resident. Let’s just say that she was not very experienced. The first shot that they did caused quite some pain in my back and they expected me to not move at all when it was injected. Needless to say, I moved. Then they were trying to find the right pain and angle to inject the actual anesthesia into me. Oh boy, that part was not fun. This resident just couldn’t get it right. After a few attempts, the lead Anesthetist had to attempt the injection and finally, they got it right.
Once the injection was in, they made me lay down as quickly as possible. I can feel my legs being strapped down to the table and the flipped me in a downwards angle where my head was almost touching the ground and my legs were up in the air. They said that this was needed to let the medication flow downwards from my legs to my stomach. They, then, tried a few test on me to see where I was feeling things and were I was not feeling much. Eventually, I was at the point where they were ready to begin the C-section. As they flipped the table back to its normal position, I started to try to move my legs. Of course with the anesthesia, I could not. Well, let’s just say that feeling didn’t go over very well with me. Then, they put this oxygen mask on me telling me that it would help me breath better. Bad idea also. Finally, they gave me these straps at the end of my hand. They told me that they were not used to strap me down but for me to hold them if I wanted to. At this point, I was lying like in a T position where my hands were perpendicular to my body. Let’s just say the not being able to move my legs, the oxygen mask, and the straps at the end of my hands freaked me out.
I started having a panic attack and quickly told them that I was not very stable at this time. I wanted the oxygen mask gone and the worse feeling in me was that I could not move my legs at all. They gave me some kind of medication to relax me. They told me that this medication was going to cause me to not remember certain details of the operation. I was fine with that as long as this nervous breakdown of mine was going to go away. I was asked to take deep breaths again so I tried very hard to concentrate on my breathing. Sometime around here was when Michael showed up next to me. All I remember doing the whole time was breathing in and breathing out.
They were right about not remember all the details of the operations. I remember feeling these tugging motions around my belly. The next thing I remember was someone saying the baby is out and then seeing a nurse walk by with the baby outside. Then I heard them saying that they needed to take out the placenta. I remember hearing the baby cry outside. At that time, I was thinking that that was one healthy baby because she was crying really loud. Then they brought in the baby to show us. They put her right next to me, near my shoulder if I didn’t remember wrong. I saw her and was touching her head. Truthfully, at this time, I was still quite out of it and all I was thinking in my head was “get this over with.”
They took the baby back outside and Michael went with them. I was still trying to concentrate on my breathing. I think I was a bit more back into things because I remembered much more about this part then I did prior to the baby coming out. I don’t know how much time had past, but I remember them talking about sewing me back up and counting the number of sponges that they had. I remember thinking to myself that they better have all of them accounted for because I didn’t want any sponges left inside me.
Finally, I was put back together and ready to be taken back to the recovery room. Sometime between Michael leaving with the baby and me being ready for the recovery room, I heard about the baby’s second flirt with the devil. I guess when they took her out of me, she was not breathing at all. It took about 1 minute to get her breathing. Like Karen put it in her e-mail, they rated her as a 1. They were ready to take her upstairs to ICU for treatment. However, after a few minutes (Michael said about 5), she was looking better and better and her new rating was an 8. The explanation I remember was that she must have been affected by some of the medications that were given to me to relax me so once the medication wore off, she was doing better.
Once again, I was not aware of what was going on so I didn’t have any heart attacks or panic attacks while this was going on. Now Michael, on the other hand found out about this “little incident” when he walked outside with the baby after they bought the baby to me. He noticed that they were trying to get liquid out of her lungs and them saying that she’s starting to do better. When he first saw her, there were about five people around her instead of the normal 1 who would be cleaning her. She was also very purple and under a warm light. Eventually, she turned pink and was starting to do better, but he was very concerned as to what was going on.
After the operations, I was taken to the recovery room to get my temperature and vital signs back to normal before they would move me into a room. My temperature stayed low for quite a while so I stayed there for a few hours. I do remember looking at the clock when we got into the recovery room and it was about 5:10 PM. Michael said that he went into the operation room around 4:25 PM so the whole thing took about 35 minutes. Mackenzie was born around 4:40 PM so it took the doctors about 15 minutes to do the C-section and take her out. If you ask me or Michael, that 35 minutes seemed like an eternity.
Well, that’s pretty much the way things went down from my point of view. Michael, of course, probably has a different perspective on the chain of events and what happened since he was on the sidelines and probably much more aware of things than me. I stayed in the hospital for little less then 48 hours. I was original told that I would not be able to go home until Sunday evening, at the earliest, but because of my speedy recovery, I was released Saturday afternoon.
Okay, now if I had to pick a C-section or a natural birth since I had both, I would pick the natural birth. Although the C-section was much faster, I felt more in control with a natural birth.
As for my pains related to the C-section, not much. I mean, there is the cut along my belly that feels sore and the cramping that comes naturally after labor, but that’s about it. I was able to get up on my feet again the next morning after the operation and was walking around fine, just a lot more slowly and with extreme caution. For these reasons, they let me out early.
Now, today is Monday and we have been home with the baby for two days now. Overall, she’s a pretty good baby. She doesn’t cry much and eats often. Now, there is one thing that she’s really good at and that’s going to the bathroom (the big one). I remember on Saturday morning when I was feeding her, I changed her 4 times. I’m not joking. I had to change her 4 times in less than 30 minutes. And each time, she pooped quite a bit.
The funniest thing that has happened so far? Well, that would have to be last night. Like I said, she likes to poop a lot. Well, last night after a feeding, Michael changed her. He wiped her clean and while he was lifting up her behind to put a new diaper under her, she let some go. I remember seeing this stream of watery poop shoot straight towards Michael. It was a very hilarious sight. Luckily Michael dodged out of the way, but our bed comforter was not as lucky. I remember with the boys, we had to be very aware of which way their little private part was pointing or else you might get some surprises. With her, we have to be very careful where her behind is pointing.
I couldn’t stop laughing at the incident and boy did the laughing hurt. The thing with this cut is that it hurts when I do things like cough or laugh so continuous laughing was painful. But it was a very funny scene. I also can’t yell or speak very loudly.
You would think that once you see something once, you would learn from your mistakes. This morning, around 5 AM, I was changing her and yup, she did it again. This time, her behind was aiming straight at me. And yup, there was no where for me to go so my clothes and socks ended up being soaked in watery poop. Once again, I was outright laughing my head off. This woke Michael up and he had a few giggles with me while he helped me dress her while I cleaned myself. I think both of us are going to be much more careful around her when we change her diapers.
Okay, it’s about time I wrap this one up. I’m sure for those who are actually spending the time reading this long narrative is thinking that it’s about time she stopped talking. It’s only been a few days since this little one was born, but with all the “close encounters” we’ve had with her, I can tell you that she’s one precious little baby. She’s adorable and fun to be around. I’m so glad that in the end, everything worked out fine for us. I have to thank whoever was watching over us during this whole event for one big happy ending.
If I get bored at home during the next 14 weeks, I’ll write again with another update. Do be on the look out for newer pictures. Michael won’t have time to put up new ones every day, but maybe once a week or so. Right now, we’re just both enjoying our time home with the little one and counting our blessings on this one.
See you all later.