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Birth day and, ok, one picture

April 5, 2012

My last appointment before the big day was Friday. One more weekend and a day to go until June 7. I was heading out the door of Dr. Cleary’s office when she threw me a curve ball. She said, “So, I’ll see you on Tuesday morning unless of course you go into labor over the weekend. In that case, we’ll see how it goes.”

Huh? What was that?

I had been very happy with the decision to deliver by C-section. I had done some research of my own, and while there isn’t a lot of data about women my age giving birth, not surprisingly, what there is suggests that even if an older woman makes it through hard labor, she is usually so exhausted that she ends up having surgery anyway. That is the worst of both worlds! I didn’t want to spend 24 to 36 hours in labor only to end up with a C-section.

I spent the whole weekend talking to my baby softly, telling him there was no hurry at all, to settle in and enjoy the accommodations for at least another 72 hours. I also made sure I was not doing anything to stimulate labor. I actually printed out a list so I’d know what to avoid:

  • Brisk Walking – I hadn’t been able to do that for two months as it was, so not a problem.
  • Spicy Foods – I love spicy foods, the hotter the better, but it was going to be nothing but oatmeal and toast all weekend.
  • Primrose Oil and Castor Oil – No problem avoiding these two things.
  • Sex and Nipple Stimulation – At 39 weeks pregnant? Please. Who are these people? I’ll tell you one thing, they are not in their 50s.

Finally, after the longest three days of my life, the big day arrived. I’m not sure if I slept at all the night before. We had to be at the hospital to check in around 7 am, and we chattered away nervously during the 10-minute drive. I could tell D was scared, but he was putting on a brave face.

We were checked in and D and I were brought into the pre-op area. D was allowed to be with me for almost the entire time, except for about 5 minutes while I was given the spinal block. I had to fill out more paperwork, including a medical power-of-attorney in case something awful happened and I wasn’t able to make my own decisions.

D knows my wishes, but it distresses him so much to even talk about things like this that I couldn’t ask him to be pulling any plugs. My mother is a nurse and I absolutely trust her to make the right decisions at the right time, but I didn’t want my mother to be in the position of actually signing the papers that would mean the end for me.

I turned to the one person I knew could handle it without blinking an eye, my bff, Bernadette. I knew that if the worst happened, she would consult with D and my mom, follow their wishes and mine, and sign the papers for them. We share the same views: no feeding tubes, no extraordinary measures, no court battles.

So, I started checking off all the “no” options for live-saving measures, until it finally dawned on me….I was filling this form out as if I were a terminally ill person. I mean, if my heart rhythm went a little kooky during this C-section and all I needed was a shock to get me right again, well, hell yeh, bring that on! But I had checked off the NO box for everything. I had to ask the nurse for a whole new form.

D was taken to a locker room to change into scrubs, and while he was gone, they led me down the hall into an OR. I was not looking forward to the needle in my back, but honestly, it was nothing! I’ve been more uncomfortable during an eye exam. I never felt a thing.

Then I was helped to lay back on the table and the surgery started. I know I wasn’t given any sort of “knock-out” drugs, but I felt drifty the whole time. I was talking to D and the anesthesiologist throughout the surgery, but I was there but not really there, if that makes sense. Finally, someone told me that I was going to feel pressure on my abdomen as they pushed the baby out. I felt a whooshing sensation, and D left my side with the video camera to start filming the baby. We were allowed to have a camera, but not on the surgery at all, only from the moment the baby was out and then on my face, but nothing below the surgical drape. Too right, I say.

Suddenly I started shaking uncontrollably, and I became aware of a baby crying off in the distance. It took me a few beats to realize, it’s our baby. Our baby is crying! He’s here!

A few minutes later, he was all wrapped up and D brought him over to meet me.

There we are! My makeup looks ok, no? I do have to say, that is not a bad picture of us, all things considered. In fact, I think from now on, in all pictures I’m asked to be in, I’m going to lay down on a table with my head pointed at the camera and have the photographer arrange everyone else around me. It will make for some interesting holiday cards!

Next time: I’m so sorry, but we are your parents

Thanks for following and reading! I’d love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2012 grayhairedmom.com

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7 Comments
  1. Colleen permalink

    That is the BEST picture!!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. What a lovely picture of you and baby!

    Like

  3. This is such a gorgeous picture! Congrats!!

    Like

  4. what a beautiful picture! How wonderful

    Like

    • grayhairedmom permalink

      Thank you! He’s a sweetie pie. We know how lucky we are!

      Like

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