Friday, July 27, 2012

Haven Justice's Birth Story

I had a planned cesarean section with both Aaliya and Haven.  But I've decided that just because it was a planned C-section didn't mean I didn't have a story to tell. I do have a story to tell.  I am passionate about natural child birthing even though I haven't had the privilege to experience it.  I fully believe a woman's body was designed by God to birth babies.  I also know and understand that the American culture of medicine believes in intervention and sometimes you just can't escape it.
That being said...

It was 330am on a Friday morning. The day before had proven to be, though hectic, very productive.  The previous weeks had been filled with a whole lot of work and very little rest.  I was on a mission to ensure everything got done before Haven Justice made his grand entrance.  His arrival (or at least the beginning there of) was scheduled for 7am on June 1st which meant we had to be at the hospital by 500am.  I had stayed up late the night before preparing bags (most were already packed, it was more of a frantic check and recheck making sure we didn't miss anything), doing last bits of laundry and loading the dishwasher.  I wanted to come home with our new son to a clean house and relaxation.  I wanted to give myself the best chance to actually rest when I got home.

So, it's 330 am on Friday morning and I'm awake. Today is the day I get to meet my son. There's something about having a son. The weight of the responsibility of having a son was becoming more and more real.  As I brushed my teeth and braided my hair I thought less about the surgery and more about the little man that God had entrusted to us to raise for His glory. We get in the car and both Caleb and I are unbelievably groggy and silent.  The ride to the hospital was fairly quiet and I have a feeling he was thinking about meeting the son of his prayers the whole way too.

We arrive at the hospital and everything looks fairly familiar.  We delivered at the same hospital Aaliya was born in and finding our way around was pretty easy.  We arrive at our pre-op room, err area thing and meet our nurse. She was an unbelievably kind soul who put me at ease right away.  At this point, my nerves are starting to kick in.  They ask me the routine questions and send me in the restroom to change into my glamorous hospital gown. Caleb makes himself comfy in the husband-designated chair they have available in the room, errr bed area thing. And on it starts, the poking and prodding of just about every nurse and doctor in the unit. They started with the heart-rate monitor thingies they stick to your chest-- yes, there's actual adhesive involved. Then there's a plastic bity thing for the finger (I can't remember if that one stays on permanently or if it comes on and off every so often), the heartbeat monitor for Haven (I love hearing the galloping horse that tells me this little man is ay-ok!) and the contraction monitor (that one was the quietest-- hehe)  and then comes the IV.  What a glorious miserable experience that was. My incredible nurse was suddenly replaced with a sweet but obviously inexperienced nursing student hoping to gain just a little bit more experience with my veins. Now, I'm not afraid of needles or anything but I'm also not fond of them.  I don't get joy or excitement from being poked and prodded  with sharp objects and this is a good thing because my veins have *never* been difficult to find. Until June 1st, 2012.  This sweet nursing student missed my veins twice and the one time she caught it was done "incorrectly" because of the way the IV would rest on my arm.  So my very juicy veins were bleeding-- a lot. About two rags worth.  At this point I give my amazing, experienced nurse a glance that yells help and she intervenes. Within 30 seconds, she finds the vein that works, pops it in and all is gravy.

At this point, Caleb starts to stir and starts to tell a fasting pregnant woman that he's hungry.  Yeah, word to the wise gentleman, not a good idea. The nurse encourages him to get something to eat before "the surgery" so he doesn't faint with all the commotion.  Ha! She's sweet.  She obviously doesn't know my husband thrives off blood and guts everywhere (No. Really!)  Either way, Caleb leaves his very pregnant and very hungry wife to go eat (I'm kidding. He did leave, but it wasn't a big deal. All I was doing at this point was waiting there, laying down.)  So his left me with a lot of time to anticipate my least favorite part of this whole ordeal-- surprisingly no, it's not the getting cut open part. It's the epidural.  In the meantime though my sweet nurse kept me entertained by making conversation. Turns out she has 3 kids and a husband who owns his own business; the economy affected his business which is what forced her to go back to work.  But she's thankful her kids are older now (middle and high school) and she works at night.  So, she sleeps while they're at school and works while they're asleep just a few nights a week.  Then, the anesthesiologist comes and tells me in medical terms (because apparently we all understand them) what exactly was going on. I look around for Caleb, really really hoping he'd be here at this point.  My sweet nurse seems to have read my thoughts because she offered to stay through the whole procedure and let me lean on her while they do the whole thing.

The epidural with Aaliya was quick, pretty painless and smooth-- it was done by a medical student (apparently Nicole has "experiment with me" tattooed on her forehead) but he nailed it with no complications. This time around, well... it wasn't so simple.  They asked me to let them know if I felt "something like electricity" on either side of my body.  Umm. Ok.  That made me nervous.  So, they insert the giant needle (don't ever look at the doctor's tool thingy when they're gonna perform a procedure) and do whatever else they need to do.  And then, I feel it. What they were talking about. "Umm, I feel like a shock of electricity on my right side."  "Oh, geez, ok." She proceeds to take out whatever in the world it is they insert and I can feel drops of blood dripping down my back.

Eeeek. I'm so not good with blood. I'm not a fan-- in fact blood freaks me out.  The only time I can manage it is when it's on someone else and I absolutely have to react and care for it.  The adrenaline takes over and I'm okay.  But you better believe after the fact, I'm gonna freak out thinking about it. So. There's blood dripping down my back and the anesthesiologist is once again explaining things in medical terms and how it's "common" for them to miss my spine and hit whatever else and not to worry. Umm. I don't care I tell her. Just wipe the blood that's dripping down my back. "Oh." She says.

Round two. No shock, but only half my body numbs.  25 minutes later, I'm feeling extremely nauseous and finally starting to fully numb up.  Or so I thought.  I'm coming in and out of sleep and consciousness and my sweet nurse bids adieu.  It's 7am, they're getting ready to roll me out and her shift's up.  I was beyond bummed but too focused on not vomiting to really respond.  And so it goes... Caleb was back, changed into an also glamorous man-gown and off we go.

"Wait here and we'll come and get you" they tell Caleb.  I always hate that part. I'm about to have major surgery and I feel like I'm going at it alone during those 4 and a half preparation minutes.  My amazing doctor is in the OR though and his bright and shiny smile puts me a little at ease.  "How was your vacation?" I manage to slurr. "It was good, thanks for asking. Now you just relax and let's have ourselves a baby." The next few minutes kind of fly by as I'm still in and out of it. Then, my incredible husband grabs my hand and tells me he's there.  I finally breathe (or so it seems).  And off they go. My doctor and the nurse chat away about his Hawaiian vacation or something like that. I am completely focused at this point on my son. A thousand questions run through my mind-- will he have light hair? dark? green eyes? (I prayed for that, yano)  A sharp pain interrupts my train of thought.  Turns out I was *mostly* numb.  There was a portion all the way to the right side that wasn't numb and so I felt everything. The cut, the tugging, the pulling (which there was a lot of because his foot was caught in my ribs)


But then, I hear it.  The little cat-like whine/cry thing they do when they're just born.  I hear the suctioning and then they show him off over the curtain. I start to cry (just a little bit) and there he is! My son, Haven Justice.

They immediately take him away to get cleaned and measured and all that jazz...  "Eight, Eight and twenty and a half."

"What? "

"Eight pounds, eight ounces! "

"One more time?"

"Eight pounds, eight ounces!"

"He's a football player!"

They bring him over to me and I can hold him. It is love at first sight. I am absolutely in love and infatuated with this son that Jesus blessed me with. The emotions a mother feels when she first meets her child are unlike any on this earth and nearly impossible to describe.  No matter what the method of delivvery or how the little person came to be in your arms, all that matters is that they came to your arms.

And my son, Haven Justice will remain in my heart and arms forever...

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