Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ella - The day you were born

Dear Ella,

The moment I found out I was pregnant I started dreading the day you would be born. I was excited to have you, but not about having a C-section. For nine months I worried about your birth. I had a terrible fear of something going wrong during the operation; not only wrong, but that I would die.

With Riley, I had an unplanned C-section and didn't have time to even think about being nervous. But with you, Ella, I had plenty of time to think and worry.

Your due date was never certain and it changed a lot. We were scheduled to have you on June 25, but on the Friday before that Monday I found out I had to wait one more day to meet you. June 26 is also your Uncle Timothy's birthday. It was a Tuesday, and the temperature was around 100 degrees that day.

Your Daddy and I arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 to get ready to meet you around 12:00. I cried off and on all morning and more so once it was just your Daddy and me in the hosiptal room. I told the nurses how scared I was and thankfully I knew one of the nurses, Kim Hardy. She was so sweet. She let the anestesiologist know how nervous I was and he came and tried to reassure me.

Family started arriving around 11:30 and there were more tears. I was so scared! I wanted my Daddy. Where was he? At Applebee's with Aunt Ma, Tio, Riley, and Mamaw, flirting with all the waitresses and women.

Just before I went in the operating room Aunt Ma came in. I cried the most when I hugged her neck for the last time. It was a terrible feeling going into the operating room thinking I was going to die. I hugged your Daddy last and walked down the hallway.

I'm an emotional person but still tried to control myself. It was no use. I cried getting up onto the operating table and cried as the gave me the spinal block. A male student was in the room and the nurses asked if it was ok if he stayed during the C-section. I didn't care. Knowing he was there kind of took my mind off things for a few minutes. He asked if I was what a normal pregnant person should look like. The nurses said yes, that I hadn't gained too much weight. That made me feel good.

Despite all this, I couldn't control my tears or my breathing. Later I found out I was having a panic attack. Kim Hardy stood beside me and talked to me the whole time. She asked me all kinds of questions about my family and my dad. It was kind of irritating at the time, but now I realize she got me through the panic attack.

Finally your Daddy came in. I was so glad to see him! The operation had just started. The anesthesiologist kept telling me that everything was "textbook" and then he looked at Henry and said, "She had a panic attack but is doing ok now." Your Daddy laughed.

The doctors told me that I would feel a lot of pressure on my chest, like someone was sitting on me. More like an elephant was sitting on me. It was hard to breathe and very uncomfortable. This lasted an eternity. You would not come out! They could see your head and said you were shaking it "no." Everyone laughed because they said you didn't want to come out.

Finally, at 1:35 you came out crying. I was so happy to hear you cry. Riley didn't cry and had a hard time breathing at first, so your cries made me feel reassured. As soon as the nurses laid you down on your table you tee-tee everywhere. After you were cleaned up they handed you to your Daddy and he brought you to me. You looked just like your big sister!

Your Daddy carried you out of the operating room and left me to finish the surgury and go to recovery. The rest of the surgery took about 15 minutes. I was alarmed when people started cleaning the operating room while I was still being operated on. They were in full-scale clean-up mode while I was still being gutted. Not to mention, nurses and doctors were carrying on as if I wasn't laying there eviscerated. Music was playing and they were making plans for the weekend. No lie.

Finally, my doctor came around to my head and said they were finished. No one was more relieved than me. I was alive! I went to recovery for about an hour. This time I was completely lucid and knew what was going on. With Riley I was knocked out but kept coming to not knowing what was going on. This time I had full view of the clock and was watching it too! I was ready for the one hour to pass so I could meet my baby. One of the nurses told me to remember to massage my fondus, "So you don't bleed to death." That one little sentence had me worried for two days. Heifer.

I wasn't alone in the recovery room. "Vanity" (that was her real name, or what the nurses were calling her), was next to me. She was having a much worse time than I. They were talking to her trying to calm her down as she tried to get up... repeatedly. She was moaning and yelling. Poor Vanity. I wonder why she was in recovery and what happened to her.

Finally I was rolled out of there and away from Vanity. When I got to my room you and your Daddy walked in right behind me. I was so happy to see both of you! Friends and family trickled in after you and then your sister came to meet you face to face.

I still couldn't believe I was alive!

The next two days in the hospital were filled with pain for me. I had a much more painful recovery the second time around. When we had Riley we didn't know we could send her to the nursery for a few hours so we could rest. With you, Ella, your Daddy demanded it. Not only was he caring for you, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't help him. I am very sensitive to pain medicine also, and when I asked your Daddy about the 7 other kids we had, he knew it was time for you to leave.

At times, the pain was so bad I was crying uncontrollably. And when I would cry it would make things worse. When the nurses were finally able to get ahead of my pain I was in a much better place.

You were a good baby in the hospital! I was happy to get you home and love on you!

Love you, Mama

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