Woke up around 5am. Had to be at the hospital by 6am. We had rented a car for a few days so we didn’t have to worry about busses. We had packed the day before so pretty much just got up, dressed, Shu had breakfast, and off we went. Arrived at the hospital and Shu dropped me off to register while he went to park. There were 2 others there for scheduled C-sections also. No one gets appointment, we are just told to show up at 6am and then they choose who goes first. We were told I have a good chance of being first because it’s my 3rd and they want to get the baby out. Lucky me. I followed another couple and we attempted to find where we were supposed to go. We met up with Shu and found the right building, and the right floor. Then came a lot of waiting. Checking in and waiting, some paperwork and waiting. Had to get an IV thing put in and my blood drawn. I was there with Shauli, and we were playing Word Twist and on the computer. Another woman was there with her husband but he kept leaving. And a 3rd was there and she already had so much company! She arrived with one person – maybe her husband, then another lady came (mother?), then a few more people, and then a few more! They were all talking and laughing A LOT. Very busy people. We were finally called – close to 9am and a nice religious doctor – English speaker who we called “Ira” – took us to get an ultrasound and make sure the baby was still breech. We asked if he would be the one doing the surgery but he said he had to do clinic so he probably wouldn’t be back in time. Then back to the room and more waiting. They finally called me and I had to get prepped. I changed into a gown ,went to the bathroom, got the IV put in, and got onto a stretcher. A guy came who maybe was an orderly but seemed more than that. He was Russian and chatted with us for a bit. At one point, he asked how Shu and I met if Shu was Israeli and I was American. That was funny.
So, off we went to the pre-op room. There was another woman on a stretcher in there and then another woman sitting on a chair. Throughout the whole morning, I had been asking Shauli what he thinks is worse. The anticipation of the surgery or the actual surgery. He felt it was the anticipation. I wasn’t sure. At this point, I was getting really nervous but now that we started the process, I just wanted to get it over with. I still hadn’t met the surgeon and had no idea if the people who were going to be dealing with me would speak English. So far- they hadn’t really. But I also almost wished I had a big sign that said “English Speaker”. This way they would know why I am looking at them with a lost expression. I felt weird to preface every conversation with “Do you speak English?”. So there we were…waiting. Again. But I was all set and ready for the surgery.
A woman walked in and stood by my bed and I heard the most wonderful words come out of her mouth. She said “Hi, I’m Sharon. I’m your anesthesiologist.” In perfect English! I cannot explain the sigh of relief that came out of my mouth. And I said something like “Wow, that sounds good. An English speaker. Thank G-d.” Turns out, she is from Louisville and made Aliyah years ago when she decided to do medical school here. She was absolutely phenomenal. I cannot imagine what I would have done if she was not there to help us.
We talked about my previous c-sections and the pain management in each. What I liked and what I didn’t like. She told me straight off the bat that pain management here is lacking. But that she wants to do whatever she can to make the experience as good or better than my experiences in the states. Because Israel is always competing with the States. We discussed a few options for pain management and finally came up with a plan. She would put it in my chart and be available in case I was in any pain. She gave us her cell phone number and said to please call if I am in any pain. Then basically it was a matter of waiting until they were ready for us in the operating room. There was an older nurse there too who kept coming and talking to us. She was really nice too. Shauli got to put on some scrubs, and Sharon took a picture of us. I took one of Shauli too where he looks like a big scary surgeon.