WARNING!!!!! THIS IS THE GRAPHIC PART OF THE BIRTH STORY!!! (Not to worry, it was a c-section so it was more gory than the kind of graphic you might be thinking)
Finally, they came and rolled me into the operating room. Shauli had to wait until I was all prepped and they started the surgery. But Sharon was with me the whole time. Talking me through everything that was happening. Oh my G-d, I was so nervous. I was scared, I was dreading it. I wanted it to just be over. Everything felt surreal. We got into the operating room and it was just us. Me, Sharon, and a male nurse with a funny name – Ubi or something. Sharon introduced me to him and then it was time to do the spinal. I kept thinking Ok, it's time. I can do this. I can get through it. I got onto the operating table and sat with my legs over the side. I had to curl my body like a banana and arch my back like a cat. Sharon was checking where she was going to put the spinal. She was poking around and it was pretty uncomfortable but she did a good job distracting me with random small talk about my Aliyah, my kids, etc.
Then it was time to get started and I guess first she did some local anesthetic which was like pin pricks and then she did the spinal. I had to move my legs back onto the table and then lay down. It was nothing nearly as dramatic as the spinal with Jonah where the scary anesthesiologist cranked my head all the way down and where I felt a whole shock down my side. Nope, this was way less dramatic. My legs started getting numb. The rtest of my body started getting numb. Then the rest of the surgical team came in and started setting up. I was introduced to a couple nurses. Sharon was great because she would do all the talking in English and translate for them if necessary. It made me feel like I, the patient, came first.
They set up the screen and got a couple things started. It’s a weird sensation. The whole process. One one hand, my entire body from chest and below is numb. I can’t move my legs at all. But I can feel some sensation. I can feel tugging and pulling. But not pain. They got started with the surgery. I was so thirsty and my mouth was so dry. I kept clearing my throat and was just horribly parched. I mentioned it to Sharon and she snuck me a few drops of water from a gauze pad. Ahhhh…… A couple minutes in and Sharon asked if I was feeling nauseous. I thought about it for a minute and said not nauseous but strange. Not good. She told me my blood pressure had dropped, which is very normal after having a spinal, and so I may feel nauseous. She was keeping an eye on it but I guess it kept going lower and lower. Then the nausea hit. Badly. And then the throwing up. Or what would have been throwing up if I had anything in my stomach. Oh, it was awful. It wouldn’t stop. Sharon gave me something to bring my blood pressure back up and I think something for the nausea too. That whole episode was also really weird because my entire lower body was numb. And throwing up usually involves the abdomen. But I just felt it in my mouth. Ugh. While it was happening, I was just wondering if I would make it through the surgery. Not if it was like this, I wouldn't. I just wanted it to be over. Finally, the medicine kicked in and within another minute or two, I felt better. So much better that I knew I could get through the surgery as long as I didn’t go back to that!! I was feeling really warm and asked Sharon to get me a wet washcloth for my head. My “comfort” cloth. She brought one but it had warm water so I asked for cold water and she said it would be harder to find but she got some! I started feeling a bit lightheaded and she gave me some oxygen. It was the mouth mask which was more annoying than just a nose one. But it helped relax me and remind me to take deep breaths when I was nervous or when things were bothering me. Then I just concentrated on breathing. My right shoulder got really really sore too and that may have been from when they were touching my diaphragm at the time. Weird.
FINALLY, Shauli was able to come in. A sight for sore eyes. But I was feeling pretty out of it and don’t remember a lot from this point on. I know that everything seemed to happen really really quickly after this. He had the camera and Sharon took a picture of the 2 of us. I happen to think it is a great picture. Not sure why. Maybe because it is so "in the moment". It was almost time for the baby and Sharon took the camera so she could take a picture as soon as the baby came out. She asked if we knew what we were having and I said we did but weren’t telling anyone. The baby was about to be born and Sharon said, “They are taking the baby out….I can’t see what it is yet….here it comes. Oh, it looks like a girl. You have a girl.” And they held her up right over the screen!!! She was SOOO small. I could not believe it. And that’s what I said, “Oh my gosh, she’s tiny.” Ahhh – that’s my daughter. They checked the time (Shauli?) and said she was born at 11:13. Then they whisked her away and off Shauli went to be with her. I was introduced to another nurse and that would be the baby nurse. Then they brought the baby back to me for another minute. Oh my gosh, I was in love. They held her up to me but all I could do was give her kisses. She looked very puzzled. Some more pics and off Shauli went with our daughter.
And that was that. I could not believe how quickly they got her out!! Then it was close-up time which Sharon said would take longer. But she also told me that the surgeon is the head of the department or something so I shouldn’t worry, he would do a good job. At some point she introduced him and he popped his head over. That was all I saw of him!! That was really about as much as I saw of anyone. Aside from Sharon and Udi. I remember someone had told me to ask about future kids. So Sharon asked him how it looked, how I healed from my previous sections, were there any lesions or whatever. Could I have more kids? She asked in English and he answered, “Surely. She can surely have more children.” Good to know I healed nicely. For the FUTURE.
It seemed to take forever for them to close me up and it was somewhat uncomfortable at times. One of the yuckiest parts was that at some point, I could hear the scissors. Snip snip snip. I think that was when Shauli was still there because I told him, I could hear them cutting me. Ohhhh, it was awful. It felt like they were really high up. And in my mental image of myself, I picture myself laying on the operating table with my entire abdomen and chest cut open. Because that’s how it feels. I feel them low and high, tugging and poking around in there. At some point I also knew they were cauterizing me. I can’t remember if I could hear it or smell it but I knew what they were doing. Ugh. I started feeling tired. SO tired. I just wanted it to be done. But I was scared. Scared for the pain. They seemed to be taking forever. And I missed Shauli. But I was lucky because Sharon was awesome. She told me what was going on when I needed to know that and just chatted with me when I needed that. She was just really chilled out and a very calming presence. She also had boys before a girl – 4 boys before a girl. A boy, a boy, and then triplets! Wow!
So eventually, they finished closing me up. Then here is a CRAZY random story! Just before they moved me back onto the stretcher, someone walked into the room and said in English, “Hey, your maiden name is Martinez?” and I said “yes…” thinking it was just someone who wanted to comment on my strange last name. Then he said, “And you grew up in St. Louis?” so then I was thinking ok, was it someone from my class? I said, “Yes..” And he said, “But you were born in Milwaukee?” Who IS this guy? “Yes…” He continues, "And I even know the street you lived on. It was umm.. Shepard Avenue. Your brother is Adrian! You moved when he was in like 3rd or 4th grade?” And I said, “Yah, that’s my brother. And I guess he was in 4th grade – I was in 1st – who ARE you??” He said his name is Chezky and that he was friend's with Adrian when they were younger. Then he asked if Adrian is living here and I said no, no, he’s in Seattle. I asked what his last name was and he said “Landy.” I said yah, that sounds familiar – how crazy!! When did he come to Israel? He said his family made Aliyah when he was in 6th grade. Then he came over and helped them move me onto the stretcher. And he said, “Well, send regards to Adrian. Tell him Chezky Landy says hi.” And off he went. SO random!!!
Then they strolled me out. They took me to a recovery room – across from the pre-op room. I asked how long I would be there. They said it would be about an hour. And I watched the clock. And watched and watched. They were waiting for me to be able to move my legs. I kept trying and trying. I just wanted to be with Shauli and my daughter. I missed them SO much. I hated being away from them. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t be with me. ARGH. People kept coming and going and randomly checking on me. But for the most part it was very lonely. It seemed so strange to me. I had just given birth to my daughter. Yet I was lying there alone. Desperately wanting to be with someone. I am used to being in the recovery room with my family – and certainly with my new baby. Even though I couldn’t hold her – I just wanted to be with family at that time.
Finally, they decided I could move my feet enough that I could head to a real room. They rolled me out and I heard a big cheer. Along with Shauli was Aviva and her sister, Aliza. Whee!!!! They came with me up in the elevator and to the room. And then they left.
Well, that is really it for the actual Birth Story. I have plenty to say about the 5 days following it and my experiences in the hospital. Maybe that will be for the next edition…………….
WELCOME TO THE WORLD, KAYLA RIVKA!!!!!!!