The lady at the check-in desk kept talking and talking and all I heard was BLAH BLAH BLAH because I couldn't concentrate at all. She kept telling us personal stories about how she lived in Apache Junction. I really wanted her to shut up and check us in. (Can you tell I was in a great mood?) Finally we got all the paperwork signed and they took me into triage to get ready for the version. I stripped down and put on a gown and they poked me a bunch of times trying to get the I.V. in. Nightmare. We signed some more paperwork and the nurse, Tara, (who looks JUST like Lauren from Laguna Beach... the one that is not L.C.) asked me a bunch of questions and took my blood pressure etc. etc. So I layed there and layed there feeling horrible--physically ("I'm starving and exhausted") and emotionally ("I'm freaking out").
An ultrasound tech came in and we waited for the Doc to come. He explained the details of the version (monitoring baby's heart rate and what he's going to try to do). LaurenTara gave me a shot in the arm to relax my uterine muscles. It hurt. Then the Doc and the tech get in position for the procedure. I spent the next 20 minutes or so in excruciating pain as the Doc tried and tried to flip my baby. I could tell that he was bruising the crap out of my abdomen where the baby's head was. I had to remember that I agreed to this, wanting a vaginal birth, and that I needed to relax as much as possible.
Every now and then the doctor would stop to check the baby's heart rate on the ultrasound machine. He never removed his hand from my abdomen because he didn't want the baby to slip back to where he was (PAIN!). He got him half way around and then he said it was like pushing on a brick wall. He absolutely could not get the baby's bum out of my pelvis. Finally, he stopped pushing and before he said a word I felt like all of my hopes came crashing down on me as it set in that I would have to have a c-section. He said some blah blah about how he knows I really wanted a natural birth, but how it wasn't going to happen and that a c-section was best for me and baby.
Oh, by the way, Michael was there too. haha. He couldn't really do much.
Once the doctor gave the word, they immediately started prepping me for surgery (shaving things etc.). They gave Michael scrubs to change into. Then they all left to make sure everything was in order. Alone with Michael, I started bawling. I felt so lost and scared and sad and mad. LaurenTara came back in to bring us to the operating room. She saw me crying and had to reassure me that I was doing the best and safest thing for me and my baby. (Shut up. I'm just pissed. Let me cry. And I know the hospital tells you to tell women this crap.) She proceeded to make small talk about my family and Michael's family. Then she drops Michael off to wait in a different room while I got prepped some more.
The operating room was just like on T.V. Bright lights, tons of people, freezing cold (LaurenTara had warned me.) Two different nurses asked me questions at the same time with two different accents that were very hard to understand. I sat on the operating table and got my spinal which was surprisingly the least painful thing I had experienced so far that day. They laid me down on the table with my arms spread out like wings and put a band on my arm to check my blood pressure every minute. I started to go numb. It was super freaky. I felt all warm and tingly and COULD NOT MOVE. If I had let myself think about it, I think I would have freaked out more. I felt pretty claustrophobic in my own body.
The big blue sheet went up in front of my face and they put a warm blanket over my upper body. I was starting to feel rather cozy at this point until my heart rate started being weird and they put oxygen tubes in my nose and raised my head a little bit. Fun. Not. Doc came in and started poking me to see if I was numb. When I didn't answer him the last time, he said, "Good. That's the right answer." haha. Apparently I was ready to be cut open. Yay?
Michael was now in the room with me and was telling me the only thing he could remember to tell me from our (now) useless birthing class we had taken a few weeks earlier. "You're doing great." And I was thinking, "I'm doing nothing..."
So they started cutting me and I could feel some pulling and pressure. I couldn't see a thing. I guess they don't like for you to see yourself cut open or something. I heard things like, "that's the water breaking." Then the Doc asked Michael if he wants to see (no fair!) and our child was born. I felt a big weight taken off my ribcage and heard a throaty, mad cry. Of course I couldn't see and had to lay there waiting.
While they cleaned the baby up and started putting me back together, the nurses and doctor talked about my placenta and how it looked different. Michael brought Preston over to me for the first time and I said, "Oh! He's cute!" We took a family picture (which is ridiculous because you can only see my head) and then Michael went with Preston to the recovery room to wait for me.
The doctor said,"blah blah vasa previa blah blah veins the size of your fingers." Then he looks over the sheet at me and said, "Haylee, we've had a real blessing here." He explained to me how huge veins had grown out of my placenta into the membrane. If I had gone into labor and my water had broken, the baby could have bled to death in minutes. Apparently, this occurs in 1 in 3000 births. Lucky me. So basically, my baby flipped himself over because he knew he had to be born via c-section so that he wouldn't die. Baby Preston FTW.
And that's the story. We're glad he's here, safe and sound. But it was a terribly painful, emotional and scary day for me. Probably the worst and best day of my life all rolled into one.
Pictures to follow!