“My Story… ” Monday: G – The Birth Story

(You can catch up on G‘s story right here: A Third Baby, Fighting Panic, Connecticut to Oklahoma, You’ve Got the Job)


On the way to the hospital, my husband and I chatted excitedly about our newest little one.  He insisted, again, that this one was a boy.  I’d heard it all before– most people told me that. It had to do with how I carried, what I craved, and how closely my belly growth/shape mimicked that of my first pregnancy.  As always, I smiled softly and murmured, “I still say it’s a girl.”


From the beginning of that pregnancy, I’d thought this baby would likely be a girl.  I have no real explanation for that except for the fact that both my husband and I come for “2 girl/1 boy” families and so, somehow, it just made sense to me.  My own mom had a full-term boy, then a preemie girl, then, 3 1/2 years later, me.  So… I just figured that this baby would be a girl.


We arrived at the hospital, checked in, and they started getting me prepped.  Now, ideally, this should be a super uneventful part of the story.  Unfortunately, it kind of wasn’t.  I mean, nothing horrible happened, but, first of all, they told me they were running behind.  How in the world are you running behind at 5 am???  Well, they didn’t have enough nurses to do a surgery, apparently, so they were awaiting reinforcements.  Okie dokey.  But they decided to go ahead and set my IV and get me all ready…


I have lousy veins.  You should know this about me.  Teeny, tiny, child-size veins that collapse when presented with “grown-up” size needles.  I’m not afraid of needles.  Not at all.  Shots?  Don’t even faze me.  But blood draws?  Or IV’s?  Leave me shaking in my slippers.  It almost always becomes a big ordeal.  That early June morning was no exception.


The nurse who was attempting to place the IV sort of brushed me off when I warned her about my rotten veins.  I don’t really blame her.  I imagine they get sick of people “telling them how to do their jobs” just like any other job that has to deal with the public.  Alas, she probably should have heeded my warning.  While my husband has witnessed all manner of vein-debacles at my side, this one took the cake.  I’m not exactly sure WHAT she did, but I can tell you that so much blood poured out of my arm onto the floor that she had to call out for someone to bring her a towel.  It was not pretty.


Finally, that was in place and she just had to tape it down.  She told me they needed to tape over my wedding rings.  Fine.  She wrapped my fingers and then used small scissors to snip the tape so I’d have some movement between them.  I cringed.  She rolled her eyes and snipped again.  I bit my lip.  She snapped at me, “What?  I told you I had to wrap your rings!”  “I know,” I said, “but it just… it felt like you cut the skin between my fingers.”  She looked down.  Blood seeped out from the tape.  “Oh.  I did.  Sorry.”


It was not going well.


Eventually, she was done with her part and I was to be turned over to the surgical nursing team.  To be honest?  I was glad.  I have so much admiration and respect for nurses.  I truly, truly believe that my preemie daughter wouldn’t be here if it were not for the amazing nurses charged with her care in the early days.  But this particular woman?  Was not my favorite.


They put a net on my hair and off I went.  Hubby, of course, couldn’t go with me, yet.  They had to get me set with anesthesia and all that jazz first.


I got my spinal.  And that went fine.  Everything seemed to be moving along just as it should.  In addition to warning people about my lousy veins, I also always have to warn them that I’m incredibly sensitive to anesthesia.  (I’m a fun patient, eh??)  No problem, the anesthesiologist assured me, lots of people are.  We can manage that.


Awesome.  I was settled in and ready for the show to begin.  And I started to vomit.


This happened with my first c-section, too, so it wasn’t totally unexpected.  In that case, however, the anesthesiologist had quickly suctioned and cleaned me and gave me something to make it stop.  While not exactly pleasant, it also wasn’t the end of the world.


This time, the anesthesiologist gave my cheek a cursory swipe with my gown (ick) and injected something into my IV.  Almost instantly, it felt like someone had placed a pile of bricks on my chest.  I couldn’t draw a good breath.  I started panicking.  My eyes flew around the room seeking help.  A nurse caught my gaze and asked if I was okay.  I told her I couldn’t really breathe.  She informed the anesthesiologist.


He looked down at me and said, “Relax.  Of course you’re breathing.”


Now.  I know I was breathing.  I knew it then, too.  But I couldn’t draw a decent breath and the little shallow gasps were freaking me out.  Finally, whether because he determined I needed it or because he wanted to shut me up, he put an oxygen mask on my face and I was able to relax a little bit.


Until I vomited again.


More medicine went into my IV and I realized they had started the surgery.


I got dizzy.  And I vomited… AGAIN.  This time, the anesthesiologist was visibly annoyed with me.  He shoved a plastic basin under my jawbone as I wretched and threw my limp arm up beside it to “hold it” in place.  Of course,  I had absolutely no control of my arm.  I’d had a spinal block.  And it fell off the table, leaving me with nothing to catch the sickness.


“… never seen anyone like this,” he muttered, injecting yet another different medicine into me.


At this point, I started blacking in and out.  I was so incredibly out of it.  While I clearly remember every moment of my very traumatic and dramatic c-section with C., I was only partially conscious for G’s birth…

I heard them say, “It’s a girl!” and they let Daddy hold her for a moment.  They didn’t let me hold her.  I was so out of it and maybe that was part of it.  I don’t know.  But I didn’t get to hold her in my arms or to my breast or even touch her.


They took her away.

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11 comments to “My Story… ” Monday: G – The Birth Story

  • Celine

    ((hugs)) That had to be a horrible situation to experience. There is nothing worse then vomiting from anesthesia though doing so with an insensitive anesthesiologist and a spinal block has to be the absolute worse.

    I have horrible veins and surprisingly have never had anyone get annoyed when I have mentioned that they might have the best luck using a smaller needle and trying my hand. Though I always encourage them to try where ever they feel they have the best vein.

    • Oh, you have these tiny veins too, Celine? My apologies! ;) Honestly, most nurses are very compassionate about the whole thing and at least ACT grateful that I told them. I’ve also gotten less concerned with others’ opinions in my old age and I’ve been known to specifically request nurses/lab techs who’ve had success in the past. I used to worry about hurting someone’s feelings. No more! :)

  • ugh! I didn’t vomit, but I did have that can’t breathe feeling. He assured me my diaphragm was working but my lungs were numb so I couldn’t feel it. That is a very stressful feeling since you feel like you’re suffocating! duh! Some compassion and concern and support would be nice. I had oxygen too and it slightly settled my nerves. My guy wasn’t as rude as yours but also not my cup of tea. Both my arms were strapped to the table though, so I didn’t get to hold Gus either. They held him up over the drape for me to see then wisked him away and Kyle went with him. My doc told me what he was doing before he did anything though, so I knew before he cut he and he talked me through everything. Otherwise I’d probably had been asking him a million questions in between telling the anesthesiologist “this is what I feel..is that normal?”

    • I didn’t realize you didn’t get to hold Gus, Heather. Kind of a bummer, I think, but both G’s are healthy, so it’s all good. :) My arms were strapped down during C’s birth, but not G’s. Not sure why not… perhaps so he could try to jam my dead-weight arm up to hold the basin? *insert nasty sideways glance meant for anethesiologist* :P

  • Laraba

    With my first C-section, my heart rate dropped quite a bit and that was alarming…I also missed a few heart beats. I had follow up and there was no problem, it was just some weird anesthesia thing. I’ll have my 5th C-section this month and the last 3 went great. I’ve had good nurses, good doctors, good anesthesiologists, good veins, good spinals, and I never throw up or even feel nauseous from anesthesia. Your post makes me realize I need to thank GOD for good experiences, and pray that is coming C-section is an equally positive experience!

    It honestly sounds quite nightmarish. But you did deliver a healthy baby and that’s a good thing :-).

    • Here’s what I think is kind of funny… when I write out G’s story, I realize how, well, LOUSY it kind of was. But, at the time, I really wasn’t dwelling on it. I blogged back then, too, and if you ask anyone who knew me/ talked to me/ read my posts, they will tell you that I never mentioned any of this. I was so insanely grateful to have a beautiful, healthy baby that I never focused on the icky parts. And, if I’m totally honest, I’m kind of proud of myself for that.

      When is your c-s scheduled this month, Laraba? I’ll be praying hard for you! Such an exciting time!! :)

      • Laraba

        Thanks for praying! C-section is scheduled for May 24th, but I had a non stress test last week that was a little weird, my weight gain was higher than expected, and my blood pressure was up a bit. The OB said, “Well, we’ll see how much longer we make it.” We don’t expect to make it to the 24th. I’m 36 weeks tomorrow and really WANT him to have at least a couple more weeks. BUT I will say this, your blog has really encouraged my heart (and I hope this doesn’t come off in the wrong way) because I KNOW that even if he comes today it is nothing compared to your sweet 2nd child! I’m sure from your perspective, a 36 weeker is NO problem at all, and I hope we will make at least 37. I do fret a bit about nursing as I have little babies and I am “big” on top so latching on is sometimes tough. I just keep praying he’ll come at exactly the right time and it will be clear to everyone what that time is!

  • That story makes me sooo glad that I was completely knocked out for the c-section…sadly, my memories of J’s first day are few and far between, but I think I would have been freaking much more than you were.

    • Well, this was also my third baby (and I’d been through a roller coaster with C), so I wonder if that might have made a difference for me, too. I have a feeling I would have been even more alarmed and terrified had this been my very first experience having a baby!

  • This was hard for me to read. I’m glad everyone was ok, but I wish that ALL babies could be held by their mothers right away.

  • [...] years ago, your cry rang out and I learned I had another little girl– 5 1/2 pounds of beauty, you were, and beautiful you [...]

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