“My Story… ” Monday: G – 95 Degrees

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


A c-section is surgery so, when you have one, they have to stitch/staple/glue you up and take you into recovery for a bit.  When C. was born, it took them a long time to “put me back together”, if you will, because I’d been cut both ways for that one.  With G., I had the more standard low transverse incision and it didn’t take quite as long.


My OB let me know that they were trying something new with me.  Had I been more lucid at the time, I may have objected to this or I may not have.  We’ll never know.  But what I do know is that, rather than some morphine through the IV (pretty common practice immediately following a c-section), I got this “pain patch” device.  It was a perforated silicone tube that was threaded through my incision and, apparently, would deliver just the right amount of pain medication directly into my system.  In theory?  This was a good idea.  More on that later.


So, G. had been taken away from me.  I had barely seen her, but I was grateful that, as far as I knew, she seemed fine.  I was in the recovery room, floating in and out of consciousness and, suddenly, I became aware that the nurses around me were frantic.  Rather than simply monitoring my vitals, they were scurrying about in a near frenzy.  I heard one say, “Can you try to get a temp on her?  I can’t get a reading over 95 degrees…”


Turns out– no one could.  And my blood pressure, usually a rock-steady and super healthy 100 over 60, had dropped to 80 over 45.  They heaped heated blankets on top of me to raise my temperature and put me on some sort of inverted bed to try to help my BP.  They called over the head anesthesiologist who reviewed my chart.  I could hear them.  I could hear the dismay in the doctor’s voice as he listed, incredulously, all the medications I had been given in surgery.   “…way too much…” I heard, and “…amazed she’s awake at all…”


It’s funny looking back at it, because I was perfectly aware that things weren’t right with me.  But the gravity of it just didn’t sink in.  I guess I was so heavily drugged that I couldn’t really process what was happening or that my vitals just were not at ALL what they should have been.


While all that was happening, I suddenly realized I had no idea how much G. had weighed.  Or how long she was.  This was of serious import to me and I was mortified that I just had no idea.  I managed to snag a nurse and asked her.  She, of course, was a nurse in surgical recovery and had no idea how much my daughter had weighed.  She did, however, call up to the special care nursery to find out–


Five pounds, eight ounces.  Eighteen and a half inches long.


Not exactly what you’d call a “big baby”, but, after having had a one pound five ounce baby, it still seemed sturdy to me.  C. was three months old before she hit five pounds, so G’s rather featherweight birth weight didn’t frighten me.

What DID frighten me was learning that she was in the Special Care Nursery.  Not as alarming as a NICU may have been but, still, it’s not what I wanted to hear.


What was wrong with my baby???


I was about to find out.

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