On Tuesday, July 24th we dropped our 2 year old daughter off at daycare at 730 AM and then checked into the hospital for a 10 am planned c-section under general. Background - I have a rare connective tissue disorder which puts me at high risk for precipitous labor, hemorrhaging, and hip dislocation/ligament tearing in stirrups, as well as already damaged/bulging discs in my lower spine. The C-Section was strongly supported by my orthopedist and anesthesiology determined I was not an epidural candidate due to a history of easy bleeding. We were immediately taken to a labor room to change, have an NST, sign consent forms, and have one last consult with OB and anesthesiology. DH and I were nervous but I remember we just kept cracking each other up and smiling and laughing - I'm sure the neighboring labor rooms thought we were crazy or heavily medicated.
We ended up getting bumped a little due to emergencies, but around 11 my nurse came to walk me down to the OR. I got on the table and started to get nervous, especially since I was now pretty much naked in front of 10ish people without the labor brain fuzz distracting me. They gave me an O2 mask and told me to just keep breathing deeply. The anesthesiologist was really awesome narrating what was going on to try to keep me calm. Then it was time for the catheter - which I had been a little nervous about - my nurse couldn't get it in, tried a few times and then called in a second nurse. They tried to get me to get me to spread my knees a bit more and I was thinking um guys that's the whole reason we're doing this c-section!! lol Second nurse was SUPER rough but got it placed - the resident holding my O2 mask was super sweet and put her hand on my shoulder and squeezed as my eyes were crossing in pain with every attempt. Then they do the iodine and draping and the "awkward 3 minutes" they warned me about start where we all just kind of stare at each other waiting for the disinfectant to dry before pushing meds. Then it was finally go-time and I drifted off.
Going to switch to my husbands POV for a min since I was out. He waited in the original delivery room trying to distract himself by playing Disney Emoji blitz on both our phones. They had warned him it would take a solid 60-90 min and they would send someone out with an update when they could. About halfway in, a couple orderlies came and took my bed - he said that was terrifying for some reason. After some more waiting, the neonatal ped specialist comes in to tell him that the baby was delivered but having trouble breathing so was going straight to the NICU and asked him some questions regarding care and if we were ok with formula - stuff like that. She also updated him that I had had some bleeding but was OK and they were buttoning me up. I had warned my husband before we went in that c-section babies are sometimes born with fluid in the lungs and have to go to NICU for a little bit and he later thanked me for having warned him because otherwise he would have been freaking out. As for me - I never really pushed for details so I'm not sure at what point I "bled more than [they] would like" or how bad it really was, it was severe enough to warrant oxytocin drip to contract the uterus but not enough for a transfusion. We knew this was a possibility though - with either vaginal or c-section - and that's why we made this medical plan and also had 2 bags of blood on hand just in case.
First thing I remember upon waking up was holy hell pain - seriously the worse pain I've experienced. They told my husband they had to wait until I woke up to start the IV pain meds due to the bleeding complication - so I woke up after abdominal surgery with no pain meds in my system. A lot of it is fuzzy because of the pain, but I focused in on my husband's face and holding his hand. I typically have a very high pain tolerance but man that was rough - tears were streaming down my face without my control and I kept breathing fast. I was also vaguely aware that while I saw a room full of people but I didn't see a baby so I freaked out a bit. My husband said it took about 30 min for the pain to get under control. I will also say that I didn't really understand why a bunch of you ladies were anti pit - after that bag of oxytocin I totally get it. Contractions while not in labor and with fresh abdominal sutures are a complete BITCH! Once I was fully with it and my room was ready, they came to roll me over to maternity ward - and that's when the puking started. I puked for 9 hours - every time I thought I was better and we could move to take the catheter out so I could go see my son I'd puke again. We were all confused because I've never puked after anesthesia before - my nurse was really upset for me and chatting with another nurse figured out it was the IV meds - apparently a bunch of women react to Dilaudid by puking and since most of my surgeries have been out-patient I've never been on IV pain killers. So we switched to oxycodone pills ASAP - and of course I puked the first dose back up and then went pain med free for 4 hours. At 1130 PM - 12 hours after his birth - I finally got down to the NICU to hold my son and they let me nurse him (which is freaking difficult when the baby is hooked up to monitors and O2!). I was monitored closely for recurrent bleeding and all pads were weighed for the first day to measure further blood loss. Besides a 4 day migraine (probably a combo of pain and exhaustion), a hivey rash from boobs to hips, and my feet blowing up with pretty significant pitting edema, no further complications. I was up and walking to the NICU on my own by day 3 - which caused a pain spike on my original discharge day which ended up getting pushed out 2 days.
As for my son. He was officially diagnosed with Transient Tachypnea of Newborn (TTN) and fluid in the lungs. He was breathing fast and shallow and needed to be kept on CPAP but TTN usually resolves very quickly. He was doing better the first night which is when they let me nurse, but when we went to see him the next morning we were told he'd gotten worse and had to be put on a NIPV to help him take breaths besides just oxygen and they were discussing an xray to rule out collapsed lung. They were also stopping all food and introducing a tube and an iv drip. They said that he needed to concentrate on breathing and the addition of food was putting too much strain on his system and we could sit by the isolate and touch him but not to get him excited - well the sound of our voices was exciting him too much and I spent a lot of time in my room pumping because sitting with him and not being able to touch/hold him was too hard. The dr's and nurses were positive but no one still really could understand why the TTN was lingering so long - all his labs and tests were great, but they put him on antibiotics just to be safe. Through it all he was super fiesty - the nurses described him as "hangry" and he kept ripping his monitors off and angry sucking on a pacifier while staring down the nurses. Finally, on Friday we were allowed to feed him again and start weening him off the IV, and take him off NIPV. Saturday morning the ped came over to the maternity ward to tell us he was looking great and off the CPAP and if he stayed above 90% O2 sat all day he could go home Sunday! He passed all the tests and requirements set by the ped and after 5 nights in the NICU, we got to take our baby boy home. So far we've had 1 visit with our local pediatrician and 1 vist from a in-home nurse from the hospital and he is doing great.