Saturday, August 4, 2012


Robert Walter Ramsey born June 4th 6:55 pm. 7lbs 11oz, 21 inches long.

It's weird how every newborn and every birth is so different.

I also remember why birth stories are so hard to write. In one sense you want to write it all down while it's crystal clear, so you won't forget, but in another sense, your brain is so noodley and...squirrel! It's hard to get it all out.

I had a scheduled c-section on Monday which may appeal to some...and definitely did have benefits... but for someone who prefers a bit more mystery and spontaneity, it felt a little bit like an execution date looming over my head.

The OR was booked for the whole week, and the only slots they had available were all in the afternoon. Mine was at 4:30 pm. I took advantage of it by packing lunch, bikes and camera and heading to the park for a family picnic. So awesome, except for how crazily thirsty I was (since I hadn't had anything to drink since bedtime the night before). By the time I checked into the hospital, I was so dehydrated they couldn't get an IV started. After feeling like a giant marshmallow poked by a million roasting sticks, they finally got a vein to cooperate and they started pumping me full of fluids which felt like bliss...even though I wasn't actually drinking and swallowing it myself.

Since this is our "last" baby (unless we change our mind), I was in super "savor-every-moment" mode. I paid attention to every little detail, trying to hold onto it and burn it into my memory. Every little bump, sound, smell and sensation.

Totally backfired. Completely freaked myself out. I feel like now I understand you sensory processing people a little better. Yikes. A hospital is a terrifyingly overwhelming place when you've got all five senses on ultra high sensitivity. It was so bad, my blood pressure (which is usually a steady 107 over 52 or something) was setting off alarms in the OR while they were prepping me. The OR nurse had to keep telling me to take deep breaths, so my blood pressure would even out.

Once it dawned on me what was happening, I decided this whole "savor each and every detail thing" was for the birds. I started chatting with the awkward med student about what he wanted to do with his life (not labor and deliver it turns out...ha...poor guy). And discussing the varying surgery preferences and techniques of different doctors. I was seriously fine from then on. It was weird. When they shoved a giant needle in my back, I was worrying about whether or not Robbie would be as difficult to teach as Jamie. When they were strapping my arms down on the table, I was thinking about how I would redecorate the nursery when Robbie and Charlie were old enough to share it as a bedroom. When I could feel them slicing me open, I was thinking about what books I'll require my sons to read before they graduate highschool...etc etc etc.

The hospital we were at this time rocked. Even though there was a strict no video policy for the OR, they said they'd let Jim know when they got to the "baby being born" part, so he could catch it on video. (important to me, since I can't see anything from my angle). Since I was lost in my own thoughts, and as calm as a cucumber (at this point). I wasn't expecting to burst into tears when he was born...but I did. Maybe it was the sound of awe and adoration in Jim's voice when he said "he's here". But I was so in love I saw my baby. I think I bonded a lot faster this time.

The only problem was, he didn't cry. It really scared me, because I knew it sometimes takes a minute before they start crying, but Robbie never did. I heard a nurse say "come on Robbie...cry for me." With the whole csection thing, and not getting his lungs compressed through the birth canal, I really wanted to know he was ok. They finally brought him over to me (he still hadn't cried). And I asked what his apgar was and they said 8 then 9. So I guess he was fine, he just wasn't that perturbed about being born. He never had any fluid in his lungs, he never coughed up any amniotic junk. He never had even a hint of low oxygen, or high respiration rates like I was prepared for. He was a perfectly healthy, happy, full term baby. The difference between full term and nearly term (Robbie and Charlie) is huge.

I was in and out of recovery in a flash. In recovery I did skin to skin, nursed Robbie for the first time (he was born an expert breastfeeder). Jim and I talked and coo'd and ooh'd over him. Got to my room which was super nice and homy. Our family and friends were all waiting. My one request was a turkey club sandwich... which I got...and consumed. I believe it may have been the best thing I've ever tasted in my life. My nurse (while nice) was having a fit about the sandwich. But I'd already cleared it with my doctor, so I ignored her. What was she going to do, rip the bloody sandwich out of my hands? (can you tell I was very attached to the sandwich).

It was late at this point in time...way past visiting hours, but again this hospital was super chill and didn't have a problem with my room full of people at 10pm as long as I was ok with it. We shoo'd everyone out and settled in for a long sleepless night. Except Robbie slept great... a little too great. I was worried he didn't want to breastfeed, but we did appreciate the rest.

And that's pretty much it. It was a good experience. I did have to wait 2 1/2 hours for my c-section. I knew when I came in that it was going to get delayed because the admissions lady told me there was a full moon the night before and labor and delivery was packed. When I got to my room there were 8 women at over 8 cm dilated and people were running around like crazy. I figured out of all least one of those statistically had to turn into a c-section. I should have checked the status of the moon before I booked my scheduled c-section. :wink:

I ended up knowing almost everyone who cared for me. The admissions lady was my Pastor's daughter, my labor and delivery nurse is a patient of Dr. Deckert's (where I work, and I have done all her breast cancer screenings). Another family friend worked in the billing dept and she stopped by. My lactation nurse was the wife of Dr. Deckert's old practice partner, as well as being another long time family friend. This hospital was the perfect combination of laid back and family friendly, while still being big and new and state of the art. All of the things I thought I was going to have to fight them on, were already policies at the hospital (except for the sandwich...ahem).

Recovery has been easy. I did get a urinary tract infection, but I don't know whether it's from the folley catheter, or a reaction to all the meds I've had, or if it's just because I'm prone to them.

Here's a video of his birth (don't watch it if that sort of thing grosses you out). For those of you who saw Charlie's birth video, you'll be impressed how much faster they got Robbie out.

He still continues to be the world's happiest baby (knock on wood). He eats, he sleeps, he talks, he looks around a lot, then he repeats the process. Jamie and Charlie both adore him a little too much (hullo baby squashers). But I think they are having a rough time subconsciously, because they're both uber clingy and needy all of the sudden.