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 those...at 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.
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