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It was Monday, 4/18 and my scheduled c-section was the next day 4/19. We had arrived at the hospital about 15 min. late for pre-admission testing. I was in early labor and had been since the Thursday before. I had already gone to the Dr.ís office twice before, on both Tuesday and Thursday prior. Both times I was told that I was not in labor, as my cervix had not changed. And although I was having contractions, the only thing they could suggest was that I take a warm bath, some extra strength Tylenol and some rest. I was having contractions every 10-15 minutes from that time on. I was so angry that nothing was happening. But then on Monday morning, I noticed that I was having some mucous discharge. I knew then that it was finally happening. But I could only hope that I would go completely into labor or that they would deliver the baby.
As soon as the admission nurse saw my condition she realized that I was in labor and called the triage nurse to come and assess me. They both agreed that I was in labor and would probably be admitted that day. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist came in to consult with me concerning my anesthesia during surgery. He made mention of a spinal and I quickly corrected him. I had already decided a month prior that I was going under general anesthesia during the surgery. I didnít want to risk the same experience that I had with my last c-section where they couldnít get the spinal in the right spot and it took them 20 minutes to get it in. I was in tears as they poked me over and over trying to place the spinal. Needless to say the anesthesiologist left that alone and went on his merry way.
After the admissions nurse did all that she could do with me under those conditions she allowed the triage nurse to take me to labor and delivery. Silly me, decided to accept the suggestion from my husband to eat breakfast at about 8 that morning. So when they asked when was my last meal, my breakfast sealed my fate. They decided to admit me, and said that they would be taking the baby that day. But since I had already eaten, they would have to wait at least 4 more hours for my food to digest before they could perform the surgery. BOO!!
I was excited because I was finally having the baby that day, but I was anxious and afraid at the same time. This was so unexpected. Although I wanted to have the baby as soon as possible, I didnít have a thing ready. My bag was not packed, I had not picked out his or my going home outfit. And I had not finalized the babysitting plans for my 3 yr old. They took me to a room for labor. They told me that they could give me something for the contractions but that they would need to give it to me through an IV. Hereís where the fun began. The nurse from admissions tried two times to take my blood for labs and couldnít get a good vein. Finally a lab tech came in and found a good vein. She said that because I was in labor and tense, my veins were constricting and that they were rolling. So they were having a hard time getting my blood. This was a shocker to me, as Iíve never had a problem with them drawing blood before. But this was the beginning of trouble.
When they got me into the laboring room they tried to get the IV in, and blew my vein during the first attempt to place it in my left arm. They tried my wrist on the same arm and blew that vein as well. I had a big giant bruise on my arm from where they blew the first vein. They took a break and decided to call in the IV Techs to help. And in walks my Dr. He announces that weíre having the baby today, but he wanted me to talk to the anesthesiologist again about my decision to go under during the surgery. Afterwards, I spoke with two more anesthesiologist about my options. Needless to say, by the time they finished begging me to change my mind, I agreed to have the spinal again. But this time, the doctor assured me that he wouldnít have the same problem this time because he completely understood what had gone wrong the first time.
Hereís the problem. I am a plus-sized woman and during my last c-section I weighed 260 pounds when I delivered. The anesthesiologists at the time (there were about 2-3 of them) had a hard time placing the spinal because they were going in blind due to my size and their inability to feel my spine. They basically had to listen to my painful cues to determine whether they were in the right spot. In the end, they finally placed my spinal, but I was traumatized. This new doctor also told me that they had used a shorter needle the first time, and ended up needing a longer needle, so he would just use the longer needle from the beginning and not have those same problems.
This consultation with the anesthesiologist was happening while the two initial nurses tried again to get the IV in my other arm. They tried the crook of my elbow on my right arm and finally got it in. I hated that spot because it limited my mobility when using my right hand, but I was so glad that they had finally stopped poking me.
The nurse immediately started me on fluids and gave me Stadol for pain in my IV. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart at this point. The Stadol took the edge off the contractions but I could definitely still feel them. After about 20-30 minutes the medicine wore off and the nurse gave me another dose. This time, it didnít really work as well, the contractions were back to 100% pain, and I didnít think I would make it another minute. But I still had about 2 more hours to go before the surgery. With every contraction my mother, who had arrived by this time, watched the monitor and helped me relax as much as possible, so that I would make it to the end of the contraction. She rubbed the bottoms of my feet and told me to breath. Meanwhile my husband rubbed my arm, and I threatened to smack him every time he touched me. Poor fella, he had no idea what to do for me.
Finally it was time for surgery, and they wheeled me into the operating room. They told me to slide from my bed to the operating table, hang my legs over the side and assume the position to receive the spinal. I did what they told me and tried to relax. After about 5 minutes, the doctor had the spinal placed and immediately became my best friend. All of the pain from the contractions went away, and I was so happy. My legs started to tingle and before I knew it, I was numb from my torso down. I didnít even have problems breathing like last time. They taped my stomach back and began the surgery.
After the baby was delivered I was in so much pain from the pressure of them pushing my abdomen to either get him out or put my uterus back in, they had to give me more meds to sedate me. I didnít get to see baby Nathan until a long while after surgery. When I came to, I was in the recovery room. Once I had regained all the sensation back from my torso down, they wheeled me to my own room. It was there that I found out they were keeping the baby in the nursery for observation because he was having a hard time keeping his oxygen levels up. When I finally saw him, he was perfect. I later learned that he was 7 pounds and 9 ounces, 21 inches long and his apgars were 6 and 8 at birth. I was concerned that his apgars were really low, but they said he was fine.
SO much happened before I was finally released to go home. I ended up staying in the hospital 4 nights and 5 days. During which time they performed an EKG, CAT Scan, took numerous labs, determined that I had a high heart rate, that my potassium and magnesium levels in my blood were off balanced, that my iron was low, and that I should have my Thyroid checked at my 6 week appt. They did get my potassium and magnesium levels balanced before I left the hospital. I was so glad to go home when we were finally released and thankful to God for a successful delivery and healthy baby!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I'm glad I finally got all of that off my chest.
Last edited by clspinks; May 22nd, 2011 at 11:15 AM.