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After a pretty uneventful pregnancy we decided to schedule an elective 3D ultrasound for October 11, 2010 to try to get a peek at Tommy Jr. Until that ultrasound I had no idea how he was positioned. Immediately upon beginning the ultrasound the technician, told us that Tommy was in breech position with his head and feet up above my belly button. I learned that this is called the Frank Breech position. In addition to the breech presentation, the technician measured my amniotic fluid levels and found them to be a little on the low side, around 8.5 cm. This started a long series of ultrasounds to check my fluid levels. Given the fluid issue and breech presentation I was originally scheduled for a c-section on November 29.
At my appointment on Nov. 15 (Monday) my fluid levels were much lower. So after a 2-hour appointment and my OB's consultation with the hospitals perinatologist, my OB finally came back to the room and said, “How is Wednesday for you?” DH and I were both a little in shock since that meant we would be having the baby in only a day and a half!
We spent the remainder of Monday night coming to grips with the early delivery of our baby. I spent most of Tuesday on the phone wrapping up some things at work, contacting a pediatrician, and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. I didn’t want to come home to a dirty house. It was such a strange feeling to think about how empty the house was that night and the fact that when we came home from the hospital there would be a new member of the family. I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight so unfortunately when the worst heartburn and reflux of my pregnancy attacked right around midnight I couldn’t take any Tums. DH and I both tossed and turned all night. I think I managed maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
We woke up around 4:30 a.m. to get ready to go. We pretty much already had our bags packed so it was just some final preparations. We left the house around 5:45. DH dropped me off at the door and I waited inside for him. We walked to the back of the main hospital to the “Procedures” center. I was checked in and got my arm band. Then we waited for a nursing technician to take me to pre-op. Went to pre-op and changed into my hospital gown for the operation. I also had to have them put on compression socks to help prevent blood clots. One of the technicians came by and drew blood from my arm. A surgical nurse came in and put my IV into my left hand. A labor and delivery nurse came in and checked baby’s heart tones, which were around 150 bpm. DH then had to change into his scrubs – which were not made for someone who is 6’5” so he was able to get some scrubs that the doctors normally wear.
The next person to come into the room was the anesthesiologist. He had a pretty good sense of humor. He explained what I should expect from the regional anesthesia they would use. My OB came in briefly to make sure I didn’t have any remaining questions. It was nice to see him since he was a familiar face. Next the anesthesiologist and nurse tech wheeled me into the operating room. DH followed along.
It didn’t take long to get to the operating room. Once inside it didn’t really look anything like I thought it would. There were a ton of doctors and nurses in the room. There were probably at least 8 people in addition to DH and I. The nurses moved me onto the operating table that seemed really narrow. While I was lying back on the table I could feel the baby kick a time or two. Once there I had to lean way forward and curve my back so the anesthesiologist could put in the spinal block. The initial sting of the local hurt a bit but the rest I couldn’t feel. I felt like I had to lean forward for a really long time while they put in the spinal block. DH held my hand the whole time. Once the anesthesia was in I had to lie back so that they could put in the catheter. It was such a weird sensation as my body started going numb. Of course I was concerned that I wouldn’t be numb enough and would be able to feel more than I wanted to! Shortly before the surgery was going to begin, my OB told me that he was going to pinch me hard to test the anesthesia. I couldn’t feel anything at all and immediately felt a lot better about things. The next thing I know I hear the OB asking for a scalpel and I remember thinking, “I really hope I don’t feel this”. Thankfully, I didn’t. Pretty soon after I felt a lot of movement around my abdomen and tugging and pulling and pushing. I heard them say the saw the butt and then before I knew it they had removed baby Tommy. I could see them carry him over to the warmer and immediately started crying tears of happiness and relief.
DH left my side just for a bit to watch them clean up Tommy and to weigh and measure him and to cut the umbilical cord. DH was able to watch a part of the surgery and while they were stitching me back up. Thankfully I was oblivious to all of this! After probably 5 minutes or so of getting to look at our baby DH and the baby went up to the nursery/post partum and I stayed in the OR while my OB finished stitching the incision.
While DH waited outside the nursery and in the post partum room I was wheeled to recovery. They thought I would only need to stay there for a half hour or so. Everything seemed to be looking pretty good. Unfortunately the recovery room nurse was told that my post partum room wasn’t ready yet. I found out later that it was ready and DH was waiting there. Just a bit of a logistical issue. Finally (after an hour or so) I was wheeled to my post partum room -- it was a very long ride on a gurney. DH was there but Tommy wasn't. He was in the nursery getting his blood sugar levels checked and getting a bath. DH could tell I was getting agitated that Tommy was not with us so he went to the nursery and basically demanded that they bring him to our room-- thankfully they did without any issues :-)
After Tommy made it to our room he had to leave a couple of times during our stay -- one for his circ -- and a second time for a hip ultrasound. As far as I know the u/s is common practice for breech babies where they check for signs of hip dysplasia. Thankfully the u/s came back normal (I was pretty stressed out over the 24 hours we had to wait for results).
Overall, my birth experience was very positive. The doctors and nurses that worked with me were excellent. I'm so glad to have recovered well and have a few weeks left with my LO before going back to work.