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We got there at 5:00 a.m. and got all prepped up and then was asked if I minded a couple of medical students being in for the surgery, which of course I didn't mind at all. The doc was in a hurry so he made them get me in there right on time. The spinal didn't bother me at all other than a little pinch before it where they put the local numbing stuff. I barely felt the actual spinal block. They said they were going to do it and within seconds my feet started getting really warm... and it traveled up my body... it was super weird and I was laughing at how strange of a sensation it was. I didn't remember this last time, probably because I'd had two epidurals already. They helped me lie down and then poked all over to make sure I was numb. The anesthesiologist kept asking if I was okay and I said I was fine and my only concern was that I get my mirror to watch the surgery, which they assured me I would. They ended up saying, "Man you're easy, you're welcome back here anytime!!" Haha!
They had me put my arms out on those things that remind me of being crucified (your arms are straight out on either side of you) except they didn't strap them down this time, which I thought was weird. What if I freaked, especially watching, and tried to reach down there??? Then they brough in James and we were ready to go. The way the mirror was I couldn't see much of the actual surgery itself. It was at an angle where it looked like I was staring at it from the side, as if the table and my body were at eye level. I saw a little bit of tissue when they opened me up and I could see the metal things they use to pry both sides of the incision open. I couldn't feel anything but tugging that just felt like I was being pulled lightly from side to side on the table. I just kept saying, "Wow, it's so weird that they're doing all that and I'm just totally conscious and normal on the other side of the curtain!" It was fascinating! I heard the vacuum start and got really excited and told James to get ready because I knew once they vacuumed they would see the baby and pulling her out was next...
I saw him put his hands inside me and start fishing around (still fascinated that this man's hands were inside my body in a gaping cut hole and I was not feeling a thing...) and then finally I saw her little head pop up. Then he lifted her out to about her stomach level, turned her toward me and lifted her little arm, waving it at us and saying in a squeaky voice, "Hi, Mommy, hi, Daddy!" LMAO!! He asked if we saw her and when we said yes, he pulled her out the rest of the way and put her on my belly. That was about it...I watched them deal with baby at the baby station (and didn't realize they had to give her a little bit of oxygen at some point) and looked back a couple of times and saw the pool of fluid all around me down there... pretty cool stuff!! (Maybe I shoulda been a doctor instead of a lawyer.) I smelled burning as they were trying to get rid of old scar tissue from the last surgery. I didn't notice but James said one of the med students actually had to leave the room during the surgery because she was getting nauseous... good thing it wasn't one like my sister's where the fluid (which was green) came shooting out of her. Haha!
The students were around for a lot of stuff that day and thanked us for letting them tag along all day. They were both really nice. Within an hour, the staff threatened to start her on formula because her blood sugar was low. They said this would improve with feeding and I asked why I hadn't seen the lactation consultant first to be sure she was latching on correctly before trying to give her a bottle. They tried to insist and said they would recheck her blood sugar in about 30 minutes. I insisted I wanted to see a lactation consultant before I would let them give her formula, but it turned out not necessary because when they rechecked she was at an acceptable blood sugar level. They tried to take the baby to the nursery about 3 times and I refused each time, insisting that she not leave (because of my prior bad experience with Madyson where they gave her a bottle and didn't tell me, and where everyone I knew got to check her out through the nursery window before I did, and then they all followed me to my room so that I didn't get to spend any time alone with baby and daddy at all...) and they were actually pretty cool once they realized I was adamant about her not leaving. They did most of the testing by bringing stuff to us, and put off the bath for almost a full day. When they did take her to the bath and a couple of times to weigh her and do the initial assessments that couldn't be done in the room, I insisted Daddy tag along, which he did. They did try to get him to give her sugar water before doing the pku test and he had learned from me to refuse. They said it would help calm her. He responded that she had had her blood sugar tested already several times without sugar water to calm her and was fine and asked if they could try it without the sugar water first. Of course, she was fine WITHOUT sugar water. That was really the only testy time.
The only other worry was that she lost 12% of her body weight and they only want them to lose no more than 10%. I freaked when they told me and they sent in the lactation consultant. I was not happy that first they wanted to give her a bottle because she weighed so much, and now they wanted to give her a bottle because she didn't weigh enough... it's not like she was UNDERWEIGHT or anything... she was 9 lbs. 2 oz. to start with and was now at 8 lbs., which is hardly a worrisome weight. I had made up my mind that if they insisted on telling me to supplement, I was going to refuse and if worse came to worse, I would check out of the hospital with baby and go home to continue nursing. But the lactation consultant was GREAT and brought me a pump to help me get my milk in, and made sure baby was latching on correctly and then said to just feed her as much as she would take all night long, which I did. Thankfully, the pediatrician was very good and was not concerned with the weight. She asked for a second weight check to make sure she hadn't lost more (which she hadn't) and then said to just keep breastfeeding and come into the office the next day for a recheck. Then at the appointment, the doctor explained that he believes babies from surgery tend to lose more weight than other babies becuase of the amount of fluid they pump mommy with, and that as a result, it takes longer to reach birth weight again. He set a guide to have her at a certain weight at 1 week and another at 2 weeks, hoping to see her at birth weight within 3 weeks.... but today was our 2 week check up and she was at birth weight already!! She got her first vaccination and we have an appointment in one month, so it appears all is well and we are successfully breastfeeding exclusively! Yay, us!!