I slept quite well the night before the surgery. I booked myself in electively to bring little Baby Brother into the world at 8am on the 8/7/2010, knowing full well how very lucky that date and time would be if we were Chinese. Therefore both our babies would be born on the 8th of their respective months. One’s an Aries and the new one would be a Cancer.
I checked out everything with numerology too, and that seemed to scratch a big tick for the promise of family harmony.
Come on now! There’s nothing wrong with being a little kooky at a time like this! Everything simply had to be right in the universe for our babies, just in case.
I was excited and anxious and quickly wide awake when the alarm sounded at 5am. I don’t remember wondering or worrying about how I would recover after the surgery, I remember enjoying the heat of the shower, looking down at the orb which hid my legs from me and dressing quickly in the clothes I’d set out the night before. I was brimming with anticipation! I love leaving the house to do something exciting when the world is dark and still in the wee hours of the morning. Ever since I was a kid. It’s like waiting backstage before the thrill of a performance. T0day was wrapped up like a present.
The hospital is merely around the corner from our house really, in the beautiful town of Berwick, Victoria. We were shown to my ‘suite’ (which was very nice, and much like a hotel room except for the buttons and flashing lights on the back wall). A charming midwife gave us some forms to fill, placed a colorful identification card into a hospital crib and beside it- a tiny knitted blue beanie.
I smiled broadly. I sparkled with excitement. My mind could see his little head filling it up with that amazing baby smell.
A very Australian and tall male nurse came in with a couple of others and gave me one of the smocks that expose your buttocks and a papery shower cap. Husband too (not the buttocks-wear, more a Doctor’s scrubs and the same hat.)
Onto a wheelie-bed went I, and zoom! Off to the main stage. I wondered why I needed to be wheeled when I was perfectly capable of walking then I remembered the buttock-smock…
I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I was interested in my reaction to the whole situation, I tend to sit back and watch myself like my own personal Freud.
Strange, I know.
My eyes were darting around like an excited kid and I didn’t really wonder about anything, and I can pretty much remember every door we zoomed past, and every face looking down at me from around the bed. They were talking and joking and very pleasant. I was a kid on the slow part of the roller coaster, gaining momentum, excitement and tingly terror as I approached the first big dip.
I felt like the main attraction on a very bright stage as nurses and the anesthetist introduced themselves to me. Then Doctor Yong came in, dressed up, smiling his big Chinese Cheshire grin (and I mean that in the nicest way!)
First thing first- Spinal block..
Yup. It hurt.
The kind of hurt that makes your body, unless you place full attention to the opposite, want to throw itself across the room shrieking like a mad banshee. It’s an involuntary thing I think, because it was very very important for me to stay still and it took all my sternest thoughts to remain sitting on that bed. I have experienced worse pain, believe me, so it was funny and probably just a reaction to the sharpness of it. The nurse told me to stop laughing because it was making me move around dangerously.
Moments after this my legs were lifted and flopped carefully onto the table, and a big alien autopsy light hovered over my, ahem, private areas and protruding stomach. I was stilling my mind and mentally examining the pins and needles in my legs that gradually became busier, and busier. Like millions of tiny bees filling them up. He did the ice test to see if I could feel anything. It was interesting! Brendan eventually came in and took me by the hand, I wasn’t scared but I was glad to see him there and certainly felt comforted. “You have to tell me what’s happening” I informed him sternly. “You can make it gory too.”
A large curtain cut my visual perception away from the surgery itself. That was fine by me. I wanted to see what it would feel like without pain or seeing it.
“You will feel pushing and tugging” the Doc told me. I didn’t mind the pushing part, but the tugging sounded a little gross. I hoped that he would remember to put my pancreas back in. (For the record, none of my organs were harmed during the birth of this child).
I certainly felt pushing, and heard sucking noises (my blood went into the tube, and nothing else of importance, ie- my kidney remained were it was supposed to be). It was like my belly was the sea and these people were trying to catch the biggest wave. Bren made lots of facial expressions and couldn’t seem to put into words what was happening. So much for my running commentary! There was more heavy pushing and then Husband’s face lit up and his hand pushed against mine.
He was here!
I watched as the nurses ran towards a table with a shimmering blue baby, who became pink quite quickly. On went the blue beanie and after some prodding and throat checking he was wrapped up and shown to me. I had tears, it was a beautiful moment. This time I didn’t have to suffer for 29 hours to get to this point. It was dramatic and wonderful and mostly painless. Only took about 30 mins too! I know people say this sort of thing all the time but I was without doubt in Love with him already. I just wanted to touch him, but I didn’t mind that Bren went away with him to have the all important APGAR test while they stitched me up and fried the leaky bits.
I could smell burning flesh and it made me hungry. Gross.
The wheeling back to my room is a little hazy, I suppose things really started to spin around in my head from that moment so nothing is solidified as an etched in memory snap-shot of all that I thought. Perhaps it was nothing. Perhaps I could lay there buzzing with happiness without documenting or judging how I felt.
Eventually we were alone in my lovely room, with our new little Man.