There is a happy ending to this story.
On October 12th, Mr. Saint and I celebrated our one year anniversary with beignets, tapas, year-old cake, and putt-putt golf (which I won for the first time!).
Early in the morning on October 13th, the Parrasite decided he’d given us enough time to be a couple, and he was ready to be the center of attention. I’m a planner by nature, yet I’m not the type of person to create a birth plan. This turned out to be a good thing because I never would have planned for things to turn out the way they did.
For the first few hours, things went the way they should. They got overwhelmingly painful very quickly, and I was introduced to the wonder that is an epidural. We got 80% of the way there and suddenly, labor stopped and the baby’s heart rate dropped terrifyingly low. They came in with pitocin to try and restart labor, and experimented with different positions for me to lie in hoping the heart rate problem was related to the baby laying on his umbilical cord. They put an oxygen mask on me and told Mr. Saint and my mother that it needed to stay there – I knew it was just to keep me sedated and calm despite what was going on, and I kept trying to take it off when they were talking to me so I could concentrate. The pitocin didn’t work, but we discovered that if I sat straight up, the baby’s heart rate remained steady. And then the bleeding started.
The doctor figured that something was wrong with the placenta, so I was rushed into surgery. I did not want a C-section, but I had seen the baby’s heart rate drop dangerously low for an hour and it’s pretty easy to change your mind in that situation. They prepped me sitting up because we kept losing the heart rate as soon as my back hit the bed. From the time they laid me down until the time the baby was born was less than 3 minutes. He was tangled several time in his umbilical cord, including once around his neck, and the placenta had begun to separate from the uterine wall, which was why my body had shut labor down.
Had I been adamantly against the C-section, one or both of us might not have made it out of labor. But I trusted my doctor, and despite how much doctors and nurses think they can hide their expressions of worry, they can’t. I don’t regret my decision to change my mind in the least, obviously, nor do I think my doctor persuaded me to have a procedure I didn’t want – she had a traumatizing emergency C-section herself and her dislike of elective C-sections is part of the reason I picked her as my doctor.
However, emergency C-sections suck. A lot. There is no amount of emphasis I can put on this statement to underscore it appropriately. Especially for someone who hates pain killers and kept forgetting to ask for them before the pain started again the first day after – when it comes back, it comes back HARD. BUT we’re all fine now. We’re making it day by day, and I have a super cute face to look into that I almost didn’t get to see.
Things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work out.