And pardon in advance my odder-than-usual vernacular, as well as the moments where I appear to be trailing off mid-sent...
The drugs are my friends. Anyway.
On the morning of the 4th, we set our alarms for 5am, knowing that we had to be at the hospital for 6am sharp. Of course, this meant that I wouldn't get to bed 'til 11pm, waking three times with various concerns, needs to pee, and at least one dream where I had missed my alarm, was informed that I needed to go change Nora's diaper since I missed my surgery anyhow, and consoled myself with a sandwich.
I woke up really tired (but without having succumbed to said sandwich) and after P.J. finished packing (I had been packed for Exactly. Two. Months), we jaunted down Lake Shore Drive and checked ourselves in to Chez Prentice. (There was a woman whom I allowed to check in ahead of me, as she was In Active Labor And Was Not Pleasant To Be Around. I wished to move her along.)
Somewhere between the third blood draw, second hospital gown draped over me (backwards, natch, over the frontwards one- it covers slightly more area), and first I.V., I began to have doubts that this whole second kid thing was a good idea. Turns out, by this point, no one really cares about pausing the shebang until one gets one's courage back up. So, sometimes, one needs to fake it. Which works really well until an O.R. nurse soothes said patient and commends her bravery in a nice voice...causing the patient to well up and completely ruin the facade...which generally results in a ridiculously nice team of anesthesiologists to take turns holding the patient's hands while talking and joking her through an impossibly pain-free spinal. (Seriously. My only slight owie jolt was the first numbing needle, which, upon my flinch, caused every single person in the O.R. to rush over and tell me how wonderfully I was doing. I later commented that giving birth in front of an applauding team of twenty was the ONLY way to do it.)
Okay. Gory details time. BUT FIRST- may I state again for the record how incredibly pain-free the actual c-section was? 'Cause it was. I felt nothing. Not the broken popsicle stick test (I swear to God that is a real measurement of pain after numbing medicine is applied- they also said they had a paper clip they sometimes used to prod the thigh, hip, rib cage and sternum to test how high up the numbing goes), not the first, second, third (and on and on) incisions, and certainly not the cauterizing thinger- though I definitely could smell someone's burning flesh. Poor fool. By the time they invited my questionably married husband to look over the divider and inform me what we now had, I wondered what sort of mutilated carcass he'd see on his wife. I still don't know. But even after the crazy tugging, weird sounds, and elephant-like pressure on my rib cage to shove the kiddo's legs out (the ciiiiiircle of liiiiiiife), I was still off the charts excited to find out who this new little person was.
The one who really dug liverwurst. And melon. And making me sick as a dog for thirteen weeks- though that also might have been the liverwurst and melon.
And P.J., looking over the curtain to see the kid's head still emerging from my abdominal cavity like some bizarre cross between E.R. and Alien (he thought it was AWESOME, by the by), said in a quietly pleased voice- "It's Susannah."
Because she had a head full of the thickest, blondest ducky hair I had ever seen. And- when she eventually squinted them open- the brightest blue eyes. She had the Schoeny mouth, of course, wide as anything and tilted like a bow. Her skin felt like velvet and her chubby cheeks promised to be superbly kissable. I could already tell that we'd be great friends.
And once they'd unstrapped my arms from the T position, placed me on a board for transpo onto another gurney, and dangled all of my wires and tubes from the appropriate hooks...they placed her in my arms. And it kinda didn't matter that I had just undergone the complete opposite of a natural birth, nor that I'd feel like a Mack truck rolled back and forth on my belly in a matter of hours. As I looked into Susannah's weary face (I hear that, sister), I once again had the realization that it wouldn't have mattered if they had removed her from my ear canal with safety scissors.
It was worth Every. Single. Frightening. Pain. (Isn't it obnoxious when mothers say that? Even more obnoxious is when they're right.)
And sure, the past couple of nights have not been amazing, physically or emotionally; due to my gestational diabetes, Suzy's been subjected to way too many blood tests, tubes, force feedings, heart monitors, and an overnight in the NICU. But luckily we've been able to be with her nearly nonstop. P.J. especially has made a habit of chasing her rolling bassinet down the hall with whatever cranky night nurse is currently finding him a pain in the ass. (And he has the 45 minutes of combined sleep since Tuesday morning to prove it.) We've had some lovely angels on our side, too, especially the NICU nurse who lobbied for our daughter to be sprung and sent back up to us. (And she made P.J. melt like a summer popsicle when she fashioned a bow for Suzy's tiny cap.)
But now the two gals are catheter, I.V., and needle-free...and the guy is slightly more rested. And tomorrow morning we'll all be going home, where a positively ecstatic biggie sister has already given Susannah Mae permission to play Sleep Tight in "the baby's room."
|Little Miss Bow Hat.|
And now we'll go snuggle our little Monkey close while we watch our favorite shows and drift into a blissfully medicated sleep (okay, maybe just me).
But I know I'm not alone in thinking that life as Peej and I know it has just gotten a heck of a lot sweeter.