Once we arrived at the hospital (and by "we" I mean my mom, #4, who, incidentally, behaved himself for the entire day and took some pretty nice photos, Rich, and of course, me), I was directed to my cubicle, instructed to disrobe, and stuck with an IV. I climbed into my bed on wheels, and then proceeded to lay there in all my unadorned finery (hospital gown, no makeup, nada) as my relatives and a few of Rich's relatives streamed in. There was coffee in hand by most (none for me, of course). There was banana bread baked fresh that morning by my great aunt being passed around. And I felt like the stuffed Thanksgiving turkey that all gathered around to see. It was seriously a mob scene in there. What the nurses must have thought, I have no idea.
As the minutes ticked by until 9:30, the time I was scheduled for delivery, all eyes were on the clock, because Aunt Karrie was due to arrive at any moment, and she really wanted to see me before I was taken into the OR. Karrie hadn't seen me pregnant. Well, she actually did at my surprise 30th birthday party in March, when I was 18 weeks, but I was hardly showing then. She desperately wanted to see the ginormous Beastie belly in all its glory. And then she arrived.
And see me she did.
Aunt Karrie was clearly horrified.
Shortly afterward, I said goodbye to the masses, and they wheeled me into the OR, minus Rich, who would join me once the epidural was in. The OR was freezing. There were about 10 doctors and nurses in the room. All for me! Dr. C, the OB doing my c-section came in, and instructed me to lean into her, and arch my back so I could receive the epidural. She tried to distract me by asking me of the names we had picked out. She also inquired as to the mob out in the hall. "Italian family, right?" she asked. "My family is exactly the same way. You can't ever do anything alone. Including giving birth." How right she was.
So, the epidural. It actually wasn't too bad. It felt like a really bad bee sting. And then...nothing. My feet started getting numb. Some nurses immediately moved my legs back onto the table I was sitting on the edge of. And I could feel the numbness moving from my feet up my body. And then things started to move. Up went the tarp in front of my face so I couldn't see my inards laid out on the table below me. My arms were extended to my sides, blood pressure cuff and heart rate monitor on one, IV in the other. And I could sense that something was going on down below. But no one was speaking to me to tell me what was going on.
Then, Rich arrived, suited head to toe in a blue gown and a mask. He told me that the incision was already made. He kept up a steady stream of meaningless conversation with me, the content of which I can't remember, in order to distract me. I felt pulling and tugging. Then yanking. Dr. C then tells me, "Okay Kristi, you're going to feel some pressure." And Oh. My. God, was that the understatement of the year. It felt as if someone took their two fists, leaned over my body, and pressed as hard as they could on my upper belly. It literally took my breath away.
But a few minutes later, Dr. C was telling me to look up, over the tarp. She said, "It's an Isabella!!" and I saw my daughter's dark, blueish body flailing around at the top of the blue tarp. She was screaming bloody murder.
And Beastie was a Beastie no more.
The rest of that day was a blur. They stapled me up. I was wheeled back to my "holding cell" while my room was prepared, and two by two, my relatives came to visit and meet Isabella. Recovering from the c-section in the days that followed in the hospital really wasn't as bad as I imagined. Percocet and I became intimately acquainted (can you believe it's my hospital's policy not to give mothers pain medication on a regular schedule. Instead, you have to ask for it. Um, hello? I was just cut open and had a baby ripped from my belly. And you don't want to medicate me?) I had one horrible day when I was in excrutiating pain from trapped gas caused my the surgery. The onset unfortunately coincided with Marie's visit. She saw me at my absolute worst, and let me just say, it wasn't pretty. After several hours of massive pain, I received another pain medication, on top of the two I had already taken. That resulted in me booting into the basin that was supposed to be Isabella's take-home bathtub. Whoops. Later on, I took an agonizing three-lap tour around my floor's unit, and mercifully the gas...passed around 1am. Oh sweet mother of God, was that a relief.
We came home one week ago today. Took Ella to her pediatrician on Monday of this week (is it a bad sign that I keep refering to her pediatrician as "the vet"?) where she was declared "perfect." She even gained back all her birth weight. We took her home at 6 pounds, 3 ounces, and she was 6 pounds, 11 ounces at her doctor's visit.
She's a good baby, really. Which is what most new mothers would tell you about their offspring, I would imagine. But she really doesn't cry unless she needs something. Which is mainly the boob or a clean diaper. I'm exhausted, but I expected to be. Motherhood, especially when you have a newborn, is a 24/7 job. I'm averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep a night, which is certain to be more like 3-4 once my mom goes home, since she's been getting up with me at night to burp, diaper, and re-swaddle the little girl, while I go back to bed. And I'm learning to nap, something I absolutely couldn't do before she was born. This new life of mine has taken some getting used to. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
So this doctor I'm going to... she's going to want to see me naked, isn't she? Because I am so not cool with that.
*As a side note, it has taken me three days to complete this post. I would write a paragraph, and then fall asleep. Write another, and have to feed Ella. Start to write it again, and my mom, who knows not of this blog (for obvious, #4-related reasons), would come into the room and ask me why I was "playing" on my computer again. I never thought my life would be as radically different from the one I had not two weeks ago. But that's a topic for another post.
I so miss reading all your blogs. Mamacita leaves on Sunday, and so next week I hope to establish a regular routine with Ella, which will allow me more time to blog. I figure my cats can learn to change a few diapers and keep the babe entertained while I'm busy on my laptop, right?