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The Slice… and Yank!

AKA, my scheduled C-Section.

Ok, so before The Haters descend, please go read the previous page, oh-so-cleverly  titled “The Story” and then come back. If you want to get all Judgy McJudgerton on me for my decision after that, feel free.  I even promise I will read your judginess, WITH MY TWO WORKING EYEBALLS, the functional status of which was obviously the point of the whole thing.

Piper’s delivery was scheduled several months ahead of time, mostly owing to the fact that my due date was 1/1/09, and leaving my possibly complicated situation up in the air in the midst of the holiday season wasn’t something any of the participating parties had a lot of interest in.

So we were on, for high noon on 12/22, a date chosen to ensure that the babe was well cooked, and in hopes that I could avoid contractions altogether.  The plan was to deliver and get the hell out of the hospital sometime Christmas Eve Day.  I remember looking at our Christmas tree when we left the house that morning, thinking about my daughter’s first Christmas. I kept reminding myself not to get my heart set on anything and that there were no guarantees. But I know in my heart I was certain we’d be home for her first Christmas morning.

Spoiler Alert: We were NOT home for Christmas.

On the day we were to take delivery of the kid, I was 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  I had not experienced a single contraction. At my last OB appointment my cervix was checked and deemed to be “tight as a drum”. My breasts had given no indication, past ballooning in size and changing color, that they were capable of or willing to sustain a human life.  In short, I was ready to have a baby.  It was time for what I had flippantly been referring to for several months;  The Slice… and Yank!  (I like to say it like Reese Witherspoon says “The Bend… and Snap!” in Legally Blonde. )

On the day, I don’t remember much before we get to the hospital. As I mentioned I remember looking at the Christmas tree and looking forward to her first Christmas. But after that the next thing I remember is parking the car and reminding Christopher to bring everything because I could not guarantee when he would be allowed to return.

We arrived at 10:30 or so and started filling out paperwork, having opted not to pre-register based on the fact that we knew when we were coming and would have ample time to fill out paperwork.  Besides which everyone we knew who’d ever had a baby, including my OBGYN, said it was a complete waste of time because they would just ask you all the same crap when you got there. I’m calm and excited but pretty fixated on the starving/super thirsty thing since I haven’t eaten or drank anything since before midnight. I would trade the baby for coffee at this point.

Note my boobs trying to sneak out of the room... sideways.

Once we get back to the labor room, (even though we knew we weren’t laboring) I start getting all prepped and stuff. My nurse asks me how many children we have, because I’m having a scheduled C/S and apparently she doesn’t believe my chart which clearly lists the procedure as primary and not secondary. Thus begins my 5 day reign as Ocular Histoplasmosis Educational Awareness Chick. Every time I get a new nurse or lactation specialist or anydamnthing I have to explain it all over again. I’m relatively calm at this point and making jokes with the nurse about having saved the shaving of my pubes for her. She’s very kind and pretends I’m funny. The TV is set to The History Channel and there’s something on about the Holocaust. I’m really hoping it’s not still on when we get back to the room because I don’t think it’s going to help the breastfeeding.

I meet my anasthesiologist and we become good friends. He’s also very kind and pretends I’m funny. He asks me a lot of questions, takes a lot of notes and eventually I sign many pieces of paper indicating that I wont hold him responsible for anything that goes wrong with the opening and evacuation of my ute. He leaves, on the way out I tell him not to overcaffeinate.

My parents and in-laws all came to the hospital to hang out during the surgery and meet the baby but my Mom and step-father have trouble getting into the hospital (seriously?!?!?! It’s a freaking hospital, how hard is it to find the door, Mom?!?) so we end up only having a few minutes with everyone before it’s time to get them kicked the hell out. This is actually ok since they’re all standing around asking me stupid questions like “Are you excited?” and insisting on taking their pictures with me. People? I’m not wearing a bra or underwear and my Father In Law is in the room. This is not an occasion for photography! Also, the “IS MY MOTHER who’s not answering her cell phone going to even get here in time?” factor makes me exceptionally freaked out and I am pretty nervous at this point. I completely recognize that my nervousness is only due in small part to the fact that my Mom is late, and mostly due to the fact that I Am about to get sliced open and become a mother myself and from that point on, I will be the person responsible for showing up on time and finding the right doors to stuff like hospitals. I recognize it, I am fine with it and to a degree, I welcome it. It allows me to focus on something outside of myself and the nervousness allows some smaller part of my mind to focus and regain perspective on the situation.

My Mom arrives. I’m trying really hard not to scream out crap about “Why do I tell you about things three months in advance if you’re still not going to learn how to find the front door?”. She gives me a bracelet. It used to be mine, actually, but she gives it to me for the baby. I have yet to figure out if this makes it a gift or the return of something I inadvertently left behind when I grew up and went to college. Whatever, it’s pretty and I remember wearing it when I was a young girl and it makes me cry that she brought it for my daughter. My wonderful husband takes a picture of that moment and it turns out to be very special to me.

My, er... My Mom's Bracelet For The Baby

My anesthesiologist comes back and kicks everyone out. We talk some more. He continues to pretend to find me entertaining, God bless him. We talk about what’s about to happen, Topher stays behind in the room while I get taken back into the OR for my spinal and to get all iodined and what not. He gets bored, I guess, and takes stupid pictures of himself and the rubber gloves left in the room.

Topher's Self Portrait

My new BFF and I get to know each other better, we talk about needles not actually being like bee stings and we talk about back fat. He assures me that my muffin top isn’t that bad and continues to tell me I’m funny. I start asking if he’s after a tip but he tells me it’s time to stop talking so he can get that non-bee sting thingie all set up in my spinal column. It hurts. It’s no worse than Novacaine though and I have lots of experience with that. The worst part is that it feels a lot like when they get the drill going in a root canal, you’re numb so there’s no pain, but you can kind of feel a vibration of whatever it is knocking around in there. But it only lasts like a second and then it’s done and apparently I’m some sort of fucking rock star cause he keeps telling me I did an awesome job of sitting still and holding that pillow on my lap PERFECTLY so that’s cool.

And then they make this big deal about how they need to get me lying down again REALLY REALLY FAST and I’m kind of thinking there must be something wrong, except that I can’t feel those legs that they’re moving around for me and holy shit it really does work in about 7 seconds. Neat.

The nurses are prepping me, I’m told there’s iodine, I’m asked if it’s cold, I have no idea, my anasthesiologist is asking me if I can feel other stuff. I can’t. He continues to tell me how great I’m doing at lying flat on my back not feeling stuff. I love him and want him to come be my personal assistant. The man is fucking empowering. He loves everything about me.

At some point in all of this Topher gets to come in. He’s already crying which freaks me out and i have to ask him why, like a lamewad, so he can tell me he’s just really emotional and excited (I was honestly worried that I may already be all opened up and he saw my intestines and they scared him, but no. It was just love.). My doctor comes in too, and she’s one of those who if I didn’t know, I would hate because she has the enthusiasm level of a high school cheerleading captain, BUT SHE MEANS IT.

And then, it just kind of, starts. There’s some chatting, some discussion of how big the baby’s going to be, stuff like that. They ask if I want to see with a mirror and I was planning to say no but I say yes, figuring I can always close my eyes if it freaks me out. Topher is given the mirror and we work on positioning it. It’s somehow not strange at all, trying to get the right angle on this hand mirror reflecting my body being opened up with scalpels, because there’s going to be a baby coming out of that place and that’s only ever going to happen one time. I may someday have other children sure, but THIS baby, THIS baby is only ever going to be born this ONE TIME. This brand new person is about to become, and what is a little bit of blood and awkwardness when I’m about to witness that?

The problem is that Topher is trying to watch over the curtain (having had a few surgeries of his own, he apparently has no problem looking at my internal organs, and if he’s fine I’m fine) and so he keeps letting the mirror slide over a little. This makes me have to crane my neck to try to see. This is apparently not ok because this is movement, and my trusty anasthesiologist takes the mirror. I’m pretty sure I ask him to marry me because he just became the perfect man, but that might only have been in my head.

They start warning me about “The Tugging and Pulling” that you hear about. IT was not nearly as intense as I was expecting.

And then, I see her. Her head actually, coming out of me. It’s tiny and perfect and in no way is it gross or disturbing. There is a person here, where there wasn’t before. This is the most monumental thing that has ever happened and why the hell was I so worried about HOW it happened? Whether I got to push or not?

I can SEE her and this is miraculous on so many levels.

She has dark hair, lots of it! I can see her tiny face like it’s up against a red background. And then the rest of her is out and holy crap I had a baby!

Christopher and I are both crying, there’s a lot of “Happy Birthday!”ing happening. The anesthesiologist has taken the mirror far away. My daughter is being measured and weighed and Apgared and stuff. They call out her height and weight, 8 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches long. The assisting OB tells them to weigh her again, he doesn’t believe she’s that heavy, they had estimated her at 6 pounds and a bit based on my measurements! They do and she is. I send Christopher over to watch her getting cleaned up and everything while my OB asks me what her name is. I tell her I have to meet her first and then all of a sudden She’s there! And they hand her to me, and she is the most beautiful thing in the world that there has ever been ever. They ask again and I tell them, she’s Piper Josephine.

Courtesy of our anasthesiologist, taken one handed.

Topher goes with her to the nursery to get checked out. We discussed earlier, his ONE JOB is to follow her wherever she goes and get her back to me as soon as possible. He is to ask at intervals no further apart than 3 minutes, if he can bring her back to me. As a result, I’m back in recovery for about 5 whole minutes before we’re together again. We start nursing right away and while that’s a lot of other posts altogether, it was wonderful and I was overall very pleased with how our hospital handled all of our requests and preferences (unlike certain family members, but that’s another thing).

Pretty soon we were moved to our Mother/Baby suite, and we started getting acquainted with the most wonderful baby girl ever.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2010 9:28 pm


    Thanks for posting this! I’ll let you know when I get it up 😀

  2. February 1, 2010 11:21 pm

    How absolutely lovely. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a wonderfully worded c-section birth story.

    • February 2, 2010 8:26 am

      Jill what a sweet thing to say, thank you so much!

  3. February 2, 2010 11:45 am

    This is great Mae. You & I had different reasons for the section, but I love your story & the emotion surrounding it. Just because we did it different doesn’t mean it doesn’t count for something. Sometimes you HAVE TO be flippant when things are out of your control. (or seemingly so) because otherwise it’s too hard to accept. I spent the two weeks from scheduling to my sons birth with the mindset that “this isn’t even happening” I kept up that charade until he was out and I knew I was going to be OK. Great story. ❤

  4. February 19, 2010 9:00 pm

    I just found your blog and this is one of the sweetest birth stories I have read (coupled with ‘the story’). Can’t wait to catch up on the rest of your blog!

  5. February 19, 2010 9:30 pm

    So many nice comments, thank you guys so much! Putting this out there was somewhat nerve-wracking and the response has been so nice. I appreciate all of the kind words!

  6. jss permalink
    February 24, 2010 9:45 pm

    I am so happy that Baby Rabies recommended your Twitter account, and then because I’m a stalker I visited your blog, and then because I like to know the back-story I read your birth story. Because this is the best damn birth story I’ve ever read. Seriously, I was laughing out loud.

    Can’t wait to become fully addicted to your whole blog and read all about the rest of your life! Not just about a baby springing forth from your ute.


  7. Tanya permalink
    March 18, 2010 8:11 pm

    How did I (1) not know you’d posted this, and (2) not know this whole story already? Whatever. I’m over it. And I clearly need to move home so that we have more than two hours a year to catch up in person. Also, do you want to see if your empowering anesthesiologist maybe wants to move to Chicago and date me?

  8. March 19, 2010 4:46 pm

    Aw Mae, I love your birth story. It’s so touching! I think it’s a great story, and so special. Congrats (very very belated).


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