Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our birth story, part two:

As promised this is my (Andrew) recollection of the events that occurred on Thursday, May 29th. 

In light of Meghan having a reasonable amount of pain Tuesday night I decided to work from home Wednesday, May 28th. I knew that the arrival of little Mr. M was eminent and I didn't want to risk being 30 minutes away when that time came. To me the whole ordeal of deciding to go to the hospital and the drive there was very calm and well-timed. I remember walking into the living room:

"Still timing the contractions?", I asked.
"Yes", she said.
"How many minutes apart?"
She replied, "Three to five."
"Ready to go to the hospital?"

So we packed up our hospital bag, slowly got into the car and headed west.  It was all puppies and rainbows until we reached the hospital. That's when Meghan's contractions began to get so intense that she had a hard time speaking through them. So as Meghan mentioned before we were placed in triage, walked forever and then were finally admitted. One thing that I really liked about triage was our nurse, Melissa. She was pregnant too. For some reason this brought me a lot of comfort. 

After being admitted, I had a rough time. We hadn't yet reached the part where Meghan could get the good drugs so I had to just watch her struggle. Even worse still, she began to convulse and shake a lot under the stress of the pain and anxiety. It's difficult to watch someone you love endure these sort of things. Even worse when the ability to help does not lay with you. Finally, our delivery room nurse, (I'm sure they have official titles) Terri, gave Meghan a healthy dose of Stadol.  She almost instantly looked better. Like she does after having a margarita. Relaxed and a little slap-happy.  When the anesthesiologist entered I thought, "Finally, an end to the bulk of her pain!" He was a very nice man. It turns out we both knew a prominent family in the town I grew up in. Small world. 

A funny memory I have in the middle of all of this is during one occasion when Terri was checking to see how far along Meghan had progressed. She said, "It looks like there's meconium in your fluids." Not good news; he can't stay in that polluted environment for much longer. After she left the room Meghan said, "Great. He pooped in me. The one thing I asked him not to do."

Things progressed normally from that point on.  Labor did stall out at 9cm and we were told we needed a c-section. I couldn't process it. Meghan and I hadn't even talked about the possibility of a c-section. I knew it had to be done for the sake of Meghan's and M's health.  It all happened so fast. We were both suited up in our surgery attire. They let me follow her to the double doors that lead to surgery. I had to wait outside until she was prepped. 

Silence. I was standing in front of several large events that were about to change my life and it was completely silent. Approximately 2:40 AM and there was not a soul around. I could hear the wall clock tick from a ways down the hall. I had a dry mouth and a tight stomach. I looked at my watch. 2:42 AM. 242. I remembered this as my first dorm room in college. -- before I'd even met Meghan years ago. From there I did the classic life-flashing montage of our lives together. At the end, I found myself there in a cold silent hallway. Waiting too long to be back with, what I consider, the best parts of me. 

The double doors opened and I was invited in. A new anesthesiologist led me through the doors, helped me tie on my mask and sat me down next to Meghan. Then surgery began. As I watched her body be jarred and jostled (from the chest up) by the surgery happening behind the curtain, I struggled with finding something to talk about; something to help distract her and pass the time. I knew she couldn't feel anything and that she was mostly out of it so maybe the talking was for my benefit as well. The surgery was over in a flash. Imagine making a sandwich. How long does that take? Two to five minutes maybe, depending on your ingredients. I'm telling you, the c-section was performed faster than that. Faster than any sandwich I've ever made. 

Silence again. For a brief moment, everyone was silent. Then a little raspy cough and a cry. Our baby boy made his debut. I couldn't see anything. I heard his little cry. I heard the NICU nurses suctioning fluids out of his orifices and looking him over. Dr. Owens said, "He's beautiful!"

Then they handed him to me. This part was different then I had imagined it. I was told that there is an overwhelming flow of unconditional love that overcomes you. This was true. I did feel this way but it isn't the feeling that stands out. I remember holding his little body for the first time and looking into his almond-shaped eyes. And I thought, "I know you." It wasn't that I'd spent the last several months listening to his heart beat or talking to the kicks in Meghan's stomach. I knew his face. It's something that has been etched in me from my very beginnings. He's always been a part of me and now I'm finally able to meet him. How wonderful it is.

You can read about our birth story from Meghan's point of view here.


Katherine Grant said...

love all of this. it IS wonderful. love your little family!

K.walk said...

that's beautiful, Anderson! Thanks for sharing!