Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bebe´ Mateo's Birth Story

I finally finished writing this....Mateo turned 5 months old this week! 
(you may want to grab a cup of coffee, it's a long one.  I was sure to add lots of pics to hold your interest)

A Scheduled C-Section September 20th, 2011

It was one week before my due date and because Mateo was still in a Frank Breech presentation, the doctor recommended a c-section.  I had tried everything to turn him.    I did all of the midwife tricks and even tried an external version to no avail.
(**on a side note, I recorded a video of my version and uploaded it to YouTube.  As of today, it has been viewed over 25,000 times)

At first, I was very disappointed to not have a vaginal birth, but just as everyone had told me, "once the baby arrives, you could not care less how he got to you."  Touche.

I thought with a scheduled c-section, my birth story would be boring but as it turned out, I had a lot of anticipation and excitement of "the unknown" leading up to the birth.  Instead of wondering when/where I would be when my water broke, I thought about the craziness of being awake while the doctors cut me open and pull a baby out??  Amazing!

I gave birth at Atlanta Medical Center.  We toured both AMC and Emory Midtown and chose AMC for two reasons:
1.  It was close. We could walk from the hospital to our apartment (and we did!)
2.  They have midwives on staff (not that it ended up mattering since I had a c-section but...)

The night before my appointment, Ernesto and I enjoyed "the last supper" as a family of  two.  I was supposed to be at the hospital at 6am to prep for surgery at 8:30am, but in true Espinoza style, we showed up at 6:40.  Fashionably late.
All that waiting made me nervous.
I tried to distract myself, but being hooked up to an IV is a hard thing to overlook, especially when you have to go to the bathroom. 
They did one last ultra sound, just to make sure baby was still breech.  Yes, yes he was:(
They were ready to get underway and led me to a big scary operating room.  Guys, I go to the gynecologist once a year.  That is the extent of my Dr./hospital experience.  I was nervous, but kind of like the feeling I get when I am about to get on a huge roller coaster at Cedar Point.  Scared, but excited because I know everything is going to be fine. 

I was given a spinal block as opposed to an epidural.  The spinal block numbs you for a couple hours with one shot. The anesthesiologist was a young, funny guy.  He explained exactly what he was going to do and what I would feel.  It put me at ease.  While seated, I curled my back to spread my vertebrae and the shot was administered.  A few seconds later I felt heat in my back and actually felt it spread to my lower body until I felt nothing.  I was heavy like a log, and the staff had to lift my legs onto the table and lay me down.

I was supposedly stuck with a pin to test if I was numb, but before I could be sure if I was, they told me I had already been cut open.  So crazy!  I was wrapped like a mummy with towels and the sheet was a few inches from my face to make sure my body temperature stayed at a safe level. 
I have never been the claustrophobic type, but I did feel a little short of breath and like I was being weighted down.  (is that what it feels like dad?) Luckily, Ernesto was right by my side, holding my hand.  I felt a little bit of tugging, but no pain or discomfort whatsoever.  We had the camera ready to capture the first seconds of our baby's life.  Ernesto said he was not going to look over the sheet, however the Dr.'s team was giving us a play-by-play and he had to peek.  He ended up getting some great photos.

If you are the queezy type, you may want to skip over the next few pictures. 
They are truly amazing.... but you have been warned!

The doctor told Ernesto to look over the sheet to see if we had a boy or girl.  He started laughing and said "ohhh it's a boy!"  Our son came into the world at 9:41am.
It was the most exciting news I ever heard! The best surprise I ever had! 
I could hear him crying, which was good, but yet I was still behind that damn curtain and couldn't see a thing.  The Dr. was busy sewing me up, and the nurse was doing....whatever they do to a newborn.  Minutes seemed like hours waiting to see him.  Ernesto walked over to the nurse and took a few pictures then brought them over to show me on the camera.

Finally, our son was brought over to us and we experienced emotion like we have never felt.  I cried my eyes out.  He was absolutely perfect.  Just beautiful.
We had picked out the name Mateo for a boy, and when we saw his little face, we thought it fit him perfectly.  My little mexi-mouth Mateo was here!  The little guy who gave me zero problems while I carried him for 9 months was healthy and finally in our arms.
The actual c-section was a breeze.  If you are scared of labor and the unknown then you would probably love a scheduled c-section.  However, I still hope I can one day experience vaginal birth. If I do, I think both will be great stories to tell!  I love the "unknown" and new experiences.  The more surprises the better!  

Anyway, the nurses took the baby to do some tests and checks while I sat in a recovery room until the spinal block wore off.  My parents were at the hospital waiting to meet their newest grandchild (and see me of course). They flew in that morning from Ohio and it was so nice to have them there.
When I was finally wheeled into my room [with an awesome view of Midtown] my temperature was low from the surgery....but I was sweating.  They put heat blowers under the covers to bring my temp back up.
Mateo was just down the hall in the nursery and Ernesto and my parents kept going to look at him.  My only complaint about the whole experience [at AMC] was that my baby was away from me for too long after the birth.  Had I discussed a birth plan, maybe that wouldn't have happened?? (Later I found out that they are working on a policy to minimize mother-baby's separation after birth)  I waited for what seemed an eternity for the nurses to bring Mateo into my recovery room.  Luckily, from that point on he was there to stay!
Ernesto slept with us at the hospital and turned into a wonderful dad overnight!
 We stayed 3 nights.  I was given painkillers intravenously the first day. The pain was not as bad as I expected and I was walking to the bathroom by that evening.  By the next day I was just taking Ibuprofen.  My cut was small, glued shut (can you believe that?) and healing quickly.  I was walking the halls on day two and walked home from the hospital the day I was released. 

Final Review of AMC:
Besides the extended separation,  I was very happy with my experience at AMC and having a c-section in general.  The nurses were wonderful and there was also a lactation consultant to help me with the challenges of breastfeeding (that is a whole other post).  I would definitely deliver there again provided the separation is shorter.  Great staff!

Final Review of c-section: 
Predictable. Quick. Painless. Safe. Easy.
Funny thing is that I almost always want things the "easy way" in my life and that is exactly what I got.   No wait!  This is what I got....
{mama y bebe´ day 3}
 ...and I loved how it happened! A non-boring scheduled c-section.  Sweet Mateo's birth story.

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