They rolled me into the surgery room on the night of Halloween. The anesthesiologist was already there, and was on the hospital phone saying, “I’ll be there in a minute, I’m in a section right now.” He hung up the phone and told me that they were backed up with C-sections right now, that I was one in a long line of people who had Halloween babies that were refusing to get the hell out. The fact that I’d gotten into surgery fairly soon after they’d told me I needed it made me worry that my situation was more serious than I’d thought. So I threw up again. Naturally.
They didn’t let Husband in until they’d stuck me with more needles and put monitors everywhere and ensured that I could feel absolutely nothing from bow to stern. I remember making a shaky joke about doing a tummy tuck while they were down there. I started having tremors again, either due to the cold or due to the drugs. Finally, they let Husband in, and started the surgery.
I felt very little (thank God), but I will say this: C-sections move remarkably quickly. Moments after they started, I felt a tugging, had a chance to think about how gross and weird it felt, and that I didn’t like it, and then WOOSH! It felt like all of my organs just shifted back to their original places, like, “MAN, I missed this spot! Hey, bladder, good to see you!” I gasped loudly because it was one of the more bizarre things I’ve ever felt. You forget, during the course of your pregnancy, what it’s like to have the inside of your body belong to you, and what it feels like to have everything in its proper place.
They held the baby up over the curtain–Olivia Grace. I wish I could say that I burst into tears, or had some similarly emotional, first-time-mother reaction, but I didn’t. I think I smiled. I may have said something to my husband. But the fact of the matter is that after being in a hospital in labor for hours, and being pumped full of numbing drugs, and being emotionally drained and exhausted, you just don’t have a ton left to give. I wanted to hold her, and I think if I’d been able to hold her, it would have been different. But it wasn’t. They took her to a table to weigh her and clean her. My husband, bless him, went to be with her and walked right by my open, bleeding body on the operating table and didn’t throw up or pass out. They brought her back to me and they asked if I wanted to hold her, and I was still shaking, and I was so afraid to drop her. So they propped her on my chest and took a picture of the three of us. I’ve seen the picture, and I look awake and bright-eyed and thrilled. Radiant, even. In truth, I barely remember it. But what I do remember is seeing my husband’s face: proud, a little teary-eyed, and so in love with our daughter already.