When we last left our heroes, we were spending the days leading up to Tuesday the 26th preparing ourselves mentally, emotionally, and culinarily for surgery, a baby, and recovery.
The morning of the 26th was chilly but sunny. There was a nice layer of frost on the car, which was nice for Josh since he loves any chance he gets to clean off the car. We packed up our hospital bags, and Emmett’s diaper bag and carseat, and off we went!
We arrived at the hospital and were set up in a (relatively tiny) surgical recovery room by our nurse for the day, Emily. Emily was a ROCKSTAR. She was totally psyched about our birth plan (which was the first c-section birth plan she’d ever encountered), and was an excellent advocate and caretaker the entire day. I mentioned that the baby had been very active all night, so she made sure that the doctors brought in an ultrasound machine pretty quickly to make sure the c section was still 100% necessary (alas, it was). They had Emmett and I on monitors pretty much right away when we got there, and everyone kept remarking on how healthy and happy E’s heartbeat was.
From 8 until 9 was a pretty steady parade of doctors coming in to ask us questions, explain how things would work, and make sure we understood all the risks. These aren’t usually fun conversations, and we were armed with our birth plan and prepared for a fight, because there were a lot of non-traditional requests on our birth plan that we were pretty sure weren’t going to fly. But, to our happy surprise, our surgeon was very willing to work with us on some of our preferences. She agreed to try to delay clamping E’s cord for up to a minute (assuming everyone was healthy at that point), and even better, she and the anesthesiologist agreed to leave my arms unrestrained and let Emmett and I have skin-to-skin time while my guts were being closed up. As we understood it, this is completely unprecedented at this hospital. Our midwife Dorothy had mentioned that she was very familiar with our surgeon and that she was “something of a cowboy,” so we lucked out! The anesthesiologist was also completely on board with making sure that all the medications I’d be given would be compatible with breastfeeding within an hour of surgery, and that none of them would have any kind of sedative or tranquilizer type effects.
With those conversations out of the way, it was almost go time! We were ready! But then, literally minutes before I was supposed to head down to the OR, there was an emergency somewhere else on the Labor and Delivery floor, and another mother was whisked into the OR they had set up for us. This set us back about 2 hours. I honestly didn’t mind; we weren’t in a hurry, and this other case was obviously an emergency (apparently the baby only weighed 3 pounds!). So we stayed patient, visited a bit with my mom and sister, and waited. I was getting pretty hungry, since I hadn’t eaten since the night before, and kept joking with the doctors that I was going to order in a cheeseburger. And then we were delayed AGAIN, by another emergency c section. So our 9:30am surgery turned into a 2:00pm surgery. But then finally it was time (I was so relieved, I wasn’t sure if I was more excited to meet Emmett or eventually get to eat and drink again).