28 June, 2010

4. i really miss cooper this week. especially today.

not sure why, but i'm missing your brother a lot this week. i was lying there with you snuggled close last night thinking about cooper's birth. i couldn't believe it was real. i feel like i talk so much about him, that sometimes i forget the reality of it. the reality that he was here and that he died. you have a brother that you will never know. i imagine times will come when you will speak of him as if you knew him, but you won't. no one will. only me, really.

people are reading this story now and many are dying to know how this all worked out. but i feel like first have to honestly address the sheer anger i voiced earlier towards good people who did nothing wrong. i was so full of anger and jealousy that people who were having babies just pissed me off with their blind ignorance. i am sorry. but these were just my honest feelings. i never planned to let anyone read this but aunt cole and your dad.

so back to the story.

we were there in that OR. i was shivering and uncertain about what to do. at one point i yelled, "i cannot think with all of these people staring at me!" the room was lined with doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist, anesthesis, pediatricians, etc. upon hearing my exclamation, they all abruptly left the room. they must have been wondering what all of the thought was about. of course i would have a c-section. i was there. i was prepped. you were 39 weeks. breech. no brainer.

they just don't know, i guess, about how important that experience of labor is. so many moms don't think about labor, or pregnancy for that matter, as anything but a means to an end. many moms even choose a c-section. but there we were, faced with this choice. we went back and forth. i'm going to go. no stay. let' get out of here. wait. maybe not. then i stopped. what can i live with? can i live with choosing his birthday? yes. can i live with him dying. no. there was no way i would survive that. if you died because of a choice i made, i would not survive. period. so as much as it pained me to lose the homebirth experience, as much as i knew deep down that you would be ok, that dr. salvatore, as wonderful as she is, is still a surgeon, as much as i wanted to birth you, i could not lose you. i had already lost your brother.

so i said it. i think i should stay. and meredith, with tears in her eyes, said, finally, i think you should, too. and that was it.

the sheet went up and the docs and nurses began to wash up. daddy went to call your grandparents. meredith stayed with me but at some point was kicked out. when your dad came back i asked if he'd called uncle chris and aunt cole. he hadn't, so he texted them right there.

just as he did, i said to him, when are they gonna start? and dr. salvatore said we're halfway through, tiff. and minutes later we heard the play-by-play. your butt, your legs, your arms, your head.

you were here.

(i later discovered that the texts were received at 3:34 pm and you were born at 3:40 pm. meredith also told me that, ironically, they hd to break your water sac and it literally exploded all over the room.)

you cried. i was worried that they cut the cord too fast. i said it. dr. s. said she'd swiped it so you got all the blood. i'm not sure how effective that is, if it's the same as letting it stop pulsing on it's own, but she gets credit for the attempt.

your dad stayed with me as the strangers took you away. (i found out later through a picture that the gooked up your eyes, even though i told them not to. so pissed. still.) i yelled at daddy, "go with him!" you were all alone in the lights, the cold, with strangers doing things to you. i wanted you to at least hear daddy's voice if i couldn't hold you. it still hurts me to think about how you must have felt.

i began to feel the pain of getting sewn up. they gave me more drugs. i was freezing. covered with blankets. i got a glimpse of you when you were first born...you were still in that crazy hurdler position...you looked literally terrified. i wanted to hold you. i couldn't. daddy did. meredith did. the doctors did. but not me. meredith tried to find space through the blankets to get you nursing. but it wouldn't work. at some point i fell asleep. daddy said i was snoring.

they moved me to a bed and rolled us out together to recovery. it was then that i was able to hold you. to touch you. to breathe you.

you nursed. and i fell in love.

20 June, 2010

part 3...this could take a while

so there we were in the OR getting ready to turn you. i should've known by then that if you were going to turb, it was going to be when you were ready. i know now nearly 8.5 months later, that you are not a baby that can be manipulated.

anyway, i was cold and numb and full of hope. so were the doctors. and meredith. and your dad. they started trying to turn you. you wouldn't budge. they kept trying and you kept staying put. then your heart rate elevated. a lot. so we waited. they tried again. nothing. i mean NOTHING. not even a millimeter. then i had a contraction. we waited again. another try. more nothing. the doctor said, "guys, i don't know if this is gonna happen. you gave it your best shot, but he's not moving".

ok. i was ok with that. you still had time. hell, we were only at week 39. we had three more weeks to play with.

but then we got the bad and scary news. dr. salvatore said, "tiff, i have to tell you..." she went on to explain that she understood my need to go home and start labor naturally when you were ready. but that i needed to know that there was a slight possibility of cord prolapse. meaning that your knee was over my cervix and in between was your cord. if i began labor with my water breaking (which was a distinct possibility considering your brother's experience) the cord could slip out and you would have seconds to live.

even with that information, your dad, meredith and i still spent a good 30-45 minutes trying to decide what to do. i so badly wanted to at least begin the birth dance with you.

14 June, 2010

birth story, part 2

so there we were...me, daddy, meredith, and janelle (midwife and apprentice). waiting. they finally took us in for the version at who knows what time. i had to be prepped for a c-section, just in case something went wrong. i started to cry because it was so medical in that OR. i didn't want that for us. it was bright and cols and there were so many doctors and nurses. times three because cooper hospital is a teaching hospital. it was overwhelming and suddenly i got the feeling that everyone knew they'd be sectioning me. i said to your dad, "i never would've done this if i'd known it would be like this."

i was not planning on getting a section. i didn't pack bags, i didn't make arrangements for the dogs. daddy and i didn't go to dinner the night before. i didn't tell anyone that we might end up holding you that day. i didn't say good bye to my students. nothing. that's because the plan was...the plan we made with dr. salvatore and meredith...to try to turn you and if you didn't cooperate, we would go home and wait to go into labor. we were only at 39 weeks. i wanted to labor at home as long as possible, even if it meant someone else might end up doing the surgery. i did not want to choose your birthday.