I was late to my induction appointment by fifteen minutes. They didn’t care and were friendly, like everyone is.
I was induced on September 19 at 7:45 a.m. I’ve never met such sweet nurses to take care of me. One older lady, whom was there for the delivery, made me feel like I was her daughter or granddaughter. So loving.
Sleep eluded me the night before my induction, so I came in tired, hungry and severely nauseous from missing my anti-nausea pill. I ran out… one pill short before delivery. So, they promptly gave me anti-nausea meds before we began.
I grew uncomfortable quickly. The bed, where it breaks down for delivery, was jagged in my back and my pain elevated quickly. The fact that there was zero padding didn’t help. I found myself laying on my sides with tons of pillows under and around me. This was vastly different from my first birth, where I stayed on my back the entire time.
I was quite the trooper, if I do say so myself. Every woman who gives birth is a trooper. I vowed not to get an epidural until right before I couldn’t bear it anymore — before they’d break my water.
I was terrified of the doctors breaking my water. TERRIFIED. But it wasn’t any pain I was worried about — it was the loss of control. Eric would have to come out for sure — no turning back. No waiting. I felt like I was feeding him to the wolves. My entire being panicked over the fact I would no longer be able to protect him.
By breaking my water, I was officially putting my son’s life in the hospital’s hands. I knew this was the very best care I could ask for. Best surgeons, nurses, doctors, etc. Top of the line everything and, at this moment, everyone was ready to jump in as a team.
I didn’t feel alone. I couldn’t ask for more.
Our son was born on September 20, 2013. After thirty+ hours of induction labor, and fifteen minutes of pushing, I was allowed fifteen seconds of holding him. He was then taken from my arms directly to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), where he was immediately turned into a human pin cushion.
But before they took him, while he was in my tired arms, he smiled at me. He knew me. And, sadly, that smile haunted me for the next month. He was such a happy newborn and I had no choice, but to sit back and allow him to be drugged endlessly.
Hardest. Thing. Ever.
The rest of the day involved crying. A LOT of crying.
I was taken to a post partem room, which was supposed to be private as a courtesy to mothers who don’t get to be with their newborn babies. After all, the “thing” is that babies room with their families. Period. So, I was supposed to be spared the brutal pain of being in a joint room with a mother and their happy newborns.
AT LEAST I was supposed to be with another mother who didn’t get to be with her baby either. Not me. They stuck me in a room with a happy family and their cheerful newborn. The MOMENT I realized what they were doing, my heart raced out of my chest, I broke into a cold sweat and began sobbing.
Then I heard the baby cry.
Controlling sobs is difficult in a public place. I tried holding my breath to stop the sharp inhales and stuttering breaths from escaping me too loudly. The mother tried to calm her baby quickly and keep him quiet. I knew they knew I was crying. They knew I didn’t get to have my baby. It was in the air — a sense. I’m sure of it. They were very quiet after that.
My sobbing didn’t stop. Every nurse that came in had eyes the size of golf balls as they watched the pain sear my body. And within a few hours, the sweet staff managed to find me another semi-private room with another mother who didn’t get to have her baby. But, I did overhear that she would get her baby soon. It was in observation.
Sobs continued as I mourned the vacancy of my baby.
It wasn’t fair. Why did this fluke heart condition have to happen to me? It’s not genetic and there’s NO known cause for it. But bitterness wouldn’t get me anywhere, I knew. And my son needed a mother with all her wits about her. I wasn’t going to be bitter. I was going to embrace my son and all his needs. But, I did allow myself to mourn while around the other mothers. It was only natural and fair to allow myself to feel the pain around them.
A few hours after that, I had my own room.
While I was beyond grateful to the sensitivity of the staff and their efforts, on such a crowded night, to tend to the searing pain I felt and give me the private room over others — saved me. I told the head nurse that, if they hadn’t been able to do it, that I would have checked myself out of the hospital the same day. I couldn’t stand to be around other mothers. I just couldn’t.
Later that evening, I got to go see him in my wheelchair. I cried endlessly. I couldn’t see his face. All I was allowed to touch were his toes and one hand.
And for the next week… he slept. The medication keeping him alive caused him to sleep. I never even knew if he had hair, or what color it was, until it came time for his surgery.