Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mason's birth story

My doctor peered over the surgical curtain separating me from the rest of the action in the room. "Thank goodness we went with a c-section," she said "we can see a big hole in your uterus right now". Not the most reassuring words ever spoken during a surgery, but certainly some validating ones considering the circumstances. When considering the options for how Mason might enter this world, a repeat c-section or attempted VBAC, we weighed the numbers. Though a relatively low number of women who attempt a VBAC experience a rupture (of their previous scar), those that do face some serious and scary consequences for both themselves and baby. The fear of those consequences was enough to direct us towards a repeat c-section. It seemed the right choice for us, and when I heard those words in the ER I discovered how right we were. A hole, in my uterus. This meant that when they went in for Mason they found an open window waiting for them where there out to have been a shut door. Somehow, either before or during this pregnancy, my scar from Skyler's birth had began to rupture creating a nearly fist sized opening where there ought to have been none.

We started out the day of Mason's birth rising early. We needed to be at the hospital by nine for the the surgery which was scheduled at eleven. Before all that we needed to make one last stop to see Skyler who had spent the night previous at Nana and Pa's. We got in some last minute family of three time and then ventured on for all my pre-surgery preparations. Whether it was the stress of the day or lack of sleep the night prior I could not keep my eyes open for the life of me. During the hour or so in which I spent being pumped full of IV fluids to ready me for surgery I found myself fighting drowsiness, I was worried I might fall asleep in the operating room. This was a weird feeling, considering all the nerves I was experiencing at the same time.

The whole process felt very familiar considering we had been through a nearly identical day a few years earlier. They finished monitoring me and led me back to the OR and placed my epidural as Andy waited elsewhere in his surgical haz-mat suit. He was disappointed by the scrubs this time, they weren't take-home worthy. Once they had assured my numbed state and prepared to get underway with the surgery itself Andy got to return to the room. Some jostling ensued and the conversation above occurred, and then, he was out. He sounded just like an angry cat, and I couldn't believe how big he was. Mason really did look like a chunk from the very beginning. I had wagered that he would be about Skyler's size if not a bit smaller. I was wrong. Born at 11:39 am, Mason Alejandro weighed 9lbs 3oz and measured 20.5 inches long. A few ounces heavier and a half an inch shorter than his big brother.

I was so thrilled that this time around Andy and Mason got to stay with me for the rest of the surgery's duration. When Skyler was born he was whisked away, after an initial view, for bathing and measuring in another room. I told Andy to go with him, since at least I knew I wouldn't get lost in the hospital. Our little yet unknown baby boy seemed a more valuable asset to be monitored. This time however Mason and Andy stayed with me the whole time. Once he was wiped off and measured Andy brought him over for me to adore and we spent the end of the surgery cooing over what we thought was an adorable little noise he was making. He seemed to be emitting a constant stream of 'eh-eh-ehs' which we chalked up to a talkative nature. The nurses knew differently though and became concerned by his "singing", as they called it. Turns out that that little noise was an indication of fluid present in his lungs, something Mason was trying in his own little way to remedy. Unfortunately it was nearly twenty four hours after his birth that we received solid confirmation that this was the case, a period in which we spent worrying and Mason endured endless pokes, prodding, and blood draws. We spent a much longer time in recovery because of this and almost sent family home since we weren't sure Mason would be up for visitors. Ultimately the tests did reveal that his noises were caused by fluid, a common occurrence in c-section babies, by which time the grunts had all but resolved themselves. We are grateful for the outcome, but the time in between was not something I would ever want to repeat.

The rest of our hospital stay was uneventful and blessedly short. We came home after two days instead of the three we had been expecting since both Mason and I were recovering rapidly from the trauma of birth. We were very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a lot of familial support during this time and pleasantly surprised by Skyler's embrace of big brotherhood. He loves Mason and is very protective of him, showering him with lots of kisses and coos. He seems to understand very well that baby brother Mason, as he calls him, requires gentle handling. So far the expected swing to the head or all out rejection hasn't occurred yet, but then it is only day four.

Mason himself has so far been a pretty calm baby. He enjoys his sleep and will even maintain slumber while his father and two year old brother rumble around him. He resembles Skyler in the vaguest of details, though it is clear that he possesses some strong characteristics of his own. We feel very lucky to have another health and beautiful baby boy on our hands.The rest of the story can be told in pictures. There is one short video at the end of Mason's actual birth. It's not very graphic, for those who might be concerned, especially considering it was shot by Andy who is notably squeamish and faints at the sight of blood. He apparently makes exceptions for the birth of his son.

1 comment:

Pregnantly Plump said...

So scary!! I am so glad that both of you are ok. I can't even imagine how awful it was to hear there was a hole!
He's so cute and chubby! Glad your first few days are going so well.