It finally happened!!!

Colin Robert O. was born Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 11:15 p.m. Eastern U.S. time
  • Weight: 8 lbs, 8 oz.
  • Length: 21"

Babies usually tend to be less active in the womb the day before their arrival. Colin was very passive on Friday. I figured it wouldn't be too much longer until his birth. No problem. Then Saturday rolled around. Colin was even less active. I started to get concerned so I called the hospital. I was advised to come in as soon as possible. My husband and I wasted no time in getting bags packed for us and our older son, Thomas, who would be spending the next several days with Grandma and Grandpa.

We entered the hospital through the emergency entrance and told the triage nurse that we were expected up at Labor & Delivery. Once up on the ward the nurses took my vitals and strapped the fetal monitors on my belly. Colin's signs were fine, however, my blood pressure was badly elevated. The obstetrician who had treated me during last month's emergency visit was getting ready to end her shift, but stayed when she found out I was there.

Dr. M. checked to see if I was dialated. I wasn't. She felt my uterus and discovered that Colin wasn't head-down. In fact, he was laying almost sideways, which she refered to as "laying breech". For weeks what I had thought was his butt next to my rib cage was actually his head! This explained much of the cause for my gastrointestinal problems over the past few months. Regardless, Colin was already nearly a week past due and he wasn't going to come out conventionally. A c-section was required.

I had agonized over the possibility of having another caesarian. Thomas had been delivered by emergency c-section after inducement and many excruciatingly painful hours of back labor. To call it a difficult delivery is an understatement. But I had no choice. I had to have this surgery again. This time, though, the biggest medical concern was my blood pressure. Dr. M. didn't sugar-coat the fact that I could possibly bleed out and die during the operation.

After speaking with the anesthesiologist, we agreed that a spinal block would be preferable vs. an epidural. Being a recovering alkie/addict, I didn't want to have to take any meds that could unleash that demon of active disease again. I made it clear that afterwards I did not want the standard self-dosing morphine dispenser, either. I don't give a damn how safe it's supposed to be - my system doesn't know the difference between street and prescription drugs. Anyhow, I made sure to warn him that anesthesia makes me barf. ;oD

I was wheeled into the surgery room and the spinal block was administered. My lower abdomen was shaved and swabbed with an antiseptic solution. My arms were strapped down and an oxygen feed was placed at my nose. By this time the spinal block was beginning to work. I couldn't feel much of anything below my rib cage except for occasional sensations of pressure. A sheet was raised at my chest as a screen. My husband came in with the doctors and was seated next to me as the operation was performed. Feeling the warmth of his hand in mine was reassuring, but the look in his eyes revealed anxiety. It wasn't until after we were discharged that he told me that an emergency team was standing by in the adjoining surgery suite if things went wrong.

The whole affair didn't last long. Only about 10 minutes elapsed from the first incision until Colin let out his debut wail. It was the sweetest sound I'd ever heard. My eyes flooded with tears. I was laughing and crying at the same time. A few moments later I was able to see the nurses take him over to the infant warmer. I watched as they cleaned him up, put on his first tiny little diaper and take his footprints. Then they swaddled Colin in the blanket I had made just for him. They handed Colin to my husband to show to me. He was so small, pink and perfect. Words alone fail to describe the true essence of this single pristine moment. I want to be able to remember it for as long as I live.