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The birth of the Bun

Thursday, May 5th, 2011.
After a restless night, I awoke a little before the alarm was set to go off at 5 and slipped into the shower. I’m a girl who takes long showers, and I like to sit down for part of the time. Sitting in the shower is where I did my daily weeping over the past years, sobbing out the despair brought on by every anxiety-provoking treatment and negative test and bleedy uterus. And every morning of my pregnancy I sat there sending good thoughts to my fetus, loving my growing belly. I found myself sobbing on this occasion, too. The idea of cutting her out of there just seemed so cruel. I imagine this could offend some of you who have had C-sections, whether by necessity or preference, and I assure you I’m not making any general statement about the procedure. And I imagine some of you who endured difficult labors or are still waiting for your shot at motherhood are also rolling your eyes–I don’t know how lucky I am. But, for me personally, this surgery has always been a source of sadness and guilt, and never more so than on that morning. And it’s funny–even looking at Bun Bun lying next to me and seeing that she’s perfectly okay and could give a shit about the mode of her birth doesn’t take that grief away.

The drive to the hospital and the walk to Labor and Delivery were bizarre. We’ve done that drive and walked through those corridors so many times. And it was incredibly strange to take a left turn at the door leading both to the IF clinic and my OB’s office and get on an elevator going to…Parenthood. I was installed in a recovery room. I lay there in my snazzy gown listening to her heart over the fetal monitor and feeling her little movements and trying to keep my shit together. Soon I was wheeled across the hall to the OR for a spinal/ epidural combo. It’s a strange procedure–I was very aware that someone was fucking with my spine (my SPINE, y’all), but it wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. A sort of weird pressure, then an electric spark, then the sensation of having pissed myself. But, I hasten to add, just the sensation. I lay down and the foley catheter was inserted, noteworthy mainly for the fact that I got to spread my legs for a room full of strangers. And then I was draped and Mr. Bunny came in. He looked very handsome in his scrubs and surgical cap and mask. You look like a doctor, I said. I am a doctor, he replied. Now just lie back and I’ll get started… My OB informed me that she was ready to make the incision. There followed a period where it felt like a whole lot of people were rummaging in my insides as though I were a suitcase. My OB was talking her Fellow through the procedure, but I didn’t want to focus too much on their conversation. I squeezed Mr. Bunny’s hand and he stroked my forehead. There was the occasional smell of cauterizing flesh. NOM. We’re opening the uterus now, said my OB. A surprisingly long time passed before I heard that first thin little wail and I felt the presence of another person in the room. It’s a girl, various people cried out, sounding genuinely joyful. (Apparently they don’t get as many opportunities to break the news as they’d like.) A girl! Mr Bunny and I echoed, tearfully, sobbingly. They held her above the drape and I saw a blue, smashed, vernix-covered face and was like, What the fuck! What is THAT and where’s my child? A less-than-romantic reaction, I know, but I strive for truth. She was whisked to the other side of the room for warming and checking, and Mr. Bunny went with her. She was a bit chilly, like her mama, so it was some time before he was able to hold her, and all the time I could hear her lusty cry. At last Mr. Bunny brought her to me. He held her up to me and I could touch her cheek and kiss her. Her tiny perfect face, her wee hands, her massive quantities of hair the color of my husband’s, her great pools of eyes… I had worried that the moment of transition from fetus to child, from n people in the room to n + 1, from parent-to-be to parent would be dampened, perhaps into nothingness, by the nature of the procedure. But it turns out that it’s bigger than that. Way, way bigger.

Meanwhile, something extremely painful was going on below the drape. My chest was on fire and it seemed like they were stuffing a pygmy hippo inside me, and it fucking hurt. I told myself not to be a baby–that women endured hours of contractions and I could take this, but I was a bit psychologically unprepared for pain. The nice anesthesiologist gave me “something”. I came back to the present and was able to focus on my sweet girl. They finished stitching me up, lifted me onto a gurney, and wheeled me back to my recovery room, Mr. Bunny following with Bun Bun in a bassinet. After endless checking of this and that by nurses and doctors, they brought her to me. I unsnapped my gown and they placed her on my chest. She snuggled in, seeming instantly comforted. I was overawed.

Next time: The recovery of the Bunny.

(P.S. I swear I left you all really great insightful, supportive comments, but I chose to catch up right before the great Blogger fail. OH WELL. Just imagine what you really needed to hear and pretend I wrote it.)

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ah, *satisfied sigh* – great reading – passion recollected in tranquility.

    May 17, 2011
  2. I adore you, Bunny. What a great birth story! "She snuggled in, seeming instantly comforted. I was overawed." That made me melt.Congrats again on your little girl.

    May 17, 2011
  3. AL #

    Beautiful birth story, Bunny. Thanks for sharing.

    May 17, 2011
  4. Wow…..I'm with you on the sadness of having the c-section vs natural childbirth, I still am disappointed about that and the pain after the baby was delivered— I was TOTALLY unprepared for that it felt really weird/awful. Thanks for sharing.

    May 17, 2011
  5. cgd #

    I am trying to think of something clever and insightful to say, but being on the other side of things I got nothing. So I will just say how happy I am for you to see little bunbun safe and sound and snuggled in your arms.

    May 17, 2011
  6. I have read a lot of birth stories and this one is as perfect as any other. Congratulations, mama!

    May 17, 2011
  7. This is such a wonderful story. I can feel your love for Bun Bun oozing out of my computer screen. Love this!

    May 17, 2011
  8. Thank you for the beautiful told tale of Bun Bun's birth. I am so thankful that you got to experience this immeasurable joy in your life, Bunny.

    May 18, 2011
  9. So perfect, Bunny. Overawed, that's exactly what it is. Sigh. Just love. It's funny that you mention the MD/RN's excitement over being able to announce the baby's sex. A lot of the nurses I used to work with would tell me that they LOVED being present when parents who had waited were told their baby's sex. They said it was the sweetest kind of entertainment ever. Thanks for sharing the Bun's birth story with us! (Now, are you ever going to share her name with us?)

    May 18, 2011
  10. Aw, what a wonderful story. 🙂

    May 18, 2011
  11. thanks for sharing. yeah…the epidural procedure was such a strange sensation. anyway, beautiful birth story! And I agree with Trinity…will you share her name?????

    May 18, 2011
  12. thanks for sharing!!! heehee, i've heard of many folks seeing their baby for the first time and being like "eeek!" as opposed to "how beautiful!". hahaha. i'm sure i'll have a similar reaction, but i hope not :o) never heard anyone say that they could smell burning flesh. good to know if i end up with a c-section. i would've flipped out otherwise. hope you are all healed?? xoxo.

    May 18, 2011
  13. What a great story for a great Bun.Consider this. Just consider it as we know we are all different and experiences and perceptions etc. I was really upset after my c section. Cried about it. WTF is that? You know what? I blame the hormones. Fast forward a couple wks and I could laugh at myself.It is disappointing you didnt get the plan you might have imagined, but honestly it fades in a hurry as this beautiful takes over your life.They do love calling out the sex, dont they? It made it so very fun. The only surprise left for the IF family.

    May 18, 2011
  14. Happy birthday BunBun! I wish you could have had your first-choice birth experience, but I'm glad it was still magical.

    May 18, 2011

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