Charles Levi McWilliams
November 1, 2008
8 lbs, 14 oz, 20.25 inches
After the doctor changed his mind and Tim called back and insisted that we get the show on the road, we went to the hospital Saturday at 1:00. I was having contractions and horrible back pains, but not dilating. The next two hours were hell. Tim's sisters showed up five minutes after we arrived at the hospital, even though we had told them that we had no idea what would happen when we got there and that we would call them when we had a definite plan-- and even though I had made it clear months ago that I did not want anyone but my husband and my mother in the room while I was in labor. All that, and I still had to lie there on a table having my clothes pulled up over my head and walking down the hall with my ass hanging out while the family hovered around me.
To make it better, the nurse who was taking care of me was an incompetent space cadet. She said she hardly ever works-- I think she works when they need her and she feels like it. She couldn't find anything, couldn't figure out the tubing on the iv, blew two veins while trying to put in my iv, and basically spent 2 hours making me even more nervous than I already was. The doctor finally came in, checked me, and said that an induction would probably not work because I was too closed for him to break my water. He said there was another girl down the hall who was in pre-term labor with twins, and he needed to make sure she was safe before he went into surgery with me, so my surgery would be around 6:00. It was 3:30 at that time, so we settled in and prepared to wait a couple more hours.
Five minutes later, Space Cadet rushed in and said the doctor had changed his mind and wanted to get my surgery done first. She began giving me all the drugs and getting me ready for surgery. Then she came up to the side of the bed with an electric razor in her hand and said she was going to shave me. I said, "Shave my stomach?" She said yes. Then she shaved me. But. Um. She didn't shave just my stomach, y'all. If you get my drift. I was shocked and appalled! I thought that was an outdated practice, and I did ask her why it was done. She said something about reducing the risk of infection, and went right on about her business of turning my lady bits into Lolitaville.
Once I was successfully transformed into pedophile bait, they wheeled my bed to the O.R. Tim followed behind, but had to wait outside while I was prepped. When they got to the entrance of the actual operating room, there was a black nurse in there by herself, and she was dancing. I can't remember if there was music or not, but there was most definitely a dancing nurse. She wasn't just bopping her head or getting into some music, but she was dancing-- I mean pop lock and droppin' it! I expected her to stop and compose herself when we came up to the door, but she didn't; she just looked me dead in the eye and kept right on rockin'. For a moment I thought maybe I was hallucinating from all the drugs. It was very surreal.
Finally, they wheeled me into the room. It was just me, Space Cadet, Dancing Nurse, and the anesthesiologist. He reminded me of Big Gay Al. He repeatedly assured me he was gonna take good care of me and it was just gonna be fabulouuuuuuus!
Putting in the spinal, however, was anything but fabulous. I can't even bear to relive it here. Just be prepared for it to suck ass if you ever have to have it done. I'll leave it at that.
I had asked the doctor how high up the numbness would go, and he'd told me it would be from the nipples down. They said I'd be able to move my arms and touch the baby when they brought him around, but I guess the stuff worked a little too well, because just a few minutes after getting the spinal, I was completely numb from the nose down. This made me feel like I couldn't breathe, because I couldn't move my chest. I started to freak out, but the doctor told me I was moving enough oxygen. That didn't convince me. All I knew was that I was paralyzed and gasping for air. The guy kept telling me that I was okay. They spread me out on the table and put up the big blue screen and everything, and then a nurse rushed into the O.R. and told my doctor he was needed immediately in room 28. He jumped up and rushed out. I assumed room 28 was where the preterm twins were. About five minutes later, he came rushing back in the door with a nurse, and she said, "We need to do this one quickly!"
Fantastic. I'm spread out naked on a table, paralyzed, gasping for air, scared out of my mind, and now they're going to rush through this. Just great. I think if I hadn't been paralyzed, I would've gotten up and ran screaming from the hospital at that point.
They finally called Tim in. He asked if I was okay. I could barely talk, because everything was so numb, even in my face. I managed to tell him I couldn't breathe, and the anesthesiologist explained to him that they were watching my oxygen and that I was getting enough, etc. Then I guess they started the surgery. It was not the beautiful process you see on Discovery Health channel. It was violent. There was lots of tugging and pulling. My arms flopped off the table several times. It took about ten minutes, and then I heard the doctor say, "He's got a big head. We made the right decision here." Then more tugging, then a little cry, then a pause, then a big cry! Tim jumped up and went to the other side of the screen where I couldn't see anything.
A few minutes later, Tim came over with Charlie in his arms. I couldn't see him-- I could only see a tiny little piece of his face. Then Tim moved part of the little blanket out of the way and I saw him. All I could think was that he was so pretty. I guess I expected him to be kinda haggard looking after the journey or something, but he wasn't. He was pretty.
Then Tim and the nurse left the room with him. I don't know how long it took them to close me up, but soon I was being moved from the table to my bed again. They nearly dropped me while moving me back to the bed, by the way. Space Cadet and Dancing Nurse got a little ahead of the anesthesiologist, who was charged with the all important task of not dropping my head and shoulders onto the floor.
They took me back into my same room, but nobody was in there. As soon as we stopped rolling, the ceiling went to spinning. It turned out that my blood pressure was insanely low. I didn't know where everyone else was, but I laid alone in that room watching the ceiling spin and listening to some kind of alarm go off every time it took my blood pressure, which was every few minutes.
Anyway, they gave me some pain medicine as soon as the baby was out, so the rest of the night was very foggy. Tim finally walked in with the baby and said that everyone was chomping at the bit to hold him, but I had made it very clear that heads would roll if anyone besides Tim held him before me, so he wanted to let me spend a few minutes holding him before anyone else. He tried to hand him to me, but I couldn't take him because I still couldn't feel my arms. The nurse told him I shouldn't hold him until my blood pressure came back up. He just held him up to me for a few minutes and I tried to take him all in but I was doped.
Soon, the room was flooded with relatives. I told Tim to go ahead and let them hold him since I couldn't, and I barely got the words out of my mouth before Charlie was being passed around. I had to lie there for 6 hours without sitting up straight or moving, but I did manage to hold him a little bit before my time was officially up.
We got to leave Monday night at 5:00. The last few days have been long, but we've got the coolest baby in the history of babies, so it's worth it.