The alarm went off at 3:15 a.m. with the idea that it was going to take us awhile to get up (I am a slow waker in the morning!). But, with all the anticipation, I was wide awake and ready to get going…so I headed to the shower and was ready to leave by 3:45 a.m. – over a half hour early! Marion on the other hand took his time and while I paced around the house, trying to remember all the things I’d forgotten, he got his breakfast, turned the eggs in the incubator, warmed the pickup, and tried to keep me calm! Soon enough though we were both out of things to do and so we headed off to the hospital!
One of the things I will remember is that nice slow drive! It was very peaceful and relaxing to just have those moments with Marion before the baby came. Once we arrived, we took some pictures going into the hospital and checked ourselves in. I was pleased to find out that I had gained just 20 lbs total with this pregnancy (and if I remember correctly the hospital’s scale is a bit heavier than the clinics). By 5:30 a.m. we were checked in and waiting for the surgery team to take us back to be prepped. I had requested that they use a local anesthesia to get my IV started because my veins are very hard to find after not having fluids. I was assured that Dave the anesthesiologist would be doing the IV to help avoid some of the nightmares we had had with the other kids!
Finally around 6:00 a.m. we were wheeled back to the pre-op room and Marion was sent to get gowned up! Dave came in and tried for his first IV prick….unfortunately, it didn’t go…neither did the second or third…after 45 minutes and EIGHT tries we finally got an IV to stick and it was in my upper bicep area. AND, as you can imagine, we were very behind in prepping for the delivery!
I was supposed to have this whole bag of fluids before the op…well, that didn’t happen! The epidural took 3 minutes to get in but then everyone started doing things all at once…I specifically remember getting my catheter at the same time as Dave was testing me for sharpness with the epidural…now you tell me…how can one focus on both at the same time?!!! I tried to be as honest as I could and they did test several times, but things were just NOT the same as the previous three!
Dr. Pankratz was anxious to get started since he had another procedure following and clinic appointments too, so as soon as they could they got things underway. The first cut was at 7:11 a.m. and Ethan was born at 7:14! That was the most intense, painful, and shocking 3 minutes of my life! Both doctors were pushing will all their might on my STOMACH – up high- and the anesthesia was NOT in that area! I about puked from the pressure! Dave had to give me oxygen because I was holding my breath trying to deal with the shock of the intense pain I was NOT prepared to have! Usually, I feel some pressure and some pulling but not PAIN – at least not until they put the uterus back in – and then Dave just makes me real sleepy to get through that! Not this time...I told Dave I didn’t care if he put me OUT…I know it was apparently pretty bad because Marion was getting antsy and worried beside me…something he doesn’t usually do! (later he did tell me that he was pretty worried about me because I was obviously hurting.)
I think it was 7:40 a.m. when they took me to the recovery room and I was begging for pain medicine! I finally got my first look at Ethan and he nursed like a champ! We were so very blessed by Dr. Overmiller, who came in to see how we were doing and prayed with us as a family! Once we were more stable, Marion headed out to make the calls announcing Ethan’s arrival and they finished recovery procedures and took me to my room! I think EVERYONE was amazed when I moved myself over to the bed from the gurney…does that tell you how well the epidural was working?!
Ethan’s temp was low so they put him in an incubator, other than that, he was doing great! Me on the other hand was still suffering from pain even after several doses in my IV (and those that know me well, know I have a high pain tolerance) and my blood pressure was rather high! The one good thing was that I had warned them that I itch TERRIBLY after the surgery and they were very liberal with the Benadryl and other itch relieving medicine! I was still very sick to my stomach and would start gagging if I moved my head or looked around too quickly! I vaguely remember the rest of Monday…I know we had some visitors and if you were one of them and I was a zombie…I apologize…it was a very different and crazy delivery!
The bottom line though…we have a beautiful and healthy baby boy! Welcome to the family Ethan William Schlatter – we love you!