Here it is: long, kind of boring, and bereft of any of the more thrilling labor details that typically make up a good birth story — but I’m glad to have written it down so it’s not lost to my untrustworthy memory in the years to come.

:::

First of all, let me just tell you that an alarm going off at 5 AM on the morning you’re supposed to have major surgery resulting in the birth of your second child is one hell of a nerve-wracking sound. I was a nervous wreck and the fact that I was not allowed to immediately plunge my head into my usual morning feedbag (Cinnamon Life, and LOTS OF IT PLZ) was depressing, plus I had to shower with this stinky antibacterial soap that made me dwell on the fact that in a matter of hours someone’s scalpel would be hacking into my flesh.

We arrived at the hospital at 6, and were immediately ushered into a labor and delivery room and attended to by a very nice nurse, who despite her friendliness wasted no time in spiking the world’s gnarliest-looking IV into my arm. I was hooked up to some sugar/saline solution and a bag of medication (this wouldn’t normally be necessary, by the way, the drugs were for my own medical situation), a fetal monitor was strapped on my belly, and we were left to wait. And wait.

I spent nearly the entire time reading your comments and I cannot tell you how grateful I was to have them. They cheered me, distracted me, and provided lots of conversation fodder for JB and I. Thank you so much for that, guys.

We were visited by the nurses who were going to attend the surgery, and two of the doctors who would perform the surgery (trivia: the lead surgeon was one of Mike Holmgren’s daughters). Then one of the anesthesiologists came to visit, which was disconcerting because he was not only our age, but also . . . well, um . . . he was sort of cute, okay? Blue eyes, goatee, bearing mood-altering drugs — what’s not to like?

He proceeded to freak me right the hell out by covering many of the potential side effects of the surgery, including a little thing they call DEATH. I told him that I was less worried about death than I was about barfing during the operation, and he mentioned that they would try and help mitigate any nausea and also that the surgeons would keep my uterus inside my body if that was possible. “Sometimes they just have to take it out for a while,” he said, shrugging. “The manipulation can make people sick.” I nodded sagely, like I totally knew what he was talking about, while desperately trying not to picture ANY of my organs being outside of my body.

At around 12 — at which point I could have eaten a LIVE HORSE, despite the nerves — they finally brought me into the OR. The nurses had me sit on the side of a table with my surgical gown wide open in the back so the anesthesiologists could start working on the epidural. At that point all I could think about was how my ass probably looked: squashed, dimply, totally white and gross. It didn’t help that Hottie Anesthesiologist was back there murmuring in my ear about how I was going to feel something cold now, Linda, we’re just swabbing your back.

They had me bend forward over a pillow for several minutes while the anesthesiologists — there were two, Mr. Hottie and an older man with a wonderfully soothing voice; I think Hottie was interning under him — inserted the epidural. There was some discomfort, a little stinging, but overall this didn’t hurt at all. After the epidural was in, they started the meds, and I felt the familiar sensation of warmth running through my lower body. My legs began to tingle, then go dead.

The nurses helped move me onto the operating table, and someone covered my chest with a warm blanket. They neglected to cover any other part of my body, though, so when the nurses then began to get the catheter in place I realized I was completely naked and spread apart like a frog. On the table. Under the bright lights. Visible to everyone in the room.

I must have been squirming and wincing, because the older anesthesiologist asked me if I was feeling any discomfort. “Um, just MENTALLY,” I said, and earned a hearty chuckle from the room. The roomful of people next to my naked body, that is.

They got the catheter in and covered me up, and the anesthesiologists began the process of checking my progress with the medication. They would prick my upper body with a safety pin, then ask me to tell when I felt the same sharp sensation in my lower body — then they’d begin pricking my skin from around mid-thigh on up. They did the same sort of sensation test with an alcohol swab and eventually ice cubes, asking me to say when it felt cold. As the numbness crept up my body, they adjusted the drip until they were satisfied that I was in the right state, at which point they told the surgeons we were good to go.

It was at that moment that I officially began to feel very scared, partially because I was paranoid that I wasn’t a good enough judge of how well the epidural was working and oh my god what if I said the wrong thing and now I’m going to feel EVERY SINGLE CUT, etc. They brought JB in, who sat next to my head and held my hand and told me I was doing really, really good, even though my teeth were chattering like maracas.

Things seemed to be happening very fast at that point. A nurse strapped one of my arms to the table, JB held the other. Someone put a drape in front of my chest so I couldn’t see anything. The anesthesiologists told me what sorts of things I should be feeling (pressure, and weirdest of all, a cold sensation of running water that slid down my back from the inside).

The surgeons began their work. Music was playing in the background, something classical. I could feel my belly being moved around, and I could hear a wet suctioning sound. The anesthesiologists talked to themselves behind my head. I took deep, frightened breaths and JB rubbed my head until I finally told him I felt like he was Lenny and I was one of the puppies.

One of the anesthesiologists suddenly said something like, “Okay, here he comes!”. One of the surgeons peeped over the drape to tell me the baby was almost out, and asked JB if he wanted to see. “Um,” JB said, looking totally freaked out, and I whispered, “Do it!” So he did, he stood up and looked over the drape and then there was a lot of movement and the unbelievable, indescribable sound of a baby crying.

Dylan was crying in big lustful wet gasps and so was I, the tears ran straight down my face and puddled in my ears and I was sobbing and asking if he was okay and one of the anesthesiologists said he was fine, they were just taking him to be suctioned and checked on. JB stayed with me for a few moments, then he was allowed to go over to the pediatrician’s station where Dylan was being attended to.

JB was gone for a couple minutes and I craned my neck to see, while simultaneously trying not to pay too much attention to the disturbing movements happening below the drape but inside my body (I did feel some nausea but nothing too overwhelming, I credit the kindness of the anesthesiologists for helping to prevent the dreaded Operation Barf). Soon JB was back, holding Dylan close to me, and Dylan was crying and still sort of goo-covered and absolutely beautiful. A wonderful nurse offered to get our camera and she took this photo:

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Soon everyone was done, they all told me I did great (I was filled with an absurd pride at this, which is so ridiculous because really, what else would they say? “You did really shitty, you big giant pussy”?) and one by one they left the room. The nurses loaded me onto a rolling table, put Dylan in my arms, and pushed me back to the L&D room, comically ramming into 1) a wall, 2) a laundry cart, and 3) a doorway on the way.

We hung out in the L&D room for a while and Dylan was bathed and poked at a bit. Hottie Anesthesiologist checked on me one more time to see how the epidural was wearing off (which was not at ALL, it took a long-ass time before I could move my legs or wiggle my toes). Eventually, we were moved downstairs to the recovery floor, whamming into the sides of the elevator and at least two doorways as we arrived.

And that’s where we stayed for the next two days, while I recuperated. (JB’s parents had arrived at our house last Friday night in order to stay with Riley while we were off producing his sibling.) The evening of the surgery I was allowed to eat, which would have been awesome if the hospital food didn’t suck so much, and I astounded everyone by easily walking around the floor at 9 PM (sadly, it would turn out this was just the magical effects of the drugs wearing off, because it was MUCH harder to walk the next day). We spent a lot of time holding Dylan, trying to sleep, and wishing mightily for an internet connection.

Now that we’ve been home for a while, I can say that recovering from this surgery was initially much better/faster than the first time and now is probably about the same. It hurts to get up, and my scar area is very tender, but I’m definitely able to get around. They tell you not to lift anything but that’s pretty hard to avoid, I’m able to lift Riley out of his highchair and I’m obviously picking up the baby all day long. They gave me a pile of Dilaudid but I’m only taking it at night, otherwise it makes me all woozy and crappy-feeling.

All in all, it went as well as I could have hoped. Easy enough procedure, not too hard of a recovery, and a perfect, perfect outcome:

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kalisah
16 years ago

Seriously, so perfect.

This is the first cesarean birth story I’ve read, so thank you for sharing it.

Sleepynita
16 years ago

Wow, does he have Riley’s toes?

He is pretty darn cute, and I am envious of the epidural working for you for so long…

allison
16 years ago

he is beyond adorable… and man does he look like his brother!

vedjen
16 years ago

Congrats, Linda. He is such a beautiful baby.

Jennifer
16 years ago

Congratulations. He’s so cute. And your writing is sweet and funny and wonderful.

laura
laura
16 years ago

Dylan is perfection.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad that you are having such a swift recovery. You deserve it!

lilfootsmommy
16 years ago

oh my goodness, dylan is so handsome. and that b&w pic is awesome…his little toes and fingers are not so tiny….they’re so long and cute!!!

thanks for sharing your birth story.

tracy
tracy
16 years ago

oh my ~ you are SO brave!!! I’d have passed out from that IV alone. I love what you said when they asked you if you felt any discomfort ~ Um mentally !! LOL….I SO understand that. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Jennifer
16 years ago

Wonderful story. You’re such a great writer. As always, I hung on every word.

halloweenlover
16 years ago

He’s beautiful! He doesn’t look like a newborn at all!

Deanna
Deanna
16 years ago

THE TOES!!! I want to nibble on them!!!

Shannon
16 years ago

Look at those long, long feet, and fingers! Am I right in remembering that Riley had long newborn feet as well? I’m too lazy to look it up.

Christine
16 years ago

Oh, Dylan is so so cute and you look awesome! Congratulations to you and your new family of four!!

Stephanie
16 years ago

So the birth story? Made me a little queasy because I’ve never had a kid. But the last picture? Made me want to go reproduce, PRONTO.

Sam
Sam
16 years ago

What a great story. And that boy is so cute, adorable, and perfect all around, as is your whole family.
Congrats. So happy for you!!!!

Oh, and P.S. Those FEET ARE HUGE!!!!

Sandra
Sandra
16 years ago

What a beautiful family. Congratulations. Any way you could put a side by side pic of Dylan and Riley on the site. I would like to see the newborn resemblance. I babysat my neighbor’s 2-week old this past week and she hardly opened her eyes the entire time I was with her. I am shocked at the bright eyed pictures of Dylan you post. Is it the constant flash of the camera? :o)

Jennifer
16 years ago

(another comment from me, I just re-read the story another, oh, ten times or so): when you were lying there under the bright lights, did anyone comment on your cool belly-henna???

Stephanie
16 years ago

I am not sure that I have commented before, but apparently I have since it remembered me. First of all, you constantly crack my shit up.

Secondly, thank you for your very very candid story. For those of us who have not had a child (hi! here I am) it is great to hear stories like yours. Even if parts made me a wee bit woozy.

And finally. Your freckles are awesome.

Jennifer
16 years ago

JESUS CHRIST, ORGAN REMOVAL!? I would like to keep all of my parts in the original box, kthxbai.

I really enjoyed (is that the right word?) reading your story as I have a feeling I’ll find myself in the same situation one day (c-section b/c of medical condition). It will be nice going into it with some inkling of what may happen!

He’s so beautiful. I love his little knit cap!

Anais
16 years ago

The picture of JB with both boys is so sweet.

S.E.
S.E.
16 years ago

super cute green/blue/yellow hat! where did you get it? i’d love to get one for my niece that will arrive in april.

Jessica
16 years ago

Wow…what a beautiful story! I’m so glad everything worked out the way it did. Dylan’s absolutely adorable. Good luck with the continued recovery.

Amanda
16 years ago

Great birth story! I love the detail about your tears pooling into your ears.

Your boy has finger toes. How awesome!

Sarah
16 years ago

Thanks for writing this… I imagine that this will be much like my second birth story will go and it’s nice to know what to anticipate.

Dylan is just fabulous and he totally looks like you, btw. :)

Teralyne
16 years ago

Ahh you had me in tears readung his birth. Congratulations to your new family.

Christine
Christine
16 years ago

Those are the greatest baby feet I’ve ever seen.

April
16 years ago

That’s a great story. I love how matter-of-fact you are. Dylan is adorable! And, yeah. Huge feet! Woah!

Tina
16 years ago

Thank you for sharing! You don’t read as many C-Section birth stories on-line it seems. Yours seems to go like I would think it would. I’ve had two people tell me their C-section stories and mention (casually, on the side, like it’s no big deal) how they were in recovery while the baby was in the nursery. WHAT?!? They had to wait HOURS to see their children!!! (Seriously, one only had a polorid picture, hadn’t even held her daughter.) Shocked me! And this was this year, not 15 years ago. You getting to keep him with you seems right, the way it should be.

Also, I love how in your last post (I’m sorry this is so long, once out of the feed reader I can’t stop!) you hit the nail on the head about being reminded about the laundry and the mess newborns make, yet how you wounder how you thought one was so hard?

Anyway, enjoy the tiny squishy stage. Oh, those cliches are true and it goes so fast!

Robin
Robin
16 years ago

Funny that the hottest doctors tend to be anesthesiologists – I wonder why that is?

Great to read this. I’m having a scheduled c-section on May 15th for my second son and I’m pretty nervous. Son #1 was an emergency c and I was already on some good drugs and a regular epidural before they started the process. I’m hoping if I beg enough maybe they’ll give me some Vicodin beforehand.

Laura
Laura
16 years ago

I have to say he’s beautiful, and also that he definitely looks more like you…I checked your flickr site to see a comparison of Riley and Dylan….so aside from the enormous hands and feet, his face looks more like you. :-) I babble a lot.

Laura
16 years ago

He is so cute it’s making my uterus hurt.

Jenn
Jenn
16 years ago

That first picture actually made me squeal. Good lord, he is cute!

Mrs. Breedorf
16 years ago

I just LOVED reading this, thank you for sharing! Dylan is an exceptionally beautiful newborn (as was Riley). I think he looks more like you.

Jean
Jean
16 years ago

OOH, look at his toes!! Hee hee!! I just love him.

I can’t believe you found the time to type all of this. Are you sure they didn’t give you some freaky speed by mistake?

Swistle
16 years ago

This was so great. Paul said, while I was reading it, “Stop wheezing and crying!”

He is REMINISCENT of Riley (most notably of Riley’s FEET), but I think he looks different overall. Brothers but not twins.

By the way, in case you’re CURIOUS about what happens if you’re NOT quite numb enough: they give you a huge dose of the kind of drugs that could lead me to wander the hospital-area streets looking for more.

Caitlin
Caitlin
16 years ago

His hands and feets are so big and cute!! Glad everything went well for you and bebe :)

Jess
16 years ago

Those are some rad toes! I loved your story (why do birth stories automatically lead to tears?). Your little boys are beautiful. Congrats! He looks like you too.

babs
babs
16 years ago

Wow, thanks for writing this… it’s the first time I’ve heard all the details of a C-section. And your writing makes it so real.

The pics are also awesome. You’ve got some cute men in your house! Dylan’s expressions are already priceless.

ollka
16 years ago

Oh, that black and white picture is stunning! He is such the prettiest baby-froggy-person ever:) Just look at the feet, oh.

And of course, thank you for sharing the story.

Janssen
16 years ago

Wow, he’s a doll. Also, that story freaked me out, even without any terrible happenings. I’m really afraid of having children . . . .

Jenny
16 years ago

Stephanie above already mentioned your freckles, and their awesomeness, which was pretty much exactly what I was going to say! Congratulations!

Sharri
Sharri
16 years ago

Wonderful wonderful story and beautiful pictures to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

As far as freckles, my freckles popped out when I had my son – we joked that I pushed so hard, I pushed them out!

Enjoy!

Anonymous
Anonymous
16 years ago

He’s so cute !!

Lora
Lora
16 years ago

Dylan is so darn cute… God makes them that way on purpose!
I had a hot blue-eyed anesthesiologist too! Maybe that’s a requirement for the degree.. makes you forget about the needle going in your back.. sorta.

wn
wn
16 years ago

Hearing a positive C-Section story like yours is actually pretty cool! Thanks for sharing it with us. Dylan is squishy and perfect (as suspected).

The timing on this entry is MORE than perfect as I was just told at our 37 week appointment (this past Tuesday) that either 1) our baby is of linebacker proportions given that I’ve grown a full 2 inches in 5 days and am now measuring past 40 weeks…OR (wait, it gets better)…they made a “mistake” as to my due date and that I’d likely be having the baby wihin a week-10 days (perhaps induced)…both options…SO comforting for a firsttimer!

SO….hearing about a GOOD and scheduled c-section….was actually pretty awesome!

congrats to everyone once again!

Bunny
16 years ago

Linda, it sounds like things went so well and Dylan had a blessedly uneventful birth. My favorite part is the Lenny and puppies part. That, my friend, is awesome. That baby is so incredibly beautiful, and OMG his feet! I can’t get over them!

WCD
WCD
16 years ago

ready for another? he’s darling and will you look at the size of those feet!

liz
liz
16 years ago

I love a good birthing story and this is definitely one of them. I’ve had a vaginal delivery and a C-section and I’ll tell you that they are both nerve-wracking, crazy, and beautiful in their own way. Way to go for telling the lovely tale of Dylan’s entrance into the world!

Sundry, at the risk of sounding like a psycho, this pregnancy and Dylan’s birth have been a real candle of hope to me during my own stupid, rough phase of life I’m going through and I’m just so thrilled that you’ve shared it with your readers. Thank you. Best of luck to the four of you!

Merideth
Merideth
16 years ago

This took me right back to the birth of my own kiddo. I laughed and cried. THanks for sharing with us.
You and JB make good babies.

Naomi
16 years ago

ok. it’s official. i am NEVER having kids. :)

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