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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Karly
16 years ago

I think my ovaries just exploded from looking at that gorgeous little boy.

clarabella
clarabella
16 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing. As many have said, it’s not often that we hear an uneventful (except for the baby!) and routine c-section story. You really did put us there with your telling.
He is oh-so-cute. Don’t wear the camera out! But keep showing us those lovely pictures!

Kelli
16 years ago

What a perfect story and a perfect little boy.
Congratulations to you and your family!

Michelle
Michelle
16 years ago

color me green, with envy. seriously, i love your life, and i seriously hope for something just as delicious. if anything, what i appreciate is how you “manned up” to life. i can only hope that i can be as brave.

as i said before, you are a hero and role model. i know you’re all humble and shit, but for serious, you’re AWESOME! i apologize for my use of caps, but i can’t italicize in this bitch!

i wish you nothing but happiness, health, wealth, and love. you deserve it. despite all your suffering and angst (believe me, i understand), it has to be a refreshing and awe-inspiring feeling to know that despite all the bullshit, that yes, yesh, you can be happy.

i understand your stance on religion, but i hope that God, or whatever has caused us to be here, continues to bless you. just simply reading you has reminded me of how wonderful humanity is, and that i need to immerse myself in it. even if it is for the hilarity that we humans are…

in short, thanks….

may you always know that you’ve touched many and may you have the strength to continue… i hope you do, we need you out here… i mean us “sane” folk. i wish you many hugs (big ones!) and kisses. i don’t know you, but you know me…

one question: are you psychic?

because damn, i feel like you’re in my brain! thanks, and thanks again. oh! and congrats to you, jb, riley and dylan! iiiiiiiiiii have become comfortably nuuuuummmmb! ;-D

kristylynne
kristylynne
16 years ago

Good lord, that child is GORGEOUS.

Job well done, mommy. I think a c-sec must be more terrifying if it’s planned. More time to think about it that way. Mine was an emergency c-sec, and by that time (after 6 hours of labor and a baby heartbeat scare) the cutting part seemed like a piece of cake.

Kym
Kym
16 years ago

I had 2 c-sections and reading your’s brought back “my birth stories” I could totally relate :)

warcrygirl
16 years ago

Your story sounds similar to mine only 1) what I had they called a spinal 2) It didn’t work fully even though I passed the pinch test and 3) they refused to let us bring our camera into the operating theatre. Because of the pain during surgery (that suctioning around the uterus? That shit HURTS) they put me under once I got to see my baby.

In more peppier commenting, Dylan is precious and he looks just like you!

jonniker
16 years ago

I am now officially freaked out by what warcrygirl just said. SUCTIONING AROUND THE UTERUS. AND FEELING IT. GAH.

As for you, my friend, oh holy SHIT, I am happy for you. And Dylan is perfect and lovely and so staggeringly different from Riley, at least in terms of his appearance, that I can hardly stand it, it’s so miraculously cute. You have two! little! boys! And they are lovely.

wordygirl
16 years ago

What a handsome guy! Actually, your whole family is just beautiful. You must be so proud! And of course you did great, way to go!

velocibadgergirl
16 years ago

The hat! The wrinkly toes! The smushy cheeks! He is SO gorgeous.

I also laughed a lot at the nurses whacking your gurney into the walls. Sorry about that.

Missy
16 years ago

I had a c-section after 24 HOURS! of labor. Your way with the immediate epidural sounds much better!

Beautiful and BIG hands and feet on that boy. Be glad you got pics of them — I don’t think there’s anything much cuter than newborn hands and feet. And those sweet little peaceful faces when they’re asleep. Couldn’t you just eat them up?

Kristi
Kristi
16 years ago

Oh my good God, he is the most beautiful baby!! Congrats to all of you!

Your story sounds almost exactly like my #2 C-section story – glad you’re experience was trauma free. Take care ~

CT
CT
16 years ago

I saw a bunch of babies born last year in nursing school and 9 out of 10 (both c-sec and vag births) aren’t so cute fresh out of the womb.. you seriously got 2 really cute ones.

I’m not just saying that either.. I remember newborn Riley being so cute that when you announced this pregnancy I actually thought of the odds and ‘no way can this one be as cute as Riley was’.. yet Dylan is another pretty, pretty baby!

M.A.
16 years ago

I will chime in with the many who have thanked you for sharing so much of yourself and your family with us (and JB, thank you for stepping in with The Latest News when Linda was unable).

I have a very good friend, Midge, who reads you as religiously as I, but who is a serial lurker (even when *I* had a blog — wench!), but she and I oohed and aaahed over Dylan’s birth like we had planned your last baby shower and she commented on how consistent you are with your blog — how devoted you are by giving is first-row shouler-perch seats to your life. Midge are both delighted that everything went well, that you are all healthy, and that Dylan is clearly just perfect.

(I didn’t want to sound TOO pervy after your last set of pics, but… those lips! Perfect cupid bow. SMOOCH! And those feet, my God, Linda! They are made to be nibbled.)

Keep us posted, but take the time you need to get some well deserved rest when you can.

xoxoxo to you all, including Ashley and The Panther.

M.A.
16 years ago

*sigh*

Because I must:

shouler = shoulder, and

“Midge *AND I* are both…”

Damn keyboard…

erin
16 years ago

Wow, he is just beautiful. I love your pictures.

Sara Moon
16 years ago

I can’t sleep and came out to the computer to…distract myself. So lovely to see your post as I will be going through the exact same thing in about a month from now. Second c-section and scared out of my mind. Reading your words makes me think I can make it through. Congratulations on beautiful Dylan and Riley, too. And JB. What a great family you have. Thanks for sharing your life with us, Linda.

Christy
Christy
16 years ago

Oh my gosh, that last photo is just total perfection. Thank you sharing your story.

Sarah
16 years ago

Wow, I was literally making little audible whimpers of wanting another newborn, looking at that last picture. And I ALREADY HAVE A RELATIVELY SMALL BABY!
Also, that was a wonderful telling of the birth story- you are my new hero, seriously! I think that sounds far scarier than my kids’ unmedicated vaginal births! As another commenter said, I think what would make it hard would be the KNOWING and the ANTICIPATING.
But you handled it like a rock star! And look at that baby you made! (Whimpering again about the squishy baby goodness.) Mwaah! Kiss him again for me!

pippa
16 years ago

A belated congratulations! He is adorable! And batten down the hatches now because for some reason two boys = 100x the trouble they can get into as one. And I don’t know why I didn’t process what his birthday would be… D’s birthday was the 25th anniversary of the death of one of my friends from junior high. I’m pleased that the day now has a happy association.

@warcry The worst part of the section for me ALWAYS was the move from the table to the gurney at the end. You can’t feel anything below your bra strap and they are LIFTING YOU. I was always petrified they would drop me.

Marie Green
16 years ago

Can you believe it? Really? Less than a week ago, he was still inside your body, completely dependant on you for EVERYTHING, and now he’s out in the world, regulating his own body temp and hunger pangs?

He’s really beautiful, Linda. Thanks for sharing your birth story. I’ve had 2 csections too, so it’s all to familiar… in a good way…

Jen @ amazingtrips
16 years ago

Such a beautiful baby, congratulations on his birth and wow – you look awesome!

I had my second c-section this past July, birthing my fourth child (first three are triplets) and I thought the recovery was much faster. Although, I had forgotten how pain medication can cause horrible constipation. And stool softeners cause horrible gas. So, if you find yourself going that route >> just keep lots of Gas-X on hand. I’m not sure if you’re nursing or not, but I was really amazed that my nipples felt like they were being pulled right off my chest. I felt like crying every time the baby woke up hungry. I knew what I was doing, the latch, yada yada, but holy crap, it hurt like hell for a solid 3 weeks. That nipple skin is pretty darn sensitive and takes some time to break in. At least for me!!

So, how do ya do?! I’ve never leave THAT kind of first comment before!

Congrats again & best wishes!!

anna
anna
16 years ago

D looks like JB I reckon…

Shannon
16 years ago

Thanks for sharing that mama – the more details the better…. All I remember from my emergency c-section was the nurses squeezing two bags of COLD saline into my body in about two minutes flat so they could ok the spinal, then being freezing cold, teeth chattering, and completely overwhelmed while they went in for Gi. I hope my scheduled c goes as well as yours did!

Kelly~ Mommy and the Marine

Oh my! I have been away but was thinking you should have popped that babe out by now :D HOW SWEET! Love the pictures and all of the story. Congrats!!!

Scott
16 years ago

Congrats on the new addition. He definitely looks like you, and would it be wrong to say just a *little* like Ed Asner? Not that I’m suggesting anything untoward.

Also, this is the first birth story I’ve ever read that receives my prestigious LMAO designation. You ask why we keep reading your blog? This is why: “JB rubbed my head until I finally told him I felt like he was Lenny and I was one of the puppies.” Pure gold.

Penny
Penny
16 years ago

ok I gotta ask, what did they say about the belly henna thing? I forget what it’s officially called. They had to comment on how awesome that was!

honeybecke
honeybecke
16 years ago

Look at those (yom yom yom) tootsies!
I’m excited to see his head of fuzzy hair! Not too much, not too little but juuust right.
I loved reading every word of Dylan’s birth story. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed reading comments during the waiting game…I’m sure you know we were all just going bonkers with excitement for you. I had fun reading the comments too(flickr) as they piled up because it made me realize I wasn’t the only one neglecting my own kids to refresh! refresh! refresh! to see if you’d iphon’d an update. What a woman.

Cali911Gal
Cali911Gal
16 years ago

Congratulations Linda! He’s gorgeous!

Lesley
Lesley
16 years ago

You have my utmost admiration for going through all that; not there was any alternative, it’s just…wow. And as for being exposed like a lab rat, I think doctors and nurses must forget how uncomfortable it is to be a patient? Like, can’t they cover up everything but the bits they are working on?

As for Dylan, I’ve never seen a cuter newborn in my life. His little face is beyond munchkin-ny goodness…and those FEET! Man, he’ll be in size 11 trainers in no time.

lucidkim
16 years ago

Thanks for sharing this story – he is very cute and you made me feel like I was there, as you always do. Too bad you didn’t get a picture of hottie doctor (i’d write anesthe…but I can’t spell that…). :)

kim

jules
jules
16 years ago

wow you are courageous!! apologies if you have explained this before, but why did you choose to have a scheduled c-section rather than trying for a vaginal birth?

jules
jules
16 years ago

guess what, i did a search and found out the answer to my question above. oop. i suppose i should have tried that before i commented but, hey. another question (that i have searched for, to no avail!) are you breastfeeding and what are your thoughts on that?

Heather B.
16 years ago

I love how nonchalant the anesthesiologist was about your uterus being outside of your body. Even it is completely nervous, as you said, it’s an organ on the outside of your body and now I’m feeling the nausea.

Anyway, Dylan is so adorable. Congratulations once again.

Leslie
Leslie
16 years ago

Steinbeck allusions under stress should earn you an honorary degree from someplace prestigious.

Vanda
16 years ago

Oh my, he is so cute I want to reach through the laptop and give him a kiss on his sweet little nose.

You have two fine looking boys there kiddo.

That bit about your uterus being outside of yu body made me a little bit crawley all over.

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
16 years ago

glad things turned out so well! and i bet you are super relieved that you did not have to have any more of that metallic crap from last time (cannot remember what it was called..)
the second picture up there reminds me of kristen’s nolan, lol aww

Deanna
Deanna
16 years ago

I had tears and then laughed! Great birth story!!

Reminded me all over again about how with birth#1 afterwards in recovery the nurse asked if I could stand (to get into the wheelchair to take me to my room). Of course! Splat- I ended up spraddle legged on the floor (in a hospital gown and those mesh panties). She was horrified and freaking out. Me- giggling and rolling my eyes at myself. An orderly (huge NFL exlinebacker I am sure) had to come in and bear hug me to standing and then sit me in the wheelchair.
All I could do was laugh at myself.

AidoEllaMomma
AidoEllaMomma
16 years ago

Ok, your birth story was almost identical to my second as well, including the Holy Hell water down the back/spine thing which was the most bizarre feeling EVER!!!!!

Anyways, thanks for sharing and bringing me (and others) back to those early days of a new baby. My husband saw both of our kids come out by way of c-section and although he said it was pretty gory and may be scarred for life, he said it was something he will always be grateful he saw.

Can’t wait to see more posts, god knows you must have tons of time on your hands these days!!

Bee
Bee
16 years ago

He is so cute and he looks so big. Congrats!

kate
16 years ago

congratulations! he is beautiful.

Moriah
Moriah
16 years ago

Just a comment on the post-op picture…I love the look in JB’s eyes! It’s like he’s thinking, “Check it out! Can you believe this shit?!” He looks incredulous and fiercely proud. (As you should be!) Congratulations!

biscuit
biscuit
16 years ago

I thought I was gonna hurl last week when I had my c-section. Once the epidural kicked into high gear I felt amazing, never felt more relaxed in my life. When my husband came in, he was a wreck! I thought HE was going to vom! I held HIS hand + told him it would be alright. When Maggie came out I thought a cat had wandered into the room. MMMMMEOW! MMMMEOW is what she sounded like.

@ least you got your catheter in after being numb. Mine got rammed in there prior to any drugs + that suckeddddd.

PS: Maggie wants to know if Dylan will be her valentine.

Jen
Jen
16 years ago

His little froggy legs just slay me. And are basically torture for me – I am now one day overdue and don’t feel even a twinge. The longer I go the more nervous I become.

But now I know what to expect if the natural plan doesn’t happen. Great story. Beautiful family.

willikat
16 years ago

wow, look at those feet! they’re long! :) what a cutie. also… do i see a suspicious look on his face in that second photo??? congratulations again!

Sarah
Sarah
16 years ago

In that first picture he looks like a tiny baby GNOME. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

Ana
Ana
16 years ago

Certainly didn’t expect tears…Dylan is gorgeous, as are you.

Victoria
16 years ago

That had me laughing and crying and “awwwing”! Congratulations again :)

Lindy
16 years ago

Hot damn he’s a cutie. Hot damn he’s got big feet!! Congrats!!!!

deanna
16 years ago

i can almost smell the fresh baby all the way here in nyc. mmm. im so glad that things went so well. i love that picture of the 3 of you in the OR. you can see the pure joy in jb’s eyes and it’s wonderful.

and i can only laugh at the bed-steering adventures. speaking from loads of personal experience (imagine doing that with 2 iv poles and their subsequent 12 or so “lines” of tubing, a portable respirator, 3 oxygen tanks, 2 large tool-box-like “transport kits” and various other necessities), driving those damn beds is sometimes impossible. one can only laugh because youre bound to crash into a thousand things no matter what you do.

congratulations on the lovely lil un. xo.