I forgot to mention a few key things that I wanted to share. This is what happens when you get 2 hours (not in a row) of sleep a night.
1. My epidural made me completely numb from my shoulders down to my toes. You might think that sounds kind of nice, especially when we're talking about cutting my stomach open and yanking two babies out. But, think about it a little harder . . . what happens when you realize you can't tell if you are breathing or not? Well, you might completely freak the hell out. I did not, but let me tell you it was a strange sensation. I felt like I had to will myself to breathe - like I had to really concentrate on it or else I might not really be doing it.
2. They have you laid out like Jesus on the cross for the surgery. I am not joking. You're lying on this table and there are these wooden arm rests that stick straight out from the sides and you have to put your arms on them. I think this is to avoid you germing up the place by reaching past the paper curtain and into the sterile zone. The paper curtain, I might add, is right at your neck . . . hello, claustrophobia. This plus the whole am I or am I not breathing thing I mentioned above can be a bit much if you are not cool like Fonzie.
3. It is easier to get pain medication in a nursery school playground than it is in the hospital. This surprised me. Everything I'd read warned me to stay on top of my meds because once you start feeling pain it's a lot harder to manage. So, when I was told that I was to get Percoset and Motrin every four hours (on the second day after the glorious epidural was removed) I wasn't expecting that I'd have to bully the nurses into actually giving it to me. I had a dozen different nurses while I was in the hospital, but I'd say that 75% of the time I had to ring the nurse's station and ask for my pain medication. I felt like a junkie. Begging for meds. Especially when I'd actually sleep for a few hours past the four hour mark and I'd wake up feeling like someone had ripped my stomach open - what? - oh yeah, someone really did do that. Hello? Just bring me my damn Percoset! I don't know how they expect patients to remember when their next dose is due anyway. Already, I was having to remember when I breastfed who and which boob did I use and for how long and who pooped and who peed and did you fart and have you peed and bathed and pooped and how many minutes did you sit up for and when did you eat and blah, blah, blah.
Oh - and then - THEN, they also want you to rate your pain. On a scale of one to ten. They make you tell them before they will give you the pain medication. Hi. I just had my stomach cut wide open and two babies were dragged out from inside me. How much pain do you think I'm in? OH - AND THEN they would check my incision (remember that I haven't had pain medication in 6 hours and am dying just from lying down motionless in bed). To check the incision they had to lift that lovely flap of stomach overhang you see in the photos a few posts down. And then they'd push on my stomach all around the incision. Yes. I think I kneed a nurse in the nose one of those times.
Anyway - just some more unexpected things I experienced that were different from the (equally as horrifying but in different ways) vaginal birth I had the first time around.
I know I said this last time, but this time I swear to god mean it, I am NEVER doing this again. I am very grateful that everyone is here and healthy and I am thankful that everything went so well, but god dammit being pregnant, giving birth, recovering from it all, and taking care of a newborn (or two) really bites the big one.