Thursday, May 13, 2010
Adventure at the Brazilian Public Hospital continued...
As pictured, I returned to my room to wait. Here I am all dolled up and ready to go.
I was visited by my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and the pediatrician. We talked more about my impressions as an American at a public hospital than what was going to happen. I raved about the wonderful care, and in all honesty, I did have amazing doctors.
My Mother, who had been waiting with me, was told she needed to wait outside. The operating room wasn't big enough for her to be there.
They told me to come with them. Just that, come on Rachel, it's time. This I found strange. Super pregnant lady walking.
I got up and walked into the operating room. There was a tiny little table. Now, you can't see my ass in this photo but I can tell you that it was not tiny.
I looked at my doctor and told her I just would not fit. Seriously. She laughed said not to worry, I would fit. So I used the little metal step stool and laid down. I did fit! Barely, but I did.
At this point I was scared. All the doctors were preparing and I felt so alone. They were not lying, the room was too small for me to have my Mom stay for the birth. I think there was only a foot of space left over on either side of the room.
They prepped me for my spinal tap. Now I was terrified. I was shaking. My no-nonsense Dr. Nancy came to one side of me and the anesthesiologist the other. They had me lay on my side facing Dr. Nancy and curl into as much of a ball as possible. When I got into position, Dr. Nancy then pushed my head further down and my legs further up. I was almost crying.
She then did the most surprising thing. She leaned as close to my face as possible, stroked my hair, and just started talking to me in a soothing Mom voice. This only confirmed what I already knew, I adored and trusted that woman with my life.
By the way, I'm shaking just typing this.
It was done before I knew it. They rolled me back onto my back and proceeded to shove a 2 x4 thing up under my shoulders. My arms were placed on it and they taped my hands, palms opened up to the ceiling, to the board. I was horrified. They used enough tape for the Hulk. I could have used some warning but I guess it's how it goes. It would have been horrible if I freaked out during surgery and tried to run away.
In all seriousness, they do have women that freak out and try to run away. They try to sit up, they scream, etc etc.
Next the anesthesiologist put on the oxygen and told me he was going to give me something to calm me down. I told him I didn't need it. I insisted that I didn't need it but he gave it to me anyway. I did not like that anesthesiologist. Hell, I still don't like that anesthesiologist.
I started to feel extremely weird because of whatever he gave me. I told him I was tripping out badly and asked if he could please do something about it. Thankfully, he managed to bring me back down. While that would be enough to piss anyone off, he continued to irritate me during the entire surgery.
My doctor and a student started my C-section. That part was funny because you could tell that Dr. Nancy is a good teacher. She started psyching up the student. "Are you ready?! Are you ready! You get to do this. You get to do this!" I found this humorous instead of scary. They have to learn somewhere, right. It was also educational for me because she talked to the student about the C-section while doing it. Very interesting stuff.
So that damn anesthesiologist. They have this rule here that you can't speak during or after a C-section because you'll become full of gas. I had never heard of that but I hadn't ever had one so I was trying to follow their rule.
I was all quiet and the anesthesiologist would ask, are you ok. I'd tell him yes and then he'd yell at me to stop talking. 15 minutes later, again, are you ok? Yes. Stop talking! About the 5th time I was pissed. I responded to his "stop talking!" with a "then stop asking me questions. I'll tell you if I'm not ok" He stopped. Hallelujah!
Finally my boy was born! He came out screaming like a 40 year old fat man with the voice of a tenor. He was a big one for Brazil. 3.8 kilos/8lbs 4 oz and 21 inches long. Big healthy beautiful (for a newborn) little boy. They took him to the nursery to be checked.
My doctor let the student sew me up. I had complaints about that but we'll discuss it in the next chapter. Dr. Nancy told me that if my bikini is any lower than the scar that my husband would have a right to complain. Surgery was done. Everyone gave everyone a pat on the back and headed out.
Really, everyone. I was just sitting there on the table alone. About 3 minutes passed and I was about to scream for help when some guy came in. Some guy. He walked in like he was a waiter coming into work and I was just someone sitting at a table. He said nothing. That made me a little nervous. I told myself he must work for the hospital.
Once he got his stuff set up he finally spoke to me. It was a very awkward couple of minutes... for me. He took off the sheet covering my nakedness and told me that he was going to clean me up.
I was manhandled and not in the fun way. I couldn't feel anything and, from my position laying on the table, all I could see was him vigorously scrubbing my stomach and remaining areas with what seemed to be iodine. He was pushing my legs over and letting them drop dead from side to side as he worked. A little TLC would have been appreciated even if I couldn't feel anything. I kept my spirits up thinking of how it would make one hell of a story once I was out of there.
Then my spirits dropped. He brought in a gurney, lined it up with the operating table, and told me I was going to help him. I started laughing. How in the hell was a woman who just had a C-section and was numb from the waist down going to help him get her onto a gurney?
He pulled my top half so I was twisting at the waist. He made me grab onto either side of the gurney. He told me to pull myself and he'd take care of the bottom half. I started to cry. I told him I couldn't do it. I told him I was scared to death. He said that I could and that it was no big deal.
Don't get the wrong idea. He was not saying that supportively, he was annoyed. Well, I managed, barely. What did he say to that you ask. He looked at me and told me that my doubt was a sign of a insecurities and a weak personality.
Wow! Talk about kicking a girl when she's down.
I'll continue in my next installment with the story of the wait for my room, the room I shared with 4 other Moms and babies, and the infection I later developed.