That being said, the original time got changed when I got a call around 6pm from MUSC saying that the labor and delivery floor was full and it would probably be later in the night or possibly the next morning before they could get me in. I knew I would probably be going in that night regardless, because I had been having contractions all day and by the time I received the call they were starting to get stronger and a closer together. The pain was manageable so I knew it wasn’t “real labor” quite yet and I could wait at home a little longer unless my contractions became less manageable.
Luckily, my parents were already in town to stay with Carson and Taylor, so I felt at peace knowing that we could leave at anytime if they called or if my contractions got stronger. As the evening went on, by 10:30 my contractions were about two minutes apart and I was starting to feel more pain so I picked up the phone to call MUSC, and I kid you not, they had just called two minutes prior to tell me my bed was ready. I am still not sure how I missed the call because I had my phone right by my side, but either way, we were in the car within five minutes and on our way to MUSC to have our baby girl!
At this point, things were looking really good for my vbac to be successful and after they gave me the epidural I felt great. I was able to move my legs completely and change positions in the bed on my own, and while I could still feel my contractions, they weren’t very painful at all. Over the next six hours or so, they came in to check my progress a few times and I had only progressed to around five and a half centimeters so they decided to break my water around 11am Thursday morning.
After they broke my water, Reese had a bowel movement, but they didn’t seem too concerned by this at all and they let me know that they would have the NICU team called in when she was close to being born for precaution in case there was any infection. They let me continue to labor on my own for a few more hours, and when there was still no progress they decided to start me on a slow dose of pitocin and they had me start doing different labor inducing positions to help her continue to drop. A nurse would come in every thirty minutes to an hour to show me a new position and to help me get situated on “the peanut ball“.
After about six hours of doing this nonstop, the doctor came in and let me know that while they weren’t going to call it yet being that baby Reese’s heart rate still looked good and she wasn’t in any distress, but to get myself prepared that there was a chance I may have to have a c-section. At this point, I was so exhausted, but I was still holding out hope for the vbac. And with everything I had read, I had hoped that she was just taking her sweet time so I continued to change positions every thirty minutes.
After changing positions for hours, her heart rate stopped being as consistent as it had and started to go up and down, but not to the point that there needed to be an emergency c-section. To be safe, however, they wanted to go ahead and get everything prepared for a c-section. I was beyond exhausted by this point, and my only thought was that I was ready to hold my baby and I wanted to do whatever they thought was best for baby Reese.
In the operating room there were a lot of people being that MUSC is a teaching hospital, and besides being very exhausted and also worrying that I was still able to move my legs, I was feeling okay about everything. While everyone was getting prepped for the surgery, the anesthesiologist was working towards numbing me a little more being that I was still able to move my legs. When they did a test to see if I could feel sharp pain on my abdomen I couldn’t feel pain, but I could feel something moving across my lower abdomen. They reassured me that this was somewhat normal with an epidural vs a spinal, but that I should not feel any pain. After administering the extra drugs, I started shivering uncontrollably, but still felt okay and very much awake. They let me know that shivering like this is nothing to worry about and they see it all the time.
Shortly after 4am, they brought Todd in and had him sitting my by head just like they did in my two prior c-sections. After ten minutes or so passed, I looked at Todd and said, “I feel like something isn’t right.” At this point, we asked them if everything was okay and how much longer before they would be getting our baby out. A doctor, whom I can’t see because of the curtain, says everything is fine and that they are just working through a lot of scar tissue. Shortly after that I hear another doctor say in a very low whisper, “Go ahead and call trauma.”
At this point, I still remained somewhat calm, but I asked them why they are calling trauma. At first, I think to try and keep me calm they say, “Oh, we were talking about something else.” They tried to assure me everything was still fine, but I knew they were absolutely talking about me because I could feel several hands holding my incision together. We had been in there for over 30 minutes at this time and when I told them I could feel them holding it together, a doctor came from behind the curtain and said, “Caycee, we did call trauma, but stay calm because everything is going to be fine.” She quickly explained that a lot of my organs had basically fused together because there was so much scar tissue, and that they needed the trauma surgeon that was more familiar with handling a situation like this to come in. They assured me that she would be able to get baby Reese out in no time.
At this point, I remember hearing a lot of people going on and on about how good this surgeon was, and how excited they were to see her work. After about ten or fifteen minutes went by, she came in and immediately got to work. I could smell what I thought smelled like something burning, but at the time I was only feeling a lot of pressure and tugging. Another 15 or so minutes go by, and I can start to feel actual pain and a burning sensation that is extremely painful. Then, I hear the doctors and the trauma surgeon having a disagreement over what is my uterus or my bowel. I let them know I can feel burning and pain, and the obgyn comes to our side of the curtain and let’s me know that the trauma surgeon has decided that they’re going to need to do a vertical incision because there is not enough room to get the baby out through the horizontal incision.
After finding out the news that I’ll now have two incisions, I hear the trauma surgeon request that they call the head of trauma to come in and that they need to put me to sleep immediately. At this point, they ask Todd to leave the operating room being that they need to put me to sleep. I look at Todd and see his eyes watering up, and he leans over to kiss me while trying to hide the fearful look that’s come over him. I hear him ask if there is any way possible he could stay, and after hearing them tell him no, but that everything was going to be okay, I immediately became very upset and really scared.
I remember them placing a mask over my face and hearing an obgyn say that she’s not sure how the baby will tolerate the anesthesia. Being that I was still awake, when I heard this, I snatched the mask off and tell them to just strap me down more, and please go ahead and get my baby out. Apparently, with me being able to feel the pain my body was doing a lot of moving and jerking, making it harder to work. I also suggested while being scared, awake, and probably in shock that they give me nitrous oxide because I remembered reading that it was safe during a c-section. I also knew from my experiences at the dentist, that it would work to help me stop feeling pain. The anesthesiologist and the two interns laughed and said something to the nature of, “Wow, how did you know we could use that?” Then, they proceeded to tell me they had something better to use, and they let me know they would be giving me ketamine, and that things might get fuzzy.
Well boy did they get fuzzy. I am pretty sure I went into what is called the k-hole, and all I remember after that is going into another world. Sometime in between, through blurred vision I remember seeing them pull Reese out and them telling me that she was perfect and completely healthy. After that, I remember a doctor saying “Caycee, we’re going to put you to sleep now to close you up.”
I thought I should add that they immediately let Todd know that they weren’t able to get to my tubes through the scar tissue in order to tie them, but that I should not have any more babies and that Todd needed to get a vasectomy asap!