Day 0: Hello, baby!

My instructions are to call Labor & Delivery on December 29th at 9:30 am to check if they're running on time. I'm disappointed to learn that they are in fact running on time. I procrastinate getting ready by going around the house watering all the plants. When there are no more plants to water, I cry and cry. 

I don't want to go. I'm scared I'm about to meet a strange baby that I won't even like. I text my WhatsApp moms group and they give me the courage to get my shit together and get dressed.

We're late and there's no parking at L&D, so we drive around and around the parking structure. I hardly mind because I'm still hoping I'll just miss my c-section appointment and they'll send me home. They don't send me home.

The nurses are absolutely lovely. Everyone does their part to get the product down the assembly line. I kind of dissociate focusing on a red spot on the ceiling, trying to remember this gatha I learned in one of my books:

In, out
Deep, slow
Calm, ease
Smile, release
Present moment, wonderful moment

We get our "party hats" (hair nets) on, and I start getting wheeled through the corridors, into the elevator, and into what looks like a hallway full of walk-in freezers. In that hallway I think, I'm not anesthetized yet, I can still get up off this bed and run toward the exit in my hospital socks. Instead, I calmly say bye to Alex and give myself over to the team.

The OR is a well-oiled machine. There are two clocks: one showing time of day and one showing the time of the surgery. No time is wasted. There are many machines making different pitched beeping sounds. I wish I knew what the beeping meant but it's all very overwhelming.

The nice nurse named Candy (not totally sure on the name, but it's something like that) helps me get into position for my spinal block and the nice anesthesiologist does her part. My legs get heavy right away and two nurses help me swing them back over to the bed. I feel so tired, but I'm determined to stay awake. I chat with the anesthesiologist who is sitting right next to my head. I ask her why I'm sleepy and she says that she just made me comfortable and I'm probably tired. She says it's ok to sleep.

I hear Dr. Rose cheerfully say "Ready to meet your baby? Do we know who we're having?" No and no.

Alex finally comes in and I see his eyes darting around the room in a panic. I say, "Are you ok?" He stumbles over words. When we left for the hospital I was panicking and Alex was cool as a cucumber, squeezing my hand saying "Let's go meet our best friend." How the tables have turned. I don't know if my gatha has been very effective or if it's the drugs.

I feel a lot of pulling and tugging and the anesthesiologist peeks over the curtain and says "I see feet." A few minutes later I hear a kitten cry, just one cry. Is that... my baby? Then more crying, undeniably my baby this time. The anesthesiologist is talking about her lens setup for her upcoming safari trip. I smile and nod but I wish I could say, "Do you mind? I think I just heard my baby's first cry."

My one attempt at taking control over my c-section birth was requesting that Alex tell me whether it's a boy or girl instead of the doctor. They hold the baby for Alex to see, but his eyes are darting around and we're all waiting for the announcement. Finally he says, "It's a boy!" My heart sinks a little. I was thinking it was a girl because we cannot find a nice boy name.

They lower the curtain to show me and see the prettiest baby I've ever seen in my whole life. Big puppy paws and the pinkest, cutest face. I feel like I've known this baby my whole life. They take him away and I tell Alex to go with him. My mind is racing. Did this just happen? Finally they bring my baby to me and lay him on my chest. It's hard to keep my head lifted to see his tiny face. He is the softest thing I've ever touched. 

The nice nurse helps me make a boob sandwich and he latches on right away. I feel bad that there's nothing for the baby to eat, but the nurse says "No, look, he's getting colostrum." Sure enough, there's a creamy foam around his big mouth. Wowowow.

Rest of the day is a happy blur. I feel great. Pain level: 0. I tell friends to come visit and suddenly they're in the room with a custom mini bar basket with all my favorite snacks, 2 bananas, 2 apples, and kefir. I want to show everyone my stomach and incision.