Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Planner

I had it all planned out.

I got up that morning and thought, “I’ll have my baby in 2 days.” Such a strange feeling to know when you will deliver. My baby was breech so I had a scheduled C-section for that Saturday. The Fam all had their plane tickets. It was all set up. I would work that day, take my CREOG’s the next day, and have our little Genius on Saturday. Then we would discover whether it was a boy or girl. BTW, not finding out the sex of the baby is so much fun... it drives your family CRAZY!

I had clinic that morning and 2 abdominal hysterectomies that afternoon. I remember the first hyst I did that day. She had fat tubes. I'll never forget her tubes. She was a heavier lady, though I’ve certainly operated on much larger women. But she had a thick layer of fat between the leafs of her broad ligament and fat hanging off her tubes. I’ve never seen that before. Anyway it made the case particularly tough.

It was during the first case that the headache started. The scotoma appeared during the second. I stopped by triage before leaving and my blood pressure was through the roof. The urine dip (yes, I dipped my own urine) was a pretty shade a purple protein. Luckily, one of my fellow residents and close friends observed these things and called my doctor. I had no insight. Intellectually I realized I had pre-eclampsia, but it didn’t compute emotionally. It was strange. I was flabbergasted that things would happen out of order. My baby was to be born on Saturday. I realized I was terrified of the “unknown” despite doing 100’s of c-sections my self. Several blubbering phone calls later, they set me up for delivery. The spinal hurt like hell, but my husband and 4 friends who were fellow residents were there to support me. The whole room cheered when he was born. “It’s a boy” some one said. They announced it over the loud speaker on L&D, too. I remember them holding him up over the blue sheet and I thought they should really get him to the warmer. Myself, my husband and my friends (who we’re running various videos cameras) we’re all crying and cheering. It was an amazing day. I had practically lived at this hospital for 3 years, so it was awesome to have my baby among family.

The next day was exhausting, my parents arrived, I was on Magnesium and Demerol. I still managed to nurse and stick with it for 6 months. Half the hospital came by to see me. My nurse finally put up a sign and kicked everyone out (including my mom) so I could get some rest. She’s my hero forever.

Anytime I do a primary c-section, I try to tell a shortened version of this story to my patients. It’s OK to be scared and to cry. Things don’t always go like you planned.


  1. Yikes! That is one scary story. Glad all turned out OK.

  2. So glad things turned out. We both have beautiful boys, don't we? On a personal note, I appreciate your recent email. :)

  3. Great picture! Aren't boys wonderful?! MWAS

  4. I, too, was pre-eclamptic and had a failure to identify what was happening...except my son was born almost 6 weeks early due to a failed NST followed by a failed stress test - talk about surprised! Now, almost 13 years later, son remains healthy and happy. Congrats!

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  6. There are many cases where a c-section is necessary and life saving, this happened to be one. But we have to look at the c-section rates as a whole, and the serious trauma some women go through because of their c-section.


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