Friday, November 4, 2011

I can’t sleep

5:30am rolls around and I wake up to Mason doing baby gymnastics in my womb.  It’s early, but I don’t mind.  Every movement is precious.  I rub my belly and talk to him, enjoying the quiet time together.

By 6:00am Mason has settled back to sleep, but I have given up on sleeping any more today.  My mind has wandered, as it so often does, to that time in the hospital.  Random things nag at me, circling in my head with no answers. 

I do not want to have a c-section and I think I’ve figured out why.  It is because my body will no longer be under my control.  I will, for a few hours at least, be unable to walk no matter how much I want to, due to an epidural.  I will be recovering from major surgery.  That one thing will keep me from my son’s side for hours and ultimately days, which is nearly unbearable.  I don’t want this experience of letting someone take my baby away to care for him without me.  In my other births things have always been different.  Before the baby is taken to the nursery I am brought a wheelchair.  I go with my baby.  I am there to touch them, comfort them, hold them, and talk to them.  Mason won’t have that.  I won’t have that. 

I will spend my son’s first night, and probably his first several nights, laying in a bed in another hospital alone.  I won’t be with him.  I won’t have my baby snuggled up next to me during the sweet, sleepless hours when we should be sleeping but are awake instead.  He won’t be alone.  His daddy will go with him, stay with him at Children’s Hospital, but my arms will be empty.  The doctors expect me to sit in that hospital for days with nothing to do and no baby beside me just so they can monitor my recovery from surgery.  I am going to go insane. 

There are all the questions about surgery, about how Mason will do, about how he’ll recover.  And again, I won’t be with him for the first few days.  I want to be with him.  I want to be the one to talk to him, to comfort him, to hold him.  I want to smell his newborn scent and touch his soft skin in wonder.  I want to take care of him, to have the nurses show me what to do to care for his incision.

Once I am finally released from my hospital, or more likely, when I can stand waiting no longer and I sign myself out against medical advice, it is the smaller details that spin in my head.  Where will I get food when I spend all my time by Mason’s bedside?  There will be no grocery shopping for me, not that I would be up to it anyway.  I will need to shower, to deal with postpartum bleeding (you still have that after a C-Section, right?), to sleep.  My only plan right now is to do those things when I absolutely have to and when my husband is there to stay beside Mason. 

Right now the hardest part is just the waiting, the questions spinning in my head with no answers.  Once again I have to take captive my thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5) and turn to God.  I have to trust Him.

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”
                                           -  D&C 6:36

  I pray.  I read my scriptures.  I feel the ‘peace which passeth understanding’ and I know that the most powerful being in the universe is mindful of me.  I know that God is with me, that He knows my thoughts, my desires, and that not only will He be with me, He will be with Mason, even when I cannot be.


  1. Dear Tristan,
    Having had 3 c-sections, I can tell you that you really do need to rest and let your body heal. When you attempt to stand up after your c-section you will feel like your guts are going to fall out onto the floor.

    With my first one, I thought I would never heal or feel better again, but then when I had my staples removed it was a huge relief and I felt much, much better.

    I was never the first to count toes and fingers and love on my babies, my husband was, and I gave him very explicit instructions to go with the baby and make sure everything was fine.

    Even though that will be hard for you, it will be a special time for your husband. He will feel torn between taking care of you and taking care of your sweet baby, but he will be your lifeline.

    Hugs to you Tristan, we will pray for your sweet family.

  2. I've had four c-sections, and although they were not pleasant by any means, my recovery was pretty quick. Yes, you do have to deal with post bleeding unfortunately. My suggestion would be to get moving as soon as you can. They had me up and walking a few hours after surgery. Although painful, moving helps a lot. Take it slow and steady but keep moving. For all four of my c-sections each doctor let me leave after two days. My recovery was great, and I DO NOT sleep well in hospitals, so they let me go. Talk to your doctor, they will listen to you. Not holding your baby right away is difficult, but thankfully your husband will be your lifeline to your sweet boy. Your family is in my prayers.

  3. You,Mason, and your family are in our family prayers.

  4. Oh Tristan - I can so relate to worrying over the smallest of details. I think you want to cling to some kind of routine and to everything that is familiar. Everything with Mason is an unknown, and I can only imagine how difficult that must to wonder about it all.

    Aren't you thankful for a God that promises to never leave us? And, thank God for your sweet husband.

  5. I felt the EXACT same way when my boys were in the NICU. I HATED the idea of having someone else care for my baby, no matter how qualified they were. I had to learn to relinquish my deep desire for control (wanting to be the one who answered his every cry) to my Heavenly Father. This was not easy and required a great deal of faith in my Heavenly Father. I learned that my children were His before they were ever mine. He will look out for your Mason. Your and your family are in our prayers.

  6. I'm also an emergency C-Section, babies in NICU veteran. I was also an awful patient. When I was up and around again, every moment that I wasn't in the NICU, I was thinking of them. I called every hour. I wish I could tell you "oh, don't worry, it will be easy!" but you already know better. What I can tell you is that you will all be loved and prayed for, every step of the way.
    If I can offer a tiny bit of advice - Tell people who ask "what can I do?" EXACTLY what they can do, such as, "Please bring me some clean clothes so I can shower here." (most high risk NICUs have parent showers) or "Please bring me so food so I can eat in the parent lounge." "I haven't been grocery shopping, would you bring some milk and bread by the house?" That sort of thing. When you are away from the hospital sleeping, have your husband, or somebody, text photos and updates.

  7. I agree with Catherine sure to ask for help (I can help you with ANY of those things she mentioned!!!) There are many people around you eager to help, so please let us.
    Love you,
    Jenn W.

  8. Tristan I feel your pain and my heart breaks for you. I went through the same questions and fears during pregnancy. Hugs to you sweet Momma! I continue to pray for sweet Mason often!

  9. Tristan, I know I am late reading this.... I do understand the not being with the baby the first night, as my oldest was whisked to the NICU moments after being born (not a C-section) and to top it off, the NICU was under quarantine so the visits were limited with us very suited up and face masks and everything....

    Take the help you get, take the rest you get, and know that things will work out, as hard as it will be.

  10. That was why I opted to give birth in the labor and delivery unit at CHOP. It made things so much easier in the first few days post birth for me and my husband Connor. Plus after he and Jonathon were born, I got to hold them and Connor took photos. I loved that I got to spend some time with Noah before and after his back closure operation. I would have hated it if Noah had to be taken to another Children's Hospital alone.

    1. It is nice you had that option Holly. That is not an option here in Ohio, the Children's Hospitals do NOT have a labor and delivery unit. I wrote this post 3 years ago and in the end everything worked out. It was still very different than my previous 6 births had been, and I left my own hospital much earlier than typical to go to be with my son. Daddy was with him the entire time.
      I have since gone on to have a VBAC for my 8th child as well. What seemed like such a huge deal at the time, was, and it wasn't. With the perspective of several years with my son I never think about the separation at birth anymore. So we got through it. :)


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