Completely unprepared for what was going to follow, I changed myself to scrubs as we had mentioned in the birthing plan that I would want to be in the operation theater in case your Mom wanted to undergo C section to deliver you. I did not have the faintest clue on what to expect.
I followed the surgery team, with your Mom on the stretcher screaming in agony from the pain of the contractions. By now, she was not breathing together with me as I had lost steam and was not as energetic as I was a few hours ago. Thankfully, there was a medical student who was attending his first delivery, and your Mom, ordered him to breathe together with her.
As we entered the surgical procedure room, one of the nurses politely asked me to wait outside and the entire team went in. There I was, sitting in front of the door, not knowing why I was asked to sit here or when I would be asked to come in. I could faintly her your Mom, screaming, “Please help………..o Boy! please…..”. This is when imagination begins to fill in the details of what might be — and usually, it is full of bad case scenarios.
With no watch nearby and having completely lost the sense of time, it felt like eternity. I did not know if you were already born or if your mom was fine. Thankfully, there was another medical student who passed by and I asked him the reason for making me sit outside. He told me that your Mom was being prepped with epidural and I would be called in once she is ready!
I did not know that they used epidurals for C section deliveries rather than general anesthetia. Soon enough, the operation room doors opened and I was told by someone who I presumed to be a medical student that your Mom wanted me by her side. And so, they had a stool for me to sit by her side.
There she was motionless, with some gauze cloth inserted within her mouth, with multiple lines of IV fluids flowing through. I was still trying to process the situation and did not know what to make of it. My mind was racing with thoughts : Was your Mom fine? Why was she motionless after requesting me to be by her side? Was she even alive? What were so many people doing around her?
I slowly take my hand and place it on top of your Mom’s and rub it a bit gently. And then , she responded by looking at me! This was reassuring – she was ALIVE!! Now, I summon some more courage and stand up and look at the operation table.
There was the bloodied upper half of your Mom, with many of her organs protuding out and there you were in a dark grey color, like a doll! One of them, picked you out of your Mom’s belly and you made no noise at all!!! Immediately, I look at my watch to note down the time. All of this again set off another chain of negative thoughts, WERE U ALIVE?? From what I knew, every baby cries as soon as it is born. But here you were so silent that your silence was deafening…….
All my fears were allayed within moments, when they lay you out on a table after clearing away all the birth fluids. You were giving out a raucous cry and the nurses were clearing out fluids from your body. You had fluids inside your nostrils and there were sucking out more fluids from inside of you. Your cry was not letting up and one of the nurses remarked saying that you will have good lungs!
We had planned everything from the swaddle blanket to the cap that you would wear and had gotten them in a case. Also, we had a camera to take the first pictures of you. But, now inside the operation room nothing was allowed and even if it was, all the stuff was with your grandma, who was at the labor room. I quickly asked around to see if anyone had a videophone. It turned out that the medical student who was helping your Mom, had an an iPhone and was willing to spare it. I took what I thought was a picture of you and what turned out to be a video.
By now, the nurses swaddle you up nice and snug in their blanket and let me have you. I take more pictures of you and immediately start checking out your features – is the head a bit too long? Is it really round? Has it been stretched awkwardly from that hour or so of aborted pushing? Were you really dark but looking fair under the bright lights of the operation room? Many a questions were racing through.
Your cry was still not letting up. You were clearly in distress. As I gathered myself and thought about what to do next – someone told me that I could lay you up skin to skin with your Mom on what ever portion of her upper body that was accessible. So I took you to your Mom and she looked at me and asked me, “Why is he crying so much?”. I certainly had no answer to that question.
As I laid you fully on her body, she started to shed tears profusely and said, “Sorry (DS)!”. These were her first words to you. This was the most tender moment of the whole birthing process. I held her hands firmly and told her that it is okay. But she was unable to stop. We connect together as a family.
After about 10-15min with your mom, you were given back to me. They wanted to stitch your Mom up and I hear that there is some issue putting all the organs back. I kept holding you gently hoping that your cry would stop in a while. But you kept going strong.
Slowly, we were ready to be moved to the recovery room. As we got to the recovery room, where they monitored your Mom for an hour or so, to have a close eye on her vitals, the nurse assigned began the process of the bonding you with your Mom. Word came that your grandma has been moved with our belongings to different room than where we had checked in.
By now, I am thoroughly exhausted and need a break, may be a good sleep. As I tried to make my way to our room and get your grandma to the recovery room, she appeared on her own all of a sudden. The nurse wanted to swaddle you and I thought that it was time to get our swaddle cloth – the organic cotton one. So I volunteered to go upto our room and get the case containing your materials.
But by the time I came back, the nurse had already swaddled you. Then, your grandma told me about my laptop being there in our room and that we needed to secure it. So, I again went to the room to secure the laptop and also announce to the world, your arrival.
It must have been about 5 min after I left when I got a phone call informing me that your grandma passed out and that your Mom wanted me to accompany your grandma to the Emergency Room! This was truly unbelievable. I had just seen her and she looked fine. That she passed out was a shocker.
So, I rushed back to the recovery room and there was a lot of commotion. Your grandma was being surrounded by nurses and very soon, the ER personnel were in to take your grandma off in a stretcher. Your grandma kept arguing with the nurses and ER personnel on how healthy she was and that she needed not be checked at all. This went on for about 15 min and finally the ER personnel told her that it is required on their part to admit her at the ER, however, she can talk to the attending physician at ER and get out if he agreed.
We head to the ER. After about 30 min, the attending physician arrives. Your grandma and the attending physician, who was an extremely kind and polite gentleman, discussed if any tests need to be done. After about another 20 min. of negotiations, she agreed to take an EKG to rule out any immediate problems, while the doctor wanted to monitor her for about 24 hours.
The EKG test turned out to be negative, and I decided to return to the room as your grandma was being monitored continuously for the next 30-45 min.
Guess what? As soon as I entered the room, where you and Mom were, you threw up with some green particles in your vomit. Immediately, the nurse called up the pediatric team(of residents) and they arrived promptly to tell me that you needed to be X-rayed immediately for a condition called Volvulus!!! I later found out that this is a condition that occurs in 1 in 5000 newborns. Essentially, they wanted to screen you for a condition that had a very low probability of occurrence.
The lead resident turns out to be of Indian origin who told me that this procedure cannot wait. I asked her if she can postpone this for a few more hours to see if you indeed kept vomiting green stuff. And she refused flatly saying that this type of vomit occurred in children with malformed intestines and upon confirmation with the X rays, they would call the pediatric surgery team.
It was now becoming too much for me to take. I began running from pillar to post asking every nurse and doctor in the pediatric division about the differential diagnosis for green vomit. Someone told me that you had swallowed Meconium and all of this could be the Meconium! But the pediatric team was in no mood to postpone the X rays.
By now, there was someone from the Pediatric intensive care to get you to the X ray lab. I accompany you there to the X ray room and ask the doctors there, what percentage of green vomit throwing newborns end up with malformed intestine, and they say they have no records!! So, I have no way to stop this test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, right in front of my eyes, they fed you with contrast dyes and get your X rayed. A series of three X ray photos were taken and the lady doctor who lead this effort tells me that everything looks fine and you may not need Barium contrast test (!!!), while she needed to confirm that with the pediatric team.
By now, it was well past midday and I was thoroughly exhausted and at the same time thankful that you were fine. Also, I was glad that they were not going to be doing more tests on you.
The Neonatal ICU wanted to have you in their nursery and I had work with them to let you come with me to our room. Little did I know that they wanted to have you in their nursery to repeat one more test!! But for now, I tell them that I was with you for the X ray tests and spoke with the radiologist and the results were negative. They let me leave with you.
So, I am back to our room and you continue to vomit GREEN!