Rolling off to the operating room was just like you see in the movies......rows of florescent lights flying by at super speed. When we got to the operating room doors they wouldn't let Eric in with me. He had to go put scrubs on and I had to get my epidural. Actually, I think it was a spinal but I couldn't tell you for sure. What I can tell you is how completely horrific the experience was for me. Everyone was in a hurry, hence the emergency c-section thing. The anesthesiologist came to talk (ramble) to me about all the bad things that could happen. He was talking so fast but I just can't forget his 'bad things' speech. "Stroke, heart attack, bad things all bad things. Paralysis, blindness, loss of feeling in your pinky toe, bad things all bad very very bad." Ok great, where do I sign? Signed the paper, leaned over onto a nurses shoulders and they gave me a deadening shot so that I wouldn't feel the 10 foot long needle stab my back. Hmmmm....it didn't work. I about flew off the table, the lady asked me "where are you feeling the pain." Are you kidding me? Right where the needle is stabbing my back! So they gave me another shot to numb the area. Again, it didn't work. I'm crying so hard by this point while trying to stay as still as possible. Remembering the paralysis statement. So another shot was given. Still didn't work and this time when they pushed the needle in further my right leg kicked. Yep, kicked....on it's own.... You know that feeling when you hit your 'funny' bone, that tingly hurt. That's exactly what I felt running down the right side of my body. At this point I am yelling at the lady to stop, please stop. All the "Bad Things" that the lovely anesthesiologist mentioned earlier went rushing through my head. And then they were done, I felt everything, but they were done, and I was numb from my chest down. I see Dr. Papa, she tells me everything is going to be ok. Eric comes into the room and they got started. It happened very fast, the whole time a nurse is pumping me with medicines. I started having anxiety and it was hard for me to breathe. An oxygen mask was waved in front of my head. And then we heard it.....at 2:25pm, August 15th, two cries, just two, but the most beautiful cries you have ever heard. Strong cries. By the way, the crying never stopped for me and it just became a river after I heard those cries. I asked "What is it" Girl or Boy? I heard someone say we didn't even look and then another person across the room said "It's a Girl." A Girl, Caleigh Amelia Gray. Eric and I just looked at each other and smiled. He went over to see about her, but there was too much going on to see. He came back over to me reporting that she was beautiful. Of course she was! They quickly rolled our newly born daughter by my head, stopped for 2 seconds and then took her over to the NICU. My delivery wasn't complete. Due to my placenta developing an accessory lobe during pregnancy, it was a little more difficult to get it all out. There was a lot of pressure on my chest, A Lot. Finally they got it out. Eric went to be with Caleigh. They rolled me to recovery where family started coming in to visit. Along with family, was our surgeon Dr. Vaughan which at this point we completely consider this man our family, a true angel. He came to talk to me about Caleigh's first surgery. I don't remember the details and the next few hours we're a fuzzy blur. All but the need to see my daughter. I remember fighting sleep, not wanting pain meds because it would make me sleep. I convinced my nurse not to wait on the morphine pump to come up from the pharmacy before she took me down to the NICU to see Caleigh. "Are you sure?" Uh yeah! So I was rolled down to the NICU (aka home away from home) right outside 4A where I waited and waited and waited......morphine was looking pretty good right about now......but I had to see Caleigh before her surgery. Finally they rolled her out to see me on their way to Cook's. She was beautiful and so so tiny (2lbs 2 oz. to be exact). My heart literally melted right then and there. She looked so fragile, the nurse asked if I wanted to touch her. That's when this famous photo was taken. The very first time I touched my daughter's hand. It was brief and dream like. She was rolled away, I was rolled the other way back to recovery and then back to my room on the third floor. The floor where they keep the women without their babies. Eric went to the surgery waiting area at Cook's. He came back with tells of Caleigh's strength and beauty. Eric was beaming...he was a daddy for the first time. No matter the circumstances you can't change that. As soon as I knew Caleigh was ok and out of surgery, I gave in and let the medicine take over. I slept on and off. I was told that I had to lay flat for 12 hours before I could get up. So at 2am I called our nurse to help us go down to the NICU. I honestly don't remember a lot about that visit. I just knew that I needed to see my baby and I had to wait 12 hrs to do that. We took this photo and that's all I can recall. Darn drugs... The next few days were filled with more surgeries for Caleigh and more worry for us. I eventually had to say no to the pain meds because I just couldn't function and I wanted to be more coherent for the doctors that I was talking to. For the first week after having Caleigh, I would cry everyday wanting her back in my stomach. I missed her being there. I was supposed to keep her safe inside me but instead she was taken from me to soon. It was and still is devastating. The day came that I was discharged from the hospital. Eric and I cried the whole day. We went to see Caleigh that morning, and after we loaded the car we went back in to see her again. We went home and later that night we went to see her once more. Leaving Caleigh at the hospital that day was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
So there you have it, Caleigh's Birth Story, the week long version. The rest is history and conveniently located in the archives section of this blog starting with day one.