The wait was finally over. I had to be at the hospital at 5:30am, two hours before the actual surgery. When I woke up, everything inside of me did NOT want to go through with this.
I was scared. I was scared of it hurting, scared of infection, scared of something going wrong. It’s funny now, but I had even given my hubby important directions in case I didn’t make it! Silly me.
I had to shower that morning. I had to use only plain soap, and no body products like lotion, etc. This was because they were going to clean my stomach before the surgery, and if there are lotions or sticky products on your skin, they can’t fully remove them to clean the skin. No big deal. I had some great plain castile soap I bought off of eBay.
They also said no shaving. The reason for that is they didn’t want any nicks or cuts in the skin, to lessen the chance of infection. Again, no problem.
So I woke up around 3:30 in the morning. I breastfed my daughter (6 months old) as much milk as she would take. Took my shower, tried to come back and see if she would take any more milk. She wanted nothing to do with me, haha. So my mother-in-law, who drove thirteen hours and two states’ distance to come help (God bless her!) and I got into her car and began the forty-five-minute drive to the hospital.
The drive to the hospital was really special to me. As we were driving, we saw a huge shooting star shimmer across the sky.
That did it! That was God telling me everything was going to be okay. He never leaves or forsakes us! You see, when my husband and I were headed on the very same road early on the morning I gave birth to my daughter, the exact same thing happened. What a beautiful confirmation from my very Big God. Bigger than all my problems, bigger than all my worries. If you’re reading this because you are going to undergo surgery, please know that there is a really loving God who is watching over you every second. Even when it’s hard, trust in Him! 🙂
At the Hospital
We arrived at the hospital. Even though it was 5am, there were already so many people there getting ready to have surgery. I had to fill out some paperwork and then they told me to wait outside the office in the hallway, for the golf cart to give us a ride through the hospital to the pre-surgery area.
Golf cart huh. Okay!
So I got to check that off the bucket list –
ride through hospital full speed in golf cart. Heh. We arrived and they started prepping me. Somehow, I ended up in a nice private room with doors. Everyone else had a curtain separating them from the others. It turns out that was a good thing…
As the nurse was asking me routine questions, it dawned on me that my milk might start to drop. And of course, it did just a few minutes later. I was used to feeding my daughter at this hour and my body was just doing its normal thing.
This left me with visions of me passed out on the operating table, milk spraying all over the place. I had to laugh! I asked the nurse if they had a breast pump I could use. Based on the look on her face, I could tell that was a new one for her. We (the nurse, my mother-in-law, and I) all got great pleasure from seeing the annoyed, embarrassed look on the male nurse’s face who was sent to retrieve the breast pump. Haha! I needed a laugh to calm my nerves. I’m sure he appreciated that, but man it was classic.
I was so pumped (yes, pun intended) about this breast pump. It was a manual Medela breast pump, all sealed and never opened, and they were going to give it to me! Woohoo, free stuff! After I spent ten minutes trying to figure out how to put that silly thing together, I put it to work and I LOVED it! Here’s the link on Amazon if you’re curious: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. I have owned two electric breast pumps and that little guy was by far the easiest, most comfortable, quietest, BEST one I’ve used. I recommend it. Very inexpensive too. It was a big relief to get to pump.
My Surgeon Arrives on the Scene
Anywho, the anesthesiologist came in and started to put the IV in my wrist. This is where if you’re breastfeeding, you need to let them know so that they can give you medication that will not enter your milk and will be safe for baby. I am pretty sure they just gave me the routine meds for a C-section.
Finally, after the anesthesiologist inserted my IV, the surgeon came in, just a few minutes before the surgery. I asked her again what she was going to be doing for my surgery. She explained that she was going to make a small incision in my belly button, slip the mesh in and repair the hernias.
Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Again? Did she really forget again what kind of surgery this was?! I stopped her and asked (I was getting used to this by now), I thought we were going to sew my stomach muscles together and put mesh over them?
She stopped and said, Are you sure you want to do that? I must have had the most dumbfounded look across my face. She didn’t wait for my reply. I’m sure she could tell. I mean, that is the whole reason I was going through with this stupid surgery! She might have been a little embarrassed, too, because the anesthesiologist, nurse, and my mother-in-law were watching the whole thing.
So she changed tunes. After again examining my diastasis recti, she explained that she would make the incision right down my stomach, insert the mesh, sew my stomach muscles back together, and repair the two hernias. That’s better!
Moral of the story, friends, is make sure you make it clear what you want from your surgeon! What if I had never asked her what she was going to do? I shudder at the thought of returning from the hospital to find out, after all that, that she didn’t even do what I wanted!
Ready to Roll
Now that we were clear, they rolled me into the operating room. My MIL was going to be in the surgery waiting room. The anesthesiologist gave me something that relaxed me a little, made me a little dizzy. They positioned me in the room, and that is the last I can recall.
Anesthesia is funny. It’s like dreaming to me. Have you ever woken up out of a dream and thought, I know I was just dreaming, but I can’t seem to remember my dream… That’s exactly what I felt like.
I was aware of time passing. I even seem to remember a blue sky, like from a dream. Does anyone know if we dream during anesthesia? I am a strong dreamer and I really feel like I did. I can’t seem to remember any more than that, though….
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