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This is where it started. It was actually all kind of surreal. Just a few hours earlier I was in a completely different situation. I was enduring contractions, squatting, pushing, it was almost time... It kind of urks me when I think about that, even now. It frustrates me beyond all levels on how everything got so screwed up but regardless, I was determined to make this a positve experience. I didn't want to ruin the birth of my son even though I was filled with anger, frustration, and all sorts of other negative thoughts. I had to put it to the side and focus on my baby. I was going to let the drugs do their job and enjoy the ride! This was a picture of Randy and I before we headed to the surgical part of the hospital. I was inmobile. An epidural is quite an amazing feeling. When they administer the medicine it is like a cool stream that trickles down the back of your spine. I remember when they gave it to me I thought they spilled some of it on my back and was freaking out (I really was very dramatic lol). The nurse assured me she didn't spill it and that, that is how it feels. Pretty cool if you ask me.

So, they wheeled me in and air lifted me to the metal table where I would be operated on...eeeekkk! If you want to know what happened read my birth story...it's all there. And this is where the fun begins....

Before the surgery I was ASSURED that I would get to be with my baby and husband after. They said we would both be in recovery and together no matter what. I got the doctor's word on this. I may have been high but that was something I wanted to make sure of. I wanted skin to skin contact after birth, I wanted the baby to have a chance to do the breast crawl, and I wanted to nurse my son. Yes, I had a c-section but I didn't want the other things that were important to my husband and I to be compromised. So, it was all set. Even though my dreams were shattered with surgery I would still get to do the other things.

So, when Clayton was born he did what most c-section babies do, but the hospital treats it like a HUGE emergency. Most c-section babies, when born, are not yet breathing or have a harder time because their lungs are squeezed (which squeezes out the water). So, they did an APGAR test and he scored a 4, which is really low. After giving him oxygen, though, they tested him again and he was a 9. The third test he was a 9 again. So, needless to say we had ourselves an 8 lb 6.5 oz beautiful, handsome, and HEALTHY baby boy!

They brought them to me and I layed him on my chest, which the nurses thought I was crazy because I made it bare so we could have skin on skin contact. It was the sweetest moment. I was crying because of the wave of joy that came over me and then my son did the most AMAZING thing...he started to crawl toward my breast. I watched videos on this practice and that the baby would automatically crawl to the nurse because they can smell the colostrum, and they will nurse all on their own. He was about 2 inches from my breast and was making the nursing movements with is mouth when all of a sudden the nurse took my son from me. She grabbed him and took him away. I was heartbroken. They took away the sweet time that can only be given to me once because it only happens ONCE. She didn't care. It wasn't important to her or her hospital she works for. They could spare 15 minutes from their time to allow my son to do the bonding that we needed. They took away my freedom as a mother. They treated me as though I knew nothing and just ended it all. I couldn't believe it! It was then that it hit me - they aren't there for my son and I, they were there to make money. As Clayton's mommy we needed this time to bond. It was bad enough that I was lying on this table, wide open, and numb, but they took away the one right and sweet thing that I could have shared. The breast crawl only happens once and it is something that is needed for the baby to bond with his mom. It may be silly to some but this is something that was important to me and they don't have to understand it but they should respect it because that is my right and freedom.

So, I figured I didn't get this and I'm going to try to stay calm even though all of the worst kind of emotions are going through my tired body. I am still going to get to spend time with my son and husband in recovery so it will be ok. As the nurse is wheeling my son away (ahh! I want to cry just imagining it.) she says, "Oh, and by the way, I will bring him to you in 4 hours after he has been monitored." WHAT?!?! My husband and I almost dropped dead. My husband turned on daddy radar. He saw what they did already and knew that they would do anything they wanted - especially if we were there to stop it. Our son would be treated as a number. (If you are a OB nurse by the way, I'm not saying this about you personally because I am sure you care for your patients. These particular nurses at this hospital, though, did not care. I witnessed it on more than one occasion). So, after a few seconds of talking and me sobbing my husband went with our son to be his protector. I was left by myself, on a metal sterile table, to be closed up and taken who knows where.

Why did this happen?

Well remember when I said Clayton's first score was a 4? Even though he was perfect just a few minutes later they wanted to monitor him to make sure he didn't die. My husband and I wouldn't do a good enough job. You can argue it but he was breathing. God did not create a baby that would die immediately unless it was immediately taken to a sterile environment and hooked up to a bagillion monitors. I saw him - he was very much alive and well. He was looking at me very intensly. We were staring in each other's eyes, he was alert, had a strong heart beat, and was breathing clearly and perfectly. There was nothing wrong with him.

He went to his side of the hospital in "recovery" and I was sent to a completely different part of a hospital (on a different floor) from him to recovery. For 4 hours I would not get to see my son and I would not get to see my husband. I would be alone and scared. I know it sounds silly but I was scared. I knew no one and was stuck. I couldn't move, literally, and had no clue what my son was doing or where he was. My husband wasn't there to give me kisses and hugs after the LOOOONGEST labor on Earth. I mean I went through an entire labor, naturally, and then pushed with an epidural, and then had major surgery! I couldn't have my son or the comfort that I really needed from my husband. The nurse the was assigned to me sure as heck wasn't going to give it to me, that's for sure. She was nice but she didn't know me. So I layed there for 4 hours. I could sleep but honestly didn't know if I could. I know it sounds silly but no one told me what the heck was going on. I didn't know where I was, how long I was there, or what was going to happen. 2 minutes is all I need to be caught up. If a nurse had even said, "Get some rest, go to sleep." it would have made all of the difference.

My husband on the other hand was with our son. After 4 hours of laying there and trying to raise my butt of the bed so I could get the heck out of here (that was the test they gave you to move you out of recovery) I finally demanded that I speak to my husband. This had gone on for too long. I needed him more than anything and I was not going to take no for an answer.

After an hour.... I finally heard his sweet voice on the other end of the line. It was the biggest relief on the entire Earth! He was relieved to talk to me also because he had a lot to say.

He told me about how when Clayton was in his separate recovery there came out with a bottle of formula. We are nursing. We didn't want formula in his body. I understand some people do formula but I didn't want it - ever. That was something that was important to both my husband and me. Clayton needed to be nursed by ME! Randy told them that he needed his mom to nurse him and that I was able to do it (I wasn't dead after all). They wouldn't have it. He was in his recovery and had to stay there. I was in my recovery and had to stay there. My husband asked them why we couldn't be in recovery TOGETHER. He said that that's not how they did it.

Side note: Why can't hospitals have c-section moms and their babies in the SAME recovery?! It just makes sense. Babies need their moms. Nurses of the babies and nurses of the moms can be in the same wing of the hospital that way the moms can nurse their babies.

This infuriated him. It is known that babies that are given a bottle are much harder to get to nurse than babies that aren't given a bottle. The nipple is different on a bottle than a mom. So, if this guy gave him a bottle I could NEVER nurse again. That would be another part of my relationship with Clayton that would go down the drain thanks to the fine establishment we were in (note the sarcasm). I was not happy and either was my husband. (See how they don't really cater to natural mommys? They don't cater to a mom's needs, they cater to them and their needs) So, my husband told him he is not giving him a bottle. So, they said they could give him food through a tube down his throat (ouch!). That just doesn't make sense. Why is that more of a sane choice than taking a completely healthy baby to his mom to nurse?! So, the doctor have him FORMULA ( :( ) through a tube down his throat and gave him more than he needed also. Colostrum is the first thing to come out of the mom at first. It is high calories and there isn't a high volume because the baby's stomach is the size of a pea. But, anyways, he was fed. The doctor didn't even think that being with his mom was more important and they couldn't figure out a way to get us together. So, Randy was Clayton's protector.

Finally, I lifted my butt up in a timely matter and could go and see my son and husband. Which coincidentally Clayton was released also. We finally got to see each other. Finally!

But, this wasn't the end of the hospital visit. Tomorrow, I will continue the last installment of my hospital experience.

:) Lauren
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This is where the nurses are giving Clayton oxygen just after birth.
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My first look at my beautiful baby boy! And not all of the nurses were robotic. This one was a nice one and there were a few others like my labor nurse. I practically asked her to live with me and be my surrogate sister! lol
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A healthy cone head boy! 8 lbs. 6.5 oz. His head was a cone from all of the pushing I did. He's a tough little guy!
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Clayton, all hooked up to monitors to make sure he didn't die. I didn't take this picture. This is when we were away from each other. My husband took it. See how awake he is?!
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The first time I saw him after birth. This was the sweetest moment of all. I was studying his face. (Can you see my hair?!?! This is what a 3 part labor does to it! It was a genuine rat's nest! ugh!)

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