"Really? On your right? Hmh. Let's try again."
The anesthesiologist assistant swapped with the nurse at my shoulders, followed by the resident. I begged her to take pressure off my shoulders in between the injections even though she was the lightest one by far. My shoulders were bruised.
More numbing shots followed, and then more epidural shots. At one point, he took a break to insert the spinal.
"THAT FEELS LIKE ELECTRICITY SHOOTING THROUGH THE ENTIRE RIGHT SIDE OF MY BODY."
"Oh, that's normal." So he did that twice. I grabbed the resident's scrub pants with my thumb and forefinger. I must have thought we were buddies.
Then he resumed poking me with the epidural. The anesthesiologist mentioned that I might have to do the surgery without an epidural, just the spinal, and that I could take other pain medication after the surgery. Finally he called in another anesthesiologist who put the epidural right in where it was supposed to go.
An hour and fifteen minutes had passed. I wondered whether Kevin was close enough that he could hear me yelp when they shocked me over and over and whether he was scared about what was going on. He told me later that he could hear me but someone from the room would periodically update him.
Right after the doctor made the first incision, they let Kevin into the room. I didn't feel anything so I spent the time thinking about how silly Kevin looked in his scrub hat, and hoping the baby had a big healthy scream when he came out. I heard him before I saw him. He gave a medium-loud complaint cry. When I saw him my first words were "He's awesome!"
My first view of James
Proving he has big healthy lungs
They took him after a moment or two to examine him in the nursery for 4 hours! I was going crazy! They sent me to the recovery room for 2 hours, where Kevin and my mother joined me, and eventually Kevin's mother too. We called James's uncles and great-grandparents. Then I encouraged the mothers to go visit James in the nursery, which I knew they were eager to do. They reported back that James was the largest baby in the nursery and that he was complaining about how hungry he was with a light cry and sucking on his fists. We were all smitten.