We arrived before 6 o'clock in the morningplanned C-sections are done early in the day, partially for the comfort of the mother, who isn't allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before.
I was so excited to be done with my pregnancy and eager to meet my baby that I drove myself to the hospital, with my husband in the passenger seat.
This time I wasn't scared. The thought of having my abdomen opened up and my unborn baby lifted from me didn't frighten me at all. I felt her kicking that morning, and I knew this fetus, who was misdiagnosed as a miscarriage at six weeks, whom we might have lost when I leaked fluid at 18 weeks, who successfully sailed through my orthopedic surgeries, and who dutifully fattened us both up throughout my third trimester, was finally ready to look me in the eyes.
Without the groaning and tears that characterized the last time I gave birth at this hospital (an emergency C-section after a womb infection endangered my daughter's life, as well as mine), I checked in clearheaded, but hungry.
The check-in process went along with only one hitch: Unfortunately, the nurse who started my IV wasn't familiar with the tenolysis procedure I'd undergone earlier this year. She attempted to insert the needle directly over the healing tendons in my wrist, and it took me several minutes to stop crying from the excruciating pain.
After a few more tries, we finally had an IV drip ready to go in my left hand, and I strolled directly into the operating room. I could hear my OB having a pre-surgical powwow with the medical team. "We are gathered here this morning," he said, sounding ministerial, "to perform a cesarean section on Erica Kain, a 37-year-old woman and mother of two." He continued to calmly dole out instructions to the team while I filled out paperwork.