Friday, May 18, 2012

My Stupid Spine

I don't talk about my birth defect often because it really doesn't effect my daily life that much.  Well, it does, but it really doesn't bother me except for on two occassions:  1) when it bothers other people or 2) when I can't do what I want to do.

In my 33 years however, there has been little I've wanted to do that I couldn't do.  A few examples of things I can't do have included:  the hurdles (yeah who cares about that?), the splits (again, I don't care), and sitting Indian-Style (a bummer as a teacher, but I deal).  However, today I was made aware of my limitations.

I had an anesthesia consult for my upcoming C-Section with Dr. J.  Such consults aren't the norm, but after watching an A Baby Story episode a few months ago I asked my OB if I should get checked out beforehand to make sure my spine was long enough to handle the spinal block for the C-Section and she thought that would be a good idea.  Now Dr. J was great - very kind, knowledgable, and funny but he did not give me the news I wanted.  Long story short, I'm going to have to be put under general anesthesia for the C-Section. 

My spine ends at the end of the Lumbar Section/beginning of the Sacral section and the last two vertebraes are fused together.  He simply doesn't think he can get an epidural needle in there and this was after looking at old X-Rays and pushing on my spine for several minutes.  So, I'm left with three options:

1) Have an MRI to see for sure if there's enough space between my little vertebraes for the needle.  However, MRIs aren't recommended for preggo mamas as they can effect baby's hearing so that's out.  I'm simply not going to risk Hudson's ears.

2) Let him try to do the epidural anyway.  Of course, if he accidentally punctures my spinal cord .. well, that could lead to permanent neurological damage so that's out.   Yeah, paralysis doesn't sound fun to me.

3) Proceed with general anesthesia.  Looks like that's my option.

Mentally, I understand all this and know that it's just what it is and there's nothing to be done about it.  I know this is how C-Sections were done for years and though rare today, general anesthesia is still used when there is no time for an epidural.  But I am scared and bummed.

Scared because I've never had general anesthesia.  Well, I did have it when I was 6 months old, but that experience doesn't do me a lot of good now - haha.  I have no idea how I'll react, if I have any allergies, or the like. 

Bummed because I'll miss sweet Hudson's first moments.  I'll simply be unconscious and won't hear his first cry (yes, I know there will be plenty more to hear).  I'm bummed that because I'll be under, James won't be in the room therefore he'll miss Hudson's first moments.  This breaks my heart.

I know the Lord is using this to break my controlling nature.  Even if I can't be in control, I like to know what's going on at all times.  This however is forcing me to trust in the Lord and depend on his goodness and faithfulness and trust that I'll wake up to see my son and all will be well.

Please pray that I learn to trust Him. 

Though the mountains are shaken and the hills removed,
my unfailing love will not fail you, nor will my covenant of peace be removed,
says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10


  1. Melissa,

    My heart aches with your pain and disappointment. Praying for you,

  2. Melissa, I am very sorry for this news :( Make sure your hubby (or someone else) will be video taping this for you. And, on the other note: I just had my first experience with anesthesia. I would HIGHLY reccommend you ask them to give you something for nausea. I don't usually get queasy and rarely did even while pregnant, but even with multiple high doses of the stuff, I still thought I was going to toss my cookies :) Secondly, it's no big deal - I was scared like you wouldn't believe going into it, but the roughest part was being nauseated right after waking up. Don't be surprised if you are a bit shaky at first, don't be afraid to hold Hudson, but know you might need a little assistance upon first coming out of that haze of the medicine. If you are planning on bf Hudson, ask the doctor about when it is safe to do so (because it is good to start that as soon as possible to avoid painful engorgement). I know you have a wealth of information available to you from many close friends and family members - just giving my two cents since I just went through it and I ended up stopping bf around that time. You will be an amazing momma and I KNOW you CAN do this, and do it well :)