William Rex Begley

On Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m., Michael and I said our goodbyes to Nana, Finn and Sam and went to Sumner Regional Hospital.

We were instructed to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. to start prepping for Will's birth.  I was adamant that we arrive on time so I refused to let Michael stop at the Sonic before going to the hospital.

Once there we waited in the lobby to be registered.  Gran and Pa were already there so they waited with us.  After registration Michael and I went back to a labor a delivery room to start the process. First they started an IV and then hooked me up to the fetal monitor to track Will's heartbeat.  My procedure was supposed to be the second one of the day, but since the person scheduled first was late we got their spot! See, that refusal to stop at Sonic paid off.

Next the anesthesiologist came in and explained the spinal block - she made it sound a lot worse than it really was.  Then Dr. Holt came in and explained the "c-section" process.  She told me that I wouldn't feel any pain, but that I would feel pressure and tugging.  She also explained that I would feel the breath get knocked out of me when they go in and get the baby. Then she left the room and they rolled me into the operating room.

At this point I was pretty nervous.  I had never had a c-section before and I was scared of the unknown.  Michael was not allowed to go into the operating room until I was fully prepped.  So as I was leaving the labor and delivery room he gave me a kiss.

The operating room was not what I expected.  It was so bright and full of people.  I bet there were 10 people other my doctor in the room.  They scooted me off the bed and put me on the operating table.  Then they gave me the spinal.  It was a little uncomfortable, but not bad at all.  I immediately started going numb from the rib cage down to my toes.  It was great.  I remember them laying me down on my back and I remember feeling so relaxed. I remember one of the nursing saying, "look, she's so happy - she is smiling."  It felt great until my blood pressure went down and I started to throw up.  They were able to raise it enough to stop the nausea pretty quickly and thankfully I didn't throw up. The other weird thing about the spinal was at times I felt like I couldn't breathe. Because I was so numb, I couldn't take a deep breath and it kind of felt like I was trying to breathe with a ton of bricks on my chest.  It was kind of a scary sensation.

Next they put up a big blue sheet and let Michael come back.  He stayed next to my head and held my hand through the procedure.  I don't remember much from this point on.  I do remember feeling like someone knocked the breath out me (this must have been when they took Will out). Then Dr. Holt showed me Will.  He was still covered in blood and birthing cream (or whatever they call it).  The next thing I remember was seeing him cleaned and swaddled.  She let us look at him for a minute before he was shipped off to the pediatrician.  Since he was 36 weeks, the pediatrician came to look at his lungs.

Then they sewed me up - I guess.  I don't really remember.  When it was all done I remember thinking "we're done already."  I could have been in there for 20 minutes or 3 hours - I have no idea. Then they took me back to recover in the labor and delivery room.  At some point they brought Will back.

Gran and Pa came back to see us and hold Will.  When mom arrived with Finn and Sam, we had the boys come back.  I had planned to have a few minutes with just the five of us.  But to be honest, I really don't remember that much. I remember them coming in and looking in on Will, but I don't have any specific memories (which is kind of a bummer). Next Mom, Dad and Gina came back. Again, much of this was a fog.

After recovering for a few minutes they took me to my room.  I was instructed that I had to lay on my back for at least two hours to avoid getting a headache - so I did.  Once I was finally allowed to sit up I couldn't get out of bed because I was still hooked up to the IV and the catheter.  I think I remember having mom, dad, Gina, Gran, Pa and the boys back in the room.  Then I think they all went to eat lunch.  Mom stayed with me in the room.  Once they were finished eating Dad and Gina came back to the room for a few minutes before going home.

Next James and Chelsea came by to visit. Again, I remember that they came by - but I don't remember anything else. It think it was at this point that the breastfeeding coach came in a helped me with Will.  Apparently premature babies haven't developed their suckling instinct.  So she helped me teach him how to suckle.  She had me take his clothes off and his skin touching my skin.  Then took me through a few steps to get him to latch on and suck.  I had a really hard time following instructions, because I still a little loopy and because I had to keep scratching my face.  The morphine they gave me in the spinal made me itch all over for hours.  I clawed at my face the rest of the night.  It was pretty uncomfortable.

Sam checking on me. 

Next Gran, Pa and the boys came back to see Will.  At some point that evening everyone left. Michael took the boys home and Will and I settled in for the evening.  I held him and fed him until it was time for bed and I sent him to the nursery.  Apparently, in my loopy state - I took a few selfies. They were awful.

The first picture that I took of Will during one of my late night feedings. 

They brought Will to me two times during the night.  It took me about an hour to get him fed both times, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was quiet and I was able to spend some really good time with him.  Otherwise, the sleeping was a little uncomfortable.  I was still attached to the IV, I had pressure cuffs around both of my calves, I was catheterized and I itching uncontrollably.  I was so thankful that I happened to grab my back-scratcher because it came in really handy.

The next morning they unhooked me from everything and I was able to get out of bed.  They told me that I couldn't shower until I had a nurse to help me to the shower.  I didn't need the nurse, but they walked me to the shower anyway.  It was wonderful to get clean!  My incision hurt a little bit, but otherwise I felt really good.

Michael got the hospital around 9:00 that morning after taking the boys to school.  We sat around with Will for a few hours.  Then our friend Matt came.  During Matt's visit I started to get a sharp pain in my back and neck.  It got progressively worse as the day went on.  Around lunch time it got so bad that I started to lose feeling in my arms and hands.  I mentioned it to the nurse and they gave me a muscle relaxer.

At 3:00 Michael left to pick the boys up from school.  I was hurting really bad and I knew that since my hands and arms were numb I couldn't pick Will up - so I put him in bed with me.  This way I could feed and hold him until Michael got back. Plus I felt better when I was laying down.  At some point I must have fallen asleep.  The nurse came in and scolded me about sleeping with Will in the bed with me. I tried to explain to her that I was afraid to pick him up because the pain and numbness, but she wasn't having any part of it.  After she left I sat alone in my room and cried.  I was hurting really badly), sad (that I couldn't take care of Will) and embarrassed that the nurse got on to me.  About the time I really started crying Lori from my office came in.  I was so embarrassed that she saw me cry.  She was so sweet though. She hugged me and gave me a gift for Will.  The nurses came back in, saw that I was crying and called anesthesia.  I was told that someone from that department would come to see me later that evening.

Then Michael and the boys got back.  I was so miserable.  I have never felt such horrible pain in my entire life - including labor.  The boys were excited to me see, but all I could do was lay down.  Michael called Deniece and asked if the boys could spend the night with her so that he could stay and take care of me.  As we were waiting for Deniece to arrive, Elena and Amanda came back to see me.  I was so glad they had stopped by, but I could barely talk I was in so much pain.

Around 10:00 that night, one of the anesthesiologist came to see me.  He told me that what I had was called a "spinal headache" caused from the spinal block that I had the day before.  Basically, when the needle went into my spine it pierced the dura and caused spinal fluid to leak. It isn't dangerous, but causes tremendous amounts of pain. He told me that the pain could last between 5 to 10 days - this is the amount of time the spine needs to heal up the hole.  He told me that if I still felt this bad the following day he would do a "blood patch."  This is a procedure where they give me an epidural, but instead of squirting medicine in my spinal chord they squirt my own blood. The idea is that the blood would clot and plug the hole.

That night was pretty rough.  Michael stayed with me the whole night.  He sat upright in a chair from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. watching boring television and playing video games on his phone.  I felt so bad for him.  The nurses brought Will to me for his feedings, but I didn't see very much of him.

The next morning I opted to do the blood patch.  It was pretty uncomfortable, but it was well worth it. The worse part was then they put my blood back in.  The doctor told me that they would put in as much as I could tolerate (pain wise).  I let them put in all in because nothing was worse than the spinal headache.  Within seconds of them putting the blood back in I could already tell that it was going to work.  My neck and back started to loosen up immediately!  He told me to lay on my back for an hour - so I did.  When the hour was over I felt great! I couldn't believe it!

Next I took a shower and got ready to go home.  After I was ready, the nursery brought Will back (he had been taking his car seat test).  I was so happy to see him.  Not to mention eager to hold him. Will and I sat on the bed for about 2 hours and snuggled until they discharged us.  Will went home in his umbrella gown.  It swallowed him whole - as do all of his clothes.

We left the hospital at around 4;00 and went to Sonic and then to fill my prescription.  Then we went home.  We came home to a wonderfully clean home - mom had been there and had the place spotless.

Fannie meeting Will for the first time.  If she could talk - we would have to "beep" out every other word.

A little bit later Gran brought Finn and Sam home and we all ate pizza together.  After dinner we put the boys to bed and we settled in for our first night.  Michael went to bed pretty early and mom and I sat up and talked and put my bed together.  For the first few weeks Will and I will be sleeping upstairs on the air-mattress. Well the plan was for me to sleep on the air mattress and for Will to sleep in his bassinet next to the air mattress - Will had other plans.  He had no intention whatsoever of sleeping by himself.  So for the first night he and I cuddled up on the air-mattress and had a wonderful nights sleep.  He woke up twice to eat.  I was excited both times to feed him because I just wanted to hang out with him.

I am so thankful and happy that I can't even put it into words.  The Lord has blessed us with Will and I love him so much.


  1. Beautiful Erin! So sorry for the pain you went through.


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