It’s taken a week, but I finally have a few moments to tell you C’s birth story.
I was scheduled for a Cesarean birth early the morning of August 25, but C decided she couldn’t wait that long. My water broke 6 hours before the scheduled delivery and I quickly began having regular and increasingly strong contractions. Less than 3 hours after walking into labor and delivery, and 4 hours before my scheduled delivery, I had my C in my arms.
Overall, things went very well. The worst part was getting the spinal anesthesia. It wasn’t painful, but I had to curl my body and hunch forward in order to round out my spine enough for the anesthesiologist to do this thing. It took a long time and the operating room was cold and way too bright. Plus, we had to keep stopping because of my contractions. Everyone around me was so calm and reassuring, from the on-call OB who kept me distracted with questions about my work, to the nurse anesthetist who kept me entertained with jokes and coached me through some pretty extreme nausea.
In the end, the hospital was able to meet almost all of our birth preferences, except:
- My doula was not able to be in the OR with us, they claim due to space restrictions, but the room was plenty large.
- My hands were loosely strapped down, but immediately freed once the birth was completed.
- The OR was not equipped to dim just some of the lights, so it remained quite bright.
- C wouldn’t breathe on her own at first, so they did not hold her up for me to see, but they did bring her to me immediately after they got her breathing. We couldn’t do skin to skin until I was in recovery, which wasn’t long after birth.
- Most of the OBs in the hospital do not practice delayed cord clamping after a Cesarean birth.
A few things in our birth plan we chose to change, including:
- We allowed a pacifier between feedings to keep her calm.
- We allowed a nurse to give C her first bath while we watched and learned.
- We consented to the Hepatitis B vaccination after the pediatrician assured us she has never seen a baby respond poorly to it. (We were concerned about a fever response, which might send her to the NICU.)
- We had planned for C to room in with us, but in order to get our rest, we asked she be taken to the nursery several times.
I spent about two and a half days in the hospital, learning to breastfeed and to let others take care of me. It was difficult with so many interruptions to check my vitals and get yet another lesson from one of the many lactation consultants. I was tired and frustrated at being so helpless, I broke down crying in front of one of the nurses – the one who just started her IVF journey at the same clinic we used. She was very sweet and reassuring.
Even though the nurses were awesome – constantly telling me I was doing a great job, despite feeling helpless and delirious from exhaustion – going home was the best feeling ever. No more distractions, just mom, dad, and baby. M has been taking great care of us, without a single complaint, which makes it even more difficult that he went back to work today. My mom has taken over as caregiver for the rest of the week, but it’s just not the same. Thankfully, I feel really good and can do most things on my own now. Don’t worry – I’m still letting others take care of me and getting as much rest as possible. It’s just nice to know I can do things and that I’m getting stronger every day.
C is a wonderful baby! She’s calm (most of the time), a great eater, and a decent sleeper. (I know this can and will change, but I’m enjoying it for now!) Every day she’s more alert and spends a little more time awake. I love to stare into her big blue eyes and talk to her about everything. It’s amazing how she already has a little personality all her own.
Since my blog is public, I’ve decided against posting a photo of C’s face.
My heart is still very much with all of you who are still waiting for your take-home babies, and with those whose journeys may not include children. I can’t tell you how much your support and encouragement has meant to me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.