We had a c-section scheduled for first thing today. I’ve been feeling very anxious and uneasy the last couple of weeks about your impending arrival. We’ve been contemplating and going back and forth between wanting to try for a vaginal birth (called a VBAC) or having another c-section. I really wanted to go for a VBAC but was very worried about having another experience like the one I had with your sister, where I labored and labored and then ended up having to have a c-section after all. In the end, a couple of months ago, we decided to schedule a c-section for your due date and if we went into labor before that date, we’d try for a VBAC. As your due date drew closer over these past couple of weeks I’ve been anxiously anticipating going into labor. I really thought I’d go into labor and as the days progressed, I was getting more and more anxious about what was to come. We pondered moving the c-section date up so I wouldn’t risk labor, but I didn’t want to completely rule out the option of labor either. I was completely torn. We decided to just stick with our original plan of having the c-section on your due date and leaving it up to fate if we’d try labor if it happened earlier.
We awoke this morning bright and early and loaded up for the hospital. Your nana came with us to support us and help us through. I was feeling very nervous for the surgery and really just wanted it over; I kept telling myself that it’d go quickly and soon I’d be holding you. And as your dad pointed out it’d be a smoother experience than last time, where the c-section occurred under much different circumstances and after I’d been in labor for two days. I tried to be brave and hold myself together, but frankly it was all pretty scary. We arrived at the hospital and went immediately back to a hospital room and I changed into a gown. They started asking me many questions and preparing me for the surgery, including the insertion of an IV (which took the nurse three attempts; not a great start to the morning). The doctor came in as did the anesthesiologist, and at this point it all became very really and imminent, and I started crying. I was just overwhelmed and scared, and your dad talked me through it, your nana told me stories to distract me, and before I knew it we were walking into the OR.
I sat on a table and got my spinal tap, and that went smoothly. Soon I felt a tingly feeling spreading up my legs, and soon I couldn’t feel them or my stomach or chest. I was lying down and your dad was beside me. They were cleaning my belly and prepping me for the surgery. Next they put up a curtain in front of my chest and started the surgery. I felt nauseous almost immediately and received medicine for that. The doctor talked periodically and said it was going well, and in just about 15 minutes they announced that you were about to be born. Your dad peeked over the curtain and took some pictures as you were coming out, and he soon announced that you were a girl!
You immediately started crying. They showed you to me for a just a brief second then placed you on a table to my left and a bit behind me. Your dad went with you and two nurses. You cried the whole time. They cleaned you off and started to examine you. I could catch glimpses of you but couldn’t really see you well. After a few minutes the nurse came over and said you needed oxygen, and that she’d come give me another update in a few minutes. A little bit later she came back and said that you looked great, but still needed some help breathing, and they were going to take you to the NICU to get some oxygen. They weren’t going to be admitting you there, and they were not concerned – she said they see this quite often in babies born at altitude and via c-section. But I was very upset by this news; I immediately started crying. The doctor told me that this was very common, that you were going to be ok, and that in fact this same thing happened to one of her babies. I was still understandably distraught.
In the 2.5 years since Emma was born the hospital had changed their practice to allow newborn babies to stay in the OR and have skin-to-skin time with their moms. When Emma was born they immediately took her out of the room, saying that it was too cold, and we chose to have your dad go out with her. But this time I’d been told that policies had changed and that as long as everything was alright with both you and I, you’d be able to stay in the OR and immediately do skin-to-skin with me. I had so missed seeing and holding Emma right away after the birth that I was very much looking forward to doing this with you and was really disappointed that it didn’t work out that way.
Your dad exited the OR with you and the nurses; on your way out they stopped by my side with you and I gave you a kiss and told you I loved you. Soon your nana came in to be by my side during the rest of the surgery. I was so happy she was there and able to be with me. She was able to quickly see you in passing as she was coming in, and the first thing she said was how beautiful you were. She seemed emotional and happy. She talked with me a bit and helped keep my mind off the surgery and you. The doctor talked with me a bit also as they were wrapping up the surgery, and soon they removed the curtain and did the rest of the cleanup, and moved me back into the other room for recovery. Your nana sat with me for a while, and then your dad came back to check on me and your nana went to be with you in the NICU. The nurses came to give me an update on your breathing and said you were doing better and hopefully within 30 minutes you’d get to come be with me. I was just so anxious to get to see you and hold you. It was very anti-climactic and disappointing to go through that whole ordeal and to not end up with a baby immediately in my arms. I was sad and frustrated and worried and disappointed.
The next thing I knew we were ready to be wheeled over to our room on the mom/baby side of the hospital. We still didn’t have you back with us, but they said your nana and you would join us soon. It was about two hours after your birth by now. We moved into our room and got settled, and finally your nana walked in with you. She looked so happy and proud and content. She handed you to me and I was so happy; I could not stop smiling to finally get to hold you. I’d been waiting not only the last couple of hours, and through the surgery, but for months I’ve been dreaming about meeting you. I laid you on my chest and we just snuggled and snuggled. I told you I was your mama and was so happy to meet you; I kissed your forehead and your cheeks and your nose.
Just a few minutes after that your papa, Uncle Brett, Cousin Kyle and sister Emma arrived. We revealed to them the news that we’d had a little girl, and they all gazed adoringly at you. Brett was holding your sister and she just started at you for a bit, not sure what to do.
Soon she climbed up on the bed by my side and sat with you and I. She just kept staring at you.
Soon everyone wanted a turn holding you, and everyone got their chance.
They were here a couple of hours and then left to give us some quiet time.
You were sleepy today, as were we. We took naps, snuggled, nursed and just relaxed. Everyone came back this evening, and your dad and Brett ran out to grab dinner while we hung out with Emma, Kyle, nana and papa. Emma keeps proclaiming ‘Little Baby’ whenever she sees you, and loves to ‘gently’ (though not very gently) touch your cheeks and head.