This is quite possibly the longest post I’ve ever written, but I want to record these things before they slip away. You might want to skip it if you don’t enjoy reading birth stories or are eating liver and onions. And can I just say for the umpteenth time that I can’t believe my baby is about to turn two?
When I got pregnant with Miss A my OBGYN recommended that I have a scheduled c-section, considering my previous labor and delivery experience.
My emergency c-section with Miss C was way more than I’d bargained for. I remember crying in the middle of the night after she was born, feeling like I’d been hit and dragged by a semi while a burning serated knife cut through my abdomen. Where was that piece of cake delivery that my friends had assured me I would have, once my epidural kicked in? No one in my family had ever had a c-section and as luck would have it, we missed one of my birthing classes and, you guessed it, we missed the c-section portion.I never, however, felt like many women apparently do after a c-section. I never felt cheated because I was not able to deliver her vaginally. I was too exhausted and too relieved that I’d just survived the entire ordeal with a healthy baby as the final outcome to worry about not pushing her out down there.
After a horrific hospital recovery with Miss C, which included nearly having to have a blood transfusion, passing a blood clot that resembled, and felt like, a large, uncooked cow liver, and a four night hospital stay wherein I watched couple after happy couple go home with their little bundles of joy, I was willing to do anything to circumvent laboring all night and pushing unsuccessfully for 2 1/2 hours. The grand finale with Miss C was the nurses helping me stand up and hold on to a birthing bar. At that point I wouldn’t have balked had they asked me to swing from a ceiling fan and recite the Pledge of Allegiance backwards.
Turns out Miss C was snugly situated face up with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. No wonder she didn’t want to come on down!So at the mere mention of a scheduled c-section, I was all SIGN ME UP like a Botox addict at a plastic surgery convention.Apparently, however, my doctor subscribes to the male OBGYN school of thought that flies in the face of female impatience, because unlike every other woman I knew who rattled off their scheduled c-section date months in advance, as if it were a pedicure appointment, my OBGYN waited to schedule my c-section. And waited. And finally at about week 36 I asked him, again, WHEN he would schedule it.
He told us that his philosophy was to wait until as close to the due date as possible because he wanted to make sure the baby was ready. I wanted to pout and protest, but I kept my mouth and my cervix shut.I was on pins and needles until my 39th week appointment with Miss A. Literally. Miss C had arrived just a few days after my 38-week appointment, which had been fairly routine, with no indication that she was coming any time soon so I was convinced I’d go into labor early with Miss A, too.
At about week 38 with Miss A I started having those lovely stop you in your tracks sensations in my cervix, where the baby feels like they are jabbing you with a fork, while gravitational forces give you the sensation that a giant water balloon is about to fall out of your vagina.I remember waddling into Walgreens two years ago this week and having the cervical lightning bolt jabs take my breath away. Grown men recoiled in horror and dropped their jaws, and nearly dropped their cell phones, watching me as I’d stop, grimace and look like I was about to give birth in the greeting cards aisle, only to witness me breathe a sigh of relief and head on over to look at fingernail polish like it was no big deal.The hubby and I went to the doctor’s office for my 39th week appointment, excited about finally having a date for my c-section. My doctor had news.The hospital was full.There were no vacancies for my c-section until SATURDAY.
I had to make it five more days without giving birth and would be close to 40 weeks. The hubby was forbidden from touching me as we believe that certain activities the night I went into labor with Caitlin contributed to the whole chain of events. I wouldn’t even walk to the mailbox. And I made it five more days to March 12.It was the first 70 degree day of the year with not a cloud in the sky. The hubby snapped this photo from the hospital window that morning.
My father came over to stay with Miss C and my mother met us at the hospital bright and early. It felt surreal filling out hospital paperwork and knowing that in a few hours we would meet our baby girl. I learned that having an epidural while not in the throes of labor is a tad unsettling, to say the least. When I arrived at the hospital in labor with Miss C, my water broke on the examining table and I was already 5 centimeters dilated and would have gladly taken an epidural needle in my big toe, if that’s what it would have taken. I was given an antacid during the c-section prep for Miss A’s debut and remarked to the nurse that I’d had a lot more acid reflux during this pregnancy. She commented that Miss A would probably have a lot of hair. And she was right. She had a head full of beautiful dark hair.
The mood in the operating room was more festive than frantic. The nurses were wearing St. Patrick’s Day theme scrubs. Like big sister, Miss A was wedged tightly in my belly, and at one point the nurses were helping my doctor pull her out while I felt that odd tugging and pulling sensation in my abdomen. When I asked again what time she was born, my doctor jokingly responded, “Which part? Her knee or her elbow?”
Soon I was in the recovery room and holding Miss A, who sported a lovely tiny purple bow in her hair, a little something extra from the nurses. I remember holding her the next night while she contentedly slept in the crook of my arm, swaddled tightly, as I watched Law and Order from the hospital bed and thinking, “Wow, this feels good.” I remember Miss C coming to visit her new baby sister and how she climbed up into the bed with us and was all grins for the camera, but was a little confused when she and the hubby went on home. I remember coming home from the hospital with Miss A, placing her in the same white wicker bassinet we’d used for Miss C, and thinking our family was complete.