Very rarely does a birth story turn out exactly the way a parent wants it to. And that’s pretty much been my experience with all three of our kids. In the wake of E’s birth and homecoming, I thought it would be interesting to recap all three births; because even though they were all c-sections they were each so very different.
Disclaimer: I initially wrote T’s birth story when I started this blog back in 2010. You can go read the original post, but I’ve updated and edited the story below.
I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child. I had just had my last baby shower, where I was received tons of frilly gifts for our baby girl. At one point, someone even asked if I was ready to have the baby. I firmly responded “No”.
But life has a funny way of making you prepared, even when you don’t feel like it. Later that evening, while my brother in law and his wife slept in our guest room, I woke up for the normal 2am bathroom break; only to find that my water had broken.
When we got to the hospital, labor hadn’t yet started. Doubting nurses asked if I was sure that my water had broken. They didn’t doubt me any longer after I frankly responded: “I’ve soaked through two pads and I’m sitting on a towel”.
We were admitted to a labor and delivery room and told to “try to get some rest”. What a joke. For the remainder of the night I drifted in and out of consciousness wondering if that ache in my abdomen was the start of labor pains. As it turns out, I was having about one contraction an hour.
In the morning, the obstetrician confirmed that T was still breech, so I was prepped for a c-section.
It turns out that anesthesia takes some extra time to take effect on me. I could definitely feel the initial scalpel test; and was feeling a lot of tugging and pulling during the surgery.
At some point, the room started spinning, and it was all I could do to focus on the light above me. (It turns out I was feeling more than they wanted me to, and I was given extra anesthesia on the table that made me totally loopy)
After all that I have a vague recollection of my firstborn being held up to my face for a first hello and a kiss. She was born on a hot mid-August morning at 8:09am weighing 5 lbs 1 oz and was 17 3/4 inches long. She is my tiny little beauty.
Our first NICU experience: Due to her prematurity, T was immediately admitted to the NICU. By most accounts she was one of the healthiest babies there. She was off of oxygen and glucose drips within a day or so, was (and still is) a champion eater. The only thing that held her in the NICU so long was her consistent bradycardia spells; which are dips in heart rate below 100 BPM for preterm babies and 80 bpm for babies who have reached 37 weeks gestational age. When she reached 37 weeks, a sleep study confirmed that the bradycardia was related to reflux; and once she was on the proper medication she was able to come home three weeks after her delivery date.
About recovery: I recovered very quickly from my first c-section. I felt so good, that by the time of my discharge I tried to avoid using any medication other than the proscribed Motrin. That wasn’t a wise choice. The first week or so hurt, but I credit all that walking back and forth to the NICU from the post part ward, and the constant pumping and nursing, to helping me heal so quickly.