At 40 weeks pregnant, I was antsy for baby's arrival. I had not been having the pre-labor signs that I had experienced with my firstborn, which left me feeling as if labor would never start.
|Waiting at the office...|
In the office, a concerned look crept up my midwife's face as she palpated my bulging abdomen. She felt the bony protrusion on the top right of my belly and said, "I think this is his head!" My husband and I exchanged questioning glances, and next thing we knew, I was sent across the hall for a last minute ultrasound to ascertain our baby's position.
Sure enough, the ultrasound confirmed my midwife's fears. Baby boy was head up!
The midwife spelled out the practical meaning of this sudden finding. She explained that since I was already starting to dilate (3 cm at the time), if my water were to break, there would be a risk of the cord prolapsing (falling through the opening in my cervix). This could cut off oxygen supply to the baby in a matter of minutes.
"We need to do a c-section."
In a last minute effort to get baby to turn, the OB on call agreed to attempt a manual version of the baby (where they attempt to turn the baby from the outside). If the version was successful, we could go home and wait for natural labor to start. If not, they wanted to take me for a c-section as soon as I was past the "I-haven't-eaten-for-6-hours" mark. In other words, that very night! Our instructions were to go home, quickly gather our bags, drop Squishy off with his sitters, and check back into labor and delivery for the manual version/potential c-section.
When the midwife left the room, I shed a few tears at such an unexpected turn of events, but I felt God's sure peace in my heart. Andrew and I prayed together and sent a host of text messages asking dear friends and family to pray for a successful version!
|Waiting for the version|
After several attempts, it was apparent that our little one wasn't moving anywhere.
Time to prep for the C-section. There was excitement at the realization that we were going to meet our second child that very night and apprehension about undergoing major abdominal surgery. A cesarean was certainly not in my book of plans. But underneath it all was reassurance that we were in God's hands.
|Waiting to go back to the OR|
Numbness was creeping up my body, and I began to feel as if I couldn't breath, piggybacked by nausea. I had to focus my full attention on trying to breath and not panic. I couldn't move, but everything in me wanted to come off the table. The OR team assured me that I would feel better momentarily, and within a few minutes I felt the panic subsiding and my ease of breathing return. They told me that the spinal block had caused a sudden drop in my blood pressure, which was what had made me feel so ill. A few seconds later and Andrew was next to me, wiping my hair from my forehead, the tears from my eyes, and holding my hand.
Next thing we knew, they were holding our son up for us to see, and the sound of his glorious crying filled the room. They brought him to me wrapped up...how happy I was to kiss that warm, soft face over and over!
There is nothing like that moment.
After some precious minutes together, Andrew left with our fresh new one for the nursery (I urged him to go with baby instead of stay with me...on the condition that he take lots of photos and videos! Hehe). I stayed in the operating room for the next 40 minutes, being sewn back together. It was bizarre to be there without my baby, as the OR staff discussed New Year's Eve plans. I fell into conversation with them, but in the back of my mind I could not get over how strange it is to have your baby cut out of you. I couldn't believe our son had already been born! Compared to the 20 hours of labor I experienced with my firstborn, it all felt very sudden.
Back in my room, I had to wait an hour before our little boy was finally in my arms again ("recovery" time for me). It was no fun to wait, but that was all forgotten when we were reunited. Baby E. took to breastfeeding like a pro, and Andrew and I took joy in examining his every little feature.
|6 days old|
Now I'm two weeks into my c-section recovery, and it's going well so far. I'm able to start driving again, and I just have to watch myself closely to make sure I don't lift heavy things. My doctor and midwife assurred me that I should be able to delivery naturally in the future, as long as I choose a practice that does VBACs.
As a family, we are adjusting well after Baby E.'s birth. A routine has come pretty easily. The days are chock-full, but pleasant. He is a really easy baby so far! Honestly, I forgot just how much fun it is to have a newborn in the house!