Seven weeks post-partum and here I am finally writing my birth story! I wish I could have written my birth story sooner but motherhood and the sleep deprivation that comes along with it has sort of been kicking my butt and restricting me only to taking care of myself and my little babe. So as I mentioned previously in my last post, I opted for a scheduled C-section and it was scheduled for when I am 39 weeks and 2 days: August 22nd at 0745.
Before the big day.
Dustin and I were running around trying to get last minute things ready for the baby’s arrival which included some shopping trips, a trip to the bank and tidying up the house. Since I wont be eating normally for a couple of days I wanted to have a nice dinner before my surgery. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything past midnight so we had dinner at the Keg close to 9 pm. I was really looking forward to devouring their mouth watering prime rib but unfortunately, they were out of prime rib for that night so I had a rib steak instead. I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for this decision because I didn’t eat anything but ice chips and soup for the next 48 hours.
We got home before 11 pm and, of course, I was doing more last minute things. Re-packing my bags and organizing what I’m going to wear, etc. I meant to sleep by midnight and wake up at 5 am but there was no way I was getting that glorious 5 hour sleep and little did I know that would be my last chance for a long time. I couldn’t sleep because I was both excited and anxious. Now that I think about it, that would have been a good blog post and writing about my thoughts before the surgery might have helped me go to sleep!
The big day!
So I get a couple hours of sleep. I think. Actually, I don’t really remember falling asleep. I just remember thinking about a lot of things and then suddenly waking up to my alarm. I get up to shower, dry my hair and put a little make up on. Yeah, I put a little bit of make up on ok, deal with it! I even tried to style my hair but ran out of time because we were already late!
So we get to the hospital 1.5 hours before my surgery. We were supposed to be there 2 hours early but we’re usually late for everything so no surprise there! After checking in at the front desk and getting admitted, I change into a hospital gown and I get on a stretcher that’s curtained off. I meet my nurse who inserts an IV, runs IV fluid and asks pre-op questions. I meet the midwife on call (super nice lady!) and I ask about seeding my baby with vaginal secretions when she comes out. Since my GBS swab result hasn’t come back yet, I didn’t want to put my baby at risk and decided not to go through with it
The nurse walks us to the operating room and Dustin stays out while they finish their prepartions and while I get my spinal block done. I walk into the pristine white operating room and my first thought was, “holy cow it’s so white and bright in here!” I have only seen 2 OR’s ever and I was so impressed by how bright and clean this OR was!
I sit on the side of the operating table to get my spinal block done and this was probably the most nerve racking part of my entire surgery! The anesthetist was extremely nice and she was very good with explaining things and trying to get me to relax. You can tell I was nervous because my heart rate was elevated on the monitor and my palms were sweating. The midwife was beside me the whole time and holding and caressing my hand and reminding me to breathe. I can’t tell you enough how much this helped and how grateful I was to have the midwife by my side while Dustin was waiting outside and all the OR nurses were busy with their duties and task to prepare for the surgery. The anesthetist inserts the spinal block and I feel a rush of warmth to my lower legs and they become numb enough that I couldn’t move them. My anesthetist does the checks and my spinal block works perfectly. I lie down with help from the nurses and my arms and legs get sprawled on the operating table. They put a “bear hugger” on my upper body to keep me warm. It was like a plastic balloon that had warm air running through it and it felt amazing! I’ve asked other friends who had C-sections and they never had that so I can’t say that that’s always part of the process. They insert a foley catheter and the blinds go up to cover the procedure from just under my breasts. At this point Dustin was allowed into the OR and he sat beside me and they began the procedure. I was told that I would just be feeling some tugging and pushing while they cut me open. That’s exactly how it felt- just some tugging and pushing on my belly. It wasn’t painful, uncomfortable or scary. I felt very relaxed and a little sleepy as Dustin and I chatted. Yes we were casually chatting throughout the procedure. I remember telling him how good the bear hugger felt. To me, it felt like the procedure took 15 or 20 minutes but it actually took less than 10 minutes! Once they finally cut me open, the Obgyn asked if Dustin wanted to come around to see the baby while they take her into another room to get checked by the pediatrician. As they take out my baby, Dustin went around to where the procedure was taking place and I hear a light cry. Not faint but not that loud either.
At this moment I felt more warmth throughout my body. I felt like I wanted to cry but I think the combination of the spinal block medication as well as my tiredness kept me from doing so. It was such a weird feeling from only hearing my baby’s heart beat from dopplers and ultrasounds and feeling her movements inside me to actually hearing her cry. She never felt more real than when I actually heard her cry. Oh I’ll never forget that first cry. I waited a few more minutes while she got checked by the pediatrician and finally Dustin brought her over to me bundled up in a green and blue towel and a little white bonnet with a blue ribbon.
Oh. My. Goodness. My heart.
I thought I would feel an overwhelming rush of emotions and that I would cry profusely but sadly, I didnt. Again, I want to blame the spinal block! It makes you numb all over! Despite feeling numb and showing lack of emotion, I still felt my heart get warm and heavy when I fist laid eyes on her little face. She had her eyes closed, flicking them open into little slits every so often, and was sticking her tongue out and licking her lips. My first thought was, “oh my god she’s so cute!” I was curious to see if she would turn out into a weird looking baby like I did. Apparently I looked like a frog and only my dad thought I was beautiful!
My little Daisy was born healthy and weighing 7 lbs and 5 ounces! We were cheek to cheek as they stitched me back up. Daisy was really trying to root as her check touched mine. She was hungry and was so ready for the boob!
After the procedure they wheeled me into the recovery room where a nurse monitored my vital signs and help me start breastfeeding. I felt even more sleepy when I was in the recovery room because I was given extra pain medication before I left the OR. Daisy latched just fine and her suckle was good and strong. At some point she unlatched and I saw a blob of that golden/yellow liquid called colostrum, sitting on my nipple. Ah that liquid gold!
We were only supposed to be in the recovery room for an hour or so but since there were no rooms available, we waited in there for another 3 hours. Meanwhile we had a heard of family and friends waiting for us in the waiting room! Although I felt tired and sleepy, I cherished this time so much with Dustin and Daisy. This was where Dustin changed Daisy’s diaper, stained with meconium, for the first time. I remember hearing the nurse teaching Dustin how to clean a baby girl’s vagina during diaper changes, wiping from front to back!
It was so nice to spend that precious time with my little family in a quiet room because once I got wheeled out of the recovery room and into a post-partum room, the visitors were non-stop! I could barely remember that entire morning and afternoon because I was so doped up with the pain medications.
Although I appreciate the thought and time our family and friends took out of their day to visit Daisy for the first time, I have to admit, it was so overwhelming! I was sleepy and tired from the procedure and the medications still pumping through my system. On top of that I was trying to figure out breastfeeding and any movement I made, like sitting up or rolling to one side, made me nauseated. I remember calling for my nurse a few times to ask for gravol and thank goodness I got it quickly through my IV or I would have vomited on Daisy while I tried to breastfeed her! I also made the mistake of inhaling a cup of ice chips because I was so thirsty but it only made me more nauseated.
My thoughts on birth.
I feel like a lot of pregnant women are encouraged to make up a birth plan and write every detail down to a tee. From who you want to be present in the birthing room, all the things you will pack in your hospital bag to how you want your birth to go. I think it’s a great idea to do so and it puts the mommy-to-be in control of her own birth. Honestly, I didn’t really have a birth plan up until I decided to have a C-Section. My birth plan went something like this:
•have a C-section
•Dustin will be with me during my surgery
•delayed cord clamping
•skin to skin as soon as possible
•allow the vitamin K for the baby
•allow visitors as soon as I get into the post-partum room
•pain meds as necessary and mobilize myself as soon as possible
I felt like I was in control of my birth the entire time. I felt validated for my decision to have the C-section when my baby came out very healthy and I was able to hold her right away after the procedure. I feel like there’s some negative attitude towards opting for a C-section because what’s natural is glorified and always favoured but it’s not always the safest way for baby to be born. Birth doesn’t always go how you imagine or plan it to be and some women get so disappointed or traumatized when their birth doesn’t go the way they plan it to. I would have wanted to give birth naturally and I would have even tried to do it without any pain medication given the chance. To be honest, I am open to a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) one day even though I had a good experience with my C-section but I wouldn’t be mad if I had to do it again.
Well there you have it! My birth story! Nowadays I’m always tired and my body aches all over but my heart has never been so full of love! My beautiful little babe makes me so tired yet so happy and I can’t wait to share more stories about motherhood!