It’s sort of an odd feeling knowing exactly when you are about to give birth. There’s a feeling of excitement and anxiousness in knowing that your life is about to change in ways in which you cannot fathom. The drive to the hospital was surreal as we knew this would be the last time we’d be “Jen and Mike”. The next time we would step foot in the car, we’d be mommy and daddy. It was thrilling and terrifying. We had done so much, tried so hard and finally… FINALLY…our wish was coming true. Both rides were emotional in their own right.
We had to check-in at the hospital bright and early. Our appointment was at 9am, so check-in time was 7am. We were escorted to a prep room where we were asked a variety of questions to close up any loose ends in the medical records. We changed into the latest hospital fashions — gowns, hair caps, scrubs, etc — and I got an IV of fluids to keep me hydrated during the procedure.
The anesthesiologist came in to explain how the spinal would work. He was very thorough and had a pleasant personality that put me at ease about this part of the procedure. My doctor arrived and helped me get my wedding ring off. My fingers were swollen so bad, I wasn’t able to remove it myself. She said, “You’re going to swell up pretty bad after the surgery and this will be uncomfortable to have on your finger,” as she used some sort of fancy hospital gel to wiggle it right off my finger.
Soon after that I was wheeled into the operating room. Inside the operating room, I was met by a team of masked nurses buzzing around the room in prep for the main event. Everyone was very friendly and the vibe inside was very welcoming and positive. Although I was nervous on the way to the operating room, they all had a way of making me feel very comfortable and confident in their abilities during their prep. My doctor explained what everyone was doing as she held my hand. Not too long after getting to the room, I was getting the spinal and feeling numb from the chest down.
My c-section was planned to be a “gentle” or “family” c-section. A gentle c-section is one that incorporates the key moments found in a vaginal birth, but that are traditionally missing from a cesarean. The idea is to make major abdominal surgery feel more like a birth.
In a traditional c-section, mothers cannot see the birth and the babies are immediately whisked away for bathing, weight check, measurements, and other pediatric care before they are brought to mom. In my case, there was to be a clear drape so I could watch the entire procedure from start to finish. They also put a tube top on me so they could slide baby out of the womb and right onto my chest for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.
Unfortunately, the drugs made me so sick, I pretty much vomited throughout the entire procedure. The team did great giving me other drugs to help with the vomiting and nausea, but in the moment I decided to skip the clear drape. I figured we had all had enough vomiting for one day. Once they got started, it literally took only a few minutes to get baby out. I couldn’t believe how fast it went! Before I knew it, daddy was cutting the baby’s cord and she was placed into my tube top. As soon as she was settled, she started grabbing at my nose!
It took about 45 minutes to close me back up. I had plenty of skin-to-skin contact with baby before they took her for the various checks. We didn’t breastfeed as the positioning in that tube top really wasn’t conducive for it. Plus, I was still literally getting sick as I was holding her.
After being in recovery for a few hours, we made it back to our room and had the chance to spend time as a new family before visitors poured in. My husband and I were both emotional and teared up every time we looked at our beautiful daughter.
And there it was — the happy ending to a heartwrenching tale of two people that tried for years to have a baby. This day made all of the difficulties and heartaches associated with infertility immediately wash away. It was an unbelievable day.
I am excited to introduce you to our daughter, Phoebe! She was born on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 9:27am. She was 21″ long and weighed 8 lbs 10 oz. She is absolutely perfect and we are madly in love. ❤
*Family fun fact: My husband’s side of the family hasn’t added a female to the family for over 70 years. I guess you could say we broke the family curse!