As promised, here is baby Ever's birth story. I really wish it was as textbook as Elle's, but I guess no one can get that lucky twice. With that being said, my last-minute C-section was a very memorable experience thanks to my wonderful friends that partook in the momentous occasion. I have never felt so loved and cared for in all my days.
I'll start with the days prior to the scheduled C-section. I went in for my 39-week appointment believing I'd made it to the home stretch, and it would all be smooth sailing until I went in to labor. Baby Ever had been head down since my 35th week, I was gaining the appropriate weight, and all my lab work looked perfect. When my Doctor palpated my abdomen, he immediately knew that the baby had moved, and he called for an ultrasound to confirm his already existent knowledge. The baby was no longer head down but more sideways. With all the odds against him...
1.) I'm petite (5'2 and 105 soaking wet), and he is an average size baby, space was confined.
2.) I was 39 weeks along, and again, space was confined,
...and the doozy,
3.) I have a bicornuate uterus (the baby only grows on one side of my uterus), so in case you were wondering, space was insanely confined.
He still managed to find a way to flip (maybe he’ll be a magician or a contortionist?), not completely, but just enough to complicate a vaginal delivery. My Doctor tried to manually flip him in office, but I was too far along to try it more aggressively with medications and a hospital visit. I tried all the other remedies such as floating, staying on all fours, eating ice, and literally anything anyone told me to try (I am relieved there were no cameras in my house for some of them), but he never flipped back down (bad baby). We kept checking almost daily until we had to finally schedule a C-section. I was beyond bummed, especially after having a successful vaginal birth with Elle, plus I knew the down time and recovery were going to kill my busybody soul. I had no other option, so my Doctor (I must add my Doctor is a friend and my husband's boat and fishing buddy), asked me what day worked for me. I said Friday afternoon, thinking I could work in the morning (queen of multitasking), and then go in and get a baby removed from my body. I could be out Sunday and back at work the following Friday (boy was I wrong but that's an entirely different blog post). Friday it was. I then contacted my good friends that work in Labor and Delivery and the O.R., and they all wanted to help and be present. Things were looking a little better.
I didn't realize that scheduled C-sections were not performed on Friday afternoons, and all my friends and medical professionals were pulling strings and special favors to pull off my request. They handpicked the entire staff, from the surgical assistant to the anesthesiologist. I'm not usually such a Diva, and I wouldn't have picked that day if I'd known, but it felt good to have so many people go out of their way for us.
The day of the surgery, I wasn't nervous at all. I woke up like any other day, showered, and took Elle to school. Ever had an early patient, and right after he finished, he came home and picked me up for the short drive to the hospital. We arrived and checked in, they took me in to triage where I undressed and got prepped for surgery. I had a feeling that day that my water was going to break, and I totally called it because right before I went into surgery, it burst (I apparently can’t have a waterless birth story). My nurse friend, Veronica, laughed because I had just told her I had this feeling earlier that day. She said jokingly, "you and your control issues, you had to plan this, too."
Baby Ever was to be born on August 18th, C-section or not. I now had to waddle with a pad between my legs to the Operating Room (like a baby penguin in a diaper). Once I got there, I was prepped for my spinal tap and strapped down like an animal. It was a strangest sensation I’ve ever had, and impossible to explain. My other friend, Jessica, joked, "you didn't ever think you would be spread eagle with 20 people in a room with bright lighting, did you?" I replied with, “are you kidding me, I spend all my Friday afternoons like this." The mood was light and the room was filled with friends, including a lovely mid-wife that we CrossFit with (she held my hand the entire time), my friend and OBGYN since I was 19, my 2 good friends that are nurses, the surgical assistant that I've known since I was a kid, and a full staff of some of the nicest people I've ever met. The anesthesiologist joked that I brought my own team, and in a sense, I did. To say I felt taken care of is an understatement.
The Dr. began the surgery, and Ever, of course, wanted to watch. He admitted that he felt woozy (only because it was me), but he made himself watch (I’m not the only one with control issues). It felt like only a minute, and I could hear everyone laughing, and the music playing, but the sweetest sound was my baby as he let out his first cries. He was out and thriving. The birth was so fast and pain free that I couldn't believe it. It was almost too good to be true(I would prove this to be true 8 hours after, when I would have to get up for the first time).
Baby Ever was out, and was the spitting image of his father. I apparently named him appropriately, and everyone in the room agreed! He never left my sight after his exit, and I was quickly whisked away to the abode I would share with Ever and my new baby for the next 48 hours.
The first hours were way too easy. I couldn't move my legs, but I could slowly begin to feel them coming back to life as the hours ticked by. The baby was doing spectacular. He latched right on like a professional, like he’d taken Breastfeeding 102 in the womb. My close family and friends poured in and I was still was feeling great. I was starting to think this C-section business wasn't so bad. I finally understood why some women elected it. The nurse came in right at 8 hours to get me up for the first time. I took a deep breath and swung my legs in front of me (I was still heavily medicated), but even then, the pain to take a few steps was excruciating, but I got it done. I got a taste of things to come, and it was going to be hard to swallow.
Elle was staying with my sister, and initially I didn't want her to come to the Hospital until the day we could all go home as a family. However, after 24 hours, I painfully missed her, and Ever was excited to see her reaction to the newest member of our family. We coordinated a time with my incredible friend and gifted photographer, Tammy, to coincide with Elle's arrival, and we timed it perfectly. She captured some of my all-time favorite pictures (even with that horrendous hospital lighting and my tired face). Elle was finally a big sister, and she loved it. We were now a family of four, and I felt euphoric and content. The road to get here was filled with sorrow, some so agonizing I had the desire to give up at times. I’m so very glad I didn’t.
I got to go home Sunday morning (a little earlier than expected). We were happy to be going home and I knew the recovery was going to be slower than my birth with Elle. I had no idea how much contrast there would truly be. Now, that's my next blog post, as I am still in recovery one and a half weeks later. I'll complete that post after my body completes its comeback. I will say it's been rough, but oh so worth it...