Thursday, May 16, 2013

Birth story!

I'm sorry I'm so late getting the blog caught up!
The day before the scheduled c section was a busy one for me. I had to get everything packed up for my kids to go stay at my parents for a few nights, then had to take my car to the dealership (repair work since I got rear-ended the week before). My mom met me up there and took me to the hospital to do pre-surgery labs. Mike picked me up on his way home from work, and we had to get our dogs to my aunt so she could take care of them for a few days. There was lots of excitement that night but still really no anxiety. I talked to K on the phone and they were also very busy and SO excited! Due to a convention going on here, they were unable to book a hotel room for the night before, so they had to leave their house around 1am to make it for our 6am check-in. Mike and I woke up early and made sure we had everything then headed out.

We got to the hospital just minutes before M and K. We all went to L&D and got checked in.
I STILL was not really nervous at this point, just excited! I called my mom and told her about when to plan to bring my babies up to see me. We had the nurse that checked us in take a picture of me and my hubby with K and M.

Our "oven", their "bun"- just before delivery
After getting some basic information, we went back to the "recovery" room, which is also where I prepped for surgery. The nurses went over what to expect and hooked me up to monitors. (I actually was having fairly regular contractions, so B might have choosen that birthdate even if we didnt!)  K and M and Mike all kept me company. The nurses were very sweet but had me scared that we wouldn't be allowed more than one in the operating room (which is the "standard"). After a while, the anesthesiologist (Dr. O) showed up. I noticed her jacket and pointed her out to K and my husband Mike, who then proceeded to tell her she looked too young to be an anesthesiologist! I later joked that his "flirting" helped us out, because she let both he and K join me in the OR!! (It's always ultimately up to the anesthesiologist to allow more than one.)  I was sooo happy and relieved when she said yes, although I had a good feeling about it the whole time. After all the prep for the OR, and blood draw for cord blood banking, my OB Dr Reeves said it was time to head to the OR. Just then I finally got nervous. It was really just the spinal that was making me nervous. I'd never had a "spinal", although I'd had epidurals with my kids, spinals are slightly different. I think not being in active labor during a needle going into your back makes you more alert as to how scary that is! For the spinal, no one but Dr. O and Dr. Reeves would be in there, K and Mike had to wait outside in the hall. Dr Reeves realized how nervous the spinal was making me and struck up a conversation about my freshley manicured toenails in "cajun shrimp" color. Yet another reason I love my OB! The spinal was quick and easy and I was soon laying on my back, the curtain placed across my chest, and my husband and K came in. Mike sat near my head and K stood next to him. Dr Reeves had a nurse to assist him and there was also a nursing student in there standing to the side to watch her first c-section. I was alert during my c-section with Conner, but I seemed much more at ease and alert this time around, I suppose because it was planned. I remember talking to Mike and Dr O. We all guessed B's weight just before he was born. I don't remember Mike's and K's guesses, but I guessed 9lb1oz which was my birth weight and B's youngest big sister's also. I also asked if Dr. Reeves had started yet just moments before B came out! He was born at 7:23AM which I thought was neat because my husbands date of birth is 7/23. He was 9lbs 5oz, and I could tell by a glance he was a chunky baby before I even heard the weight! I watched K as the nurse brought B to be weighed and cleaned, she was overjoyed! I began to tear up as she thanked Mike and she was taking lots of pictures. My heart was nearly exploding with joy and pride! It had all led up to this precious moment!

proud mama holding her baby

Once B was born and cleaned up, he and his mom went to the recovery room while M stayed behind I was stitched up. I remember asking Dr. Reeves to stitch me up carefully, because I "want to use my uterus again", and not to tie my tubes. I also asked Mike to take a picture of the placenta since I never saw it with my own kids, and I talked to Dr. O's about her new baby she had 3 months prior. I was very talkative during the whole surgery for some reason! On the way out of the OR, Dr Reeves and one of the nurses showed me the placenta and pointed out the sac B was in. I went to the recovery room to join K and B, who were later joined by M (daddy) and then the siblings tooks turns coming in. I was itching like crazy so I was given Benadryl. K and M's oldest daughter was there while B got his first sponge bath, and she walked to my bed and said "Thank you Ms Julie for carrying him!" Oh my goodness, another heart-melting moment! She's 10 and no one had asked her to say that, just geniune gratefulness from a sweet big sister!
B with one of his big brothers in the recovery room
oldest sister admiring B in the recovery room
After nearly 2 hours in the recovery room, it was time for us to go to our rooms we would be in the rest of our stay. Once K got her family settled in their room, they came over to visit me, Mike and our kids (my mom brought them up there.) She had got all of our kids adorable embroidered shirts, and also got them all gifts from B. So sweet!! She also brought me a wonderful basket full of snacks, a belly bandit (yay! that thing has been amazing!), stretch mark cream (also amazing!), and some lovely personal gifts.

I was very swollen after delivery! But happy to see B and his family!

proud surrogate, adorable baby, thrilled mom!

I started pumping for B within a few hours after delivery, and although he had formula for a bit, I have been able to provide him with breastmilk for the most part since delivery. (I am seven weeks post partum as I write this.) Pumping has its difficult moments (to include mastitis and antibiotics) but I think it has helped me tremendously to physically heal and to have a great "ending" emotionally to this journey. I'm thinking I'll be ready to stop pumping in a couple more weeks. It does take away a bit from my family in time, and sure does add to dishes to be cleaned! ha! But I'm so glad to have been able to pump as much as I have! I feel like its a special gift for B! I know I'll probably be a little sad when I stop, so I'm not putting a real time limit on it, just going to stop when I feel like it.

B and I on his birthday!
The "team" the day after delivery

saying "see ya later" leaving the hospital

Mike saying adios to our little amigo

My recovery has been wonderful! I still have some minor abdominal pain (from my awesome OB doing a bit of repair work on those muscles!), but pain free in the incision site. I had my 6 week check up last week and all is well!
B has been doing great! He more than surpassed his birth weight sooner than expected! I have seen him and his family twice since leaving the hospital and he's so precious!
I do miss seeing K every week like we were for those last several weeks! But I'm so happy with the way we've become so close. She's practically family in my eyes now!
This experience has been so amazing! I feel like God specifically laid this on my heart, and He has had his hand on our journey throughout the journey.

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