Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mila's Birth Story Part V (The Final Chapter)

*Since I am currently planning Mila's first birthday party I figured I should at least finish her birth story!*

"Hi Natalie, this is Karen.  I think you should come into the hospital immediately."

Matt and I decide to take our time getting to the hospital.  By "take our time" I mean we didn't jump up with our legs spinning underneath us before bolting for the door, we calmly made sure the dog was fed (don't worry, we had people lined up to feed her), the lights were out and everything was in its place since we knew we'd be walking back through those doors as parents.   We arrived to to hospital about an hour later.

Last Belly picture on our way out the door.  
39 Weeks!

In the waiting room!

Once they took us back I was hooked up to a fetal monitor until Karen arrived.  At this point my contractions were regular and intensifying.  Karen performed a cervical check, I was 99% effaced and 4 centimeters dilated and she confirmed my amniotic sac was still intact.  Of course none of these numbers really mattered since I knew I would need a C-Section but I wanted to make sure I was truly in labor so I didn't rush the baby out.  I then learned Dr. S. was the OB on duty that day and would perform my procedure.  I wasn't thrilled but I also knew he was great a doctor and I would have minimal interaction with him anyway.  My only request was that Karen be the one to tell us if the baby was a boy or a girl and  not the doctor since we didn't have a relationship with him.  The anesthesiologist came in to introduce himself and answer any questions and then we waited until Dr. S. had an opening at 3:00PM.  My contractions stayed steady and intense, luckily our Bradley coping techniques really came in handy since I didn't have any medication (they offered me an epidural but that seemed like overkill since I was going to get a spinal in a couple hours for the C-Section), this was my only opportunity to feel my labor and I wanted to experience as much as I could.  I'm so happy I was able to actually experience my body go into labor.

Before I knew it Karen was back fully dressed in her scrubs telling us it was time.  Matt could escort us to the OR door but then had to wait in a nearby room until my spinal was over.  It was then I realized how lucky I was to have my midwife by my side helping me through each contraction.  We had to wait for what seemed like forever but was about 30 minutes in the OR for the anesthesiologist.  Once he arrived he started on my spinal and I will admit, it was the absolute most painful part of the whole experience.  I would take a week's worth of contractions over a 1 minute spinal any day.   In his defense, I did get a very powerful contraction during the spinal so that made it all the more painful since you have to be bent over with your head down and completely still.  Again, if it wasn't for Karen reminding me to breathe and calming my mind I would have never made it through.

After the spinal was complete they laid me down and placed the curtain on my chest as well as an airbag-like device that blows warm air up at your chest, neck and head.  It was a bit unsettling at first but I appreciated it as it took my mind off of what was happening below the curtain.  The physician's assistant came over to say he went and told Matt they were running a bit behind but I was fine and he would be joining me shortly.  Finally after what seemed like days, Matt was escorted back into the OR and I've never been happier to see his face.  Well, happy to see his eyes at least since he was covered in scrubs.

Me: Hi!  When do you think they are going to start?

Matt: Ummm, I'm pretty sure they already did.  They were working on you when I walked in.

Karen comes around from the lower part of the curtain.

Karen:  They are almost to the uterus.

Yes, it all happens fast.  I'm pretty sure as soon as my head hit the table the scalpel hit my belly.  Moments later Karen was back again, and I'll never forget these words:

Karen:  It's a girl you guys!

Me:  We knew it was Mila!

After they had Mila over to the table Matt was able to go and see her while I was being stitched up.  I couldn't hear anything going on but Matt told me they had to rub Mila a few times before she would cry for them.  After she was cleaned up and swaddled Matt brought her over to my chest to meet my daughter for the very first time.

Mila's First Picture

You may recall that our journey to this OR started with a tear filled visit with Karen in her office.  I was heartbroken that the baby was breech, I would need a C-Section and that I wouldn't be able to deliver my baby and immediately have her placed on my chest.  Karen told me that day that the hospital doesn't allow any skin to skin or to have the baby placed on the mother in the OR.

Well, seconds after Matt brought Mila over to my head, Karen came around the curtain and lifted Mila from Matt's arms and placed her under the blanket on my chest.  It meant the world to me to hold my daughter moments after her birth.

Our First Family Picture 
(I'm in there somewhere!)

When I was all stitched up and ready to go Karen placed Mila on my lap for our ride over to recovery.  We were approaching moment I had looked forward to and then dreaded once the C-Section came into play.  Breastfeeding.  I had read about how important it was to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth and that sometimes babies are groggy and unable to latch after C-sections.  Luckily we didn't have any issue and Mila has been breastfeeding like a champ since day one.  Recovery was also where we called our parents with the news and Mila had her first check up (complete with her little breech legs up in the air!). 

 Mila's First Check Up
(check out that leg!)

A quick electronic announcement I threw together using an app while in the hospital.

We stayed in the hospital 3 nights as required for a C-Section and brought Mila home on Sunday, September 16.  It was the scariest (and most painful) 3 mile ride of my life.  It was totally surreal to have our baby with us finally so every other driver on the road was a potential hazard in my eyes.  There was also a good amount of road construction on the way home so every bump hurt my incision.

Our first family picture at home.

After this picture I had to climb our 3 flights of stairs to our condo.  Phew, it felt like it took an hour.  Stairs and abdominal surgery don't mix.

So there it is, Mila's birth story.  It didn't happen the way we planned, you know what they say about the best laid plans, but in the end we have a healthy baby girl who will be turning 1 in a month and we couldn't be any more blessed!

Mila's Birth Story Part I
Mila's Birth Story Part II
Mila's Birth Story Part III
Mila's Birth Story Part IV

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