It’s been a little over 2 months since we welcomed our Astoria earth-side… I have been nursing round the clock, and adjusting to now being a mother of 4 children. But I have a small window of time while she lay here, sleepy at my breast, to share about our birth…
The moment husband and I decided to try for our last baby, I began dreaming again about an all natural birth… One I hadent experienced before. No inductions, complications, drug free… My body doing exactly what nature intended. My advice, as a seasoned mother of 4, is always expect every scenario…. Be prepared for every outcome. I absolutely love my doctor… he delivered my 1st child nearly 13 years ago so I knew immediately since we were stationed in the panhandle that I wanted him for my prenatal care, and to bring this new life into the world… My 1st apt with him was great! I was over the moon about being pregnant… Then we discussed how I would be delivering… and well, dream crushed. With our 3rd child I had an emergency c-sec. I won’t go into details, but since my current doc hadn’t delivered her (we lived in D.C. at the time) he didn’t know what we were working with…He did however say that its my body, my delivery, and ultimately my decision… We went over the complications from previous pregnancies and weighed out all of the risks of a vbac. All I wanted was a natural delivery. To experience that skin to skin contact again, feel my body deliver my last child into the world. I missed everything when having my 3rd child, and I wanted to experience all my body was designed for. But in the end, it’s what’s best for the baby, and myself… and I wouldnt miss this one. We wanted to have a healthy delivery, without the risk of another emergency situation.
So scheduled c-section it is… But I was determined to have a beautiful delivery. I would take control and tell my Doctor exactly what I wanted to do, and see how he and L&D could work with us. I set off to Google and found many articles about a natural (or gentle) cesarean. I had never heard of this before! I became excited at the prospect of having my baby right there in my arms at her birth!
Appt after appt Dr H and I discussed this new up and coming way things could be done in the OR. To our hospital here in Florida, it’s brand new. He became more and more excited as well, being that he believes women should have the delivery they want, that there should always be skin to skin right after birth if possible, why the hell not!
As we got closer to her big debut, I became more anxious. I was told by some people that there is no way you will hold your baby in the OR, the anesthesiologist won’t allow it, etc etc… Voicing these concerns to Dr H at my 38th week, he assured me we would have it exactly how we wanted…. “I can be an effin’ a-hole in the operating room if needed! You will have your perfect delivery if everything goes as planned…” Thank you my 6.4′ doc…. I’ll take it!
So now after all that blabbering, here is how our Day went…
We dropped off our other 3 kids at my brother in-laws, everyone excited, all in tears. I was actually shaking while embracing them, stomach in knots, nerves shot to all hell. But husband and I got back in the car, waved a “see ya soon” goodbye to all of the family who had gathered, and drove up to the hospital…. We had decided we didnt want anyone at the hospital, we wanted an intimate delivery, and recovery.
Arriving in L&D, we were blown away to be welcomed by the team of nurses… The whole floor was excited saying “So we hear we are doing something NEW today!” My heart just melted… my Doctor had gone in early that morning to prep the team for my delivery. They were all there for us.
My 2 transition nurses (one for me, one for baby) prepped me for surgery…. They put the IV in my left arm, between wrist and elbow, so once little bit arrived I could have total control over my dominant hand… and they started my baby heart beat monitor, which sure enough showed I was contracting… (timing was perfect!) Then we all sat around taking photos, still guessing the sex of this child, and giggling at my husband trying to get into that little blue paper gown… My best friend came by to drop off some goodies as well, then waited out in the lobby to be sure, not only I, but husband was completely ok and taken care of… (she is a nurse who worked in the same hospital for years!)
(cant live without this girl… my best friend…)
Once rolled into the OR, everything just seemed white and cold… naked on a table in florescent lighting just adds to the nerves… But the team knew exactly what we were doing, and everyone was incredibly kind… we put the EKG leads on my back so my chest could stay bare for baby, heart beat monitor on my ear instead of finger, and my anesthesiologist started my spinal…. holy cow was I shaking…. but once my husband came by my side, I felt that I could breathe again. We had both of our nurses standing by, which lay a warm blanket across my chest for baby, and both Dr H and Dr D (another from his practice I really like) performing my surgeries… (I was also having my tubes removed… lowers my risk for Ovarian cancer)
Once the curtain was up, it took only 3 mins for our little darling to be born. Husband whispered softly in my ear over and over “Your doing so great, babe”…. Then we heard a tiny cry. “Its a GIRL!” Dr H announced… a Girl… another beautiful girl. And tears, loads of tears….
Once the placenta stopped pulsing, and the cord was cut, my nurse, Janet, took her to a warming table set up next to us…. She hollered out for me as Miss Janet cleaned her off, put a diaper on her and checked her over… within just a few short minutes she was tucked, chest to chest into my gown. As her skin felt mine, she immediately calmed. She opened her deep blue eyes and looked strait into mine… “I know you…” Here she stayed for the remainder of my surgery. The anesthesiologist had said “Iv never seen anything like this, shes just so alert, this is so cool!”
She was 6.1 lbs and 19 3/4″… my smallest baby.
Once in recovery, our little Bean latched right on…. she stayed here for about an hour before we had her bath done, again, right next to me, just before she would meet her sisters and brother….
(we had also done a cervical swab before my surgery so she would receive all the fabulous antibodies she would in a vaginal delivery… just wiped it around my nipple before the 1st latch)
Her “Spa treatment” as the nurses called it… she was just so happy….
Shortly after moving into our room where we would spend the next 2 days, husband left to pick up the other kids… We still kept her sex a secret, and she would still be called baby Lewis, until we went home. This was a time I needed and yearned for… our family of 6 bonding, un-interrupted.
When the children arrived I just couldnt contain my emotion…. Teagan ran right up to see her new baby… she didnt leave my side through my whole pregnancy so I could just feel her excitement, even from the hall… Our Riley, who I was sure would be disappointed about not having a brother, caught me off guard… he glided up to my side, placed a hand on my arm and said “Mom, Im ok that its another sister, Im just so proud of you”… our pre-teen, Madi, surprised me most of all… her maternal instinct kicked in and she just couldnt get this babe in her arms fast enough…. This is my family. The ones who mean everything in this world to me… All together and gushing over our new little girl.
Now we needed to name her…. Andrew and I had searched for names via google, pinterest, books, etc…. we were set on a 2 boys names, and 3 girls names… but we knew we needed to try them on, see what fit. We settled on Astoria, husbands suggestion, and an overall favorite with all of us, and when Madi said “her middle name should be Moon, since we say ‘love you to the moon'” it was an instant match… our little Story, as we call her.
For the next 48hrs at the hospital, I snuggled my new bean, she nursed, constantly, we slept, I filmed a short commercial for L&D at request of my Dr and the team, and I huuurrrttt…. a lot. 2nd Cesarean is no picnic in the park…. I had pain, everywhere….
In the end, my birth story to me is perfect. We had another healthy, gorgeous baby, and I feel like a warrior. I have much respect and love for my doctor who was open to all of my ideas and made it happen for me…
(Dr. H… <3)
Im a mother, reborn again, and completely in love…. Till next time ya’ll… xoxo