N’s C-Section Grand Entrance

N’s C-section Grand Entrance

Mama: Cari H.

Stats: 11 lbs., 13 oz. (not kidding!)

Type of Birth: Cesarean

Birth Location: Hospital

Primary Care: Obstetrician

32 weeks — I went in for my normal checkup. My mama was in town for my baby shower, so she tagged along with me. N had been in the vertex position just a few weeks before at the third trimester ultrasound, so I assumed everything was fine. I asked my OB to confirm my suspicions of his position and she agreed. She also offered to do an ultrasound since my mama was in town so she could see her little grandbaby on the screen. It turns out, we were both wrong.

He was breech.

What we thought was his butt was actually his head. What I thought were his little fingers tickling me in my pelvis were his toes.

I was crushed. I had been so looking forward to an unmedicated natural childbirth experience.

I started doing research. I tried everything I could to get him to turn, including seeing a chiropractor that specialized in the Webster Technique—a chiropractic practice for turning breech babies. Unfortunately he was too big and by the time he engaged there was no chance he was turning.

I was having a c-section. I knew it wasn’t the end of the world, but I was still bummed.

39 weeks 1 day, 12 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2010 —  I had my “final” meal (a bowl of cereal) and a little while later we went to bed. It took me awhile to fall asleep because I knew what was happening later that day… I was having our baby. The fact that it was planned and not unknown kinda freaked me out. At the same time, I had been in so much pain the last few days due to my pelvis and all the bones, muscles, ligaments, etc in that area stretching and holding on to my big boy for what seemed like dear life that it would be a welcome relief.

9 a.m. - I woke up, got ready to go, and looked at my belly for one last time… I couldn’t believe in just a few hours it would be gone. I made sure to wear my shirt that says, “Good things come in large bellies,” (unfortunately I didn’t think to take pictures at that point).

10:15 a.m. - We stopped at McDonald’s to get breakfast for my husband and we were on our way.

10:30 a.m. - As we walked into the hospital, I looked at my husband and said I could not believe this was it. In less than two hours I would be giving birth to our son. Not only that, but our lives would be changing forever. I was a little nervous and a little excited.

We walked into the hospital, up to the third floor, and the nurse was waiting for us in my pre-op room. She gave me my gown, told me to change into it, and put everything else in the plastic bag. Then I, as gracefully as I could with my huge belly, crawled into the bed. She hooked me up to the baby heart rate monitor and the contractions monitor, asked me a lot of questions, then said she needed to check to see if I needed to be shaved for the surgery. That was fun… but at least it was not too crazy and they use something similar to a mustache trimmer.

Then the IV… She tried to do the IV line and was having problems. The anesthesiologist had come in to introduce himself and ended up giving me a local and putting the IV in my forearm (I highly recommend it there if you have to have an IV). It was great. I then had to sign lots of forms and we were all set, just waiting for the doctors to show up.

12 p.m. - Our longtime family friend (she has known our family since before I was born) and L&D nurse, Susan, came in to visit while we were waiting. She usually works nights and came in especially that day for my surgery. We talked for awhile, then got word that my family was moments from the hospital. Susan went to find them and brought them back into one of the smallest hospital rooms you will ever see (and we fit at least 12 people in there). We took a lot of pictures, and as everyone was getting ready to leave someone asked if we would reveal the name at that moment.

We had planned to have Susan reveal our son’s name when she went out to announce that he was there. However, since all of our family was there who was going to be there, we decided to announce it. I looked at my husband and he gave me the nod. I looked at everybody and announced our son’s first and middle names.

They loved it and cheered (thankfully there was no one else on the floor yet). It was a lot of craziness, love, excitement and anticipation.

As my family was leaving, I had to make a special announcement that no one could post the name on Facebook before my husband or I did. Yes, we were all in the age of crack… I mean Blackberries, and I knew someone would post if I didn’t say something.

12:45 p.m. - The first doctor got there. They got me up and moved me to the OR. I walked into a room that was white and cold, in all ways. They had me sit on the table and the anesthesiologist began my spinal block. Susan was in front of me, walking me through the process.

The local anesthetic had been a little uncomfortable, but when they started the spinal block it was interesting. My feet started to feel warm, heavy and tingly. After it was administered they asked me to lie down. I thought, “No problem, my legs are a little heavy, but I can do this.” Then I realized that my butt was asleep. It made everybody laugh because I turned to my husband and told him all about it. They got me on the table and the real fun began.

1:20 p.m. - Both doctors were in and the surgery started. My husband was sitting next to me and we were talking. I remember asking him when he thought they were going to start. He said, “They have started, can’t you smell it?”

Then we commented about the smell, he said it smelled like being at the dentist’s office when they are drilling your cavity. I said it smelled like burning hair (sorry if that is TMI for some of you). Before I knew it, I was feeling pressure, tugging and pulling on my belly. They told my husband he could stand up to take some pictures. The first picture he got was of a little foot coming out of my belly. It is one of my favorite pictures. Then there was more tugging and pulling and pushing.

Turns out, he was a big boy.

My doctor had to make the incision about two inches longer and ended up having to cut into my abdominal muscle to get the little man out. The next thing I ended up hearing was that I was birthing a toddler because of how big he was. My husband showed me a picture and all that crossed my mind was that he had to be 15-20 pounds and that he couldn’t be what is coming out of me, that was just too big!

Then I heard his cry…  It was one of the best sounds I have ever heard. My husband went over to check him out. They asked him if he wanted to cut the cord. He said he didn’t really care, but had to because I said so.

They brought N over to me so that I could see him and love on him for a few moments, then he was off to the nursery with daddy.

I started to feel a little loopy and started talking to my doctors, the anesthesiologist and the nurses. I asked them how big they thought he was. I remember the highest someone guessed was 12.6. That made me feel a little better that my baby wasn’t HUGE, but definitely big. The anesthesiologist eventually called the nursery because he was so excited to find out.

That was when I heard he was 11lbs 13oz. Holy crap! My baby was big and had a full head of hair… maybe he was a toddler?

A lot of the rest of the day is a blur to me (thanks to the good drugs, the pain, the amazement of my little man and all of our visitors). I was taken into the recovery room and given Demerol. I was supposed to try to rest, but some of my family came in to check on me.

Then I was taken to the postpartum room. My husband helped the nurse wheel me there and I remember telling him it looked like he worked there pushing me in his scrubs. N was brought in from the nursery and I finally got to look him over. I know we were together for a little bit (and attempted breastfeeding) before the craziness of all the family entered the room, but I don’t remember how long. There were sooooo many people there (at least 15) all excited to see us, but mainly N. The love and excitement in the room was palpable.

Once everyone left it was down to N, my husband and me. The loopy drugs were finally wearing off and I was able to relax and really get to cuddle with my little guy. It was such an amazing feeling to hold him and realize that I was finally a mama (and a little surreal looking at his size and thinking that he had been in my belly just a few hours before).

So there you have it… the story of N’s birthday. It is one of my favorite days of my life.

5 Responses to N’s C-Section Grand Entrance

  1. Pingback: Real Mama: Cari Hollis | Mama Say What?!

  2. Wonderful story and amazing photos! It’s so wonderful to read about a c-section that was happy and peaceful event instead of traumatic. And with so much family there to support you!

  3. LOve this! N was and is so cute!

  4. As many times as I’ve read this story, going all the way back to when you first wrote a version for PB, I’ve loved it!

  5. Pingback: N's Frog First Birthday Mama Say What?! | Mama Say What?!

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