Disclaimer: I view giving birth and getting married as two very similar events. They are both life changing and organized down to the last detail, but not everything will go as planned. It’s a really big day and you’re going to want it to go a certain way, but guaranteed something won’t go according to plan. At the end of the big day, the most important thing is that everyone is healthy.
In December 2014, right before Christmas, we found out we were pregnant. We had been trying to get pregnant for about 5 months and honestly, I just took the test on a whim. I had actually taken the other test from the package 5 days earlier and it was negative. I’m not sure what made me retake it, but when I saw that very faint line I ran to the store and got two digital ones just to make sure. And all at once, our journey into this adventure of parenthood had begun.
The pregnancy was fairly standard. No surprises or extra tests. I had pretty bad morning sickness that only let up for a short time in the middle of the pregnancy, but it wasn’t as bad as some. We were able to find out we were having a boy during our 20 week ultrasound. Around 30 weeks I started measuring large and was diagnosed with Polyhydramnios or high amniotic fluid levels and they also noticed he was measuring large, especially his head and abdomen. I was sent for extra testing just to keep an eye on how it progressed. There were never any red flags, even though my pregnancy was deemed high risk at that point.
Then at 35 weeks he was breech. Now, up until this point I was preparing for a natural birth, or at least to hold off as long as possible without the drugs. I had my bag packed with soothing music, movies and a bathing suit top for the labor room bathtub. We were 3 weeks into our 4 week birthing class. K was imagining driving like a maniac to the hospital when it was go time. But this news stopped all our planning with a screeching halt.
Of course, there are plenty of babies that flip head down before birth, and plenty of babies are able to be turned in utero by a doctor (which everyone shared with me). Our baby boy was not one of them. He has his head stubbornly wedged in my ribs right up until the end. It made for a much different birth experience than the one I had on my head. I repacked my hospital bags, getting rid of the labor bag entirely. We scheduled the birth for 39 weeks and 1 day and I worked right up until the birth, giving myself a day before to get ready and relax. I went to the pool, got a mani-pedi, and K and I were able to go out to dinner that night. I half expected to go into labor my last day of work or while we were at dinner, but I never experienced any labor pains or contractions.
The next morning hubby drove to the hospital at a normal speed, no crazy maneuvers or police escort needed (just me complaining I was starving). I walked calmly into the hospital and checked in, then we got settled in triage and waited. We were bumped for an emergency c-section and had to wait an extra hour. I thought the wait would be excruciating but it went by pretty fast. Then all of a sudden hubby went to the car to drop off our magazines and books and they walked me to the OR.
When you have a c-section, they don’t allow the partners in to the OR until mom is prepped and ready to go. That was the worst part for me. I was doing okay up until that point. Sitting in the freezing OR while a large team of doctors and nurses worked around me made me very nervous, especially considering I’d never seen the inside of an OR before. The nurses were amazing, in particular one male nurse who talked me through everything that was happening. But I was sure they were going to forget to get K. They administered the spinal and put up the blue divider and still he was in another room. It seemed like forever until they brought him in, even though I’m sure it was only 5 minutes, and by that time I was crying. K came in and saw me and started crying and kissed me and held my hand while we waited for our son.
Just a couple minutes later, after some pressure and a “wow, he’s big” from the doctor, he was born, all 8 lbs 10oz of him. K said “there he is! I see him” and all I saw was his little blue foot being passed between doctors in the OR. K went to see him as they checked him over and wrapped him up. K finally came over and said “here is our son, Oliver John” and put Oliver next to my face for a kiss. I couldn’t really get a good look at him until we were in recovery due to laying down and being heavily medicated. But just smelling his little head and finally getting to see my baby was the most amazing moment of my life. I was disappointed that I didn’t get the immediate skin-to-skin contact with him, but I was in no shape to hold him, and we more than made up for it in recovery and during our hospital stay.
So, there it is – Oliver’s birth story. I hope that it serves as a reminder to me of the events as time goes on, as well as an encouragement to other moms who may be in a similar situation. The most important thing is that baby and mom are healthy, and sometimes a c-section is the best way to ensure that. No matter how baby is born, the experience will still be breathtaking, and the moment of meeting my son for the first time is one I will never forget.