On the day I found out I was pregnant, I knew my birth story wouldn’t be like most. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be all that exciting or dramatic and that it was going to result in a scheduled C-section. The female health issues that had inhibited my ability to get pregnant also were a big reason why I needed a Caesarean. The pushing and stress of labor can cause severe damage to a uterus that is riddled with fibroids. So on the day I found out I was pregnant, my ob/gyn told me about the C-section, and I was ok with it. Honestly, the idea of going into labor, contractions, pushing, etc. totally scared me!
A month or so before my due date, during an ultrasound, we discovered that the baby was growing well, and he was completely breech, which 100% reinforced the C-section birth plan. We scheduled it for three days before my due date (which was also Scott’s birthday), so that both baby and dad could have their own special days. I knew I would get rolled into the hospital on a hot August Saturday morning, and that I would meet my little boy for the first time when it was all planned, allowing me the ability to wear makeup and prepare for those pictures! (Am I the only one who thought of this?)
Except Andrew had other plans.
The Monday before I went into labor, I felt weird all day and had a few contractions. I timed them but they weren’t consistent. However, I left work early and headed home to rest and drink water. I still felt weird, though, and skipped dinner “just in case.” I went to bed without incident until I woke up at 1:30am for one of my many nightly bathroom breaks. It was then that I discovered I had a little “surprise” that was an immediate indicator (as advised by my OB) that it was time to go to the hospital!
After a quick shower (you never know when your next one will be when you’re having a baby!), Scott grabbed my hospital bag while I grabbed a towel, my purse, and my iPad to entertain myself while being monitored in L&D. I put the towel on the seat of my car and climbed in, and we headed off to the hospital. As we turned onto Airline Highway, we heard a loud thump, and both Scott and I looked at each other and said “What in the heck was that?” and looked behind us. We saw nothing, so we both shrugged and kept on driving since I was a little freaked out going into labor and having a baby.
Upon arrival to L&D, I was checked in and told I was starting labor but that I wasn’t progressing. Which, made sense because Andrew was breech…I mean, I would imagine it is hard for the baby to move further down when he’s butt first, right? After being there for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night, I was sent home and told to take it easy and rest…except I was pretty miffed. I was starting labor, I was miserable, and I just wanted to meet my little boy!
Where is my iPad?
So we went home. I laid down on the couch and tried to watch early morning television, which is TERRIBLE. There are way too many informercials. I reached over for my iPad to read and research labor and c-sections for the umpteenth time, but my iPad wasn’t there. So then I looked in my purse, and it wasn’t there either. At this point, the contractions were getting a little more painful and closer together, so I walked out to the car to get through the contraction AND to find my iPad, but it wasn’t there either.
At this point, I woke up Scott and asked him where my iPad was. He had no answer. But he was rightfully pissed because he had bought it for me as a Christmas gift, and I couldn’t find it. It was then that we both gasped and had a realization: that THUMP! was the iPad. I had put it on the roof of the car while I laid my towel down and forgotten about it (hey, I was in labor!!!) and it had flown off the top of the car onto the highway. So, in a last ditch effort to rescue my iPad, while having contractions that were 5 minutes apart, I drove out to the highway in search of it. Except I couldn’t focus because at that time, the contractions were getting stronger and closer. Of course, being curious about the state of the iPad, Scott went out and found it in no time. Let’s just say, it didn’t survive, but it certainly makes an interesting piece of abstract art.
Back to the hospital
Anyway, the contractions continued, and there was NO DOUBT that I was in active labor. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and increasing in intensity. This time, I was going to the hospital and having a baby. I just knew it. On our drive BACK to the hospital, I called my OB’s office and told the nurse what was going on. My doctor was on vacation, so his partner would be checking in on me. I got checked in once again to L&D and sure enough, my contractions were showing up strong and frequent, and I stayed on the monitors while my husband juggled around work stuff and kept giving me grief about my broken iPad. I was given meds to help with the contractions that made me really loopy. I vaguely remember seeing episodes of that show Vegas on TV as I came in and out of consciousness.
Every time the nurse would come in I would ask if I was going to finally have the baby. At one point a nurse came in with surgery paperwork and once we talked, she discovered she was in the wrong room. Talk about disappointment! I even remember Scott telling my mom to not bother rushing over to the hospital because it seemed like it probably wouldn’t be until late afternoon before I had the baby. So she went to the grocery store to pass the time and get her weekly shopping done. We made phone calls to our friends and family giving them updates and waited.
From that point on, it seems like it all happened so fast. I was slowly coming out of the medicated state. Suddenly, a nurse came in, added an armband, slipped some medicine in an IV, and told Scott to start putting on the paper gown and mask. It seems like 5 minutes later, I was in the OR, and I was hearing Andrew’s first cry.
The c-section experience was simple. I had a great nurse next to me adding medicine to my IV in case I felt sick, but I was just so anxious to meet Andrew that I didn’t notice feeling bad at all. Scott stood next to me and we waited. I remember, though, Dr. D making a notation of my fibroids and having them take a picture. Of course, I felt no pain but certainly felt the tug as they were preparing to get the baby out. Right as they pulled Andrew out, he made a grand entrance by pooping and then letting out a wail. As soon as I heard his little cry, I sighed with relief, and my eyes quickly welled up with tears as I heard a chorus of “What a beautiful baby boy!” over and over. I was so proud and overwhelmed with emotion. Scott even looked over at me and said “We did it! We had our own baby boy!”
At that point, I just wanted to see him and hold him. As soon as I saw his face, with my nose, Scott’s chin, and a full head of hair (clearly from me!), the tears poured down my face and my heart was immediately full of a love that I, a person of many words, can’t describe. At that moment, I realized that it was all worth it. The years of infertility, the adoption proceedings, the 39 weeks of achy back and swollen ankles, the pre-term labor and the ruined iPad were just little stepping stones so we could treasure this moment and welcome this tiny little miracle into our life.
And I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Celebrate Your Birth Story. What’s Yours?