“A C-Section will be your best option.” Never in my life had I felt so much relief and fear rush over me all at once. I wasn’t surprised. I think deep down I’d known all along that this baby would arrive by C-Section. That didn’t change the fact that I was (and always had been) terrified of surgery, so it was probably a good thing that I didn’t have much time to warm up to the idea.
After two months of consistent round-the-clock contractions at 5-10 minutes apart and two trips to the hospital in pre-labor that resulted in no baby, we finally had some answers. He was breech, my amniotic fluid was low, and a C-Section would be our safest delivery option. I got so lucky with such a caring doctor. It was after office hours when she was finally able to confirm via ultrasound that we were dealing with a breech baby, and she stayed late to call the hospital herself to schedule my C-Section (which she would perform) for the very next morning.
Austen and I would have to be at the hospital the next morning at 6:00 AM. 12 hours isn’t much time to prepare for a C-Section, but because of the over-planner I am by nature, I had most of the things I would need in the event of a C-Section anyway. We ate dinner, relaxed (or tried to anyway) and went to bed early. I didn’t get much sleep that night. Being 40 weeks pregnant made it difficult enough to get comfortable, and knowing I was about to have surgery and meet my little baby in less than 12 hours certainly didn’t help my brain shut down to get any rest.
On February 18, 2014 I woke up at 4:00 AM. I took a shower, dried my hair, put on the tiniest amount of makeup, and finished packing last minute things. At 5:30 it was time to go, and the butterflies were fluttering in my stomach more than ever. The 30 minute drive up to the hospital is somewhat of a blur to me. I remember being in the car, I remember what we listened to, and I remember that we didn’t really speak at all. I think we were both too consumed with the fact that after 40 very long weeks we were finally going to meet our little boy.
Before we knew it we were at the hospital. Before going inside we said one last prayer together and then began making our way to Labor and Delivery. The hospital was so quiet and in a way almost peaceful. I’m so thankful for the lack of commotion during that time, because it was all I could do to keep my composure in the first place. We were led to the room we would be staying in for the next 4 days, and they gave us a few minutes so we could get settled and I could change into my gown. I remember just standing in the bathroom for a moment, looking in the mirror at my huge baby bump one last time. And when I say “huge,” I really mean “HUGE.”
Shortly after we were settled in, I met my first nurse, Heather. She went through all my paperwork with me and gave me a rundown of what to expect in the next few hours. Austen brought a chair and his laptop over to my bed, and we spent the next couple hours watching old episodes of The Office on Netflix. It was just the distraction I needed. Occasionally we would have to pause for a nurse to come in and ask me a question or do some kind of prep. Getting my IV was the worst. I was so dehydrated from not being able to eat or drink anything past midnight in preparation for surgery that they had the hardest time getting a vein. After 3 nurses, 2 (extremely painful) tries, and about 15 minutes, my IV was finally in. Thank goodness Austen’s hand had been right there for me to squeeze. Although, I think even he was surprised at my sudden burst of physical strength.
My doctor came in to do a quick ultrasound just to confirm that the baby was still breech, and after being prepped the rest of the way and being pushed back a couple hours due to an emergency C-Section that needed to be performed before mine, we were ready to go. Austen put on his scrubs, and then suddenly I was being wheeled down to the Operating Room. This was actually happening. I was about to have a baby– a real baby of my own to love and cuddle and take care of. I had waited my whole life for this. All I’d ever wanted to be was a mom, and it was actually happening.
They made Austen say goodbye outside the doors before the OR so they could take me in and get me all set up. That was one of the worst parts for me. I was so scared about the epidural, and I hated that Austen couldn’t be in there with me to hold my hand while I got it. I was so lucky with all my nurses though. they had me sit on the operating table with my legs hanging off the side, and one of my nurses came up and just put her hands on my legs and told me to lean into her while I got the epidural. I was so scared, but she was such a tender mercy. I could not have done that without her. She held me the entire time and helped me be as still as I could be, even though I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt the first prick in my spine and immediately felt the burning of the numbing shot spread. This was it; it was time for the epidural. I was so terrified. I think I held my breath the entire time. The numbing shot had done its job though, and all I felt with the epidural needle was a lot of pressure. It was done, and all we had to do was wait for me to get good and numb.
After what felt like an eternity, I couldn’t feel my legs or really anything below my chest. They strapped my arms down, and they finally brought Austen in. It had been 30 minutes since we’d said goodbye at the doors, and I was so relieved to have him back by my side. We were having a baby!
The next few minutes really were a blur to me, because it all happened so quickly. I remember feeling pressure as they cut into my abdomen, pressure as they pushed and pulled to bring my sweet little baby into the world, and then I heard him cry. The flood of emotion in that moment was so powerful. I immediately burst into tears and said a quick, silent prayer to thank my Heavenly Father.
I don’t know much of what happened with Everett in those next few minutes, because unfortunately I was strapped to a table being sewn up layer by layer. I could hear him crying and all the nurses expressing shock at what a big baby we had and “how did this baby come out of that tiny girl?!” I could hardly think straight. Due to the epidural and the fact that my baby had just been ripped from my womb, I started to feel extremely nauseated. It was all I could do not to throw up right there on the operating table, but finally they brought my bundled up, 9lb 13oz 20in baby to me. Everett was finally here.
Everett’s breathing was fast, and he had to be taken to the nursery to be monitored for a while. Austen went with him, and I was left to be sewn up and wheeled to recovery to be monitored myself for a while. In my experience, things were a little bit different from what a lot of other moms experience. Because Everett was delivered by C-Section, the real magic and bonding didn’t begin until I was already back in my room and he was finally brought out of the nursery. He was the cutest baby I’d ever seen, and he looked like a little baby Buddha. We were all so smitten with him right away, and I could swear my heart was growing so much it was about to burst right out of my chest.
My baby was here. I’d waited my whole life to be a mother, and Everett gave me the gift of finally being able to fulfill my true purpose in life.