So this is two months overdue, my apologies!
These last two months have been a whirl wind! As you know (and in case you didn’t), I was placed on bedrest for the majority of my third trimester. My daughter decided she’d try to make her debut at week 28/29 and we disagreed! After a successful (all be it hard and boring) bedrest, our daughter, Charlotte was welcomed to the world on July 6th!
A week previous to Charlotte’s arrival, our doctors tried to perform a version. A version is a procedure where they physically try to move your baby into the correct position for birth. We were told they almost always happen successfully, and although it would be “uncomfortable” it was worth it. WELL! THEY LIED. I guess my body and baby just don’t like doing things the easy way…
The doctor tried to perform the version and it was far from just being uncomfortable. Talk about the most intense pressure I have ever felt. The doctors literally have to push on your belly so hard that they can grab the baby and old on to her with all their might.
Charlotte’s head was wedged right up in-between my rib cage, and according to the doctor, he couldn’t get her to go down far enough. As he was attempting to turn her she would get stuck in my ribs, and to turn her the other way she would hit my placenta. So it was a no go. He then proceeded to tell me I had “more than enough time” for her to turn on her own. This was now week 36 and she had still not budged. Both myself and my OB agreed that over 8 weeks of labor contractions was more than enough. The following week we were booked for a c-section. I went home to more bedrest, nervous but excited that soon we would meet our daughter. Well, that Monday arrived and you could bet I was a nervous wreck. I knew I was going to be in great hands, but this was still major abdominal surgery. I knew what to expect from what I was told by the doctors. Yet I was still a tad scared, you never really know how things will turn out until they happen.
We were told to be at the hospital by 6:30am, so we were. The hardest part was I wasn’t allowed to eat since 12am. Talk about hungry! I probably wouldn’t have been able to eat anyways. I was such a huge ball of nerves. I think I went through every emotion possible. Happy, sad, nervous, excited ,worried, and scared. Just a constant influx of hormones coursing through my veins. I was hooked up to every machine possible and had an extra scan to make sure Charlotte hadn’t turned over night. (She didn’t.) Then my first nurse was tasked with the job of starting an IV. This took three tries and one more nurse. In total 4 pokes and two blown veins.
I was all set to go into the o.r, but then there was an emergency that had come in. Obviously, she took priority. I was more than happy to wait, as at this point my nerves were more scared than anything. Then time finally came, it was my turn to go in. I had to leave my husband and mother behind in the room while I went in to be prepped. This was probably the scariest part for me. Being visually impaired, new places are a tad nerve-racking for me. I don’t know what to expect or what I will encounter. I relied 100% on my OR nurse to guide me around and explain what was happening.
The room was freezing cold and smelt like rubbing alcohol and it was extremely bright. Probably a good thing! Don’t want them not seeing what they’re doing in there lol. I remember shivering and shaking uncontrollably and being told that was perfectly normal. I was helped up onto the table and had to then get into position for my epidural. It felt like they were painting my back, when in reality they were just cleaning it for what was coming next. It was now time for the epidural, and first up freezing. The freezing wasn’t to bad, small little pinch and burn. I don’t remember having issues with my first born’s epidural. They were in and out and then I was happy within minutes. This time though, was a way different story. I felt everything! Not so much pain but intense pressure and a weird snacking around feeling in my spine. I could feel him trying the get into the spinal pocket and thread the catheter. It didn’t work. So onto attempt number two, he found a pocket but couldn’t thread the catheter.. Overtime he’d move it around causing searing pain all along my right side of my back. Both the doctor and the nurse kept telling me not to move, but come on! It’s not like I was doing it on purpose. When your being jabbed in your spine it’s kinda involuntary.
ONWARD TO ATTEMPT NUMBER THREE!
*Lets back track a tad. Just as they were bringing me into be prepped, they told my husband to suit up, and get into his scrubs. I’d only be about 20 minutes and then someone would come and get him to come in. Well it has now been almost an hour and NO ONE has come to get him. My mom and dear hubby were just a tad worried and anxious at this point.*
So here I am, still slumped over waiting for the doctor to jab my spine one last time. He proceeded to tell me, if he couldn’t get it to work they would have to knock me out. LIKE HELL! There was going to be no freaking way I was going to miss my daughters birth, unless medically necessary. The doc had elected to only perform an epidural on me because I have multiple sclerosis, and a spinal block was more of a risk to endure a flare up. I didn’t care. I’d deal with any consequences after she was here. I wasn’t missing this, we had been through hell and back to have her. (Two miscarriages, severe hypermesis and over 8 weeks of labor and bed rest.) NO I WAS NOT MISSING THIS.
We said a little prayer and with a little luck, and a whole lot of skill, he was successful. I was completely numb within 15 minutes. The surgeons came in, said their hello, and told me what to expect. I was expecting they would tell me when they had started, as they had told me they would test me to be sure I was frozen. When they notified me they were already through my soft tissue. I was little taken a back.. It more sounded like: “WHAT? YOU STARTED?” I thought you were going to test me. The doctor sort of chuckled and said, “Oh, we did and you didn’t respond. That’s exactly what we want to see.”
I asked what about my husband, he obviously needed to be here for her birth. They told me he was on his way and there was plenty for them to do before they got to baby. There was lots of time.
My Husband Dylan arrived looking dapper in his sexy green scrubs, hair net, and face mask.
I felt the odd tugging and pulling, not as much as I was told to expect. Then before we knew it they asked us.. “So we were told it was a girl right??????” OH LORD please tell me her sex didn’t change… (not that we would have cared, just would have to exchange her room and wardrobe out for some new stuff) “AND! She’s still a girl!”
Charlotte was quiet, but we were told to expect that. Apparently babies born via c-section have more fluid in their lungs because they don’t experience being pushed out of the birth canal. They suctioned her out a few times and gave her some pats on the bum and there was her voice! All beautiful and screaming her lungs off. Charlotte was given a good once over, she still was considered slightly premature but was perfect. No health concerns! Charlotte weighed 7lbs 13onces and was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen other than my son. (They’re both perfect!) She was given to daddy and instantly was calm and sleeping. At this point I started feeling not so great. I was feeling lots of pain as my epidural started to wear off. The doctors topped me off and I snoozed for about 10 minutes as they closed up. I was then wheeled across the hall to recovery and was able to hold my daughter for the first time. She was perfect in everyday. Beautiful head of hair and KILLER eye lashes! Just like her daddy and big brother (mommy’s sooooooo jealous!)
Even though she was a great weight, Charlotte was so small and dainty! She didn’t even fit into her clothes! We had all of this 0-3month clothing and she just fell out of them! Premie and newborn fit her for well over a month going on two!
My mom was the first to come in and after tears, hugs, and kisses everyone was settled in nicely. Next up was Dylan’s mother, who gratefully stayed home with our son Marshall. Marshall was so excited to see his baby sister, I could hear him yelling for her in the hallway. He came running into the room, and instantly wanted to be up on the bed with us. He was lifted carefully and gave me the biggest and gentlest hugs and gave his baby sister a big kiss. Then he couldn’t care less! It was so funny. We had made him a big brother gift, consisting of Smarties and Hot Wheels. All he cared about from that point on was his cars. That was fine, gave everyone a chance to see the baby and there were no jealously issues! We were then settled into our room shortly after, where we stayed for two days. A total of three. I had a few side effects from surgery but nothing too serious. Just more of an allergic reaction to one of the medications, that left me severely itching all the time. After that was felt with everything was a piece of cake. NOT! I was feeling good, but as good as you can after abdominal surgery. I hurt. Moving hurt, but the worst was trying to sneeze cough or LAUGH…. DON’T LAUGH AFTER SURGERY! Big mistake. Seriously try not to, it’s a killer.
The days went on as we got into our new family routine. Things went surprisingly well. So well in fact both my husband and I were waiting for something to go wrong. It was too easy…Charlotte slept for 3-5 hours a night. She barely made a peep and after she was changed or fed, she was perfect. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC? With Marshall (sorry bud) but it was HELL! He was miserable all the time. Didn’t sleep, we had massive nursing issues, post partum depression, and I was in a different, but in my opinion, worse pain after natural birth. I guess as second time parents, we had an idea of what we were doing and it really helped that Charlotte was easy-going. It also helped that my body was ready to breast feed at 6 month pregnant. This was probably the best thing. I feel so grateful and blessed that as soon as I was able to hold her, I could breast feed her. We had a week of latching issues but after that never looked back. Completely different experience then with my son Marshall.
The hardest part of recovery was not being able to do anything. NO cleaning, no lifting, no anything other than caring for baby. Now with two cats and a dog, and a toddler this was hard! All I wanted to do was sleep, and in all honesty I did. BAD MOMMY! No really bad! I overdid it overtime, and probably made my recovery harder than it should have been… It also didn’t help that about 2-3 week postpartum I developed an infection in my incision. A nasty one too. My incision opened up in two different placed and was draining. OUCH. I was put on two high doses of antibiotics and slowly, and I mean slowly. It healed up. I am not 8ish weeks out and I’m just starting to feel like myself again.
Still I wouldn’t change a thing. Once we were feeling up to it, we were able to do an amazing newborn shoot, and visit family. My husband was even able to get down which was a treat (he works night shifts, so traveling with him is next to impossible). Everyone is happy and healthy!
Here is a peek of her newborn shoot we managed to get done in the first week home from the hospital!
This whole experience has redefined me as a mom. I am so grateful for every part of it because it gave me my beautiful daughter and completed our family. Our family is still adjusting to this new life as two visually impaired parents with two children. A lot of the time it is hectic and messy, there’s been a lot of laughter, and I’m sure more tears. I’m still trying to find the time to clean our house, cook, and even have a shower that lasts longer then 10 seconds but it has been amazing. Things are constantly on the go now. I’ve started the process for a new seeing eye dog, as my beautiful guide Gailanne has now retired. My husband’s photography business is keeping him busy! September 8th we are celebrating our little man’s 3rd birthday! CRAZY! At the end of the month our dear Charlotte will be baptized, and were just thanking God for every minute of our hectic but wonderful lives.
Hope you all are happy and well!
Until next time,