Sorry it’s been a while since I last wrote… but I hope you will agree that I have a good excuse. I’ve been busy taking care of my beautiful baby girl, Julia Rose! I thought I would share her birth story as well as just a few photos. So here we go…
Early early Monday morning, October 8th, at 2:30 AM, we were sleeping and I got up to go pee (this was probably the 3rd or 4th time that night that I had to pee (I was, after all, 37+ weeks pregnant!). When I got back to bed, it felt like I was either still peeing a little bit or like maybe my water had broken and was coming out in little dribbles every few minutes. So I woke up Ken and (this may be TMI), I asked him to smell my underwear to tell me whether it smelled like urine or like amniotic fluid. He smelled it and said it smelled sweet (which is what they say amniotic fluid is supposed to smell like) so he said we should probably go to the hospital. I wasn’t convinced, so I said there was really no reason to go to the hospital, and I told Ken I was just going to go to work and keep my 2 PM appointment with my OB.
So I got up and went to work. Around 1:15 I left for my doctor’s appointment. When I first got to the doctor, they did all the usual tests… had me pee in a cup, took my temperature, took my BP, etc. then the doctor came in and asked how I was feeling. I told her about what had happened, so she checked the fluid using a methylene blue test, which came back positive (basically it’s like litmus paper that turns blue in the presence of amniotic fluid), so she said that she would be delivering me that evening. I asked her if I could go home first to get my stuff, then she did an internal exam and said she could feel body parts, so there was no way she was going to allow me to go home. She said I should go straight to the hospital and that Ken could go home to get our stuff.
I then had to make a few phone calls… first I called Ken: “Hello?” he answered. “Hi! I have some news for you!” “Yes?” “We’re having a baby tonight!” So he quickly got dismissed from work for the rest of the week and went home to get our hospital bag as well as some last minute things that we hadn’t yet packed (we weren’t supposed to be having a baby for over a week, after all!) Then I called my mom and Ken’s parents and they all spread the word to all the folks they needed to tell. I went over to L&D at the hospital, where I changed into a hospital gown and got hooked up to the monitors. I got all checked in and waited for Ken to get there. When Ken got there, we both had a big rush of emotions… excitement, nervousness, shock, etc. When my OB came in and told us that they would be delivering me within the hour, Ken quickly changed into his scrubs and got ready for the surgery!
I thought the next few hours would go by really slowly but they went by surprisingly quickly, and around 5:30 PM they started wheeling us back to the OR to get prepped for the C-Section. The Anesthesiologists came in to consent me, and then they inserted the spinal (which was, by the way, a very weird feeling!). Ken had my phone with him to take photos during the C-Section, so here’ s a photo of me on the table, waiting for everything to begin.
The C-Section seemed to take forever, and the one thing that was the most distressing about the whole thing was that Ken could see everything that was going on and I had no idea what was happening. Finally, Ken told me they had gotten through the uterus and they got to the baby… there are a few photos that are not exactly the most beautiful photos to share with the world wide web (i.e. they’re kinda bloody) but here’s the first semi-decent photo of the baby.
After they got the baby out, Ken went to stay with her while the Doctor and the upper-level resident finished sewing me up. After what felt like hours (it was probably only about 10-15 minutes), Ken finally brought the baby over to me to give her a kiss and see her.
After the surgery, they wheeled me back to the recovery room and then about 20 minutes later they brought the baby in from the nursery and I had a chance to nurse her for the first time and hold her. It was such a wonderful feeling to hold our baby girl–it was like I fell in love instantly and immediately felt as though I would do anything for her!
That first night is kind of a blur… I was on a lot of pain medication and was very very sleepy, but for some reason I couldn’t actually sleep. I also just wanted to hold the baby all night… look at her, get to know her, watch her, etc. There’s no feeling quite as special as holding your baby for the first time.
The advice I had gotten from everybody I knew who had a C-Section was that to recover as quickly as possible, I had to push myself to get up out of bed and walk as much as I possibly could, so I was determined to do that. I got out of bed early Tuesday morning shortly after the nurses took out my catheter, and I made a point to stay on top of my pain so that I could get up and walk back and forth up and down the hallway a couple of times a day. Tuesday and Wednesday we had a lot of friends come to visit, and then Wednesday evening, my mom arrived from San Francisco to stay with us for a week and a half to help out with the baby. She’s still staying with us and will be here until Tuesday (at which time she will be 2 weeks and 1 day old!)
We went home from the hospital on Thursday, and Ken’s parents arrived later that day for a long weekend visit. Julia is so lucky to have 4 grandparents who love her so much and who are ready to spoil her! Jim also came a week later and just left this afternoon, so he also got to meet his granddaughter.
Now that she has been home with us for over a week, we are settling into a new lifestyle as parents. It definitely takes a lot of adjusting and it will be a big learning process, but we are slowly getting the hang of it as she teaches us how to be parents and as we learn from her, from our doctors, and from other parents that we know. One thing that has been the most challenging is that nobody can tell us about our baby because every baby is different. The pediatrician has one piece of advice, the OB has another piece of advice, the lactation consultant and La Leche Leader have another piece of advice, and other parents have other advice but when it all comes down to it, we have to take every little piece of advice that we get and figure out how to make it work for our baby. She is different from all other babies and may need her own very unique parenting style that we will need to figure out as we go along.