I realize that she is 9 weeks old (almost 10) and I am just NOW writing her birth story. I also realize I mentioned various aspects about her birth in previous posts. And lastly I realize the mere phrase "birth story" can pretty much scare anyone in the world from reading another word.
But better late than never. I didn't really get to tell the whole thing. And this is a birth story involving a planned c-section (translation: much less graphic).
On May 13, 2009, we woke up very very early. I had to be at the hospital at about 6:00 AM, but first we had to drop Reagan off at some friends for the day. I should clarify that the phrase we "woke up" would indicate that we were sleeping. "We" were not. I was not. On May 8, 2009, I came down with a stomach virus. It was extremely unpretty. It landed me in the ER getting intravenous fluids because I lost a little too much weight and I could not keep a single thing down. We thought that hurdle was cleared. And then on May 11, 2009, Brian came down with the stomach virus. It was a little less violent, but still not pleasant. And it caused great panic and terror in my 39 weeks pregnant body because if my math was correct, if the pattern continued, Reagan would get the stomach virus the night before my c-section. So there was no sleep happening on my side of the bed because I was too busy listening for the sound of vomit. The sound which, thankfully, never came. I woke up and took my shower saying prayers of praise and thanks for a daughter who was not sick as a dog.
We woke Reagan up and she woke up almost cheerfully. I carried her little body to the car and we strapped her pajamaed self into her seat. I was worried about whether or not I would panic when it was time for me to say goodbye. But it was a very calm and sweet little goodbye. I got a little choked up but managed to hold myself together. We checked into the hospital and walked up to the OB department. I remembered clearly taking a similar walk in 2006 when we were induced with Reagan. There was far less fear this time around because I knew in about 90 minutes my baby would be delivered without the 27 hours of labor that preceded my first birth experience.
The nurse in the OB department greeted us and ushered us back to the same room we occupied when Reagan was born. This was one of my secret prayers in the days before - that we could have the same room we had last time. It held some sweet memories for me. We got settled and I got into the hospital gown. There was more preparation and a flurry of activity as my doctor and then my surgeon came in to see me before the 7:30 AM surgery time. But the most wonderful moment of the day was when Carrie, a friend of ours from church, came into the room and told us she would be our nurse that morning. And then she asked if she could pray with us. That was such a fantastic gift and it just calmed my slightly nervous self right down. And then we were off. Me in a wheelchair, chatting easily with a lady in scrubs, and Brian in his blue scrubs, a few minutes behind.
The anesthetist told me earlier that he could give me something to calm me down if I got nervous, but everything went so well. The spinal was almost painless and for the first time in months I laid flat on my back and felt NO PAIN. Fantastic! Brian was ushered in and placed right beside my head. Within minutes the surgery had begun and it wasn't long before words were flying around the room.
"Good sized baby!"
"It's a girl!"
I sobbed. When Reagan was born I was so exhausted I fell asleep the minute I heard her crying. This time I lay there and listened to my new little girl, my little Madison, screaming her lungs out. Brian walked around taking some pictures. And then she was beside me in her Daddy's arms. My Madison Grace - still screaming. Brian and Madison left while they finished up my surgery. That nice anesthestist gave me something that made me go right to sleep for about 30 minutes. I woke up and they wheeled me back to the OB where I could hear Madison still screaming.
Brian came back to my room just minutes before Madison was brought in. "She's 7 pounds, 12 ounces" he said. I figured he read that first number wrong because I was positive she was going to be at least 9 pounds. He had to repeat the stats several times before I believed him. To me, 7 pounds anything was a tiny baby. I never thought I would have a tiny baby. I was thrilled to bits.
In the days to come, I had the opposite experience I had with Reagan. My pain was extremely well managed and it never got out of control. I did not stress about nursing and eventually we both got the hang of it. I was able to move around without too much pain. I slept on my side (something I didn't do for WEEKS after Reagan was born) in the hospital. I would have Madison in my room for hours on end even after Brian went home. I had a great appetite and ate very well. I took a shower the day after delivery. I went home a day early, instead of a day late. Once home I had only one or two times where I felt sad...and that was the extent of my baby blues. I slept extremely well and felt very rested. The day after I was released from the hospital I went to a couple garage sales.
But more than anything, I had prayed very sincerely that God would somehow help me to have a positive attitude. And He really answered that prayer. I was just happy. And even when everything didn't go so well, I could still see the bright side.
Honestly, it was the best birth experience I could have possibly hoped for.
And I want to thank any and all of you who were praying for me. Many of you knew the exact day and I have no doubt you were on your knees that morning. I'm just so blessed to have such loving friends and family in my life. Your prayers were a tremendous blessing to me and I am so humbled that you remembered me. God was listening!