I’ll be the first to admit that with a scheduled, elective C-section, there’s nothing really exciting about Miles’ birth story. I mean, I really took all the fun out of having a baby since I didn’t have to wait for labor to start (I’ve still never really had any contractions) and I knew exactly when and how he was going to be delivered. Regardless, I still want to take the time to remember his birth day and tell the story of how my little guy came in to the world.
We had arranged for MacKenna to spend the night at my parents house Sunday night since we had to be at the hospital at 5:30 the next morning. I sobbed once they left with her – mostly hormones, but the fact that I knew we were going to be rocking her world was eating me up. And I knew I would be spending the next several days away from her and I was going to miss her terribly.
Prep for my C-section actually started the day before with special showering instructions to make sure my body was extra clean to prevent any skin infections. I had to buy a special wash and make sure that shaving took place prior to my evening shower, as well as making sure I was dressed in all clean clothes with clean sheets and dried off with a clean towel. And absolutely no lotions, powders, etc. after showering, which of course, was my worst fear since I already had hypersensitive skin that was prone to itchiness. Thankfully, it wasn’t too terribly bad.
It took me forever to fall asleep. My mind was racing about the next day and I was just nervous in general. I finally fell asleep around 11:30, getting approximately 4.5 hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 4 AM. Because I of course needed to repeat the cleaning process in the morning prior to surgery. I’ve never been so clean in my entire life…
After taking some final bump pictures, Matt and I were out the door before 5 AM and on our way to the hospital.
They immediately took me back to a room, handed me a robe and another way to clean my belly off one final time (seriously, so freaking clean), and I spent the next hour in the most uncomfortable bed answering lots of pre-surgery questions, hooked up to a fetal heart monitor. Another nurse also hooked me up with an IV, which is when I officially started feeling horrible for the day. Needles don’t bother me, but with my nerves, it didn’t take me long to feel lightheaded. After all the questioning and monitoring, they left Matt and me alone until the anesthesiologist came in to ask me more questions about the surgery and go through the whole process again.
A little after 7 AM, we were walking back to the OR to really prep for surgery. The epidural was fast, but definitely not painless. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist did a great job explaining exactly what I would be feeling with each little poke she was putting in my body. It definitely did NOT ease my mind and I worried that I still was going to be feeling everything throughout the surgery.
Pretty soon, I was feeling pretty numb and they were testing my pain sensations with ice while getting the rest of my lower half prepped for surgery. (I won’t go in to details with what they did as it does get pretty personal down there.) Right before 7:30, my doctor walked in, cheery as always and ready to get started. They put the drape up so we couldn’t see anything they were doing, except of course, I could see the reflection on the spotlights above as well as hear everything they were saying, and since there was a med/nursing student in there, she explained everything they were doing as they went along. Probably the best thing I got out of the C-section (besides my little guy, of course) was a mini tummy tuck – they had to take out my previous scar prior to the surgery, so I lost about an inch of skin on my stomach. Ha! She told me that was her Christmas present to me…
It felt like it was taking forever to get to the point of pulling him out, but in reality, it was only about 10 or 15 minutes before they were asking Matt if he wanted to watch them pull the baby out. For those of you who have never experienced a C-section before, while you can’t feel any pain, you can still feel pressure. They make a very small incision on your lower abdomen and then push the baby out from the top. It basically feels like they are stretching your skin over your head while pushing down as hard as possible on your abdomen. It doesn’t hurt, but it is incredibly uncomfortable.
At 7:43 AM, our 6 pound 11 ounces and 20 inches of perfection was born! Miles came out screaming, but that only lasted a few minutes before he was calm again. My immediate reaction upon seeing him was that he looked exactly like MacKenna! Matt and I both had tears in our eyes as he was born and I can honestly say that was one of the top 5 moments in my life (along with our engagement, wedding, and MacKenna’s birth).
They got him cleaned up (he had a pee fountain twice while they were cleaning him up!) and handed him over to Matt. While it is difficult to not be the first to get to hold him (and I really didn’t get to for another 30 minutes or so as they put everything back and stitched me up), I love that Matt gets to have that experience since I got to grow him for 9 months. Miles was absolutely perfect, with a dark head of hair and a gorgeous little face (not all beat up like his sister’s was).
Once everything was stitched up, they moved me to the recovery bed and I finally got to hold my little guy for the first time. We spent the next 2 hours in recovery, nursing (he latched immediately and nursed for a good 25 minutes), bonding, and getting him all cleaned up. Matt and I called our parents to finally tell them the name of our little guy and to let them know when to come visit. My goal was to let MacKenna be the first to meet him as I wanted her to be a part of his birth day as much as we could. Miles and MacKenna exchanged gifts in the hospital (she gave him a moose and he gave her a baby doll) but that was about all she wanted to do with him (the hospital was a little scary to her, especially since I was still hooked up to an IV and catheter).
The rest of Miles’ birth day was spent with family visiting, more nursing (sooooo much easier with the second baby!), trying to keep food down (ugh, anesthesia is not good to my tummy), and getting to know Miles a little better. We both did great in the hospital – he was a little jaundiced, but on the low-risk side of the spectrum – and were discharged a day early, coming home on Christmas Day.
Miles was definitely the best Christmas present I could ever ask for! I will definitely be writing a lot more about adjusting (easier with the second baby, but definitely hard on a toddler) and how recovery is going later this week. Thank you again for all the kind words and support this last week!