On our 38-week appointment, I got another sonogram because my doctor was concerned about the size of the baby. Although it’s widely known that sonograms can be off on their weight prediction by up to two pounds, the sono tech measured our baby at around 9lbs 12oz. My doctor talked to Mike and I about our options, since waiting until labor happened naturally could have resulted in a baby that was in the mid-10’s or even into the 11-pound range. She mentioned that first-time moms with larger babies tend to have a much higher chance of needing a Cesarean. She discussed the option of scheduling a C-section, told us we didn’t have to decide right away, and sent us home to think about it over the weekend.
Mike and I made up our minds pretty quickly that we wanted to move ahead with the scheduled Cesarean. A part of me was a little sad that I wouldn’t be going through the “regular” birth experience, complete with a frantic drive to the hospital, contractions and active labor, etc. But another part of me was kind of relieved – as much as I had been avoiding the topic, labor was a frightening thing and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. I knew a Cesarean wasn’t any easier in the long run (the recovery is definitely longer and more painful), but we could schedule when we’d meet our daughter – safely for mother and daughter – and we decided on that.
The earliest time the hospital had was Monday, May 7 – three days before my due date. Mike and I let our family members know and looked to another week of pregnancy. Then, on Wednesday the 2nd, I got a call from my doctor’s office telling me it was now noon on Friday! I was surprised but happy, since it gave me an extra weekend to recover. We updated our families (who promptly freaked out!).
Friday arrived. We spent our morning taking showers, finishing up a few things around the house, and then got the car seat and went to the car. It was kind of surreal that we were just casually going to the hospital to give birth! Once we got there at 10am, they ushered us right in and finished all of our paperwork.
They hooked me up to some machines and noted that I was actually having contractions. I thought it was just Louise firming up in there…now I know.
My parents arrived around 11 and waited in the room with us. The hospital wasn’t exactly sure when the Cesarean would take place (if there were a bunch of deliveries or emergency C-sections, I’d have to wait), but sure enough, noon rolled around and off Mike and I went to the OR. My dad was very nervous for me and my mom got really weepy, and Mike was really, really nervous. This was happening!
Once we were in the OR, things went even more quickly. The anesthesiologist juiced me up, they hooked me to a bunch of machines, and put the sheet up. My doctor came in and we were off.
Mike could peek around and see everything, but wasn’t sure if he was going to want to do that. Once he gingerly peeked around, he found that a) it wasn’t as graphic as he thought, and b) it helped calm his nerves to see what was going on. He ended up taking a video of her birth, which neither of us expected to have but we’re both really happy it worked out. Don’t worry, I’m not posting that here. You’ve got to keep some things sacred. 🙂
At 12:26pm, the doctors pulled out a 10 pound, 1 ounce baby girl!
Mike followed her to the warmer where they cleaned her up while they put me back together. I could peer around to the warmer, and I looked at Mike and he looked at me and I said, “Hi, dad.” And then tears started streaming down my face.
Mike got to hold her while they finished with me, and he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. Pretty sure he was crying but he’ll deny it. =)
I finally got to hold her. It was surreal.
They wheeled us to the recovery room where we allowed my parents to join us again. Once again, my mom was weeping with happiness over her first grandchild, while my dad wanted to make sure I was ok after the whole ordeal. They were in love with Louise just as much as we were.
We got our first photo as a family of three.
The rest of the hospital stay was predictable – lots of monitoring of vital signs for me and Louise…
figuring out how to breastfeed and change diapers and swaddle…
It was a restless three days. My parents came by every day, which was fantastic, and my grandparents paid a visit as well. We decided against non-family members seeing us in the hospital, which ended up being a smart move since we were so exhausted and I was basically always partially nude from exams or feeding or something.
Finally, Monday rolled around and we were discharged.
Mike put Lou in the carseat…
…and off we went on our new adventure.