I am a C-section mama three times over! Sure, my births aren’t ideal- I never would have imagined that I would have three major surgeries to get my three children in my arms! A baby is a special gift though, no matter how he arrives! This is the story of how our second child, Stinkbug, joined our family!
Since I had an emergent C-section with Ladybug, I wasn’t sure what I should do about Stinkbug’s birth—should I try for VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean)? Or schedule another C-section? I really struggled with the decision all throughout my pregnancy. I desired to deliver him vaginally (even though I am still afraid of pushing a baby out!), but with my due date being so close to Thanksgiving, and his size looking pretty big, I decided to schedule a C-section for my due date (November 20, 2008), and hope that I went into labor naturally before that. I figured that if he could bake longer than his due date, we would have issues with his size (just like with Ladybug) and the chances of him getting stuck during labor would be higher, so that was my “back up plan”.
When I spoke with my doctor about scheduling the C-section as a “back up plan”, the only dates available for me to schedule were November 14 and November 24. I did not want to wait until the 24th, since that would mean I would still be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, and let’s face it—who wants to be pregnant past their due date? So I scheduled a C-section for November 14, 2008—39 weeks and one day into my pregnancy.
The morning of the 14th, we were supposed to be at the hospital at 8am. I slept surprisingly well! I figured that it would be difficult to sleep because I’d be so excited about meeting my son! I had gone to the hospital on the 13th to have blood work done and complete all the hospital forms and registration, so we were ushered almost right up to the fourth floor on the 14th! They put me in a L&D room, hooked me up to the baby monitor belt, took my blood pressure, gave me an IV and began running fluids into me. People came in and out introducing themselves, having me sign papers, and going over the procedures for the day. It was weird to know I was going to meet Stinkbug very soon, and I wasn’t even “in labor”! I asked if my mom could be in the OR, since she had been present when Ladybug was born. The decision was left to the anesthesiologist, and it ended up being OK.
My mom, dad, and sisters all snuck in to see me and Andrew and pray with us. A little later, Liz (Andrew’s mom) came in with Ladybug to see me too. They all were waiting in the L&D waiting room.
10:30am was when I was scheduled to go into surgery, but we were still chillin’ in the hospital room (watching Rachael Ray) when 10:30am came and went. It wasn’t long after that though, when a nurse (or two?) came and robed me up and walked me down the hallway to the OR. (I hate walking around in just a hospital gown—EWWWW!)
It was FREEZING in the OR! There was some poking to get the spinal block started, I just remember having to lean over and hold really still (just like getting an epidural with Ladybug). It was seriously so cold in there. I loved the nurse who brought in warm blankets to lay on top me! Much better! There were nurses bustling around checking things, and calling out to each other about equipment and other things… it was very busy! Pretty soon my doctor was there with her midwife assistant and the medical student who was observing the C-section, and it was time! They even started the incision before Andrew and my mom came in.
During the C-section, I just remember my arms being strapped down (I hate that!) and seeing Andrew watching over the blue curtain. It felt like awhile before there was a lot of pressure and they were pushing Stinkbug out of my abdomen. (He was born at 11:34am.) I heard a cry and they held a little blond baby up over the curtain! My first thought was that he looked just like Ladybug did as a newborn—it was a sweet moment. Everyone was talking about how big he looked and they thought for sure he would weigh over nine pounds—nope! He was 8 pounds 2.9 ounces and 20 ½ inches long. He scored two 9s on his APGAR, but one of the nurses swore that he was the pinkest baby she’d ever seen, and she said (numerous times) that if she had been the nurse in charge in the OR, he would have gotten a 10 on his second APGAR—way to go, Stinkbug!
While I was being stitched back together, Stinkbug was taken up to the nursery and Andrew went with him. I remember feeling slightly itchy and they gave me some Benadryl to help stop the itching. (I had itched after having Ladybug, but didn’t get anything—Benadryl is miraculous!) One of the nurses was wondering what he had ended up weighing (since everyone thought he looked so big!) so she called up to the nursery to find out, and that’s when I heard his official measurements for the first time.
When I was back together again, I was wheeled to a recovery room (also very cold!) and Andrew came in there and Stinkbug was wheeled in too. It was so sweet to hold him and kiss him for the first time!
The time in recovery is a wee bit fuzzy (understandably so!), the nurses were checking my vitals, I was snuggling my baby, Andrew was sitting with me… our families went to eat, but soon they were back. They took turns holding Stinkbug (Ladybug had fallen asleep on the way back from lunch), and took way too many pictures of him (I started to get a little annoyed with the flashes!)
Ladybug did wake up eventually and I just remember feeling really neat when she was sitting up on the bed—my first time with both kids! I don’t think she really knew what to think of Stinkbug!
Having a scheduled C-section this time around was very smooth. I slightly regret not having the experience of birthing either of my children vaginally, but God was sovereign in the way each of them came into the world. I have had to give my disappointments with my birthing experiences over to Him more than once. Ultimately, I feel honored to be entrusted with the special task of raising them for the glory of God!