our baby boy's debut

When I was pregnant I loved reading other people's birth stories.  I knew I'd want to write ours down in detail for me and anyone else who runs by it, even if it turned out to be something I never expected!  Enjoy!

The date:
Wednesday November, 12th 2014

As of a few days prior we were ready to wait for contractions to get going and head to the hospital to push out a pink baby boy.  However, a few somersaults and a big surprise later, we found out this little peanut had other plans.  Baby boy was stuck in a complete breech position (aka: his head was up by my ribs instead of down by my pelvis) and he had little to no chance of flipping despite me doing everything short of handstands in the pool.  There was just so little room left! 

We woke up that morning with an appointment for a scheduled C-section at 12:30pm.  Surprisingly I slept incredibly well and felt very calm.  The night before we called our home teacher over for he and David to give me a priesthood blessing.  It promised me strength and peace and that everything would work out for the best to delivery our little boy.  I know that blessing strengthened and empowered me to get through that long and crazy Wednesday, and I am so thankful for it.

After waking up, taking one last long, indulgent shower, and getting last minute things thrown in hospital bags, we drove the long 5 minutes to Huntington Hospital.  I had always imagined making this drive fighting through contractions, running up to the maternity ward and excitedly informing them we were having a baby!  As it was, we were calm and collected.  We drove, parked, and walked to the maternity ward to check in for our pre-scheduled appointment.  I was fighting down some increasingly frequent contractions at this point that were slowly growing stronger, so I guess that part of my imagining was right ;)

When we were all checked in, the nurse took us back to triage where they would check my vitals and make sure everything was right before surgery.  They were just going to put the IV in when I reminded the nurse that I was only here getting a C-section because my baby was breech.  If he had flipped in the last few days (fingers crossed!), then we were a no go.  I repeat: a no-go.  She put the fetal heart monitor on my belly and wasn't immediately sure which way baby was positioned.  Two nurses then felt my belly and again couldn't tell if that bump up my ribs was his head or his bum!  At this point I was getting pretty excited - maybe he flipped!!  Maybe my hours of laying head down on our propped up ironing board were not in vain!  To be absolutely sure they rolled in the machine to do one last ultrasound.  At first things were still fuzzy, but not for long.

The verdict:
Baby boy was still very much breech. 
We were going through with the C-section.

I was very surprised with myself when I didn't start freaking out.  I just took David's hand and said, "Ok, lets do this."  They then got me outfitted in a stylish hospital gown (which was much more modest than I was expecting: bonus), hooked me up to an IV, and pumped me full of fluids. 

At this point, my anesthesiologist, Dr. Hill, came in to talk to us about my numbing process.  I'd always planned on getting an epidural when I went into labor and to be honest, a spinal block - what they do for a C-section - isn't far from it as far as the procedure goes.  However, I'd always planned on being distracted by waves of contractions to suppress my anxiety ;)  That aside, I will forever be grateful for a calm and kind anesthesiologist.  In my opinion he made the biggest difference for me that day.  While my doctor's hands were busy during surgery, he stood up by my head and patiently talked me through everything I was feeling and what to expect. 

After a quick pep talk with my OB, they sent Dave out to get scrubbed up and I was escorted over to the operating room with Jack Johnson playing softly in the background.  There is something completely surreal about walking into a room where surgery will take place.  The biggest medical procedure I've ever been through up to this point was getting my wisdom teeth extracted, so this felt like kind of a big step up.  But, honestly, this is really the best sort of surgery - the kind where you come out holding a sweet little babe!  Even so, I am endlessly grateful for wonderful nurses and doctors who were kind and thoughtful and kept me calm and collected. 

After getting my big shot (which was really not that bad - one stinging prick and then some pressure - I can handle that), I lay on the table waiting for the spinal block to completely kick in as Dr. Hill did his checks.  Only then did I have a sudden thought: Come on, I thought, there is no way some magical shot in my back would work well enough to numb me completely for a surgery that I would be wide awake for.  At this point Dr. Hill showed me a little sharp plastic tack that he would start poking me with: starting on my arm and then move down my side to poke incrementally lower, all the while asking when I couldn't feel it anymore.  At first I totally felt the pokes...but slowly they became more distant until I was sure he was jesting when he said he "poked" my stomach and asked if i felt it.  Modern medicine, I tell ya, it's pretty cool stuff.

At this point they mercifully draped me (who needs to see that, right?), and my OB, Dr. Matsuda, came in with his assistant, Dr. Henneburg.  Bless these two guys, I'm so grateful for their steady hands, light humor, and quick work.  I kind of thought someone would announce, "And now we're making the first incision..." or something like that, but they just got down to work, and that was probably for the best.  Soon after they started, Dave was lead back into the room and sat up by my head, held my IV-ed hand, and fed me encouraging words - all of which I very much needed.

The procedure started at 12:30 that afternoon and by 12:42 there was the cry of a little babe.  My doctor lifted our little wet boy over the draping for me to see, while I tried to sit up to get a better look.  Not so easy when your abs are numbed and won't respond to you, but it was worth every ounce of effort.

Baby boy's first picture - I just think it's amazing.  I love his little arms raised as if to say:
"Tada!  I'm heeeerre!!"

The nurses whisked our little one to a warming table to check him and clean him up.  Dave ran over to be with him and cut the umbilical cord, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit jealous.  Bless those kind nurses for their initiative to grab our camera to capture some of these sweet first moments for me to see.

After his scrub down, Dave and our little guy sat up by my head for most of the rest of the procedure, distracting me beautifully except for a bad case of the shakes that took me over due to the anesthesia.  I did experience some pretty intense referred pain in my shoulders during surgery (perfectly normal), the kind of pinch where you just really need someone to give you a massage, but staring at my baby boy helped immensely.

 I LOVE this picture of our new little bundle - our little gnome ;)

When I was almost done, Dave and our little guy were taken to the recovery room just ahead of me and I followed them out soon after.  Despite being in a bit of a medicated haze, holding my sweet baby boy for the first time was still the sweetest thing I've ever experienced.  His warm tiny body was just so fragile and new and perfect and right against mine.  And is it just me or are those little striped hospital caps the cutest things around?

It was love at first sight with our sweet little Clark Ernest Nemrow:

The rest of our afternoon was a bit of a blur of cuddles and visits and settling in.
It was a day to be remembered and one of the best of my life.

 We love Poppi and Grammy Tobler :)

Even though the debut of our little peanut didn't end up being anything like I had expected I am so grateful for the men and women that got our Clark here safe and sound.  I know C-sections can sometimes hold a pretty negative stereotype, but we had a great experience and ultimately I feel very comfortable that this is how things were supposed to happen.  

And now, 2 weeks later, it doesn't matter to me one bit how he got here, just that he is and he's ours and we love him to the moon and back.


C said...

He's just beautiful. So glad you're both happy and healthy!

Emily said...

Eek! This is so exciting!!! Thank you so much for posting the story - I feel the same way about birth vs. c-section so your experience has really helped me see the positives. Plus you have such happy, photos to compound the story! Congrats!