Kaitlyn’s Birth Story

I had always only seen the positive in having a scheduled delivery, mainly because my Type-A personality doesn’t do well with unplanned surprises.  I like to be prepared and on top of things.  So to know exactly when I needed childcare for my toddler and time off from work for the hubby?  It only seemed like it could be a win-win situation.

But here’s the thing about knowing the exact day and time…  You suddenly can count down the days.  The hours.  The minutes.  And the day before, you know that you’re going to either be in labor or in surgery the following day.  And that, my friends, gives a mom just a bit too much time to think.

Last Wednesday, the day before my scheduled C-section, I kept trying to remind myself that the C-section wasn’t just any ol’ surgery.  It was the way that I would delivery my baby girl. And it’s not like I hadn’t already been through one (even if my last hadn’t been planned).  But still, having that hang over my head and just knowing that – despite how common it is – it’s major surgery?  I was definitely starting to feel the nerves!

My surgery was scheduled for 7:30am on Thursday, May 4th; and we had to be at the hospital two hours early for the prep / lab work.  So my mom arrived at our house for 5am (to watch our then-sleeping toddler), and Nate and I made the drive to the hospital.

The weather was beautiful…  Crisp and cool with a gorgeous pink and orange sunrise.   It was pretty surreal that we’d be able to meet our Kaitlyn in just a few hours!

When we arrived at the Labor and Delivery Floor in the hospital, we were led to the surgery, recovery room.  The nurse had me wipe down with an antiseptic wipe before donning a lovely hospital gown.  I had blood drawn and then was hooked up to IV fluids for about an hour.  I kept asking Nate for the time, and the moment of surgery just kept inching closer.

I honestly could feel myself getting more and more nervous about the c-section.  I’d gone through it before, so I knew what to expect.  And somehow that was making things much harder this time around.  (It was completely different than my experience with Brady.  I had felt so mentally prepared and confident for his delivery.  Knowing the date ahead of time – and being so exhausted and sick throughout the pregnancy – really had played mind games with me.  Also, to be honest, just being a mom already put a new feeling of pressure on me.  I kept thinking, “Nothing can go wrong…  Brady needs his mamma.  Nothing can go wrong, because he really needs me.”  It’s not a fun place to be mentally, especially when you’re just minutes away from surgery).

Finally it was time.  I was unhooked from the IV and helped out of bed, so that I could walk to the surgery room.  Nate, meanwhile, stayed behind to put on scrubs.  (He loved that part just a bit too much…).  😉

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One of the things I’d been worried about was whether or not I’d feel the long needle of the spinal going into my back.  (For my last C-section, I’d just had over 9 hours of labor contractions, so I was already in enough pain that I hadn’t felt a thing from the shot).  I was helped onto the metal table and was instructed to curl forward over my belly, so that they could numb my back with some tiny shots.  Those just pinched a tad, so I honestly didn’t feel the anesthesia go in at all.  I was really relieved!

But the rest of the C-section wasn’t quite so calming…

With C-sections, the anesthesia hits quickly and numbs you from the upper chest down.  With that numbness comes the sensation of not being able to breathe.  It happened during my C-section with Brady, but I had been warned about it so I was able to focus on the fact that I could breathe (even though the feeling wasn’t there).  This time around, the sense of not being able to breathe was much more intense.  I kept trying to take deep breaths to assure myself that I was getting oxygen, but breathing  was getting much more difficult (...in my mind.  In reality, I was breathing just fine).

And since I was just getting over a chest cold, I could suddenly feel my lungs and throat get thick with phlegm.  But I couldn’t cough.  Try as I might, the numbness in my chest had made it impossible for me to cough, so I felt like I was starting to drown.

I also had an intense sensation of exhaustion and realized that I almost couldn’t keep my eyes open.   I felt this intense sleepiness beckoning me to go to sleep; but I also had this sudden fear that if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up.  I can’t explain it very well in words except to say that it was terrifying.  So I kept wiggling my fingers or stretching my arms, willing myself to realize that I was alive and that the doctors on the other side of the curtain were still talking in calm voices.

When Nate was allowed to enter the operating room, I was shaking really bad; and I can only imagine how much fear was racing behind my wide-open eyes.  He sat down on a stool next to me and instantly started to rub my hand, saying, “How are you doing, Babe?  You’re doing SO good!  I love you so much!!”

Honestly, I calmed down a ton once he was in there with me, as I had known I would.  Feeling his warm hand covering mine…  Focusing on the stroke of his thumb on my arm…  Listening to his calm voice.  My racing heart definitely slowed down, and I was able to calm myself mentally.

The surgery itself is honestly very quick (although in the moment, it can feel like a lifetime).  There’s absolutely no pain, but there is some pretty intesnse tugging going on.  And because Kaitlyn was so far up, a doctor literally had to lean into my chest to help push her down.  I could see his shadow on the other side of the curtain, and the pressure of his body on mine just made it that much harder to breathe.

And THEN…  Then I heard the doctor say, “There she is.  Oh, she’s beautiful!”  And I heard the sweetest, high-pitched cry call out.  And suddenly there were tears running down my face, and I was struggling to hold back sobs of pure joy and love and happiness.

The nurses quickly weighed her, cleaned her up a bit, and did the measurements.  (I really wish they had waited to do all that until I had been able to hold her, like they did with Brady.  Waiting to feel her on my chest and to really see her seemed like an eternity)!  But soon, she was placed – crying – on my chest; and I was able to look into the precious face of my baby girl.

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THAT is when it all becomes worth it.  It’s instant.  The whirlwind of emotions that include the fiercest of loves and the deepest of joys.  Suddenly nothing else matters.  Suddenly you forget the uncomfortable moments during pregnancy.  You let go of the body image fears.  You’d go through that C-section all over again, from start to finish.

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It’s ALL worth it.

A nurse was assigned to watch over me for two hours after the surgery just to make sure that there weren’t any complications.  I was hooked up to monitors and also had to wear ‘boots’ on my legs that continuously compressed and released.  (Those are to help ward off blood clots in your legs).  I’d wear those until the following morning, as I wasn’t allowed to take them off until I was able to walk a bit.  During that time, I was allowed to nurse Kaitlyn, and she latched / fed like a champion!

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Bit by bit, the feeling returned to my toes.  And man, did feeling return everywhere else too.  I’ve never been SO itchy in my life!  Apparently that can be a side effect of the anesthesia , and I literally spent the rest of the day scratching at my face, chest, arms, and legs.  (But I was relieved that I hadn’t thrown up – as I usually do after having anesthesia- so I didn’t complain about the itching for a moment)!

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I was honestly so happy that I kind of just laughed at how much I was scratching at myself.  To have the C-section behind me and my baby in my arms filled me with such happiness that I was possibility giddy!

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After several hours, we were wheeled to our room where we’d spend the next few days, and I have to say that we really lucked out this time.  The room was really large AND there was an actual bed for Nate to sleep on (instead of the pull-out cot that he tried to sleep on last time).  For the remainder of the day, I rested in bed and snuggled my baby girl.

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There is nothing more priceless or precious than that.

And NOW, our little family is complete… and our hearts are FULL!

 

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15 thoughts on “Kaitlyn’s Birth Story”

  1. We had very similar stories for our 2nd kiddos. I could have written most of this myself (well I think I did lol). Those moments in the operating room before your husband arrived is EXACTLY how I felt. The itchiness after anesthesia…totally remember that! I also remember counting down the days and didn’t really have any type of nervousness until we got to the hospital and knowing it was delivery day made me emotional. I said several times to my husband that I wasn’t ready for our son to be born yet. I knew he was likely going to me my last child and the thought of not being pregnant again made me sad. It still does a little.

    Anyways, congratulations! She’s beautiful!

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      I have to say that I really disliked being pregnant, because this past pregnancy was so difficult. But I completely understand the sadness of realizing that it’s your last… I am LOVING the newborn stage, and I definitely am filled with a touch of sadness when I realize that this is our last time bringing a newborn home. There’s something special about seeing your kids grow up and interacting more. But at the same time, they’re so precious when they’re that little!!
      C-sections are tough, aren’t they?!? But SO worth it in the end!!!

  2. This post honestly brought tears to my eyes!! What a whirlwind experience, but it really is worth every moment. I’m so happy for you and your family. What a beautiful baby girl who’s so lucky to have a wonderful Mama like you! Happy (early) Mother’s Day to you, what a special one it’ll be this year! XOXO

  3. I loved reading this post! Such a beautiful birth story♥️ I got tears in my eyes when you described Nate’s words of encouragement remembering how much Eric’s presence had calmed me. Congratulations, again! Good is good!!

  4. Oh beautiful! I am so glad she’s here and that all went well! I’ll be honest, reading your story and not knowing what our delivery will look like yet made me a little more anxious than reading birth stories in the past has (you know, when I wasn’t pregnant with an impending delivery, haha!). But I love hearing about the sweet moments when you actually got to meet Kaitlyn. Oh, I’m so excited for that moment. When all of this will absolutely be worth it! Congratulations, sweet friend!

    1. Every…single…birth…story is SO different. And I have to say that as hard as labor or C-sections are, it’s amazing how a woman’s strength rises to the occasion when she is going through it. I remember that with Brady, I had over 9 hours of labor (before my C-section), and I never once lost control. I practiced my lamaze breathing, stared at my focal point, prayed, and let Nate be my steady voice. And I was shocked at how quickly those hours flew by… and shocked at how quickly the C-section passed. I honestly think that this time around, it was just harder for me; because I was mentally not there. I was exhausted – both mentally and physically – from the pregnancy, and I walked into the hospital not feeling prepared. (I had thought WAY too much about it and had let myself get into my head).
      Trust me when I say that your experience will be beautiful. It will be hard… but so is running a marathon. You really need to see it as a race or a climb up a mountain. One step at a time, and – before you know it – your’e at the finish line or mountaintop.
      As for my recovery, I’m about to blog about that… and my recovery was amazing!! Even easier than last time. 🙂
      So don’t let my blog post get into your head. I definitely struggled big time with the C-section, because they are scary. But I was never in any danger physically… AND I had an amazing man beside me to help me through (as I know you do too).
      Your little girl’s birth story will be something you look back on with strength, as you realize, “I did that!” …and you’ll probably look back on it with tears too. 🙂 As hard as it is, it really is an empowering experience (no matter how you deliver the baby). 🙂

      1. Amen! So true!
        One thing that really helped me prepare mentally for Ellis’ birth was reading so many different birth stories and seeing how different birth can be. But every single time, the mama found beauty and strength in her baby’s story. One book that had some great birth stories in it (sorry, you’re probably neck-deep in book suggestions:P) is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. REALLY appreciated her take on labor!

  5. I love reading birth stories! It is so true that everything that you have to go through as a mom in labor/ birth is totally worth it once the baby arrives. It is such a beautiful and exhausting process. I can’t imagine dealing with the feeling of “this is my last”. We don’t feel that we are at that point yet, but I feel like it will make every little stage more emotional when we are there. I am glad you took the time to write out and share her birth story. 🙂

  6. I loved reading Kaitlyn’s birth story! I am so happy she is here now and that your family is complete! I can totally imagine the mental struggle you went through before the c-section because you knew what to expect. I guess that can be good and bad all at the same time. But, you made it through and your sweet baby girl is here!! So, so happy for you guys ❤

  7. Congratulations! Your baby girl is beautiful.
    C-section or vaginal delivery, the pregnancy problems and challenges of carrying a little human- it is all worth it when you hear that first cry and hold them next to you 😀 Congratulations again to you and your family!

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