Joanna's Birth Story

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July is birth story month at the Motherhood Collective. Reading the good, the bad, the ugly and the BEAUTIFUL experiences of other mothers gives us a real appreciation for the strength we have in childbirth. Hopefully these stories will inspire you. Getting Started It all started this morning as I awoke with a grumbly belly from not being able to eat since midnight. My surgery was at 1:45 and we had to arrive at 11:45. Thanks to an unexpected detour and U-turn, we arrived at 11:50. We registered, went upstairs, had my final weigh in (218lbs!) and were taken to our first room. After changing into a gown that didn't cover my butt at all (my bump far exceeded the average allotted circumference), I sat on a stretcher to answer questions confirming my medical history, etc. They recorded my blood pressure, took a urine sample and gave me a glorious IV that hurt like the dickens. (Because I was so dehydrated, they skipped the numbing drug and just stuck the big needle in first. Owies.)

Then we waited a half hour. 45 minutes. One hour. 90 minutes. Two hours.

We learned many things during these two hours. First of all, I was having contractions 2 minutes apart and barely felt them. Doc attributed the lack of pain to my thick cervix. It was stubbornly refusing to thin and Joanna never fully engaged. Good thing we were already planning a C-section! We also learned that there were several vaginal deliveries my doc had to make before us that backed up her surgical schedule. There was another patient preggo ahead of us that was getting sliced. They began prepping me at 4:00 immediately following Nate Berkus (thanks God!) and we started the fun!

Right before surgery I was admitted to the OR at 4:09. That freakin' epidural hurt. Holy Moses. At first it was refreshing to have my back cooled off by the ice cold rag she used to prep the area. The numbing shot wasn't bad. The epidural was put in slightly to the right, then slightly to the left, then again, and again, and again, and again, and another time for good measure, then one more time. They layed me on the surgical slab as my body went numb from my chest down. It was weird, exciting, and confusing! I was given an oxygen mask, my bed was tilted to the left because my breathing became more difficult given the 55 lb bowling ball still on my chest.

Jonathan entered the room looking like McDreamy and sat with me as they jostled me around. I asked when they would get started and she said that the baby was almost out. Oh! Okay!

"Great lungs!"

I heard crying. I heard the beautiful cries of my beautiful baby.

"Oh there's a big round head!"

Thanks, Nurse Obvious :)

They held her above the partition so I could catch a glimpse. Wow! She had hair! She's so round! She's gorgeous!

They took her to get cleaned up and I asked Jonathan to snap some photos...

"10 lb 4 oz"

(Holy crap. She really is 10 pounds!!!! YEAAA!)

She scored between an 8 and a 9 on her APGAR. Everything looked good! They were going to double check her for diabetes because of her size - no diabetes :) She had a condition where our blood types aren't compatible, so they wanted to keep an eye on her for potential jaundice issues.

Layer by layer, I was stitched back together as the nurses talked about what their kids would dress as for Halloween. Jonathan wheeled our little girl to the nursery to join her birthday buddies. Along the way she met up with the grandparents and they snapped tearfully-proud photos of their offspring's offspring.

I was then wheeled to a recovery room where I was fed ice chips and asked to wiggle my toes. I felt like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill - I couldn't do it at first but I just kept trying and trying. Those ice chips were so good. Oh my. Joanna joined us about an hour later and I was finally able to really get a good look at our contribution to society. She was so gorgeous!! While still paralyzed, I tried nursing and was mildly successful. She kept falling asleep but thankfully it didn't hurt me to breastfeed. I remember thinking that I'll be one of the few that has little issues with nursing.

Mama and Baby

Eventually I could move my leg but not my toes so they let me go to our mother-baby room. It's here where the nausea set in. Reminiscent of last winter, I couldn't keep anything down. It's a normal side effect of a C-section, especially for a pregnancy that already battled with nausea. I wasn't worried, nurses weren't worried, but I was really annoyed. At least I could taste popsicles and ice water. I was told that as soon as I passed gas, I could have a grilled cheese sandwich. I've never been so motivated to fart!

So as I wrote these thoughts, I was sitting in my electronic bed watching Craig Fergusen and listening to the beautiful snores of my brave husband. I love that guy. He gave me a beautiful gift of our daughter. And God gave us the greatest gifts of all - life and love.

 

If you have a birth story you'd like to share with our readers, please submit it here.

 

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