Sunday, October 21, 2007
Happy Birthday to Us!
On the morning of September 29th I felt like something was going to happen. Throughout the day I was feeling some contractions, but they didn't really hurt. I began timing them in the early afternoon and then, after lunch, around 2pm I called my doctor. They were coming about 2 minutes apart.
It was a Saturday, my regular OB was not on call but his partner got back to me quickly. Since Lily was still breech and he was worried about cord prolapse in case my water broke he told me to go into the hospital. Once there we found that I was having real contractions (even though they didn't hurt and I didn't even always feel them) and I was dilated to 2cm (was at 1 cm on thursday). The doctor decided that it was too dangerous to chance sending me home (again in case of water breaking/prolapse) and told me I'd be having a C-section as soon as I was ready for a spinal (had to be 6 hours post eating) at about 9pm.
It was closer to 10 when they had the OR ready and took me back. I was by this time pretty nervous. I've never had a "real" surgery before (I'm not counting my tonsillectomy at 5) and had read a lot about how painful recovering from a section is. I was also scared about the spinal and if it would hurt badly or if I might move and end up with serious problems.
They shaved me, gave Eric a cool white paper outfit and surgical hat and footies to wear then I went alone to the or for my spinal. It was scary but didn't hurt too bad (actually the IV hurt as bad). Once I was numb they put up drapes and let Eric come in. He was up near my head for the surgery.
Once they started the section Lily was born in a matter of minutes. They held her up for us to see (and Eric was able to see her actually born) and then took her over to be weighed, suctioned and wrapped up. She was pretty heavily covered with Vernix when she was born and looked a little icky with all of the white stuff all over her (it was heavier than it would have been if she'd have waited till her due date) but still beautiful. She had a full head of hair and was bigger than I'd expected.
She weighed 7lbs and 7oz. I'd expected her to be much smaller since she was 2 and a half weeks early. Once swaddled and wiped down they handed her to Eric and he held her while the doctor sewed me up. Before the section he came and talked to me about the surgery and we'd decided a couple of things. First that he would "milk" her cord to help get more of the cord blood into her. If she'd come naturally we would have had them wait to cut the cord until after it had stopped pulsing, but the dr. said he couldn't wait since I'd be open and bleeding and they needed to get my bleeding stopped. Also, the doctor explained to me that while my incision would be bigger than usual (harder to get out a breech baby) there was this little thing he customarily doues with his section patients. While repairing my wound he would stitch the abdominal muscles the same way they do for the internal part of a tummy tuck. This, he says, will help me not have a baby pooch once the swelling goes down and I lose the weight. I was pretty excited about that :)
In all the repair took about 45 minutes. After that Lily was placed on my chest and we were taken down to the recovery room where my mom and new step-dad were waiting. I was a little tired but not in any pain. While in recovery I started nursing Lily, who was awake and alert, and she latched on easily. We were there for about 2 hours before being taken to the room where we would spend the rest of our stay.
Lily came at 10:19pm. I turned 32 at midnight. I kept thinking, and still do, that she is the best birthday present that I've ever gotten. Many people have said that it would have been cool if she'd have waited to be born on my birthday but I think it's close enough. We'll always have birthdays to share together but she has her own...
I've felt (since I was maybe a teenager) that 32 was going to be when my life would "really" start. I'm not a superstitious type of person but I find it an interesting coincidence that she arrived just in time to make that feeling come true. In the past 22 days I have found that I love being a mother much more than I thought I would. While she still doesn't do a whole lot, she already has both Eric and I completely charmed. I really look forward to watching her grow and develop into her own person... I can't wait to see what kind of person that will be.
And I do feel like my life has finally "really" begun. I've led a pretty full life so far. I've done a lot of things and had a lot of experiences. I feel, though, that in having Lily I have accomplished the greatest achievement that I will ever undertake (unless/until we give her a sibling). I don't believe anything I ever create could compare to her perfection and beauty... I look forward to dedicating the large part of the next 18 or so years to her, and hope I am able to give her the kind of life that she deserves to have.
So this was my happy birthday, and hopefully hers. Welcome Lily... we love you!