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Welcome to the World, Little One

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After a short blog hiatus, I am back. In this post, I’m sharing Mira Ingrid’s birth story. I love writing my kids birth story while it is still fresh in my memory. All of my feelings are still close at heart. I find my 13-year-old still loves to hear his story, so writing it in mama’s words is a nice memento.

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The Planner

My pregnancy with Mira was my easiest one. My other two were delivered early due to complications from preeclampsia. This time we made it through all of our prenatal appointments, nothing alarming or risky. We had a plan for this birth. A planned c-section, the date chosen by our doctor. She was delivered at exactly 39 weeks. My bags were packed weeks in advance (just in case), and we loaded the car the night before my surgery.

May 20th was the date, and our surgery time was 7:30 am. We woke up that morning at 4:00 am, I had my shower, my husband made his coffee and we left the house around 4:45 am, not disturbing the other kids or grandma who was holding down the fort while we were away. We were at the hospital by 5 am.

As I said, my other births were emergency c-sections and totally had that feel. Emergent. This time we walked into Labor and Delivery and were greeted by name. The nurse walked us to our room, had me change clothes, give a urine sample, and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor for a half an hour or so. I filled out all of the required paperwork, had my IV inserted, and waited patiently until my doctor and anesthesiologist came in to talk before we walked to the operating room. I was also given literature on donating my placenta, which I chose to do since I had no other plans for it.

My husband was given his surgical suit and was told to put it on while they prepared me in the OR. I walked myself in the OR with the anesthesiologist and my nurse. It was nice to be aware of what was going on, seeing all of the surgical instruments, the chart with my information on the wall, and my catheter was not inserted until I was numbed with the spinal. Another huge difference– spinal anesthesia vs. epidural. It was an easier insertion and I felt less “drugged” afterward.

I did feel sick from the IV antibiotics and had the feeling for about 30 seconds that I would pass out and throw up, which was remedied very quickly by adding another med to my IV.

Surgery started roughly at 7:30 am and the baby was born before 8 am. My doctor talked to me throughout the process. After the baby’s waters were broken and right before she was born, my husband said my entire bed was shaking and the doctor had to stand on a stool to pull her out. Apparently, she was lodged into my pelvis pretty tightly and took some extra work to dislodge.

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Expect the Unexpected

I heard her cry, I knew she was born but we did not hear any updates from the nurses or doctors behind the drape. I’m not sure how many minutes we waited to hear an update, but it seemed like an eternity. Finally, the pediatrician and 2 nurses walked past us and told us she had swallowed some fluid and had to go to the NICU for some extra care. The other staff reassured us that she would be fine with her care in the NICU, and the anesthesiologist joked that she drank the jacuzzi water.

My husband and I waited for the rest of the surgery to be finished, and my doctor was still very gracious and talked us through his processes. He told me how much longer, and what he was doing as he finished up with my tubal ligation. After all was said and done, I was cleaned up, my doctor joked that he received quite the work out from Mira’s birth and he left letting us know he would be around later to check on me. Gus was finally able to leave to see Mira in the NICU, which was very close– the next room over and he came back with some photos so I could see what she looked like as I moved to recovery.

The rest of the day was a blur, I can’t recall the time frame although I know I texted my friends, made a Facebook post and I ate lunch without a problem. Gus went to visit Mira many times throughout the day, he wasn’t allowed to hold her and I wasn’t allowed to nurse her until her breathing regulated and her x-rays and bloodwork were clear.

This NICU stay was a hiccup in our “plan” but not traumatic. After being informed by the staff and some personal googling, I knew all would be well and we would be okay. I made sure to start pumping my breastmilk right away and my husband was awesome and would deliver it to the nurses every 2 hours. Sometime later that evening, I was told my catheter would be removed and I could get up and walk. At that moment, I was in pain and didn’t believe there was a way I could ever get out of bed. I cried to my husband that I couldn’t handle anymore and after that moment of self-pity passed, I sucked it up and went for it so I could make my first visit to meet my baby face-to-face.

It was difficult emotionally not to be able to put her to my breast and feel her skin-to-skin, but ultimately I knew this was how it was going to be, so I just made friends with my breast pump so that I wouldn’t have any supply issues or have to supplement her with formula. Thankfully, the rest of our stay was smooth. I was able to start breastfeeding her within 36 hours and she was good at latching and making progress. We both were discharged a little more than 48 hours later and went home to find our new rhythm as a family of 5.

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Feeling Supported

5 weeks have passed, life is taking on its new form and we are finding our groove and figuring out this little human. We had a ton of support in the first few postpartum weeks. We had wonderful friends and neighbors prepare food, grandmas visiting to help with the other kids and visitors stopping by to show their love and care. All of these actions have been much appreciated and really helped us adjust and bring a sense of ease in the first few weeks.

We are in love and feel loved. Sometimes we are tired and fumble through our days but all in all we are living our dream and are blessed beyond measure. Life is good.