Rosemary’s original due date was March 25th, but being the risk-averse planners that we are, Chris and I were ready by week 37. Not that we had any track record of early babies in our family, nor did we really ever think she’d show up that early, but we wanted to be prepared should labor kick in early.
So, our bags were packed, the nursery was ready, the car seat was installed, but her due date came and went with no baby. While I had tried to prepare myself that that could happen, no pregnant woman enjoys sitting around at 40+ weeks pregnant. It’s uncomfortable, it’s a little boring (we were already prepared, remember?), and it’s nerve-wracking to know that this baby was growing larger by the day.
Our midwife advised us to come in on March 29th (40+4) to have an ultrasound. They wanted to make sure that there was enough fluid for the baby to be safe for a few more days. When we went in, we were happy to learn that there was plenty of fluid…but also learned that the baby was measuring 9lbs 11oz. The doctor we spoke with didn’t seem too concerned, but recommended induction since we were nearly a week over our due date and she was getting pretty big. The doctor scheduled us to come into the hospital late at night on March 30th (40+5) to reserve a room, and then start on the pitocin early the next morning.
I was a little nervous that the date was actually set. I had wanted to go into labor naturally, but was more or less fine with the change in plans. It was the realization that she was actually coming that took me by surprise. I was suddenly super nervous that our life was going to change and that I wouldn’t like it. But, of course, Chris reassured me that we would always keep each other as priorities – what a sweetheart.
Because the induction was scheduled, Chris and I went ahead and took the dogs to daycare around 11AM on March 30th and grabbed lunch afterwards. We got home around 2PM and immediately got a call from the hospital letting us know there was a room open. We were a little confused because we thought it would be late at night. Additionally, the hospital said that they would start the induction once we got there. We were a little shell shocked but they said that if we couldn’t get there by 3:30PM (1.5 hours!), that it may be a day or so before another room opened for us. So, we rushed to grab a couple things, I took a shower, and off we went.
Once we got to the hospital, I changed into the hospital gown and the midwife shortly arrived (as per usual, it was the only midwife we hadn’t met, ha!). She sat down and asked me whether the doctor had talked to us at all about a c-section, to which we responded “uh..no?”. We knew the baby was measuring big, but knew plenty of anecdotal stories of babies who had measured larger than they ended up being. So I hadn’t been too worried…until now. She felt around my stomach and confirmed that the baby “felt like it was everywhere.” Because I hadn’t progressed from 2cm dilated for about 3 weeks, she thought they baby’s head might have been too big to progress. She wasn’t pushy at all, but warned me of some of the dangers of attempting to deliver without a c-section (shoulder dystocia, tearing, brain damage if the baby got stuck too long, etc.). She, then, offered to get the doctor from our practice to see what he thought, which I really appreciated.
The doctor came and took some measurements and pretty much agreed with the midwife. I really liked both the doctor and midwife, so I trusted the information they gave me. They gave Chris and I plenty of time to discuss what we wanted to do, but once they left the room, we pretty much turned to each other and agreed that c-section seemed the safest. It was about 6:00 at the time, and they scheduled our c-section for 9PM. Welp!
The anesthesiologist was supposed to come at 8:30PM to put in the epidural, but we were informed that the OB/GYN got pulled into an emergency c-section and we were pushed to 10PM. At 9:30PM, the anesthesiologist arrived and put the epidural in. He was very nice and calm, but this was one of the worst parts of the night. My blood pressure dropped pretty low and I got light headed and nauseous, mostly because it felt so strange to have something inserted into my spinal cord!
10PM came, and we learned that the doctor had gotten called to deliver twins. Since it wasn’t a c-section, we weren’t totally sure when he would be done, but it was nice to have some time to calm my nerves after the epidural. I had the shakes pretty bad, though, so my muscles were getting a little tired. The anesthesiologist’s PA, Gary, stayed with us the whole time and gave me a strong dose that, apparently, lasts a little longer than what was originally given. After that, I started getting really numb (phew!)
At 11:30PM, the nurse came in to let us know they were ready. I remember being like “Ahh, really? Like for the actual c-section? Now?” I was nervous, but (more or less) ready. They wheeled me in on a gurney, placed me on the operating table, put my arms straight out into holders, and hung the curtain. After that, they let Chris in and sat him on a stool right next to my head. Chris and I talked about some of our favorite memories, like Alaska and Palm Springs, to keep me calm. As always, Chris was my rock and kept me smiling and calm even during what could have been one of the scariest moments of my life.
I kept expecting the doctor to ask if I could feel a pinch to test the epidural, but I guess they got comfortable that I couldn’t feel anything because I didn’t realize they had started until they announced that Chris could stand up to take some photos because Rosemary was almost out!
Y’all, I was so amazed by these photos Chris took. It’s crazy to know that he captured the exact moment that Rosemary was born.
Once Rosemary was out, they held her over the curtain for a few seconds. Next thing I knew, a nurse came and laid a swaddled Rosemary in my arms. I remember looking at her as much as I could in the brief moments that I had her. It’s very strange to see someone for the first time after carrying her around for 9+ months. She looked perfect to me.
Then, the anesthesiologist physician assistant asked Chris if we wanted him to take some photos of us, and we got our first little family photo. It’s weird knowing you’re getting photos taken while you’re cut open on the other side of the curtain, but I love that this moment is captured.
Since we had started surgery so late, I had to ask what day it was so I could officially know her birthday! It was March 30th at 11:52PM. Her APGAR scores were an 8 at minute one and 9 at minute five (apparently, she had pale skin….she’s probably going to have to get used to that…)
After that, Rosemary and Chris left the operating room to head to the recovery room while I stayed to get all sewn and stapled up. I’m not sure if it was what they were doing at the time or the fact that I was now alone in the room, but I started to feel a little sick and was glad when I was finally told that I was off to the recovery room too.
It was so exciting seeing Chris and little Rosemary again. Rosemary had just gotten her footprints made and was in the middle of her inspection. I was surprised by all the hair she had, and I couldn’t stop watching her and being amazed that she was here and a real person. I asked how much she weighed because I was so curious if she was as big as everyone expected and learned that she was only 8lbs 8oz. Even though she was smaller than anticipated, the doctor confirmed that her head was pretty big and confirmed that a c-section was still probably the right decision. All in all, I found the c-section to be much less traumatic than I envisioned a normal delivery, so I am happy with how things turned out.
That’s Chris’s finger she is holding (above) – doesn’t that just melt your heart?!
While we were in the recovery room, Rosemary had her first bath and the OB/GYN came to check in on my recovery. Rosemary and I, then, had some skin to skin time for about an hour and then waited for transport to take us to the post-partum room.
She was looking at me from across the room! Already recognized her mommy’s voice!
We made it to the post-partum room around 3AM and my parents and Chris’s mom arrived to finally meet their granddaughter. We hadn’t sent any photos from the recovery room because I thought she was too cute and I wanted them to see her for the first time in person. The moms flocked towards the baby and my dad came over to me and teared up saying he was so proud of me. I think I teared up at that point, but my memory is a little blurry from being so tired at that point!
Everyone stayed until about 4AM and then Chris and I decided to send Rosemary off to the nursery so we could try to sleep…but it was, admittedly, pretty unsuccessful for me. I was a little uncomfortable (but not too bad, really) and too excited to sleep. This ended up making the next day really tough because I kept falling asleep even when people were visiting.
We had a few visitors at the hospital, but tried to keep it to a relative minimum because I was so sleepy, trying to recover from the surgery, and working to build up a breastfeeding schedule. However, we did get to see…
My brother and his family…
And our friends Melissa and Robert…
But, mostly, Chris and I were able to cuddle and bond with Rosemary ourselves:
We stayed as long as we possibly could so I could recover as much as possible before coming home. There were a few rough times where the sleepiness and hormones really got to me. Chris was amazing and made me feel sane even when I wasn’t and helped me with everything. I am convinced that c-section dads are really put through the ringer because they have to learn to do all the baby stuff on their own for a few days while simultaneously taking care of mom.
I was surprised by how instantly I loved Rosemary. I feel like we are really blessed to have a baby that seems to be making things as easy as possible while I recover. I find myself working so hard to not let her down even when I am too tired or in too much pain. Parental love really is different than anything else, and we have really enjoyed every moment so far.
We took photos on Rosemary’s first day home and had quite the time that night, so that post will be coming soon! For now, though, here’s us packing up to head home with our new daughter!