When I first found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted a vaginal delivery. So those YouTube videos of women giving birth, I watched them. Research was done on what would happen if something went wrong or if I couldn’t deliver vaginally for any reason but it gave me strength and confidence knowing how many women before me had given birth vaginally. But if you think giving birth is something you can plan, think again. I read about having a birth plan to give your doctor and nurses and liked the idea so I wrote one up. On it were things like labor at home, no epidural, intermediate pelvic exams, give birth in whatever position is most comfortable. Let me tell you, after my 38 week dilation check came and I was zero dilated I started reading more about c-sections. A c-section was something I had thought about but didn’t really plan for until then. My baby girl was super cozy inside my belly and I knew I just wanted her to enter this world the safest way possible. After my 40 week dilation check showed I was still zero we scheduled the c-section. My doctor told Tevin and I about some serious risks that could occur if we waited for baby to come on her own so that’s ultimately how we came to the decision.
Fast forward to the next morning. Tevin and I double check we have everything ready and drive to the hospital. (I’ll do a post later about what was in our hospital bag later) We sign in and do all the required paperwork. Paperwork included something explaining the c-section, the spinal block, immunization requests and some other things but I cant remember them honestly. After signing our names and initials we were sent to a room where baby and I were to be monitored for about an hour. The nurse gets my IV going, takes all my vitals and puts a strap around my belly to monitor baby. Everything is looking good so she leaves and explains she’ll be back regularly to check on me. The anesthesiologists come in a little while later to introduce themselves and double check that I understand the spinal block procedure. They also cleared up any questions I had. For the readers out there that don’t know what a spinal block is or how it’s done let me explain briefly. The doctor will put a large shot of numbing stuff into your back and it spreads quickly to the lower 3/4 of your body to numb you completely. So after the anesthesiologists leave my nurse comes back in to check the monitor. She lets me know I’m having a contraction, and had been having them regularly since she strapped me up. You should have seen Tevin’s and my face. We were definitely surprised. I had thought that the contractions I had been having we’re just baby stretching out really big. Turns out I had been having contractions for about 3 weeks every day. They weren’t painful though, rather just uncomfortable which is why I didn’t know what they were. So after a good laugh from that the nurse gives Tevin his gown and explains that he will wait outside of the operating room for about 5 minutes while they get the spinal block in me and get me on the table. He gets his gown on and we kiss one last time before I go into the operation room.
At this point I’m extremely nervous. Mainly because I couldn’t have Tevin in the room with me while I got the spinal block but also because in a few short minutes I was going to be holding my baby girl. I walk into the operating room and sit on the bed with my gown open to the back. One thing I distinctly remember is how cold the room was. I had read about it being cold but it was freezing! My toes felt like little ice cubes. The anesthesiologist helps get my back curved into the correct position for the needle and counted down 3, 2, 1. Just like that it’s done. I didn’t flinch and honestly couldn’t really even feel the needle go in. It was almost painless. While the anesthesiologist is explaining that I should start to feel really warm in a few seconds my toes heat up. It was quick y’all. After my toes warmed up my feet started to tingle and my legs started feeling heavy. She’s explaining that I need to move my legs up onto the bed quickly as they will be completely numb soon. I lift one leg but it’s already numb so she helps get them on the table and into the correct spots. The curtain then gets pulled over my belly so I can no longer see from my stomach down. Several other doctors and nurses start to enter the room and one advises me she’s going to pinch me to see what I can feel. Well I pass that test because I couldn’t feel anything. She then says she’s going to pinch me really really hard. “Did you do it?” I ask. Laughing she says “yes that’s good, we’re about ready to start.” Nervous about starting and not believing her I ask if she had really pinched me. She raises her arm over the curtain to show off these huge metal tong things she just pinched me with and said if I wasn’t numb then I would have felt it for sure. Then they put in the catheter which wasn’t painful at all since I was numb. All this is happening and in the back of my head I’m thinking wow this definitely feels like it’s taking longer than 5 minutes. I’m laying there on the table and my OB comes in to check on me and advise we are going to start. Freaking out a little I start to look around and think they forgot about Tevin. He’s still not in the room. After about a minute though he comes in and sits on a stool next to my head and holds my hand. We can both tell how excited and nervous we are so we just tell each other I love you and it starts.
By request of myself a nurse is explaining what’s happening through the procedure. At one point she says that I’m going to feel some pressure. Let me just say when a doctor or nurse says you’re going to feel some pressure it’s usually accompanied by some pain. It wasn’t extremely painful though, just uncomfortable. Then they let me know I’m really going to feel some pressure because they were about to take her out. That pressure was way more uncomfortable than the first bit and definitely felt like someone was moving shit around in my belly. Tevin is looking over the curtain and smiles huge and asks “did you hear that?!” I didn’t hear anything. To be honest I was trying not to think about how uncomfortable my stomach felt at the moment. But after listening I heard it. My baby’s first cry.
They pulled the blue curtain away so there was just a clear one and put her up to it so we could see her. The first thing I noticed was all her hair. She had all the nurses mentioning it. The next was her size. She was definitely a big girl. She also wasn’t very cheesy. Cheese as in the vernix babies are covered in when they come out. My OB said it was because she was in for 40 weeks and was ready to come out. Anyways, they hold her up to the clear curtain and she is staring at me through it so focused and quiet. Tevin and I are both crying and I can tell how in love he is already. The c-section itself took about 10 minutes from the first cut to her being taken out. They cut her cord after a few minutes and take her to weigh and get her length which took about another 5 minutes. She was 9 lbs 6 ounces and 21 inches long. After that she gets brought over to me and put on my chest. She stares at me agin and then starts squirming towards my boob. The nurse tells me she’s trying to get to my nipple and asks if I wanted to try to get a latch. She pulls my gown down some more and Rhea moves and latches almost immediately. She was a pro. While she’s eating I’m feeling some more tugging at my stomach. Trying to ignore it my OB comes over to congratulate us and tells me I’m going to be stitched up and moved to recovery. After a few minutes they take Tevin and Rhea to recovery while I finish getting stitched and cleaned up. Several minutes later they move me to a new bed and wheel me to recovery.
To be honest I didn’t remember the recovery room until about 2 weeks ago. I was looking at a photo and it finally hit me that it was taken in the recovery room. I still don’t remember much about that time except that I was sleepy and that they were explaining some paperwork to me. Tevin and I both got to do skin to skin with her at this time and I think she nursed some more. After two, hours in there we were moved to our real room where family could come in and see us.
That’s when I started to really feel like a mom. I cant say that as soon as I saw Rhea I was in love. Some women feel a connection right away with their babies and that’s wonderful. But I was more in awe. Awe that a little human had just come out of my belly and now it was mine to take care of. I can say that when I first saw her I felt an immediate sense of protection towards her. It took a couple days for me to feel that overwhelming sense of love. But once I did it hit me like a bus. She was my baby. My little baby.
Let me know below in the comments how your birth went or if you have any questions about my c-section!