IMAG0954Our repeat C-section was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on 8/15 at our local birthing center we had to arrive at 5:30. We both got some sleep, although not as much as normal of course. I got up, showered, put on makeup and clothes and finished packing a bag. I took a last-minute belly pic:
We drove the 15 to 20 minutes to the hospital in the half dark. We were pretty quiet. We checked in in the same front pass-through office room where we checked in when we arrived to deliver Luke. We started down the birthing center and stopped to check in at the inside desk. She gave us a small stack of items which included a birth announcement card just like Luke’s. This made me tear up, seeing that same card that I treasure as one of the few items I have physically proving Luke’s existence.
As we were walked to our hospital room, I silently hoped it would not be the same room where we delivered Luke. When we got there, I knew it wasn’t the same room because it was the first room in the hallway. To deliver Luke, they put us at the far end of the hall, farthest away from others. I was grateful for that last time because I only heard a baby crying the one time I ventured out for a short walk when I was trying to get labor started. That, as well as the sad looks and hugs we received from a couple of staff people, had been enough to make me stay in the room after that. I felt a small feeling of pride at being worthy of the closest room this time.
A nurse came in and introduced herself. She attempted to get an IV started. After 2 failed tries and a blown vein in my hand (ow, big bruise still), she got another nurse to help. The nurses didn’t know our history and I don’t remember exactly how, but it came up and we told them about Luke. They were okay, but I was very happy when one of my favorite nurses from Luke’s delivery showed up at the shift change at 7. She was the one who had also lost her first son at full term. She went on to have 2 more sons, who I have since learned attend the first elementary school I worked at when I moved here, where some of my close friends teach. It’s a small town. Having her was a true blessing and not an accident. She stayed in the room with us most of the day, to the point I asked her if she had other patients to see and if we might be hogging her too much, although I wanted her to stay. She was so helpful and kind. She has a really peaceful demeanor and talked some more about her own experience with the loss of her baby.
Around 7:00, a nurse and Josh wheeled me back to the operating room. They did the epidural while Josh waited outside. It hurts a small amount, but was better than the first time around. I began to feel tingly, heavy and sleepy. My beloved OB came in and introduced everyone. They began prepping. I asked if Josh could come back in and they said yes. He entered and sat by my head. The began the procedure and Josh held my hand. I was nervous. About the baby obviously and also about being awake for the whole procedure this time. With Luke, the kind anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted to go to sleep for 15 minutes or so and let me miss the cutting and sewing up parts, as well as the silent removal of Luke’s body. Josh was clearly nervous also as he looked pale and his leg was bouncing frantically.
At 7:58, Samuel entered the world crying. It was as beautiful a sound as you imagine it would be. My OB held him up briefly over the curtain. Josh got up and watched them do a couple things to him. His smiling face was beautiful. He looked back to me and said, “He’s perfect”. They let Josh hold him close to my face for a minute and I got to kiss him. I had expected to do an audible, messy cry, but instead it was more of a silent tears-streaming-down cry. I think someone asked what his name was and Josh finally said Samuel, which I had been waiting for his final confirmation on, having myself decided on it several days before. He didn’t officially get his name until he came out and Josh saw him.
Josh and Samuel went back to our hospital room to finish the checking-out and cleaning as they sewed me up. This was a bit of a strange part as I felt somewhat removed from the scene. My OB and the other staff discussed their kids and the new charter school they just began attending. I remember my OB saying her daughter is taking Mandarin this year. When they were done with me, they wheeled me back to the room where Josh and Samuel were. Probably to their chagrin, I had requested that my family not come back in the room to see Samuel until I was back from surgery so that I could see that moment occur. The first hour after the birth/surgery was really busy with nurses doing a bunch of things to me, but I can’t remember what all they did, just that there were 3 or more of them hovering around me hooking things up and checking my blood pressure, etc. I remember wanting them to hurry up, so that I could try to feed him. I had read and heard that you should try to feed as soon after the birth as you can because they are alert and ready for the first hour or 2 and then get really sleepy for a long period. This proved to be true. They did finally allow me to try to breastfeed, but it was not as prompt as I would have liked. By then, I was worrying about the clock since my family was waiting impatiently to see him in a waiting room. Josh had been out to talk to them several times and said my mom was going crazy. I felt I needed to rush to let them come back to the room.
Around 9:30, they entered. After this, the nurse came in to finish cleaning Samuel up and weigh him, etc. I watched from the bed as everyone else gathered around the baby warmer to view him. I had to keep asking them to stand to the side so I could see too.
It is interesting to me that he had an even weight and height, 7 pounds and 20 inches. Nice and simple. He weighed one ounce more than Luke did 2 weeks further along, but he was 1.5 inches shorter. Josh and I both commented that his hair looked like Luke’s and as time has gone on, we have discussed their other similarities. I am happy he has similarities to his brother.
We stayed in the hospital until Sunday late afternoon. The first day, I was afraid to go home and care for him alone, but by Saturday, I was ready to be away from the constant hustle and bustle and repeated questions. We were happy to go home.
There was no way not to be strongly reminded of having to pack and leave the hospital without Luke 15 months before. I started crying and all I could say was, “We didn’t get to do this last time.” My mom hugged me. If the nurse we had that day heard or saw me crying, she didn’t respond. Josh told me later that that moment made him sad too. Such a contrast.
We have been home for 10 days now and I have plenty to write about these first 1.5 weeks too, but it’s time to feed my sweet baby, so I will write that post another time:) Hope you are well, friends! I am still praying for your hearts and rainbows.