Our sweet baby Audrey made her arrival on Monday, July 3rd, 2017 at 8:12am via a scheduled c-section. She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was 19 inches long. She is healthy, freaking adorable, and has changed our lives forever. I am giving as many details as I can remember because I want to remember this story down the road, and I’ve always loved reading/hearing people’s baby delivery stories! (Note: Her eyes are closed in many of the photos because she is already a super-sleeper! I’m sure you’ll see many more photos of her pretty eyes in the near future.)
Why a scheduled c-section?
When I was 36 weeks pregnant, Audrey was still breech and I had some decisions to make because we were coming close to her due date. My doctor offered to do an external cephalic version (ECV) at week 37; this is a procedure where I would’ve been kept on monitors at the hospital while they tried to manually turn the baby from breech to head-down position. I considered it for all of maybe 30 minutes; after running through it over and over with Alex, we decided it was a no-go. My OB was very honest with me about the ECV — she said that first-time moms have less than a 50% success rate with ECV’s because of the tightness of the uterus. So we would be paying for a hospital visit with a huge risk that the procedure wouldn’t even work. Moreover, she said that there is also always the risk that, if baby’s heart rate dropped drastically during the procedure, I’d have to have an emergency c-section right then. What an anxiety attack waiting to happen! I was not necessarily excited about the idea of scheduling a c-section (I was pretty animated about having a vaginal birth from the beginning), but if I could be sure that we had a safe way to bring baby into the world (and give her until week 39 to grow, instead of risking it at week 37), then I was going to do it.
I cried for a couple of days over the idea of a c-section but, again, I knew in my heart that my “picture perfect” delivery experience was all in vain if it risked her health and safety. Standing here on the other side of the c-section now, I wouldn’t trade the delivery experience we had for anything. I wish I could go back in time and comfort myself with this four weeks ago.
So, a scheduled c-section it was. Our surgery was at 7:30am on Monday, July 3rd. We were told to arrive at the hospital two hours early for pre-op preparation and monitoring. I had to abstain from eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before my surgery. People told me to get lots of sleep … yeah right. It felt a lot like the night before my wedding day: the anticipation for the events to come was so overwhelming I could barely even let go long enough to close my eyes. So I probably got … four hours of sleep, tops.
Once we made it to the hospital, I was put in a gown and on monitors to watch my contractions and baby’s heart rate. I was given an IV for fluids and my OB checked Audrey’s position on the ultrasound — still breech (which, at this point, was relieving; if she had flipped, they would’ve sent me to labor and delivery to start Pitocin and I would’ve had a much more miserable waiting-game delivery experience).
I was brought into the OR first so that they could prep me and administer the spinal block (not nearly as bad as the IV needle, I can promise you that). After I was numb, they hung up a drape, brought Alex in, and the rest is a little bit of a mystery (which I’m sure was intentional on their part). I didn’t feel any nausea during the procedure; just tugging and pulling in my abdomen and a little bit of shakiness from the morphine.
I don’t know how much time passed by — Alex kept me distracted and comforted, as did the nurse anesthetist. She’d warn me when there was going to be a particularly startling push or tug, and she let me know when she could see the baby emerging. “Oh, I see a foot!;” “We’ve got two feet!;” “You’re going to feel one big push and she’ll be here!”
They invited Alex to look over the drape to see her. He was speechless, and his face showed a combination of shock and awe (he said he was caught off-guard by all the vernix coating on her skin, but simultaneously fascinated by seeing the baby in real life right before him). Suddenly, I could hear her cry and immediately I started yanking on Alex’s hand and bawling my eyes out. They wiped away a lot of the cheesy vernix from her skin, wrapped her up and brought her to me. The next ten or fifteen minutes were absolutely blissful, even with my body strapped to the table and being shaken and stirred — I didn’t notice any of it. That moment was so incredibly indescribable and emotional… I’ve been a little weepy when I think about it ever since!
So here we are with a healthy, precious baby girl! We are still figuring everything out, but we are amazed every moment at how much has changed because of her, for the better. Alex and I have bonded more, our self-centeredness has all but disappeared, and we have grown so much in gratitude for the life God gave us and the people He has put in our lives to support us and love us well.
So, welcome to the world, baby Audrey. We are so, so in love with you, and we cannot wait to see what’s in store!