Thursday, April 29, 2010

cal's birth story.

okay, so it's high time I write this "story" down. Calvin is gonna want to know the details about how he was brought into the world, so I'm buckling down to record it all.

I'd like to sum up the experience in a popular saying:

Seriously. I had the ROCK STAR treatment all day. I can't imagine it going ANY better than it did. And, thus we begin the story of the perfect delivery of a perfect baby boy, Calvin.

We knew that the doctor wanted us to be at the hospital by 10:30 so we could be prepped for surgery and ready to rock at 12:30. So, after a lazy morning, (which the only down side was that I couldn't enjoy a delicious breakfast---dr.'s orders---no food for at least 12 hours preceding the surgery), we took a few last pregnancy pictures with me, Matilda, and my mom (who had flown in two nights before). I was able to pack a few things for the hospital stay, and then we decided to hop in the car.

yes, the threads on my shirt were hanging on to each other for dear life. amazing it didn't tear.

As we were driving away, Aaron and I were imagining what it would be like with two kids, how Matilda would adjust, and how our lives would change. We also reminisced how different this drive to the hospital was from the last time when Matilda was on her way into the world. With her delivery, I was hollering and grabbing onto dear life to the door arm rest as we drove. I think I was yelling at Aaron to drive faster too. Ahhh, this time was SO different and SO much better. No pain, no pain, and did I mention, no pain?

So, we got there to the hospital. And, Aaron was like, "Here let me come get the door for you..." and before he could get over to me, I was already out of the car. He asked me if I wanted to try and find the elevator in the parking garage, and I replied, "Let's take the stairs. I'm feeling good."---I'm telling you, this was CRAZY different! I loved it.

We strolled on over to the labor and delivery unit and told them my name and showed them my driver's license. They had me sign a paper and then told us to go wait in the waiting room. We ended up having to wait for almost two hours in that room. Apparently, they were behind schedule, but obviously, we had no place we needed to be. During our wait time, Aaron and I played with the internet on our new phones, called a few people, talked to each other... that kind of stuff.
taking a few shots while we were bored. lazy jazz hands.

aaron's awkward "don't know what face I should make" face.

oh dear. is that shirt a LITTLE too stretched? honestly, nice pic, melissa. gag!
! Yawning, shirt hanging on for dear life, and can't quite make it over the big belly. And, to be fair, it was out of my view, I was unaware.
In case you all thought I was the epitome of grace and beauty... rest assured. I'm not. Let's all agree, not one of my best images, okay.

But, we also got to hear snippets of conversations from the other people in the waiting room. We heard about this teenager's wife who was in intensive care, and their baby was in the NICU. He said to the person on the phone (see, we were totally eavesdropping) that they didn't know when he could go in to see them. Wow. Then, we heard another girl on the phone telling the person on the other end that, yes, in fact, the baby was black. Crazy.

Aaron and I looked at each other and our situation, and we were pretty humbled.

My big concern with doing a c-section, especially scheduled 4 days before my due date, was that maybe his lungs wouldn't be fully developed, or that he would not weigh enough... I mean, the last time I had an ultrasound was at 17 weeks. Who knew what had developed since then?! I was so worried that he'd be a preemie baby (little did I know...).

And, of course, we didn't know if he would, in fact, have Downs Syndrome. The doctors had never ruled out that possibility, telling us we'd have to wait and see (since we opted out of the Amnio-test idea). So... there were a lot of unknowns going into it. We were trying to prepare for anything and everything. We did a lot of praying and in the end, tried to be calm and accept whatever God had prepared for us.

large and in charge. nice.

Okay, next scene, the nurse tells me to put on the darling gown (honestly, those things are so hard to keep your backside covered...) and then I make my way into the triage area. Aaron soon comes in with all of our bags, pillows, cameras, etc. in a tiny little area. It was funny. I think we'd forgotten to charge his phone too, so he found an outlet and had plugged that in. The nurse wasn't very amused that we were apparently MOVING IN to the 8"x8" area. Anyway, they took my vitals, hooked me up to an IV, and I answered a ton of questions. And, after they got the green light, they wheeled me into the operating room.

It was crazy to be so PRESENT through everything. With Matilda, if you remember, I had been in hard labor for 31 hours... and THEN they finally decided to do an emergency c-section. I just remember bits and pieces about them giving me the medicine. The room being cold. It just was all a blur.

But, this time around, the anesthesiologist was a lovely older woman who explained every sensations that I'd have---and she was SPOT on! "You're going to feel a cold tingly sensation now, followed by a warmth. Your legs are going to start feeling heavy, like sand bags..." And she was right! I kept saying, "oh, you are too good! that's exactly what my legs feel like!"

She and I had a great time. Apparently she is a dog lover, and I told her about how we had just LOST our sweet neighbor's chihuahua right before Christmas (did I ever blog about that story? Oh my, it was the worst. ---Long story short: our neighbors asked us to take their dog out to go potty while she went away on a little vacation. I specifically asked, "front yard or back yard?" and she told me it didn't matter---she won't run away. Well, unfortunately, we chose the FRONT yard, and yes, the dog DID run away. We searched for HOURS and then DAYS... made laminated and color printed posters---the dog was never found. our fault (but a little bit hers b/c she told us front yard was okay, but still...). And did I mention this happened the weekend before Christmas? tragedy. Did I also mention that this dog was their "BABY" and that's what they called her? Oh, and did I forget to tell you they had an 8.5x11 photo of the dog in their family room? ---I know. Awful. I still feel so bad about it.). Anyway, the anesthesiologist commiserated with me. Told me a few dog stories of her own, and we had quite the bonding time.

Fast forward to when my doctor was cutting (literally) me open. All I remember was a little bit of pulling and tugging, but no real discomfort at all. I was able to talk to Aaron and the nurses... easy cheesy.

Well, you can imagine my shock and amazement and tears of joy when my doctor exclaimed, "Holy Cow, Melissa! It's a good thing we did a c-section! This boy is huge! How much did Matilda weigh?"
I replied, "8 pounds 2 ounces."
She was like, "Oh, he's got to be at least that, if not more! Seriously, Melissa, if you would have tried to do a VBAC, we would have probably had to do a c-section in the end. This guy is huge!"


I quickly asked, "What does he look like? Is he okay? Is he healthy?"
I think that's when Aaron responded back, "He's perfect."

And he was. Perfect then. Perfect now.

Of course, I'm never one to hold back the tears, and I just remember grinning ear to ear with tears streaming down my face. Because I was so "uninhibited" as Aaron put it, I kept asking the anesthesiologist and the other nurses, "Can you believe how big he is? Oh, this is the best day ever! Wow! Can you believe I just had a baby?" and so on. I loved those people in that operating room.
Sure enough, Calvin weighed in at 9 pounds 9.4 ounces. That's my boy.

Red fuzzy hair. Big tummy. Darling.

They cleaned him up a bit, swaddles him, put a little cap on his head and put him in my arms. I was just overcome with gratitude. I loved him instantly.

And, with that, they wheeled me into the recovery room. Aaron called the families and I was able to nurse Cal just about a half hour after he was born. Awesome.

(I feel like I look like the Chef from the Muppets. nice.)

So, that's the story. As I look back at all the video footage Aaron took, I was such a goof. I don't think I stopped smiling through it all.

I think my best friend (aka the anesthesiologist) had it right when she kept saying, "See what I mean? A c-section is such a civilized way to have a baby!" hA!

Civilized indeed. I felt like a super star.

And, although some times I don't know if I can wear the real badge of motherhood, not having pushed a baby out on my own and the whole 9 yards---I quickly remember what a wonderful experience I did have, and in the end, the baby got here. I was happy. He was happy.

So, yes, different strokes for different folks, but I feel just peachy about how Mr. Calvin arrived.


The girl said...

So cute! And you look great in those pictures!

Tyler and Erin said...

You make it sound so easy. That is so nice they let you have the baby right after a c-section. At work we take baby down to the nursery immediately after a c-section and mom usually doesn't see him/her for 1-2 hours. Its kind of sad. :-( Glad he was such a good delivery. He is such a cute "newborn" baby and still is (I've seen some uglies in my field of work -- and did you see Chloes pic? haha. She was cute, just a little banged up ;))

Kristen said...

Hilarious account. I'm not surprised that you were grinning ear to ear in all your photos--you are the happiest, cheeriest person I know. Cal and Tillie are lucky to have you as a mom. I love reading birth stories, thanks for sharing yours.

Lindsay said...

wonder if you can wear the real badge of motherhood not having pushed a baby out...ha! I'm telling you--after having a c-section and then VBACS, I think the real badge of motherhood comes when you experience a c-section. Honestly, the recovery is so much harder. It takes a tough woman to do c-sections. After doing 2 VBACS after my c-section, I just think--wow, those were nothing compared to a c-section. So, I definitely think you've earned the badge. I am glad everything went so smoothly.

Design Mom said...

I love this story! So positive and happy.

Russ and Nat said...

I loved reading that!

1) You looked SO stinkin' good! And to think there was an almost 10 lb boy inside of - congrats to you!
2) Loved reading that; Ashley and I decided that when we read your blog we can almost hear you saying it....
3) So happy everything went so well - and I am planning on my second being just as wonderful as an experience as yours and that my baby will be every bit as perfect as Calvin......and as Barney says "If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops oh what fun we would have" Ha!

Anyways I just think you are great and love reading your blog.

Russ and Nat said...

Ok - I just realized after that post that I wrote I love reading your blog WAY too much - I'm not obsessed I promise.....

Erin said...

Hi, Melissa! I just read your story on Design Mom (yes, that one!) and it was great. But I keep looking at your picture and thinking, "I know that girl. I know that girl." Your husband looks kinda familiar, too, but maybe I'm imagining that. Anyway, I think maybe we were in the same ward, some ward, maybe at BYU? My maiden name is Sanders. Any bells?

And yes, good thing you had a c-section! My baby is 10 weeks old and was 8.5 lbs. I can't imagine her being any bigger (I didn't deliver c-section), so wow! Good job.


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