Eight weeks ago, on September 15, Eric and I arrived at the hospital at 7 AM to check in for my c-section.
Quick side story: Eric dropped me off at the door and proceeded to park the car while I began the check-in procedure, and more than one nurse asked me if I was there with anyone, worried I'd driven myself to the hospital and was going this alone. It was a little amusing until I realized they were asking because they must see some moms coming in without anyone to support them. They were visibly relieved when Eric materialized.
It's a strange feeling to know the exact date, and basically the time, that you will have a baby. I'd had a bag mostly packed for a couple weeks, but we finished our packing the night before and did our best to get some sleep. We took our last pregnancy photo before walking out the door; after all, it was 39 weeks to the day, and I'm all about the documentation! I'd had Eric take a photo the night before in case we forgot or were in a hurry in the morning, but there was a part of me that knew it wasn't the 39-week photo, it was instead the 38-weeks-and-6-days photo, and we couldn't leave it at that!
We spent the next three hours doing a lot of sitting around. I spent a few minutes doing some of the last knitting I was likely to do for the foreseeable future, although the IV made this a little awkward.
As the time neared, I found my pulse racing, some due to general nerves, some due to memories of my first c-section. As my daughter's heartrate would also increase at those times, I tried to keep calm. No need for her to feed off my anxiety.
I was wheeled into surgery and given the spinal. My blood pressure was low during the entire pregnancy, and the spinal caused it to decrease even more to the point that I was nauseous and worried about fainting; they gave me something to bring it back up.
And then it began. Eric was brought to my side and we waited some more. And then we heard it: a robust, even angry, cry materializing from our newly born daughter.
We'd been told throughout my pregnancy that she wasn't going to be any little thing, so as the doctor commented again on her size, we waited for the nurses to announce her weight. Next thing we heard was someone saying, "Ten oh three," and both of us were aghast. She hadn't seemed that large when she was shown to us in passing! We said as much, and the nurses laughed at our confusion. They had announced the time of birth, not her weight. She was all of seven pounds, 14 ounces.
Eric was able to hold her soon after, and I craned my neck to examine her. She was precious. She wasn't at all happy to be in a bright, cold room, and she let this be known. I watched her lower lip tremble as she geared up for each new wail, and as I relished her arrival, her life, I broke down in tears. This amazing day had arrived, and we were being entrusted with her life. I had carried her for 39 weeks, but now I finally got to meet this little being, our daughter Brennan.
Surgery was completed and we were whisked to the recovery room. I struggled with nausea for the first couple of hours after surgery; when the first medication had no effect, they gave me a dose of something that would certainly work, but would make me pretty drowsy as well. This meant I came in and out of consciousness frequently for her first day of life as visitors rotated through to meet her, but that and a good night's sleep resulted in a well rested mommy by day two.
For those of you who want more stats: she passed the APGAR with flying colors, first scoring a nine and then a ten (the one point she lost was due to color). She was 20.5 inches long.
I'll try to post again soon with details of her first two months of life. I return to work on Monday (!), but as she is starting to have a schedule emerge, I have some semi-predictable free time in the afternoons during her long nap.