Monday morning came along and felt just like a typical Saturday, waking up next to Matt.
I got up to eat breakfast before my 8 hour pre-surgery fast, and Matt and Rowen got up when they were ready & well-rested. We packed up a few last minute things, put our hospital bags in the car, and went for a walk with Rowen for the first time in weeks. I think the sun came out just for Charlotte's birthday. Rowen was very pleased to take his toy stroller and baby doll for a walk for the first time. It was a little weird to think that this was
our last little outing as a family of three. Around lunch time, Matt's dad came over to play with Rowen. I imediatly got teary (but hid it!) at the thought of not spending every minute with my son for the next several days. Rowen was happy to read books with Pappy and scarcely noticed Momma & Daddy leaving!
As we drove to the hospital, we talked about how strange it was that everything felt so normal. like, "well, here we go, off to the hospital to have a baby. Maybe we'll hit the grocery store next." ha!We talked about how it could have been the "scheduled" aspect of it- no surprises here. Or perhaps that we still didn't have a name, so we hadn't been talking "to" her for 4 months like we had been with Rowen. I think for me at least it may have been that there were still so many unknowns. I couldn't get my hopes up on exactly how it was going to turn out, since there were so many more risks with the surgery this time around. I had a total peace, no anxiety or fear- but didn't feel like I could envision the same experience we had 20 months ago. I was just clinging to the certain hope that God had our best interests at heart, and that we were covered in prayer. I wasn't set on any particular outcome, just knowing that His outcome was best. So I was just patiently waiting to see what it was. The morning continued with these peaceful, uneventful feelings. Charlotte was having a party in her womb, and I kept thinking & kind of chuckling, "oh girl, you have no idea what you're in for next!" Surreal. We checked in, I got all hooked up, and by 2:00 we were wheeling down to the O.R. Then the fun begins.I wasn't as nervous for the epidural this time, in fact I wasn't even really ready for it. It just happened. Then they helped me lay down, and I got super light headed. I mentioned that the room was a bit fuzzy, and that I might throw up. Then everyone started freaking out. (in a very professional "everything is going to be fine" sort of way.) I started diving further and further underwater and heard TV-show lines like "crash cart" and "don't code on me, Brianne" and "I can't find the baby's heart beat" and "we need some help in here" and I just thought "whoooooo- I feel sooooo loopy. If I felt normal, I'd probably be very worried right now. But, my doctor's great. She'll take care of it." Talk about the Lord's covering, even at this point I had no anxiety. They were asking me questions, propped me up on my side a bit, there was warm air blowing in my face, everything sounded like I was under water, and at some point Matt came in the room. It was then that I started coming back. Thankfully :) Apparently, lying down squished all the epidural drugs up to my brain or something and made my blood pressure drop too quickly, but they gave me something to counteract it. Or something :)Then I noticed all the tugging and pulling and weird pressure sensations from being cut open and having a human taken out of you! Which is kind of fun, really. :)
I'm glad you're not completely numb for a c-section, I like feeling part of it! They pulled her out and you could feel the relief in the room as she made her grand debut. She looked great :) Then it was waiting around to see how I would do for the rest of the surgery.
She scored an 8 and then a 9 on her APGAR, which I think is pretty stinkin' great for a preemie! I heard the tiniest little cries as they checked her out and then handed her to Matt to hold up to my face. Oh, that sweet baby smell!
Those several minutes that I had her there were so sweet. Such a tiny little thing, all wrapped up. She calmed down as I started talking to her, giving her a tiny bit of familiar in the bright, cold world she just entered.
My OB happily mentioned that my placenta "fell right off" and that everything was going splendidly. I got a couple bags of pitocin to help with the contractions, and the surgery was complete in under an hour. Praise the Lord :)
The first couple of hours in recovery are my favorite :) Tiny little fresh baby on your chest-
it doesn't get better that that. She nursed almost immediately, what an answer to prayer. I was overwhelmed with the Lord's favor to us. Our "big prayers" were answered- that Charlotte wouldn't need to spend any time in the NICU and I wouldn't need to spend any time in the ICU. But then every little whispered prayer about things that aren't so important... they were important to the Lord. I knew the whole day that we were blanketed in a thick quilt of prayer, (I love our church family) but I never dreamed of being blessed in all the ways we were. From the important, to the almost silly. She was able to nurse. We got a big room & tons of visitors to fill it. She slept. and slept. Our nurses were fabulous.
The fold-out couch for Matt was more comfortable than last time. We were able to avoid supplementing with formula, even though it's hospital policy at 36 weeks. My milk came in before we left and she started putting weight back on. I felt worlds better than last time. Rowen had a blast & was well cared for by family & friends. I could go on & on. The following days in the hospital are a blur, and I know the next several months will be too.
But I'm looking forward to them with my liitle family of four.