The morning of February 7, 2018, I woke up with the indescribable feeling of knowing it was the last time I’d wake up pregnant.
I didn’t blog about it a ton, because, well, I wasn’t the best and most thorough blogger about anything these past nine months, but also, it was hard to put into words all the decisions and considerations about how this birth would go. With Abby, I was completely taken by surprise at how she would make her grand debut “on the outside,” thanks to a preclampsia scare (her birth story here), but with this baby, we had some choices. The main one, of course, was the biggest: opt for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or a repeat cesarean.
For the first few months of pregnancy, I weighed the pros and cons of the two – there are plenty of resources (this MAYO article was particularly useful to me), and of course, I reached out to several moms that I knew that had been faced with the decision (and had had successful outcomes in respective cases). Ultimately, the repeat c-section emerged as the right choice for us, as well as the second big decision, to arrange for a tubal ligation immediately following the delivery.
I am 100 percent confident that these decisions were right for us, and I am thankful that I had the chance to decide.* Our medical team was excellent, from our check in and prep nurses, to the anesthesiologists, labor and delivery nurses, and hospital staff. But – here I am getting ahead of myself!
Back to the story…
So! The procedure was scheduled for 12:30 PM, with a check-in time of 10:30 AM. My mom would be staying home with Abby, so after hugs and kisses (and me being really hungry sitting with Abby for her breakfast, haha – no food for 8 hours before surgery!) hubs and I headed to the hospital. Once there, we checked in, then headed up to pre-op (we had completed all the pre-registration paperwork the morning before, as well as my last check up/screen), where I changed into the delivery gown and was hooked into the IV.
From then, we had a bit of time to hang out in the recovery room where we’d be transferred to later, and had some updates from the doctors. It looked like we’d be pushed back a bit, on account of the operations going on that morning, but before long, I had gotten my fancy compression socks and sleeves on, cleaned up, and then moved over to the operating room.
In the OR, I was directed to walk up to the table, and sit on the edge and lean my back to for the spinal injection. The first numbing agent didn’t take, lower on my spine, as the area was too compressed. I was a little nervous about that, but the anesthesiologist was very calming as she explained she’d try another spot, and would do what she could to prioritize this process over “knocking me out” (last resort). Thankfully, that second one did the trick, and after she tested the sites (compared the feeling of a sharpened tongue depressor on my shoulder, to over my abdominal area), and the spinal was in effect, so I had to move as quick as possible to lay down.
From there, the drape was up in a flash, hubby was brought in, and the process began.
It’s funny – I remembered a few things about the last time I had this done, but the new explanations of how this one would be different (as my nurses detailed) were bouncing around my head. Obviously, there’d be scar tissue to remove from the last time, plus the duration of the surgery would obviously be longer since there’d be two procedures. Still, I half expected it to “feel” the same – but it definitely didn’t! Last time, I felt stretching and bouncing sensations over my belly, and this time, it felt like they were just pushing down on my belly button – and get this: it tickled! Like, seriously tickled so much I was laughing, and hubs kept asking if I was okay, and I just couldn’t control the laughter. It was so strange.
The other big difference was this time, things were kind of being explained to hubby, and he wasn’t yelled at for standing to look; they even told him when he could snap some pics. (I looked at them later and it was really bizarre to think that they were from my body haha). The other funny thing I remember? When it was announced that they were breaking my water, and I could hear it, but not feel it. Hah!
The biggest difference though? I didn’t cry this time – though the emotions were definitely there, and probably even more intense. I looked over and just felt so happy, and was proud to share her name for the first time, out loud: Eleanor Leona Murphy – “Ellie”, for short, and Leona, for her great grandma.
She was considerably larger than her sister (Abby was 5 lb, 12 oz, 19.75 in) and, not surprisingly, had just as full of a head of hair (once again, the heartburn = hair old wives tale seemed to ring true). Hubby was able to cut her umbilical cord, and as soon as she was checked out, she was brought over and I got to hold her.
It was such a wonderful feeling, knowing she was out of the womb, and into the world.
All in all, the procedure took about 50 minutes, and before I knew it, I was moved from the operating table, to a stretcher, then back to the recovery room where the bright sunlight poured in. It was so nice to have that natural light, and to see the palm trees gently swaying outside.
Once the nurses had taken my vitals, and we were just hanging out, awaiting transfer to the Mother and Baby Unit, I had hubs text my mom and let her know everything went well. We’d be able to receive visitors after our move to the 6th floor, and so that evening, hubs headed back home to pick up my mom and Abby, and we had a nice visit.
I was so thankful about how smoothly the entire process went, and over the next two days, we had an excellent experience in the Mother Baby Unit, and were discharged on Friday (Feb 9) by noon, allowing us to return home and continue the recovery process.
Since returning home, we’ve been transitioning to our new family status of 4, along with the help of grammy, of course – we couldn’t have done this without her help <3.
Recovery is going well – I’m on my Motrin regimen, and am working to take it as easy as possible the next few weeks, but luckily for me, Ellie has been such an amazing baby so far, and is a great eater and sleeper. She has her first pediatrician appointment on Monday morning, and we’re excited to see how she grows!
Thank you to everyone who reached out with congratulations – we couldn’t be happier!! Our family is happy and complete.
* I am happy to share/discuss with anyone interested in the pros/cons I thought about, if you are going through a similar decision process, just reach out to me 🙂