Mabel Gray. She's the only of my three to choose her own birthday, in a way. My c-section was scheduled for Friday, August 31. 38 weeks, 6 days, the earliest my OB would schedule a c-section. Having never labored or progressed at all before, I just figured that was the date. I had an OB appointment Monday, a spa appointment and 4 year check up for Bug on Tuesday, social plans on Wednesday. I made it to the OB appointment, at least! I left the kids with the in laws and headed down to Wausau to be at my 9:10 appointment. I figured afterward I'd go to a few stores, pick up some (totally unnecessary) last minute baby clothes, treat myself to lunch, then head back home. The only concern I had, pregnancy-wise, was that I'd been contracting throughout the weekend. Braxton Hicks, I assumed, with no real pain or pattern ... just lots of discomfort. Over and over again. We were on the dock, on the boat, relaxing with the kids, but something felt off. To the point that by Sunday afternoon, I couldn't be on my feet without my stomach turning rock hard. I assumed my doctor would be totally unconcerned and send me off with a dose of reassurance that it was nothing, because in the back of my mind, I was worried. We're an hour from the hospital, and the idea of a middle of the night VBAC on the side of the highway in my Suburban .... didn't sound ideal, to say the least.
So I got to the doctor's office, and as it turned out, he was a bit concerned, and didn't send me off with the "you're fine, see you Friday" I was expecting. It was more of a "use your judgement, but if they seem to get AT ALL serious, let's bump up your c-section. If you can't comfortably walk or talk, they're too serious to ignore." Well .... they HAD been too uncomfortable to walk through for a few days. He told me to watch it carefully and call if my instincts were telling me to call, and otherwise, we'd meet again on Friday.
I decided to go to the mall. Duh. Except, walking to the mall, more contractions. Through the mall, more. In Baby Gap, strong enough that I had to stop and concentrate on deep breaths. This is when the instincts fully kicked in and told me I'd be calling my doctor later that day. I was sure enough that I skipped the Erbert & Gerbert's lunch I was so craving - I knew the less I ate, the better. But first, I had to go see my bigger babies one more time. Back in the car, an hour trip back up north and a few phone calls to people I knew would calm me and encourage me, and then home to give a bunch of kisses and hugs to the kiddos who were about to take their naps. Knowing Anderson is sensitive to my absence, particularly if it's a surprise, I told him before his nap that daddy and mommy might have to go to Wausau (again) to check on the baby. After he was in bed, I went to my bed and tried to rest, but was still feeling the contractions and was not the least bit comfortable. So, I called. And an hour later, I was freshly showered and dressed and packed, and J and I were loading up our bags and hugging his parents goodbye in the driveway. I wasn't entirely convinced we wouldn't be back that evening, sheepish and disappointed, but we knew I needed to be checked out. On the drive down we agreed that if we ended up getting sent home, we'd go to dinner at Texas Roadhouse as a consolation prize.
We got to Wausau just before 4:00pm. They were waiting for me at L&D, and wasted no time getting me into a triage room and hooking me up to the monitors. Sure enough, some good contractions going on. I wasn't hallucinating! The contractions were causing the slightest bit of dilation, so the nurses called my OB to determine what we'd do from there. When they came back to hook up an IV, excitement mounted - was today really going to be Mabel's birth day?! Soon, my OB came in and confirmed that indeed, it would be. No sense sending me back up to the remote woods only to have this become a more emergent situation if the contractions turned serious and/or my water broke. BABY TIME! We sent out a few texts to our parents, and while we waited for the anesthesiologist to come in, alternated between watching the nightly news (Hurricane Isaac, front and center) and staring at each other with a mix of shock and giddiness - we were going to meet our girl! Tonight!
Soon enough, we were on the move. I loved the nurse anesthetist - it turned out he was a fellow UND grad, and a pilot, and a native of the Dakotas, so we had a lot to talk about. I felt pretty calm until we actually walked into the OR. The place was PACKED. My surgery time was set for 6:30pm, and apparently the 7:00pm shift change meant we had a mix of people who were about to leave and people who were about to come on and the result was 73 people in the OR. Probably more like 15, but at the time? Looked like 70+. All staring at me. In a bright room where I was about to be exposed and cut open and meet my daughter .... but all I could focus on was the "cut open" bit and hello, panic. They tried bringing J in to help me through the spinal poke part, but the poke turned into about 4 pokes and things started getting tense and next thing I know, J's admitting he felt light headed and was whisked away to put his feet up somewhere. Which was actually pretty hilarious and lightened the mood a bit, because, I mean, not like HE was about to be CUT OPEN or anything.
Finally, the meds hit the right spot and things got underway. J returned to my side, and my OB got to work. It seemed like slow going this time. I just couldn't wait to hear her cry and know she was out and safe. And finally, after some immense pressure and some lady climbing on top of the surgical table to shove down on the top of my belly to get the baby out (OMG, WEIRD) ..... at 7:05pm ..... CRIES!!! I heard hers and mine started immediately. Joy, relief, excitement, and SO anxious to see her face. Seconds later they moved her to where I could see her, wrapped her up, and brought her to her mama.
|bonding with daddy in the nursery.|
We really cherished our hospital stay this time around, knowing that once we went home, our one-on-one time with the baby would be limited. Lots of snuggles, very little nursery time for the little miss, and a whole lot of "wow, we made a really, really great baby!"
So there it is. The story of Mabel's first day. Every day just gets better, and I feel so, so blessed to have my arms full of littles. Amazing.