10.28.2013

Caroline's "Birth" Day: {A Birth Story}


Blogging has been a little sparse lately, but with good reason. See Exhibit A below.

Taken after her Dr. appt. on Friday. It wore Miss Priss out.

Our Caroline is a JOY. I don't know how we ended up with such a happy and easy baby, but I'm very thankful. I wanted to share a few sweet photos from Caroline's birthday, as well as a little recap of the day while all the details are fresh in my mind.

I don't want to forget any part of this babe's arrival and first days, so please bear with me for a few more baby-centric posts : ) Fashion and outfit posts will return soon enough. Pinky promise.

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Our Cesarean was scheduled for 5:30 a.m., so we woke up at 4:00 a.m. to shower, pack last minute items and get ready for our big day! We headed out the door at 5:20, as we live approximately two minutes from the hospital we used. It was so nice to have a quick drive!

The sunrise was GORGEOUS on the morning of Caroline's birth. We snapped this pic from our Labor & Delivery suite on the fifth floor of the hospital.

We arrived and were promptly taken to our room for the next three days in Labor & Delivery. I was so relieved that the two nurses on call that morning were both ladies I'd met during a previous visit. (Thank you to Joanna and Emily for making us feel so calm during the pre-op prep!)

This was our last photo as a family of two!

I got changed into my gorgeous hospital-issued gown (blech!) and they hooked me up to a contraction monitor. Soon thereafter, Joanna started my IV, I was given an antacid and they began to give me fluids and antibiotics for the surgery. 

Around 6:30 a.m., Caroline's "welcoming committee" arrived: my parents, Stephen's mom and his two sisters, Sarah and Stephanie. For the next few minutes, we talked and laughed and got "pumped up" for what was about to happen! I was SO happy to be sharing this special morning with the people we love.

Our doc, Dr. D., came in at 7:00 a.m. to go over last minute details and answer questions. He was super reassuring that everything would go smoothly, which made me feel so calm and collected. 

Next, the anesthesiology team came in to talk about their plan of action. Here's where things got a little complicated...

Because of some test results, they decided an epidural would be safer than a spinal. (I'm still not totally sure of the reasons, but I do know that it had something to do with my specific blood volume and the speed at which the spinal goes in versus the epidural.) We knew a spinal might be more effective, but we trusted that they would know best what to do for the safety of Caroline and me.

Now, y'all know that the spinal/epidural was the part I was dreading the most. I am happy to report that although it wasn't a cake walk, the epidural wasn't the most horrible thing. The worst part were the two numbing shots they gave me before putting in the actual epidural. Thankfully, they let Stephen stay in the room and hold my shoulders while they administered it! He was an excellent source of comfort during the whole thing.

This was me listening to one of the nurses describe the epidural process. My entire face says, "Um, they're going to do WHAT with that needle?!" Ha!

Stephen got suited up  in his "Breaking Bad" garb for his daddy debut!

After the epidural was started, my legs started to get warm and tingly, so to the O.R. we went!

They began to put more medication into the epidural once we got to the O.R., but quickly noticed that it was only taking effect on the right side of my body. They gave a little more and even tilted the operating table to spread the medication more effectively, but I still wasn't getting completely numb.

Unfortunately, they reached the maximum dosage on the medicine and I still wasn't numbing as completely as I needed to for a comfortable C-section. To ensure Caroline's safety and also that she would be alert upon delivery, they told me it would be best to make the first two incisions before putting me under. (General anesthesia makes it very important for the baby to be taken out really quickly to cut out the risk of any side effects it could potentially cause.)

I said a quick prayer in my head and tried to stay calm. Although I did feel the incisions a bit on the left side, it was so worth it to know that our girl would be alert and safe. 

The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist telling me that everything would be okay and that they would get Caroline out within a matter of seconds after I went to sleep. 

Next thing I knew, I woke up in recovery and, less than an hour later, was getting ready to meet my girl! 

They wheeled me up to my room where Stephen was waiting with a HUGE smile on his face. At this point, no one had held Caroline yet because Stephen wanted me to be the first. (Thank you for that, honey!)

Moments later, a sweet team of nurses brought in our girl and I started bawling my eyes out. 

She. Was. Beautiful.


I was so overcome with emotion. Happy emotion. The kind that makes your heart feel like it could explode. 

I also appreciate the hospital staff for what happened next:

You see, the nurses wanted me to have a special bonding moment with Caroline, so they undressed her and I got to hold her skin-to-skin. It was incredible.


Next, since we knew we wanted Caroline to be exclusively breast fed, we wanted to give her the chance to latch naturally. If you are expecting, PLEASE do this. It was so, so neat to see her find her way to me, latch on and start nursing without any assistance. 

It was that moment more than anything that I'll never forget.

This is our first photo as a family of three!

The rest of the day was sort of a blur. Visitors and family came in and left, nurses were constantly in and out and we were exhausted. 

It was the best exhaustion I've ever experienced, though : )

Even though I hated having to be put under for the last minutes of her delivery, I definitely feel like we got to have that special first moment. I can honestly say that I don't feel robbed of anything. The amazing staff in Labor & Delivery made sure to help us feel like we were completely in charge and involved with Caroline's birth. It was an incredible experience and I'm so thankful that she got here safely.

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Stay tuned for another post on Caroline's homecoming and a nursery reveal, all happening this week!

17 comments:

  1. As a OB nurse, I'm glad you had such a wonderful experience. C/S can be a frightening experience so I'm glad your nurses were there to explain every step to you. Not only does skin to skin help with breast feeding but it also helps with regulating baby's temperature, respirations and nutures bonding! Congrats again on Caroline!

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  2. She is gorgeous!!! Congratulations Leslie. Enjoy every moment you have with her. It goes by way too fast!

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  3. That's so wonderful that despite the change of plans you didn't miss out on the bonding! My twins were taken directly to the NICU and I didn't get to see or hold them for hours. You're very blessed and she's beautiful!

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  4. Leslie I hate to hear you had to be out under for the actual birth, but so glad your exeprience was still positive! I have heard more and more lately about trouble getting mom's totally numb it seems! Maybe next time (😉) they can try more tricks! I know there are lots! Excited that bf'ing is going well and that you have a cheerleading squad to support you. Some days you will need it! You look amazing and she is so beautiful!

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  5. So glad that you still got to have that special 'first moment' and skin to skin time with precious Caroline. Can't wait for the next few posts!:)

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  6. Congratulations, she is so beautiful! I love how positive you stayed despite some last minute changes in your birth plan - so hard to roll with the punches at such an emotional time but you sound like you were a superstar!

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  7. This made me a little teary-eyed! I am sorry you had to deal with the initial stuff, but so glad she arrived safely and you are okay. She is beautiful! What a wonderful blessing! James 1:17 <3

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  8. What a beautiful birth story! As a new mom to a 10 week old, I completely love your blog focusing on all things baby for awhile!

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  9. So, so sweet!! And she really is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, love!

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  10. Loved reading this, so sweet! Glad that you got to have special time with Caroline before anyone else. It's the best, isn't it?! Sorry to hear you were under for her actual birth...and that you could feel some of the cutting. That freaks me out! On the other side though, it's totally worth it!!!

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  11. So SWEET!! Thank you for sharing!

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  12. Congratulations on the new addition! You all have a beautiful family!!!

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  13. Congrats! She's gorgeous!

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  14. You look absolutely flawless! I wish i looked that good in labor! ha ha And she is gorgeous!! Such a beautiful blessing!

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  15. Congratulations! She is perfect! I loved reading Caroline's birth story. Enjoy this special time together. I love how you had her naturally find her way to your breast, so beautiful.

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  16. Aw, what a great story! So glad that everything worked out!

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  17. Oh my gosh Leslie!! This is so beautiful!!! If you could see my face right now (which luckily tyler is watching football and hasn't noticed) I'm crying like a baby! Congrats again to the three of you. She is so precious and y'all make such a beautiful little family! Thanks so much for sharing! Even though I'm scared by a lot of these stories of feeling the incisions, etc with expecting my first child, it is so great to hear how it isn't that bad and is so worth it!!! You're the sweetest!!

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