Our next story is from Sarah (also the mother of Tyler, our kick-off birth story) telling the birth story of her second birth which turned out to not be as easy as everyone says second births should be. This is the story of Kennedy...
And the said it's easier the second time around...
For my second birth they said it would be easier. You know what to expect they said. Lesson learned: the second time around is NOT always easy.
I chose a scheduled c-section for round two. I had one previously with my son Tyler and there was less fear than the unknown. Still, on the days leading up to C- day (c-section), I was nervous. I didn't know what was coming, but I had every right to be worried...
While packing the night before our scheduled c-section, my husband said excitedly, "this is just like going on vacation." As he talked about the good room service and tasty cheesecake we'd get the next day, I was still nervous. "Easy for you to say," I responded, "you're not getting cut open."
Baby Kennedy hadn't come early, so everything was going as planned the morning of the 9th. We woke at 5 AM that day to have time to get everyone settled. Avery was able to get off to school on the bus, and Grandma came over to watch Tyler and see Chase off to school. There was definitely a buzz of excitement as everyone knew we'd be adding another to our family in a few hours. I showered and used the sanitation wipes provided by the hospital for surgeries. Then I grabbed my bag, kissed my toddler, and headed off to the hospital. It felt surreal knowing that in only a few more hours I'd be snuggling another sweet baby...this time a girl.
We arrived at the hospital with our bags at 7:30 AM. My heart fluttered with a mix of excitement and nervousness. Experiencing a c-section the second time around was definitely different. I wanted to meet my daughter, but I didn't want to relive the aftermath of a c-section. Sneezing, laughing, and getting up from bed are all things that cause serious pain. I knew it would be a long few weeks after.
I got into my hospital gown and then they checked my vitals and hooked me up to an IV. I chatted and waited for the doctor to arrive. Then at 9:30 AM, I was able to walk myself down the hall to the surgery, waving to my husband in the "chair" reserved for c-section husbands.
I was so drugged up last time, I hadn't taken in all the sights of the operating room. I took time to look around; all the various machines, the lights, and the chill that enclosed the operating room. I was able to hop onto the surgery table myself. Then the anesthesiologist came to give me a spinal tap. I took a deep breathe as I leaned forward, realizing the procedure was coming soon. After he finished, my doctor came in, followed by Jamie, my husband. I chatted with both while waiting for my body to numb. Within the first minutes I felt numbness, or rather I didn't feel anything. Starting with my toes, the sensation left my body until I was numb from waist down. There was still the small part of me that worried that I would feel the first cut. I tried to keep that from my mind as they strapped me "Jesus-style" to the table and quickly got started.
Things felt much less tense than my first birth. Everyone chatted pleasantly while working. I closed my eyes and listened to the doctors chatting about their Friday night plans. Soon they gave a final push and I heard her cry. By 10:04 Kennedy had arrived! They lifted her up over the curtain for me to see and then took her to the corner for Jamie to cut her cord and to perform their initial tests. It was quickly decided that she was having trouble breathing, so after letting me snap a quick photo with her, they took her to the nursery ICU for monitoring and to help her breathe. Apparently, she had "wet lung," a common condition in babies born of c-section.
My worry over Kennedy quickly moved to myself when they discovered that I also had a complication.. a quarter-sized hole in my bladder! The meds helped to soften the severity of this situation and as I was already cut open, the only decision was to wait until an urologist could come to our floor and sew up my bladder. This fifteen minute wait was a perfect time for my husband to get an anatomy lesson and snap a few photos of my uterus chilling on my abdomen. These would be great to use to gross out my step kids later. Finally, the urologist sewed up my bladder. Then they shot some baby formula in my catheter to make sure that there were no more tears (nothing in your body is the color of formula...who knew it had multiple uses). Deciding I was okay, they finished up their sewing and told me I could expect to wear a catheter for the next 10 days! I quickly tried to think about something other than that and my mind flashed back to Kennedy and to whether she was okay.
They wheeled me back to my room and helped me get into bed. The pain felt like dying, but I was worried about my daughter. How was she doing and when would I be able to see her? The nurses kept reassuring me that she was doing well and should be in to see me soon. They asked if I'd like to take a wheelchair to her, but my own pain made me stay and wait. Finally, a nurse came in and told me that Kennedy would probably have to stay the night in the NICU. Nothing like that to motivate a mom to get into the wheelchair. At 3:30 PM, five hours after being born, I was finally reunited with my precious baby girl. She was all hooked up to machines monitoring her, but they detached her so I could hold her. The moment they placed her in my arms and I looked down at her, the tears began to flow. She had Daddy's dimpled chin, a perfect little mouth, and mommy's long arms and legs. Everything from that day faded into this moment! Our family was complete!
About the Author: Sarah Peterson is the “Victory Mom” of her blended family. With 4 children, this teacher turned stay-at-home mom writes at Peterberries about life with four kids including: recipes, budgeting, parenting, and occasionally even struggles of the stepmom.