Alternately titled: My Beautiful C-Section Birth Story
I woke up at 4:30am on Wednesday, February 6th. I tossed and turned all night anticipating the arrival (FINALLY) of our little one. Today would be the day I’d find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, and I’d finally be able to hold him or her in my arms. We got ready, threw a few more things together, and packed up the car at 5:45am. The ride to the hospital was quick and we walked into triage at 6:05am.
“Are you here for the birthday party!?!”, exclaimed the security guard working the front desk. Mr. Markers and I looked at each other, and said laughing, “Well, yes, I suppose we are!”
Checking into triage was a breeze. They had all my paperwork ready, slapped a bracelet on my wrist and sent us up to the labor and delivery floor. We waited there for about 20 minutes before the nurse came to get us. She was SO chipper for 6:30 in the morning! But we really appreciated her energy and smile – I was feeling more anxious as the minutes passed by.
We settled into our pre-OP/recovery room while they got everything ready. Blood was taken, questions were asked, IVs went in, and we had an ultrasound to make sure the baby hadn’t miraculously flipped (she hadn’t). Then we waited for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only 40 minutes or so. I knew my mom really wanted to see me and make sure I was OK before heading into surgery, so Mr. Markers swapped places with her for a few minutes so we could reassure each other that everything was going to be just fine. She was just as nervous as I was! Apparently that’s a “mom” thing.
Mr. Markers came back in, held my hand and we just looked at each other in disbelief that it was really happening… we would meet our baby in just a few minutes! I don’t know what prompted me, but I said to him, “Honey, she’s a girl. I just know it. She’s a girl and she’s going to be 7 lbs 11 oz and 20 inches long.” He was like, “A girl?? NOW you’re saying girl?!” I don’t know why, that’s just the feeling I got.
7:45am rolled around and it was time to head into the operating room. I walked with the anesthesiologist down the hall to where our baby would be born. Poor Mr. Markers had to wait in the recovery room until the nurse came to get him, which he said felt much longer than the 20 minutes it actually was.
We walked into a bright room that was filled with people all preparing for the surgery. I sat up on the table and they asked me a few questions. Then each staff person introduced themselves, stated their name and their role in the surgery. I loved this! Once we were all acquainted, they started to administer the spinal anesthesia.
I think I was more nervous about the spinal than the actual surgery. I sat on the edge of the bed while my doctor held one hand and a nurse held the other. My doctor was truly a godsend. She asked me questions about things I had mentioned months ago – how the sale of our condo was going, if we like living in the West Loop, and how great it was that we had an awesome new park just a few blocks away. Our conversation kept up, I felt a little pinch and then it was over. I looked at her and the nurse with huge grateful eyes and said, thank you, sincerely. In my mind the hard part was over.
They laid me back and for the next 20 minutes or so, we waited for the anesthesia to take effect. I started to feel bad for Mr. Markers, who I knew was probably freaking out while he was waiting! Once I was totally numb and the blue drape went up, the nurse left to get him and we were ready to go.
Right before the surgery started, the staff went around and everyone said if they thought it would be a boy or a girl. Not surprisingly, everyone in the room said boy, boy, boy, boy… and the anesthesiologist behind me said, “Well I’ll be different – I’m saying girl!”
Then the surgery was underway. It seemed like quite a bit of activity going on behind the blue drape, so I kept asking the anesthesiologist what they were doing. He gave me the play by play, which Mr. Markers thought was so strange that I was curious – but I like to be informed! I had planned on pushing this baby out all by myself and since I couldn’t, I figured they could at least allow me to be in on the action. Mr. Markers and I chatted nervously and this went on for about 10 minutes… then my doctor said, “OK, the baby is almost here!” And a few seconds later I heard the most perfect sound in the whole wide world – a CRY.
Tears flooded my eyes immediately and I was sobbing.
My doctor said to Mr. Markers, “Stand up! Here’s your baby!” He stood up, and everyone waited for him to announce the baby’s sex.
“WHAT IS IT?! Tell me!!!” I must have said three times!
Mr. Markers was like, “I can’t tell!”
The doctor whispered, “she’s a girl,” and Mr. Markers exclaimed, “A GIRL! She’s a GIRL!!!!”
And then I was sobbing happy tears again.
They quickly wrapped her up in a light blanket and brought her right next to my face. I kissed her cheeks and I have never in my life felt anything so soft and warm. I will never forget that moment when I first saw her perfect face and felt her perfect skin. Tears rolled down my face and the anesthesiologist kept dabbing them for me.
In just a few minutes, she was wrapped up and in her daddy’s arms. Cue more tears, as the sight of Mr. Markers holding our baby girl for the first time is a moment I will never forget. He looked so natural; she looked so safe. As much as I wanted to have her in my own arms, I knew she belonged with her daddy in that moment. I thought I would be sad, anxious and even a little jealous to not be able to hold her immediately, but my emotions surprised me – that moment made my heart swell with happiness.After another 15 minutes or so (and about 15 more had passed while I was marveling at our baby girl), my doctor announced they were almost done. Mr. Markers held our sweet girl while they finished up and transferred me to a hospital bed. Once I was propped up, she was finally placed in my arms. Once in the recovery room, we immediately got skin-to-skin and attempted breastfeeding. I was nauseous and sick from the anesthesia, and the next two hours were a bit rough. Mr. Markers and I switched off holding her while we waited to be transferred to the postpartum floor. I just stared at her in disbelief that she was finally here, and she was absolutely perfect.
I was pretty vocal, including here on Hellobee, about my disappointment regarding the c-section. It wasn’t my plan! I was afraid that the experience would be cold, clinical and leave me feeling emotionally empty. I thought I would be heartbroken to not hold our baby immediately, skin-to-skin. In actuality, Baby Markers’ birth story was perfectly beautiful. Our doctors and medical team made sure that I was holding her, breastfeeding and bonding, as soon as possible. The moments before she was in my arms were short, and I could see her the entire time. I have no regrets, and with time to reflect on her birth story, I realize that it was exactly how she was meant to be born.
Our sweet angel was born on February 6, 2013 at 8:46am. She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and was 19.5 inches long.