Tuesday, February 5, 2013

birth: novella 2 of 2

Part 1 is here...it's from yesterday so you could also just do a sideswipe on your phone with the same result.

I left off at about 2 on Friday afternoon. Doctor freaking us out, nurse freaking us out, contractions on top of one another and registering 10's and 11's on that contractionmeter thing, no progress. At this point the doctor started talking c-section. I had said when we first arrived that I wanted to go as naturally as possible, but my mind was wide open to the idea of epidural. My mom said they're a miracle and I believe in miracles and also in my mom. But now a c-section was on the table.

I'm not one of those women who had a hard-and-fast birth plan. I had read too many stories about how those get dashed to pieces. I didn't want a c-section, but if it was between the safety of my baby and my resistance to go under the knife, the choice was blatantly obvious. The doctor said she'd let me try and labor a little longer and I accepted the challenge, but by 4 I went all Elizabeth Banks in What to Expect When You're Expecting

 give me the juice

and I pansied out and got the epidural. The anesthesiologist was super nice, and distracted me with conversation while shanking me with the magical needle of painlessness. I was in the middle of a huge contraction and didn't even feel it. About ten minutes later, I was sitting up and chatting with my mom and Sean while Sean was monitoring my contractions on the meter, and he stared at me and said, "You didn't feel that?" and I bewilderingly asked "Feel what?" I had just had a 13. Welp, epidurals work, people.

By 5, the doctor called it. C-section is was. My baby's heartbeat was reaching alarming rates every time I had a contraction, which was really often. The heart monitor read like the Swiss Alps, and I still wasn't progressing even a little bit in the nether regions.

They didn't have to anesthetize me all over again, they just "extended" the epidural. I was fully conscious with just a curtain resting on my chest to shield me from the gore of my insides, and with Sean holding my hand right next to me. Sean decided against peering over the curtain - if you'll remember, he's squeamish - but when they lifted our baby, exclaimed "it's a girl", and rushed her over to get her cleaned, Sean followed them and accidentally caught sight of all my exposed organs. Fortunately he was too distracted by his fresh and tiny daughter but he admits "it was scarring."

The nurses put my angry child on the scale. From where I was I could read it myself: 5.0. What the heck? How was I so huge with preg weight and there was only 5 pounds of human in me? They brought my itsy bitsy daughter over and placed her next to my face, as my chest was otherwise occupied by my organs. I remember saying "Hi Jordan" and succumbing to salty tears for the briefest of moments, and then they whisked her away. I told Sean to go with her, and they kept me another hour while I was sewn back up. It was the longest hour.

Here's what Sean got to do while I was still in surgery. Luckyyy.

In the end it was the cord that was the culprit. It had made it's way around Jordan's neck twice and was squeezing my poor girl's windpipes every time a contraction hit. Always better to be safe than sorry, I think. I hate that I had to have a c-section, and undergo the recovery that they involve, but if having her naturally would have endangered her safety I never would have forgiven myself. As to her size, we don't know! Her umbilical cord was really skinny so the only operating theory was that she wasn't getting a ton of nutrition in utero. But she was a strong and healthy baby from the get-go, just itty bitty.

Jordan Elizabeth
August 5, 2011 * 5:35 p.m. * 5 lbs, 0 oz * 18.5 inches
affectionately nicknamed by all the nurses: "Peanut"


  1. He saw your insides!?!? Oh man.

    She is so precious!!! Sweet girl. Happy family. Great birth story.

  2. C-section buddies!!

    Mike is so weird and watched them cut me open and all, but then when they offered me a mirror to watch her birth I went ahead and looked at them pulling her out, so equally weird. I am super grateful that c-sections exist even if they aren't ideal.

    Are you going to try to VBAC? Hopefully you'll be able to dodge another long recovery :)

  3. She is gooooooooooooooorgeous! Oh what a pretty little peanut...

  4. She is such a pretty baby! Great story.

  5. You managed to make birth hilarious! Great birth story! And congrats on your little peanut!

  6. Oh my gosh she is the sweetest little baby!!!! So tiny!!!

    And honestly, I never thought much about a c-sec before, just thought I'd deal with things as they came...and now that I've pondered on the words "exposed organs" I don't think I'll ever forgive you if I have to have one :)

  7. She was the tiniest baby I have ever seen! So beautiful :)