After blowing up my blog with exactly TWO blog posts about being pregnant, I figured the least I could do is take time to pause and document the birth of our second daughter. But also, she was born via c-section due to her stubbornly breech presentation and I have struggled a LOT with the experience. Regardless of how it ended, she spent nine months safely growing inside of me and the day we got to hold her for the first time deserves to be celebrated.
The morning of my last full day carrying her, hand where her head was. Face is what I’m feeling.. “really? we’re gonna end it like this?” lol
In the morning, before heading to the hospital. Hand where her head still was. I was super bummed.
We got to the hospital and answered roughly eighteen thousand questions while people popped in and out of the room. The OB came in and went over everything with us again, the anesthesiologists came in and were probably my favorite people we encountered during the c-section. Got an IV hooked up (only took one try!), got some fluids, watched the clock tick by while I waited and prayed for a last minute huge movement from the baby.
It never happened, and at 9:30 we walked the halls of the birth center into the operating room.
One of the things I really struggled with was how cold a c-section sounded. I kept saying it… “it just sounds so… cold.” My experience with Madeleine was something I loved so much and I had been looking forward to laboring and birthing a baby since the hour after giving birth the first time. Compared to that, having a surgery to remove my baby from my body just felt cold.
and walking into the operating room with the nurse (Justen had to wait in the hall), the first thing I said was “it is REALLY COLD in here.” and then I started crying, because it was already a cold experience and all I’d done was walk in the room. I got ready for my spinal (it took a few tries) while the nurse got me warm blankets for my legs and held my hands while I tried to keep myself together.
Once the anesthesia had warmed my lower half (I was very grateful for that!), the OB and another OB got everything ready for one last hail mary attempt at flipping the baby. They tried an ECV three times. Two in one direction, which babysat girl tolerated very well and then one in the other, which stressed her out and was the signal that time had officially run out, we had tried nearly everything, and it was time to proceed with the c-section.
They put a blue drape up from my chest and brought Justen in. I told them that the good news was I had 0 concerns about if the anesthesia had worked because the ECV was much more pleasant than my previous one because I couldn’t feel anything.
As I laid there, the anesthesiologist would peek over the drape and tell me what was happening. The activity level from the other side of the drape got a little louder and the anesthesiologist said “she’s here!” and pulled the blue part down, revealing a clear tarp that quickly filled with a little tiny human being. I cried and tried to touch her through the tarp. Very cold.
They handed her off to the pediatric team, and Justen rushed over to see her and take some pictures. Which I was very happy for him to do, except he stood right in my way so I laid there crying, trying to see her. Finally the anesthesiologist noticed what was happening and told Justen to move over a little bit so I could see her.
He did but all I saw was her feet on the little exam table. They brought her over to me and tucked her into my gown. The clear drape and skin to skin were the two options I had to warm the experience up a little more.
I kept wanting to wrap my arms around her and feel her size and her breathing and her existence, but when I would bring my arm up it would cause a kink in my IV and I’d be asked to put my arm back down. So cold.
(you can’t tell me you’re not impressed by my 2 month old tan line)
The OB said that all of my reproductive organs look great. and the way her cord was wrapped around her could have prevented her from moving. She said there’s no way to know for sure, but that was a good guess for why she was so stubbornly breech. That’s what I’d hoped to hear if we’d needed a c-section, to know that I had truly done everything I could to help her flip but that there was something so far out of our control that it wouldn’t have happened anyway.
We got to our room where we spent the day trying to warm up our little Georgia. Her body temp was on the cool side, and I kept thinking “…because that was so cold.”
That day I felt pretty good for having been cut up and sewed back together, but by the night time I was MISERABLE. The nurse commented that all of my numbing medications had worn off at that point and I was finally feeling the true extent of what had happened.
I was pretty uncomfortable during our time at the hospital. These compression wraps to help with circulation felt really great in the beginning but made me feel overheated and chained to the bed. The bed itself had a weird edge to one of the parts that was right under my butt, so I could never get comfortable and my tail bone always hurt. I cried a lot.
I read a post on reddit about how c-sections are often seen as minor procedures and not the invasive surgeries that they are. That’s part of what I struggled to process in the beginning of realizing I’d need a c-section. Surgery is something you think about happening when something is going severely wrong. but there I was, at the end of a healthy pregnancy, carrying a healthy baby but having an invasive surgery because that healthy baby was just upside down. It was – and still is – very hard to grasp.
But at the end of the day, our excitement over seeing a second line on a pregnancy test wasn’t about giving birth (although I was pretty excited to be able to experience that again), but about the joy of adding another person to our family. The feelings surrounding the experience of a c-section will eventually fade but our love for this upside down little girl will just grow and grow.
So with that!
This is Georgia Anastacia Martian. She is so sweet and so loved and we are so lucky she is ours.