This pregnancy was similar to my last, with little Everett born January 2015. Long, hard and gross. Very gross. I think I was sicker than I've ever been with little R in my tummy. I was hospitalized (briefly) with strep throat and had countless viral infections (mmm... pink eye, multiple times). Happy to say little R made it through and appears to be one happy and healthy babe, but we're skipping ahead here...
Unlike with Everett, Aurora was a planned baby. Ryan and I knew we wanted another child. Our families knew. Work knew. It was thoroughly planned and lucky for us, it didn't take long to conceive. I'll admit it: a planned pregnancy is a little less exciting than an unplanned one! I had been taking the vitamins, laying off the sauce and habitually peeing on sticks for a couple months before the wonderful confirmation came.
Like I said before, the actual pregnancy on me was rough but since baby was doing okay in my belly the doctor thought that attempting VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) might be a good idea. It is said to lessen recovery time among other things. Though I wasn't super into the idea of VBAC based on what had happened during Everett's birth (emergency C-section/a whirlwind story), the idea of going for it naturally was still somewhat appealing and a shortened recovery time was definitely up my alley. I did have another baby (Everett, 2 years and 2 months) at home, after all.
We had discussed this early on and I had months to do some research and really make an informed decision. All the while, I was working full time. I know, I know. I work on the radio. It's not a physically intense job by any stretch but believe me... When you're exhausted, your brain & mouth don't tend to work as well as they used to and I was exhausted! Sure beat being unemployed though - as was the case when I was preggo with E. That was another level of stress I'm very happy I didn't have to deal with this time 'round.
I stopped working at the end of February. The plan was to schedule a C-section but to be open to VBAC if I went into labour early and things were looking good. Baby was measuring big (85th percentile) near the end which made the possibility of delivering her naturally seem very, very frightening for me. I'm little and she, like her brother, was BIG.
Nearing my C-section date I got very "inside my head" about all the things that could go wrong. I was thinking a lot about death; what if she didn't make it? What if I didn't make it? What if we both died? I was also worrying a lot about how this new addition to the family was going to affect little Everett. My first baby! Our little surprise who quickly became my whole friggin' world; how was he going to react to a new baby? Would I love him less? How could I make sure everyone got the right amount of love and attention?
So many unanswered questions and I was also freaked out about going into labour naturally and having to experience a vaginal delivery I didn't really want to have but does choosing a repeat C make me lazy? A bad mom? Am I robbing baby of a natural entry into this life? Seriously. These are the thoughts that were going through my mind which is why, nearing her arrival, I blocked out all baby talk. My apologies to those of you whose text messages and e-mails I didn't return.
March 20th... the wait is over.
Ryan and I headed to the hospital for an 8AM check in. While waiting for a room in Labour and Deliv. we bumped into the OB who'd be delivering our baby. Shout out to Dr. Garber, by the way, who was totally right about a scheduled C-section being a wildly different experience than an unscheduled or emergent one. He was on his way to deliver a baby (via C) the hard way. That news kinda helped to calm my nerves. I made it through a difficult C with Everett, so today should be a slice of cake, right?
Velia was the first nurse who helped us out once we made it to the pre-op/waiting room. She is really awesome and I told her about this blog so "HI VELIA - If you're reading this - you were one of the best parts of our journey!" I got a little queasy and had to lay down when the IV went in. Yes, I hate needles. Muchly.
8AM... 9AM... 10AM... we were joined by another couple (separated by a curtain) awaiting their C-section. Knowing other people are undergoing the same scary thing as me has always been something I found calming. I was also watching the clock because I had asked my coworkers at the radio station to put on a special song for Aurora's arrival, scheduled for sometime between 12PM and 1PM.
Shortly after 12PM we were escorted into the OR. Well, I was. Ryan had to wait until the anesthetist said it was okay. I've never WALKED into an operating room before so this was a first! The room was intimidating to say the least but I knew I wasn't the first who'd be experiencing this today. Shortly after hopping up onto the bed, I asked the medical staff to tune the radio to 106.1 CHEZ. You see, during Everett's birth I asked the same and got to rock out to an epic playlist during his spontaneous arrival. I was really into the music and not working for Rogers Radio at the time so it was quite the keepsake when Robin (Harper) and Steve (Colwill) answered my request for the playlist.
You don't see much when you're lying there so it was very nice when Ryan was let in. It was also super nice to know the person heading the surgery! Last time was a major blur - it all ended well, but it was really scary in comparison.
Everything below my breasts was warm and fuzzy and then completely numb. The time between going numb and the countdown to baby's first cry I find the most intense... You know it's ON and your life's going to change within the next 30-45 minutes.
There was a lot of pushing, pulling and talking with the staff. Everyone in there was great and, just like I told them pre-op, I forgot most of their names. Except Heather! Heather was there during E's delivery and she actually remembered me thanks to the radio connection.
Aurora "Rory" Stardust joined the outside world on March 20th at 13:13 weighing 8lb 6oz to U2's New Year's Day.
Her brother, Everett was born January 9th at 11:11 weighing 9lb 6oz to AC/DC's Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap).
The whole procedure was a truly great experience. She came out a beautiful, healthy baby girl and I managed to pull through okay. There might be some scar tissue ickiness going forward with it being my second C-section so this will be my last birthing rodeo. Like - FOR SURE.
Everything I was told about scheduled C-sections was absolutely true. It was a cool, calm and collected experience - POST OP. Prior to, I was anything but cool, calm and collected. Birth is a trip. It's a mental, physical and emotional journey that is personal to every person who experiences it first hand. I dealt with it on my terms this time and am absolutely grateful to the staff at the Civic Hospital, Dr. Garber and his team, Velia (that heated blanket you gave us in recovery is possibly the greatest invention ever) and the staff in the Mother Baby unit who took such stellar care of us.
Friends and family - thank you for the support you've given us over the past several months. Thank you for allowing me to ignore you, to hermit and to have the experience I wanted to have. I put myself (and baby) first and highly recommend you do the same if you are on or planning to begin your own birth journey.
A special shout out to Robin and Jacki from CHEZ for sending me Rory's playlist which you can see by CLICKING HERE.