Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birth of a Spider Monkey



On July 6th, my husband and I welcomed our first child into this world; Declan Patrick Stevens weighed in at 7lbs. 4oz. and measured 19 inches.  What a joyous, crazy, scary, unbelievable day that was!

For three months, stubborn Declan remained breech while I tried almost every method I could to flip him -- inversions, frozen veggies/flashlight, weekly pregnancy chiropractic adjustments -- but he decided he was comfy right where he was until the very end.  Two weeks before my due date, I ended-up scheduling a c-section while at my weekly appointment with my midwife.  It took me a long time, and a lot of tears, to be okay with the fact that the birth of my child was not going to happen naturally, outside of a hospital.  I'll be honest and say that I truly felt 'robbed' of the opportunity to give birth to my son.  However, I've now come to terms with the fact that a.) my body (uterus) was just not equipped to allow enough space for Declan to turn and b.) all of this was entirely out of my hands and out of my control -- what was going to be would be.

I can not stress enough how wonderful it was to have my midwives as advocates for me.  Not only did my midwife prepare me for the procedure, she scheduled my c-section with a surgeon she recommended and worked well with, allowing her to assist with my surgery.  Before surgery, my midwife came in and sat with me, talking me through what was going to happen and answering any last minute questions I had.  When the time came, I walked two doors down to the OR and was astounded how quickly everything went (did I mention that I was scared to DEATH!).  My husband was brought in in the nick of time (they almost forgot him -- again, my midwife spoke up on that matter) and had the privilege of not sitting behind my head, but rather, sitting right at the curtain divide.  He. saw. everything.  I mean everything.  He now knows me more intimately than I know me!  I knew at the time that he could see everything by his nervous talking and his Monty Python reference (only the anesthesiologist caught the reference - he was also the only male assisting in my surgery) -- they did, in fact, have 'the machine that goes ping'!  Afterwards, my husband commented about the fact that while he knew that my midwife would be assisting in the surgery, he had no idea that she would be as hands-on as she was.  Yes, yes, yes - I wouldn't have it any other way!

Declan was 'born' at 9:54 a.m. on Friday, July 6th.  If I were to have a complaint about having a c-section, it would be that I wasn't able to see him or touch him for about 20 minutes or so.  My husband was able to see him, and I could hear his cries, but they had a difficult time getting his temperature to stabilize and he had a lot of excess fluid in his lungs that needed to be suctioned.  I wouldn't change a thing though, because he was well cared for and healthy as a result.  Another area where my surgeon worked with my midwife and myself with our birth plan, was in the fact that I requested no separation between myself and my baby.  Sean was able to hold Declan near my head while they finished sewing me up, and they actually stayed with me and walked with me I was wheeled into my recovery room.  To avoid any possible separation, a warming table was brought into my recovery room to continue to stabilize Declan's temperature, which is where he was placed after I nursed him for the first time.  One of my nurses later commented on how lucky I was to have that type of treatment, and that she wished it was the standard for all c-sections.  I am so unbelievably grateful for that experience.  It completely changed my opinion of a c-section and how sterile and detached the procedure has been known to be.

At the end of my surgery, when they were doing the routine exploratory exam, both my midwife and surgeon remarked on how beautiful my heart-shaped uterus is!  I now know that my uterus is 2/3 of the way septate, but have been reassured by my midwife that a surgery to remove the septum would allow me a great opportunity to have a VBAC with our next child (that and the fact that my surgeon knew that I wanted more children, thus ensuring that her incision would be conducive to a VBAC).  While this is great news for a little later, right now I'm just focusing on healing and enjoying our beautiful little boy (aka - Spider Monkey)!