I should be sleeping right now because he is. Everyone tells you to sleep when your baby sleeps, but I haven’t written in over four weeks and I’m dying to tell you his story!
On June 24th, 2011 I went in for my C-section. Our little one was breech and though we were initially planning to try a natural birth, baby was overdue and breech babies can’t be induced. So the decision was made for us, which was kind of nice because it wasn’t one I wanted to make.
We arrived at the hospital at 10am. They told me not to eat or drink after midnight so I was pretty hungry and thirsty. The nurse came in to get me “prepped” for surgery. I was pretty nervous as I changed into my hospital gown, donned those lovely compression stockings and removed all my beautiful nail and toenail polish. Apparently my doctor was supposed to tell me to do that before, but he didn’t…so I had layers of bright red and bright pink to remove. In a way it was a good distraction and kept me from thinking about other things, like getting an IV.
After my IV was in I felt super dizzy and gross. I lay down for awhile and thought about how uncomfortable and cold the IV felt dripping into my hand. Alex was close by, also in hospital scrubs and he held my hand to keep me calm. Eventually I started to feel normal again.
We were scheduled to go in around noon but the hospital was busy, so we didn’t go in until 1pm. I was walked into the operating room and suddenly everything became very real. Alex had to wait in the hall while I had my spinal so I entered the room alone. It was cold, sterile and the lights were so bright. I sat on the table while the nurses prepped. They counted out little cotton swabs and other surgery-type things and I felt my heart rate quicken.
To calm myself I thought about my son and thanked God he was healthy and strong and that I would be able to meet him soon. When that wasn’t enough I prayed in the spirit. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I think the nurses thought I was going a bit loopy.
The anesthetist came in and prepared to give me the spinal. At this point I started feeling really crampy, or maybe like I was going to throw up. I told the nurses and they said I was likely having contractions. They asked me if I wanted them to check and see how dilated I was. This totally threw me off because in my mind I had already accepted the C-section. But they said it would only take a minute and I thought, why not. So they checked and the anesthetist left. I was only 1 centimeter so I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
While I made this decision, the anesthetist was called to deal with another emergency and so – more waiting. At this point someone went out to let Alex know what was going on and he was allowed to come into the room. We waited about half and hour or so until the doctor returned. Alex left and I had my spinal.
It hurt, but only for a few seconds. Then everything below my chest went numb and the nurses quickly lay me down on the table. At this point I started to panic a little because my chest felt heavy and like I couldn’t breath. The doctor reassured me that my oxygen level was good and that everything was going to be fine. A tent was set up between me and the operating site.
When the doctor entered the room everything happened very quickly. I heard him say “scalpel” and I asked the nurse where my husband was. Someone went to get Alex and he came and sat by my head and held my hand tight. Less than five minutes later our son was born. It went so fast Alex almost missed it! They held him up over the curtain for us to see and I heard his first cries. Tears filled my eyes and I asked if he was okay. Right away everyone commented about his amazing head of red hair. I asked how big he was. 8lbs 10 oz and 22 inches long. They cleaned him up and asked us his name.
Alex held him close to my face so I could see him and again I was overwhelmed.
He stayed close while the doctors quickly stitched me up. I marveled at his little hands, face and that full head of hair!
Soon after I was brought into the recovery room and finally got to hold my son in my arms and nursed him. Some say breast feeding is hard but God smiled on us in that regard and Cohen nursed like a pro. It was the most natural thing – a blessing after a not-so-natural birth. I had been feeling cold and my teeth were chattering like crazy, but when I nursed him, everything became warm and calm. It was an amazing moment.
We called our family and closest friends to tell them the news. Everyone was thrilled to hear Cohen Alexander had made a safe entry into the world.
What a gift.