Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Elijah's birth story

I know this story is a whole month late but late is better than never, right?  For starters, let me say that our birth story was totally different than what I dreamed and prayed for.  The only thing that went as planned was that my baby boy was born into this world beautiful and healthy.  And that makes it all okay.  Bare with me, this will be a long one...

I had a routine checkup on the morning of March 1st, just 3 short days before my due date.  The appointment went as they always did: walk to back, weight check, blood pressure check, go to the room, wait for doctor, cervical check, find out there had been NO progress since last week.  Then the doctor proceeded to measure my stomach and uterus size.  This is where things start to go a little bit differently.  The doctor got a very surprised look on her face and told me that stomach was measuring two weeks ahead of where I should be.  This was a HUGE surprise for both of us since I had been measuring on check the entire pregnancy.  She decided to send me for detailed growth ultrasound where the ultrasound tech would measure the baby and give us an estimate of how much the baby would weigh.  The ultrasound was scheduled for the following Monday, March 4th, my due date!  I honestly wasn't that concerned at this point since I knew that stomach measurements were a very imperfect way of measuring the baby.  I figured he was just laying funny at the time... Nope.

Fast forward to my due date.  The day that we had waited for had finally arrived.  But no baby.  Nope, not even close.  Elijah was still way too comfortable (and as we'd soon find out, way too big) to come out.  My brother had flown into town the night before and so he escorted me to my lovely ultrasound.  It took about 30 minutes from start to finish and the tech did all kinds of measurements to get a very accurate reading on big Elijah was.  When it was all finished she told me the results had to be read by the radiologist and would be ready the next day.  Great.  I love waiting.  Luckily, my awesome mom and sister were flying in later that day to distract me.

The next morning we all decided to go to Target to get a few things.  Immediately upon walking into Target I hear my phone ring and see that the call is from Kaiser.  I answer, thinking nothing of it, only to hear my doctor on the other end.  She tells me that she received my ultrasound and the results were "surprising".  She told me, and I quote, "Stephanie, you are going to have a very big baby."  I laughed and asked just how big was she talking.  She, not laughing, told me that Elijah was measuring 11 lbs 5 oz.  I was definitely not laughing anymore.  In fact, if I'm being totally honest with you, I started crying.  11 lbs and 5 oz?  How in the world could that possible?  She explained that these ultrasounds are very accurate but could be off by a pound either way.  "So your telling me I could have a 12 pound baby?" I asked her.  She told me that she recommended a c-section be done as soon as possible but that we would discuss further at my already scheduled appointment later that day.  Once we arrived at the appointment I had allowed the news to sink in a little, although still felt extremely sick to my stomach.  My doctor explained to me that a c-section was the safest route of delivery for Elijah and that since he was so large, vaginal would either be too dangerous or simply not possible.  We decided to follow my doctor's recommendation and scheduled a c-section for March 7th at 11:00 am.

I was devastated.  I had dreamed of delivering my baby the old fashioned way and couldn't believe that wasn't going to happen.  I wanted to do it medication free.  I had my birthing ball all ready to go.  We had practiced breathing techniques.  We were totally prepared.  Except we weren't at all.  Not for this.  Jason was amazing at letting me grieve the birth experience I had planned for.  I took the next two days to be sad but also start to accept my new reality.  My family was great at helping me see "the bright side."  "Elijah won't have a pointy head," they would tell me.  It didn't make the sadness go away, but it definitely made me laugh!

March 7th was a cold, rainy day, which was exactly the type of weather I had hoped he'd be born in.  We got to the hospital at 9 am and they started all the preparations for surgery.  I was extremely calm at this point, much to Jason's surprise.  I was cracking jokes left and right and chatting it up with all the nurses.  It wasn't until 10:30 am, 30 minutes for the surgery, that my nerves kicked in.  All of the sudden I realized how hungry and THIRSTY I was and knew that it would be hours until I could eat or drink something.  This thought, for some reason, made me panic.  Then I realized that I was about to have major surgery.  Why this thought didn't enter my mind until 30 minutes before surgery I have no idea.  They took me to the operating room at about 11:15 am (my doctor was late, of course).  I was shaking from be so nervous but luckily, it didn't affect the spinal.  I started getting numb immediately and before I knew it, couldn't feel anything my chest down.  For some, very dumb, reason I decided to try to move my knee, just because.  Of course, I was not able to move my knee and I started to panic.  Seriously.  Straight up panic.  My blood pressure sky rocketed and I started to dry heave.  My anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV to help and thankfully, it did.  I calmed down and soon after, Jason was allowed in the room.  Jason helped keep me calm through the rest of the surgery by showing me old pictures on his phone and telling me about them.  Finally, at 11:45am, my doctor told me, "Okay Stephanie, your going to feel a lot of pressure".  And then, all of the sudden, we heard the most amazing sound in the world.  Elijah sweet cry.  He was here.  And perfect!  All the nurses were shouting "congratulations!" and "he's definitely a boy!".  And then, one nurse finally told us, "10 pounds, 5 oz and 24.5 inches long!"  All I could think was, "I have a son."

Jason was able to see him being pulled out and didn't leave his side for a second (except to show me a quick picture).  It was about 10 minutes until he was able to bring him to me so I could kiss his head.  That was one of the best moments of my entire life.  Meeting my son.  We went to recovery about 30 minutes after Elijah was born and I was able to do skin to skin and breastfeed.  It was so beautiful and a moment I will never, ever forget.

Although my birth experience was different than I had hoped, it was totally and completely perfect.

Anxiously awaiting Elijah James!

About to meet our son

10 pounds, 5 oz of perfect baby boy! 

First family picture

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I know it wasn't how you dreamt it would be, but it is a beautiful story and has a perfect ending! I can't believe he is already a month old!