It is almost 3:00 am and I am sitting on our front couch (about the only comfortable place to be in our house right now) with my sweet baby boy sitting next to me. We have just finished nursing and he is in a milk coma…I think I decided I would just stay up for my next feeding rather than go to bed and wake up an hour later. Anyway, I decided now was as good as time as any to begin documenting the birth story of the angel who sits next to me (he really is quite the angel).
I guess the birth story starts about three months ago. I had gone in for a routine check-up and discovered that my future son was measuring quite large. Not just, ‘could be a big baby’ large, but the measurements of his limbs were large, his tummy was large, he was a big boy. I joked a lot that week, saying the only thing I have asked God for is a small baby (I am not a fan of pain and birthing; a large baby terrified me). Anyway, that was our first indication that things were going to get interesting with baby boy.
At week 36, my husband and I went for a checkup. The doctor measured my stomach as being a bit big and decided to order an ultrasound, just to be on the safe side. At that time, she told us that Dr. Gruskin (our actual obgyn) generally doesn’t like patients to go past 40 weeks, so if we were measuring large, there was a good chance she’d be delivering our baby before that. She sent us off to get our ultrasound done. At week 40 our child was given his final ultrasound. We knew we were in trouble when the tech literally gasped and said, ‘oh my gosh’ when measuring his femur. From there, she took several measurements of his size, 11 pounds 5 ounces, 10 pounds 11 ounces and the third was ‘even bigger than the first’. Aaron and I left knowing that more than likely this child was going to be born via c-section and we had exactly 2 days to wrap our heads around that. It was exciting to know there was an end to last few weeks (I had been having on and off contractions and was off of work) but I was a bit upset that we didn’t induce sooner (when we knew how large he would be). In the end, I was reminded by Aaron and my sister that things would work out exactly as they were supposed to.
On April 28th we had an 11:30 am appointment with Dr. Gruskin. The first thing they did was administer a stress test. I did not enjoy that. At this point, I am so big and btw- I still have morning sickness. Having to lay on my side, while holding the monitor in place for over ½ hour was almost too much. By the end, tears were just streaming down my face. I had a lot of low points in the weeks leading up to his birth, but this was maybe the lowest. The nurses tried to keep me comfortable, brought in a fan, put on a cool compress and talked me through it. Finally, I was done, and I didn’t even throw up (SCORE) so we switched rooms and met with Dr. Gruskin. When she came in, she explained right away that given the size of the baby and his limb length, that she would recommend a c-section and in fact, had already had someone bumped on Friday in order to be able to do it. When she said that we were scheduled for 12:30 pm the following day, my heart literally skipped a beat. To know that my child would be born the following day, was exciting, terrifying, scary, etc…Dr. Gruskin did say that if I wanted to try to induce and go natural, I could. BUT, to me, I would rather have only one area totally torn up than two in terms of recovery, I said lets go for the c-section. Aaron and I left to go to the Beaumont lab to get blood work done. I asked him to take the rest of the day off, nerves were high and I wanted him with me. Thankfully he obliged. I called my sister on the way to the lab, she was supposedd to be my birth-coach and now would take over being my cheerleader for a c-section. Thankfully, she was already on her way up from Kentucky. I am so thankful she was able to be here, to calm me and spend such good time before, after and during the birth.
The night before we left for the hospital, Katie came over. We got to talk about our anxieties, laugh, and eat a delicious dinner at Antonio’s (I barely ate though because I was so nervous)- Katie left and Aaron and I were on our own for our last night without a childJ I packed the bag some more and Aaron and I both wrote a letter to our future son. I didn’t know if I would be able to sleep, but turns out, I was. I fell asleep around 10:30 pm.
At 4:30 am the morning of April 29th, I woke up to my husband putting his arms around me. There is nothing better than snuggling in the middle of the night. He couldn’t sleep and so we made use of the time together. At around 5:00 am, it became apparent that Aaron would not be falling back asleep, so I suggested he go out in the family room while I tried to sleep some more. He went to the family room, and turned on the tv…OM lowercase g…I forgot the ROYAL WEDDING WAS ON! I heard it in the background and decided I would get up and join him to watch. We watched the Royal Wedding the day of our son’s birth from 5:00 am-8:00 am. By 8:00 am I had started to feel really sick. I had ‘morning’ sickness all through this pregnancy and unfortunately, a major trigger is not eating. With a cesarean section, one cannot eat or drink past 12:00 midnight (um, are you kidding me? Try keeping me from sipping water). So...at 8:00 am I began throwing up. Now, at this point I appreciate that I puke all the time and I actually caught myself giggling that my son was gonna give me one last run for my money before showing upJ
Katie arrived at 9:30 am and we took off for the hospital with Katie driving behind us. On our way, I felt my anxiety start to rise. I pulled out a prayer that a friend had given me for moms on the evening of their delivery (the prayer assumed that all babies are born in the evening)- Aaron and I prayed it together. I am a person that avoided doctors almost entirely till last year, I have never had a major surgery and I can sometimes be taken over by fear. I did okay in the car ride, and did great checking in, however, when they handed me the gown to change into- I went to the bathroom one more time and started sobbing in the bathroom. I came back to our triage room, where Aaron was waiting and began to cry a bit there. Aaron assured me it would be all good- and I started to calm down a bit. However, not enough that my blood pressure was regular when they took it. They noted it was a bit high, and I explained to them that I was VERY nervous. From that point on every single nurse/doctor/etc…was lovely. They explained each step and really made it quite comfortable for me. I got the iv in, with the nurse talking me through it and I started to calm down significantly. At that point, we were told it would be about an hour and Aaron and I just had to wait. I was still feeling quite queasy, although I had not thrown up in about an hour. We watched more Royal Wedding, I tried to be calm- and of course, asked to use the bathroom two more times (mostly out of anxiety- oh, and I have a freaking huge kid inside me that makes me pee every thirteen seconds).
The Anesthesiologist came in to ask questions and I told him I was VERY afraid of the shot and had been throwing up all morning (spoiler alert, so glad I shared that information). Next, my obgyn walked in. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see someone. We REALLY like our doctor, she is young, thoughtful, explains everything and is kind. I felt like I was seeing an old friend. I told her again how nervous I was (catching a theme) and that I had been sick. She really put me at ease, said they would talk me through everything, she would hold my hand during the spinal and all would be okay. At that point they had Aaron and I finish changing into our space suits and we were ready to go. They wheeled me to the OR- and at that point Aaron had to wait outside. Leaving him was INCREDIBLY scary, he gave me a kiss and they brought me in.
TALK about a trip! There were so many doctors/nurses in the room. I felt like I was in a movie. They wheeled me in, switched my bed, and then I was staring up at big surgical lights, just like you see in the movie. At that point, I began to panic again, but at the same time, everyone was so kind. They were all introducing themselves to me, explaining what their job was, assuring me that everything would be fine. Then came the moment…dum, dee, dum, dum…the spinal. The doctors asked me to lean forward, a nurse held my hand on one side and my obgyn on the other. I was SO scared. Dr. Gruskin talked me through everything, along with the anesthesiologist. After, I was almost laughing. It barely hurt, it took about 2 minutes and I was starting to feel myself go numb. I kept saying, ‘that wasn’t bad, why do I get all worked up’…etc…etc…
Then they lowered me down…
AS SOON as I was lowered onto my back I started to feel horrible. I felt really sick and almost like I was going to pass out. The lights above me were terrifying me and there were so many people moving in the room. For one quick second, I truly thought I was going to pass out and had a fleeting fear (irrational) that I was going to die. Through it all though, I was talking to the anesthesiologist behind me, telling him I was sick, etc…He was SO Awesome. He explained that my blood pressure was dipping and when it did, it was making me sick. He told me it would only last a few moments, encouraged me to take slow breaths and made me feel so much better. The first wave of sickness passed and again, I was SO happy. I kept saying, ‘oh my gosh I feel so much better, I was so afraid I would feel that way for the whole thing, etc…’. They were laughing with me. Aaron came in then, which immediately put my heart at ease. The surgery had started and guess what? I got super sick again, but this time there was no stopping it. I told the guy that I was going to throw up and that is what I did until the baby came. It was scary throwing up, but at the same time, they were SO good about talking me through everything, I felt so grateful. It was probably a blessing that I was sick, because it took my attention away from the fact that I was being cut open. I was very unaware of any pressure/anything they talk about when you have a csection. I was just aware that I was puking…that is, until, they said, here he is.
They said, ‘he has a whole head of hair, what a big boy’ and then I heard the best sound ever. The sound of his scream. That was one thing no one had warned me about, the immediate relief and joy that comes from hearing your child cry for the first time. It was like I knew, finally, after nine months of pregnancy and occasional worry (because you never really do know)- that my child was fine, he was healthy and he was here. They encouraged Aaron to stand up and take a look and then took him over to be cleaned, wrapped, etc…They told us he was 10.6 with a whole lot of hair. They handed him to Aaron first (words cannot describe what it is like to see your spouse hold his child for the first time)- who then brought him to me. It was really hard to see him in my position, but that didn’t matter- I knew he was okay and in his daddy’s arms. Aaron decided we would call him Aaron Christopher Wilkerson II. He was so beautiful. I was so relieved it was over, I was alive and I was anxious to be sewed up so that I could hold my son. What is AWESOME, is they kept all three of us together the entire time (I had heard horror stories about your child being taken from you, given a bottle, etc…)- he was wheeled right along side us as we were brought into the recovery room. AND at that point, finally, I got to hold my son. They placed him in my arms and I got to begin to feed him. He latched immediately, (probably because he is a beast) and I got to look at his face, his hair, his body. He was perfect. And by perfect, I mean perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better looking baby. He opened his big eyes to look at me and I think my heart basically stopped. I know some women have struggles bonding with their babies. Our bond was immediate and strong. SO freaking cliché, but my whole life changed in that second.
I cannot believe that I am a mom. I cannot believe that in less than two years, God has delivered my soul mate and made us a family. Since we have brought him home, it has not been all roses (ladies and gentleman, we have a crier!)…but all I need is him looking at me and I am reminded how very blessed we are. Lil’ Aaron will be a loved child- and hopefully we will raise him to be a saint. We are so blessed to have his daddy as the one God chose for us.
YAY miracle of life and YAY GOD!