One year ago, I was still pregnant five days after Oren's expected birthdate. I had been hoping for the possibility of a natural birth with Oren, despite the fact that I had had a rather complicated c-section with Ember. But with each day that passed beyond December 5th, I knew the chances of having Oren naturally were getting slimmer and slimmer.
On December 10th, I was sent for a routine ultrasound to check my fluid levels and make sure Oren was doing okay. C came with me, and we kept trying to get information from the ultrasound technician, who of course wasn't allowed to tell us much about what she was seeing – she was just gathering information for my midwife to interpret. But at the end of the appointment, the technician very pointedly asked me when my next midwife appointment was scheduled for, and when I told her it was for later that day, she said “GOOD.”
When C and I got out to the car, we looked at each other, and I said, “we should probably start packing for the hospital.” C agreed that the technician's demeanor seemed to indicate that we'd be heading to the hospital later that day.
Sure enough, within minutes of leaving the ultrasound, I got a call from my midwife telling me to go home and pack for the hospital, because my fluid levels were too low. She told me a c-section would be scheduled for later that day, and that the OB/GYN that I loved and really wanted to be my operating doctor (if it came down to that) would be the one bringing Oren into the world. Though I was very sad and disappointed to not be able to experience a natural childbirth, I was so glad to know I would have a doctor I knew and trusted in charge of the delivery.
So C and I went home, packed for the hospital, made sure to make arrangements for Ember's care, and got ourselves to the birthing center. From there, everything went so quickly. I was checked in, I was given an IV, and I was told the anesthesiologist would be in to administer the spinal in just a few minutes.
Now, my c-section with Emmy had been a somewhat traumatic experience, but the most frightening aspect of the ordeal had been that the anesthesia administered through THAT spinal traveled too high, and during the operation I went through more than a few minutes of feeling like I was underwater and unable to breathe. So when my anesthesiologist for Oren's birth came in to speak with me, I told him how frightened I was of the anesthesia traveling high, and he assured me he would monitor me very carefully so it wouldn't happen again.
The operation itself was as smooth a c-section as I could have asked or wished for. The anesthesiologist was a godsend (if there is one thing I can advise about c-sections, it it that a great anesthesiologist makes ALL the difference). He stood at my head and spoke to me calmly throughout the section. His whole demeanor was love and comfort, rather than cold and professional, and I was SO grateful for his graceful nurturing.
C sat by my head and held my hand. Using my Kindle, we put on the playlist that I hoped would be playing through a natural birth. The operating doctor and the nurses commented on how much they loved the songs I had chosen, and even sang along to a few of the tunes. C kept my mind off of the yanking and tugging that was going on by asking me questions about the songs I had picked, and telling me how much he loved me. Within minutes (though a few minutes longer than had been expected, because Oren was a BIG baby), our baby boy was brought into the world and into our arms – a beautiful bundle of smooshiness.
So that is Oren's birth story. It is different from the story I would have hoped to tell – one of natural labor and sweat and tears – but it is still Oren's story, and a birth I am incredibly blessed to have gone through.
I love you, baby boy. You came into this world one year ago, but even when you were just a few minutes old, I felt like I had known you forever.