42 weeks and 6 days past my due date, we found ourselves waiting anxiously in a hospital room. The IV was started, the 101 questions we answered, HGTV was on for background distraction, and the faint “zoop zoop zoop” of the heart monitor kept a comfortingly steady rhythm. We didn’t plan to have a scheduled C-section, we didn’t expect to go over by almost 3 weeks with this little babe, but after weighing the risks, talking through the options and seeing the lack of progress my body was making on it’s own at this point- we opted to schedule another C-section. It grieved my heart, to not have the opportunity to go into labor and try a natural birth.
How different one child is from the next! Although both my pregnancies have now ended in C-section, we got to both very differently. Finley came at 38 weeks, 4 days and my body was ready for Labor, but never went into full-active, hard labor. Finley was taken via c-section because of stress in the womb. Then 42 weeks-6 days and I haven’t even progressed past 1 CM and 70% effaced. But thankfully, and most importantly baby was healthy, and active.
Although I was anxious and nervous going into the c-section, once in the operating room, my anxiety began to strangely disappear. It was the morning, the staff were all ladies, chipper and chatty. My doctor was confident, encouraging and calming. My friend Eliza (who’d asked if she could be my doctors nurse for our procedure) was there calmly but excitedly holding my hand, and encouraging me. A pandora station was playing familiar tunes in the background as I got my spine-tap and within 30 seconds I couldn’t move my extremities from the waist down. We laughed as I’d gotten stuck, half-way to getting my legs put on the table. They just stopped, and I couldn’t do anything about it! In that moment, as funny as it was- it was also really humbling, recognizing THAT was how it would feel being paralyzed from the waist down. I was over-come with thankfulness that this was temporary.
Andrew came in and held my hand. He talked to me calmly, helping me focus. The amazing anesthesiologist calmly talked me through the difficult breathing, and the throwing up- both I hadn’t experienced the first C-section. Even with those minor challenges, I was at peace with it knowing it was within normal and everything was ok.
Shortly after some pressure, pulling and tugging at 9:57am a baby was introduced to us.
“Its a girl!” my good friend Eliza announced.
“What?? a Girl? wow!” I, along with Andrew and the majority of everyone else who staked a guess on gender was confident we were going to have a boy. I was elated. A Girl! Immediately all my girl dreams were reality, Finley would have a best friend to grow up with, and I would get to see my gentle spirited yet strong and manly husband, Father two little girls.
“Andrew, what do you think-your a Daddy to two little girls!” I asked, smiling up at him.
“I’ll have to buy more guns.” was his reply. The operating room erupted in light laughter recognizing the daddy-bear of protection and pride, that was swelling behind those words.
Berit Aurora Jean was a whopping 9.9 lb. when she was born, and 22, 3/4 ” long. She surpassed all the operating rooms guesses, and surpassed her sisters birth-weight by 4+ pounds. It took me a little while to get over the fact this big baby was mine! But her whole beautiful big yet dainty little self was that, all ours- a bundle of health, of contentment, and joy. She cried, and sounded like a little person from the get-go. She had some short, fuzzy dark brown hair, and was looking around when they brought her over. She calmed at our voices, and we talked to her and I stroked her little cheek.
Although we were told it probably wouldn’t work for us to keep Berit in the recovery room with me, the last minute they said it would, thanks to my husband asking again. So the 3 of us were able to stay together until we went up to our room. I was elated at this, – this piece of the puzzle was missing when I had Finley and it was heart-breaking not to hold or even see my baby for hours after she was born. Of what a joy to have that first skin-to skin minutes after she was pulled out, and an immediate latch!
Berit didn’t actually have a name until a couple days after she was born. In the mean-time the healing process began for me, and Berit continued to eat consistantly and with so much ease It seemed almost TO easy. But we were thankful. She was healthy, there were no complications, and we were all together- well, almost. It was definitely hard not having our big-little, Finley there with us. She stayed with PaPa and GiGi while we were in the hospital and we were beyond thankful for that. We enjoyed getting to introduce Berit to family and a few friends who came to visit us at the hospital.
We were discharged on a Saturday, 2 days after Berit was born, and Finley came home Sunday afternoon. Of the doubly joy I felt Sunday afternoon, watching our Finley come in the door followed with her Auntie Casey, who was visiting for the week from WA. Casey, my twin sister – and best friend stayed with us a few days, and was a HUGE help along with Andrew in the transition/recovery phase. Although this phase is longer then a few days, its that first week that’s the most painful and challenging- especially when you have an older child who doesn’t understand why you can’t hold them close, or pick them up. Between Andrew and Casey, coffee was made, meals were taken care of, dishes were kept up, toys were straightened and house was kept. As well as lots of cuddles were offered, books read, and a few movies watched.
We have been so blessed with family and friends in this season. From making meals, to family members coming and helping around the house while andrew’s been at work. ( You know who you are- THANK YOU!) Our sleep-tanks are a little less full, but our hearts are bursting over with joy, gratitude, and love.
“O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”
Berit- (Celtic origin; Scandinavian) meaning: Intelligent; Exalted one
Aurora Jean- Both family names, Aurora- Andrew’s Maternal Grandmothers Name. Jean, My Oma’s, Moms, and Sisters (and Auntie Kristie’s) Middle names.