Monday 3.13 was our last NST. She looked amazing on the scan, and my nurse hugged me on the way out while wishing us luck on Wednesday. She said she was so excited for us and couldn’t wait to see Alden when she arrived. (Later, at my postpartum visit, I would learn that the nursing staff who cared for us was reading my electronic medical chart all morning waiting to hear news of her arrival. This almost brought me to tears; I love those nurses SO much)
Tuesday 3.14 was my Mom’s birthday! Happy Birthday again Mom! She and my step-dad were coming down to our house after work (they live 2.5 hrs away) to keep Landon and bring him to the Hospital in the morning. Shane and I finished packing up our bag, and finished up a few last minute things. I later showered with an entire 4oz bottle of medical grade soap. Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? Well, wrong. 4 oz is a lot of freakin soap! I think I washed my entire body like 6 times. SO. MUCH. SOAP.
Afterwards, Shane and I decided we needed to go to bed. He was able to pass right out, snoring, me however…I didn’t sleep. I finally put my phone down around 2 am, and I think I slept until 3:45. My alarm was set to go off at 4:00 so I could take (another) 4oz medical grade soapy shower (side note? My skin was so friggin dry after the shower). When we were all ready, we gathered our bags and headed out the door. When we walked to the car I remember looking up at the sky and it was just so clear. The moon was out, and all the stars were so bright; the air was so crisp and I think at that moment I realized that I was going to meet my baby in a few hours. It brought me to tears.
Shane and I didn’t talk much on the drive in, or if we did, I don’t remember about what. I told him just the other day that I think my mind went into panic shut down mode. It was preparing itself for the worst thing to happen again, because why would anything be different this time? It’s like a defense mechanism. I remember bits and pieces of things; coming into downtown and seeing it al lit up, exiting to the Hospital, parking our car in a really good parking spot. I also remember vividly stepping out of the elevator on the 6th floor and seeing “Labor and Delivery”, and walking through the double doors.
There wasn’t a single person in the waiting room at 5:30 am obviously, so we walked right up to the counter and were registered. Within 10 minutes we were walked through the doors leading to the prep room. It felt unreal. How was this happening already? I didn’t know how I was going to feel when everything started to happen, but I was oddly calm. The nurses came in and got things rolling for me. They hooked Alden up to the monitor so we could hear her, asked me about 10,000 questions and then one nurse started my IV. I hate IV’s. I’m pretty sure getting an IV is probably one of the worst things in life (OBVIOUSLY an exaggeration but damn do they hurt).
I had Shane take one final bump picture of me. Here I am at 37 weeks, ready to meet this sweet girl.
While we were waiting it seemed like time was passing so quickly. First it was 5:30 and we were walking back to the room to prepare us for surgery. The next thing I knew we were being wheeled TO surgery at 8:00 am. Everything seems to be a giant blur, and again, I think it’s my brain shutting down to avoid being hurt again. They gave Shane something resembling a painters suit, and a bright orange face mask to wear. We walked to the OR, and when there Shane had to sit outside and wait for everything to be prepped (later he would tell me he sat out there for nearly 30 minutes waiting on them to get things ready). I remember there being tons of doctors in the room with us, all of them introducing themselves to me (like I’m gonna remember who you are…? andplusalso why in gods name do there need to be legit 10 doctors in there? Plus nurses! Any modesty I may have had has long been gone so I don’t really care).
The Anesthesiologist was starting to work on my Spinal. He’s running his hands up and down my spine, not gently or in a massaging manner by any means. It really actually hurt a lot. I guess when you have a super large asian man shoving his finger tips into your spinal cord it’s bound to be pretty unpleasant. I had to lean over and hold onto another doctor who started talking about my fingernail polish to distract me. Sorry dude, can’t distract from the giant poke I’m anticipating in about 2.5 seconds. The anesthesiologist says “ok you’re going to feel a big poke” (yep), and “this may hurt a little” (yep again. feels like a wire hanger being shoved up my spinal cord- no big deal). I’m pretty sure it didn’t work the first time, or he wasn’t satisfied with how it worked. It seemed to take him FOR.EVER. to get me numb. Maybe it was just me being anxious but I’m like dude…
So once I was nice and numb (read: after he used something sharp to poke my legs and I couldn’t feel anything) they moved me back to the other bed and started prep on everything. My doctor came in and they let Shane back in.
We had a nurse taking photos with my phone for us, and we were told that Shane could look over the drapes (he didn’t). I started to feel nauseous and they gave me some meds that wouldn’t make me drowsy. They also had me hooked up to oxygen and I still don’t really know why to be honest. They told me if I felt nauseous to tell them and they would give me more meds; I remember telling them about 3 times I felt pretty sick.
The doctors announced that they were starting and off we went. At one point I remember hearing a nurse or someone saying “Oh my gosh I can see your baby moving. We’re almost there”. I’m not sure how long it took but at 8:59 am I heard the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard. Alden was here! She was 19.2 inches long, and weighed a whopping 9lbs 8 oz. She had blondish red hair.
She had a fluid filled cry because she was a c-section, and when they took her to the table to check her out it was determined that her oxygen levels were low. She had to wear a CPAP machine and was taken to the NICU. I remember them wheeling her out and yelling to Shane to go with her and not leave her side. The rest is kind of a blur. I remember random things; the Anesthesiologist grabbing me by the arm a few times and telling me to take deep breaths. I guess my heart rate got up pretty high even though I felt fine (I mean, as ok as I could be? IDK).
Here is where I get foggy. I don’t remember where they put me after Surgery. I don’t know how long I was away from Shane and Alden, but I remember getting a drink of water finally after like 12 freakin hours of no food or water. I remember my nurse wheeling my entire bed into the NICU to see Alden. We passed through the waiting room where my entire family was and I remember seeing Landon. I know that I probably kissed him, but I can’t remember. The NICU nurses were so kind to us, and they let her come off her machine to lay on my chest. It was amazing to see what this did; her O2 levels jumped up to 99% while she laid there breathing on my bare chest.
I’m not sure how long we stayed there, but I remember being wheeled out of the NICU and feeling sick. I made the nurse stop and knew I was going to throw up. She quickly found me a bucket and sure enough, I threw up. I only threw up the water I had chugged earlier.
When we were back in a room (on the same floor as L&D because apparently I was a sleep apnea risk? I have no idea why or what they were basing that off of, but whatever) I remember my whole family being there and trying to wake up so that I could socialize with them. I was just so tired and couldn’t come out of it. Landon kept coming over to me and wanting to hug me and get up in bed with me. I remember letting him climb in bed with me, but telling him to watch out cus I had a cut on my belly.
Landon wasn’t allowed to go into the NICU to see Alden due to Flu risk currently, and I didn’t want anyone else to go in and see her first. I knew Landon was just bursting at the seams to see her, so it wasn’t fair that someone else see her first. What everyone decided was that they would all go down to the NICU and the nurse would meet them at the sliding glass doors so they could see her through the glass. I couldn’t go and that made me extremely sad. I had been wanting to see this moment for a long time, and I was pretty sad I couldn’t experience it. It was recorded for me though, and it was the best thing I have ever watched. He loves her so much, and to see the look on his face when Shane walked him up to those doors to see her was just too much for my heart to handle. I’m pretty sure my heart just burst with love and joy.
They said they were going to probably keep her over night for observation and suggested we get some rest. Right, cus I’m going to be able to rest in the hospital while 50 different nurses come in and out all night, AND your child is in the NICU. Sure…I’ll get some great sleep.
After everyone left, I told the nurses I wanted to go see her in the NICU. They took my catheter out and they let Shane wheel me down there. We were able to sit with her for about two hours and cuddle on her.
In the morning they moved us upstairs to our new room. About 30 minutes after we got settled in they wheeled her in to our room to stay with us. I was so happy to see her squishy little face. We were hoping to leave on Friday, but it turns out that she ended up losing 10.3% instead of less than 10% of her body weight so we were made to stay another night.
Saturday morning we were able to be discharged. We got home Saturday afternoon around 2pm I think.
Alden is amazing. She had a really rough first night at home; I was up with her for 5 solid hours the first night. She would eat, and be awake for an entire hour. It seemed like all she did was eat, wanna hang out wide awake, and by the time she was tired again it was time to eat! So, thankfully we’ve kind of figured out a little schedule. She’s been waking up every 2.5-3 hours to eat, and is pretty good at falling back to sleep. My mom came down to stay from Friday until this past Wednesday. It felt good knowing she was here to help us out with everything, and to help us transition at home.
It’s weird being the mom of a newborn again. After 6 years, it just feels so new. Everything just floods back to you, but it feels different this time. Shane and I are more established, and I think we’re better able to handle the fatigue. Also, Landon was a crazy baby so there’s that…
To say that we are in love is quite the understatement, but I’m not sure there are words for what we are feeling. Alden is so loved, and she is so incredibly wanted. I cannot wait to tell her about our journey to her.