Wednesday, July 20, I woke up late. I had allowed myself to sleep in, since I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything, and I knew the thirst and hunger would get to me the longer I was awake. I took my time getting ready, double checking my hospital bag, putting on minimal makeup, and tidying up the house a little bit.
We arrived at the hospital around noon to check in. There were a few other moms to be checking in, too; one was hoping she wouldn’t be delivering that day at 39 weeks, another was in full active labor, and she made me a little relieved I wasn’t going through what she was going through.
I filled out some paperwork, got my armband, and was escorted to a pre-op room. I laid in that bed for the next few hours watching a Property Brothers marathon while blood work and paperwork were completed. We were told there were a lot of emergency c-sections that day, and we would be bumped from my scheduled time of 2:15 pm to sometime around 4:00 pm. We kept watching Property Brothers.
Finally, it was go time. My epidural was put in, and the anesthesiologist asked me about seventeen times if the ice felt cold.
It happened fast. Next thing I knew, I was rolled into the OR, and the team around me was getting ready. Tim joined me. I felt tugging and pulling and it was overall just a really strange feeling.
Tim wasn’t looking behind the curtain, but he could see a slight reflection on one of the glass cabinets. He said he saw a foot! I felt more pulling, and then we heard a POP, and the head was out! My doctor had warned us that c-section babies are often in shock and take a little longer to cry, but Charlotte was crying within a few seconds.
It was weird. I was laying there on this table, not feeling half of my body, hearing my daughter cry, but I couldn’t see her yet.
I asked about her APGAR score, even though I wasn’t 100% sure what any of it really meant (other than below a certain number would mean a trip to the NICU). Charlotte scored 8, then 9, and I knew that was good!
Finally, she was handed to Tim, all bundled up, and the anesthesiologist took some pictures for us.
I kept staring at her face, and that time couldn’t have lasted long enough.
Once I was in recovery, Tim and I got to watch her get her first bath. I felt relieved; I knew some people with c-sections hadn’t been able to see their child’s first bath.
I had some complications shorty after (that’s another post for another day) but I truly felt like I didn’t see her enough. She was taken to the nursery until I was put in a room, and we finally got her to our room around 1 AM. I was exhausted by then, but I remember waking up and seeing Tim feed her a bottle, which made my heart melt. He was a natural dad from the start.
I’ve always been weird with babies, but it didn’t take long to feel like Charlotte was part of me. She has a head full of hair, pretty eyes, the same earlobes as me (and much of my family), the most hilarious faces, and she looks so much like her daddy. I love her tiny little hands and the sweet sounds she makes.