Tuesday, January 3rd, started like any other Tuesday really. School was out and Chase was coming home from his Dad’s after spending a long New Year’s weekend. We spent the morning hanging out in our pajamas and watching tv. After lunch, I started having a few strong contractions. This was not much different than previous days, where my strong contractions lasted about 20 minutes then subsided. Once they got a bit stronger, and closer to an hour going strong, I texted Ben and called the nurse at my doctor’s office. Still not too concerned, I told Ben to take his time coming home and decided maybe I needed to ‘relieve some pressure’. While sitting on the toilet, I felt a gush that was not controlled by me. I immediately thought “Oh my gosh, my water broke! I’m going into labor”. Within the next few seconds my thoughts quickly changed as I noticed my water did not break, instead I was bleeding. Alot. My heart sank knowing that something wasn’t right. I immediately called my doctor’s office who told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Then I called Ben and told him he needed to be home ASAP. Throughout all of this, my sweet Chase was home with me. I put on my bravest face and decided to keep him busy while I waited on Ben. I stayed on the toilet and bled, while Chase grabbed things we needed and added them to the suitcase. I used every bit of my courage not to worry, but knowing that this amount of blood wasn’t normal. I hadn’t felt Lane move in a while. I just wanted to be at the hospital. Now.
Ben arrived in record time and we loaded up for the 45 minute drive to the hospital. We broke a few laws in the process of getting there, but I felt some relief when we turned the corner and saw the hospital. When I got to the door and stood up, I felt another gush. I found a bathroom while Ben tried to find a doctor or some sort of direction where to go. Someone got me a wheelchair, but with blood stained pajama paints and a 9 month pregnant stomach I’m sure I was quite the site. Before I knew it two nurses were beside me wheeling me to labor and delivery. From here things moved very, very quickly. My clothes were off, IV’s were in, paperwork signed, questions answered, and doctors/anesthesiologists were surrounding. Thankfully, my mom, sister, and best friend showed up around this time and were able to distract Chase from the hectic nature and his mom in the hospital bed. A heart monitor was strapped on first thing and I heard the quick pitter patter of my baby. Yes. That’s what I needed to hear. Then, the nurse checked me and told me that my cervix was completely closed. As soon as she said that, I knew my dreams of a VBAC were vanished and that a repeat C-Section was inevitable. At this point, my dreams had changed though. I just wanted to get Lane out safely, and make sure I was going to be ok. Within 15 minutes of being rolled back, I was being rolled into the operating room. At this point I still wasn’t sure why I was bleeding, I just knew Lane needed to come out. Then came another heart break….my husband was not going to be allowed to be in the delivery room with me. Because of my condition, I needed to be put to sleep and have a breathing tube. We both kinda sat in silence at this news, a bit shocked. I remember the look on both of our faces reading “Well yeah, it’s an emergency c-section, but I mean, he can still come, right?”. Wrong. Quick kisses and positive words later and I was being prepped. Seconds later I was out.
I woke up in recovery to what was some of the worse pain of my life. Because the surgery needed to happen so quickly, I wasn’t given an epidural to numb my bottom half. Instead, they gave me a morphine drip to press every 8 minutes and told me it would take a little while to “catch up” with the pain. All I remember is shaking, freezing, and feeling like….well like I’d been cut in half. Ben was there as soon as I opened my eyes though and told me to look over and there he was. Alive, beautiful, and perfect. Our little Lane made it into this world and nothing else mattered. I vaguely remember Ben whispering “look at this…”, and pulling off Lane’s hospital hat. Oh. My. Goodness! He had a head FULL of thick, black hair just like his mommy. My heart doubled in size. His pouty lips only added to the fact that this son of mine was actually going to resemble me. It was amazing. The nursing came in and mentioned that he breathing was a bit rapid, and that they were going to monitor him in the nursery while I recovered and got admitted into a room.
Several, several clicks of that morphine pump later, I was in a room surrounded by loved ones and family waiting to hold my baby for the first time. Unfortunately, that’s all I really did all night. Press that pump, and wait. Lane stayed in the nursery having his breathing regulated until 5am. Every time the door made a sound, or a nurse came in to check my vitals, Ben and I would both jump…eager to see a bassinet rolling through the doors. Finally, on very little sleep and high anxiety, we met our son again early the next morning. We both got to hold him, and kiss him, and cry over him, and run our hands through his hair, and just stare in awe at the creation we made. It was a moment I will never forget. He was perfection.
The next few days are kind of a blur. I stayed pretty medicated and Ben nested around the room every hour or so. Even the custodial staff who came to clean once a day commented on how clean our room was. I think my husband just needed to keep himself busy during the times we waiting on more information about our son. His breathing was still not completely normal, so a chest x ray and echo were ordered to rule out anything else that may be causing his rapid breathing. In the end, the nurses say that c-section babies take longer to transition than others. I believe they were right. I also got a visit from my doctor explaining to me that I had a what is called a placental abruption. I had read about this complication before, and knew it could be quite serious. My current blood levels were very low, and the doctor wanted to order a transfusion. She gave me a day or so, and the nurses monitored my behavior when I got up and down to use the restroom. I had minimal dizziness, and didn’t pass out, so they allowed me to bypass the transfusion and just up my iron intake to two pills a day. I was thankful for the good news.
We had several visitors over the next day or so, and everyone marveled over how beautiful our boy is. We were blessed with dinners and help with Chase and kind words…all of which are appreciated more than they know. Our last hurdle came the day we were hoping to go home. Ben had packed up the room, taken half of our things to the car, and the nurse came in to tell us that Lane had jaundice, and that his levels would require him to stay another night under phototherapy. Ever had a baby or spoken to one immediately after delivery? Well, emotions are a roller coaster and the news that something else was wrong, that we weren’t going home, that Lane needed to be on these bilirubin blankets ALL night….well I was just overwhelmed and tired and hormonal to say the least. Even though Ben was going stir crazy in the hospital as well, we were able to do what we always do….be the one person each other needs when things get rough. That night Ben stayed home with Chase and Lane stayed in the nursery with his bilirubin blanket. I had a few hours of alone time before I took my pain meds and passed out, and I gained some perspective during this alone time. I felt so lucky, and so blessed, and so humbled at what I had been given. Before Ben and Chase left we had our first alone time together as a family of four and again, my heart doubled in size. I honestly can’t put it into words.
Finally, on Saturday, we were given the ok to go home. Lane’s levels were not low, but they were down enough that we could go home. Once we got home a whole new nervousness set in. This was it. It’s just us now. Not even 24 hours later though and we all fell into our routines. Chase went to school, my milk came in and Lane nursed beautifully, and our new normal was off to an amazing start. It’s funny how Ben and I always used to say “one of these days we’ll have a little baby to hold, and feed, and change, and have in the bed with us”….but to actually have it become our reality has exceeded any expectations I could have had. Ben is an amazing daddy. He has picked up his new job so naturally and it has filled my heart to see him and Lane together. Chase is enjoying being a big brother, and is helping and loving on Lane any chance he can get. For me, my heart has grown so much over this last week or so that’s it’s hard to fully grasp the enormity of it all. When I look at my family, at my husband who’s support and love and help have calmed me as usual….I just feel blessed. And thankful. This little boy of ours is so beautiful it hurts. I look at him and see Ben’s eyes, my lips, my hair, and Ben’s nose. His noises and coos and even his cries are adorable. He has changed all of our lives, that’s for sure, and I’m so excited to see just how amazing our new normal is.