Since I wrote last, baby boy made his big arrival. I ended up having a repeat c section at 39 weeks. Deciding to schedule the surgery was a difficult decision. Having major abdominal surgery is not a pleasant experience, and one I was not looking forward to going through a second time. Due to logistics and practicality, I came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to set a date. If I happened to go into labor right before, great! Unfortunately, much like with Evie, I had no progression.
Just like my whole pregnancy, my hospital and delievery experience was very different than my first. Section 1 was early in the morning and this one was set for 12:30pm. I arrived 2 hours early and was brought to my room that would also serve as pre-op and recovery (I was moved to different rooms the first time around). I got changed, monitor was placed, iv was started, paperwork signed, etc. The whole atmosphere felt different this time around. The last was more frantic- I came in at shift change so things felt chaotic and cold. I had a really nice nurse that made me feel more at ease this time around.
When the time came, I was walked across the hall to the operating room (as opposed to be wheeled there the previous time). It was like a meat locker in there. My nurse was wonderful and rubbed my arms and shoulders to help warm me up while I got my spinal and brought me warm blankets because I was shivering. Like last time, my blood pressure dropped after the spinal, which caused me to be very nauseous. That was wasn’t very pleasant.
Baby boy came out crying at 12:55pm. He weighed the same as big sister, and they measured him at 18 inches (which we found was not right when he went to his first doctor’s appt- he is actually 20 inches). With Evangeline, I got to see her for a brief time before she was whisked away to the nursery with Dave in tow. This time baby stayed with me in the OR as my doctor finished everything up. I was moved back into my original bed and we all went into my room. I got to have skin to skin with him and attempt to breastfeed him as soon as I was back in my room. With Evangeline, she was gone to the nursery nearly 3 hours and I did not get to try to nurse her till we were moved to the mother and baby room.
After nursing and spending some time with me, baby went to the nursery to get cleaned up and examined. I was feeling relatively good that first day. Instead of a pain pump, I had pain medication put in with my spinal, so I was mostly pain free that whole day. Baby spent most of the afternoon with me. When my husband had to go home (to put Evie to bed), I was told that the baby had to go to the nursery since I was by myself and couldn’t get out of bed yet. They brought him out to me to eat every few hours.
I got a little bit of sleep, but not much. With Evie, I had nurses coming in every hour. This time they only came around every few hours, which was fine with me. Unfortunately, this hospital had very thin walls and I could hear everything around my room. The sound seemed to come through the vent. I could hear other people’s baby heart monitors and women screaming in labor, among other things. This combined with the onset of pain did not make for a restful night.
Early in the morning I was finally allowed to get up. First my catheter was removed and my iv was capped off. I made my first (tmi) painful trip to the bathroom. I ordered breakfast and baby was brought back to me. Around lunch time Evie came to the hospital with my husband and parents to meet her baby brother. She was pretty interested in him and did pretty well while visiting.
Dave came back that evening to spend time with us. I got to finally take a shower and we decided on a name for the little guy. We decided, after much debating, to name him Dawson Everett. Dawson means son of David, which is my husband’s name. Everett we liked and considered as a first name to keep with the “E” name theme, but decided against it. It sounded good with Dawson, and was still a nod to his sister’s name as well as my middle name (Elizabeth). After the name was decided, Dave went home and I was on my own.
That night was pretty rough. I was experiencing quite a bit of pain and breastfeeding was difficult for us. Earlier in the day I had a lactation consultant visit me. It was not a very good experience. I had seen one that was very helpful and gentle the day before, but the second person reminded me of my horrible experience in the hospital with Evangeline. They ended up giving the baby sugar water, so I was already feeling like a failure. The LC was being so rough with the baby, and even scolded me when I did something the other LC told me to do. Also, I am very well endowed, so positioning can be tricky. She had me do the football hold, which is very uncomfortable for me. It was just really overwhelming and unpleasant. After she left, I was feeling pretty defeated.
As the night went on, I continued to struggle. It got to the point that I was on the phone with Dave crying because I felt like a failure. My nurse, who was also my nurse the night before, walked into the room to find me a sobbing mess. I had told her the night before that I had struggled with my first baby and I was determined not to stress out so much about it. She was great to help remind me of that and reassure me. She got me some pain medication, allergy medication (I had been experiencing horrible itching as a side effect), graham crackers, juice, and ice water. She them told me I needed to rest, and offered to take the baby to the nursery till he was ready to eat again. I took her up on that and managed to get a few precious hours of rest.
The next morning I was given the option to be released a day early, which I gladly took them up on. Baby got his hearing test and we did the birth certificate paperwork, and I was finally free. The first few weeks home were rough. My surgery recovery was smooth. I felt almost 100% after the first week or so, but breastfeeding was a huge struggle. I was in so much pain and he was cluster feeding. At night he would be latched for hours at a time. His latch wasn’t quite right, so (TMI) my nipples were so cracked and scabbed. I would literally try not to scream when latching him.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t think of giving up and going to bottles. There were times I wanted to very badly, but I stuck it out. At his 2 week check up he was back to his birth weight. He started latching better and I healed. He is now over 5 weeks old and we are still BFing. He is growing like a weed and is about to burst out of his newborn clothes.
Evie is doing pretty well as a big sister. She tells me “I take it,” when she wants to hold him, and she tries to burp him. She loves to give him kisses. She knows and can say his name too.
So there you go, little Dawson’s birth story. I am so happy to not be pregnant finally (I’m also overjoyed about the baby, but that goes without saying haha), and to never be pregnant again (unless I change my mind, which is unlikely).