You guys! I am so sorry for the ridiculous delay in posting the third and final part of my birth story. Lets blame it on exhaustion, recovering from surgery, and an adorable distraction that makes me just want to snuggle all day long. Oh, and school started, so there’s that too.
Anyways. Here is the final piece, and I’m hoping that now this is finished I can start getting back into the swing of posting more often.
If you need to catch up, here is part one and part two.
While I was coming in and out of consciousness in the OR, my husband was alone in the birthing room praying for mercy on our son. Whenever I think about Matt being all alone and completely confused I just want to cry. Because my husband has always been my anchor. He’s the steady one in our relationship.
To think about him frantically treading the waters of doubt and fear is almost too much for me. I don’t know why God allowed us to go through that awful hour apart from each other, but he did. We both had to rely on Him alone–without any hand-holding.
When I finally came into recovery they brought Matt in. Of course he still had no idea what was going on. When I look back on it now, I realize that I didn’t cry at all during the surgery. I started crying when I saw my husband…so maybe that’s the answer I’m looking for as to why we had to be separated.
My doctor came in and explained that I had experienced placental abruption–meaning that the placenta suddenly detached from the uterus. This deprived our baby of oxygen and put him in serious jeopardy. Even though I was dilated to a 10, the amount of time it would have taken to push him through was too dangerous.
They got him out in about a minute and started him on assisted breathing immediately.
My first question was if I could see him. I was told that it would be at least 24 hours before I could see or hold him. I was flat on my back in recovery and he was hooked up to tubes and oxygen.
I completely lost it when they told me this. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t even know what he looked like! It seemed impossible and outrageous that I was denied seeing my son. I can tell you without a doubt that his birthday was the longest day of my life.
They wheeled me to the postpartum room and there I waited for any news they could give me. With my other births, I experienced extreme hunger and exhaustion after delivery. The cesarian took me from being absolutely starving to just miserably nauseas. To make things worse, I couldn’t sleep.
Any time I shut my eyes I would imagine my baby and all those cords and how I still hadn’t seen him.
With each update we got on Tennyson we heard improvement. To go from thinking your baby is dead to “he keeps getting better” is a crazy roller coaster. But not being able to see or hold him was crushing. Matt was able to go get pictures of him, and eventually got to hold him.
I did and still do feel guilty for the sense of loss I have over not getting to hold him as soon as he was born. I blame all the literature on skin-to-skin. I mean, I get it. It’s a wonderful, healthy, beneficial thing for mom and baby to connect as soon as the womb is evacuated. But for those moms and babies who don’t get skin-to-skin…well, we have a complex.
That entire day…and every day since I think that maybe we missed out on something really important because I didn’t meet him until the next day. Ridiculous, right?
Ok, I’m gonna stop sharing my guilt. I want to tell you about that moment when I finally did get to meet him.
Tennyson was born at 5:12 AM on Monday. At 5:00 AM on Tuesday the nurse came in and told me I could see him as long as I could get up. I hoped for that Mommy Adrenaline–the kind could lift a car off of a child’s body. Turns out that abdominal surgery does something funny to the adrenaline starters.
Pain definitely was the louder voice in my head, but once I found a way to push through and get myself into the wheelchair it was all I could do to not start clapping my hands like a child at Christmas. The entire way to the NICU I cried. Joy, sadness, pain, relief, and of above all anticipation.
So I missed skin-to-skin, but when I finally did meet my son it was absolutely magical. I couldn’t believe how perfect and beautiful he was. Time really did stop for me when I held him.
Every day since has been confirmation that we are bonded. That he is my gift. That God gave me this life–an abundant life where He shows up every day, at every hour, in every moment.
It’s taken me a long time to finish this birth story. I think a small part of me didn’t want to complete it because it still feels like yesterday. And how can I just jump into life after such a crazy event?
Well, I guess its time. However, with the laundry, the dishes, the screaming children, I want this miracle to sustain me. I want reminders of this abundant life I have, and I don’t want the memory to grow dim.
For those of you who prayed for us I just want to say thank you with all of my heart. I know your prayers kept us afloat. Thank you, thank you, thank you. If you want to get a daily glimpse of one of the cutest babies in the world then I suggest you follow me on Instagram!
It is never too late to do skin to skin. re-live you’re birth story.
Well, it was worth the wait getting to part 3. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I never tire of birth stories. I love them ???? I’m so glad that your little guy is okay! Ahhh newborns. Is there anything more precious than those first few weeks getting to know your new baby? Congratulations!!
Thank you for sharing. You have such a unique way of putting emotions into words. Of course I had heard the story from your Mom as I prayed away the hours of your ordeal, your special time with God, your pain, your fear, your disappointment, your loneliness, and all the other emotions and events. Now I have cried as I have gone through it with you, as only you could portray it. He is beautiful! We are thrilled with all the photos you post – of all three! We love you.
Heartfelt congratulations to you and your family! What a rough time you had to go through. I pray that you have had and will have healing in every way, physically and mentally. Blessings to you!
Oh my gosh, I just relate so much. I had to spend 24 hours away from Laina too and felt that same guilt. No skin to skin, I was in the ICU and everyone else was giving her her firsts. First bath, first hugs, first BOTTLE…I was devastated. The pain was ridiculous. I just want to go give you a giant mama hug. And I can tell you without a doubt, 9 years later, she’s the sweetest little love bug. I would do it all over again in a heart beat.
I didn’t get the skin-to-skin moment either. I had twins early and didn’t get to see them until the next day. Didn’t even know the gender for sure until waking up (emergency c-section). It was hard to miss out on those moments but in the long run (12 years now) there has been plenty of time together.