The birth of Eden Elizabeth

I went in for my 38 week appointment expecting everything to be just fine. From what I could tell, my baby was head down, face down, and we were just patiently waiting for her to decide when to come. My plan was to try for a VBAC; after having a necessary emergency C-section with Everett, I wanted to try for another natural birth. My doctor was on board and supportive, and I truly thought that everything was going to go as planned. Until the day of my 38 week appointment.

It was December 20th, the Thursday before Christmas. Instead of a regular prenatal appointment, I had a Centering class that day. Normally the classes are led by either the midwife or the nurse practitioner, but being the week before Christmas, both of them were on vacation and so my doctor led the class that day. She listened to the heart tones and they were great. If I remember correctly, Eden’s were always in the 130-140 range. She measured my belly and palpated to check for positioning. Something didn’t feel quite right so she sent me in for an ultrasound. In the weeks before, the midwife had told me that my baby was head down. Judging by the movements I felt, I also thought that she was head down. But when the ultrasound technician put the wand at the very bottom of my belly, there were feet where a head should have been. All this time I thought I had been patting her butt at the top of my belly, but that was her head. I was floored. Completely in shock. If we had found out about it earlier, when she was smaller, it might have been easier to get her to turn. Now, at less than two weeks before go time, my hopes were pretty much non-existent.

Because of the scar on my uterus, my doctor was not comfortable with trying an external version. She referred me to a chiropractor, but like most chiros, his office was closed on Friday. I would have to wait until Monday, which was Christmas Eve. I was panicked but I was determined to try everything that I could to get her to turn. I did the exercises on Spinning Babies Spinning Babies, I did flips in the pool, and on Christmas Eve morning I drove to Savannah to have Webster’s Technique done by Dr. brown. She wouldn’t budge. She did float up out of my pelvis when I was in the pool and it felt like she tried to turn, but she just couldn’t.

My 39 week appointment was on Wednesday, the day after Christmas. We ALL went since Denny was off of work for the week. I saw one of the new doctors in the practice and she also thought that Eden was head down just by feeling my belly, but another ultrasound confirmed that she was still breech. There were some concerns that day with her growth and my doctor offered to do some pretty invasive tests, but I declined, which meant that she needed to come out. if the tests came back ok, she could stay in a little while longer. I also found out that my doctor was leaving the very next day for a ten day vacation, which meant that unless Eden stayed in for at least four days past her due date, I would deliver my baby with a doctor whom I had never met before and had no history with. Denny and I decided to just go ahead and meet our little girl that day. It was an easy decision and a hard decision all rolled into one; easy because it was my baby, and I would have done anything to keep her safe. Hard because I had been preparing for a VBAC for months and I wouldn’t even get a trial of labor. I felt like I was giving up before I ever got started.

We had lots to do. In three hours time, we had to drive home, pack our bags, leave Emily & Everett with my mom, then drive back to Savannah to check in two hours prior to my C-section. It was so much different than with Everett. With him, there was only an hour between finding out there was a problem and meeting him. The possibility of a C/S never even crossed my mind and I was not at all mentally prepared for it. This time, however, I knew that a RCS was a possibility. I also knew what to expect and I was much calmer.

We checked in at 3:00 PM. I was taken to the pre/post operation room and got changed into my gown, had blood drawn, got my IV, signed some paperwork, and got to listen to Eden’s heart tones on the monitor. Everything was done in about half an hour and the rest of the time was spent waiting. Just before 5:00, I was wheeled into the operating room and given my spinal anesthesia. Dr. Hamid was my anesthesiologist and he was such a nice man. When I was good and numb, Denny came in. He was a mess! He was so nervous and anxious and I was just as calm as if I was lying in a beach chair instead of an operating table. It felt like it took forever to get her out, but it really only took a few minutes. At 5:12 PM on December 26th, Eden Elizabeth was born, weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. A nurse brought her over and gave her to Denny and the funniest thing happened. Dr. Hamid walked over and basically snatched Eden out of Denny’s arms and laid her on my chest. I kind of love him for that.

The nurses wanted to know her name but at the time, we hadn’t yet decided between Eden and Camilla. Everyone in the room voted for Eden, and I kind of already knew in my heart that that is what her name should be. Just like the last time, Denny and the baby went to the recovery room while I was stitched up. I was wheeled in within a few minutes and got to hold and nurse Eden. Other than itching from the morphine all night long, my recovery was better this time. I felt better and I was up and walking around sooner. Eden had some trouble latching on and it took several tries every time, but we got it. She slept on either Denny or me the entire time we were in the hospital. The only time she wasn’t being held was during diaper changes and nurse visits. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it again 😉

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