Emmit's Birth Story
It seems absolutely impossible that Emmit is one month old! His arrival caught us by surprise and thought it would be fun to share what my OB called, “a movie labor” haha! It’s going to get a little TMI, but I think it’s important to really share my whole experience. There are still a lot of stigmas and judgements around the birthing and post partem choices that women make, and I hope that the more we share our stories the more at ease future mom’s will be with their own choices. Every pregnancy is different, every labor is different, every baby is different. I think that’s a beautiful thing!
This story starts with a comfy and stubborn baby. Emmit had been breech for pretty much my entire pregnancy because of my bicornuate uterus. It’s basically a heart-shaped uterus (super cute, right?!) that creates a nice little space at the top where babies love to rest their heads. At one point, I had to go to a specialist for a really intense ultrasound to make sure his head size wasn’t too small, because his positioning made it difficult to get an accurate reading with a regular ultra sound. He was totally fine and the doctor’s said it was common to have difficulty measuring with breech babies. But, because of his position, we decided to schedule a c-section. I was all about whatever was safest for him, and we decided surgery was the best thing for us both. They called and set up the appointment for October 27th. It’s really strange getting a call at 8 am from a nurse who just scheduled your baby’s birthday 😛
So, we had the date confirmed and at my next appointment they said my cervix was nice and closed (told you there would be TMI), so we were planning on heading to the hospital in a couple of weeks at 5am on October 27th to have our baby! I’m a planner (I take my Filofax everywhere, I’ve got multiple wall calendars and everything backed up in my phone…aka crazy person), so I had the last two weeks completely mapped out. I had a lot of stuff to do for D.I.Kawaii, I finally finished up my daily drawings for the year and put my Etsy shop on quasi-maternity leave. We had family scheduled to fly in around the time of the scheduled birth, and I had planned to have that whole week before Emmit’s arrival set aside to clean and organize the apartment. Easy peasy.
Then, at 1:10am on October 15th, I felt like I had to get up and go to the bathroom. I had to pee about once an hour around the clock at that point, so it was nothing unusual. But, when I sat up in bed, my water broke! And when I say, “broke”, I mean I started absolutely gushing water in the bed and all the way into the bathroom. It was SO MUCH! I was not fully prepared for how much water was in my body O_O. That’s why my OB called it a “movie” labor. 75% of women actually have their water broken by the doctor in the hospital after already starting labor. Emmit just decided to be dramatic ^_^
Whilst stepping in puddles and trying to stem the tide, I called the hospital’s after hours number and spoke to the doctor on call (who was not my doctor, which was huge bummer for me). I think I said, “I woke up leaking SO MUCH WATER, ” and he said, in an amazing Texas accent, “Well…you better come on in.” At that point, Andy had woken up and we were starting to realize that this was really it. My contractions started soon after my water broke and things started moving really quickly. They were instantly 4 minutes apart and were getting more and more intense as we ran around the house packing bags. Yeah, we hadn’t packed bags yet.
On the way to the hospital we called parents and it was so comforting to hear my mom tell me that I was going to be fine and I could do this. Andy’s mom had actually woken up and sat straight up in bed, fully awake, just minutes before he called her!
Anyway! We got to the hospital, my contractions were worsening and the nurses were moving quickly to get me into surgery because they didn’t want me laboring too long with a breech baby. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the shaking. With all my hormones going bonkers, I started to shiver and shake. It would come and go and was crazy intense. I have to say, though, when the doctor who was doing the surgery came in and put his giant hand on my shoulder, this feeling of calm washed over me. Not enough to stop my shaking, but I felt a little better 😛 They took me back to have my spinal (which was a welcome relief after labor pains!), and I was shaking on the bed while they tried to figure out why the motorized bed wouldn’t move. The five minutes they were working on it felt like it was at least a half an hour. All the while, I was shaking uncontrollably with the sweetest nurse all up in my face trying to keep me warm and calm me down. Her name was Heather and she was an angel. I do wish they’d let Andy back with me, but they said they get a lot of dad’s fainting when the mom gets the spinal shot, so it’s a policy to keep the dad’s busy elsewhere.
After they gave me the spinal, my feet started tingling and I had to swing them up on the bed quickly, because that stuff moves fast! It’s funny, you’d think being buck nekkid from the waist down in a room full of strangers would be the worst, but I didn’t care one bit, haha! It probably helped that there was curtain that kept me from seeing anything below my chest. They finally let Andy in and I have never been more happy to see him in my whole life. He held my hand the whole time, except when the anesthesiologist told him to stand up and look over the curtain. He stood right up with his phone to take pictures, and I all I could hear was him saying, “Oh my God,” and starting to cry. He got to see Emmit being born! Afterwards, he told me that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around E’s neck twice, and the doctor on call (who turned out to be the most experience doc at the practice) unwrapped him like it was no big deal. After hearing that, I was SO GLAD we decided to go with a c-section.
Meanwhile, the whole time, I’d been trying to keep myself together. I’m not one to show my emotions to strangers and I like being put together, if you know what I mean. But, since my water broke, I’d felt every feeling you could possibly feel, but mainly I was nervous for my sweet baby Emmit. All I wanted was for him to be ok. And it still almost didn’t even seem real that I was in major surgery and about to meet my son. I mean, he wasn’t supposed to be here for another two weeks.
Then, after seeing Andy taking photos, over the curtain, they told me Emmit was out and Andy was rushed over to the little scale and warmer. I didn’t hear anything at first, but I knew it was because c-section babies needed a little help with suctioning out fluid. Then, I heard him cry and I lost it. My heart just exploded. He was here and he was real and I could hear his little voice. Andy’s got video of his first cries, and I still can’t listen to it without crying myself.
The next few minutes were excruciating, because I could hear him, but could only catch glimpses of him between nurses. They were weighing and measuring and swaddling him up and I was trying so hard to see his little face. Then, they brought him over to me and let Andy and I hold him together. His perfect little face was right next to mine and I could feel his breath on my cheek. It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced. Cue more crying and photos and so much love. Just so much love!
After that, Andy took Emmit to get his first bath and I had to stay behind and get stitched up. Basically, the longest half hour of my life. I was wheeled into the recovery room to rest and wait for the feeling to come back to my legs. While you’re regaining feeling, they have to check your uterus to make sure it’s healing like it should, which was my least favorite part. Pushing on your belly after major abdominal surgery was not fun. But, I’ll go into that more in a postpartum post. After a “nap” (I couldn’t sleep because I just wanted to see my baby boy!), Andy came in, wheeling little Emmit in a bassinet and my heart exploded again. We were finally all together as a family. I got to breastfeed him there and really hold him for the first time. It was magical.
Now, it’s a month later and he’s fast asleep on my chest as I write this. It was a crazy night, to say the least, but in the end we had a healthy happy boy! I’ll share more about my postpartum experience, and life with baby soon!