8.01.2014

ELLE'S BIRTH STORY

It’s a little surreal to be writing this. I spent a lot of my pregnancy searching other blogs for birth stories. Something about them was comforting in knowing that women everywhere give birth AND survive! I was going to be okay! Well, now here I am, writing my own! I wanted to be able to remember this day.. all the details.. so if you are able to read through it all - props to you!

The Friday before Elle was born, we had our 39 week appointment where we found out that not only was she breech, but my amniotic fluid was very low. They like you to be above a 10, and I was at a 6. (If I were under 5, they would have had to do an emergency c-section) They told us we would be doing a c-section the following week, either Tuesday or Thursday. I wanted Tuesday because hello?? I was so ready to get the show on the road & the suspense of waiting even two more days sounded terrible! Tyler, however, wanted Thursday because he had finals Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. They sent us home to decide over the weekend and we scheduled our very last appointment for Monday where we would let them know what we had decided. After a lot of discussion, we decided Tuesday (yes!) but at our appointment, we found out my fluid had dropped to a 4.8. They did another ultrasound to monitor her movement and she wasn't moving much either. They like babies to move 3 times within a 30 minute window and she barely did those 3 movements, but they were so small that they didn't really want to count them. They told us they were sending us over to the hospital to monitor us further, and that we could still plan on our c-section being the next day.

We drove over to the hospital with no thought that a few hours later I would be having our baby! After a few (long and boring) hours of being monitored, our doctor came in around 4:30 p.m. and told us that we would be doing the c-section at 8:00 that night! 

Although nervous, we were just so over the moon excited - she was coming that night and it was so surreal! The next few hours were just the waiting game. Tyler ran home to get our hospital bag and a big list of things that I had while I stayed to be monitored. Sitting alone in the room, I started to become nervous for the first time. When he came back, I was teary and asked him for a Priesthood blessing. Almost immediately, I felt complete peace. I still was a little bit unsettled because I knew I was about to have a major surgery but I felt totally calm and ready for it despite the little nerves. Poor Tyler had a huge test the next day so he spent a lot of time studying while I tried to relax. The nurse came in and shaved me (a little unexpected) and at 7:45 the anesthesiologist came in to our room to explain the timeline of things. They told me that Tyler wouldn't be able to be in with me when they gave me the spinal tap & that made me super nervous all of the sudden. I think I was more nervous for the spinal than the actual c-section! My cute nurse who I just loved saw my face totally change when I realized that Tyler wouldn't be able to come with me. Because we had spent all afternoon with her, she offered to come in with me so I wouldn't be alone.

After the anesthesiologist explained everything, they wheeled us into the operating room! 



I said goodbye to Tyler for him to get changed in scrubs while they set up for the c-section. I tried not to look around at the room too much but of course I did and my eyes got really wide when I saw a table stacked full of silver tools that scared the nighttime outta me. I tried to distract myself by talking to everyone in the room and not thinking much. They sat me onto the operating table and gave me a pillow to hug onto which actually helped a lot haha. They had me put my chin to my chest and told me to sit very still. I was terrified & the cute nurse we loved held my hand while I tried not to think about it. They first gave me a couple shots to numb the area, and those felt just like regular shots - they stung but it wasn't bad at all. When it came time for them to put in the spinal, there was a lot of pressure but not much pain. I remember him saying, "Okay all set!" and I said, "That's it?" - haha! Why was I so scared for that?! Immediately my legs started tingling and feeling super heavy. They had me lay down and they didn't mess around as they started getting everything all set up around me. The anesthesiologist warned me that I may start to feel sick, and as he was saying this I started to feel really nauseous. I told him and he said to let him know if I needed to throw up. 5 seconds later - I told him I was going to and he grabbed a little bin for me to throw up in. Because I hadn't eaten anything in like 9 hours it was hard to throw anything up but I managed and immediately felt a billion times better. Just then, Tyler came in and I could tell he was full of emotions - nervous, excited, anxious! As soon as I saw him, all of the nerves I had felt the entire night were absolutely gone. I was so calm and it was refreshing to not be so nervous :) I told him I wanted him to hold my hand and he came and sat next to my head and said, "We're about to meet our little girl! You're doing so good!" They did a test to make sure I was numb by tapping a sharp little tac around different areas. I could feel something touching me but there was no pain. The curtain was up (thank goodness - there's no way I wanted to see anything of what was going on) & they were ready to go! 

I couldn't feel the initial incision which is good because I was nervous about feeling that. I could feel a lot of touching and pulling but NO pain! It was the craziest feeling. I remember being nervous about feeling all the tugging (because I heard you can) but it wasn't gross like I thought it would be. My body was moving around a little as they worked to get her out. With Tyler being pre-med, he is usually into this kind of stuff but had decided he didn't want to watch the c-section because he knew it would be different watching his own wife. But at this point, he changed his mind, and stood up. He exclaimed, "I can see her!! You're almost there!" He was SO excited and it was so fun to watch. I remember thinking how surreal the entire experience was in that moment. Tyler was grinning ear to ear and kept telling me how great I was doing. I could feel some serious pulling and then the doctor said, "Here she is!" Tyler said, "She has SO much hair Madeline!!" 

Immediately I heard a little sweet cry and I lost it right there! I started bawling because it was the cutest little cry and I was relieved, excited, and overall just so happy that she was HERE! I didn't get to see her because they swept her off to clean the fluid out of her lungs. With c-sections, they don't get the fluid pushed out of their lungs like they do in a vaginal delivery so they wanted to make sure all was well. Tyler stepped away over to the opening in the operating room that goes into the NICU where they were doing all of her tests, weighing, etc. 

Tyler called over and said, "She's so beautiful! And she's so tiny, only 6 pounds!" I was in pure bliss and just excited to meet my little girl.

Tyler watched as they washed her off and got her all ready to be handed over to her anxious mama.


Within a few minutes, they brought her over to me as I was getting stitched up and it was one of the best moments of my life. Tyler and I sat there with her and she was wide awake and SO very calm & peaceful! I remember saying, "This is the best day of my life - there is no feeling that beats this!"


I was still totally numb so they massaged my stomach to try to get some of the bleeding out before the anesthesia wore off. I was so happy when they said, "There's really not that much blood" because I was dreading that aspect of the postpartum period. (another plus to a c-section, they're able to clean out most of the fluid so you aren't bleeding for 6 weeks straight!) They put me onto another bed and wheeled me into a recovery room where my mom was just barely showing up. (She started driving as soon as we found out our c-section was that night) Then I waited patiently for them to wheel in Elle! 

And finally...

They unwrapped Elle and we did skin-to-skin for a while because her temperature was a little cool and they were trying to warm her up. It was so special and really just so amazing to have her there on my chest - it was so surreal. Instant love!

Overall my experience with my c-section was absolutely amazing. I remember a couple months back thinking to myself that a c-section would be the worst-case scenario but it totally wasn't. I would do it again in a heartbeat! I didn't have to go through labor, I didn't feel any pain, and the bleeding afterwards has already stopped! Of course there is the pain from the incision, but in my eyes - it's birth! There is pain no matter what. I'm so grateful for modern medicine and even more grateful for the most supportive and loving husband who has become the absolute BEST dad to our sweet little Elle. The past week and a half have been a majorly huge adjustment, but we keep saying to each other that we are so glad we made the choice to have Elle so quickly after getting married. We are in LOVE with our little family of three!!


Side note: a few people have asked how you pronounce her name! It's Elle as in the letter "L" - not "L-E" :) You can also watch this little clip I put together (click HERE to view) - it's poor quality but I'm forever glad we have it!

22 comments:

  1. This was the sweetest thing. She is beyond perfect.

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  2. I'm so glad you did this! Well written, love it!

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    1. It took forever - at one point I was like scratch this! But I am glad I have it now that it's written :)

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  3. All your pictures made me teary-eyed! So beautiful!

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  4. It made me tear up too! So sweet.

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    1. You're so cute haha thank you! It was such a special day!

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  5. So sweet! You made me cry. How incredibly heavenly those first few moments and hours after birth are. (Also, I have to admit I found it funny that you were so nervous about the spinal. In my experience, I was already in so much pain from laboring that I didn't care! Haha) So happy everything went smoothly and that you're both healthy and well. Congratulations to the cutest family of three!

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    1. Oh yes, heavenly doesn't even begin to describe the feeling! That is so funny about the spinal - you are so right! I am SURE if I were in labor I wouldn't have cared a second. But I wasn't in labor at all so it terrified me haha :) There are definitely worse things to be scared of! Thanks Jessie!

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  6. Yes, tears. Seriously. You are so brave Madeline.

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    1. Thanks Celeste! You are so sweet. It was so worth it, 100%!

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  7. Crying through the whole thing! Such a sweet story.

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  8. I just loved every aspect of this story! Thank you for taking the time to write! She is such a little doll! I love her hair!! She may be a redhead, watch out!!! Love to you and your little fam. xoxoxox

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    1. KYM! I'm dying you can't meet her yet - she will LOVE you. It will be so fun to see if her hair stays reddish or if it changes! I love you lots!

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  9. this is the sweetest story! i teared up a few times! i've always been so nervous about a potential c-section, but I'm going to remember YOU if I ever have to have one! and she is just the most perfect babe ever! ahhh you are making me want to go have a baby right now!! love your little family, girl!!

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  10. I am a new follower... stumbled upon on your instagram account. You have a beautiful baby! Congratulations! Did you use a birth photographer? I love reading birth stories!

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    1. Thank you so much!! And sorry for the late response, but no I didn't my husband just snapped the photos with our camera! :)

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  11. just found your blog. before the birth of my first daughter in 2012 i too became obsessed with reading birth stories. my obsession continues as we prepare to welcome our twin girls next month. such a beautiful birth story and elle is gorgeous. i'm with you on c-sections not being the worst. i heard horror stories prior to my first one but after doing it once already i'm barely nervous about it happening again in a few weeks.

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  12. Lovely! How did you decide on her name? Did you get some ideas from blog followers? Because I proposed Sophia :D

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