Today my sweet rainbow baby turns one! Ahhh! I can’t believe it. This year has flown by. Today I am going to share with you Henry’s birth story. I am so excited to share with you the detailed account of what happened that day. Let’s celebrate as Henry turns one!
In order for you to understand what happened on December 20th, 2016, I have to tell you what went on the few weeks leading up to the due date. We found ourselves in the hospital two times during this pregnancy due to various circumstances that caused concern. At one point I thought I was going to lose Henry. It was a very scary day.
On December 6th, I began to have contractions. In the morning, the contractions grew closer together and longer in length. I thought, “This is it!” Michael and I got in the car and drove to the hospital. It was a long day of checking into the hospital, walking around and checking back into the hospital all to find out that it was extremely convincing false labor.
A few days later I went in for my 37-week appointment and had one last sonogram done. The technician found that Henry was measuring at EIGHT pounds. To which I promptly said, “Shut your face! My baby is NOT eight pounds!” She responded very graciously and reassured me that he was eight pounds. I began to panic. Seriously! I thought there is no way I can give birth to an EIGHT-pound baby. Who am I, Gumby?
This was such a shock because Charlotte was born at 38 weeks and was 6 pounds 1 ounce. She was very petite, so the idea of giving birth to an eight-pound baby shocked me.
About 10 minutes later I saw my doctor. She informed me that not only was my baby eight pounds but his chest and belly are measuring in the 88th percentile. My doctor then told me her concern with doing a vaginal birth. Henry had a high chance of getting stuck in the birth canal due to his measurements and if he got stuck he could have should dystocia. If he did get stuck it would then lead to an emergency c-section. (which of course no one wants) Now the out-of-body experience began.
My doctor asked me if I wanted to proceed with trying for a natural birth or go ahead and schedule the c-section. I told her I would call her later in the day after speaking with Michael. After leaving the office, I called Michael. I was in tears, even though nothing was wrong it was a lot to digest. Michael, who is a physical therapist, explained to me that he has worked on patients with should dystocia. He urged me to heavily consider the scheduled c-section based on his experience and knowledge of the condition.
After my phone call with Michael, I asked the Lord to give me peace about the planned c-section. No sooner than finishing the sentence a sense of peace fill my soul. I was still very scared but I felt that in order to give my son the best possible start I needed to schedule a c-section.
Going through with a c-section was never my plan. I had an amazing delivery with Charlotte. I had a midwife who coached me through the entire thing and was a wonderful experience.
I was so afraid that I would miss out on my euphoric moment on the last push that would bring my baby into this world. My desire for that moment was so strong and I grew sad knowing that I probably wouldn’t have that moment again.
Shortly after getting off the phone with Michael, I gave my doctor a call and asked her to schedule the c-section. A few days later she informed me that Henry would be arriving on December 20th at 8:00 a.m.
The next couple of weeks were completely normal. I was feeling fine, well, as fine as you can at nine months pregnant. Henry was settling in for the long hall. I got a feeling that he did not want to come any earlier than he needed to.
On December 19th at 8:10 a.m. me, my mom, one of my sisters, and Baby Sweet arrive at my doctor’s office to receive paperwork for the pre-op appointment at the hospital. My blood pressure and weight were taken and everything was checking out just fine. My doctor reassured me that everything was going to be great and not to worry. We left the doctors office and headed to the hospital.
At 9:20 a.m. we arrive at the hospital and begin the check-in process for the pre-op appointment. Ten minutes pass by and I get called back. I grab my purse and two clipboards worth of paperwork and follow a woman back to an office. She reviews my financial obligation for the procedure to which I sign the paperwork. The kind woman then leads me back to the waiting room. I see the movie Sahara on the TV and sit back down to finish my paperwork.
Five minutes pass and my name was called by a nurse who leads me to a large room with a few dividers to create smaller areas for taking blood and weight. The nurse took several samples of blood, my heart rate, my blood pressure and got information for donating my placenta. Once the information was collected, the nurse walked me over to an office. In the office, a lady went over last minute items. She gave me instructions for showering before the procedure. They gave me a special cleanser. Instructions on what to wear, what I needed to bring, and what time to arrive at the hospital. I finished my appointment and we headed home.
It was very strange to know exactly when I would see my child. You would think it would take some of the stress away but it doesn’t. I was very anxious and it was difficult to remain calm. That night my sisters brought me dinner and watched a movie while trying to finish up some last minute packing and laundry. After dinner, Michael and I packed up Baby Sweet and took her to my parent’s house. We had to wake up very early the next day so it was easier to bring her to my parent’s house the night before. We made it back to the house around 8:30 p.m. I had one hour left of eating and drinking to which I consumed an insane amount of food and water.
By 10:40 p.m. I had finished showering, cut Michael’s hair, packed the car, and was in bed. It took another 16 minutes before I could attempt to relax my body and fall asleep. It was a very short night. We were up by 3:45 a.m. and I hopped in the shower for my second medical scrub. By 4:20 a.m. Michael and I were in the car headed to the hospital. We arrive at 5:15 a.m., get checked in, and by 5:27 a.m. we were headed to our next stop.
Preparing for the O.R.
At 5:30 a.m. we check into the next stop. My nurse’s name was Julie and she gave me instructions for changing my clothes in preparation for the next step. I got dressed in a hospital gown and the O.R. prep began. At first, Julie tried an IV in my left arm but a valve was making it difficult. Another nurse came and was able to attach an IV to my right arm. Almost as soon as she got the port in I had a vagal response and became lightheaded. Julie was on top of things and laid the bed back and gave me oxygen. My BP dropped to 85/48 and I felt awful, however, after three minutes or so, everything bounced back to normal.
The time is now 7:00 a.m. and the night nurse Julie gets relieved by the daytime nurse Tina. No more than five minutes later the anesthesia team came and by 7:05 the nurse anesthetist, Chris, had placed my epidural. After ten minutes I could barely pick up my legs and by 7:30 a.m. the appropriate areas were numb. I remember thinking it was the strangest feeling.
I was moved to OR 1 at 7:40 a.m. and the surgical preparation and draping began all to the tune of Christmas music. Michael came in about ten minutes later and began talking to me so that I would be distracted. Right before he entered, I was shaking pretty heavily and had severe pain in my right shoulder. The anesthesiologist gave me something for the pain and shaking. Within a minute I felt much better. Around 7:55 a.m. my doctor says, “I am going to cut into the uterus now.” A couple minutes of silence and all of a sudden my doctor pauses and says, “Well, it’s a good thing you decided to do the c-section. Your baby is staring right at me.”
Post Surgery in the O.R.
To which I promptly said, “What?!” Henry had flipped in the last week and if I had tried to do a vaginal birth it would have been very traumatic. When I heard my baby cry for the first time, tears began to fill my eyes. The nurse removed the curtain and I saw my baby for the first time. At that moment it felt like my emotional dam busted open. Tears were streaming down my face and I was weeping. My baby was finally here. My rainbow baby was here. He was beautiful!
The nurse took him over to the warmer and began initial measurements and Michael went with him. Michael said Henry held his hand the entire time. I asked how much he weighed and he responded, “Nine pounds on the dot”. Henry had gained another pound! I couldn’t believe it.
Meeting my baby for the first time
Henry was born on December 20th, 2016 at 7:58 a.m. at 9lbs and 21 inches. He was so calm and cried a little bit, but not much. His Apgar score was a 9. After they cleaned him up and took all the measurements the nurse brought Henry to me. I could barely see his sweet, chubby face because I was crying so much. He was perfect. The Lord did it again. He gave me a perfect, precious and healthy gift. As I was holding Henry all I could think was, “I will never let you go.” As they stitched me back up, I just stared at Henry’s face. He had such peace in my arms, which of course made me cry even more. Everything else that was going on in the O.R. did not matter. It was as if Michael, Henry and I were the only people in that room. The moment was perfect.
My fears of not having that euphoric moment couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only did I experience that rush of emotions but it was special in its own way. I am so thankful for another healthy baby. The Lord graciously bestowed a sweet human life to my care and I am forever grateful!
Henry at 12 hours old
Henry at 24 hours old
A few of my favorites
Henry at One Year old
SAVE FOR LATER!