In the days leading up to Ellis's birth I had this sudden feeling of guilt come over me. I couldn't remember the details of Hutton's birth. I could remember brief moments like my doctor holding me as they administered the epidural, the tears that rushed from my eyes as they held Hutton over the drape so I could see his beautiful face, and the euphoria that washed over me as I held him skin to skin but the whole story is missing. I knew that I needed to write down Ellis's birth story within the first week so that I would be able to look back and remember it as whole not just small snippets of this life changing miracle.
As soon as the sun peeked through the bedroom window the morning of May 31st, my eyes popped open. It was only 4:30 am but the excitement of welcoming our second child into the world was not going to let me sleep any longer. I laid there in silence cuddling Hutton and nuzzling him, trying not to wake him but knowing this would be the last time I woke up as a mommy of one. I was also trying to reassure myself that he knew how much I loved him even though my time was about to be divided by what he would probably consider the worst thing to happen to him in his adolescent life.
Eventually we all made our way out of bed. Mom and Grandma Nancy had arrived the night before and were busy being squirrels in the kitchen as always. I was furious at myself for not having gotten out of bed at midnight to chug some water knowing that my c-section was at noon and I was already so thirsty. The smell of fresh coffee wasn't helping. Our check in time wasn't until 10:30 so we definitely had lots of time to just hang out with Hutton before we needed to leave for the hospital.
Hutton fell asleep 30 minutes before we needed to leave for the hospital so I got one last cuddle sesh in.
We checked into the Sacred Heart Labor and Delivery floor and they asked us to have a seat in the waiting room and someone would come get us shortly. I had Chris take one last cell phone pic of me pregnant and put it out on social media for everyone to guess the weight. I think this was helping to calm my nerves because for some reason I got extremely nervous as we entered the hospital even though I knew what the process was going to be.
After five minutes or so, a sweet nurse named Crystal came and escorted us back to the triage room to get prepped for my c-section. She gave me wonderful drafty hospital gown and began my IV's where I then had to pee approximately 100 times as a result of all the liquids they pumped into me. With about 10 minutes to go-time, another nurse came in to let us know that we might be on hold as an emergency case had just come in and they might need the OR. I immediately had deja vu as Hutton's c-section had been bumped by an emergency failed home birth and we were delayed about an hour. I told Chris to text my mom and let her know we may be delayed and as soon as he texted her, they came in to say that we were going now while could get in.
I felt like I need to run into the OR. I hopped up on the table and they immediately began prepping me. Cord and monitors were being hooked up and the anesthesiologist began her work on getting my block in. The next few moments were the worst part of the next few days. The pain of a c-section is nothing to me in comparison to the pain of the anesthesiologist hitting a nerve in my back as she tried to insert the epidural but soon it was over and the numbing sensation began. My doctor who is an amazing saint by the way came in, followed by my husband and the cutting began.
I can't even begin to describe the sensations you feel during a c-section. You are numb but you are not without feeling. It feels as if your skin is being pulled and rubbed with intensity but its not painful. In less than five minutes, Dr. Smetana told Chris to stand up that she was going to be pulling out baby E right now. My heart was about to burst. I couldn't contain my the feeling of wanting to jump off the table to see my baby boy. As she pulled him out he made a few whimpers but there was no real loud cries. He had swallowed some of the amniotic fluid and was having trouble getting it out of his lungs. The NICU nurses stepped in and started rubbing him and turning him on his stomach to get him to expel the liquid. This seemed to go on for what felt like forever in my world as I lay there still feeling them working on me. After a few minutes of him continuing to grunt but not cry out loud, they began applying strong pats to his back using the mask from a CPAP machine. This method was still not working and that was the moment that my heart started physically hurting as the nurse said they were going to have to take him to the NICU.
I had wanted to do immediate skin to skin but this was not possible now. They brought him over and let me kiss him and then wheeled him off to the NICU with Chris following. In that moment, I needed more oxygen. I felt as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. The pressure I felt continued to grow as my doctor finished sewing me up. What kept me sane on the table was the small talk going on. If it were not from that, I think I would have broken down. As they wheeled me back to the recovery room, we passed the NICU nurse in the hall and she said they would be hopefully bringing my baby down soon that he was doing fine and his oxygen levels were back to normal.
As I laid in recovery, I prayed for my baby. I prayed that they would be returning him to me soon as I needed to snuggle him right away. After about ten minutes, the nurse came to the curtain with Chris and Ellis in tow. Immediately the elephant left my chest and I couldn't wait to replace it with my sweet babe. They sat me up and the next few minutes are a total blur as I just sat there soaking in my second child in all his perfectness.
Chris went and got Hutton from the waiting room and we introduced them and Hutton was so sweet to his new baby. My mom came in and my grandma, one at a time until they said it was time to move me to my room.
Once in my room, I just sat and looked at him. I had just been through one of the most exciting and terrifying moments as a mother. I thanked God for my healthy baby and spent the rest of the day just soaking him in.