Today is my son's first birthday. I can't believe it.
GUYS MY BABY IS NOW A TODDLER.
I'm completely in awe, and of course I spent the morning scrolling through photos of his birth day. Parents always tell you that time flies, but I get it now. Like, what? My son is one year old? I just had him like a week ago!!!
I have a lot of friends who are pregnant right now and I have been wanting to tell my birth story for some time now, particularly because it did not go "as planned." So many mom-to-bes are afraid of things not happening the way you want them to, but once your little one is born, all of that worry seems so trivial.
To begin; for those of you who don't have kids or aren't familiar with this concept, when you're pregnant, timing is referred to in weeks. Your due date is the 40 week mark. People used to always ask how many months pregnant I was and I had to think about it to give them a reference they would understand.
I never really had much of a "birth plan." I knew that I wanted to labor at home for a while, in my tub and doing yoga or laying around with a heating pad, honestly whatever made me feel good. Then I would go to the hospital, and get an epidural as soon as I could. I am not earth mother. And I do not handle pain well. I get angry and scared and its not good (and thats if I get like a paper cut, lol.) Besides that, I knew that if something wasn't going smoothly, and my doctor wanted a c-section, I would listen to her. I trusted my doctor to get my baby out safely.
If I remember correctly, the 35 or 36 week mark is when you start going to the doctor for checkups every week. At 35 weeks, Roman had begun to drop into position, so he was head down and getting ready to go. I had an ultrasound scheduled for 37 weeks, so that they could try and get an estimated weight of the baby. I think they do this so that if the baby is particularly large they can keep a closer watch on mom and make sure she can push them out safely. So I walked in to my ultrasound not particularly worried; I was a pretty small baby even though Alec and his brother were bigger.
And then I got news that I was 200% not prepared for.
Roman had flipped head up.
The thought that my baby could be breech just didn't make sense. They say that that far along theres not much room for them to move around in the womb, so the fact that he flipped just couldn't be. I immediately started panicking.
When I walked into the exam room after my ultrasound to meet with my doctor, I was in tears. My doctor is very no-nonsence, which I like, but in this moment I was not looking forward to what she had to say, because I knew what she was going to tell me. This is not the kind of doctor who will want to attempt to deliver him breech.
We were given two options. The first was that at 38 weeks we could attempt an external version. This is where they give me medication to soften the uterus and try to turn him from the outside. The problems were, A) depending on how close my body was to delivering naturally the placenta could detach, and if that were the case we would have to do an emergency cesarean right then and there. B) it could simply not work because of how big he was. My next option was to schedule a c-section for my 39th week.
After a lot of crying and talking, Alec and I decided to schedule the c-section, and I would try natural ways to get him to turn. My doctor said if I came in for the surgery and he had turned then I could go home and wait for him to come on his own. The external version just seemed risky because if I did end up having to have him right then we only had a week to plan (and we were in the middle of moving.)
I tried everything from acupuncture and moxibustion, chiropractic adjustments, yoga, and even asking Roman to turn for me. He didn't listen, so two days after I hit 39 weeks, I went to the hospital for my c-section.
And guess what? Once I heard that first cry, nothing else mattered. All of my fear of the surgery, and not being able to do it myself, was gone. It didn't matter how he got here, just that he was here.
It ended up being a blessing in disguise, because our whole family was there. My closest friends were there. People who wouldn't have made it from out of town if I had just called when I went into labor. I was sad that my mom and sister couldn't be in the delivery room, but looking back, I am glad that that moment was spent with just Alec. After all, he was my family now. My soul mate who created a human with me, our lives were now complete. Another thing that is cool about the c-section was that we got to spend 4 nights in the hospital, instead of the 1-2 you get if you deliver vaginally. And we made good use of those 4 nights. I had a lactation nurse in every two hours, helping me out, and I think it is one of the reasons I am still nursing today. We had nurses show us how to swaddle him every time he went to sleep, and Alec became a swaddle master!
I think that Roman knew me so well that he was like, "mom, Imma throw you a bone here." Hahahaha. I really don't like being in pain. He just gets me.
I hope that any expecting parents who read this take it to heart, because I understand wanting things to go as planned, but sometimes they just don't, and that is parenthood.
And now for some photos of that perfect day. =)