We arrived at the hospital and checked in. It was such a weird feeling to just walk into the hospital knowing I was going to have my baby in just a few short hours! After we got checked in we were taken over to the maternity wing and shown to a surgery prep room. Here I got changed into my gown, my IV was started, and they began monitoring baby's heart rate. The nurses that were helping us were so nice and we chatted and laughed and it was all very relaxing. I remember with Sawyer I was poked about 4 times trying to find a good vein for my IV so I was thrilled to be only poked once this time. Our photographer, Michelle, arrived and the nurses filled her and Justin in on what would happen for them, got them their scrubs and answered some questions.
The anesthesiologist came in and we filled out some paperwork. The nurses wanted to take me into the OR right away and get my spinal block in but the anesthesiologist said no way, he wasn't putting it in until he saw my doctor with his own eyes. He said you never know what could happen and as soon as he puts it in the clock starts ticking. So we waited. He answered a lot of our questions about how things would go once we got into the OR. Justin asked if he would be able to watch the surgery or if he would have to stay behind the curtain and he cautioned him that even if you're not a queasy guy, it's really hard to see your wife cut open like that. I could tell that that made Justin a little hesitant to watch.
Our doctor has a very distinctive and loud laugh and about 20 minutes after we were supposed to start, we all heard him walking down the hallway. The anesthesiologist (I believe his name was Steve, so I'll be referring to him as Steve for the rest of this post) poked his head into the hall, saw our doctor, turned back to us and said, "Ok, we'll see you in there!"
One of the nurses walked me into the OR, Justin and Michelle would be joining us later. It was so strange to walk in and sit down on the operating table! This nurse was so kind (I wish I could remember her name, but I just can't) and also so funny, she knew that the spinal tap was what I was most nervous about. She helped me to get situated holding my pillow and leaning over it, rounding my spine. She held my hand and hugged me and reminded me to breathe while Steve got prepared. I felt something cold on my back and I flinched, she jokingly teased me, "Ok, that was just a pen, you've got to be a little tougher than that!" I laughed and repositioned myself and hunkered down for the actual needle. She literally held me threw it and once it was placed I could instantly feel it begin to numb my body. It wasn't actually as bad as I had worked up in my mind.
The nurse and Steve helped lay me back on the table and the nurse buzzed around getting things set up and prepared. They strapped down my arms out to the side and after a minute I got the sensation that I was going to throw up. Panic instantly set in as I tried to sit up and couldn't because I'd been strapped down already. I was imagining throwing up and choking and I just knew right then it was going to be horrible. I tried to at least lift my head and I told Steve I was going to throw up. I am so thankful for Steve. He moved so quickly and got me some oxygen, set up a bowl next to my head, turned my head towards the bowl and got a little alcohol thing for me to smell all at once. He had his hand on my head and he was so kind, I just remember being really thankful for him. I ended up only gagging a few times and didn't actually throw up, thank goodness. I started to feel better after a couple of minutes, and then I just remember being so cold and shivering. They set up this thing called a bear hug on my arms and chest. It's a plastic tube bubble thing that they blow hot air into to keep you warm. It felt so good.
This whole time I keep wiggling my toes and trying to lift my legs. I was nervous that I was going to be able to feel something so I kept trying to check to make sure the spinal block was working. When my doctor came in we chatted for a second and he said, "Are we ready for a birthday party?!" He introduced me to all of the people in the room, nurses, pediatric nurse, assistant and a few others I think, about 8 total. I told my doctor I could move my toes a little still and he started pinching me, which I could not feel. He assured me I would not feel any pain but would still feel tugging and some pressure.
I don't remember him saying something specific to cue to me that they had started but after a minute when I could feel something going on I asked Steve if they had started and he said yes. I panicked again a little and asked if someone could go get Justin. Again, so thankful for Steve! He said, "Whoa doc, slow down. Dad isn't in here yet!" Someone went and got Justin and Michelle and Justin came and sat by my head and kissed me. He asked how I was doing and I quickly recounted my panic attack about throwing up but said I was doing better now. He held my hand and occasionally peaked over the curtain.
Pretty soon I heard my doctor say, "clear fluid." This is him announcing that there isn't any meconium in my water and that he was then going to break my water. I remember that part because Steve had told us when we were in the prep room that the baby would be born soon after that. They lowered the curtain a bit so that Justin would be able to see our baby be born and they got Michelle a stool. I remember being thankful that they were helping her out and not telling her just to "stay over there in that corner!"
The doctor's assistant was supposed to be pushing on my upper abdomen area in order to help push the baby out. Our doctor started to give her a little bit of a hard time because she was a petite women and she was having to put a lot of effort into it. He said come on, you gotta push, I don't want to get the vacuum out (which was a little scary for me, but he had said it in a joking way). Michelle told me I basically had an entire nurse's weight on top of me, but I didn't feel it at all. At this point I could just feel a little pulling and tugging and I could tell that my body was being moved around even though I couldn't specifically feel anything, if that makes sense. It's a very strange feeling.
At this point Justin and I looked at each other because all of the sudden there seemed to be a little stress in the room. I can't even tell you what changed or what was said, but everyone seemed a little more serious and there was a sense of urgency. I was watching Justin's face and he was scanning everyone's faces in the room trying to read the situation. And just like that as quickly as it had changed, the mood changed back as our doctor said ok, here he comes.
I heard him scream and then saw my baby for the first time as my doctor lifted him over the curtain. Theodore James Minert was born at 12:49 pm. I was so happy and said a little thank you prayer as a few tears rolled towards my ears. Just as with Sawyer, Justin was hesitant to leave my side and I said, "go, go." Justin went over and watched them wrap him up and weigh and measure him and helped cut the chord. Theo weighed 7lbs 15 oz and was 20.5 inches. He came back and gave me the report, "he's perfect," he said "ten fingers, ten toes, and lots of hair!" A moment later they were putting him on my chest for skin to skin. They had put a belly band around my chest before hand and now tucked him in and unstrapped one of my arms so I could hold him. The first thing I said was, "he has my chin!" Then "hi baby" and he opened his eyes for the first time and looked right at me.
We snuggled him and kissed him and just stared in awe. My doctor worked on getting me all sewn up and put back together and then they wheeled me back into the recovery room. We tried to nurse a little bit and he latched on but wasn't too interested in it so we stopped and just cuddled. He was so calm and relaxed and was just taking everything in. After a little while I started to get nauseous again so Justin took Theo and I smelled those funny alcohol swabs again. Then the nurses took Theo to the little bassinet in the room and got him dressed and did his hand and foot prints.
After about an hour in recovery, when I was able to move my legs around they moved us to our postpartum room. My sister Veronica had been in contact with us and brought Sawyer in to meet his brother right after that! Sawyer did not know what to think. He was more excited to see Justin than anyone else at first. He also was a little camera shy and kept looking at the camera out of the corners of his eyes haha. He kissed him and said, "hi brother!" And then was ready to go chill with Justin again. (Don't worry though.. he's obsessed with him now and I more often then not am reminding him to hug and kiss him softly!)
Family and friends were in and out of our room soon after and we were surrounded by so much help and love. We were able to go home 48 hours after Theo was born. I am so thankful for everyone who has helped out, brought food, come to visit, or sent encouraging words and congratulations. It truly does take a village and I am so so thankful for ours!
Theo is a perfect addition to our family. He is such a calm and relaxed baby. He loves to cuddle and is an awesome sleeper! I know I already missed month 1 update, but I promise to try my hardest to do some Theo update's more regularly!