Our birth story is not one that you typically find when searching for "perfect birth experience", however, it was our perfect delivery. Actually, we have been blessed with two perfect deliveries. Being a labour and delivery nurse for five years, I have seen nearly every type of delivery and heard many birth plans. So for Keith and I, with our first daughter Brooke, our perfect birth experience was one where she arrived safely into this world. On April 16, 2014 I went into labour, but by the morning of April 17, I needed some assistance increasing the strength of the contractions with an artificial rupture of membranes (my obstetrician "broke my water"), followed by a syntocinon augment. After hours of strong contractions and not much change in cervical dilation I chose to try an epidural, in hopes that it would help me to relax muscles I thought I had been, but maybe wasn't. A few hours later, with minimal change in my cervix and Brooke's heart rate showing signs that she might not be able to tolerate labour much longer, my wonderful nurse, obstetrician, Keith, and I collaboratively decided that a cesarean section would be optimal for the safe delivery of Brooke.
It was beautiful. After we made the decision of a caesarean birth, Brooke was born 30 minutes later, and placed on my chest less than two minutes after entering this world. With Keith by my side, it was everything we had ever hoped for in meeting and holding our sweet daughter for the first time.
For the majority of our pregnancy, we knew the exact date and approximate time that our baby would be born. How amazing is that? For us, it was! Sure, there was the possibility I would go into labour prior to that date, and we made sure to discuss that scenario with our obstetrician. However, that scenario never arose and I did not need to go to the hospital, as a patient, prior to our delivery date.
We walked ourselves to the operating room (OR), took a few photos, and then I sat on the OR table for my spinal anesthetic. Once again amazing and happy thoughts were running through my mind, as everything to that moment had gone completely as anticipated. Keith was able to join me after the anesthetic was in effect and the surgery had begun. I felt much less "foggy" than with our first caesarean, I think likely because of our great sleep! Feeling the "pushing" sensation from the top of my abdomen, I knew it was almost time to hold her, so I looked at the clock, gave Keith a kiss, smiled at our amazing "Baby Nurse" and heard the most beautiful sound - Mikah's cry! She had arrived!
8:27am. After cutting her cord, they carried her past me to the baby warmer to dry her off and Keith went over to meet her. She was then placed directly on my chest and what an incredible feeling that was! Within minutes, sweet Mikah was bobbing her head to search for some nourishment and latched herself right there in the OR! It wasn't the most comfortable nursing position - completely flat, unable to move my lower body, and with oxygen prongs in my nose, but I didn't even care. It was beautiful and amazing.
Thoughts were racing through my mind, "Is this really happening? Did we really just have our perfect, planned cesarean birth that we had anticipated since early April?" You bet!
My spinal anesthetic took a little extra time to wear off, so we were in the recovery room longer than expected. Keith and Mikah stayed with me the entire time. We cuddled, fed, and took a few photos. Once we were transferred to postpartum, we shared the news with family and friends and excitedly waited for Brooke to make her way to meet "Baby Sister" with her grandparents!