Since it's 4 in the morning and I can't sleep, why not write out her birth story?
Wednesday was the date of my cancelled scheduled c-section. Since my OB, Dr. L, had detected some movement of my placenta at 34 weeks, he wanted to repeat an ultrasound at 38 weeks in the off chance that there had been enough movement away from my cervix and I could deliver vaginally. I had mistakenly thought that my placenta previa was marginal at that ultrasound; in fact, it was still complete but had still made some movement. So Wednessay came and went without any fuss. I felt annoyed that I was still at work but glad that Miss E was still cooking, growing bigger and stronger. Thursday morning I got up and had coffee and snuggles with Henry and J as usual and then headed into work. Around noon, following a long meeting, I noticed that my back pain (a constant pal in this pregnancy) had migrated south and felt different. It radiated and was followed by mild contractions. I got up, made myself a sandwich, walked around, but it continued. I advised J and my mom to keep their phones on but that it was likely the pre-labor symptoms that many women have on and off for days or weeks. I went off to another meeting thinking the sensations would subside but they didn't. Still, the pain was very mild and left me more uncomfortable than anything. I called my OB's office and they advised me to hydrate and call back in an hour to report if there were any changes. An hour and lots of water later, the back pain and mild contractions remained. At 5, they advised me to come in to be monitored and checked out. I told Joel I expected to be sent home in an hour or so. The hospital is a whopping block and a half from my office. I walked over, got hooked up to monitors and read my kindle. Then got an ultrasound and they confirmed my previa was still complete. As I had had no bleeding, I still expected them to send me home and advise me to take it easy. Nope. The resident walked in and said that as my contractions were very regular and my previa was complete, my OB didn't want to risk a massive bleed at home and would be delivering my baby that night. I believe she asked me to "get my person here as soon as possible." In total shock, I called my mom and J and arranged for them to hand over Henry and our dogs at the hospital. The docs waited for J to arrive and once he did, everything happened pretty quickly.
The worst part of the c-section was honestly the prep. The anesthesiologist had to try a couple locations before he administered the spinal block. I found the numbness really disconcerting. I was nervous and couldn't banter with the docs and nurses. I felt much better when J came in. Once he came in, things started immediately and within a few minutes, Eloise was out! After grinning and breathing a sigh of relief, my totally candid thought was "that was so much easier than a vaginal birth!" Obvious thoughts by yours truly. Wait til recovery, genius.
She was immediately pink and wailing and sounded like an angry bird. Eloise scored a 9/9 on her apgar despite her tiny, though gestationally appropriate, size. She was brought to my cheek so I could kiss and marvel at her. J held her next to me while they put Humpty Dumpty back together again. And then we were wheeled out and it was over.
She's a champion breastfeeder and is impossibly tiny. That's all I know about her so far. I can't wait for the sun to come up and to spend the day staring and getting to know my daughter. Henry will meet her today as well. I can't wait.
My daughter and my son. Two after nothing at all and so much struggle. And somehow it feels nothing but right and destined to be. I wish I could send my 2012-13 self a note reassuring that all would be so much more than ok. What tremendous luck, love, and miracles of modern medicine.