Molly Elise is here!
Well, she's been here actually :) But I'm just now getting a chance to talk about her arrival nearly 2 weeks later!
Molly arrived via scheduled C-section at 10.21am on Wednesday, January 23rd weighing 8lbs 11oz and measuring 21 inches in length!
Everything went very smoothly and I have to say we had a much better experience with the C-section than last time and for that I'm very thankful.
We arrived at the hospital early in the morning on Wednesday and went through the checking in process. I had slept surprisingly well the night before. I was worried that I would be awake the whole night worrying and although I didn't sleep as soundly as usual I still got a decent night's sleep.
|Waiting to meet Molly|
I was worried that after we got to the hospital there would be a lot of waiting around. We were scheduled to arrive at 8am and as long as we didn't get bumped by any emergency C-sections my surgery was supposed to start at 9.30am. I thought with all that time in between there would be a lot of waiting, and I was sure we'd end up getting bumped which would cause more waiting and I just knew I would be worried and anxious the whole time. Thankfully it wasn't like that at all. They were pretty much doing things to get me ready for surgery the whole time so there wasn't a lot of down time and it kept me pretty distracted. We didn't make it to the OR right at 9.30am because I think the previous surgery had run over, but it wasn't too much later.
Something that was really great about our experience this time around is that my midwife was there with us the majority of the time. For my prenatal care I rotated between 3 midwives and my favorite one happened to be on call the day of my surgery, which was great! I had hoped all along that she would be the one to attend Molly's birth and although it went differently than I had envisioned I still appreciated that she was the one who was able to be there.
|Molly, minutes old, holding Daddy's finger|
My midwife was with us before we went to the OR and she was also in the OR with us the whole time and then came back to recovery with us as well. I found the best part about her being in the OR was she was able to be with me for the beginning stuff like when they placed the spinal block. That is a scary process (to me at least!), and one that the support person isn't allowed to be present for, so it was really awesome to have her there for support. She was the person who stood in front of me and helped to instruct me what to do, kept reminding me to relax and breathe, etc. Very helpful and comforting to have a familiar presence there for that process.
We also had a great OB performing the surgery. It should have been the OB that was with my practice that performed the surgery, but he happened to be out on vacation that week so he had a backup doctor acting in his place. I had never met either OB so it was all the same to me. The OB we had really had a great bedside manner, seemed to be on top of everything, and just seemed to really care more than my OB last time.
So anyway, after 2 attempts they finally got my spinal block in place (I guess my body just doesn't do well with spinal anesthesia between the 2 failed epidurals last time and then this. It could be worse, but ugh... the whole process is very uncomfortable and unsettling. I'd like to have to only do it once thankyouverymuch. Not to mention, a huge difference I was worried about between last time and this time was that last time I was SO ready for the spinal block because I knew it would take the pain away. This time I wasn't in any pain. They had me walk down to the OR and hop up on the table myself and then I have to sit there while I know they're messing around with my spine. Icky. Obviously I knew it needed it, but I wasn't looking for instant gratification like last time, you know?) and got me settled on the table. The OB brought me a warm blanket and the spinal block started to work instantly. Before I even got laid down I was going numb and in a very short span of time I was numb from the chest down. It's an incredibly weird feeling and not necessarily a good one, but it did the job so I'm thankful!
|Skin-to-skin on the operating table|
After that they brought Mark in and got to work. It seemed like a very short time later that I was able to hear Molly's first cries! They took her over to the little warming table and I was so surprised when I saw 8lbs 11oz pop up as her weight! I was NOT expecting her to be that big! Jack was born at 41 weeks, 1 day weighing 8lbs 2oz and I had been on IV fluids for an extended period of time before that which probably slightly inflated his weight. Molly was born at 41 weeks, 2 days so I was guessing she would be slightly under 8lbs. I was wrong! She came out pleasantly plump with squeezable cheeks and arms and thighs!
Something else that made our experience better this time is instead of them wrapping baby up like a little burrito and putting a hat on just to bring them over for a brief snuggle against my cheek like last time they quickly did what they needed to do and minutes later brought Molly over to rest on my chest while they completed the surgery. While we were still waiting to go back to the OR my midwife cleared it with everyone so that we could do the skin-to-skin. The nurses seemed pretty excited about it and said they hadn't done that before. It was a really great experience!
We hadn't decided on a middle name before Molly's birth. We had narrowed it down to a short list of contenders, but nothing was really speaking to me. As soon as they put Molly on my chest the name "Molly Elise" popped into my head. Elise was on our short list, it wasn't at the top, but when it randomly popped into my head like that I decided it was meant to be! We talked about it and sat on the decision as long as possible (we didn't fill out the birth certificate paperwork until the afternoon that we left the hospital) and then decided it was the right choice!
|Nursing for the first time|
After they finished the surgery the OB told me that there was a lot of amniotic fluid (which was surprising to me because I always measured right on track throughout my pregnancy) and that's probably why Molly was able to flip so late. He also said that she did have the cord wrapped around her neck. While it's not unusual (or a problem in most situations, as long as it's handled properly at time of delivery) for a cord to be wrapped around the neck it could definitely have caused problems if we had somehow managed to attempt a version.
Once back in recovery we were able to keep the lights nice and low, get baby latched on for her first feeding, and do lots of skin-to-skin snuggling. This was so much better than last time when Jack and I were separated for nearly 2 hours after he was born for "mandatory observation" even though there was nothing wrong with him. Another benefit to our experience this time and probably the most important to me.
After awhile we transitioned up to our postpartum room and got settled in.
|Sweet baby snuggles!|
I was feeling pretty good after the surgery. I was able to get up and go to the bathroom at the 12 hour mark. I think they had me up moving around at the same time last time, but I remember it being much more painful. I think I may have had better medication this time because they added Morphine to my spinal block that gave 18 hours of pain relief. I didn't have this last time.
Day 2 was probably the hardest, but I recall that being the same last time. Overall, I think I felt better this time around. Don't get me wrong, I was taking 2 different pain meds round the clock on a schedule and it was still extremely painful to move around, but I just felt better overall and I also seemed to get around a little better. I also wanted to sit in a chair every so often, which I definitely did not do when I had Jack. My recovery overall has seemed to go more quickly this time and I think it's likely because I didn't labor leading up to the surgery like I did with Jack. Also, my OB gave me a compression wrap to wear around my torso and OMG! I wish I had known about this last time! It was really helpful to keep things in place and provide just a little bit of pressure to help with the pain. Last time they had me holding a pillow to my tummy when I moved around and this is essentially the same idea, but so much better! WHY didn't they do this last time?!
|Molly meeting big brother Jack and cousin Kylie|
We stayed 2 nights at the hospital and then I requested to be released. We had assumed we would only be there 2 nights, but I guess the first day when you have the surgery doesn't actually count so I was supposed to stay at least 3 nights. I was ready to go home though. Those hospital beds are SO uncomfortable (it hurt my butt and it's not like I could lay on my side or tummy!) and Mark's accommodations were worse than mine. I knew that we would both be far more comfortable at home! So, after talking things over with my doctor, they released us Friday evening.
We're settled at home now and every day is a little easier. I definitely turned a corner and started feeling like myself right around the 1 week mark. It took more like 2 weeks last time. Molly is doing wonderfully and has been a dream baby so far. I'm slowly starting to feel more like myself, just looking forward to the day when I'm totally pain free and can start getting back to living life more normally!