Birth Story continued… You can read Part One here.
Remember from this post about Waiting for Baby that I wasn’t sure whether to do a v-bac or a c-section? By now you know that we decided on a c-section… there were a few reasons behind it and I don’t regret our decision for one minute… even though this was little girl’s birth weight:
The main reason I wanted to try for a v-bac was an easier recovery which would allow me to hold Drew sooner. But the more I heard from readers, and had personal, honest, conversations with friends, the more I learned that many women’s natural (even with an epidural) deliveries and subsequent recoveries were more difficult than my c-section recovery with Drew… even after I went through labor and four hours of pushing. Then I heard from readers who said that c-sections were easier for them than their vaginal deliveries and vice versa so I knew it was a very personal decision because no woman’s body would handle vaginal or c-section delivery the exact same way.
We had an ultrasound booked three weeks ago to give us a feel for the weight of Elle… they predicted she was six pounds three weeks before giving birth. Once we factored in the margin of error of a pound we realized that it was possible she could be the size of Drew when she was born and that made our decision pretty easy to go directly to a c-section, because, if you remember from my previous post about this they said if she is as big as Drew there is only a 30% chance a v-bac would work and my recovery would be more difficult having gone through labor then the c-section.
But when she was born no one said “what a big baby!” instead, their first words were “wow, is she long!” (How do I get these children??? Jacked football players and tall and skinny straight out of the womb? Are they my children? :)) Elle was 21 inches long, longer than Drew, but ultra petite in other ways. She is super skinny, we are shocked by how much more we feel like we are going to break her than with Drew… even Drew’s head was in the 90th percentile and Elle’s head feels like a peanut compared to what his was like.
Once she was born the nurses cleaned Elle up, foot printed her and then took her and AJ down to the nursery to do all the tests. At that point the doctors finished working on me. When your doctor says to you that you have a flat stomach after giving birth, don’t listen to them. They are lying through their teeth. I asked them if they gave me a tummy tuck. They told me it’s always the skinny ones that ask for the tummy tuck, but honestly, folks, I still look like I’m four or five months pregnant. I should have pushed for that tummy tuck. 🙂
It was interesting introducing Drew to Sissy (that’s what he calls her and it’s funny, because I catch AJ and I referring to her as that as well). He was very nervous coming into the recovery room (shown above) because there were machines and nurses everywhere, and strange heat lamps and I was in a bed that was so tall he could barely see me.
Our family then came in to meet Elle while I was in recovery… they kept us in the room for two hours while we waited for the room where I would spend the next four days. It was a very different recovery than I had with Drew. With Drew I almost felt like I was in shock after labor and couldn’t stop shaking and felt freezing. Maybe it was the combo of all the IVs they had me on during labor and then the spinal… but either way I felt fairly normal with pretty much zero shaking and just numb tingly legs. I felt like I was so much more emotionally ready to see my baby this time around.
AJ’s mom, April
That afternoon, post Drew’s nap (things usually look better after sleep, don’t they?), Drew came back to visit. I was in my normal room and he was able to climb up on the bed with me. As soon as he climbed up he put his elbow right into the c-section incision… to tell you it hurt is an understatement. At that moment I knew I had a choice… I could choke back the tears that instantly came to my eyes and try my darnedest to pretend I wasn’t hurting so he wouldn’t get nervous and upset or I could have the nurse run right in then and check the incision but it would mean, I know, Drew ending up in tears wrecking the moment we wanted to make special as he really met his sister (we had the nurse check it as soon as everyone left half an hour later and it was totally fine). Everyone kept asking me if I was okay and I didn’t want to talk about it because I could see Drew watching me to see if he hurt me. Even though it hurt I didn’t feel like he did any terrible damage and as we went on opening his presents the pain subsided somewhat.
He loved his book… every night he’s requested to read “D Book”… I can’t tell you how happy it made me that it was a hit, it was so fun to make and imagine what he would be comment on. Even a couple of days after that he wanted to bring it to the hospital, here he is reading it to my mom and being a complete ham. We’ve noticed with a bunch of family around and Elle being born… he’s not quite himself (which we expected). He’s acting out now more than usual and being more show-off-y than usual but I think that’s super typical and we’re doing the best we can to make sure he feels special but that we curb the naughty behavior right away (I never used the word “naughty” before having kids, did you? :))
I know it’s a blurry photo but I couldn’t resist it. 🙂
That first night in the hospital was a hard one… they took the catheter out and then made me walk to the bathroom and then around midnight made me walk to the nursery. I was in so much pain getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom that it was comparable to the labor pains I had with Drew. I didn’t remember them making me walk so soon after having Drew but the nurse told me that walking would speed up the recovery process, even though it felt like it was going to send me into shock. 🙂 But it was funny, they were right and by the next day I was walking around fairly easily.
The next day my mom and dad gave Elle this amazing lamb pillow for her to lay on and not only has she loved snuggling into it but so has Drew… Drew just told AJ to lay his head on the pillow below so they could feel how soft it was:
It was a tricky few days for AJ while I was in the hospital. He had to figure out how to handle Drew and give him important one on one time while still wanting to not miss what was happening with Elle.
When we got home these pink balloons were waiting for us on our back patio thanks to AJ’s run to the store prior to picking Elle and I up at the hospital:
Yesterday was my first full day home with Elle. It went fairly smoothly, Drew definitely acted out a couple of times but it was far better than the days in the hospital went. And as I am writing this on Thursday morning he’s being great. I’m guessing, from what friends say, that it’ll take about two weeks for him to adjust.
He’s been pretty cute with her tickling her feet saying “tickle, tickle” and by decorating her with stickers. 🙂
Now that we are home it’s been fun to do mini photo shoots… look at her different facial expressions of these last two photos! It’s also been nice to be home away from the nurses and lactation consultants… I felt like each person was telling me to do something different and it’s nice to be home and doing what feels like comes naturally and taking care of what Elle needs. Last night she cluster fed right before AJ and I went to bed and then woke up two hours later for a feed and then slept six and a half hours after filling her belly… I had to wake up and pump but it’s nice to know that if we pound the food before she goes to bed that she’ll do better. Drew was a champion sleeper immediately after coming home from the hospital so we hope this isn’t a fluke… but we aren’t getting our hopes up.
There you have it… the story of how we welcomed Baby Elle into our lives and our home.
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