This time last year, I didn't know I was going to have a baby that day. I knew it was coming. My blood pressure was getting crankier and crankier. One doctor would say soon, another doctor would say maybe a little longer. I knew it wouldn't be long, but I didn't realize it would be quite as quick as it was.
|Last pregnant picture. 35w 2d|
I called David and informed him that our date night would have to be rescheduled. And to get his butt in to the hospital very quickly. I called my dad. Sent a few texts. Made a few posts. And then I found myself wondering what to do with myself until it was time. I didn't know how long I had. It depended when they could schedule me for surgery. I took one last photo of myself pregnant. It's something we never thought to do with Robbie, and I was determined to do better this time. I had about 30 minutes of time by myself, just to think. I was mostly nervous, but also a little excited. I was going to meet my baby that day. I stopped to say a prayer for all of us, talked to the baby for a bit and then just waited.
|Last photo as a family of 3|
We went down to labor and delivery. We took one last photo of us as a family of three. Then I got my epidural and from that point on, I was pretty woozy.
It didn't take long for me to be wheeled into the operating room. My OB couldn't be there (she later told me that I happened to get scheduled for the one hour that day she couldn't be there. She was disappointed.) but her partner covered and took great care of me. The NICU team was standing by. I don't even remember them starting. I remember thinking it seemed to be taking a long time. Just as the thought passed my mind, the doctor told me they were just cleaning up some scar tissue from Robbie's birth and then they'd go on. It was all skin scarring. She said my uterus looked great.
They shortly told me that it was time to pull the baby out. They told David to get the camera ready and where to stand to get a picture. I remember being aware that the baby was out, but no one was saying anything. Finally, a nurse complained, "Tell us what she has!" and I thought "NO KIDDING!" the doctor laughed and said "It's a girl!" They held her up and David took her very first picture.
I was in shock. While I called her "she/her" the whole time, I had convinced myself she was a boy. She would have been Elliot James, but instead she was Charlotte Corrina. I breathlessly told David, "We have a daughter!"
Quickly, she was taken over to the NICU team where she was wiped up and suctioned. And then she cried. David and I looked at each other with ridiculous joy. It would be a week before we heard
Robbie cry. It really is the most amazing sound in the world. That was when I started to cry, too.
|Upon hearing her cry...|
|5 lbs 2 oz|
It took a little while for them to do it. Later they told me that they had to do some extra work because I have (had?) unusually think fascia. They tell me it's genetic and to my benefit that they saw it because I would likely have needed more intense surgery later to hold my guts in. (They put it more delicately, but that's the gist.) At that point, I didn't care. I just wanted to stare at my baby.
|On the scale|
|Greedy for my baby girl|
They took me back down to labor and delivery since I couldn't go to postpartum while on mag. I was in the smallest hospital room I'd ever seen in my entire life but mostly I didn't care. I had David called to find out when Charlotte could be brought to me and they said they'd be right down.
It was a grand total of about 3 hours after she was born before I got to hold her, but it seemed like nothing. I didn't get to hold Robbie for 5 days, and then only for 30 minutes while nurses hovered.
|Holding her for the first time|
|Robbie meeting Charlotte|
The rest of the night is mostly a blur. I had a round of crazy contractions amplified by pitocin and some other contraction-inducing drugs (needed because of the mag) and a somewhat lackluster nurse, but nothing could take away from the joy of having my baby with me.
I didn't know what the following year would bring, but I knew I was blessed beyond all comparison in those moments. I was truly happy.