Merritt is 3 weeks old today, so I thought I’d share her birth story. Luckily, it’s a lot less eventful than Zoe’s.
As you all know, we scheduled our c-section this time around. After all that went down medically with Zoe and for my peace of mind of anything like that not happening again, it seemed like it was the best decision. We really wanted to have the c-section on her due date and wait as long as possible, and our doctor put in that date for request, however his medical assistant took too long to complete the paperwork and so by the time they did that date was no longer available and the date was pushed up by 2 days. I wasn’t pleased when that happened. It feels very strange “picking” your child’s due date and we were pretty particular about wanting it on that day, so when the plans got changed because someone essentially forgot to enter in paperwork, I was a little annoyed. But what are you going to do?
That wasn’t the end of the confusion though. I won’t go into details because it’s pretty confusing and not that entertaining of a story, but we had quite the eventful last 5 days or so with the hospital leading up to the c-section. The doctor who was going to perform the operation had a family emergency, we were going to switch doctors, her office didn’t even know the c-section was scheduled, they missed an appointment with me…it involved many hormonal tears from me and some great support by a friend of mine while we were at the park with our kiddos.
BUT, by Saturday the 20th everything was all set, we knew when we were supposed to be at the hospital on the 22nd, we thought we knew who was going to perform the surgery, we had grandparents taking care of Zoe girl – plans were ready.
I had been having contractions pretty consistently for the 2 weeks leading up to the c-section. Much like with Zoe. I found this highly annoying – I had the pain and frustration of contractions, but no pay off. So when 5:30AM on the 22nd rolled around, I was ready. I had hit my point of being uncomfortable – I just wanted the baby out.
|ready to leave for the hospital!|
Our operation was scheduled for 7:30AM that day, so my doctor and a surgeon I had talked with BOTH told us to arrive an hour before, but to call around 5:30 to make sure they hadn’t had any emergencies making our operation get pushed back. The nurse told me I was actually supposed to already be at the hospital and the doctor gave me the wrong info. Way to start off on the wrong foot. I told her my dad and step mom were on their way and we would leave as soon as they got here. Oy. I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do because I was following what my doctor had told me.
Once my parents got to the house Chris and I headed out to the hospital. We got there about 6, and I was expecting with our delay and the inevitability of things always taking way longer we’d be in surgery around 8:30 instead of 7:30. However, they were understaffed and alllllll the prep work took way, way, way, longer than we though. At 9 we were still getting prepped. I was a little annoyed because this time I had so much more time to THINK about what was about to happen (hello my insides are getting sliced open people) and so I was getting more and more anxiety. There wasn’t anything we could do about it though, so we just tried to stay positive
The good news is I LOVED our anesthesiologist. I had spoken with him several months before on the phone regarding Zoe’s birth and what happened and my doctor said he was the best there was, so I was VERY happy he would be there for our birth. He was really a calming voice and was super informational and supportive because he knew our birth history with Zoe and was well aware of my nervousness.
I had really bad luck with the IV going in the first time (it took 4 tries, the head anesthesiologist on duty and a swollen hand that almost rejected the needle after it finally went in – they almost had to do it in my foot). It was a painful experience – literally, it hurt really fucking bad – so Chris was adamant the anesthesiologist do it the first time, just so that didn’t happen again. He knew I was freaked out about it (I don’t really like needles), so he elected to do it in my forearm this time and got it on the first try – hooray! There was also some confusion about WHO was going to perform the surgery. At first it was going to be one doctor, but because things were taking so long she might have to be pushed, but if we were ready sooner it would be her and a second doctor that would tap each other out on it (Kaiser policy about clinic hours or something). It was a little confusing – and annoying – and in the end we were actually happy that things took so long that the first doctor couldn’t do it (me and Chris just didn’t jive with her when she came in to meet us) and so the second doctor on duty that day would be performing it.
After what seemed like forever, I was finally wheeled to the operation room. It was about 9:30. Once I got there it was a very different feeling. Chris wasn’t with me – and wouldn’t be for about the next 40 minutes – but it was SUCH a calmer atmosphere than last time, and with about 1/3 as many people. Last time it was chaos and this time there was chatting and laughter. It made me at ease, but I still didn’t like that Chris wasn’t in there with me. All the prep in the operating room took about 30-35 minutes. I finally was numbed, fully prepped, vagina hanging out on the table and ready to go. I was getting increasingly more uncomfortable because Chris wasn’t in the room with me however. The anesthesiologist knew that and he was doing his best to be a good partner. He was chit chatting with me, holding my hand and assuring me that Chris would be there soon. And just as they were starting the operation, the door opened and there he was, hooray! I cried a little when he came in, relieved that he was there with me and that this time was so much less scary. And I wanted to meet our daughter.
Getting the baby out this time took a bit longer. I had an existing scar that healed thick so they had a fair amount of scar tissue to work around. It felt like forever as I lay there, the sheet in front of me hearing what the doctors were talking about and feeling the sensation of them pulling and tugging where they were operating from. I lay there holding Chris’ hand, talking about how eager I was to meet her and doing my best to stay calm. We were both quieter than normal and thoughtful – our baby girl would arrive soon. The anesthesiologist was still aware of my nervousness so he talked to us about the operation and how they were going to install speakers in the operating rooms soon so that families could listen to music of their choice during their procedures. He was awesome. He also took all the pictures we have in the operating room of me, Chris and Merritt, so he’s even more awesome.
Then, at around 10:10 the doctor told Chris to stand up and that our baby was arriving. The first time I think they had Zoe mostly out by the time they told Chris to stand up, and this time they told him a bit earlier, so he really got to see her come out. All the doctors chit chatted as they pulled her out about what a big baby she was – we do make big babies I thought that was funny, I don’t know quite why. And I say PULL because Chris said they did actually have to work with some force to get her out, she was really hanging in there. Something about our girls really makes them want to stay hanging out in my belly I tell you.
But pull they did, and then I heard that cry. At 10:11 she was born. And that cry is just the most beautiful noise there is. With Zoe it was such immense relief that she was out and healthy and this time it was filled with so much satisfied joy: our family was complete, our two girls were here.
We wanted skin to skin as soon as we could and were unable to with Zoe because they needed to hold onto her a bit longer to make sure everything was okay, so I was so happy to get to hold Merritt on my chest so soon after she was born and feel her body. She weighed 8 lbs 6 oz, exactly my guess. It felt surreal to have her on my chest – waiting for almost 40 weeks to meet her, having so much anxiety about her birth, and yet here she was, healthy and safely arrived. I felt so much absolute joy
They took her away after a couple minutes and put her on the warming table, cleaned her up and let Chris cut the umbilical cord. I was so happy he got to do that because, again, with Zoe he was unable to because they needed to leave it longer in case they needed to put an IV in her once she was born in case there were any lingering complications. The fact that this birth felt so much smoother was just a joy. I was so, so, so happy. A wash of relief and happiness came over me and I felt so amazingly calm.
Chris came back over with Merritt wrapped up in her burrito while they finished the operation: I elected to have a tubal ligation while I was having a c-section. I have a moral belief in not birthing more than 2 children because we’re so overpopulated (don’t make more than you are), AND Chris and I just don’t want more than 2 kids, it’s plenty for us. We elected that because the tubal ligation would add about 10 minutes to the surgery and I was already all opened up, that was the best decision for us. So while Chris held that sweet baby girl next to me so I could see and smell her they sewed up my lady parts and my stomach Great visual, right?
After everything was sewed up and we were about ready to be wheeled out the surgeon came over to tell us how the operation went. She let us know that she was actually very happy that we elected to have our c-section instead of try for a natural birth because my uterine muscle was so thin that it likely would have torn in labor and I would have had to have another emergency c-section. That made me feel even more confidence in the decision we made. No one wants a torn uterine muscle.
We were wheeled to the recovery area where the first time around was where our families got to meet Zoe, but by now Kaiser has changed their policy and family is not allowed in the initial recovery room right out of surgery, they need to wait till you are all checked out and sent to your rooms. Again, this was something our doctor didn’t tell us, so we were a little sad that our family was all waiting in the waiting room and they would need to sit there for another 2 hours before they would get to meet her. Both of us were a little disappointed because we were so happy we wanted to share our joy with our family, but hey, you gotta follow orders.
In the recovery area I got all checked out, Merritt got all checked out and we attempted our first feeding. She latched on like a champ and actually fed for an hour. The nurse was pretty amazed and I had to make her stop so that they could do all their check ups on her. It was pretty funny. I love my food, so I was happy to have another food loving girl like me and Zoe
After we checked out fully healthy several times we got wheeled to our room and our family was able to come meet her
That was a happy, happy time. Zoe was at home taking her nap, so she came about an hour or two later, and we were SO EXCITED to have her meet her baby sister
She immediately loved her. It was actually really, really sweet to see. She wanted to sit on the bed with me, hold her, make her talk and have her play with her. That is a bond and love I really hope stays with her. It was very sweet to see
We spent 2 days at the hospital and we hated it. I HATE hospitals and I hate staying in them. We wanted to get to go home as soon as we could. I felt amazingly great and Merritt was checking out awesomely. We were informed that we could go home after 2 days and we were so happy. But on the second day no one had put in our discharge info and I raised a little hell to one of the doctors about it. The surgeon, nurses, OB, anesthesiologist – everyone had said I was recovering really, really well and they were so surprised by it, so I didn’t understand why we weren’t entered into the discharge sheet. I felt bad getting mad at a doctor about it when they came in – especially because he was a pediatrician and had nothing to do with me, but I knew if I didn’t really express my point of view to a doctor, we weren’t going to get to go. I wasn’t trying to escape the hospital or get out sooner than they wanted us – but EVERY SINGLE doctor and nurse that came in talked about how GREAT both Merritt and I were doing and that it was amazing how quickly I was recovering and how awesomely healthy she was and how “oh yeah, you can go home after day 2 no problem,” – so naturally, I wanted to go home after day 2.
It took a little bit of us being on top of them about it, but sure enough at about 2pm that Wednesday I got Merritt ready to go home while Chris brought the car around
And then we got wheeled out and sent home, hooray!!!
It felt so good to have our baby girl home. I can’t explain the relief and happiness I felt. The pregnancy and birth had gone well, I was healing great, our girl was healthy and Zoe was so happy to have her baby sister here. It really, really felt like our family was complete. And that felt awesome
So far Merritt has been a fairly relaxed baby. She cries a bit more during the day than Zoe, but cries far less at night. She LOVES to eat, LOVES to sleep (during the day) and looks a lot like her big sister (only olive skin and dark hair like me). She spits up far more than Zoe did (once or twice a day) and gets pretty bad gas after she eats – poor thing. We’re learning what makes her happy, what positions she likes to be in, how she likes to sleep, what her schedule might be like. It’s all an adventure.
The hardest thing about her and Zoe is just that Zoe wants to play with her, hold her and have her talk all the time. It’s adorable, but also a bit challenging when Merritt is sleeping and Zoe really wants to hold her. It’s a cute problem to have
There you have it: the birth of our second girl, Merritt Davis Miller – much less stressful, much more calm. And happy to be our family of 4