October 10, 2018

He is Here!

On August 10th, we welcomed little L into the world at 2:02 pm. The sun was shining in the windows as he was placed on my belly and we all met for the very first time. Just two months later and it still feels amazing. I debated whether or not to share our story. So much of this journey has felt so intimate, private, and personal that I have not been sure how or which way to share it. As I sit here next to our little one sleeping, I am thinking about the steps it took to get him here safe and sound, and perfect in every way. I think about the emotions we went through, the blessing of health we had along the way, and what we learned along the way. Everyone’s story is different and I won’t be an oversharer of our birth experience, but I wanted to share what did happen, what it taught us, and even more importantly, what life was like leading up to the moment we met our little one two months ago.

The Friday before he was born I went in for my normal appointment at 38 weeks. I had a baby who was very low, but was measuring big, so at this appointment they decided that day to do an ultrasound. My blood pressure, urine, and blood work were all great so they just wanted to find out how big he was, how much amniotic fluid was there, etc...

He continued to measure big so we anxiously awaited my doctor to review the scan. I have a family history of c-sections for small babies. I implicitly trust my doctor and knew that she would recommend whatever birth (vaginal versus cesarean section) was the healthiest for both L and I. She recommended a c-section for the most successful labor so we set it up.

We drove to the hospital and everything felt very right for us. Arriving at the hospital, it was simple and we got settled quickly. They prepped me for the c-section. I was ready. He came at 39 weeks. Being a healthcare professional, but not in women's and children's area, I knew and didn't know a lot. When he first arrived, he was not breathing and the nurses and doctors fixed that rather quickly. My blood pressure and heart rate were low and I needed medications to stabilize them. Surprisingly, it was scary and not scary all at the same time.

The first few weeks of having a baby is a pretty untalked about and difficult time. As women I think we want to move inward and not share about it, because it is instinct. Sometimes dreams of specific goals have to be let go. You have discomfort, sleeplessness, raging hormones, and a seemingly fragile human being to keep alive. For me, my specific goal of breastfeeding my child had to be let go. I was planning to breastfeed, but my milk took a long time to come in and in the hospital, I had to give him bottles with donor breast milk. He had trouble latching from the beginning and it was frustrating for me and him. For me, it lead to bleeding and painful nipples. It was hard to let go of the idea of not being able to breastfeed. I had to then pump exclusively and bottle feed. Around week 3 my milk had really come in and been increased in supply by regular pumping and he started to breastfeed. Sure he still has trouble latching at times, but he is now getting some time with me breastfeeding.

As far as babies go, he is a good baby, but still a baby. He is content to look at the fan but has a mean crying streak from 6-9:30 at night (yay colic!) He is in 3-6 month clothing already. I love his squishy thighs and luscious lips. It is neat to see him develop right in front of me.

Overall, I have experienced joy, pain, exhaustion. love, frustration, and everything else it seems. I have the utmost respect for any woman who bears and births a child no matter how it happens. Women are amazing and no matter how each woman has or chooses to bring their little one into the world is a very personal and individual decision and journey. Life is a precious and beautiful thing worth sharing there is no doubt in whatever form it comes into our path.

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