This little guy has been keeping us on our toes from veryyyy early on in pregnancy – that is for sure! He knew that he had a sassy big sister he was going to have to content with, so he started practicing early!
I will do a super quick summary of the pregnancy before I go into his birth story, because I didn’t do any posts throughout the pregnancy this time around. Terrible!! Chasing after a 2 year old and being pregnant is no joke. There wasn’t a ton of extra time (and that’s about to get even less – I’m aware!)
Anyway – at just over 12 weeks pregnant with Bowen I started bleeding. For any of you that have followed our journey, you know that Greg and I have had multiple losses (3) and 2/3 started with bleeding. So I was sure we were losing this pregnancy, too. But a midwife appointment to hear the little heartbeat, and an ultrasound following that confirmed the little tater was happy and healthy! What a relief!
The rest of the pregnancy was pretty smooth sailing up until about 33 weeks when the midwife told me babe is breech. She said there’s still time for him/her to flip, but lets start trying some exercises, at home techniques, chiro etc to see if babe will flip. So we tried ALL the things (Moxibustion, homeopathics, laying inverted, cat/cow, acupuncture, chiropractor, reflexology…) and babe still wouldn’t flip. So at that point, we were given the option to try an ECV at 37 weeks, which is when the midwife or OB try to manually flip the baby from the outside by applying pressure and trying to guide them into the head down position. I wasn’t looking forward to it as I had heard it’s quite unpleasant, but hey, if there was a chance it was going to work, I was all for it!
So we went into the hospital on a Tuesday (I was 37 weeks along) and the plan was to have the ECV done. They do an ultrasound first to have a look at babe’s position, and then if all looks good they go from there. After the ultrasound, the midwives told me they needed to consult with the OB that was on that day, because my fluid levels were looking low and they weren’t sure it was going to be safe to try the ECV. At this point, the OB agreed, fluid is too low, and actually suggested she would consider getting babe out THAT DAY. We were NOT prepared for that news.
Our midwives consulted back and forth with the OB, and they eventually decided okay, baby doesn’t need to come out today, but we’re going to keep a close eye on this. So they sent me home, told me to drink lots and lots of fluids and rest. We’d come back on Thursday and check levels again. If they’re good, they’ll try the ECV, if they’re not, then they were going to recommend taking baby out that day, via c section! HOLY SMOKES.
We came back on Thursday and as I suspected – my levels weren’t any better, in fact they had gotten lower. The doctor on that day consulting with the midwives was WONDERFUL and explained ALL of our options to us. To my surprise, she said she was willing to try the ECV if I wanted to try it. She wasn’t super confident it would work, but she said we could try. She explained it’s quite the painful procedure and reminded me it may not work, and even if it did, they wanted baby out today. So even if baby flipped, I wasn’t going to be going home and just waiting for labour to start naturally. Further to that, because they wanted baby out that day one way or the other, I would need to be induced if baby flipped to attempt a vaginal delivery (another thing I wasn’t fond of…induction). AND, the last thing she reminded me of, was that even if the ECV worked, and the induction went quickly… things could still end up going sideways and it could still end up in a c section. That was a LOT to process.
Greg and I chatted with our amazing midwife team and after going back and forth, we decided lets just go ahead with the c section. Yes that was what I was trying to avoid the whole time, but it seemed like the safest option at this point for babe and me. The ECV would be painful for me and stressful for baby and may not even work. Not to mention induction could take hours and hours and we were ready to get this show on the road. HOLY SHIT, we were having this baby… 2.5 weeks early and via c section.
The rest of the day kind of blurs together. At the point of deciding that was the route we were going, they had to slot us in because it was a full moon that day and apparently EVERYONE was having babies. It was a full house. So we waited until about 4pm and they came to get us to move us into the waiting room for the OR. They said we’d be going in around 430. (We had been at the hospital since 8am by the way… so you can imagine how long this day felt for both of us!)
A couple minutes after 430pm, the nurse came in to get me and said she’d need to bring me in for the freezing and spinal tap (I was more nervous about this than the actual C section I think!), and after that was done, Greg could come in, and they would start the procedure. They told me once they start, baby will be out within 5 minutes!!!!!
**SIDE NOTE: If you’ve been following me since we had Raeleigh you may remember her birth story where I gush about the midwives for a while, because they’re amazing and I love them. It magically worked out that the same wonderful midwife that delivered Raeleigh ended up being with us for the birth of Bowen! She was no longer part of the team caring for me, but as I mentioned, it was a wild day at the hospital for births, so some of the midwives swapped around and she was able to be with us. I was so grateful for that **
Okay, so spinal was done, Greg was brought in, and things started. What a WILD feeling it was feeling the tingling set in in my legs and starting to go numb. I was nervous but SO excited. Our little tater was coming out 2.5 weeks early~ ! Today was the day.
I was having a normal conversation with Greg and Magen (midwife) while they were cutting me open. SO WILD. I could feel a little pressure, but absolutely no pain at all. The anesthesiologist (who I should also mention was super lovely… kind and empathetic of the fact that the spinal really made me nervous) was standing up near my head as well and at one point said – we’re about 3 minutes in, baby should be coming out very soon!… and he was right. What felt like seconds later the doctor held up a perfect little baby boy over the sheet and said – ”please introduce us… what is his name”!?
They took him away briefly to do all the vitals and measurements they need to do, and he cried really quickly which the midwife told me sometimes doesn’t always happen in a C section (but was a great sign!). Everything was looking good, and we had a beautiful little baby boy.
When they were almost done stitching me up, they took Greg back out into the recovery OR room (where we started) and brought Bowen out to be with him to do some skin to skin. Once I was all done, they brought me out, too. This is where things get a little foggy for me. I do remember most of the things that happened, but Greg had to remind me. I couldn’t really recall what happened when we were in that room. It was during this time that we sent some pics to our immediate families. They knew what was happening and that baby was coming that day, but we hadn’t updated them as to when the surgery was happening exactly – so we could just send them a pic and tell them his/her name! ♡
While we were sitting in the recovery room I started to get some feeling back in my legs which was the craziest feeling. They had me all hopped up on pain meds which is why I felt so out of it I’m sure. Greg remarked at some point that they were giving me ‘the good stuff’ (ie: morphine). They eventually wheeled us into a private room where we would stay the next two nights. With a C section I guess the typically minimum is 48hours just to ensure you’re on the road to recovery and healing okay.
Once we got in there, I do remember feeling super tired and out of it. Greg told me there was a period of 1-2 hours where the nurse would come in and ask me a question and I could barely put words together to answer her. I vaguely remember this, but I just remember being SO insanely tired and feeling super groggy and weird. Not my favourite feeling. I did get to breast feed the little man a few times, but at that point I didn’t have much colostrum even, since I didn’t labour at all so my body hadn’t really started making much just yet. Plus, we did learn that Bowen has a tongue tie, too.. which can make nursing super painful and hard for him to get a good latch.
When babies are on the smaller side, the nurse will check their blood sugar for the first 24-36 hours to make sure it looks good. I’m not sure of the threshold, but Raeleigh was 6lbs3oz and they did it for her too. Bowens was okay at first, but then it started to go down, so the paediatrician on call decided he wanted him in the nicu just to get the levels up. The dr said we could likely still go home the next day, assuming he could get his blood sugars up.
Okay, we thought – not ideal, but not so bad! I wasn’t going to be discharged until the following day anyway, so we would just visit him in the nicu. A few hours later, I went to hold him in the nicu, and while we were snuggling, his lips turned blue, followed by the rest of his face.
It. Was. AWFUL.
Bowen’s NICU story coming in party 2 🙂 Stay tuned!