Our Birth Story
Before we were pregnant, married, or engaged, Shawn I had a long talk about how we envisioned our future family. We cut some "deals", decided we both wanted polite kids that would get college scholarships, and went engagement ring shopping soon after.
Three years later and after having a fantastic time "trying" I got pregnant somewhere around Thanksgiving 2014.
It was so fun and perfect to go home to Minnesota for Christmas and tell my family I was pregnant. It was also the perfect time of year to "feed the baby" and indulge in extra helpings of gingerbread cookies and cream-based anything. I felt great the entire first three months, was was working out a lot, wearing regular clothes, and eating carbs like a boss.
Cravings: pizza, donuts, waffles, wild rice (?!)
I was so excited to finally be able to tell all of our friends, although my girlfriends had known for weeks as we had gone to brunch and I politely declined a crab-infused bloody mary as I had "errands to run later". They know me too well. I wasn't as excited to tell work, as I was new to my job at NYLON magazine, and wasn't sure how all of my colleagues would react. My boss was thrilled as was everyone else. I got first pick at 'Free Bagel Friday's" and any cookies brought in for "team spirit" were placed within my arm's reach. Also there were a few times I started crying for no reason and everyone was super nice.
Cravings: avocado toast with extra salt, this French version of Nutella, green grapes
I started 'showing' more and my regular pants, dresses, and tops became less of options and I had more and more ripped zippers on dresses trying to get my new hips to fit into dresses for my old hips. This was not at all delightful. After having a few terrible weeks getting ready for work I pulled the trigger and ordered about $800 worth of clothes from the maternity section of Asos.com and still don't regret it. Tent dresses and blinged-out sandals became my uniform.
Cravings: Anything involved with tomatoes (gazpacho, pasta/pizza, salsa, bruschetta, panzanella), cheese that I probably shouldn't have been eating, this calorie-crazy banana pudding from Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Brooklyn
July 12th, 2015
The weeks leading up to delivering were a bit emotional and chaotic. Some examples: I spent a total of five days at Mount Sinai hospital with a preeclampsia scare, the baby wasn't gaining weight so we had twice-a-week doctors visits, the baby was in breech (feet first) and didn't seem to be "flipping" anytime soon. The solution for all of this was to deliver early, at thirty-six weeks, and was also the healthiest option for both myself and the baby. We scheduled a c-section for July 13th at noon, one day after my 36-week mark.
On July 12th, I woke up feeling normal and was excited to celebrate Bastille Day in Brooklyn eating merguez sausage and taking whiffs of my friend's sangria. Instead, around 9:20am, I started bleeding and having minor contractions. I wasn't that alarmed as a friend had recently gone through the same thing and had a beautiful, healthy baby. Shawn and I quickly got our things together, drove to the hospital, and learned from our doctor (who is now on our holiday card list forever) that it would be best to deliver that day and in just a few hours. Our thoughts were a mix of 'yikes' and 'yay!'.
At 2:00pm I was wheeled into the operating room, given an epidural, and listened to the ten other people in the room make sure everything was set up correctly (they checked three times to make sure the blood brought in was my blood type, and I'm still not sure if that made me feel better or more scared). My anesthesiologist was a dead ringer for a clean-cut Joaquin Phoenix, who stood over me during the surgery and I had Shawn (adorably in scrubs) on my right.
Honestly, anyone who says a c-section is pain-free is lying. No, I did not feel being cut open, but none of the pressure points are blocked by the epidural so I could definitely guess what was happening to my body during the operation, which was scary, uncomfortable, and really weird.
After about twenty-five minutes of being into surgery we heard our baby cry, which was incredible. Seconds later the pediatricians were yelling "she's perfect, she's perfect!", until they were able to bring her over and let us look at her before taking her away. I wanted to hold her and really see her, but I was just so happy she was 'out' and okay that I didn't really care about anything else.
After the delivery the next twenty four hours are a blur. My blood pressure was very high so I was put on blood pressure medication and a magnesium drip overnight. I couldn't keep my eyes open for more than a few minutes at a time and hardly remember anything that happened during that time thanks to the effects of the magnesium. I obviously don't recommend this although it was necessary to keep me from getting a seizure (!).
The medication/magnesium worked to lower my blood pressure and I was finally able to hold Juliette the day after she was born in the afternoon. Shawn was able to see her a few times while I was recovering from surgery, and was an old pro at how to hold and feed her and had already made friends with all of the nurses in the NICU (Newborn Intenstive Care Unit) where Juliette was being monitored because of her low birth weight. Honestly, the first time meeting her I was so awestruck, and it didn't really hit me that little Juliette was mine and a little piece of Shawn and I until getting to meet her the second time. It was the most wonderful feeling and there were lots of happy-tears.
Juliette was very healthy, happy, and (according to me) the darling of the Mount Sinai NICU for one week. She gained weight quickly, (she was born at 3lbs, 11ounces) which meant we were able to bring her home.
The day we got to wake up in our beloved Brooklyn co-op next to our little daughter was one we'll never forget, and we feel so lucky and excited to be her parents. She's an amazing little girl and I can't believe I get to be with her every day until she goes to college on a scholarship :)
P.S. Apologies I have been absurdly absent from blog updates, I've been a bit busy and am ready to post some mom and non-mom posts soon.
|Leaving the hospital securely in style...|