Birth Story! Penelope Jocelyn!

Penelope Jocelyn!

If you’d like to read my first daughter’s birth story, clickity click here!

January 12th

After 6 hours of sleep, both of our alarms went off. I was rolling out of bed within seconds. Sam joked “What, don’t you want to hear my CCR alarm?” There was no way I was going to listen to Credence Clearwater Revival on the morning of my daughter’s birth. The night before was filled with nerves and excitement. More excitement than anything.

I was not as nervous as I anticipated I would be. I was more in disbelief that we were headed to the hospital to have another baby.

It had rained the night before. Traffic was pretty heavy at 6:00am.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in at the ER counter. We were pointed to the check-in counter where a man made my identification bracelet and checked me into the computer system. We were checked in at 6:15.

We headed up to Labor and Delivery. It looked nothing like I remember from 2 years ago with Daphne’s birth. Then again, I didn’t get to walk around in there prior to birth. We checked in there at the counter. Immediately, we were taken to Room 1 where I was told to change into the hospital gown. I came back from the bathroom and the nurse hooked my tummy up to a NST heart rate monitor. Baby was doing great. The nurse was young and chipper for it being so early in the morning and the end of her shift.

The nurse needed two vials of blood for testing and wanted to start the iv line. She got the blood alright but struggled to get the IV line going. I became overwhelmingly nauseated and felt like I could faint. So, she had to pass on the IV line to the morning shift who arrived at 7:00. Even now, a week later, my arm is still blood bruised. Poor girl felt so bad she couldn’t get it going!

Donna, the day shift nurse, got my IV line in without a hitch and verbally slapped the back of my hand for eating ice chips. She started me on iv fluids. She asked if we had any names picked out. Sam and I both laughed heartily. When we told her we had about 14 names picked out, she just shook her head and smiled.

Donna then shaved my incision site and started me on a pre-surgery antibiotic. She pointed out Sam’s painter outfit that he would have to wear in the operating room. She made sure to let him know that she would come and retrieve him a few minutes after surgery would be starting.
She told us that the anesthesiologist would be in to talk to us soon. Sam and I chit chatted and joked until around 7:45 when the anesthesiologist’s assistant came in to talk to us. She asked about my history with anesthesia and gave me a rundown of their part in the surgery. I met the anesthesiologist who walked in toward the end of her schpeel. They both were very chipper and laid back. I signed a consent form and they left.

A nurse came in and introduced herself as the woman who would be taking baby’s vitals and taking care of baby after surgery. Donna continued to come in and out of the room getting things organized. She mentioned that they would put the catheter in after the spinal block. I was so relieved—that bad boy hurt last time before the spinal!

At 8:15, Dr. Martin came in. I said “Hey! It’s my date!” He was bright eyed and bushy tailed. He checked on how I was feeling and asked if we had any questions. Sam and I couldn’t think of anything. He toodled off and Donna came in and put the leg compression booties on me to keep blood flowing to my legs. Each time she went away and came back into the room, she had more gear on her or wore a different accessory to her scrub and painters outfit. The anesthesiologist’s assistant came back in and it was time to roll into the operating room.
Donna covered me with a sheet and rolled the IV tower along side me as we walked down the hall to the operating room. A few nurses smiled and complimented my hair color. I talked with the assistant about crazy hair colors.

The operating room was huge, white, and sterile. It was larger than I thought! A few nurses were bustling around the room getting things in order. The anesthesiologist was waiting.

Donna helped me up onto the operating table and gave me a pillow to hug. The anesthesiologist talked me through what he was doing. He checked my hips and felt down my spine to mark the spot. Donna held my leg for support, which I really appreciated since Sam wasn’t there. They placed a large sticky sheet on my back after cleaning the area.

He cleaned my spine and in went the needle. I felt a little bit of pressure and made sure to follow Donna’s advice about curving my back and relaxing my shoulders. I didn’t feel the lightning shoot through my leg like I felt with Daphne’s epidural. It didn’t hurt. It was just a different feeling—one you aren’t used to feeling.

After he was done, it was about 8:30. The anesthesiologist, his assistant, and Donna immediately had me lay down on the table since the epidural took effect so quickly. I laid down on the table and they put up the big blue sheet. They ran some blood pressure tests and strapped my arms out to the side of me. I felt queasy and like I would throw up. I told them so and they were very attentive about getting me oxygen, a throw up container, and adjusting the meds in my epidural line. I soon felt much better.

I heard Sam laughing and was relieved to hear him coming into the OR. He came up to the head of the operating table and sat down to encourage me.

After the catheter was in place, surgery began. I felt a significant amount of tugging, pushing, and pressure. I didn’t remember that much with Daphne’s c-section. I was thankful that the anesthesiologist was keeping a close eye on me. He watched me when I grimaced and asked me how I was doing all through it.

A few minutes later, the doctor announced “Almost ready to deliver! Just a few more minutes!”

Sam and I gave each other a smile and chatted excitedly. I felt a bit of pressure and someone pushing on my tummy. Then I heard it…her crying! Out at 8:48am.

She cried for a few seconds and Sam peeked over the curtain. Dr. Martin raised her up so I could see her. Perfect. Covered in a light layer of white. I heard a few people exclaim “Beautiful baby!” and “She’s very pretty!” I said “I’m sure you say that to everyone!” One of the nurses said “If the baby isn’t cute, we just say congratulations!” We all got a good laugh out of that.

The nurse took her to be weighed and cleaned slightly. Sam followed and took pictures. Dr. Martin began to sew me back up.

I had to avert my eyes because I could see red reflecting off of the ceiling mount of the spotlights. I didn’t want to see any of the surgery and get sick!

The anesthesiologist’s assistant stayed by my side and talked to me when Sam and the baby left for the recovery room. I was done being stitched up and the nurses gave my tummy a massage. I was wheeled into recovery where I was greeted by Sam holding and rocking little baby. She was 8lbs 3oz (just like Daphne was when she was born at 42 weeks) and 21 inches long. All the nurses ooh-ed and ahh-ed at her.

From around 9:30 when I arrived in recovery until 6:30pm, I was dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseated. I threw up at least 7 times throughout the day. Sitting up in bed caused this as well as eating ice chips or drinking saltines. Little one was eager to nurse and I nursed her all through the day. The initial pain of breastfeeding didn’t last and it wasn’t bad. It was as if I had picked up breastfeeding right where I left off with Daphne. My nurse was hesitant to take the catheter out and get me up and walking since the whole day was spent with me going between laying flat in bed, propped up and dizzy, and throwing up.

My catheter came out 9 hrs after surgery and Sam and my nurse had me up and walking around 6:30pm. I felt better after getting up to go to the bathroom and walking around the room. I tried walking down the hall but only made it about 30 feet before having to turn around to my room.

Sam went back to the house to pick up Daphne and his parents. Daphne was eager to hug and kiss baby. She watched her eagerly. She was entranced. And then she was happy to run around the room. Ha!

We were released 48 hours after surgery. My recovery was rough. I had severe abdominal pain from constipation, gas, and lack of food. After picking up more snacks and meals, I felt better.

With this repeat c-section, I’ve noticed my healing to be faster and my pain levels to be less. I have not had trouble standing straight and elongating my stomach muscles. I suppose that’s because I didn’t go through labor this time around like I did with my first. I still feel the same pinching throb behind my incision that I did with my first c-section, only this time the pain is on the left side instead of my right. Doctor used glue to close me up as he did with my first. Overall, this birth has been very good and I’m healing well!

Back and forth Sam and I battled with names. I had my mind set on Archer all through the pregnancy. When we finally met her and got to spend time with her, Archer didn’t fit. I did have my heart set on Fiona, however. Sam really liked Penelope and he had a hard time convincing me to like it. After a day and a half, we had settled on the name Scarlette Anneliese. After announcing it to Sam’s parents, I felt it didn’t fit her. Sam was hesitant. We re-evaluated and we both agreed that she was a Penny—Penelope!

Welcome to the world, little love!

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