Vivi’s birth story started Saturday night after some Chick-Fil-A. I was having pretty weird pains from Vivi moving around so much. I didn’t know how to describe it. It wasn’t contractions, she was just insanely active and it was wearing my body out and making me feel sick at the same time.
Before I was pregnant, I never really understood why people blogged their birth story. But once I found myself 7 months pregnant and not really having a clue of what to expect with labor and delivery, I was reading tons so I thought I’d share Vivi’s.
I woke up at 2 a.m. thinking my water broke. I think it was part of the dream I was dreaming and soon realized it did not. I couldn’t fall back asleep right away. I guess you could say I was sort of waiting for something to happen. I started feeling consistent contractions and started timing them and found they were consistently 5 1/2 minutes a part. The contractions were mainly in my back so it was difficult to tell if I was really in labor. I really felt very little in my stomach. The doctor said this is really common with breech babies because they are laying on different parts of my spine than if she was head down.
We decided to hang out at home till around 6 AM to make sure they kept up. Since we knew we were having a c-section, I didn’t labor as long at home as I had planned to. It was amazing how peaceful these few hours were. I took a bath and even straightened my hair. Tyler tidied up our apartment and we just kind of smiled and relaxed. I totally was not expecting this but it was so nice to start off Vivi’s “birth” day like this.
On the way to the hospital we decided we should start practicing being responsible parents so we dropped off the movie we had rented the night before at the Redbox. We figured the hospital bills for 4 days would be enough, we didn’t need a movie rental late fee, too.
When we arrived at the hospital, I wasn’t sure what to expect, if they’d want to send me home since it was so early or how long we’d be waiting. I was shocked to hear that I was still only dialated ONE measely centimeter even though my contractions were now 3 minutes apart. My first thought was how much of a wimp I must be to already feel this much pain. The nurse informed me that since Vivi’s feet were down instead of her head, my cervix was not opening up as quickly because there was so little pressure. She said trying to deliver naturally (which the doctor said was not an option since it was my first baby) would result in a crazy long labor.
Pretty soon, the doctor arrived and informed me that I’d be having a c-section within the hour! At this point, I didn’t even care that it was by way of c-section. I was just so excited to see our little girl so soon!
They prepped me for surgery and soon informed me that my plan to have my sister Natalie come in to keep me company as soon as they took Vivi and Tyler away while they stitched me back up was not going to happen. Y’all I cried a little about this. I had heard other people say the hardest part is being alone once they whisk your baby away with your husband. I just imagined laying there for 45 minutes while my new baby was in another room. Seriously, that had to feel like an eternity. I knew my sister would be the perfect person to get excited with and not feel sad to miss those first moments of Vivi’s life.
They mentioned that the anaesthetist would be with me but, let’s be honest, it’s not the same as having your best friend! When we finally met the anaesthetist, Terry, we quickly realized, I would be fine. Terry was amazing! He said I could have a playlist playing of songs I wanted. My sister luckily had a worship mix on her phone.
I really wasn’t nervous about the epidural, but this marked the start of surgery, which I was terribly nervous about. I have only had my tonsils out so I’m not exactly familiar with scalpels and narcotics and cauterizing.
During the epidural, I bowed my head and had the sweetest nurse Julia helping keep me calm. Just then a special song started playing! Months back I had told Tyler that I wanted Matt Maher’s song “Lord, I Need You” playing during my labor. The line “every hour I need you” gets me every time. So as they are drilling a huge needle into my spine, I hear these words playing. It was such an amazing sign from God that He was with me.
I laid down and quickly felt complete numbness through my legs and stomach. I have never felt anything like it before. Terry kept me calm and showed me how the medicine was working. He put something cold on the part that was numb and a part that was not to show me I wouldn’t feel anything.
Tyler and our doula, Alicia, came in with their scrubs on. I was so happy to see Tyler. He definitely keeps me calm. At one point I asked if they were close to starting and he said they’d already cut me open!
The rest of surgery became a beautiful experience listening to the music. Part of the procedure requires my hands to be down with arms wide open. This seemed like the perfect position for this worship experience. Besides worshipping the Lord for this special day, I was asking a million and one questions and trying to make jokes. I’m pretty sure they had never performed surgery on someone so chatty.
One thing that had made me sad for a c-section and a breech baby was hearing that the babies typically come out blue and not breathing. My doctor warned me that it could be a little while till I heard the first cry. I cried myself hearing this because it made me sad to picture. On the actual day though, I totally forgot this fact and don’t remember worrying or waiting for that cry when they said they were “getting her out.”
Her first cry was such a shock to me. I cried so much. It hit me like a ton of bricks! This was my first signal that Vivi was here! The first thing they shouted was about how much hair she had and that her lungs worked great. Apparently she was a loud one and did not stop crying. Maybe she just wanted momma to know she was doing good since I couldn’t see her.
Before the procedure, Terry told me at one point, when they take the uterus out to check it, that it would feel like elephants stomping on my chest. He could not have given me a more accurate expectation. Y’all this was the weirdest sensation and pain. It made me literally sick to my stomach. I got so nauseous I started throwing up and even asked about taking drugs I had originally wanted to refuse. Tyler prayed for me and reminded me that they had told me this feeling wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. I decided to tough it out and am glad I did.
It took a while for them to clean Vivi up. She passed meconium in the uterus, which is a sign she was “under stress” in the womb. I’m still not exactly sure what caused this or what this means. I’m just glad she’s alive and healthy. This actually resulted in her and Tyler staying in the room longer.
They brought Vivi over and the pain completely subsided at the sight of her. There is a verse in John that says “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” This could not have been more true! And I was so thankful for that pain just to experience it vanishing when I saw her.
They ushered Vivi, Tyler and Alicia out of the room and I laid there with so much peace and joy that I was not expecting. When they finished the procedure, they rolled me into a room where Tyler was waiting. It was so amazing to see him with Vivi. He was glowing and keeping her calm immediately.
He handed her to me and we tried to get her to nurse and she did it! This was my biggest fear with a c-section, not getting the immediate bonding time and chance to nurse. I was so thankful to have those put to rest! We got to hang out for a good 30 minutes just our little family and then we made our way to our room where our extended family got to meet her.
My dear friend Catherine Guidry was waiting when we arrived and captured Vivi’s first meeting with our family. Natalie was waiting in our room when we arrived, then Tyler went to get our family. I love every picture.
Photos by: Catherine Guidry
Top: Holding Vivi for the first time
Bottom: Receiving love and support from family