Thursday, May 23, 2019

Claire Matilda Poulsen - February 27th, 2019

With a due date of March 6th, I was allowed to schedule my c-section up to a week early. Three guesses when I scheduled it! I'll take all the breaks I can get, so February 27th (39 weeks) was the date.

{Fun fact: my due date was originally March 6th, but after the first ultrasound at 7 weeks my doctor said she thought it was a week later, so she moved it to March 13th. Then, at what I thought was my 20 week appt when I had the big ultrasound, the tech said that I was measuring right on schedule at 21 weeks, and I was confused until I realized my doctor probably never changed the due date in the computer. When I asked her about it she said yup that's probably what happened but that the baby looked fine as is and we could keep the due date at March 6th. I was walking on air! A whole week cut off!}

Our last picture as a family of 5!
We were supposed to arrive at the hospital at 9am for the 11am c-section, which was perfect timing because we didn't have to wait all day in anxious anticipation for a later surgery, but we still got to drop the kids off at school and give them one last normal morning. We checked in to the hospital, met our nurse Linda, and then began all the poking, prodding, prep work that precedes a c-section. I was feeling more and more anxious and actually pretty scared the closer we got to the c-section...I didn't have any sort of traumatic experience last time but I wouldn't say that it was *fun*, so by the time I had walked into the operating room and was sitting on the table surrounded by all the sterile equipment and what felt like ten nurses swirling around I was feeling almost panicked. I didn't want to have to deal with the anesthesia in my back, I was nervous that I would throw up or pass out or have something unpleasant happen, and I actually remember thinking that I would rather just stay pregnant than go through what was happening next.

But, go through it I did, and everything was fine. After I was sufficiently numb and the blue paper screen went up over my chest covering the surgery from our eyes, Austin leaned over and said that he was finally feeling super nervous, because once the actual procedure begins the baby is out in like five minutes. It was so surreal laying there knowing that we were about to meet the baby who had just come out of my stomach. I could feel pushing and pulling and lots of pressure, but no pain, and I just lay there blinking and waiting to hear those first sweet cries, my heart beating right out of my chest.

Dr. Ljunngren (it took me so long to remember how it was spelled) said that the baby was almost here, and Austin did a little squeal and squeezed my hand and I had that fleeting moment of anxiety, like "what if something is wrong!?" and then we heard strong and mad cries and knew that she was here! She made it very clear that she did not like what was happening, crying and flailing and pouting. Something new this time was that a camera had been mounted to the top of the baby station on my right, with the monitor in my line of sight to my left, so that I could look at the monitor and see what was happening as if I was standing right there and I didn't have to crane my neck to get glimpses of everything. The baby station is only a few feet away from where I was laying but with nurses all around it's difficult to see it all, so I kept turning my head from side to side to get the best view. I was so proud and relieved and calm. She was perfect, but her lungs needed a little jump start, so they measured her and cleaned her and let me be cozy with her and then they took her to the "transition room" in the NICU to give her some extra oxygen and monitoring.

 The nurse on the left is LaDonna, our favorite NICU nurse that we were so grateful for with Natalie

 I recovered next door and Austin went with Claire. I was never super nervous that there was something majorly wrong, but it still made me a little anxious not knowing exactly was going on, so once the nurses deemed me stable enough they wheeled me over (on a gurney, laying down...kind of humiliating haha) to the NICU to check in. They let me hold Claire on my chest and she even nursed a little bit, which was very sweet. Her eyes looked so suspicious of her surroundings - she seemed happy to be in my arms but didn't trust the outside world. She still has that look sometimes, and it always makes me laugh. It's amazing to see how the oxygen levels go up when the parents, especially the mom, holds or even talks to their baby. We saw that with Natalie and it was proven again with Claire. That bond is so incredible.

It was a huge tender mercy that Claire didn't have to stay in the NICU - as we learned with Natalie, once you are admitted it is really hard to get cleared to be discharged. If Claire hadn't been able to keep her oxygen levels up by herself four hours after birth she would have had to stay in the NICU, but her lungs worked themselves out and soon she was back in our room. It was sweet for Austin to have that special time with her, but I was much relieved when we were all together again. 

shifty suspicious!

Once we were settled in our room and getting to know each other, Grandma brought Natalie over to meet her new baby sister. Natalie was so excited - these pictures capture the love and wonder that Natalie felt when she held her for the first time. 

Natalie had been waiting and waiting for Claire to be born so that Claire could hold Natalie's finger - for some reason Natalie really really wanted that to happen, and it was so cute that she got her wish right away!

Somehow I have no pictures to prove it but my mom and dad also came to meet Claire while Austin went home to put the kids to bed. It was really nice to have company - I wasn't ready to be alone yet! Once Austin got home they left to spend the night at our house and get the kids to school the next morning, and we got moved to a bigger room with the queen size bed, our favorite perk of this hospital.

It was a peaceful, smooth day, although of course we were very ready to get some sleep. It was so nice to know that our kids were taken care of (grandparents switched off babysitting) and that sweet Claire was here finally, safe and sound.

1 comment:

  1. Happy happy happy. Hugs and squishes to your sweet Claire! And to the rest of you wonderful people too, minus the squishes. :)