We were overwhelmed and ecstatic Tuesday to welcome our daughter into the world. She arrived four days before her offical due date via a cesarean section. The baby had flipped to the breech position at 38 weeks and this was the only way she was coming out. So our weeks and weeks of natural childbirth classes and preparation were not put to use (Heff asked if we got our money and our Tuesday nights back:) but the end result was a healthy, happy baby and we feel so blessed to have our beautiful baby girl safe in our arms.
Monday we saw Dr. Nicole Hong, our OB/GYN who had been on vacation the previous week when we determined this baby was breech. She did an ultrasound and found the baby's head wedged up under my rib cage and all the way on my right side. She thought the chances of a flip at almost 40 weeks were close to zero and the manual version wasn't likely to work either, but she said she was willing to give it a try. We made a decision to at least attempt the external version and Dr. Hong said she'd go call the hospital to schedule it for Friday September 21. We were excited to have "a plan" and would be happy with a successful version and induced labor or a c-section if the flip didn't work... we just wanted a healthy mom and baby. When Dr. Hong came back to the room she said the hospital was totally booked Friday, but they had an opening tomorrow (Tuesday) if we were ready to go for it. Of course we were! She scheduled us for 11am Tuesday Sept 18.
Heff and I went to lunch together, called our moms to tell them the news and then went to Lucile Children's Hospital at Stanford for an anesthesia consult.
So Tuesday... we prepared for a trip to the hospital but knew there was a chance we'd get "bumped" off the schedule if Labor & Delivery got too busy. I couldn't eat or drnk anything after Monday night and of course could barely sleep I was so excited at the prospect of a baby coming so soon. Our day unfolded about like this...
5:00am ~ Wide awake! Wondering what the day will bring, trying not to get my hopes up but hoping for a baby! Heff and I finished packing the hospital bags, baby bags, camera bags, computer bags (who'd have guessed there was NO wireless internet to be found at Stanford Hospital though!) and getting the house ready.
8:30am ~ Called Labor & Delivery to see if we could come in at 11am as scheduled, we were disappointed, but not surprised to hear they were backed up and to call back at 11:00 to check. Heff and I tried to kill 2+ hours without eating as an option :) We tried to play a game of Super Scrabble but after a score of 32-40 in three turns (pathetic) we agreed we were way too distracted to stay at home. We ran some errands: cash at the bank, stamps at the post office, and lit a few candles at Nativity Church. Amazed we had only killed 45 minutes after all this I sent Heff in to get a sandwhich without me even though he was trying to bear the hunger pains with me.
10:56am ~ Impatient Mary calls L&D... Still backed up, call back at 1:00.
1:02pm ~ Superstitious Mary (thinking waiting a few extra minutes will change their answer) calls L&D. "Oh yes, Heffernan, let me check again." (LONG pause) "COME ON IN!" We load everything up and pack ourselves into the car, knowing that just maybe, the next time we come home we'll have a baby in our arms!
1:40pm ~ Check in at Labor & Delivery (the hospital is only a few minutes away from our house but we had to deal with parking, admissions, etc). Dr. Hong was calling the nurses desk as we checked in, they got us right into a pre-op room and started admissions papers. They put me in a hospital gown and started monitoring the baby, everything looked good. We met the anesthesiologists and they went over what they were going to do for the "ECV" (External Cephalic Version) and then the next steps should we need a C-section. There was another OB, Dr. Swensen, to help with the procedure too. Everyone was great and taking such good care of us from the start.
Claire made the drive down from Red Bluff in the morning to my parents house and they all came over to the hospital and found a "lovely waiting area" (as Janet described it, the nurses were laughing at her) right outside L&D. James and Emily came down from the city and Aunt Kat came over right after letting her Room 1 Kindergartners out at 2pm. Our moms were peaking their heads in the pre-op room and anxiously awaiting updates from Heff.
3:00pm ~ Attempting the ECV. We had a team of doctors to attempt the version. I had an epidural already put in with light anesthetic and everyone got in place around the bed and the ultrasound machine to monitor the position of the baby and everything. They gave me a shot in the arm of Terbutaline to relax the muscles (but made my heart race and kind of gave me the shakes) and then dr Swensen tried to "lift" the baby up out of the pelvis and Dr Hong tried to push her head/shoulders around. It was pretty brutal and Heff did not like watching this part. They tried twice and it was pretty clear the baby wasn't moving so Heff put on a pair of scrubs for surgery.
4:06pm ~ I remember seeing the time on the clock when they wheeled me into the operating room. It was all happening so quickly... as the last c-section of the day we had lots of extra hands in the room (4 anestheologists!) They gave me more meds until I couldn't feel the pain sensations in my legs or abdomen, then they put up the sheet and went to work. I could feel what they were doing but it didn't hurt. Heff and I were so excited and kind of scared, we kept talking to each other about what the baby was going to look like and if it was going to be a boy or a girl. I was still SURE it would be a boy and Heff said he thought girl. It was strange and not very comfortable to be so out of it, but Heff kept me feeling ok through the whole thing. All of the sudden we hear "we have a foot.. we have another foot!" and then "we have a bottom!" We were just waiting to hear boy or girl!! Then Dr. Hong said "I know SweetPea, you don't want to come out from under there..." and then all of the sudden the baby was out and..."IT'S A GIRL!!" I was in shock and actually said "A GIRL???" Of course I was thrilled and from the minute I saw her couldn't imagine anything else, but I was in shock she was a SHE!! They cleaned her up and Heff was telling me how perfect she was... they brought her over all wrapped up and we got to finally meet our beautiful daughter.
Heff and one of the nurses took her from the operating room downstairs to Maternity to get cleaned up and checked out in the Well Baby Nursery. He passed by Jan, John, Claire, Kat, James and Em in the hallway (I'm sure most of you have read Janet's email play-by-play for her version of hearing "It's a girl!") and got to briefly introduce his daughter, Mary Frances.