09/12/2017

Savannah’s Birth Story

If you missed my birth announcement for Savannah, click here!

Our c-section was scheduled for 1:30 on Friday, September 1. My actual due date was August 30, but when we started discussing dates for delivery, we chose the first since it was the Friday before Labor Day weekend and would be best for our family’s schedule. My mom didn’t need to take off any work days to watch Jack, and Tim would have a lighter week after the holiday and could be off with us following the delivery. We set the date and crossed our fingers that she would stay put until then, and when we made it to that Friday we woke up prepared and with a sigh of relief that the day had finally arrived. I was very nervous and antsy for the surgery to come, but in the same breath I couldn’t wait to meet my little girl. It is very hard to explain the moments leading up to a planned c-section. You hate the idea of having surgery, but you also can’t wait to have your baby. I’ve never experienced such a feeling before as there wasn’t much time to think before my delivery of Jack.

Savannah's Birth Story

Tim and I were at the hospital around 11:00am and made our way into the pre-op room. From there I changed into my hospital gown and was hooked to a monitor that measured both my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. Jack’s heart rate would drop and be concerning, but this time her heart rate looked great. It also showed that I was having contractions, but it couldn’t measure the intensity. I wasn’t feeling anything when the contraction would show, so I am guessing they were very light and not aiding in progress.

I was happy to hear that everything looked great, and while I was monitored I filled out paperwork and chatted with our nurse and Tim. It was in the pre-op room that we were still deciding what to name her! Since we couldn’t pick just one name, we chose to take the decision out of our hands by leaving it to chance. If she weighed less than 7 lb. 5 oz. then her name would be Ella, if she weighed over 7 lb. 5 oz. it was Savannah, and if she had dark hair her name would be Audrey.

Savannah's Birth Story

From the pre-op room we headed into the operating room, and this was when the nerves really started. Tim had to wait in a separate room until the spinal block was properly administered. My spinal block didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, mostly due to not having much separation between vertebrae in my spine. One time it would be too far to my right, and the next too far to my left. It was quite painful and I was doing my best to relax, but that’s not always easy to do in an OR. After about 10 minutes it finally was in as good as it could be, and Tim joined me while the doctors started the process. I actually could feel a lot of the c-section – much more than my first one – but after about ten minutes and one giant, painful push on my abdomen, I could hear the most beautiful sound. A cry.

Savannah's Birth Story

Our baby girl arrived measuring 20.5 inches and weighed in at a good sized 8 lb. 1 oz. – with a head full of dark hair! The first name that immediately jumped into my mind when I saw her was Savannah, so I told Tim that was her name. He said later that he was surprised since our ‘rule’ for dark hair was Audrey. Tim was a Savannah fan from the start though, so I know he was thrilled with our choice. And frankly, it just felt right in my heart when I saw her. She is 100% a Savannah! We chose James as her middle name because it is Tim’s middle name. It was my idea and I thought it would be such a special bond she could always share with her daddy, and him with her.

I was able to cuddle her on my chest after she was cleaned up a bit and Tim cut the umbilical cord. I have never delivered vaginally so it’s hard for me to compare, but in my opinion my c-section delivery was beautiful as well. I still got to do immediate skin-to-skin, and I was able to experience her delivery and first cry holding my husband’s hand. Unbelievable, thankful, and surreal don’t even begin to describe it.

Another fifteen minutes were spent completing the surgery, and then we were both wheeled into the recovery room where I immediately began the challenge of re-learning to nurse another infant. It almost always takes time for both mom and baby to find their rhythm, but I was impressed that she knew had a great latch from the start. Newborns are incredible with how much they intuitively know. I saw this with Jack as well, but it just amazes me every time!

Savannah's Birth Story

My mom visited first, followed by Tim’s mom and then his dad. My dad brought Jack later once we were in our post-delivery room and this is where Jack met his baby sister Savannah for the first time – a moment I will never forget. Jack’s interest in Savannah sort of comes in waves. One minute he wants to help with her and let us know that she’s crying (he does not like her to be sad at all!), and the next he just wants to play and pretend that she isn’t there. The first week has been challenging trying to help our toddler adjust, but each day has gotten a little better and we are hopeful that we’ll all find our rhythm shortly.

The next few days were spent with family stopping in-and-out throughout the weekend, and getting all of both mine and Savannah’s checks completed. I also did a ton of skin-to-skin with my girl, napped when I could, and continued to work on breastfeeding and finding what routine works best for us.

Savannah's Birth Story

We actually stayed in the hospital until Monday, and being a second-time mom, if I have any advice for new parents it’s to accept help and to not rush the stay! Everyone feels differently, but I personally really enjoy those first days in the hospital. It’s as if time stands still and we are able to really enjoy our newborn fully. It’s so important to rest and practice self-care during those first days too, and I know that if I am home it is much harder to not find something to do or worry about. Of course this can be hard for those with older children, but if you have somewhere safe for them to stay and people who are able to help for a few days, then I highly encourage you to take advantage of the option to delay leaving and soak in as much bonding time as you can before returning back to the real world.Savannah's Birth StoryThe next thing I suggest is to accept the nurse and hospital staff help. With Jack, we only sent him to the nursery at night once, because we thought we needed to have the whole parenting thing figured out before we got home. Here’s a secret: You learn quickly when you’re home since you have to. This time we sent Savannah to the nursery once a night, and the nurses brought her back to me when she was ready to eat. We usually did this after a good feed between 1:00-3:00am, and then we would get 3-5 hours of sleep before she was ready to eat again. It worked out well for us and it’s always amazing to me how a good 3-5 hour stretch of sleep with a newborn can help so much.

Savannah's Birth Story

This past week has been both incredible and challenging. The time with a newborn can feel so tiring, but I know too how short the days are when they’re this little. We are staying busy over here finding our new routine as a family of four. Thank you so much for all the congratulations and well wishes! My blogging schedule may be a little unplanned over the next month, but I will be popping in-and-out with posts throughout the next few weeks.

Comments

  1. LOVE the name Ella, but Savannah is so perfect for her. Just sounds so right! I am so glad things are going well. I think the attention to younger siblings always comes in waves, lol. Still having that with Annabelle. Glad to hear you are doing well! Enjoy this time!!
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Crisp Mornings of FallMy Profile

  2. Oh my goodness love her naming story! So funny! That will be fun to tell her one day 🙂 I’m so glad you shared this, enjoy this special time. Pretty soon you’ll all be cuddling beside the Christmas tree and it will be the most magical Christmas yet!
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Kid Friendly Turkey Meatballs + Family Cooking In The Kitchen with Little PartnersMy Profile

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