Phew. It is almost surreal that I am sitting down to write the birth story of my second child, my daughter, Lucy Joy. It's still hard for me to believe that I am a mother, let alone a mother of 2! My second pregnancy has come and gone and the Hart family is now a family of 4. I know I've written many times that second pregnancies are so much different than your first. My belly grew and I knew I was pregnant but all of the sudden it is the night before my C section and it hit me, this is real! I didn't spend as much time prepping emotionally because Ford kept me quite busy but what a blessing it was to spend 9 months growing Lucy inside of me. I assumed that I wouldn't have a lot to share about her birth since it was a scheduled C section but what would a birth story be without a little bit of drama? I will probably over share and go into a lot of detail but that is for my own sake. Her birth was crazy, beautiful, emotional, and something I never want to forget so I want to write down everything (writing this 4 days after her birth).
We spent the weekend before her birth like we would any other weekend. A few chores, big Saturday morning breakfast, a birthday party, church, naps. We wanted the weekend to be as normal as possible and it was perfect. I felt so calm and relaxed and happy! Sunday April 26th my sister and Embry drove in from Dallas for the birth and stayed with us that night so my parents, brother, and his girlfriend came over for dinner and just to hang out. Ford and Embry are getting along so well these days and it is a lot of fun to watch them play. Babies are such good entertainment! Jon and I put Ford to bed together and it was the first time all weekend that I got emotional. We prayed over our big boy and plopped him into his crib, knowing the next time we saw him we would have Lucy. At 9pm Jon and I said goodnight to my sister and got in bed. Our favorite show is Food Factory on FYI so we put on an episode and shut out the lights. 2 hours later I still hadn't fallen asleep and I looked at my phone. Jon was still awake too and neither of us could fall asleep. I don't think I was nervous, just excited and couldn't shut my brain off. We had a 4am wake up call in order to get to the hospital by 5am and I don't think we got more than 1-2 hours that night. Adrenaline got us right out of bed and we were both really excited and energetic! Jon showered and I packed last minute things and we were off. No one was on the road and we jammed out to Bruno Mars and Meghan Trainor (reminding us of Ford because his favorite song is All About That Bass).
The next 2 hours were kind of slow... we checked into L&D and went straight to triage where I changed into the paper gown, got my IV, answered questions, and was hooked up to the fetal monitor. The week prior, my blood platelets were at 117 (normal is 130-over 400) but my doctor told me that we were golden with anything over 100. I wasn't worried one bit because what were the chances of such a drastic drop which is why I was absolutely shocked and devastated when the nurse came in at 7am, just 30 minutes before my surgery, and said they were 93. My happy and relaxed demeanor immediately changed and I started bawling. The nurse told me that they like to run a tight ship in surgery and we'd walk to the OR right at 7:30am so it was very overwhelming not knowing if I would be awake or asleep in just a half hour. I assumed the anestesiologist would come in and give me the prognosis but it made things a lot harder when he told us it was up to us to make the decision since my numbers weren't too far below 100. He gave us the risks and benefits of choosing a spinal (being awake) and general (asleep, what I had to be with Ford). All I really wanted was someone to tell me "This is what we are doing!" and not leave the decision up to me. We didn't have time to fervently pray about it and receive an answer (although we prayed a lot in those few minutes) and I still hadn't seen my doctor yet. The risks were low but still risks. I would hate to be the one responsible for my own life long neural damage or paralysis just because I wanted to be awake but I was devastated the thought of being put under. Jon wouldn't be with me and the recovery is a lot harder. Like I said, the nurses were adamant about walking right at 7:30am so when I finally saw my doctor at 7:20am, I was relieved. I am really close with her and knew she would guide me in the right direction and the second she saw me (I was crying pretty hard at this moment), she said "We are doing it Ruthie, you are going to be awake!". I wiped away my tears, kissed my parents, and 10 minutes later we were walking to the OR! One other thing I want to add (just so I don't forget) is that my blood sugar happened to be really low that morning so I was given an extra IV bag to boost it. Funny how I had gestational diabetes and normally my sugars were too high, yet on the day of my C section they were low. What are the odds.
It is the weirdest thing to walk back to the OR minutes before you are in surgery. Husbands aren't allowed in the OR while you receive your spinal so I was lucky that the team of nurses and doctors were so nice and kept me calm and collected while we were separated. The OR was so bright and white and sterile, very different from the romantic seeming OR on Grey's Anatomy and I immediately started shivering. I was set up on the table while I got my spinal and honestly it was not bad at all! I had been worried all along that it would be super painful but it was nothing more than a p bee sting. I was laid down and covered with heated blankets while they continued to prep the room. I know it was probably no more than 10 minutes but I kept asking when Jon was going to come in, afraid that they would forget and he would miss it! I also kept the nurses and anesthesiologist in the loop about every minute, announcing that I could still feel my toe, etc. It was such a weird sensation to lose all feeling below your chest. They did lots of trial runs, pinching me in different areas to make sure the drugs were working. Jon was called back and I remember having the biggest smile on my face! My doctor and her partner (who was my doctor with Ford and I love too!) came in and the party started. I felt at ease and so relaxed, right when they started I said "So everyone what should we talk about?". I kept my mind off of what was happening below the drapes and was shocked by how little pressure I felt. I guess I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised by how little pressure I felt. It was light tugging here and there but I didn't let my mind go there. Within minutes they said "Okay she is almost out!" and my heart was racing. Lucy girl ended up having a rather large head (like her brother) so they ran into a speed bump when they couldn't get her out of my little incision and had to press down HARD on my chest. I felt a lot of this pressure and just took deep breaths. Jon looked during this time and said it was so surreal. I cried when he said "She has so much hair!" and knew I was about to meet my daughter. I felt them pull her out of me and could hear her little gurgles. They held her over the drapes and I saw Lucy for the first time and it was in that moment that God expanded my heart and I instantly felt so much love for her. It was THAT moment I had been worried about my whole pregnancy. How could I ever love her as much as I loved Ford? And now I knew. I got a good look at her for about a minute and then they took her over to the warming bed to clean her up and weigh her. I was so overcome with emotions and couldn't stop crying tears of joy. She was a few feet away from me and I watched the whole thing. Jon was right by here and took tons of pictures. They announced her weight, 7lbs 6oz, and that she was 20.25in long with a head the size of a 10lb baby (14.5cm). Our beautiful baby girl was wrapped up and brought over to my head and we got our first pictures with her. She looked exactly like her big brother!
In addition to my C section I had to get a post umbilical hernia repaired that I got from my 1st pregnancy so we agreed that Jon would take Lucy back to the nursery to get cleaned up while I finished my surgery. My parents got to watch Jon and Lucy in the nursery and took lots of pictures for me. I kind of liked being alone while they sewed me up because my eyes were closed and I was able to rest and pray. I laugh because the whole time I felt SO good and even thought, I can probably walk right out of the OR! What a different experience than Ford's birth! Lucy Joy was born at 8:21am and by 9am I was wheeled into recovery. By this time I started to feel very sleepy and super nauseous. I was glad to have time on my own to rest and unfortunately threw up a few times. A side effect of some of the meds is itching and I felt like my body was covered in bugs, yuck. About a half hour later Jon wheeled our beautiful daughter back to me and I was able to nurse her right away. It is so crazy how quickly breastfeeding came back to me. My entire hospital stay with Ford I had to have at least 2 people help me get started and this time she latched right on. Since only 1 adult could be back there with me at a time, my parents and Jon took turns being with me before we were released to our postpartum room. The rest of the day was just wonderful. I dozed off, nursed my daughter, and got really excited to introduce her to her big brother! I still can't believe I was able to be awake while she was born, that moment I saw her for the first time is just indescribable. For the sake of this post going on and on and on, I am going to share photos and details of the rest of our stay (and most importantly big brother meeting Lucy!) in another post.