Cora Jean: A Birth Story

We're rapidly approaching Cora's 1st birthday and the day she was born is still as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday.  I love reading birth stories so I thought I would share Cora's birth story.  My birth experience was very PG so don't worry about reading anything too graphic.  This post is a little long, so feel free to skip if birth stories aren't really your thing.

Cora was breach so our options were to a) get a c-section or b) have a version (aka ECV) where they basically attempt to turn the baby around from the outside.  We opted to attempt the version since we hadn't had any complications and our doctor said we would make a great candidate for it.  We also opted to have it at 39 weeks (generally they will perform the version between 37-39 weeks).  We chose 39 weeks so Cora could 'cook' a little longer and we knew that either way we would meet the baby that day.  We scheduled the version for May 1st.

May 1st, we woke up really early to get to the hospital since the version was scheduled at 6:30am.  We drove down to the hospital and I had to take a moment (aka cry) before going in.  It is weird to wake up in the morning knowing that your life is going to change that day.... knowing that you're going to meet your child for the first time face-to-face... knowing that nothing will ever be the same.

We walked in thinking that we would be able to alert our families by noon whether the baby was there or I was in labor... Boy, were we mistaken!  We got into a room and they set me up with an IV and baby monitor.  At about 8:30, we met the anesthesia people that were on shift.  and then we waited, and waited and waited.  At about 10:30, they moved us into a delivery room.  Our nurse told us we were just waiting for the anesthesia people to be available because a couple emergency c-sections came up.  Our nurse was 35 weeks pregnant so she could sympathize that I was hungry/thirsty and snuck me a couple ice chips at that point.  And then we waited some more.
Finally, at about 3:30 the next shift anesthesia people came in to introduce themselves and set me up with an epidural for the version.  Ben had to step out and pass off our house keys to my sister, so he missed out on a lot of the epidural stuff.  I did have a moment where my blood pressure dropped and I felt a little sick, but other than that it seemed to be going fine.  Unfortunately, the epidural only worked fully on one leg and partially on the other, but I could completely feel everything in my torso.  I decided to go ahead with having the version done with no pain medication instead of trying the epidural again. Side note:  I originally wanted to try it with no pain medication, but they said they almost never do it without the epidural and would highly recommend the medication... I should have stood firm on that because the epidural was really uncomfortable for me and it didn't even work.  

At that point they start the version... aka two women putting all of their weight on my stomach trying to spin my baby around in my uterus.  NOT FUN!  The nurse said I handled it well, but Cora is just as stubborn as her mommy and decided to stay put.  Luckily Cora's heart rate was perfect and she wasn't in distress, so they were able to try turning her for a while.  Finally after 30 minutes of trying, they told me I would have to go in for a c-section.  I just remember crying like a little kid and saying "I don't wanna be cut open" when they asked me if I was okay.  Not my proudest moment.
They brought me in to the operating room and gave me a spinal.  It was such a weird feeling thinking that I could move part of my body, but I couldn't.  They started the surgery and I just laid there not knowing what to think.  I could still feel pressure on my torso, but it wasn't painful.  I kept asking where Ben was and why hadn't they brought him in yet.  He later told me they were putting our things in the recovery room and it felt like such a whirlwind for him.  He finally came in and I felt so much better since I was no longer alone.  He was there for only a minute or so and Cora was born.  She started crying/screaming the second they pulled her out of the womb.  I felt so many emotions at that moment.  I could hear my baby, but I couldn't see her.  Is she okay?  When are they going to bring her to me?  Wow, I'm a mommy!
Ben was able to go over and see her and take a couple pictures of her being cleaned off and measured... and I just laid there crying while I waited to see my daughter.  They were so quick to clean her up and get her over to see me that it was probably only a minute.  
The nurse brought her over and he said a quick prayer.  I wish I could remember what he said, but I just remember it being so touching, unexpected, and perfect.  They put her on my chest and she immediately stopped crying.  She knew I was her Mommy and she just wanted to be with me.  We hung out there for probably 15 minutes while they closed me up.  We stared at each other, she tried to nurse (the doctors said not until the recovery room), I hummed a little lullaby to her,  she tried to stick her little hands in my mouth, and we just cooed over our perfect baby.

We moved into the recovery room and I got to nurse Cora.  When she finished, Ben got to hold Cora for the first time and it was such a beautiful moment.  I loved seeing his face as he gazed down at our daughter!  He was a natural from the moment I put her in his hands.

While I was getting my spinal, Ben texted my parents saying I was going in for a c-section and my family immediately headed down to the hospital to meet the newest member of our family.  They arrived while we were in the recovery room and got to come back and see us.  We spent the rest of visiting hours passing her around letting her meet her grandparents, uncles, and aunt.  Eventually they moved us into our hospital room where Cora, Ben, and I would spend the next couple of days getting to know each other as a family of three.

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