Sweet little Cohen. His due date was September 23rd, but he didn't really care about that. My doctor was fine with me attempting a VBAC, so we were hoping for that (a natural childbirth). But given the emergency c-section nature that Caedmon entered the world in, we had set up some parameters that we felt comfortable with, and weren't willing to risk anything serious in the name of natural childbirth (as badly as I did want to experience that). I'd had my membranes swept a couple of times, and although contractions did begin, they weren't necessarily strong enough to kickstart labor. I had even called my mom and given her the ok to travel up to Kentucky from Alabama because the contractions were so regular, I thought surely they would increase in intensity. Nick and I even went into the hospital on Saturday the 24th. The lady who checked us into the L&D unit said "oh, you're past your due date; they won't send you home!" Oh yes they will and yes they did. The contractions just weren't strong enough to be making much of a difference. Inducing with Pitocin poses some risk of ovarian rupture for a VBAC, and my situation just wasn't favorable for that at that point. So, they sent us home.
My doctor called me later that afternoon and asked if I wanted to go ahead and schedule a C-section, or keep waiting. She'd had an opening come available, and we honestly were hoping little Bug would come sooner rather than later. (For reasons any 9 month pregnant lady would tell you, but also because my Dad had just undergone major surgery, removing a cancerous tumor, and was at home on the mend by himself while my mom was up here with us waiting for baby.) So the timing was tricky, but I felt in my heart that this baby just was not going to come on his own & did not want to risk undergoing anything similar to Cade's birth. So we scheduled the C-section for 1pm the following Tuesday, September 27th.
If you're scheduling a birth (which I did not love doing - just because it's so counter to nature), you might as well make the most of it, right? Whatever the cut-off time was for me to be able to eat, I set an alarm (2 or 3am I want to say?), and Nick and I got up and drove to IHOP and brought a very large breakfast home. I ate some of it, regretted it, and then went back to bed. I showered that morning, fixed my hair and makeup so as to look as camera-ready as possible (ha), and off we went to the hospital with our bags in tow. Mama stayed home with Caedmon, and she & Nick's mom were going to switch off watching him so that the other could come see baby brother at the hospital.
While we were being checked in by the nurse, we realized that she was the same nurse we'd had for Caedmon's birth! She actually remembered us and said she had wondered how he was doing. It was a sweet moment. Then when the anesthesiologist came in, I remembered him and knew that he was also the same one we'd had for Cade's birth! So funny. We made sure to get a picture with our team once Cohen was born. :-)
Let me just say that it was *super* weird to walk into the operating room and hop up onto the table you're about to be cut open on. Everyone is prepping all these sharp objects around you and you're just all like, "hey, I'm here, & I'm awake, & I'm watching you." The epidural was also super weird to me. Anyway, eventually, Dr. Evans came in and she scratched my belly to make sure the epidural had worked, and she said, "Sweetie, I just put claw marks on your belly and you didn't flinch so I'm gonna go ahead and start." This made me feel... as comfortable as one can feel in this situation, I suppose.
I was told that when they went to actually pull him out of me I would feel some pressure on my chest cavity. Did I ever! So weird. I actually remember screaming. And then he was out! We had asked Dr. Evans to use the clear drape so I could see him as they lifted him up. He had so much hair!! Dr. Evans held him up to the drape & said "Give him a kiss, Mama." So I did. And then they whisked him over to weigh & measure and clean him up. Of course he was crying, like most babies do. But the nurses even commented on how long he would hold his breath to inhale before he let out the long, loud wail! It was funny. (And by funny, I mean - it was something new and different at first, but the novelty certainly wore off by nightfall when we all just wanted to sleep.)
Nick got to hold him and bring him up close to me until I was all sutured up. Wonderful nurses took some great pictures for us, and then we rolled off into recovery where my mom got to come in and meet little Cohen. Since my dad couldn't be there, she called him and told him what we had named him - Cohen Michael, his middle name being named after my father. It was a sweet moment.
Then we were taken to the postpartum area and settled into our room. Nick's mom and my mom worked together to wrangle Cade and bring him so he could meet little brother. This was basically a disaster, as Cade really just wanted to crawl up under my hospital bed and mash buttons, etc. But we were all together as a family, and those are sweet and funny memories to hold onto.
|See what I mean?|
|Cade with his big brother gifts. Eye on the prize, buddy. Eye on the prize.|
Overall, we had what I would call a pretty "normal" hospital stay and birth, and I am very thankful for that. We left the hospital and headed home with our little Cohen on Friday afternoon, and began to settle in at home as a family of four.
The name Cohen means "priest," and we certainly feel that he is already living up to that name, as he ministers joy and love to us on a daily basis. He is the perfect addition to our family and we are so thankful he is with us.