I was in early labour and had been for two days. The baby was engaged and wriggling around like a little worm. She was ready to come out. The doctors and midwives did everything they could to keep her in there for as long as possible. I went on an IV drip to stop the contractions and little squirrel's heart rate took a big dip. It was down to 89 beats per minute at one point and the doctors were getting nervous. When I heard them say C-Section, I nearly had a heart attack. This was not my plan. I was going home to eat dinner and hang out with my man and my dog and I would be back at the end of April to have a beautiful, natural delivery. Autumn's plans were different.
C-section delivery is very surreal. I mean, you always hear about the pain of labour and how it's such a raw experience. My experience of childbirth was very different. The only pain I experienced was the look on Teddy's face when they pulled Autumn out. I didn't feel a thing. Until I heard her squacks. (Which, by the way, were epic...She was not impressed with the bright lights and cool air in the OR...Can't say I blame her.)
I couldn't feel my body from my boobs down, but the tears had no problem flowing. It was really hard when they took her away. That little bundle who had lived cozily inside of me for 7 months was now out in the world and I couldn't keep her safe any more. Teddy followed her.
It's funny, I don't remember a lot of what happened after that. I think I had a sponge bath. When they wheeled me in to see her, she was already in her little incubator...which we have lovingly dubbed "the gerbil cage"...I couldn't really touch her because I was so shaky from the surgery. She looked good. 5lbs 6oz and 44cm long...She didn't look like a preemie to me.
The only give aways were the vernix on her forehead and the fuzz on her back and shoulders. She was a tiny, fuzzy little squirrel.
The first night was hard. Poor Daddy had set up shop on the floor next to me and was doing everything he could to keep me calm while trying to get a moment's rest. I could not relax. The spinal that they gave me to numb my lower half was wearing off. I was pretty sure that I was going to tear the skin off my face. Apparently an insanely itchy face is a normal side-effect. Anyway, there was going to be no sleep for anyone in that room.
We were reunited with Autumn in the early morning. She looked squished. Her little eyes were swollen and she was very red. She was breathing 26% oxygen (room air is 21% O2) and she was being fed through IV. She was really a preemie and we had never seen anything more beautiful. It's true what they say. Even when your baby is squished and red and rigged up with a million wires, they are the most amazing, beautiful thing that you have ever set eyes on.
So now we wait...The doctors say that Autumn will let us know when she is ready for the world, but every day is better than the last. It's amazing to compare yesterday's pictures to today's. She is now being fed through a feeding tube in her nose and IV is out. She's getting 30cc's of mom's milk every three hours and you can literally watch it make her healthier.
No more squished, swollen face. No more red skin. Just a tiny little squirrel who needs a little more time and TLC.
Today at 3:27am, she will be 6 days old. It's really hard to believe. I'm now home from the hospital after 5 days and it's like a part of my body is missing. I can't wait to get in there today for a snuggle and a good visit. The nurses are finally allowing her out of the gerbil cage for some cuddle time. I actually think I get more out of it than she does...She is so soft and smells so sweet.
So that's the story so far. Stay tuned. We will keep you all updated.