Thank you all so much for your good wishes. I’ve been meaning to post for the last few days, but it’s amazing how the day just seems to disappear between nursing a newborn, trying to pay attention to Stella, popping motrin, and trying to nap.
I am so glad that we postponed the C-section and that my doctor was able to perform the surgery. She’s so good and I was so relieved to have her there. She’s seen me through so much worry and crisis, and it just felt right to have her deliver our little Zoe.
I was very nervous Wednesday morning. I don’t like the idea of spinal anesthesia, and really, the thought of being sliced open made me feel a little sick. And then there were the parenting worries: what would we do with two kids? What had we been thinking? How would Stella react? How would we handle it all? Most people probably consider these questions prior to getting pregnant again, or at least earlier than, say, the day of delivery, but I’d spent all my time and energy worrying about the pregnancy itself. I had a sudden moment of panic, realizing that we were having another child and that it was happening TODAY!
We were scheduled to have the surgery at 4 pm, but my doctor called a little after noon and asked if we could do it at 2 instead. We called my mom, and she came over to be with Stella, then we headed off to the hospital, where we had the fastest non-emergency C-section prep I can imagine. At 2, I walked into the operating room. I actually walked! What a change from last time. Everything, in fact, was so different from last time. There was no vomiting, no dizziness, no whisking my baby away, no team from neonatology waiting in the wings. Zoe cried as soon as she was out of me, which, of course, made me cry. Who knows how many times I said, “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Oh my God, I can’t believe it.” I was incapable of anything else.
I was able to touch Zoe right away, then D went with her to the nursery for tests (and Stella and my mom were waiting to see her on the way). I was able to nurse her in the recovery room, and she latched on right away. It all felt so fabulously normal at the same time it felt absolutely abnormal to us.
When we were settled in our postpartum room, Stella came in and held Zoe for a half hour and kept saying, in the same high voice she uses to talk to her baby dolls, “Oh, isn’t she cutie.”
Stella stayed with my mom, so D and I were both able to stay at the hospital. To have her in the room with us, to hold her and nurse her—I can’t tell you how amazing this was for us, how grateful we felt. And how utterly relieved I felt that I was no longer pregnant. At the same time, I felt (and feel) incredibly sad that Stella didn’t get this, that she had to go through what she went through. It’s odd because I’ve felt sad for us, for D and me, for having to survive the NICU and Stella’s premature birth, but I haven’t thought about it in terms of what Stella missed out on until now, until I realized how different it could be.
But Stella is a tough little cookie, and I suppose she is this way partly because she had to be tough to make it. But still, to have been able to hold her and take her home right away—that’s how it should be for all babies, no? Again, I think of all of you who ended up with two preemies and I’m so sorry you didn’t get to experience a full-term birth.
It’s wonderful to be home. I’m a little slow with the recovery from the C-section, but I’m hoping to feel better soon. Yesterday a home care nurse came by and Zoe is doing great—she’s already gained back the weight she had lost, and yesterday she weighed 6 pounds exactly. Oddly, my blood pressure is up, higher than it was during the pregnancy. I know preeclampsia can occur after delivery, so I’m keeping an eye on it, but I’m hoping it will be lower tomorrow. (My mom borrowed a BP cuff from a friend and I’ve been ordered, by my mother, to check it every day. In this, I’m doing as she says.)
Thank you, again, for all the thoughts that you were thinking for us on Wednesday. It is such a gift to have had a birth like that and to now have a healthy baby girl. She’s just a doll. I’ll post more frequently as I settle into a rhythm with my two girls.