On Tuesday, July 19th (my husband’s birthday), we welcomed our second son into this world. He was born via C-section at 9:47AM, weighing 11 pounds 2 ounces and 22 inches long. Unlike my first son’s birth, this birth was a lot less dramatic.
I arrived at the hospital at 7:30AM and was taken back to my hospital room. After filling out some forms, I was quickly hooked up to an IV where I was given two bags of fluid. The nurse took some preliminary bloodwork and I was hooked up to a non-stress test to monitor the baby’s heartbeat while we waited.
I was extremely nervous but excited. While I was waiting, I started to have contractions! I never had contractions with my first pregnancy, not even Braxton-Hicks contractions so that was very exciting. In the course of an hour, I think I had at least 11 contractions. The nurse was quick to point out that they weren’t active labor contractions but I still took it as a good sign that maybe my baby was ready to meet the world.
While I was being poked and prodded, I was visited by a number of people. Someone came to get a $500 payment right off the bat. I thought this was pretty crazy because I was assuming they would have gone through my insurance first but I guess they really wanted their money. My OB came to visit and see how things were going. The anesthesiologist stopped by to explain things where I warned her that I was not going to be a very fun patient because the spinal block really freaked me out. And my nurse also came by really frequently.
Finally, it was time to head back to the OR. Despite my husband’s pleading with everyone we encountered, they wouldn’t let him go back with me at first. I’m not sure if he was more nervous or if I was. With my first C-section, I had a horrible experience with the spinal block. The nurse kept telling me not to move but I was so squeamish that I couldn’t stay still. It wasn’t until a nurse finally came in and asked me about my dog that I was distracted enough to calm down so the anesthesiologist could do her job. I warned everyone in the OR this time around that I was going to need help, hoping to avoid a traumatic experience like the first. However, no one really heeded my warning and I was back in the same boat. Instead of telling me not to move, my nurse was telling me to arch my back, put my shoulders down and put my head down. There were at least 10 people in the room all observing my freak out. Luckily, my OB was there and she held my hand and tried to calm me down but it wasn’t until the anesthesiologist started to ask me questions that I was able to relax enough for her to do her job.
All the stress and anxiety built up so much that I was a mess. Every little thing freaked me out in the OR room. I ended up throwing up multiple times while I was lying there waiting to be cut open. They also hooked me up to a blood pressure machine where my BP climbed high. I had amazing BP the entire pregnancy so this was somewhat alarming to me. The doctors didn’t seem concerned though so I guess that was good.
Finally, it was time to operate. They grabbed my husband where I filled him in on how much I was freaking out and he held my hand while they started. I felt a lot of pokes and I kept telling the doctors that I could feel some things but again, they weren’t concerned.
The next thing I knew, they were handing me my son! It was a pretty cool experience because they let me do skin to skin the second he came out of me, versus having to wait several minutes to have him weighed and checked out and all. He was completely covered in vernix so it was a pretty gross, amazing experience. I held him for about 45 seconds before they needed to take him to do all the fun stuff.
He came out perfect! His APGAR score was 9 and 9. Considering how unlikely it is to get a perfect 10, this was as close as I was going to get. They finished stitching me up then my husband, son and I all went back to my room for some more skin to skin action. I think I was back in my room by about 10:30AM.
Despite my freak out in the OR, things went pretty well. My blood sugars did AMAZING. I honestly have never had blood sugars as perfect as I had that day. I had done some trial runs of basal testing prior to the due date since I knew I would be going from midnight until at least 10AM without eating. I made a few adjustments during these tests but when the day arrived, I still felt like I had a little room for improvement. I was really worried about going low so the morning of the surgery, I ended up using a few temp basals if I noticed I was starting to drop a little low. This worked out perfectly for me.
I couldn’t eat anything the rest of the day but somehow, my blood sugars still stayed perfect. By the evening I was able to drink a little bit of water. With my first son’s birth, I had a ton of issues after the surgery. I was dying of thirst but couldn’t drink; I was nauseous and threw up several times throughout the first 36 hours; my face itched like crazy and I had really bad shoulder pain. This time around, I didn’t have any of those crazy side effects. In fact, I was up and moving around and eating solid foods by the next day! With my first pregnancy, I couldn’t eat for several days and anytime I attempted to walk around, I would get faint or nauseous. The recovery was much better this time around. I was eating Subway by the next day!
My son did pretty well too. We dealt with low blood sugars the first 12 hours or so but then was fine. The day we were set to leave the hospital, his jaundice levels were a little high and he had lost more than 10% of his body weight so the hospital pediatrician wanted to keep him one more night. Luckily, I was able to feed him more and he gained a little more weight so we were allowed to leave as long as we followed up the next day with our pediatrician.
Overall, it was a much better experience the second time around. The recovery was better, the hospital was better (no switching rooms like I did the first time around, the rooms were really big, and I had a dedicated nurse for 12 hour shifts). I was able to keep my insulin pump and CGM on the entire time and monitor my blood sugars myself. In fact, I had the best blood sugars of my life while I was in the hospital. And I have an adorable baby boy to snuggle!