Introducing our newest little family member, Woodrow “Row” Davis Hutchins. Woodrow is Hutch’s grandfather’s name and Davis is my Mom’s maiden name. I love old-fashioned names with meaning (if you couldn’t tell by now). We are just smitten with this little guy and adjusting to being a family of ‘4’.

My how this ‘birth story’ is night-and-day from my last. And for precisely that reason–it did not go well and we were trying to avoid a ‘repeat’ at all costs. This time, I went in for a very calm and scheduled c-section at 5am on March 22, 2016.
I sort of didn’t know all of what to expect out of a scheduled c-section (or a c-section at all for that matter), so if you’re interested, please read along! I’d love to explain a bit of how it works. At 5am we checked in, went to triage and got hooked up to see how the baby was doing. All looked good, I was given an IV and told my doctor would come see me before we move to the next stage. My doctor came in, gave me the run-down of what would happen next (including a spinal block and where I’d be recovering) and told Hutch where he would be in all of this as well.

Next we moved to the area where I’d recover as well as sit and wait for the surgery. Once there, my anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal block process both before, during and post-op. All of a sudden, it was time to ‘go’! At this point, I separated from Hutch and went in to the operating room alone. I was literally getting ON the table, about to get my spinal block when my doctors (I had 2 during surgery) bolted in to say to ‘WAIT’—there was a 26-week-old being delivered at that very second and they needed to pull me. My heart immediately sunk for 2 reasons–1. I was SO ready and 2. it made me think of Mason (my SIL’s baby who was just delivered at 26-weeks). As eager as I was, I was more than “ok” with them tending to her first.

I was scooted back out to Hutch, who was suited up in his surgery gear and obviously now very confused as to why I was back out sans baby. I explained what happened and we texted family to let them know that there would be a delay–how long? We had no clue. No less than 10 minutes later, my doctors were back and said we were ready…all I could think about was that scared mama and sweet baby. I had to quickly shift gears because I was going in for a major surgery and was back on the table within seconds.

As soon as you’re ready for your spinal, an entire team of people is surrounding you. This is because it kicks in so fast, they lay you down and get things going before you’re unable to move yourself anymore (imagine a flopping fish–at least that’s how I imagine it!). As soon as the spinal was in, a catheter is placed in you, you’re given oxygen, the dressings go up and within minutes my husband was next to me. “Here we go!”…some cutting, pushing, tugging, pulling…a few minutes in the doctors told me to take a DEEP breath because they were going to push the baby out. I guess I had never realized they still do have to push ‘down’ to get them to come out of the small incision they’ve just made below your bikini line.

In the mean time, my anesthetist was up at my left shoulder (Hutch was on my right, btw), and was asking how I was doing periodically. At some points I felt dizzy/light headed and nauseated which were all normal. The STRANGEST thing was my shoulders hurt–badly. She said it was one of the more rare side effects of the spinal and gave me some sort of medicine to help (no clue what it was).

Back to the surgery itself–the doctor popped her head over after the big ‘push’ and said she couldn’t believe she had to tell me that his head is too big and they’d have to make the incision a bit longer than usual. This came as no surprise to me (or Hutch) as my children’s big heads are precisely the REASON I was having a c-section in the first place (i.e. I still have a broken tailbone from Cal’s)….So a larger incision was made, deep breath–baby was out and SCREAMING! Praise God. They showed him to us over our curtain and my first thought was, “OMG he is HUGE!”. Much larger than Cal, I thought. They did the usual, wipe him down weigh him etc–Hutch got to go over and help with that (still behind the curtain) as they got me ‘back together’.

Sure enough, Row was 8lb 3oz and 21 inches of sweetness. How in the world did I have an 8lb baby in me is beyond me…but sure explains my discomfort level! (In comparison, Cal was 7lb 11oz and 20 inches).

After being sewn back up, cleaned off etc…I was wheeled back to recovery where we had originally been waiting. I was given compression socks that fill up over and over again for hours on end (to prevent blood clots), oxygen and warming blankets to bring my temperature back up. Row was placed on my chest within minutes and we began our skin-to-skin and breastfeeding journey together (which he is doing GREAT with!). We had to sit there until I could begin moving my legs and I was STARVING (I hadn’t eaten anything since 7pm the night before). I think we finally got out of there around 11am (not sure on that), and in to our post-partum room for the rest of the week. I was then only allowed a liquid diet so I gorged on chicken broth and lemon Italian ice for my meal. I was a bit nauseated but never threw up.

As the day wound down (like 11pm wound down), my compression socks were removed (yay!), and it was time to ‘sleep’–whatever that means with a newborn in a hospital. They come in and check your vitals and catheter what seems to be every hour. The next day, my catheter was removed and I was free to move about the cabin. I got up, showered, began using the toilet (woohoo!) and really thought the pain wasn’t that bad as long as I kept up with my pain meds.

We were discharged 3 days later on Good Friday and came home. I am 1 week post-op today and feeling GREAT. This was truly a breeze compared to my last birth experience. I am up walking around, doing a lot of ‘normal’ stuff, showering etc. It just hurts to laugh really hard and cough–oh the coughing. Ouch. The other hardest part is not being able to lift Cal, and him not understanding ‘why’ in any way–hurts my mama heart.

All in all, a c-section was the ‘right’ choice for me and I have had a GREAT recovery! The only ‘set back’ is that I developed a severe allergic reaction where any tape/glue was used during surgery–apparently I’m the only weirdo that is somehow allergic to that! So I have a very nasty rash and am on steroids among many other things–but it’s really not that bad. I know I couldn’t get away with a ‘perfect’ recovery :).

We have spent the last week loving on Baby Row and learning who he is. The sleepless nights are back (forgot how tough those are) but I am enjoying him WAY more than I did the first time since I am feeling so great. Hutch and I are really on the divide and conquer approach–he tends to Cal (and me!) and I tend to Row. I’ll look forward to feeling even better soon and getting back to all ‘4 of us’ being together! Right now my 19-month toddler is a bit too aggressive around me to play just yet!

Cheyenne, of The Schultzes, was not allowed to shoot the birth this time (literal knife to the chest…so sad) since it was in the OR. But, she graciously came and took some hospital pictures for us and I am so so glad she did. Here are just a few of our favorites :). Enjoy!