Hadley’s Birth Story

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I was scheduled to give birth to my daughter via a repeat C-Section at 9:30 am on Monday September 25, 2017. It was such a weird feeling to have a birth scheduled for a specific day and time.

I was so sure that the baby was going to come early and I anxiously paid attention to every new pain, twinge, or odd feeling I had during my last weeks of pregnancy.

My first child, a son, Wyatt, was also a scheduled C-section, but he came early – on his own terms. My water broke in the middle of the night and I gave birth to him, still via cesarean, early the following morning. It was impossible to not compare this second pregnancy and impending labor to my first.

During the last three weeks of my pregnancy I slept on a waterproof crib mattress pad, covered our couch with a blanket, and sat on a towel while driving my car. I was 99% my water would break at some inopportune moment. The days were painfully long as I uncomfortably waited. My back hurt, my hips hurt, and I was so tired.  

But baby girl was content on staying inside.

The night before the big day I was full of equal parts excitement and anxiety. I had the normal fears of bringing a new life into the world: Would she be healthy? Would I be okay? But I also couldn’t wait to meet my baby girl. Ryan and I went to bed early and tired to a get a restful sleep.

My alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. and it felt like Christmas morning! I hopped in the shower and washed with the special Hippacleanse soap and got dressed in yoga pants and a t-shirt. I did my hair and applied light make-up (a perk of a scheduled birth!)

Ryan’s parents drove into town early to stay with Wyatt. As we gave them instructions on nap and lunch schedules, it felt like we were merely heading out of town for a long weekend or a date night, not going to the hospital to have a new baby!

I hugged Wyatt extra hard and said goodbye. “You’ll always be my baby” I whispered. He blew me kisses and smiled, totally oblivious to the fact that his entire world was about to be changed forever. Ryan snapped one final “bump photo” of me before we headed out the door.

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We were quiet as we made the twenty-minute drive to the hospital. I was most worried about whether or not the baby was healthy, getting the spinal tap, and the surgery recovery, but I kept trying to picture holding and looking into my daughter’s eyes. “Everything is going to be fine!” Ryan kept repeating.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in and were told to wait in the outpatient surgery waiting area. Sitting there, with Fox News playing on the TV, it felt like we were waiting to go in just to get a cyst removed or some other simple procedure, not to have a baby! I felt no urgency from the staff. We waited to be called back. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life! We finally got checked in and I got called back to a small pre-op room, Ryan wasn’t allowed to go with me yet.

Back in the pre op room the nurse went over my medications, took my vitals, and had me put my things in a locker after I changed into a hospital gown. Ryan was allowed to come back at this point. Another nurse came in and went over the surgery and the recovery. She was followed by the anesthesiologist who went over the spinal tap.

The spinal was what I was most worried about, and even having the doctor describe the procedure made me cringe. He went over all of the risks, like a 1% chance that the spinal wouldn’t work and they’d have to use general anesthesia, or that there would be permanent nerve damage. Everything had gone 100% fine with my cesarean with Wyatt, so I kept reminding myself today would go fine. These doctors perform cesareans thousands of times.  

He left and Ryan and I anxiously waited and watched the clock. Only about 20 minutes before the surgery! I decided to make a last trip to the bathroom and when I came back I was told that an emergency C-section just came in and my procedure had to be pushed back for another hour. Of course I completely understood, but what a disappointment!

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A nurse came in and put in my IV and then I went to another area and got scrubbed down and shaved. (I guess I didn’t do a good enough job at home!) I was given a disgusting “shot” of meds that were supposed to balance out the acid in my stomach. Ryan got scrubbed up. We were all prepped, now we just had to wait!

My parents came back and visited for a bit to pass the time. We all anxiously talked about what we thought the baby was going to look like, how big she was going to be, and how I was feeling. They left and then Ryan and I were left alone to impatiently twiddle our thumbs. Shortly after, a few nurses rushed in exclaiming it was go time! Everything started to move really fast after that.

We were quickly hustled out of the room and started walking down long halls to the OR. Outside the door to the operating room, Ryan and I had to temporarily say our goodbyes. He wasn’t allowed in the room while they prepped me and did the spinal block.

The blindingly bright OR was full of busy energy with nurses and doctors running all around. The scent of sanitizer filling the air. They checked my identity and immediately got me in position to do the spinal – the one thing I was least looking forward to!

The nurses instructed me to sit on the very edge of the cold table and hunch my back over my big belly as much as I could. It was so uncomfortable and I felt like I was going to fall down. The one kind nurse in the room held my hand, I felt the prick of the numbing needle go in and forced myself to take a few big breaths.

The anesthesiologist told me he was going to be inserting the needle now and I would feel some pressure. I felt the needle go in and held my breath. I reminded myself it would all be over in a few minutes and I would soon be holding my baby.

Then I felt the same pressure prick again.

 “What’s going on?” I nervously asked.

“Just trying to find the right spot in your spine to enter.” He calmly replied.

I felt four more distinct pricks in my spinal area. My whole body was so tense. “Did you find it yet?” I asked, not even sure what “it” was.

A few seconds lately he confidently responded, “Yes! All set not.” Phew!

I lied back down on the table feeling calm and ready to go. The nurses started putting the draping up around me and scrubbing my belly down some more. I started to feel my feet get tingling and numb. My OBGYN came over to check everything out and said I was looking good, “You’re going to be holding your baby in a matter of moments! We’re going to take good care of you.” She said warmly.

Meanwhile a nurse was aggressively wiping down my lower extremities, so much so that I called out, “Ouch!”

“You can feel that?” Her surprised reply.

“Yes…”

“What does it feel like?”

“Like you are wiping me with a lot of pressure.”

“Oh!”

They proceeded to pinch my thighs and stomach, asking me if I was feeling anything. Every pinch and prod felt like I wasn’t numb at all. The anesthesiologist recommended I be placed on a ninety-degree angle, with my head towards the floor, hoping that gravity would make the numbing medication surge through my body faster.

About 4 minutes later the doctor pinched my stomach again. I felt no change in numbness and started to panic. What was going on?

“You know; you will feel SOME pressure. Is that what you feel?”

“No, it feels like I have no numbness at all!”

 What if they didn’t believe me that I wasn’t numb – that they thought I was exaggerating. I started to cry.

“Don’t worry, we’re not barbarians, we won’t cut you open when you can still feel pain. We’ll wait a couple more minutes.”

I tried to breath and stop crying. A couple more minutes passed, although it felt like an eternity, and they tested my stomach numbness again. I felt no change.

The anesthesiologist sat next to me and calmly delivered the news, “I’m sorry, but the Spinal Block was not successful.”

Now I was panicking. Keep in mind, I was still basically upside down on the table.

“What does that mean?”

“We are going to have to put you under general anesthesia.”

I burst into tears. That would mean I would be completely unconscious for the birth of my daughter. I couldn’t let this happen.

“But my feet are mostly numb!” I urged. “Can’t we wait a little bit longer, or do the spinal block again?”

“No, I’m sorry, we have to move forward now.”

I was so taken by surprise. It was explained in my pre-surgery consult that the Spinal Block only fails one percent of the time! I never thought I would be that one percent!

They told me that Ryan would not be allowed in the room during the surgery.

I was heartbroken.

Neither Ryan or I would be present for the birth of our daughter.

I asked if Ryan could at least come in and talk to me before I was put under. He had been out in the hallway this whole time, completely oblivious to everything that was going on.

The nice nurse went out to get Ryan and meanwhile I couldn’t stop sobbing. The doctors were all being nice about the situation but I was so upset and angry. Ryan came in, very confused. He told me that everything was going to be okay, but he couldn’t hold my hand or kiss me, due to the sterile environment. Seconds later he was escorted out of the room. I later learned he wasn’t really briefed on the whole situation and thought that he would be brought back into the OR once I was put under so he could be there for the birth. There was such bad communication!

Everything felt so urgent all of a sudden. It was all bright lights, beeping machines, and the nurses and doctors talking in what sounded like a secret code to one another.

They put a mask over my face and counted one, two, three and then I was out.

The next thing I remember is waking up in another room, surrounded by nurses. The first words I uttered were, “Is she okay?”

I was still very upset and crying, I still couldn’t believe I fell under the one percent where the spinal failed.

I’ve had to piece together bits of information given to me to know what happened. Ryan was there in the room holding Hadley. I wasn’t awake enough to be trusted to hold her just yet, unfortunately. He told me that he had been patiently waiting out in the hall, expecting them to come get him, when he heard a baby crying and thought, “Well, I guess that’s my daughter!”  (below are photos a nice nurse took for us after the birth, while I was unconscious and Ryan was not in the room)

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It took five minutes for a doctor to come out to deliver the good news and tell Ryan everything was okay. Hadley scored an 8 and 9 on her Apgar screening. She was healthy, pink, and had a set of lungs on her. Five more minutes passed and then Hadley was brought out to Ryan and they were escorted to the recovery room. I’m so thankful that Ryan was able to hold and comfort Hadley during this time while I was still unconscious.

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I didn’t get to hold my daughter for another thirty minutes. After waking up in the recovery room it took a couple of minutes until I was alert enough to hold her. I had tears streaming down my face when Ryan handed Hadley to me. She was so tiny and so beautiful and screaming her head off. I pushed away my feelings of sadness and took in her tiny face, her sweet smell, and he little noises. She was perfect.

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We started breastfeeding right away and she had no problem latching. I felt fortunate that even if I didn’t get to hold her and do skin to skin immediately upon birth, she still knew what to do and we could bond right away.

I had to stay in recovery a bit longer because I had lost a lot of blood during the C-Section – so much that I was prepped and ready for a blood transfusion before my bleeding subsided enough to not warrant one. I was very dizzy and out of it. One of my contacts fell out during surgery too, so my vision was a little limited.

The whole birth experience felt out of focus and I still couldn’t believe this was how I met my daughter, having her simply handed to me, with no memory of her leaving my body. I’m still struggling with anger, guilt, and sadness. It breaks my heart that neither her father or mother were with her when she was born.

I know how fortunate I am. My love for Hadley was instant – for all my worry about how I would love another baby as much as I love Wyatt. It was like she was always part of our family. I love her so much, our family is complete.

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20 Weeks with Baby Mac 2

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I’ve gone back and forth a lot on whether I should keep this space open.

Back when I was pregnant with Wyatt I posted weekly bump dates as well as several other blog posts a month.

Back then, blogging was a great resource for me to get in touch with other new moms and pregnant ladies as none of my close friends were at the same stage. It allowed me to connect with women from all over the country – we traded tips and fears and I’m so thankful for that.

Back then, Ryan worked long days and went to school at night. We barely saw each other. Blogging filled up my time and gave me a social outlet. 

Flash forward two years and I’m now a full time stay at home mom with our own house and a 20 month old boy to keep me busy. This blog was the last thing on my mind. 

But lately I’ve been missing having a place to document our life. I’ve been checking back on my weekly bumpdates throughout this pregnancy, comparing and remembering and I got a little sad that I haven’t given this pregnancy as much attention as my last. I want to be able to look back and remember it well and allow my baby girl to read about it to one day. 

So here I am! Trying to remember my WordPress log in and how to work this old blog again. Hello!

I can’t believe we are already halfway through this pregnancy. Wait…yes, I can. It’s been a long one already. I’ll get around to doing a first trimester recap one of these days but I don’t think I’m ready to relive those days yet.

So here we are:

How far along: 20.5 weeks! Halfway!

Due Date: September 25

Gender: Girl!!! We are both very excited to experience both a boy and a girl. And I can’t wait for all things girly and to relive part of my own childhood, however selfish that may sound!

Baby Size: About the size of a banana – 10 inches and 10.6 ounces. 

Weight gain: Well I lost a little over 11 pounds in the first trimester, so right now I’m the same weight I was when I first got pregnant – the weight it just positioned differently. I’m also carrying so much different than I did with Wyatt. This time the baby seems to be spread out all across my waist, not just in a little ball. My hips are much bigger this time too. 

Movement: Not feeling much movement yet. Like with Wyatt, I have an anterior placenta, so there is a little bit of extra padding between me and the baby. I feel some light fluttering every now and then. 

Best Moment Lately: Finding out we are having a girl! Truly, my first trimester was so complicated and hard. Knowing what sex the baby is allowed me to bond with it more. I now feel more connected to this pregnancy and can picture an actual human at the end. We also had a wonderful little getaway, just Ryan and I, last weekend. We visited Deep Creek Lake, MD and had fun sleeping in, reading, and simply relaxing. 

Looking forward to: Feeling the baby move. Hopefully soon! I worry so much when I can’t feel anything. Those mom fears never go away. 

Food Cravings: Ice water with a little bit of lemonade, chex mix, pimento cheese dip, anything salty and savory. 

Mood: Tired but excited and so grateful to have made it this far!

Symptoms: Tired. Sore hips, especially at night. When we moved last November, I threw out my pregnancy body pillow that I used while pregnant with Wyatt. It was all dirty and flattened and I didn’t expect to get pregnant so soon. I held off on purchasing one until this weekend. It should arrive today and I hope it allows me to sleep better. 

How were you second pregnancy’s different from your first? How did you maintain your energy with a second child to look after?

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Wyatt: 12 Months

wyatt12months2 Confession: Wyatt turned 12 months well over a month ago, I just haven’t had a chance to post his update yet. Seems kind of silly to post it so late in the game, because honestly I feel like he has grown SO much since September 7, but darn it, I dilgently took these photos and posted these monthly updates and I’m not going to quit on the last month! 

So here we go!

I have a one year old! How?? How did this happen?? My little baby is turning into a toddler more and more every day. 

Weight: 23 pounds

Length: 26.5 inches tall

Hair: light brown and starting to fill in more. 

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Binky. Stink Bink

Likes: Books, Photographs, Music, Dogs, Mickey Mouse, Blocks, Doors, Exploring, Wagon Rides, the Pool, Eating, the Dog Leash and Bowls. 

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed and getting dressed. Trying new food. 

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. Adding in a few 12-18 months clothing. He’s getting so tall!

Sleep: Wyatt usually goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until around 4 when he gets up for a little snack and then goes back to bed until 6:00ish He’s still taking 2 naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Feeding: Breastfed every four – five hours and eats three solid meals a day plus snacks throughout the day. He loves bananas, cheese and puffs. He’s a hungry boy.

Milestones: Speed crawling around the house. Saying Da-Da CONSTANTLY (but no ma-ma), climbing stairs like it’s an olympic sport. 

 

I expressed my feelings on one year of motherhood here. It’s been a big beautiful blur. Wyatt – I can’t believe you are your own little person now. You love exploring your world. You are a little cautious of new things but once you figure it out you get obsessed with new things. You can wave bye bye to us and love waving your hands around to music. Your first birthday was a success! (even if you did not have a clue what to do with your cake) We love you more each day and can’t wait to see how much you continue to grow! 

 

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

One Year of Motherhood

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One year ago today, I gave birth to a 7 pound 13-ounce baby boy via C-section. He smelled like home, fit perfectly on my chest, and made us a family. He was perfection.

Today I woke up with a little explorative toddler who shrieks as he covers my face in big sloppy kisses. He is perfection.

Throughout my pregnancy and the first few months of Wyatt’s life, everyone whispers the same telling advice, “Enjoy every moment!” To a new mom that hasn’t showered for 3 days, is running on two hours of sleep, and doesn’t know why on earth her baby won’t stop crying, that phrase feels more like a guilt trip than words of wisdom.

There were days that felt monotonous and never-ending that I wished away so I could sleep. There were nights of cluster feeding and a baby that refused to sleep that I wished away so I could sleep. All the while those little words, “Enjoy every moment” haunted me. I knew the year would go by fast but sometimes the days felt like years.

But most moments were blessed with happiness. We met each new month with joy and surprise over the changes it brought. Smiling! Rolling over! Sitting up! Grasping toys! Babbling! Crawling! Pulling up! Every day was a new adventure, we never knew what to expect. Life was full of fun and ups and downs and laughs as we bumbled our way together as a family of three.

We watched our little swaddled baby afflicted with torticollis develop into his own sweet little personality and it all felt unbelievably surreal.

Last night, on the eve of his first birthday, I nursed my baby before his bedtime and started to cry. In my hands was a long, lean, and strong little boy, holding onto my hand as he had his nightcap. This will be the last time that I lie my baby down in his crib before he is officially a toddler. Where did my baby boy go?

Despite all the warnings, I still found myself surprised to find that time had slipped through my hands.

I look around his nursery and I can clearly picture myself sitting in this same glider, rocking a little 8-pound newborn at 2 in the morning, almost in tears myself because I was so exhausted. I remember her well. She feels like this night will never end, that her baby will never sleep through the night. She fears that she is doing everything wrong. She innocently doesn’t think that one day she will miss peering down at her sweet baby’s delicate face. She is clueless has to what the year will bring. She is clueless as to how much bigger her heart will grow in the next twelve months.

It’s been a wonderful year of change and milestones and I can’t wait to see how much we will all grow as a family in the months and years ahead.

But nothing can compare to that bittersweet first year where so much change happened in such a short time; it seems like a weird lucid dream.

In a matter of twelve months I gave birth to a baby and then helped that baby grow into a sweet, calm, happy, and curious little toddler. I still have no idea what I’m doing as a mother but each day I learn a new lesson and love him a little bit more than the day before.

Happy First Birthday, Wyatt. You are our entire world. We love you so much!  

 

 

Wyatt: 11 Months Old

wyatt11months2 How is it possible that I have an 11 month old? This summer has been flying by and Wyatt’s first birthday is only a few weeks away. I get a little teary eyed whenever I think about it. 

He is developing at lightning speed and his fun, curious, and sweet personality is shining through more and more each day.  He loves to laugh and be silly but he is also very cautious and timid. I think it’s a great mix and I can’t wait to see how he continue to grows emotionally. 

Weight: I’d guess around 22 pounds

Length: I’d guess around 30 inches. 

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Hair: light brown and longer. He has these cute long curls in the back that kind of sort of resemble a mullet. 

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Binky. Stinky Face. 

Likes: Books, Photographs, Music, Playing in water, dogs, Mickey Mouse, blocks, pulling up on everything, doors, food, phones, remotes, bath time. 

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed and getting dressed, long car rides.

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. 

Sleep: Wyatt usually goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until around 4 when he gets up for a little snack and then goes back to bed until 7:30ish. The past couple of days he has been waking up at 5:00 – 5:30 for the day…I hope it’s temporary! He’s still taking 2 naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Feeding: Breastfed every four hours and eats three solid meals a day plus some puffs or cheese as snacks throughout the day. He’s a hungry boy.

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Milestones: Waving hi and bye, pulling up on everything on site, high fiving, sharing politely, taking a few steps assisted with our hands, “throwing” the ball for Maggie, turning book pages at lightning speed.

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Yep buddy, that sticker say 11! I can’t believe it either!

What I want to remember:

How excited he gets when playing ball with Maggie. He loves her soooo much and she could careless, unless she’s eating his scraps from the highchair. 

His big sloppy kisses he gives me on my mouth. 

The way he cuddles with me when he first wakes up from nap time (the ONLY time he wants to cuddle)

How proud he looks when he is trying something new, like trying to walk, or stacking blocks, or pulling something off a higher shelf. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

Summertime and the Living is Busy

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Remember when summer was all about, lounging around in your PJ’s all morning, lazy days at the pool, reading through a pile of books, and catching fireflies at dusk? Those were the days.

Ever since we returned from our beach vacation it feels like our lives have been on fast forward and I’ve barely been able to catch my breath, hence my absence from these parts. Summer is home of the longest days yet they are flying by!

Here’s a few updates from the MacDonald household:

  • Working from home with a 10 month old is like working 10 jobs at once. I feel like I’m the Queen of Multitasking yet everything always feels half done.
  • Wyatt is growing up SO fast. He’s constantly on the go and I swear he will be walking any day now. He keeps me on my toes as he wants to get into everything. He thinks the word “No” is funny. Other things he thinks his funny; chasing Maggie around the house, pulling all the books of book shelves, pulling out the toiletries from under the bathroom sink, dumping at the dog bowls, feeding Maggie all of his food, banging the TV remote on everything, and blowing raspberries on my thighs. 
  • It really is the most fun age yet though. His sweet and curious personality is contagious and each day we learn something new together. He’s such a mama’s boy!
  • I’ve taken on more responsibility with my new job; and I absolutely love it. For those that don’t know, I work for a non-profit orchestra that focuses on music education in underserved school (a cause close to my heart) It’s amazing working a job that I truly feel connected to. I’m so much happier now than I was just two months ago. 
  • After Ryan got his job offer we started the daunting task of shopping for a house. Only to find out a week later that the dream of owning our own home will be one that will have to continue to be on the back burner for a while longer. Turns out that my income cannot count toward our total household income because I’m self-employed and have only been working this job for two months AND they count one’s TOTAL student loan debt (not the income based payments we make on Ryan’s astronomical student loans). I keep telling myself that good things come to those who wait. 
  • We are experiencing some very HOT days lately and I”m so thankful that we have my Pop-Pop’s pool to go to. Wyatt loves the water and never wants to get out. 
  • Lastly, I have a special announcement I will be making on Monday!! (not pregnant) I’ve been very busy behind the scenes and can’t wait to share what I’ve been up to with all of you! Stay tuned!

As always, follow along on Instagram to follow along with our every day moments!