Conor’s Birth Story: Emergency vs. Scheduled C-Section

Our son has arrived! This is our birth story and an article for expectant mothers to hopefully help ease any fears about having a scheduled c-section.

He has arrived! Our family is complete.

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Introducing Conor Bryan Whitfield, 7 lbs. 5 oz. of adorable, squishy, squirmy, baby boy!

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Our sweet little sleepy baby boy has been in our lives now for exactly three weeks.  Today, February 16, is technically his due date but due to complications from Lucy’s birth we knew that any future child would need to be born via c-section at 37 weeks. What did this mean for us? Three BONUS weeks with our son in our lives!

I now want to talk about Conor’s birth story and address expectant mothers who may be going through the same thing I did. Knowing that my baby had to be born at 37 weeks via c-section, I had many fears and uncertainties, especially after Lucy’s birth which was a very traumatic failed induction turned emergency c-section [Lucy’s Birth Story]. I remember looking online for answers, only to be utterly terrified at some of the horror stories I found. Bryan tried to ban me from googling everything, but Jennifer the worry wart was in full force. Many questions swirled in my head: would my incisions from my previous delivery rupture, how would a scheduled c-section differ from my emergency c-section, would he be fully developed, is he really ready to come out,  would I recover well, what else might go wrong?

But this is a happy article.

This is the article I wish I would have read before giving birth to my son to ease my mind. While every birth is different, I want to share my personal story and the answers to all of the questions I had about having a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks.

Would I rupture?:

The main reason why I was told that I would need to deliver any future kids via c-section at 37 weeks was the risk of a uterine rupture. With Lucy’s birth, the emergency c-section consisted of two cuts internally instead of the typical one (called a T cut). This meant that if I would go into labor on my own with a future pregnancy, that there was the potential that the contractions would cause my uterus to rupture which could have been deadly for both the baby and myself.

Thankfully, I did not end up going into labor on my own. The original plan was going to be to wait about 5 days longer than 37 weeks to let his lungs develop more, but due to an unforeseen liver condition that arose during my 36 week mark, we ended up scheduling the c-section at exactly 37 weeks.

What would a scheduled c-section be like?:

Comparing this scheduled c-section to my last failed induction turned emergency c-section is like comparing apples to oranges. It was so completely different in the most positive way imaginable.

Like last time, it was nice walking into the hospital not in labor. It created a calm, laid back experience. The biggest difference was not having to go through the induction process first. With Lucy, I spent 2 days getting pumped with Cervidil and Pitocin and had nothing to eat and very little sleep. This was the recipe for failure. It meant that even if the c-section would have gone smoothly (which it didn’t) I would be two days behind on sleep, weak from the little food, and completely swollen due to all of the water and medications being pumped into me for two days straight. Enough about that first experience though, like i said this time it was a HAPPY story.

The scheduled c-section could not have gone any better. It started with me getting checked in, and then getting hooked up to the fetal monitor and IV. My early morning 7:30 AM surgery ended up getting pushed until 9:00 AM due to an emergency birth coming in before me that required the surgical team. This was fine with me because Bryan and I were able to relax a bit – this meant Bryan getting a nice breakfast and coffee and me watching I Love Lucy. It was then time to go into surgery. The team of nurses, my doctor, and the anesthesiologist were all incredible and put me at ease. The only minor freak out moment I had was when they prepped me for surgery. Unlike with my induction, I had to be in the surgery room without Bryan when they administered my spinal tap (numbing medication). Between the numbing of my entire lower body, and not having Bryan by my side I soooorrt of had a panic attack. BUT, as I said the team was amazing and they helped me through it by forcing me to talk about something completely irrelevant and taking my mind off of the situation. I ended up talking about Bryan and I’s trip to Boston BEFORE we started dating, so that ended up being the topic of the entire c-section. Who knew talking about gelato in Little Italy could take your mind off of being cut open?!

Once Bryan was able to come in, we were able to hold hands and I was instantly reassured. A few non-painful tugs here and there, and all of a sudden I could hear the most wonderful sound in the world, the sound of my sweet son crying and a declaration that it was 9:46 AM. Unlike last time, I was alert the rest of the time we were in the surgery room. I got to cry my happy tears. I got to listen to the NICU team check baby. I got to listen to the surgical team talking about how smoothly everything went. I got to talk to Bryan as he held our baby next to my head. I was able to see the first moments of my son’s life. It was the experience I wish I would have had the first time.

Is he really ready to come out at 37 weeks and will he be fully developed?:

The answer, thank God, for us was yes. I know there are many babies born at 37 weeks that may require a few days in the NICU due to lung development or other complications, but Conor was completely healthy. We required no time in the NICU, and it was only shortly after the surgery that I was able to have skin to skin contact with him and nurse him. He is a great sleeper and eater, and is constantly meeting his developmental and weight goals at his follow-up check ups. We are extremely blessed.

How would recovery be?:

I am officially three weeks out from having my c-section today and I can say recovery has been incredible. There has been little pain and I have been able to carefully get back into the normal routines of life. I am trying to be as careful as possible to not over-do it because I find that on days that I pick up Lucy or try to clean too much I feel worse. Overall, I cannot complain though. My body is healing, my mental state is positive, and my little boy allows me to get the sleep I need at night.

What else may go wrong?:

Ah, the question I had after one week postpartum. It almost seemed like everything was too good to be true and we kept finding ourselves saying things like “for now” when we talked about how great a sleeper he was. Like I said, Conor is a healthy baby, a great sleeper, and a great eater. I am able to carry out a routine during the day with him that leaves both him and I relaxed at the end of the day. On top of that, Lucy has completely adapted to her new brother – which was something I really feared. Before having him, I felt like I was almost betraying her. I felt like I was cutting off the special one-on-one time with her as an only child. If anything, it only makes me put even more of an effort into carving out special mommy/daughter time and including her in the day-to-day activities with her new brother. She loves giving him his pacifier, kissing and tickling his feet, and attempting to feed him his bottle. On top of that, Bryan has been a phenomenal Daddy to Lucy these past three weeks (and of course for all time). He has completely taken over some of the things I usually had done in the past while I recover and Lucy couldn’t be more excited about all of the extra-special time with him.

So instead of worrying about what else could go wrong, I have decided to embrace the fact that everything is going well and live in the moment. There is no sense in worrying or dreading the possible issues that may or may not arise during these first few months. Yes, it is an adjustment for all of us – but with Bryan by my side I know we will get through it all and time will continue to go by too fast. Before we know it, Conor will be as big as Lucy and we will miss the time when they were so little.

And there you have it, Conor’s birth story! I am hoping this article was able to reassure anyone with an upcoming scheduled c-section that they can go very smoothly, and soon enough you too will have your sweet bundle of baby in your arms!

To close, here is a photo collage of our hospital experience and first few days of Conor’s life:

love & lots of whit – jen xo

6 Things I Learned about Pregnancy

Pregnancy has opened my eyes to a whole new world. The ups and downs of pregnancy have taught me more about my body and its capabilities then I have ever known were possible.

Pregnancy has opened my eyes to a whole new world. The ups and downs of pregnancy have taught me more about my body and its capabilities then I have ever known were possible. I wanted to continue my 6 Things I Learned (see first time house hunting, and home owning posts) series with a post about some of the information that I have learned over the last 37 weeks of being pregnant for the first time.

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  1. Give me all the FOOD!…except orange juice, spicy food, tomatoes, garlic, or anything with any hint of flavor. I will say I am VERY fortunate to not have had morning sickness during my pregnancy. In the beginning of my pregnancy I used this to my advantage and literally ate everything imaginable and was able to justify it for some reason in my head as just being a “pregnancy craving” or  “for the baby”. Top cravings this pregnancy: avocados, hot fudge sundaes, Cheetos, baked potatoes, giant chocolate chip cookies, and strawberry Pop-Tarts. SUPER healthy right? Now as I am nearing the end, there are a lot of foods that I cannot eat without getting heartburn, gas, and acid reflux like whoa so my diet mainly consists of previously mentioned craving foods accompanied with a side of Tums and Gas-X. TMI?
  1. I’m sorry I must have dozed off for a second. Pregnancy and tiredness went hand in hand for me since day one. The first trimester was by far the most noticeable as far as my energy level went. I will call these my granny days. I would make it through my 10-hour day at work (barely), come home and eat something quick for dinner, and then be sound asleep by about 6:30 PM. Second trimester everyone tells you that you are likely to get more energy, which I will admit that I did…but I was still generally tired. My advice for any future moms-to-be: USE THE 2ND TRIMESTER WISELY! Get as much done while you have the energy because in the third trimester the tiredness takes over once again. As I am coming towards the end of my third trimester, the sleepiness has returned and most of that is in part to not being able to sleep straight for more than 2 hours before being awaken to go to the bathroom, getting a killer leg cramp, or from having a crazy pregnancy dream! Yes, pregnancy dreams are a real thing, I woke up freaking out one night after I had just given birth to a 5-year-old child.
  1. My body is now Lucy’s body. I never thought I would lose control of my body, but our sweet baby Lucy has absolutely taken over!  I won’t get TOO in depth with this, but just know that things I never thought could change are now completely unrecognizable. They say most everything will go back to how it was pre-pregnancy so I just hold to that hope. In the meantime, I watch in wonder at how the female body changes itself to become the perfect host for baby.

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  1. Maternity clothes are my favorite thing about pregnancy. Okay, okay, so growing my little miracle is my actual favorite part, but maternity clothing is right up there! I inherited my sister and sister-in-law’s entire maternity wardrobes from their previous pregnancies. They both have wonderful taste and had cold-weather, seasonally appropriate clothing, so I was very fortunate to not have to invest a lot of money into a whole new wardrobe. I can’t say enough about how amazingly comfortable cinched shirts and maternity pants with elastic bands that go all the way past your belly button are. I don’t know how I will ever want to go back to wearing clothing that I have to worry about bending over and showing skin. On special occasions when I wanted to treat myself to a new dress, PinkBlush was my go-to online boutique. I found my baby shower dress here as well as the dress I wore for my maternity photo shoot which I will be posting soon. Their maternity line is not only adorable, but it is also very affordable and the quality is superb! In the photos on this post you can see my latest find from PinkBlush. I am wearing their Draped Pocket Maternity Dress in teal which I found to be perfect for the “it’s almost spring” weather we had this weekend.
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Dress: PinkBlush | Draped Pocket Maternity Dress in teal
  1. Support systems are everything. From our family and friends helping in any way they can, to my coworkers who offer to help me each day at work as my belly grows and grows, the support we have had these past 37 weeks is out of this world. Another less conventional support system I have found throughout this experience has been online “mommy boards”. It is so comforting talking to other women who are due the same month as you because you know that you are going through all of the same symptoms and stages of pregnancy together. It’s nice to be able to talk to them about all my thoughts, questions, concerns, fabulous baby supply coupon finds, etc. and give my husband a break from hearing about pregnancy 24/7. Speaking of my husband…Bryan has been my savior throughout pregnancy. From running out to fulfill late night food cravings (extra hot fudge on that sundae please), to putting on my socks and shoes in the morning, and everything in between, he has helped more than I’m sure he even knows and I feel so unbelievably lucky. These past few weeks especially as I can no longer stand or walk around without getting out of breath or having crazy aches and pains, he has been cleaning like there’s no tomorrow, taking care of our dog who just sprained his leg, and setting up all of our baby gear and furniture like a pro (except maybe the installation of the baby gates which almost ended up getting thrown off the deck in frustration). They say that in a marriage your love for your spouse will grow every day and throughout this pregnancy I have learned that this is true. I love him in a whole new way and I see how seriously he takes his vows to be there for me through it all. I can’t even imagine what kind of love I will experience when I see him hold our daughter for the first time.
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Hubby took these photos of me but first I had to test the lighting and he was my model, hehe…(don’t kill me, babe!)
  1. As much as I may have complained along the way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Pregnancy and welcoming a new life into the world is truly a miracle. In just three weeks or less we will be welcoming Lucy into our family and I couldn’t feel more overjoyed. As hard as some of the aspects of pregnancy are on me physically and mentally, it is something I continue to thank God for every day.

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love & lots of whit – jen xo