Monday, January 3, 2011

Nolan's Birth Story

Better late than never, right? Hey, it took me four months to post Aiden's birth story, and Nolan is 11 weeks old today, so consider yourselves lucky! Besides, it's my last week of maternity leave (*tear*), so I thought I'd better get this down before the memories become clouded over once I'm back to reality.

Unlike Aiden, Nolan's entrance into the world was scheduled pretty early on; I knew I wanted a repeat C-section, so I actually talked with my OB about that during our very first appointment. We tentatively scheduled the procedure for October 20, but as the months wore on, we moved it to October 18 to accommodate everyone's schedules. And before we knew it, the big day was upon us.

Mike took Aiden to daycare that morning, which truth be told was probably the hardest part of the day; it was rough to say goodbye to him because I knew I wouldn't be able to tuck him in for a few nights. I was also a little apprehensive about how he was going to handle the huge change that he knew nothing about. (SIDE NOTE: I never should have worried about that. Aiden's transition into the big brother role has been nothing short of perfect. He loves his brother so much and is so gentle with him. I couldn't have asked for a better situation.)

Mike & I arrived at the hospital promptly at 10:30. After registration, they took us back behind the labor & delivery doors, but instead of getting our own room, we got a bed & a curtain in the pre-op/post-op room. It was a little weird since we weren't the only ones there, but I was more than okay with it because I knew I'd only be there for an hour or two as opposed the the 22 1/2 hours I endured with Aiden. I changed into my lovely hospital gowns, and then the nurse started my IV. My blood pressure was still a bit elevated at this point, which made her kind of nervous, so she put the cuff on right away. It went down a bit after the IV was in (apparently it spiked because I was nervous about the IV). Next was ANOTHER blood draw. With both my pregnancies, I have had gestational thrombocytopenia, and the platelet count the week before had been around 83,000, which is right on the edge of getting a spinal or being knocked out completely. So the anesthesiologist wanted to know where I was at that moment before we went in for the section.

While we were waiting for the labs to come back on my blood, Mike & I pretty much just hung out. We talked about how different things were going to be in just a few hours, and whether or not we were really ready for the sleepless nights we knew were just ahead. I rubbed my large belly & smiled when I felt Nolan shift in response, since I knew this was likely the last time I would be pregnant. After about an hour, the labs came back, and my platelets were up to 91,000--easily high enough for a spinal. It was time to get down to the OR and meet Baby Cotter 2.0!

It felt a little weird to actually walk down to the operating room; with Aiden, I had already had my epidural by the time my OB opted for the C-section, so there was no walking. Mike had to wait outside (hence the goofy picture--he said he was trying to get Nolan's perspective when he was born) while they took me in & prepped me. The spinal was interesting; same procedure as an epidural, except my whole bottom half went numb INSTANTLY and they had to lower me on the table. Then they were moving robes & putting up the curtain, and suddenly Mike was at my side. This was really happening.

I always think it's funny the little things you remember about life-changing moments. Something that makes me giggle about Nolan's birth was the conversation that was happening while they were getting him out. You see, Ohio State had lost their first game of the season to Wisconsin just two days earlier, and that still seemed to be on everyone's minds. I even joined in, saying I was surprised I didn't go into labor that night because they played so badly. But before we could get into more detail about bad play-calling and the like, my doctor told me to get ready for lots of pressure--baby time! Turns out Nolan was wedged in there pretty good, though; they actually had to have one of the nurses come around to my side of the curtain and push down with both hands just below my ribcage to pop him out.

And then I heard the sound I'd been waiting nine long months for--the angry squeals of my little Nolan as he was removed from his warm, watery world.
I got to peek at him quickly before they took him away to clean him off, and I marveled at how small he looked (I guess since I was so used to Aiden's stature, I half-expected Nolan to come out the size of a two-and-a-half-year-old, too). I actually had to tell Mike to go snap some photos; you see, I have teased Mike since Aiden's birth for leaving me alone to get stitched up while he went to go coo over the baby, and so Mike had vowed to stay by my side this time. I told him that was sweet & all, but that I'd really rather have some photos of our son's first moments.

It wasn't long before we were all headed back to the post-op room to wait on our recovery room. It was so nice to actually be able to hold my baby this time; with Aiden, I was pretty shaky & throwing up, so I didn't get to really see him until we had settled into our recovery room. I got to hold Nolan for a good 20 minutes, though, before he went up to the nursery to get checked out. Mike headed out the lobby to tell everyone the good news, and then he went to get the bags from the car. I finally got the sensation back in my legs about the time a room opened up, and I was wheeled upstairs & greeted by my folks, my in-laws, and my sister. About an hour later, they brought Nolan in, and the introductions began.

The rest of my hospital stay was not a whole lot of fun, and as I'm not really into reliving the agony, I'll spare you the details. Once we got home that Friday, though, things got a lot better (with some help from the Percocet--GOD BLESS PERCOCET), and I ended up having a great 31st birthday that Saturday, surrounded by all I ever wanted--my perfect little family.

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