The Day I Met My Son + the Story of My C-Section

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This week my son, Declan turned 2 MONTHS OLD! It seems like it was yesterday when I went into the hospital to meet this cutie. The experience was beautiful and traumatic all at the same time.

**WARNING: Don’t read if you have lots of anxiety and/or about to have a baby. My experience may terrify you a bit.**

I woke up Friday, June 7, 2019 ready to meet my little guy. I had severe anxiety looming over me because I was delivering him by c-section. Yes, doctors perform c-sections all of the time, but complications are always possible. I sobbed while I hugged my daughter (thinking this could be the last time I could see her). Again, my anxiety was pretty bad. At this point I assumed the worst could happen. I remember Aurora looking up at me saying, “Mommy, don’t cry. It’s going to be okay. Grownups come back.” This made me cry even more but I had to hide it. I gave her one last hug, got in the van with my mom and Steven and rode to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital they took several hours to get me ready for my c-section. All the while, I was fighting back tears and anxiety. I still remember the nurse telling me they would insert the spinal block and get me ready before Steven could come back to be with me. I was so scared to do it alone. I remember walking to the OR with shaky legs. As they opened the OR doors, I saw nurses placing surgical tools on a nearby tray. The nurse directed me to the edge of the table where I waited for the anesthesiologist.  I continued to cry and watch nurses prep the room for my doctor. I was so scared. All I wanted to do was run away but I knew there was no other way to have my little man. He was the only reason I pushed through the anxiety and pain.

It was about 10 minutes later when the anesthesiologist showed up to insert my spinal block. The spinal block hurt SO bad. I remember when I got an epidural with Aurora, I had already been laboring for 6 straight hours. Compared to labor pains the stick in the back was nothing. But this time — it was extremely painful. Thankfully, my OBGYN happen to be in the room when I began to get my spinal block. She held me as I curled up as tight as I could. Again, sobbing in her arms wishing this would go quickly.

After what felt like forever of gritting my teeth and clenching my body — the procedure was over. As I laid down on the table I could feel the spinal block numbing my body. Steven walked into the room as the nurses finished dropping me for the c-section. Steven was dressed from head-to toe in scrubs. I could still see his big smile through his face mask. I couldn’t wait to squeeze his hand. At this point I was still fighting back tears and anxiety. I didn’t know how this surgery was going to go, but all I wanted to do was meet my baby. As they continued to prepare my belly, my doctor did a pinch test. (It’s where they pinch you on your stomach to see if you are numb enough. If you’re not they wait a little longer. Sometimes they may even put you to sleep if your body does numb like it needs to).  I couldn’t feel the pain from the pinch but I could feel her pinching me. This is where I made a mistake. I thought I was numb enough to go on with the surgery. I was wrong.

I felt everything she did. From the cutting to the stretching. My anxiety was already sky high and this made it worse. I began to tell the anesthesiologist that I was in pain. When they finally got ready to pull Declan out — I was told there will be a lot of pushing and pulling. I may not be able to breathe well for a few seconds. I was told to breathe out of my mouth. Well it was about 45 seconds of that. One nurse was jabbing her elbow into my ribs and pushing down to get him to come out. It was hell trying to stay calm and breathe. By the time they got Declan out I was in so much pain. I could feel burning in my incision area. I even had to decline holding my son because I was so distraught.

 

 

Finally, after a few minutes of me complaining of pain — the anesthesiologist gave me medication that basically made me pass out. (As you can see in the RIGHT picture above). He told me I may not remember what happened here but at this point I didn’t care. Within seconds I was out. The remainder of the procedure I was in and out. I could still feel what they were doing but I was too tired to care. I remember squeezing Steven’s hand so tight. I could hear Steven talking to me as he held our baby boy. The funniest part — was finding out after surgery that I was squeezing my OBGYN’s butt with my other hand for about 20 minutes. I guess both of my hands thought they were squeezing Steven’s hand. Thankfully, my female OBGYN had a great sense of humor about it.

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Thinking back on that day, I can barely remember them wheeling me back to the recovery area and handing me Declan. I was still fighting consciousness while trying to breastfeed him. I had a lot of help from the lactation nurse and Steven. It took me a good hour or so to wake up enough to function.

After all of that was over — I finally got to enjoy my beautiful son while still dealing with the anxiety of my c-section. The next day when my doctor came by I told her that I felt everything during the surgery. She apologized profusely — agreeing that was a traumatic experience. Again, I only blame myself because I was the one who told her I was numb enough.

The crazy thing is — I thought my unplanned c-section with Aurora was worse until I had Declan. I’m so thankful that day people were praying for me. My experience makes me think of those moms who have been through worse c-sections than me. Despite being able to feel everything — my surgery went well. I had minimum blood loss and little scaring from my last c-section. My doctor even told me I could have a third child if I wanted to. (I’m still debating that one considering how bad this c-section was).

I’m thankful that I recovered a lot faster even though the procedure was pretty rough on me. I was so thankful that Declan was born healthy. He did have to get his blood sugar checked every hour the first night of his life because he was so big. (He weighed 9lbs 8ouces).

Sadly, my anxiety didn’t go away when I went home. It only got worse. I’ll be writing about my postpartum anxiety in another post soon.

Did you go through a traumatic c-section? What were ways you were able to get over it? Did you have other c-sections afterwards?

 

 

Dear Husbands, We Need You To Fight For Us

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You know the story. A young woman finds herself in a sticky situation and just when she is about to be consumed by an evil villain a white knight swoops in to save her. In more modern stories you even see the young girl and guy work together to battle the evil villain before riding off into the sunset. While these are usually fairytales I believe one reason these ladies pick this guy as their forever mate is because she knows when there is ever a sticky situation — this guy will fight for her. But what about reality? Are our husbands swooping in and fighting for us when we need it most?

I remember when I was single and praying for a future husband there were many great christian guys in the church — but sadly many were still boys. They still liked to string girls along, act interested but put no effort into creating a committed relationship. They never made a gesture because they were too afraid. I still remember our pastor preaching on the subject of men in the church. Many christian guys showed strength in their relationship with God but were passive to many other situations. As one of the tough girls — this was never appealing to me because I have fought all my life. The last thing I wanted was a guy standing in the background while I fought the dragon.

I was thinking back trying to remember if there was ever a situation when my dad, boyfriend or guy friend fought for me. Yes, my dad got in fights with strangers often because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Was he really fighting for us or for himself? Then I had boyfriends who often times walked away leaving me to fight my own battles. I had other boyfriends who let their friends taunt and cuss me out while they sat their laughing. (It still took me 2 more years of that relationship before I finally realized I needed to get out). You know who I remember standing up for me? My mom who put herself between my dad and I several times. My sister who stood up and was willing to take my full beating when she saw my dad grab me by my throat and shoved me in a chair. My best friend who often times defended me against my dad. Even her dad who had to put my dad in his place when I was forced to visit him. The rest of the time — I fought for myself.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been a huge need for Steven to defend my honor in marriage — that is until we got foster kids. I love teen girls but they seem to like to verbally attack me, put me down and act against me — not him. I find myself still sticking up for myself when actually what I need is my husband to. Yes, he grew up in a good home where fighting for your life was never a situation he had to deal with. Husbands, we wives are not asking you to get into altercations with strangers of the world. We are asking you to fight a much dangerous and serious villain. Satan himself.

Husbands, your wife needs you to fight for her when she has nothing left to give. When the kids have given her hell all day — sometimes she need you to swoop in and rescue her. Husbands, when you see your wife needing time to herself — we need you to fight to take her on a date or send her to a favorite coffee shop with a good book alone. Husbands, when she’s told the kids a hundred times to pick up their toys or do their chores — she needs you to intervene and hand out orders. Guys we are fighting everyday and we need your help.

As a stay-at-home mom I have seen how hard this job is. At times I really hated working outside of the home because I always had to divide myself between work and family. I could never fully finish a task before someone needed something from me at home or at the office. But there is also something so exhausting about being at home all day long — disciplining a toddler and getting no time of your own. I can’t remember the last time I showered or used the bathroom alone. Husbands, these are the small sacrifices we make that add up to a huge battle. When our kids are talking back and being rude we need you to intervene and stand up for the love of your life. The same woman you would have died for on your wedding day.

Most importantly, husbands we need you to fight for us spiritually. Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy every ounce of energy and hope we have. We need you on your knees daily praying over us as we raise up the kids. We need you to pray for our mental health because honestly — these battles can sometimes make us crazy. We need you to verbally pray over us so your encouraging words can pour into our minds and flood out the negative thoughts. Husbands we need you to fight for us. Your wives are slowly being torn apart by this world of expectations and chaos. Men, equip yourselves and defend our honor. I promise that many of us will become less moody and exhausted if we see you going into battle for us. Once we catch our breath then don’t be surprised when you see us armoring up to fight next to you.

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6 Natural Items to Use When Your Family is Sick

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Colds and sinus infections seem to hit my family the most throughout the winter months. It’s always cold outside and places indoors are usually scorching. Not to mention our home has only electric heating which creates a very dry atmosphere. Here are some ways I tackle these small sicknesses in our home.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I suggest doing this with everything. These are just items I use to help my family. I do go to the doctor if I see the sickness is getting out of hand.

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Essential Oil Diffuser. My husband bought this for me when I was pregnant. I struggled the first 6 months with extreme headaches and sinus infections. I wasn’t allowed to take my normal sinus medication so I had to find something. This diffuser cost about $15 off of Amazon. It’s pretty straight forward. All you do is fill it up to the line with water. Then add about 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil in the water. Put the lid on and hit the button. This diffuser allows you to choose whether you want the contents to be released in the air every 30 seconds or constantly until turned off. It also has different colors. When I am sick I put this by my bed at night to help me sleep. I also like to get my essential oils from T.J. Max. They usually have about 4 in a pack for about $15.

Humidifier. This is a lot like the diffuser except it helps add moisture to the air. We use one of these in my daughter’s room a lot during winter. Like I mentioned before, our heat can make the home really dry. She pretty much has one of these constantly going in her room.

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Nose Spray. I love this stuff. Especially when I wake up with a dry and stuffy nose. It helps with that sinus pressure that you get through your nose. Once again adding moisture helps a lot in dry climates.

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Essential oil Chest and foot rub. I found this gem one night when I was looking for relief for my daughter. She was really sick and I came across this in CVS. It’s hard when your child is young because they’re not allowed to really have any medicine for a few years. I didn’t want to use Vick’s Vapor rub because she wasn’t of age. So I used this instead. It’s safe for babies 3 months and up. I rub a little on her chest and feet. I also use it for myself. You remember the burning sinus pressure in your nose I mentioned before? I will dab a little bit on my nostrils and under my nose to help with that. Usually in minutes I feel so much better.

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Apple Cider Vinegar. If you want to get rid of a sore throat almost instantly then this is your go to. Many people can take a shot of this stuff but I can’t. I usually mix it in a glass of orange juice or lemon water. They cut the acid from the vinegar. I also like to use this on a daily basis. This will help with your immune system and so many other things.

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Zarbee’s Natural Medicine. Once again I found this one night when I was at CVS looking for any medicine my daughter could have. She was dealing with a cold and lots of coughing. I ran across this honey based medicine that helped her stop coughing. There are different age types for these. They also have ones with agave nectar for kids under the age of 1 since honey can be dangerous to give to your child before that age. It’s a more natural way to help your sick baby with colds and sinus issues.

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