A month ago today, on November 11th 2015 at 10:46am, our son Ford Francis Finn was born weighing in at 7lbs 13oz. In an instant our hearts doubled in size and our lives changed forever. He is our miracle baby. For it truly is a miracle not only that he is here, but also that he is as perfect and as healthy as he is. It’s no secret that we were not planning on having a child this early in our marriage. But someone or something had other plans for us… because despite having an IUD, we found out we were pregnant with Ford in early March of this year.
Besides the usual icky-ness of the first trimester and being considered high risk because of the unusual circumstances by which we conceived, it was an easy pregnancy. At about week 30 we were told that our un-born son was breech and that a scheduled C-Section was going to be our only option for delivery if he didn’t turn by week 36. Week 36 came & went and despite every effort on my part to get him to turn, he didn’t budge. At first I was disappointed at the news of a scheduled C. It was like running a marathon only to be carried over the finish line. I had carried this child for almost 10 months and I was going to miss the excitement of my water spontaneously breaking, rushing to the hospital and experiencing labor. However, after some thought and a few long discussions with my doctor, I relaxed into the un-natural idea of picking a date and a time to meet our son.
I didn’t sleep a wink the night before the surgery. I was terrified. I’ve never had surgery before and the idea of being awake for the whole thing was just too much to wrap my head around. Not to mention that this little human that I’ve been carrying around in my belly for the last 10 months was about to be in my arms. What a weird thought.
The morning of the surgery, my husband and I raced around the house throwing the last few items into our suitcase while my mom and sister made a quick breakfast in the kitchen. Between the surgery and how our lives were about to change forever, the nerves in the car were palpable on the way to the hospital. My husband and I talked about how these were the last few moments that it would ever be just the two of us. We got to the hospital right on time. As we checked into the Labor & Delivery department, I started to cry. They assigned us a room and I changed into a hospital gown. While they hooked me up to IVs and a baby monitor, my family sat around the hospital bed trying to make me laugh and calm my nerves.
The anesthesiologist came in and explained in detail exactly how the procedure would go. He was young and personable and we even had a good laugh about how his last patient tried to hook him up with her sister. I watched the clock as the surgery time got closer and closer. My last chance to go to the bathroom came and with my IV now securely in place, I asked my husband to help me maneuver. As soon as the door closed behind us, I started hyperventilating and broke down into tears in his arms out of fear of what was about to happen to my body. He held me up and assured me that I was strong enough to do this and that we were just minutes away from meeting our baby boy.
They walk you into the operating room for C sections. As I followed behind the nurse, I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my face. I felt embarrassed. I thought of all the women that this nurse had helped deliver babies before me. Shouldn’t I be excited!? Shouldn’t I be skipping into the OR in anticipation of holding our baby!? They sat me on the operating table and I looked around at all the equipment, the other nurses in full scrubs, the bright lights and the straps that were soon going to be used to hold me to the table. It looked like the set of one of those hospital TV dramas. The nurse hugged me and assured me it was going to be OK as the anesthesiologist administered the spinal. The spinal was a quick pinch and it was over so quick. In fact the IV in my arm had hurt much worse going in. “That was it?”, I thought. “That didn’t hurt”. It took effect almost immediately. The nurses helped maneuver my legs onto the operating table. They then administered multiple tests to see that I really couldn’t feel anything by poking my abdomen with a needle. I remember thinking… “Wow, this stuff really does work!” I couldn’t feel a thing.
My husband was allowed in the room at that point and I could tell we were getting closer to go time. My doctor arrived, and even though I was shaking uncontrollably she assured me how well I was doing & that it was going to be OK. At about that time, the music from our playlist went on and my husband broke out the GoPro. I could tell by the pressure in my abdomen that the doctors were getting started. There was no pain…only pressure. I was still shaking uncontrollably. But I remember locking eyes with my husband and just focusing on the color of his iris’. I wouldn’t let him look away. He was so good. He held my stare while at the same time trying to fumble with the camera to ensure that it was recording.
At about 10 minutes in, the doctor said, “You are going to feel a lot of pressure as he comes out.. are you ready?” I was ready. As they pulled him out, I remember hearing him scream and thinking “That’s a good thing!” Then the doctors started undressing my top half and releasing my arms from the straps in preparation for putting the baby onto my chest. As soon as they gave him to me, he calmed down and my tears of fear turned into tears of joy. I couldn’t believe that after 10 months, I was actually holding our son. At that point, I could care less what they were doing to me behind the curtain.
I held him on my chest for about 5 minutes before I started to feel my chest tighten. At first I dismissed the feeling. I didn’t want to give my baby up. But the tightening became worse and worse and I had to hand the baby to my husband. The doctor assured me that the medicine they had given me to make my uterus contract, was making my chest feel tight. They put me on oxygen and once I started to feel better, they put the baby back on my chest. The next thing I knew, they were moving me from the operating table and wheeling us into the recovery room. It was all over so fast.
We were euphoric. There are no words to describe the happiness that we felt in those first few moments. All of that waiting and all of the nerves, every scary feeling was replaced with relief and love. Lots and lots and lots of love. We were finally able to look at, hold and touch our son. He was perfect. The rest of the day was a blur. My family came in one by one to see us and meet little Ford. My husband’s best friend came by to see us as well and took these photos.
November 11th, changed our life forever. There isn’t much sleeping happening at our house right now and we are exhausted. Exhausted but blessed. So blessed.