Not Exactly According to Plan, Vol. 2: A Birth Story

Sometimes life throws you curve balls that no amount of planning can prepare you for.

I've been trying to write this post for a while now. But it turns out that what they say is true -- it's tough to balance life with a toddler and a newborn. Especially when you factor in recovery from a C-section and daily visits to the NICU. Adjusting to our new normal has definitely taken some time.

So... What better way to celebrate our first month as a family of four than to share the story of our sweet baby boy's arrival?

The last time I wrote about my pregnancy in depth, I was a bit emotional. After the second incident of bleeding, my doctors admitted me to the hospital. I was only 31 weeks pregnant at that point and posed an increased risk of additional bleeding. They ordered partial bed rest in the hospital... No arguments. This way, I'd be in the right place in case I went into early labor and needed immediate medical attention.

For the most part, life in the hospital was actually tolerable. I had a wonderful team of nurses looking after me. Care packages from family and friends started rolling in. And I had a series of visits from friends (and deliveries of non-hospital coffee) to help keep my spirits up.

Partial bed rest meant I wasn't super restricted. Yes, I had to take it easy, but I didn't have to stay in my room. At first, I could only walk around the L&D wing, but then the doctors granted me permission to leave the floor... I just had to promise I'd keep my walking adventures on hospital grounds. My first outing after weeks of being inside was absolutely glorious. I then made a point of going outside once a day to take in the fresh air and give my mood a boost.

There were days when it was difficult to avoid feeling frustrated, though. Despite the less-than-ideal situation, I knew I was doing the right thing for my health and my safety. And, each day I spent in the hospital was another day in the womb for the baby and another day to grow.

It didn't take long for the nurses to give me the nickname "Rockstar". They liked that my stay was one of the more uneventful ones of the floor.

Until it wasn't. Without meaning to, I jinxed the whole thing.

One of my nurses came by my room to ask how I was doing and to bring me more water. (I had to stay hydrated!) I told her that I was feeling fine and had nothing out of the ordinary to report. Before I could stop myself, I told her that everything was "quiet" in Room 310.

As soon as I said it, I drew in my breath as I realized my mistake. I knew the nurses considered it bad luck to use the word "quiet" on the L&D floor, and I instantly regretted saying it. I tried to laugh it off and prayed that she didn't hear me. But it turns out that I uttered those prayers in vain. The baby heard me and must have decided right then and there that I needed to shake things up.

I approached the evening of July 1 as I had the evening before. After Stephen and C went home, I puttered around my room for a bit before taking my shower. I watched a little TV, read another chapter in my book, and took a funny video of a deer outside my hospital window. Then I climbed into my bed and waited for my evening session on the fetal monitor.

It had become normal for me to see that I was having contractions without actually feeling them. But this time? I started feeling cramping. Then those cramps turned into strong contractions that I had to breathe through. When my nurse came to check on me, she spotted something on the strip that concerned her enough to get the resident. The resident saw something that concerned her enough to get the attending. And the attending didn't hesitate to call my doctor from the perinatal group.

They all agreed -- it was time to deliver. Everything changed in the blink of an eye and my "quiet" existence on L&D was no more. Reality didn't sink in until they told me I should call Stephen and tell him to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The situation was a jumble of words until I had to repeat them over the phone to my husband. Through tears, I choked out "They're delivering me tonight. You need to get here."

In what seemed like a flurry of activity, the nurses started prepping me for my C-section. Nurses drew my blood and put in an IV. Another set of nurses helped me into my hospital gown. I didn't know how long it would take Stephen to get to the hospital... especially since he had to make arrangements for C and Monty. So, to kill some time, I called my parents to let them know what was happening.

As soon as Stephen arrived, they wheeled me down to the OR. Even though my case wasn't emergent, I couldn't help but freak out in my head. I was mad because I couldn't make sense of my situation... Why was this happening?

I didn't have time to think of an answer. Before I knew it, the nurses were helping me onto the operating table. Then came the spinal block and the humorous comments. I remember asking everyone in the room to pinky-swear that they weren't going to ask me whether I wanted a mirror. (Those of you who've been in a delivery room know what I'm talking about.) Then Stephen walked into the room, all gowned up, and held my hand as the doctors delivered the baby.

Stephen followed him and the nurses into the next room while the doctors closed me up. In less than an hour, I was in the recovery room, where we started discussing possible names. When our serious suggestions didn't line up, we started making ridiculous ones. The baby still didn't have a name by the time they wheeled me over to the NICU to meet him. In fact, we didn't agree on a name until the next morning, after we had the chance to charge our batteries a bit.

So, members of my Taste As You Go family... Please allow me to formally introduce you to our son, Jonathan Walter, born five and a half weeks before my due date. Because he was born at 34 weeks, he had to spend two weeks in the NICU before we could bring him home. Now, just like that, he's a month old and thriving.

The final leg of my pregnancy had its share of ups and downs. As soon as we figured out how to cope with the latest development, something else would change. We'd be back at square one. But, despite it all, we pulled together and we made it through. We did what we had to do to make sure Jonathan came home healthy and safe.

And, whenever C rushes to his side when he cries and says, "Jonafan, it's okay..." as she pats his head, my heart melts into a gigantic puddle. It's in that moment that I know the journey, with all its twists and turns, was worth it.


One year ago: A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for August {MENU PLAN}
Two years ago: A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for August {MENU PLAN}
Three years ago: 47 Fresh Summer Peach Recipes {ROUND-UP}
Four years ago: Stay Hydrated with Hydro Flask {REVIEW}
Five years ago: Meatless Monday: Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms {RECIPE}
Six years ago: Feed Me Friday {FUN}
Seven years ago: Quinoa with Corn, Scallions, and Mint {RECIPE}
Eight years ago: Ihawan2 Try the Filipino Barbecue {REVIEW}

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