After 40 weeks and 6 days of waiting, our little boy finally made his appearance!
I had been desperately hoping for a VBAC. Cal's birth was incredibly traumatizing, with 24 hours of labor that ended in a C-section. Needless to say, it was chaotic and stressful, and the recovery took months and months. I wanted to experience something that was the complete opposite, and in my mind that would only happen through having a VBAC.
Three weeks before the due date, I was dilated to a 3. By two weeks before I was dilated to a 4! Things were looking so promising, and Ryan and I felt like a baby was around the corner. Contractions began off and on, and we were sure this boy was coming early. Especially since my body had never progressed that far on its own with Cal.
The due date was a few days away, and we knew our best chances of a successful VBAC quickly diminish after the due date. So I walked all over, did acupuncture, took oils, ate funky foods, stripped my membranes, did anything to convince this baby it was time to come! But, my due date came and went, and we were soon closing in on 41 weeks, where things start getting scary.
At my last doctors appointment, we scheduled the C-section to happen two days later, on the 16th of December. I left that appointment with such a heavy heart. I was filled with many conflicting emotions. I was so happy I knew the very day my baby would join our little family, but was left wondering why? Why was something Ryan and I had been praying and longing for, and having hope in, not working out? Why did every friend before me seem to have the delivery they had hoped for - yet I wasn't? I wasn't bitter, but felt confused and disheartened.
The morning of the 16th came. It was surreal, and I felt so odd. I showered and did my hair and makeup, spent a typical morning with Ryan, Cal and my mom, then we left for the hospital. I remember telling Ryan, "This is weird. It's like we are ordering a baby and going to pick it up." It was so beyond what I had pictured in my mind for all those months leading up to it. I wanted to be giddy and excited, but it didn't seem real!
I was prepped and ready for the C-section between the hours of 10:30-12:30, was visited by my OB Dr. Haun and the anesthesiologist, then it was time to make our way to the operating room! At this point, I was so scared. Memories of my first experience came flooding in, and panic started to overtake me. But, the doctors were encouraging and kind as they started prepping for surgery, and Ryan spoke calming words as he stroked my hair and held my hand. Soon, they had lowered the drape and said, "it's baby time!" I saw them pull the baby out, and was overcome with emotion. He was here safely, and he was mine! With Cal, I wasn't able to see him be born, wasn't able to actually see him for hours after, was completely loopy on drugs, and wasn't able to hold or feed him for days after that. With this sweet babe, I saw him from the very beginning. I saw his first breath, heard his first cry, and got to hold him immediately. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and filled with awe as I held and kissed and loved on this perfect baby boy.
He weighed 8lbs 6oz and measured 20 3/4 inches long, what a big boy! It turns out he was in the same position Cal was in during labor - the Asynclitic position, where their head would not engage with my pelvis and probably would never have engaged in order to induce labor. It seems like my babies just can't be born in any way but a C-section because of my pelvis, which brought me total peace. There is nothing I could have done differently, and this C-section experience was absolutely perfect. He was here, he was healthy, I was present and aware, and it was such a sweet moment.
Ryan, baby and I were taken to the recovery area. It was such a peaceful, sacred time as just the three of us.
Cal and Grandma Thompson came to visit, and poor Cal was not impressed. He doesn't quite get whats happening, and was confused why his mom was loving on a new baby. But, we know he will warm up in the next few months! They are going to be great friends!
Since his birth, we chose the name Grady Decker Folsom. We have liked the name for a few months, but knew for sure it was supposed to be Grady when we met him. Grady is an old Irish name meaning "noble" - and we hope he walks tall and proud, and full of integrity. Decker is a family name on my side, with an incredible history. We can't wait to teach him about his ancestry, and to learn more about it together.
Now, we are hoping for his bilirubin levels to decrease. At birth they were at a 3, at 12 hours they rose to 9, and at 24 hours they rose to 12. They said moving close to level 20 could pose problems associated with brain damage, so we have held him under bili lights for the last 24 hours non-stop. His levels have stayed at 12, and we are hoping they decrease quickly in order to take him home at last.
Little Grady has nestled his way deeper and deeper into our hearts, and we can't imagine life without him.