Monday, May 28, 2012

Welcome Sweet Enzo Kai - A birth story

Once we knew that our little guy was best to come via c-section, I got a message on facebook from a friend that basically summed it up :  The best day of your life is coming on Monday. And how often do we KNOW that will be our best day?

It was the best day -- and it was as intimate and beautiful of a birth we could've possibly had. 

The night before (Sunday) I ate well and tried to rest as much as possible, as I know that I tend to be bad with anxiety and important dates and not sleeping. I couldn't have any solids after 11PM and liquids after 3AM so I tried to bunker down to sleep early. I tossed and turned not only because I was so geared up about the procedure, but because the baby was kicking ALL night long....but it felt different, like he was angry in there wanting to come out. I got up covered in sweat a few different times to take my temperature. I was so paranoid something was wrong and that although we would be at the hospital in a few short hours I was extremely worried something was off. 

Last morning pregnant right before we left for the hospital!

We arrived at Labor & Delivery at 5:30AM and began all the pre-op procedures. (Check in, sign paperwork, pee, get blood drawn). Everything seemed to move very fast. I was nervous when we first arrived because the first person we met at L&D was miserable...but we were pretty sure it was because she was at the end of a long shift. A nice nurse named Norma (alliteration!) came to do the majority of the fun stuff like insert my IV and catheter. I didn't realize the catheter would be done sans medical numbing of any sort, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. 

Once we were all catheterized and "comfy" it was basically a waiting game. We signed a bunch of consent forms and Glenn put on his sweet baby hazmat suit. 

Both he and my mom were a great support system throughout...I appreciated them keeping me calm and collected before, during, and after the procedure. Of course some nervous tears were shed but I was able to breathe it out for the most part. The baby was still really active and they monitored him and showed I was contracting (I couldn't feel it). 

We were slated to begin at 7:45 -- and we hit the OR about 8:00, things progressed quick from there! 

Last photo before we were officially parents!

It seemed doctors and nurses were coming in from all over -- we had the nurse practitioner, 2 of the doctors from my OBGYN practice, the anesthesia doctor and his support person, and a melee of other nurses. Someone was always talking to me, reassuring me, patting my back or arm. I had to take alot of deep breaths before the spinal and surrender myself to not panic about everything going numb. 

I was glad everyone kept communicating with me...I mostly stared at the ceiling and tried to repeatedly count to 5 and breathe it out. The spinal felt like a pinch going in, but the drugs made me shake pretty badly. My arms and hands felt jittery -- then after they were sure I was good and numb they began to work on bringing this dude into the world! 

Glenn was at my head holding my hand and telling me I was doing great. The "big blue screen" wasn't as big as I thought and he pretty much got to watch ALL of the action. I never felt any pain, only pressure from the doctor to my left basically having to put all her weight on my chest to get him wedged out. Once they got "into" the thick of things they said he was big, had alot of hair, and that he had never descended (which I already knew). The doctor said his positioning had changed to transverse and that it was good we made the decision we had, because vaginal delivery would've been really unlikely.

It made me feel okay to know that sometimes babies don't descend, sometimes they do work themselves into crazy positions, and that sometimes we can all be thankful for knowledge, advocating for ourselves, our bodies and our babies, and that technology is a beautiful thing. 

At approximately 8:15 am the doctors announced our baby boy was here! 

Enzo Kai Lovelace - 05/21/12 @ 8:15 AM
8 lbs 11 healthy ounces, 20.5 inches long

He let out a good throaty yelp and the anesthesiologist had a mirror above my head angled so I could see his little butt above me. So thankful for that mirror! They suctioned out his nose/mouth (thankful also for no aspiration) and took him over the warmer where Daddy got to cut his cord and watch his Apgar tests. 

This seemed to take forever but everything happened really very fast. I was glad to watch from afar while they stitched me up, elated but still in shock he was finally here! 

He got 9/9 on his Apgars which is perfect, but especially perfect for a Csectioned baby. 

look at those chunky thighs!

In my hypnobirthing, they always had you go to your "safe place" with your baby...he is remarkably how I imagined him, especially with the head full of hair! 

After his tests were done, Glenn got to hold him and bring him over to me. All I wanted to do was see his little face! I was so happy he was here and healthy, alot of tears were shed. 

After we were stitched up we got over to recovery with Enzo and had immediate skin to skin contact. He was already rooting around looking for the boobs, and I was so very very thankful for getting skin to skin contact.

Glenn was able to go grab my mom to come back to recovery and from here on out I pretty much lost track of time loving on this little boy. 

Although this was a very planned birth, the excitement, enthusiasm and hormonal rush were all very present! I will always remember that first time seeing his face and feeling his wiggly body on my chest. 

While not the perfect circumstances, it was perfectly ours to cherish. 

We spent 2 hours in recovery before we got our own (HUGE AWESOME SUITE) of a room. Enzo went to the baby nursery for about an hour to get cleaned up and have the rest of his newborn checks done, while we got settled and relaxed.

The quality of care at GBMC was above and beyond! Our room was gorgeous and huge, and we had a team of nurses that checked in on us regularly, each with their own phone should we need to contact them at any time. We had a nurse tech (who got to do fun things like empty my catheter), an RN for mama, and an RN for baby, as well as lactation specialists who stopped by. 

I was super extra thirsty (because I drink so much water regularly, I think) and begged to have ice chips as soon as possible. They frown upon giving you anything to drink too quick as it causes alot of women with csections to vomit (which can of course effect that already tender lower abdominal region). I promised to go slow and the nurse tech brought me the GBMC giant mug (seriously my new best friend) with a huge bendy straw to sip on. 

I credit drinking water early to pushing out all the extra fluids and feeling good. The surgery had given me a long lasting pain medicine and I felt pretty great the entire 4 days we were in the hospital. I found the percocets made me sleepy, but other than that everything was really quite comfortable. 

The baby roomed in with us night one (we were excited and wanted to just stare at him for hours). Looking back this wasn't the brightest as we got little to no that time I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and was due, and Glenn was so exhausted he turned a funky shade of green. It was good for them to take him early the next morning so we could catch up on some zzzz's. 

From there on we let him go to the nursery at least once a day for some rest, and it was helpful to have visitors come and get their snuggles in as well!

We were really spoiled by lots of well wishers popping by and bringing us lovely flowers, snacks and gifts! Thank you for loving this little boy as much as we do!

Recovery day 2 went pretty well -- all the nurse techs were impressed with my 'output' of pee (thanks giant GBMC mug!) that we were able to get the catheter out early. It wasn't a fun time getting it out, but I felt much better immediately. There is a ton of care post csection that involves bedpans and squirt bottles and I'd much rather handle those things myself than have some poor tech my age doing it. 

By day 3 I think we were "ready to go", but the hospital keeps you until day 4. I did all I could to prove my healthiness, which includes but is not limited to - steady output of pee, baby gaining weight, mama being able to pass gas (seriously), and all of our vitals being stable. We made our goals known and the nurses did all the prep work to ensure we could leave Thursday!

Coming home has been the complete gamut of emotions : exciting, terrifying, rewarding, frustrating, and above all else, tiring! The first week together has taught us alot about love and patience, and finding our groove. And yes, there are hormones. OH the hormones. I sit and stare at him sometimes and cry. I cry because we are so lucky to have such a healthy guy. I cry looking at pictures from the day he was born. I cry when I am so exhausted my eyes are crossing and he won't go to sleep. And I cry when I think about how this is just the beginning and we have so. much. more to learn, and love, and experience! 

I feel really lucky to have nursing going as well as it has been, he still has a great latch and we are beginning to recognize his different cries. He's a pretty content kid unless he has a messy diaper, is hungry, is being changed, or is struggling with a poo! 

My favorite parts of the day are in his sleepy milk-drunk comas...sniffing his head and kissing his tootsies!

He is now a week old, and these past 7 days have been the longest/fastest of my life ever. Time flies when you are loving life -- and we can't wait to see what comes next!

Thanks again, and as always, for your support throughout!


  1. I am SO glad everything went so well for you! Looove the first photo of baby when the doctor's holding him up! It makes me a little sad that since I had to be put out for mine, we missed those amazing first moments of baby coming into the world, but I'm SO glad for you that you got to both experience them! Makes me excited for next time, should there be one. :) And good luck with the sleep!

  2. You looked so cute in the picture with the gown on!!

    And I cried reading this, he is adorable and I am so happy for you guys. I am so glad you got to have skin to skin so quickly and that he is nursing good. Must be a mixed babies thing, Vince had an awesome latch! I never had any nipple discomfort. LOL! I love seeing all the pictures of the handsome guy and you look amazing!! I wish I lived closer for playmates and work out sessions!!!!

  3. Honestly, I've never seen someone (or a couple) with such a realistic view of life, parenting, and motherhood. And on top of it all, you look absolutely stunning Leah.

    Baby Enzo is one lucky little man to have such a loving and supportive family.

    And I'm pretty sure everyone else will agree that he's DEFINITELY going to have to beat the ladies off with a stick. He's sooooo stinkin' cute! :D

  4. Congrats Leah and Glen! I loved reading your story and seeing all of the pictures of your sweet baby boy. He's just adorable! I'm so glad everything turned out well with your delivery and I hope the pain subsides as each day passes! One day you will feel "normal" again! God bless your new little family! :)

  5. I just passed on an award to you on my page! Feel free to stop by and check it out. You know, during baby's nap or something. :)

    - Nicole @

  6. Beautiful post and lovely photos :) btw you still look good after giving birth to ur child! Hee.


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