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Caitlin Melvin | Caitlinalisonmelvin@gmail.com | Toronto, Ontario

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HUXLEY'S BIRTH STORY | baby

April 10, 2019

 

 

 

OH MY GOODNESS!!! He is finally here!!!

 

Huxley David Richard McKay was born March 26th at 10:56am weighing 8lbs.

 

He was born via planned c-section. The last week has been such a whirlwind of emotions. I wanted to share his birth story, but there were so many personal photos we took at the time of his birth I had to be selective about the ones I shared publicly. Most of them I am going keep to myself and for Bryon and won't be sharing. With this being said, I am more than happy to share my birth experience, as it was such a special moment.

 

The week before Huxley was born, I had an ultrasound to determine his method of delivery. By the time I was 35 weeks Huxley was estimated to be in the 94th percentile, and each week from there he was getting bigger and bigger. I'm a pretty small girl, so there were some concerns about delivering vaginally. But the week before his birth (38 weeks) the ultrasound determined he was between 8-9lbs (the clinic my OB is at has brand new ultrasound equipment and was really accurate) and he was still pretty high in my belly - he hadn't started to drop yet. There were two risks: 1. Shoulder Dystocia. I especially did not want to mess around with this as the injuries for the baby can be pretty severe and traumatizing. 2. By the time he got into the birth canal, my OB advised that the labour would likely not be progressing well and I would end up needing a c-section anyway. (labouring + a c-section can be an even more intense recovery). He did a pelvic exam as well noting Huxley was still high and I was really small, and said our options were induction the following week to attempt labour for a vaginal birth or an elective c-section. In Canada, you can't request a c-section. A c-section is only offered to a patient in specific circumstances. Bryon and I decided the safest solution for the baby and myself was a c-section. (Sure, for some, it might be "nice to try" vaginal birth if you are given the option of being induced or a c-section...but I looked at the risks, and for me, the risks were not worth trying vaginal delivery because other people were pressing that it's "the best way to deliver". It's not. When there are risks involved, you have to do what is best FOR YOU. Not what is best for OTHERS because of their experience or what they have heard. Just a little note.)

 

I know a lot of mom's are against c-sections or try to avoid them at all cost because it's not 'natural'. I was impartial to either methods of delivery. Honestly, both sounded horrible to me lol. He could either come out the sunroof an inch away from my vagina or he could hopefully make it through the birth canal without complications. A baby has to come out one way or the other - birthing a baby in either methods is natural to me lol. It comes out, it's a birth, it's natural. To me, there wasn't a difference. I didn't feel like I wouldn't connect to my baby if he was delivered via c-section, the anti-bodies from the birth canal were also not an issue, because A. the anti-bodies only last about 72 hours. B. The fluid that coats your birth canal which gives the baby the anti-bodies can be taken out and rubbed on your baby if you are really worried about that.

 

Bryon had a surgical exam on the Saturday following our appointment, so our OB booked the section exactly one week ahead of Huxley's actual due date. For the rest of the week I was a nervous wreck. I already wasn't comfortable because I was so huge, but I hardly slept. I was so nervous. I finished my last day at work on the Wednesday and used the rest of the week to run errands and try and rest and enjoy some time to myself. I primarily laid on the couch watching movies, taking naps and eating lol. The ultimate pregnant lady's dream. 

 

Our c-section was scheduled for the morning of Tuesday and we had to be at the hospital for 6am. We woke up at 4am, I showered with this anti-septic sponge I was instructed to use and put on some comfortable clothes, grabbed my hospital bag and off we went. We were both SO nervous. There was one other section scheduled ahead of me, which we knew about, but once we arrived the nurses advised us of a crazy night and said there would probably be further delay. An unplanned section went ahead of the couple before us. Around 8:30/9:00am we were called into the triage. my heart was racing. I undressed into the hospital gown and hung out on the bed while the nurse listened to Huxley's heartbeat and took my blood pressure. Bryon got some scrubs on and B put our stuff in a recovery room for after the surgery. What people don't realize - likely because of the excitement surrounding a birth - is that a c-section is major abdominal surgery. It's really intensive. They make the incision around your bikini line and open up your abdominal muscles like a curtain before cutting into the uterus. All the while, the patient is awake. I was terrified. I was scared of the spinal and I was scared of not being able to feel my legs and feel the pressure from the actual surgery and I was also worried about the recovery. 

 

The anesthesiologist came in to introduce himself - he was a resident who would be doing my spinal with the staff supervising. The hospital we delivered at is a teaching hospital (Bryon sometimes works there!) which means you often have a resident either doing the procedure or assisting. I'm 100% okay with this. Residents are generally very thorough and careful because they have a lot to prove to their seniors. Bryon was having a tough time with the surgery because he has delivered babies via c-section before as a medical student (he didn't do the actual surgery, but he assisted), so for him he had a feeling of helplessness, which I think made him extra nervous. Eventually I was taken to the OR, where we waited for the team to prep my room. We had our hair nets in, I was shaking with fear -my teeth were chattering. I'm not scared of needles - I have a lot of tattoos lol. But this was different + not knowing what to expect with the surgery, I was just uneasy. For the spinal, the spouse is not allowed to come into the OR room. Bryon had to wait outside the room for this, even though he's a doctor. I went into the room and let everyone know I was really nervous, but all the doctors and scrub nurses were SO welcoming and reassuring, I started to feel a bit better as we made conversation about anything BUT the actual surgery. The spinal was interesting hahaha. Basically they inject some anesthetic into the area where the spinal is injected to relieve pain. This "freezes" the area. It doesn't hurt, it just stings a bit. I sat on the edge of the bed while a nurse stood in front of me and held my hands for the spinal. I will say that the spinal isn't comfortable. It doesn't really hurt, but there's an odd feeling of pressure that is quite uncomfortable. There was a slight complication when I felt a numb tingling in my left leg, but I vocalized this and it was quickly adjusted. My legs went warm and the anesthesiologist let me know that the needle was out and I was helped onto the bed so I laid flat on my back. My OB came in at that point to hold my hand and say hi. He seemed so excited about the surgery and said, "Don't be nervous! It's your baby's birthdate!" He left to scrub in and chat with Bryon a bit, and then once my spinal kicked in, they both came into the OR. A partition was put up so I wouldn't be able to see the surgery, and Bryon sat with me and held my hand and my OB said, "Next time I see you you'll be a mumma!!" In the beginning I felt really sick - like I would throw up - and my head felt hot and sweaty...that went away after a couple minutes.

 

During the surgery, I tried to focus on Bryon while I felt pressure on/in my abdomen. It really didn't take that long, but I didn't enjoy the feeling. Finally I felt intense pressure up toward my ribs and some pushing on my ribs, and my OB called to Bryon, "Dad, stand up, your son is coming! Get your camera ready!" Bryon stood up and got to watch. I'm so happy he took photos of that moment (I won't be sharing those) because they are the most amazing photos I have. Huxley came out and I heard his cry and I started crying and the surgical team were talking about how cute he was, and Bryon looked down at me and said he's really cute, and then my OB yelled out, "He's peeing!", yes my baby peed all over me after he was born lol. Luckily his pee was sterile hahaha. I watched as Huxley got weighed, screaming and crying naked. He was 8lbs and really healthy for a baby born a week early. Bryon stayed with him while he got special ointment on his eyes to prevent an infection and a vitamin K shot. They swaddled him up, nice and cozy and Bryon finally brought him over to me so I could meet him. Finally, I saw the sweetest boy in the world who had been growing in my tummy for months! It truly was the best day of my life.

 

After I delivered, I was taken to a recovery room with Bryon and Huxley tucked under blankets laying on my chest. The nurse monitored both mine and Huxley's temperature for probably about an hour - although I'm not entirely sure lol, before we were taken to my room where I stayed for the next 48 hours before I was sent home. 

 

I will be writing a blog post about my personal experience with a c-section recovery, and another post about my breastfeeding experience (something I think any mom or mom to be would find interesting and helpful). My life has changed completely. Huxley is now 2 weeks old and I've been adjusting to how I now spend my days (which go by SO fast!). It has been hard to find a balance of finding time to get stuff done for me and also Huxley - Huxley obviously takes priority. Having Bryon at home the past two weeks has been phenomenal and extremely helpful and my mom has been able to come and help at the drop of a dime as well. Needless to say, we are ALL very exhausted. 

 

I can't wait to have Huxley be part of this blog - I do want to be selective about what I share with him on here, because he is a human too. Even though he doesn't get a say in what I share about him now, he may feel differently as he gets older and I want to be respectful of that. 

 

 

Looking forward to sharing more adventures with my family!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caitlin Melvin lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Bryon,their son, Huxley and two cats Finnigan and Lucca. A marketing manager by day, blogger on the side, freelance social media specialist and a lover of travel and new experiences