This week, we meet Sheila, mother of two under two – a boy and a girl. Sheila’s story is short and sweet, a tale of love and support, and a little bit of faith. Sheila doesn’t currently have a blog, so I’m really glad Sheila decided to share her story in this series!
‘You got this’, my husband said to me. I smiled and we exchanged a soft kiss, but inside I was unsure, and I knew he was too.
We’d spent the last two hours or so in a hospital room waiting for our scheduled C-section. This was our second C-section, so everyone told us it would be a piece of cake. This isn’t a negative birth story, I promise. But, after the drama we experienced with our first one just seventeen months prior, we both were aware that anything could happen.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we’ve come to learn that our first child unapologetically does things on her own terms. Going back to her birth, Natalia was supposed to arrive on the 10th of the month. When the 19th rolled around, though, and she didn’t make her appearance, our doctor scheduled us for an induction. So we went in on the morning of the 20th expecting to be induced and then labor for up to twenty-four hours. However, after being administered pitocin to get the ball rolling, she didn’t respond at all. Fearing the worst, our doctor called for an emergency C-section. Thirty lighting-fast minutes later, Natalia was bundled up in my arms and I was being stapled up on the operating table. We were still trying to wrap our heads around what had just happened when two nurses, in a manner which can only be described as gravely concern and extremely quick, snatched her back up and started giving her oxygen. She had turned a purple color, and they whisked her away to a nearby emergency room to stabilizemher. Natalia stayed in the NICU for the next few days, hooked up to numerous tubes and sensors, while she decided if she wanted to fully breathe on her own or not. In a classic Natalia move, she finally decided that she’d give the breathing thing a chance and was released to us – we were more excited and bewildered than we’d ever been.
And that roller coaster of emotions was still going around in my head seventeen months later. The unpredictability and insecurity is traumatizing even to the most level-headed of parents, a group that becomes even more difficult to be a part of when late-term pregnancy hormones are in full effect!
We both handle being scared differently. I tend to get quiet and alert. He tends to be a clown. So, when the nurse brought in a one-piece coverall for my husband to wear with about thirty minutes before showtime and he quickly ushered her out of the room, I should have known he was up to something. He ducked behind the curtain to change as I stared out the window, noticing how clear of a day it was. I could see that the mountains above Los Angeles still had snow on them, but just at the very tops, it seemed. So peaceful … I was taken away for a moment.
And that’s when the curtain ripped back and my husband pounced out into the middle of the room. Wearing a white one-piece paper coverall intended to go over one’s clothing and keep the operating room sterile, he strutted and flexed while bellowing the disco hit Staying Alive.
‘Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.’ It was then that I realized why he had ushered the nurse out of the room so quickly. She had brought him a size Large coverall, which is definitely not my husband’s size. Maybe not even by two sizes … but he saw the opportunity and took it. The coveralls were essentially a full body version of a large man in yoga pants, and he looked hilariously ridiculous. As he twirled, I noticed that he’d had to completely disrobe to squeeze into these coveralls, and he couldn’t tie the back shut. I uncontrollably screamed with excitement, and could only try to hold in the laughs by covering my mouth with both hands. Of course I didn’t want the nurses to rush in thinking I was going into labor so I tried to shush him and get him to calm down between laughs. But he continued, and wouldn’t you know that’s when the door swung open with a nurse rushing in!
My husband and the nurse froze as they stared at each other. It took the nurse about five seconds before she mumbled ‘I’ll get you a larger size’, turned and closed the door behind her. Ten minutes later, my husband was properly redressed, and another nurse was at the door with a wheelchair, ready to take me downstairs. With instructions to wait for the next nurse to usher him downstairs in a few more minutes, my husband knelt down to my face, took my hand and looked in my eyes.
‘You got this’, my husband said to me. I smiled and we exchanged a soft kiss. But the reality was that I really didn’t know what to expect next, and neither did he. As confident as we can be about our abilities to predict the future, we never can be too sure, as Natalia had proved to me seventeen months earlier with a difficult birth, and my husband had reinforced moments ago to the tune of badly sung thirty-nine-year-old disco tune.
And that’s what this story is about. Life is unpredictable, and that’s just how it goes. We can prepare and that’s about it. And when it’s time to get on that operating table, all we can do is go with the flow and hope for the best.
Wesley was born a little after 11am in a comically easy C-section. He was on my chest, skin-to-skin, within minutes, and we were all recovering in our room within the hour. He didn’t fuss or cry, and we were sent home from the hospital after three nights, as a happy family. I never felt a contraction, and I know it’s not a dramatic pushing and long labor story, but this is my story and I’m proud to tell it. It was beautiful and I’d do it all over again. Taking my own advice, I know that I don’t know where it’s all going to go from here, but I’m going to be optimistic that, like my husband said before, I’ve got this. You got this!
Thank you, Sheila, for that uplifting story! Next week, we’ll hear about Hannah (The Peaceful Mama) for her second birth story! If you have a positive birth story you’d like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Hi there! I’m Sheila,a stay at home mama to two adorable littles under the age of two. I’m married to my best friend and biggest supporter! I run on caffeine and sweet, sticky kisses from my littles. I can often be found in yoga pants, a messy bun, and almost always covered in paint or some other mess. My kids are my life and I’m so blessed to be able to stay home with them each day.
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!