My whole pregnancy led up to this moment. I can't tell you how excited we were to finally discover who our little baby was. Knowing this was our last, we decided from the very beginning we were not going to find out the baby's gender. We had attempted this with the two previous pregnancies, and cracked almost immediately. But not this time! We were going to remain strong, but if I am being honest, it was so tough (but so worth it)!!
Going into this pregnancy, I knew I'd be having a C-Section, which meant I knew which day my baby would be welcomed Earth-side. My due date was October 25th; however, because I never do anything easily, my "delivery" date was changed to October 18th due to having Gestational Hypertension, but nonetheless, I would still have a set date of when I'd meet my little one - another reason to keep our baby's gender a surprise. My blood pressure continued to be a problem (again - who needs easy??), so my doctor and I agreed the safest and best option would be to move my C-Section to 38 weeks gestation. So, it was set - I would NOW meet my baby on October 11th, 2018. I'm not going to lie, I prayed the date wouldn't get moved around again, because despite knowing the day baby would arrive, it didn't make planning any easier (e.g., Mother-In-Law's flight had already been booked, child care arranged, etc.).
The morning of the 11th had finally arrived; it was the big day! Sleep, as you can imagine, was pretty much nonexistent the night before. I mean, how can one sleep knowing a part of their heart is going to be outside their body in a matter of hours? We made the short drive to the hospital, took the elevator to the third floor, and walked through the doors of Labor & Delivery. My nerves were actually under control, which surprised me as I am a worrier by nature. It may have been due to the fact I've had a C-Section before, or because of how calm my husband, Adam, was, or because I had the most amazing doctor on the planet. Either way, I was in good hands and felt at ease. For those who have never had a scheduled C-Section, they have you arrive two hours prior your surgery to be prepped. Things moved at an easy pace: I began by getting changed into my lovely hospital gown and hooked up to the baby monitors, as well as IV fluids. I relaxed in the bed, answering questions, chatting with my doctor (who was wearing rainbow-pooping unicorn socks), and filling out the little bit of paperwork that remained. The nurses that would be involved in my delivery, as well as the anesthesiologist, came to introduce themselves, which put me further at ease. I was so ready.
The time had come for Adam to get on his blue scrubs and for me to make my way to the operating room. My posse and I strolled down the hall, discussing what names I had chosen and what music I'd like to have playing. We joked about having Europe's "The Final Countdown" playing while the baby was delivered since the baby had been referred to as "The Final Bernhardt" throughout my pregnancy. We entered the OR, I made my way to the operating table, and got situated to have my spinal done. My sweet doctor, whom I am privileged to call a friend, hopped up on the table with me - face to face to hold my hands as I waited. Everyone was in such great spirits, laughing, and telling jokes. For some, that might have been a bit unnerving, but it couldn't have been more perfect for me. As soon as the spinal was in place, things moved very quickly. I laid back, the clear drape went up, and Adam was brought in. I remember looking back to Adam while he was waiting to take a seat and then realizing that the surgery had already started. It seemed liked in just a blink of an eye, I heard my doctor say, "I think I see red hair!" (And for those who know me, know that this was my last chance to have my little ginger baby. Haha! And, I have wanted one in the worst way!) Then, I felt some tugging and the baby was held up for Adam to announce the gender, all while Billy Joel's "My Life" was playing in the background. Adam excitedly exclaimed, "IT'S A BOY!!!!" Cue the tears! My beautiful, perfect little boy was held up to the clear drape for me to see for the first time. I was definitely surprised to hear we had a boy, as I had been convinced the entire pregnancy we were going to have a girl.
Our sweet boy was brought over to the warmer to have Adam cut part of the cord and have his assessment quickly done so that he could be placed on my chest. One of the nurses asked if we had a name for our little guy (we had come in without being a 100% certain of the first name we'd chose if we had a boy), but I instantly knew - Everett Valentine. Our sweet Everett Valentine was delivered at 8:32 AM, weighing in at 6 pounds 14 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long. My last baby was placed on my chest for me stare at in awe, while my doctor completed the rest of my surgery. My heart was just overflowing with so much love and joy as I looked at my baby's sweet face and back to my proud husband. We had made this perfect little boy, our final piece to our puzzle. Our lives are forever changed. Next thing on the list…keeping four tiny humans alive, all while trying to stay sane. Pray for us. Haha!
(And yes, that is baby spit up on dad’s shoulder…)