The bulk of our story begins at our little guys' 20 week anatomy scan. We finished our ultrasound and they sent us on our way to our scheduled doctors appointment, just like they had with our first baby. That's where the similarities ended. The doctor told us that our ultrasound had revealed two abnormalities: choroid plexus cysts in his brain and an ecogenic bowel. She went on to tell us that we'd need further testing by a high risk maternal fetal specialist because these abnormalities could indicate chromosomal abnormalities, infection, and/or Cystic Fibrosis. I froze. As hard as I tried I just couldn't compute what the doctor was saying. It wasn't until I got home from the doctors office that reality really hit me. This was my baby and he was extremely loved and wanted--nothing was going to change that. But the thought of my child having a condition that could cause him pain or shorten his life was enough to absolutely break my heart.
From there we began a big waiting game: waiting to get in to see the specialist, waiting for insurance to approve the necessary testing, and waiting for the test results.
All of the testing came back with reassuring results, the cysts in his brain disappeared, and we were left with a very apparent ecogenic bowel with no explanation. They continued to monitor me for the remainder of my pregnancy with ultrasounds and non-stress tests. It kinda felt like I was living at the doctors office and the hospital but it was reassuring to know that they were taking such good care of my baby boy.
With my first I had an unplanned c-section and I was hoping for a VBAC this time around. My doctor was game to try it if I went into labor on my own but warned that it may not be a possible due to my extremely small pelvis. During my ultrasounds they discovered that my baby was measuring 3 weeks ahead and had a lot of extra amniotic fluid. Since my body had not progressed at all and my baby was measuring so big they advised me to schedule a c-section for his 39 week mark. The night before my scheduled c-section came and I was so excited that it was extremely hard to sleep. My hubby and I woke up early the next morning and headed to the hospital arriving at 6:15 AM. They took us back to our room and checked me for dilation. My cervix was still completely closed so c-section it was. They placed my IV after several failed attempts (they must use this as a training opp for new nurses because the same thing happened with my first baby). I should be used to needles by now....I had crazy bad morning sickness early in pregnancy and had to have IV therapy all the time. Yet, needles still freak me out as much as ever. My husband is the same way. I always laugh because he cannot stand to watch me get an IV yet he can watch the entire c-section with no problem. Next, they pumped my IV full of anti-nausea medications because I don't have a good track record in the nausea department. They also gave me this drink to help prevent nausea.... It was so disgusting that it actually made my nausea worse! To this day if I get sick to my stomach if I so much as think about that stupid drink. We waited around a bit for the doctor and then it was go time! I walked into the operating room and they gave me a spinal tap to numb the lower half of my body--this is my least favorite part of the process because 1. hello NEEDLES and 2. it's the only time they won't let your spouse be in there with you. Thank goodness I had a darling anesthesiologist who talked me through everything. Finally they let my hubby into the room (it's a good thing too because I was already getting emotional). The surgery took a whole lot longer than my first c-section because they had a lot of scar tissue to get through this time around. While they were getting to the baby I had one of the neatest experiences of my life. The most overwhelming feeling washed over me that my dad (who had passed away 8 months earlier) was there with me. I feel so fortunate that I got to share my birth experience with him. I know that he loved it just as much as I did--I've never met anyone who loves babies as much as my dad. I could feel a lot of tugging and I heard the doctor comment on how big the babies head was. Then, at 8:07, our baby made his way into the world. They quickly checked him, weighed him (he was a WHOPPING 9 lb 3 oz-- as a 5 ft tall gal I never thought I'd carry a baby that big), and then brought him over to me. They put him on my chest while they were stitching me up-- this was a nice change because with my fist kiddo I didn't get to do skin to skin for hours. I wish there were words that could adequately express how I was feeling in that moment but there just aren't. All I know is that my heart felt like it was about to burst. After all of the health scares that we'd had with him during pregnancy I was fortunate enough to be holding a PERFECTLY HEALTHY baby boy.
My husband later told me a little bit about what it was like to watch the c -section: "It's so crazy, your stomach was just sitting there on the table. There they are, just talking about their sons T-ball game, and they just take a metal scoop and just stick your stomach back inside. " Eeee... glad I wasn't the one watching. Anyway..... As baby and I were being wheeled back to the recovery room, nausea came on in full force (and let's just say those blue bags become my best friend for the next couple hours). You know what though? I was so happy I didn't even care.
Later, our daughter arrived at the hospital to meet her new little brother. Having both of my babies in my arms and my sweet hubby by my side was absolute bliss! I wish I could relive that day a billion times.
You can watch our birth story told through pictures and video below:
Written by: Natalie Gubler
*Special thanks to all of the doctors, nurses, and staff at Legacy OBGYN and American Fork Hospital for taking such good care of us. You are truly amazing!*