“As I walked into the non-emergency entrance to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning for the birth of our son, I glanced at my phone. ‘C-Section in 4 min.’ The moment felt too simple. In 4 minutes, I would check in with the nurse waiting for me. I’d change into my hospital gown and meet with my doctor and anesthesiologist. I’d walk into the operating room, and after a quick procedure, I’d come out with a son.“
It was 5:00am on Thursday, September 20, 2019. My husband and I grabbed our bags, headed to our car, and quietly slipped out of our neighborhood. As we drove the mostly empty highway toward the hospital, we tried to predict the size of a 36 week baby. Would he be big enough to host lungs that could keep his little body going without help?
We parked our car in the parking ramp we were told to use and walked towards the door. I glanced at my phone. “C-Section in 4 min,” my calendar reminder read as if this were as simple as a dentist appointment or dinner party. I took a screenshot as I took in the weight of this moment. These 4 minutes, these are the final moments. We walked through those doors as 2. We’d walk out as 3.
As we walked the hall to OB Triage, the woman at the end was waiting for us. Expecting us, she knew my name. She checked me in and led us to the room we were to get prepared in. I changed into my gown, put my hairnet on, had my IV started, chatted with the nurses, my doctor, the anesthesiologist…
As 7:30am rolled around, I walked with my nurse into the operating room. I hoisted myself onto the table. My doctor held my hand as the anesthesiologist administered lidocaine and then my spinal that was literally over before I knew it. They helped me lay down, brought my husband in and got to work.
One labor and delivery team, the anesthesiologist, a NICU Nurse Practitioner (just in case) and my husband. Together, we brought my son into the world less than 20 minutes after the procedure began. As the doctor removed him from my womb, he cried. And I cried. Because I forgot that was a thing healthy babies would do at birth. He cried. He had breath in his lungs. He was doing it.
The doctor held up my son for me to see. Through my tears I took in his tiny, scrunched up face. His long arms and big hands. His pinkness. My boy. There he was.
They measured him, assessed him, wrapped him up and handed him to my husband who held him by my face as the doctor finished her part with me. And then the three of us made our way to my recovery room, and I was finally handed my son. Winslow – Win – we snuggled skin-to-skin. He filled his tiny belly up with milk as I filled my big heart up with love.
It was 8:00am on Thursday, September 20, 2019.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 36 weeks, 4 days
Doctor’s Appointments: 11
Makena Injections: 19