I am finally getting around to sharing Emerson’s birth story and have realized how impressed I am with others who are able to write their child’s story within the first month, especially after giving birth to a second child. That was just not in the cards for me personally, especially with how high-maintenance our sweet girl was during the first few months after she was born.
Let me begin with a bit of backstory here…during my pregnancy with Emerson, I was constantly commenting on how active she was compared to her brother. While pregnant with Ryan, there were actually several days when he barely moved at all during the third trimester. At one point, he had been so still that I scheduled an ultrasound with my doctor because I was concerned. Everything was fine…he was just “hanging out”. To this day, that fits his personality. He is such a sweet soul and he is equally as mellow. He’s my cautious, mild-mannered little one. Emerson, on the other hand, was always moving. Her kicks often were met with a verbal exclamation on my end and she liked to reside directly on my bladder. I often found myself saying, “She’s going to give us a run for our money.”
I was scheduled for c-sections with both kids. My instincts have always been eerily accurate and with Ryan, I never questioned the fact that he would stay put until his scheduled date. Sure enough, our little rule-follower came the day we had planned for him to arrive. With our Emmy Girl going bananas in my belly, I began saying, “She is going to come early. This little one is going to want to enter the world on her own terms.” Somehow, I “knew” that I was right. While my c-section was scheduled for October 23rd (with her due date being the 25th), my mama instincts told me she would be joining us sooner.
On the afternoon of October 9th, I called my mom and asked if she could come hang out with Ryan so I could start packing my hospital bag. I should mention that David and I had our bags packed over a month before Ryan’s impending birth. First-time parents, right? This time around I was far more laid back and kept procrastinating. Okay, maybe it was simply procrastinating. Anyway, my mom came over and I headed upstairs to pack. I set everything out on a table so I could shoot it in the morning for a “What I Packed in My Hospital Bag” blog post.
We went to bed that night and just before 2am, I jumped out of bed…my water broke! My first thought? Thank you, Instincts! My second thought? Holy sh*%, we are having a baby! David woke up and we both went into work mode. Even though we had laid our stuff out, we still needed to pack it up and make sure that we did in fact have everything we would need. For whatever reason, I tend to be fairly calm in these situations. I decided to take a shower and fully get ready. I had yet to experience a single contraction so I felt confident that we did not need to be in a rush. My only concern? My eyes kept filling with tears knowing that I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to Ryan before leaving so when he woke up, we would just be gone for three days. Poof! I was obsessing about it and it made my heart ache. David kept reassuring me that he would be completely fine. After all, my mom was already on her way over so he would be in good hands.
We left the house just around 430am and pulled up at the hospital just after 445am. We laughed because we were so early that the main doors were still locked so we had to drive around to the ER and enter there. The main doors remained locked until 5am. I have a video on my phone of us walking towards the ER doors and you can hear me say, “Well, not quite the way we expected to enter the hospital.”
We were in a room just minutes later and reality started to set in…our baby girl was coming! Now, we just had to wait for my doctor to arrive and for an O.R. to be available. We waited in the room until a little before 930am. At that point, we were notified that it was time. David and I locked eyes, he gave me a kiss and I was wheeled off to the O.R. Because I had been through this before (and had undergone several other surgeries previously), I felt little to no nerves at this point. Once in the operating room, the buzz began. To paint a really quick picture, the room was filled with an entire team of medical professionals including my doctor, several nurses, a second OB, and members of the anesthesiology team coming in and out. While it is not a calm setting, it’s the only way I know how to prepare for my babies so, to me, it’s an exciting one. Dr. Pleasant, my doctor (who has been through everything with us from heartbreaking losses to being an integral part of my cancer diagnosis), came in with a big smile on his face and I could not have been happier to see him enter. He truly is more like a family member at this point. He sweetly said, “Lindsey, I am just as excited for you to have this baby as you and David are…maybe even more.”
Seeing David walk through the door minutes later immediately calmed my breathing. The chaos in the room and receiving the spinal tap didn’t phase me but starting to think about the fact that we were just moments away from meeting our sweet girl made me emotional. It’s a running joke within our family that during Ryan’s birth, I was providing David with support as entering the O.R. overwhelmed him more than he anticipated. Well, I can assure you that this time around, it was the opposite once things started happening. David was my rock. To give you a sense of timing, my doctor was hoping for Emerson to be born at 10:10am on 10/10. Let’s just say that her delivery took a bit longer than anticipated.
Approximately fifteen minutes into surgery, I could feel Dr. Pleasant tugging on my belly. (Just to clarify, it is completely normal to feel pulling and tugging during a c-section. I was not feeling any pain or discomfort!) It took me right back to my c-section with Ryan. He didn’t want to come out no matter how hard my doctor pulled. Eventually, they used a vacuum and it helped coax him out. Well, it soon became apparent that I had yet another stubborn baby in my belly. Both my doctor and his colleague ended up taking turns, each working at trying to pull our baby girl out so much so that they were both physically fatigued. They ultimately used the vacuum as well but that didn’t work. Several minutes later, my doctor explained to us that she had not engaged. This meant that she had not moved down into the pelvis area so she was just “floating around”. Not only that but she was breech. (Let’s just think back to how I said that baby girl was going to enter the world on her own terms. Apparently, she had many terms.) When I heard Dr. P say, “I can’t catch her”, I just remember my eyes filling with tears and squeezing David’s hand as tightly as possible. We have been through so much together that I began to obsess that something might go wrong. I was also trying to figure out what the hell the words “catch her” meant! I just wanted our little one out and I needed to hear her cry.
Finally, after an hour, after being pulled out FEET FIRST and after having her clavicle fractured, our sweet Emerson Rose officially entered the world. She was born at 11:03am, weighing an even 8lbs. Remember how I previously said that I just wanted to hear that cry? Just to add a bit more drama to her birth story, Emerson did not cry. The tears began to come down even faster and my breathing sped up. I was officially a sobbing mess. David looked torn, as if he didn’t know if he should leave me to go be with Emerson so I made it clear that he needed to go be by her side. Thank God, after the longest minute of our lives, we heard our sweet baby girl cry out. I could see the nurse place Emerson in David’s arms and he held her for a moment before walking over to me so I could see our little warrior. She was perfect. Just perfect.
It is amazing how one teeny tiny little being can make your family, your life, instantly feel complete.
We love you beyond measure, Emmy girl.
Images by Cat Wilborne Photography
Thank you all for SO much for continuing to join our family on our journey.