To read my previous pregnancy and birth stories and see the awesome (to me, anyway) pictures of my babies getting pulled out of my stomach, follow these links:
When my husband and I got to the hospital at 5am on October 17th, 2017, I knew 2 things: 1) The baby's name would start with a B, either Blakeley for a girl or Brooks for a boy, and 2) I had a checklist of things I was dreading that I would have to endure throughout this C-section process.
My CheckList was as follows:
1)The spinal block with my husband in another room (I get fearful when he is not present)
2)The freezing cold O.R. where I shook so badly last time, I thought my spinal block was going to miss.
3)The lack of sleep - with my C-sections I had had such an adrenaline rush once my babies were "here" that I had stayed wide awake for 2 days in the hospital while everyone else slept.
4)The first feeding - breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, but it seems so foreign each time you start with a new baby
5)Catheter - no explanation needed
6)First shower - everything is sore and everything feels like jello... bad combination for trying to stand and move securely in a wet, slippery environment
7)Going to the bathroom
The awesome thing was that almost nothing was as bad as I thought it was going to be, or bad as I remembered from my previous two c-sections. The nurses in the operating room were in a very jovial mood. I was joking and laughing with them so much, I forgot to be nervous about the spinal block. And the room wasn't even cold! Then I kept cracking up, because everyone kept talking about the "cute anesthesiologist", which I guess is the one I had. He was a friendly guy, and he shocked me when he said verbatim, "You seem like a normal person, so I'm not going to strap your arms down once your spinal takes effect. Some people try to 'help out' during a procedure, but if you think you can just relax your arms the whole time, then we'll just have your arms free." And I was thinking, 'You don't even know me!' And I was worried that maybe I was one of those people who like to "help out" and just didn't know it yet! Ha! So as they laid me down once my spinal had started working, I kept playing the mental note over and over in my mind, 'DON'T move your arms!'
Then they put the blue paper curtain thing up, Kyle came in, and we got started (or at least that is how I think the order went). I felt a lot of tugging, and everyone kept updating me and talking to us. Then I heard, "There's a head, but we don't know if it is a boy or girl yet"... "Shoulders, still don't know"... and then finally someone, I think the doctor, said "It's a girl!"
And I said, "YAY!"
|That is NOT her shoulder; that is my stomach!|
I'm not sure why, but right before we had gone back for the c-section, I knew my true feelings and hopes for a girl. I had told my husband, "I'm just being honest, but I think I will be a little sad if it is a boy." He said he probably would be a little sad if it was a girl. So either way, one of us was going to be super happy and the other one would come around, and he definitely has!
I have made up little lullabies for my older two kids that include their name and something about we are thankful for them or them being a gift from God... but I had't made up a song for this child because this child's name was unknown until the 17th. My husband has become so smitten by our new little angel, that he came up with her song this time, and it melts my wife's and mama's heart to hear him sing it to her!
So once I knew I had another daughter, my heart felt like it would burst with excitement! Of course, they started cleaning her up and they kept cleaning me out and sewing me up. LOTS of tugging and pressure!!! I was also having a tubule done, so maybe that is what seemed to be taking longer than usual.
I got to smooch on her face a little, but I didn't get to hold her, which was disappointing. I had been allowed to hold my son last time on my chest (but my arms had been strapped down then). Then they took me to "recovery" for an hour or so... I do remember with my first 2 c-sections, I slept hard during this time because I had barely been able to keep my eyes open during the procedures. I had felt so groggy those other times for that hour or so right after having the babies... but this time I was WIDE awake. Again, the nurses were very friendly, jovial, and we chatted like old friends... more discussion of the cute anesthesiologist... and talk about our birth stories and one of the male nurses spoke of his wife expecting their first child soon.
Then to the room to get to hold Blakeley for the first time. She looked so much like my oldest, my other daughter, that it was a surreal moment like I was holding Emersyn all over again! But I soon discovered Blakeley's unique physical features and personality traits, all sweet just like Emersyn and Keegan had been, but aspects unique only to her. She has a dimple in her left cheek, a swirl/crown in her hair in a random place that I'm sure she'll hate when she is grown up, and her legs are very skinny while she is rather chubby in the middle.
We had many friends and family come to visit over the next 2 days, and we loved every minute of it! We love having people over to our home, and that hospital room was our home for a couple of days... and loved ones filled it with oohs and awws, hugs, kisses, conversation, laughs, and gifts. We are truly blessed, and I am ever so thankful!
Keegan wanted a brother, and I was worried he would not appreciate this new sister, but he seemed to love her right away! He has only held her twice in the 2 weeks she has been on the outside, but he has given her thousands of kisses and hugs!
Emersyn was on a school field trip, so she didn't get to meet her baby sister until she had returned and Pawpaw had picked her up from school. She was beaming as she held her sister, the baby sister she has been begging us for for over 2 years now, and she wants to hold her at least once a day.
Her name's story is definitely different from our older kids'. Our first child's first name is her grandmother's maiden name. Our second child's first name starts with the same letter as my husband's so they can have the same nickname, and his middle name is my father's first name. But this third child was not going to originally have a family name. At first it didn't even occur to me, because I loved the name we had picked out SO much! Blakeley Greer - we like last names as first names, and we just like Blakeley. It is strong yet feminine. Greer is another name I have always liked after my favorite actress from the 40s, Greer Garson, who plays Elizabeth Bennet, of course, opposite of Lawrence Olivier in the black and white version of Pride and Prejudice (this version actually does not follow the book very closely at all, but I still love it). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that just wasn't good enough. Her name needed more meaning or sentiment. I started to think about my mom's name. Her middle name is Annette (sorry for making that public, Mama, if you are reading this), so I started to think about the name Anne. I have always thought giving a child more than one middle name is silly, but I started to see why I wanted to. I couldn't let go of Blakeley or Greer, and I wondered if it would sound too weird to all 3 names... once I said "Blakeley Anne Greer" out loud, it just sounded right. And then when I realized that Anne is both my grandmothers' middle names, I knew I was more okay with honoring 3 women I love more than I cared about a dumb rule I had about giving a kid too many names. So I asked my husband if he was okay with it, and he immediately was, which shocked me. Then I asked my mom if she was okay with it, which she was! So I know people were thrown when her official name was announced, because I had never mentioned Anne as a part of it before. But it was important and just felt right to add this piece of legacy to her name... Blakeley Anne Greer. I love it as much as I love her!!!
And that is pretty much the whole story - very uneventful, which is just how I prefer birth stories to go. Perhaps "third time [really] is the charm", because this was by far my easiest delivery, recovery, and baby! She is mostly calm, eats well, sleeps well, and loves to be held and snuggled. She is deeply loved, and we look forward to seeing who she is and who she becomes!
Welcome to the light, Blakeley Anne Greer! We love you so much and can't imagine life without you!