These pictures will be in an odd order, but they are all from the day Andrew was born, January 19, 2017.
Andrew's original due date was February 3, but we knew he would be born in January. For several reasons, I have to have C-Sections and they schedule those about a week before the due date. Throughout my pregnancy we had assumed the scheduled date would be January 25 and that was actually put on the hospital's calendar in December and plane tickets were bought and childcare arrangements were made. In early January, the hospital moved my scheduled date to January 30 due to some regulations that went into effect at the new year. We couldn't be scheduled more than a week before the due date regardless of risk factors (like being over 40). However, almost no one knows that the date was moved and almost everyone thought the delivery date was still scheduled for January 25. This is because by the time the hospital moved the date we were aware that I wouldn't make it that far. So we didn't know when he would be born, but we knew it wouldn't be the 30th and probably wouldn't be the 25th.
At around 36 weeks, the very beginning of January, my amniotic fluid levels started dropping. A lot. It was unexplained and they weren't stabilized by consuming more water. I was drinking SO much water I can't even tell you and I was SO thirsty. I would wake up in the middle of the night and down three glasses.
My fluid levels never went below the minimum requirement, but they were right at it which is a scary place to be. My doctor was caught between wanting to let Andrew develop in the womb as long as possible and making sure he was protected in the womb. We starting going to the doctor every three days to have my fluid levels checked and we knew that if they dropped below the minimum at any appointment we would have Andrew that day. It was stressful. I also had to monitor fetal movements very, very closely because a decrease in the movements could signal that the fluid had dropped too low and Andrew wasn't thriving. We actually ended up in labor and delivery six days before he was born to have him monitored because of decreased fetal movements. But the fluid levels were stable and the doctor really wanted to get to 37 weeks, preferably 38, I think. We almost made it.
We had an appointment on the 19th (37 weeks, 6 days) at 9am. My fluid was too low. There was a little bit of discussion about whether we should recheck in an hour and then if it had come up come back the next day (38 weeks) to recheck, but my doctor ultimately decided to bring him. In the end, she was really glad she did.
This picture was taken the day of my C-Section during the 5 hours of waiting at the hospital. We went straight to the hospital from our appointment, but had to wait until 2pm for my breakfast to completely digest before surgery. I was monitored all day.
The clock when Andrew was born at 2:28 pm. As soon as our doctor got in she said it was a VERY good day to be born because I had no fluid and I had the thinnest uterus anyone in the OR had ever seen. Andrew definitely needed to come out, but he was not happy about it. He screamed and screamed and screamed to the point that a nurse commented on it, so I guess it was unusual. But the moment they brought him to me and laid him on my chest he was calm and quiet.
7 pounds, 1 ounce
This was the first time I was ever well enough to hold a baby after birth. I had such a good anesthesiologist and my blood pressure didn't plummet for the first time ever during surgery. I cherish this moment!
Julie stayed with me in the hospital while Jory took kid duty at home. My dad and Sheri would have been helping but the surprise delivery date wrenched those plans, but we were just so glad Andrew was here and healthy. He had a rough first night, though. He was dehydrated and couldn't poop and was none too happy about it. It took him 14 hours to poop (it usually happens right away, but they give the baby 24 hours before they intervene). He was good after that except when we changed his diaper. He had a horrible time regulating his temperature and he was very cold and being undressed was painful.
But he was here and healthy. No jaundice and no health issues at all. He was very, very strong. He held his head on his own right away and his legs were fiercely strong (although I already knew that from the womb).
The kids were in love and, really, everything went so well.
Even with the early delivery, it was the smoothest birth experience we have ever had.
And I was worried that he would be too early and too small, but he is absolutely perfect.