Meet Reegan Rooney

I joked in the hospital that I was going to title this post "My Birth Plan and How It All Went Out The Window in 15 Minutes."

But, seriously. It did.

On February 6th, I was 40 weeks and 2 days, I headed to the hospital at 10am for a routine ultrasound since I was over due. It was no big deal. My fluids had been up and down for the past few weeks, but nothing in the danger zone so we were just being conscious about making sure she had what she needed. It should be noted that two days over due isn't abnormal, but I was already doing the first pregnancy panic. Having said that... I had plans to go to the Amish market down south and grab a milkshake after. Clearly I did not think we were in for it.

 At the ultrasound the triage nurses noticed that I was having consistent contractions every 3-5 minutes. In the morning I couldn't feel them, but as they held me for hours, they really started to kick in gear. The doctor decided to have me walk the halls for 2 hours and she if we could kick start the dilation. I was suddenly pumped. She was on her way and I would be able to have the natural birth I was hoping for. I was even mentally preparing myself for a drug-less birth. No painkillers. No pitocin. I didn't want anything. I want to feel it. Which is a personality trait I've had my whole life. I love "the struggle". Absurd. I'm aware. But I love the storm before the rainbow. And the idea of feeling everything in delivery, and then having them hand to her to me was slightly intoxicating.

But I wasn't dilating. I don't know how it's possible to have contractions every 3 minutes and not dilate at all, but that's what was happening. At 7pm they decided to discharge me, let me go shower and eat (thank you!!) and come back when the contractions became "painful". I went and ate my face off. Showered. Blow dried my hair for the millionth time that week, and tried to rest. Is slept an hour before I felt like I was dying. Got up put light make-up on (Don't judge me. You save these photos forever and I was already a swollen blimp.) and told Jeff we needed to get going. At 2:30am we headed to the hospital. Still not dilated more than a cm, my contractions were off the TOCO reader and coming every 2 minutes.  They decided to admit me and moved us into the birthing suite.

Jeff had joked she would come on Super Bowl Sunday. I told him to be careful what he put into the universe. We joked that we were going to name her Beyonce, so I guess she wanted to make sure she wasn't late for her surprise half time appearance.

At 8am they decided to come in a check me again. At this point, I had called my mom and she was heading over. Now only 2cm, it was looking grim. I stayed calm and heavily relied on my breathing. Deep Breath. Exhale. Count 2-3-4. Repeat. Saved my life. Shout out to Janine Balkin for teaching this to us!

The epidural was offered and I desperately tried to hold off. I decided I would wait to see the doctor in person to discuss my options. The nurses said the doctor was suggesting the epidural over the phone in an effort to get me to relax my hips and promote dilation. Now at 10:30am I was clinging to my breathing and asking when the doctor would arrive. 8 hours of this was starting to get crazy. Contractions quickly changed from something I could handle to a minute of animalistic crying and failing attempts at deep breaths with 30 seconds in between. Jeff was amazing, but I think he was starting to think this was crazy. Too crazy. He was jumping the S.S. Drugless ship and ready for the epidural life raft.

I went with the epidural. I was terrified. But within minutes the pain faded and I could handle what was being dealt. Shortly after, my doctor came in and broke my water, and I still was not yet 3cm. She decided to put me on a small dose of pitocin. And at this point, I was just going with the program. They hooked me up and we relaxed. Ready for baby girl to arrive.

It just so happened that at this point my IV beeped that there was air in the line. We called the nurse in and as she was adjusting it something quickly changed. Suddenly she tossed me on my side, ripped out the pitocin IV, and placed an oxygen mask over my face. No word as to what was going on but it seemed serious. At the same moment another nurse came running in and said "I guess we aren't going to do pitocin!" At this point I should be freaking out, but instead I'm on my side laughing to myself. Just thinking: "Of course. Of course this is ridiculously dramatic."

A little while later the doctor came in and said overly casually "I'm recommending a c-section". (Cue the uncontrollable tears and the "I've failed at motherhood and she isn't even born yet" thoughts.) The baby's heart rate was significantly dropping every time I had a contraction. Which was every minute at this point, and I was no further dilated. We asked if I had time to consider the options and let it soak it and she said "You have about 10 minutes while we prep the OR". I was sobbing. Jeff and my mom frantically started packing up our things and figuring out where to go, and I was wheeled into the OR.

Here's the thing about C-sections that no one told me. You are alone. You are freezing. You are shaking uncontrollably thanks to all of the pain killers, and being paralyzed is absolutely terrifying.  As I was wheeled in, Power96 was playing my favorite songs one after the other. Sia/Fetty Wap "Bang My Head", Justin Bieber "Sorry", Drake "Back to Back". I took this as a sign to remain calm even though a sane human knows it's just the weeks Top 10 playlist. I sang quietly along to keep breathing and thought of ll the times I had sang to these songs as our friend's house. This is when I start falling in love with the anesthesiologist. Fernando. (Dear Fernando, I thank God you were there.) This man literally held my hand. He talked me through every moment and kept me calm until my real life husband got there and then again after my real life husband left with our new baby.

Jeff came in 45 minutes later, and boom Reegan Rooney entered the world. They cut her cord and her and Jeff went off to the nursery. In the 5 minutes he was in the OR, they cut me open, I heard my baby girl cry, and we took pictures. It was overwhelming to say the least.

During all this I had a complete anxiety attack.

I couldn't focus on her. I couldn't do anything. All I could think about is how everyone could move but me. I was paralyzed and cut open on a table. As they looked around inside me to see what the issue was that caused all this (they found nothing) and sewed me back together the tugging became unbearable. Sure they tell you you'll feel tugging. You can't conceptualize "tugging". I couldn't at least. The feeling of someone pulling your muscles from the inside is absurd. My right boob was killing me. My c-section husband, Fernando, explained to me that my muscles are connected, and I was feeling them pull on a muscle that connected at my shoulder. He assured me I wasn't dying. I didn't believe him. He then made the decision to put me fully under. I thanked he for this when he brought me back.

Here's the bottom line. It wasn't what I "wanted". It was painful. I cried a ton. Recovery was ridiculous. Women are super heros. AND you don't care how you baby arrives into this world as long as you and your baby are healthy. It's true. People will say that to you as you write out your birth plan and you roll your eyes, but when they hand you the love of your life, you don't care if it came out of your vagina or your ear. It came from you and you will love it forever.

I would do it again tomorrow.

OK. Not tomorrow... Maybe next year...


Here's a little compilation of our hospital videos... Enjoy.