37 week pregnant mom in the hospital

My original (non c-section) birth plan

Settle in for our little boy’s c-section birth story. Before we had him, I wasn’t really sure if I would have much to share about Lachlan’s birth story. I completely anticipated a “normal” birth, if there is such a thing. I knew I wanted an epidural if possible and that I would do anything necessary to get our little man out safely. I had also planned on having a vaginal birth from the very beginning, but at our 31-week appointment we found out that Lachlan was breech.

Breech baby meant a c-section birth

We weren’t really worried about him being breech because babies turn around all the time! Some even at 38 weeks. But our little guy was stubborn, and we realized pretty quickly that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As our due date of January 5th got closer and he stayed breech, we began to make plans for a possible c-section birth. They were not willing to try moving him manually – he was a big baby so they weren’t super comfortable trying an external cephalic version.

I was originally bummed about having a C Section with baby boy. It wasn’t what I had been envisioning and I really wanted the “pride” of birthing my child, and there’s a bunch of benefits to having a vaginal birth. I feel like there’s a bit of a stigma with C Sections and I fell right into that mindset. But after speaking with our Maternal-Fetal Medicine Doctor, who we’d been going to the entire pregnancy and for our pregnancy with Hope, I knew it was the best choice for us. So we went ahead and scheduled baby boy’s c-section for January 2nd.

Baby boy ultrasound photo

How quickly plans change

At our 37 week appointment, our doctor noticed that my blood pressure was a little high. She recommended that my husband (who is a PA) start taking my blood pressure at home twice a day to monitor it, making sure I wasn’t showing signs of pre-eclampsia.

We monitored it over the weekend and Monday morning it spiked a little. We called the office and they sent me to triage just to get it checked. Of course, I left everything at home, thinking I’d be back in a few hours. HA! So silly of me. At triage, they confirmed my slightly high blood pressure and also noticed I had some weird liver enzyme numbers, which could also be a sign of pre-eclampsia. So I was immediately checked into the hospital and monitored overnight. That led to two days of just monitoring. When nothing really got better or worse, we were given three options:

  1. Stay at the hospital and continue monitoring everything. If it got worse, we could decide to have a c-section then.
  2. Go home and monitor everything ourselves and if/when it got worse, we could go in and have a c-section birth.
  3. Just go ahead and have our c-section the following day, at 37 + 4.

Guess what we chose…

Pregnant mom giving a thumbs up in a hospital bed

I wasn’t in love with the idea of having our baby boy at 37 + 4, but after everything we had been through, we weren’t leaving anything to chance. Delivering Lachlan would hopefully resolve my pre-eclampsia symptoms, so we chose to deliver the following day!

37 week pregnant mom waiting to have a c-section birth in the hospital

Welcome, Lachlan James McLellan

Baby boy born on December 19, 2018 via c-section birth

In hindsight, I don’t know why I was so “anti c-section” birth. Having a c-section is no joke but it’s also an amazing way to bring a child into this world. If we were living years and years ago, without modern medicine, there’s a good chance Lachlan and I would have greatly struggled during his birth because of his breech positioning.

In 2018 however, we entered a room with friendly surgeons who talked us through everything they were doing. I received an epidural and laid down. My husband joined us and we laughed and talked about how excited we were. We were asked about our Hope tattoos, so we shared our story about losing Hope and how it brought us here. And at 11:07am, Lachlan James McLellan was born weighing 8 lbs exactly, and measuring 21 inches.

Mom and baby on the day of his birth
Mom holding baby after he is born

Baby’s blood sugars

He was SO calm and chill his first day. It wasn’t until about 12 hours later that our nurse suggested we check out his blood sugar. He was a little too calm. And sure enough, he had low blood sugar. And that’s how we discovered I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. Ha! I had been tested several times during my pregnancy but had always passed… so we hadn’t really worried about it. But apparently Lachlan was used to my high levels of insulin and his body wasn’t producing enough yet.

When he was born the nurses had checked his blood sugar and it was low, but not low enough to cause concern. Thanks to our sweet night nurse noticing his lethargy, we were able to get a bottle of milk in him and an IV going almost immediately. We had to check his sugars every 2-3 hours for pretty much the rest of our hospital stay, but he began to perk up and feel much better almost immediately. Was I thrilled to give him a bottle on his first day of life? No… but I would do anything for him and a bottle of milk was a no brainer here.

Best. Year. Ever.

I barely remember anything from life in the hospital other than being constantly tired. I was either holding him, nursing him, or staring at him for a majority of those first days. I was constantly worried about his swaddle covering his face or his new-to-us little noises and just could never close my eyes. Now that it’s been a year… I’d like to say it’s changed, but let’s be honest here. I still barely sleep, I have ZERO ideas about what’s happening in current events, I still worry about something covering his mouth while he sleeps, and I could not be more amazed at all of the joy he has brought to our lives. I’m so grateful for one year together as a family of three and look forward to seeing what this next year brings.

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