Baby Sheep (it is the Year of the Sheep per the Lunar Zodiac, hence the nickname) was born at 39 weeks 2 days. We had initially scheduled the C-section for 39 w 6 d to give my body as much of a chance as possible to go into spontaneous labor but then we started to panic. We had been doing kickcounts 3-5 times each day including 2-3 times overnight. Three out of the last four nights, Sheep's ovenight kickcounts were real pokey. We'd freak out. I'd chug orange juice and lay down again anxiously awaiting the kicks to start coming. Even the 3 visits per week couldn't quell our worry. So we figured, what's an extra 5 days? We're already past the 39-week mark which is the earliest our doc would do the elective section. We figured baby was robustly full-term by 39 weeks. Why put ourselves through the constant terror for 5 more days? Why push our luck? Sometimes it felt like each day we were risking the baby's life; gambling even.
So I called my doctor who was incredibly understanding. It was late in the afternoon but she said she'd call the surgery scheduler at the hospital first thing in the morning and let us know if they could get us in. Sure enough we got the call that there was a slot open in the afternoon. Immediately I felt relieved knowing this kid would be here TODAY but I was also really nervous about the surgery. I delivered A vaginally after medically inducing and Dragon was born after a successful medical induction that went awry and resulted in an emergency C-section with me knocked out under general anesthesia. The thought of a needle in my spine gives me the heebie jeebies and being awake during surgery (knowing what's going on on the other side of the drape even though you don't feel the pain) straight up turns my stomach. But the thought of this baby dying after 9 long months of vigilance was scarier than facing the C-section.
The spinal wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. The operation was off the creepiness chart. I mean I could hear the scissors clicking and feel the little pulls as they cut me open. GROSS! Luckily, it wasn't too long after the surgery began that Sheep was born. I was surprised it was another girl. I guess down deep I was convinced it was a boy. As soon as E announced it was a girl, I began to sob, right there on the OR table. That plus hearing her little cry and knowing she was alive and well was overwhelming.
She resembles her older sister though they aren't identical newborns. And speaking of sisters, holy crow how am I going to raise sisters? I have a single brother and every set of sisters I know - young and old - are a mystery to me. There is this bewildering dynamic where a sister will literally die for the other, but then can turn around and say the nastiest things imaginable and know exactly what buttons to push. I just don't get it. I guess the girls will have to teach me. "The girls," it's strange to say that and think of "our girls" now that we have two. It's going to take some getting used to.
I am also anticipating lots of comments from strangers about our girls and each time will feel the pang of our missing son - we don't have just girls. But that's for another post.
In the meantime, I'm going to put my feet up before Sheep is ready to nurse again in another 45 minutes. I look at her chubby cheeks and sweet face and cannot believe she is mine. She is mine and she is mine to keep. We actually get to take her home with us. I'm so grateful.