Today our Ava is two months old. I celebrate by sharing her birth story.
It took me a while to post because finding words to describe the emotions and experience of that day is impossible, but I’ll try my best. So here goes…
Being my 3rd Caesarean section you’d think I’d be calm, knowing what to expect and ready for the day. This however was not the case.
I felt more nervous and anxious than ever before. The knowledge of what my body was about to go through awoke true fear. (Recently hearing stories of horrible 3rd c-section experiences from friends also didn’t help.) I felt the most scared I’ve ever been even though I didn’t experience any difficulties or complications in the past. Now, for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around what awaited us.
The day started like any other. We wanted to keep the routine as normal as possible. Alec and I woke up together, he brought the girls to our bed for morning cuddles and we got them ready for school. It felt bittersweet enjoying our last morning as 4.
Soon it was time for Eliana and Lia to head out. I won’t lie, things got emotional for all of us as they hugged my belly one last time. I knew I’d miss the precious “tummy-talks” and the way they loved touching and playing with the bump. However, tears soon turned into excitement over finally finding out the gender of our new little person. With one last kiss and a hug, Mr. Perfect took them to school.
I had the house to myself and took this moment of silence to do my daily bible study. Still uneasy with fearful thoughts filling my mind I turned to Joshua. It was in that moment God spoke to me and gave me what I needed for today…
I knew these words rang true, my entire life has been a testimony to it. I was ready and knew I’d be able to do this.
Soon Alec was home and it was time to leave for the hospital. It felt like the shortest drive ever and although we had everything ready and packed we still managed to be 10 minutes late. We arrived excited and ready to meet baby number 3!
The warden welcomed us and showed us to our room.
We had a few minutes to unpack before I got whisked away for admission procedures. Alec filled out the paperwork while the nurse checked the baby and my vitals. I remember trying to savour the sound of every little heartbeat, knowing I’d never hear this little one’s heart from inside myself again.
As soon as we got the ok it was back to the room. We had a few minutes (felt like seconds) just for ourselves.
Then the nurse entered and my nerves started up again. I couldn’t help it and reminding myself of Joshua 23:14 but still I felt uneasy. I’m sure the nurse felt the tension.
She started talking to me about the grace and strength God gives woman, especially pregnant mamas and how we where buildt to give birth naturally and thought Caesarean delivery. I felt calm again.
Drip and catheter done pain-free and with ease, we prayed one last time as I got wheeled off ready for surgery.
My parents, grandmother and sister patiently awaited the arrival of our new edition.
Just before entering theater Mr.Perfect disappeared to get on his scrubs. I was alone for a second and doubt wanted to steal my calm but our gynecologist , Dr. Miems Kleynhans came to say hello. She saw the anxiety in my eyes and I put her hand on my forehead, promising me everything would be quick and I had nothing to fear. Blessing me with a prayer.
Alec was back and we were all systems go.
I entered the theater. Suddenly everything felt slow-motion, like a movie. The usually busy and cold room was calm and quiet – not at all as I remember from my prior surgeries. I felt a warmth folding over me. My mind was silent and I felt safe. God was holding me in His hand. I looked up at the clock on the wall taking note of the time. 13:07.
My spinal was also a breeze. I didn’t feel a thing as I went from upright to my back.
From making the incision to every push on my abdomen, I remember feeling everything but no pain. I knew what they were doing. I was acutely aware of everything around me, yet completely calm. Everything happened in minutes, so fast the pediatrician didn’t arrive in time and Mr. Perfect needed to “man-up” and take photos. (Something new that totally freaked him out.)
8 minutes from entering the theater our baby girl was born, yes another perfect little GIRL. Ava has a set of lungs, crying loudly as she entered this world (every person in the delivery ward knew she had arrived).
The calm was broken by a rush of emotion as we couldn’t hold back our tears of joy, relief and thank. She was directly placed on my chest, skin-to-skin. As I spoke to her she became quiet, our eyes locked, souls forever entwined. She stayed on my chest the entire time as I got stitched up, only leaving me for a second as we were moved to recovery.
There I breastfed her for the 1st time. Ava latched beautifully and sucked like a champ. This would stay her spot for the next few hours.
Family came to meet Ava as she stayed glued to mama.
After those 1st hours of birth as Ava drifted into newborn sleep Mr. Perfect held Ava and dressed her for the 1st time.
Ava Loïs was here. Our baby girl, desired, full of life, full of faith.
I am so happy that we had a birth photographer to capture these moments and emotions. Life at it’s most real, powerful and beautiful.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison and West.