Oh my little Tzeitel! What a blessing she has been to me in her short 2 months on this earth!
Her pregnancy was much better than Zane’s was. I was ill sometimes in the morning and afternoon, especially during the hot months, but wasn’t couch-ridden! Which was great since I also had an active toddler to chase. We were so excited to find out she was a girl! Of course we would have been overjoyed to have a boy, too. I think it was just knowing it will be different and that we’ll have one of each was really fun! We had a “baby reveal” party (combined with my birthday party) in August. I made a double layer cake with the middle layer pink icing! It was so fun to share her gender that way. She was also a very wiggly baby. During one ultrasound she went from head down, to sideways, to breach all in about 30 seconds! There were many a night I would be in pain from her moving around so much and so violently! You’d never know it now though, she is a pretty mellow baby (and I thought Zane was mellow!). Throughout the pregnancy she was always either breech or sideways. She had plenty of time to move head down though, so it wasn’t a big deal.
I decided mid-pregnancy I wanted a more natural childbirth. No real conviction or reason, I just wanted to experience it…pain, screaming and all! I decided to hire a doula to help me through labor and delivery. So funny how things work, I ended up hiring an old friend from high school (Noelle :)). It was great, I was getting so excited planning out things I wanted and didn’t want. The thought of all the pain was overwhelming at times. I decided against pain medication, I wanted to use a laboring tub, I wanted to use music and massage therapies…mostly I just wanted to see what it was like without an induction or epidural.
Also mid-pregnancy, Jeremy suggested a baby name as a joke: Tzeitel. I laughed! Oh wait-he wasn’t joking! Oops! I didn’t care for it at first, definitely too weird. Obviously it grew on me overtime. We had just seen the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”, where Jeremy got the idea.
My due date was quickly approaching and baby was still not moving head down. I wasn’t stressed out about this, I did a few exercises to get her to move head down…but figured she would in time for her arrival. Two days before my due date an ultrasound revealed she was still sideways. That’s when I became slightly panicky. The doctor gave me two choices: wait a few more days to see if baby will move on her own or schedule a C-section. The risk in waiting was if I go into labor and her umbilical cord came out, she would not survive the ride to the hospital. When he left the room, I completely lost it. I called Jeremy, who assumed something happened to the baby because I was crying so hard. This was not how I planned it! This was not what I wanted! Major abdominal surgery was not what I had in mind! My natural birth plan, that I’ve been planning and anticipating for months, vanished within a few seconds. I managed to squeak out what was going on, and we both decided to not risk going into labor…to schedule the dreaded Caesarean Section. I sobbed a few more times that day. Jeremy and Noelle both were able to calm me down and help me process it. I’m so thankful for both of them and their support.
<— A few days before Tzeitel’s arrival, one hand is on her head the other on her butt (very sideways baby!)
I had one last hope, even if it was a dim one. My doctor said they would do an ultrasound right before my C-section, if the baby had moved head down, they would quickly induce me to at least give me a vaginal birth. I did many exercises the days prior to the surgery in a last-ditch effort to move my baby!
The morning of Friday January 18th was a nervous one. Thankfully things always move fast in hospitals, so I wasn’t waiting around with rampant nerves. Between meeting doctors, nursing prepping me, etc. things went pretty quickly. The moment came for my ultrasound, I knew in my heart baby did not move. But she did! Now she was sideways with her back against my cervix! Haha, she’s so funny 😛 She was back up (hence the worry about the umbilical cord coming out). This lead to yet another let down, no hope for a future VBAC. Babies laying in her position meant they had to cut my uterus vertically instead of horizontally, which poses too high of a risk for any future vaginal births. I felt like the doctor really didn’t want to do that to me, as they did a few more ultrasounds to figure out exactly where she was laying.
The moment came. The walk across the hallway into the operating room felt like a mile. I knew it was going to be cold in there, and it was, I’m not sure if I was shaking from nerves or chills. Probably both. The spinal (to numb me) went smoothly. Everyone was really great. The anesthesiologist was especially nice and understanding. He explained everything that was happening (well, not everything!), he patiently held a bucket for me to vomit in (several times!), he even stroked my hair when I was throwing up (which seems weird now that I think about it, but at the time was very comforting I didn’t even think about another man doing that! haha!), he took pictures of all three of us once she came out, etc. He was great.
Anyways, I was so glad to see Jeremy come in (that was also when I was done throwing up!). Jeremy always knows how to make me laugh, the anesthesiologist said we were having way too much fun. 🙂 I had written down a few “laboring Bible verses” to help me, one stuck out in my mind: John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give
I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. As I repeated it in my head, it gave me a nice sense of peace and trust that God’s will would be done that day for His glory.
Jeremy decked out for surgery —>
There was a little tugging and pulling, and all of a sudden, up pops my baby! She was so beautiful, I cried (an ugly cry…:P). I had waited so long to see her, it was an unbelievable sight.
Then the fun part, the closing. It was horrible. The pressure and “pain” was unlike anything I’d ever felt before, I felt so nauseous from them pushing on my nerves in my spine. I was able to see Tzeitel for a little bit, but for most of the 45 minutes I felt too ill. Tzeitel must have been stressed out too, she cried the entire time. However, whenever she would hear my voice, she would stop crying and open her eyes. She recognized her mama’s voice, that is a very special feeling. ❤
I was finally handed my beautiful girl and rolled back into the recovery room. I started to feed her, Noelle was able to come back in to help with that. Noelle made me so relaxed about the whole breastfeeding experience, it went very well. If you are familiar with my breastfeeding mishaps with Zane, you’ll know this was very important to me and was one of the things I was anxious about during pregnancy. I am forever grateful to my wonderful doula for her support during my pregnancy, surgery, and especially for her help with nursing Tzeitel. I’m sure Tzeitel is thankful for that last one too!
My Tzeitel Maryjane Grigsby was 8 lb 3 oz, 22″ long born on Friday January 18th at 10:36am. She is so beautiful and I am thankful for her everyday. ❤