Abigail Rae Lebel - This is for you baby girl!! By Nicole Anne Caron Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 08:45
I decided while I was pregnant with our first child that I would too submit my baby girl's birth story for others to read since I read so so so many stories during the 40 weeks of my pregnancy and more than anything else I read, these stories were the most important and most realistic for me on what to expect while giving birth. I also thought it would be so wonderful to have this and be able to print it out and save it in Abigail's baby box so years from now we can all look back together and read it and I can enjoy the experience all over again with my baby girl and her daddy. So, with that, this is our story:

We found out that I was pregnant on February 10th, 1999 and we were a bit surprised at first. We were not necessary "trying" to have a child, but we were not "not trying" either. Mark and I have been together for 14 years and we knew that we wanted to have children someday. Well, that someday became now. After the initial shock, we were both very happy and nervous at the same time. As time went on in my first trimester and with the encouragement of family and friends, everything was going to be fine I was convinced. I was pretty sick during the first 3 months of my pregnancy and pretty much tried everything to relieve the sickness. I don't know why they call it morning sickness because I was sick morning, noon, and night. I, however, found some comfort in queezy bands. Those little purple bands that many people use for sea sickness. Well, they did not leave my wrists for 3 months. Mark was so understanding and helpful during my entire pregancy. Everything was going fine during my pregnancy for the most part - all my tests were normal, I was doing tons and tons of reading about childbirth and parenting, I started feeling great, but of course there was that dreaded inevidable weight gain. Which I did not think would bother me as much as it did. I work really hard to stay in shape and just seeing my body get bigger and bigger every day was a bit hard on me, but I knew it was for the best reason in the entire world, so I just dealt with it. I ended up gaining 40 pounds in all (I went from 125 lbs to 165 lbs in 10 months). I'm happy to say that it all came off in approx. 5 months with alot of running and breastfeeding (which I'm still doing right now and plan to do until she is a year old).

We found out that Abi Rae was in the frank breech position at my initial sonogram, so knowing myself I did every trick possible to try to get her to turn around including laying on a board upside down for hours. I read every article about frank breech babies that I could get my hands on. Of course my doctor kept telling me that she would flip on her own at some point and not to worry about it too much. Apparently breech babies with first time pregnant mothers are not that commen. I tried to pass the time working on our house that we bought in June of 1999 in Falmouth, Maine where we both grew up. It was exciting getting prepared to have a baby in the house. We decided to decorate the nursery with stars and moons in colors of light blue, blush, lavender, and yellow. Since we were completely renovating the upstairs, Abigail never actually had a nursery until she was 8 months old. But the wait was worth it.

During my third trimester and with time getting closer to delivery, Abigail was still in the frank breech position. She was apparently very comfortable in that position and had no desire to turn around. We decided to try an external version during my 36th week. I wouldn't suggest trying this. There is a 50/50 chance that it will work and it was quite painful on me and unfortunately did not work. My doctor and the nurse tried 3 times to manually flip her by pushing and pulling on my large belly, but Abi's little fanny was stuck right down in my birth canal already and was not about to move. Ok - next option. I can now either go into labor on my own and then have the doctor go in and try to flip her before giving birth vaginally, or I can try to deliver her in the frank breech position (which they say is not a great idea for first time pregnancies since you have what they call an 'unknown pelvis' meaning they do not know how large your birth opening is and can be dangerous for the baby and could cause the breaking of her little hips or legs, so this was NOT and option for us), or of course I could have that dreaded C-section which no mother wants to have (especially being the first baby). Of course I skipped every chapter in every book I read about C-sections thinking I would not need that information because I was not going to have a C-section, but I ended up going back and reading everything I could about Cesarians because that is what we ended up deciding to do. Abigail Rae Lebel was going to be born on Tuesday morning, October 19th, 1999 at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. There were good and bad points of knowing exactly when your child is going to be born. It takes away from the excitement a bit of not knowing when you are going to start to have contractions and go into labor and I wish I knew what that feels like (although I can always have a VBAC with our next child) and the work that you go through laboring for hours to bring this precious child into the world. Although, it was nice to be able to know exactly when she was coming into this world for planning purposes. I became very comfortable and prepared to have her be born via C-section. Those last couple of weeks went by very quickly and the day came.

We were so nervous and excited at the same time. I had to be prepped for the operation which was not fun at all. I had to have a catheter put in, be hooked up to IV's, and many other fun things. One thing that really bothered me was having to leave Mark while they brought me up to the cold operating room by myself with about 20 doctors and nurses running around me with masks on, so I could not see any of their faces. I was a bit nervous at this time. They gave me an epidural to completely numb me from the chest down. Some people apparently have a very hard time with this not being able to feel anything, but my anesthesiologist and his assistant were absolutely wonderful and they talked me through the entire delivery which I owe a very special thanks to them for that. They made me very relaxed just by softly whispering in my ear what the doctors were doing. Mark came into the operating room about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes after I was prepped and ready for delivery -scrubs on, mask on, with video camera and photo camera in hand looking very excited and quite relaxed I must say. He is a dentist however, so the blood, etc... does not bother him at all. He is more interested in watching and videoing and learning the process. I remember thinking to myself - there he is - my first baby watching and anxiously waiting to see our first baby be born. And she was in about 7 minutes. My doctor made a very low horizontal cut and out she can fanny first. Mark jokes about the fact that our daughter came into this world fanny first showing the world her best side. Well, she was perfect! She immediately showed her to be and after a very quick check with Mark beside her, they handed me my baby girl for the first time and we both just looked at each other in awe. She stole my breath and embraced my heart immediately. I softly whispered those three little words that mean so much in her tiny little ear which I continue to do every night whether she is sleeping or not. My doctor was wonderful in keeping the 3 of us together at all times. She was 7 lbs, 5 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. She was perfect. Big blue eyes, little Yoda ears (that comes from daddy's side and we love them). She is the most precious gift from God that I could have never imagined possible. I always wanted to be a mother and knew that I would love my child unconditionally, but I never realized really what it meant to be a mother until I became one. As much as all of you out there know you are obviously going to love your child, well multiply that times a million.

Abigail Rae Lebel is 11 months old now and Mark and I have been planning for her first birthday since she was 9 months old (of course! - its a huge event - I think more for us than her). Time is already going by much too fast. We love being parents and Mark is the most wonderful companion and father that I could have asked for. He is so in love (as I am) with his little baby girl. She is everything to us. So, no matter how you give birth - whether it be vaginally or via C-section - remember that it does not matter how she/he comes into the world, it just matters that she/he comes to this world as healthy as possible. Best of luck to all soon to be parents. Its an amazing experience that I'll never forget.

One last thing - I love you Mark and Abigail Rae with every part of my heart and soul forever! This story is for the both of you.

Nicole Anne Caron (aka: Mama)