It felt so unnatural to know her birth date weeks in advance. Like we were playing God and deciding when best to pluck her from the womb.
I held out hope until the very end that she would miraculously turn from breech on her own, preventing the need for a c-section. I was already dilating and had been experiencing labor symptoms for several weeks and just felt like when she was ready, she'd make her move.
Time marched on, she stayed put, and the morning of February 21st finally arrived. A bitterly cold and dreary day.
It is such a strange thing to wake up knowing that today will be your child's birthday and then have to sit around all day and wait until it's time to go to the hospital. No spontaneity, no mad dash to labor & delivery, no frantic texts to family to let them know it's go time. Although there is something to be said for being able to take your time with your hair and makeup ahead of time.
A little before 2:00pm, Mason and I made the drive to Presbyterian Hospital and checked in. We were taken into a small room where they would be monitoring me and the baby before my scheduled surgery.
The two hours passed quickly and my epidural was administered. It was a little worrisome to me that I could still move my feet, but they assured me, that though I would have feeling, I would not sense any pain. Once I was good and numb and the OR was available, it was baby time. Mason was left in the room to get suited up in his scrubs, while I was prepped for surgery.
The OR was unlike anything I could have imagined. It was so blindingly bright and sterile, with so many nurses and doctors buzzing around the room doing different jobs. It was also absolutely freezing! I felt like I was being wheeled into outer space.
They lifted me onto the table, put up the paper "privacy" divider, and then brought Mason in to be by my side. Mainly, I remember shaking uncontrollably from the cold and feeling a little bit out of it - like when you have medicine head. I was in good spirits though and anxious to get it over with and meet our sweet baby. The doctors wasted no time and got straight to work. Literally. Two minutes went by and I asked them what they were up to on the other side of the curtain. "Making the incision into your uterus." Wow! A drive thru delivery!
I definitely didn't feel any pain and not even much pressure when she was pulled from my body. Leighton Elizabeth took her first breath at 5:04PM and was held up for us to take our first glance.
She was whisked away for only a few minutes while I was stitched up, but it felt like an eternity. I was calling across the room to Mason, "What color is her hair? How much does she weigh? Does she look like Hadley?" Torture. But before too long, we were reunited.
It took us about 12 hours to make a final decision on her name. I just couldn't decide which name was the best fit and as silly as it may seem, I really wanted for her to be bathed first so that I could get a good look at her. Due to my indecisiveness, most of her hospital paperwork and her hospital bracelet just say "Girl Guinn", Ha! Sorry, Leighton! :)
Mason and I have decided that Leighton will be our last baby. And even though our hearts are completely full, it is still a little bittersweet. Giving birth has been the most incredible experience for me, both times, despite things not always going as planned. I am so very humbled to be the mother of our two precious girls and though these baby days are fleeting, I look forward to watching the person Leighton Elizabeth will grow to become. We love her so much already and know she will do great things!
I don't deserve this. You look perfect tonight"
- Ed Sheeran