August's Birth Story: Conclusion


Post-baby, the hospital stay was rough. Mostly because I was getting no sleep due to how many doctors and nurses were involved in my recovery, and also because we were there so long. Every time I thought we were going to get to go home there was a set back.

Originally I was going to write about all the frustrations that happened while we were staying at the hospital (the constant rotation of nurses who didn't know our situation, John Paul having to go back to work right away because of how long we'd already been there, my whole body swelling, difficulty breast feeding, August having jaundice and not being allowed to go home, etc) but what it boils down to is that the mother baby unit was incredibly busy and we were there far too long to not go a little stir crazy.

I could barely move at first much less walk around so I was confined to my room for the rest of the week. I had lost a lot of blood and they were very concerned about my hemoglobin levels. They put me on iron supplements right away (edit: and put machines on my legs that kept circulation moving when I was lying down to prevent blood clots which I guess were a big concern) and said it would be several months before I was really back to "normal." (That didn't stop be from playing in a flag football tournament 6 weeks later though, haha). And I was in pain. The normal sort that comes with major surgery.

Despite the fact that I was exhausted I didn't like it when they kept August in the nursery. No matter how tired I felt, I was more restless when he wasn't with me. I guess it was some sort of separation anxiety. It was weird feeling all of the maternal instincts kick in. You just can't understand them until you feel them and their intensity took me by surprise. I needed to be the one caring for him, protecting him. I needed him with me.

By the time we made it home late on Saturday night (just a day short of a week later) I was extremely sleep deprived, weak, and emotional. I wish I had I been able to go home on Thursday---those two extra days in the hospital killed me. By the time I got home I was feeling kind of desperate. I wasn't depressed, I was just exhausted. It felt overwhelming to get up for feedings every couple of hours when I hadn't slept more than an hour at a time in a week.

Plus my body was still out of whack because of all the hormones and drugs. The combination of exhaustion, the feeling that I'd never catch up, and hormones led to a lot of tears those first few days. I never really got the "baby blues" but for the first week home I would get incredibly sad at the exact same time everyday. I knew it was hormones because it was like clock work and it always subsided. Luckily after a couple weeks when I was feeling more normal physically, that completely went away. I haven't struggled with any sort of depression since that and for that I am very grateful.

I am also grateful for all of the visitors and meals. They were very appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you. And a big thank you to my mom who stayed with us another week after the birth cooking meals, doing dishes, and letting me take naps.

It was a long road but I'd do it all again, and, after a bit of a break, I will do it all again.

The only sadness or fear that I am left with at the end of all of this is that the complications may mean that doctors will push c-sections from now on and try to "put a limit" on the number of kids we can have. We want a big family and I may experience my first twinges of regret if they try to limit my pregnancies after this. I had such a low risk pregnancy that I feel I should be able to healthily have as many children as we want. At the end of the day all I can do is trust God with our family and how big or small it is suppose to be. It's in His hands. And I am so thankful for August. I know there are so many women out there who want to have a baby and just can't. Who knows, maybe adoption will be apart of God's plan for our family? :)

Thanks for reading about the craziness of my first birth experience. I am so happy to have a healthy baby boy who brings so much joy to our lives. I love being a mom and I highly recommend it. It really is all worth it.


  1. Thanks for sharing this with us Noelle. I'm so sorry your had to go through so much, but you're right, you certainly got something worthwhile out of it :)

  2. I loved how you wrote about your maternal instincts kicking in, and how you couldn't even describe them, you'll just know, and feel it. I can't wait to feel that one day. I guess I had no idea all the complications you went through... how scary things were. I'm so glad that you're okay though. I can't imagine how hard it all must have been. You are one tough cookie and I look up to you for your strength and determination, and just what a sweet and lovely person you are. Thank you so much for sharing all of this and putting yourself out there... you and John Paul and August are in our thoughts! :)

  3. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. A teary read for me. But I fully understand the conclusion. I didn't "sit" down for 4 weeks after having Luc Gravely, and at my six week check up I was ready to do it again! I wish we could have had a housefull! Children are truly a 'gift of God'. I love you Baby Girl!!

  4. Don't let the Doctors try and scare you! I had my 3rd c-section a little over a year ago, and when they did the surgery there was no scar tissue - they even gave me the go-ahead to have another! (which is still up for debate! lol) Thank you so much for sharing your story. Someday I hope to get to meet you in person! I've been a family friend of the Mclaughlins for a long time, and you sound like a wonderful addition :)