arlo’s birth story

we are still completely on cloud 9 with our little boy 3 weeks in – but gid just went back to work and i’m a little nervous and overwhelmed with taking over all day care for arlo. i know it’ll get easier and i’ll get better and more confident but i’m still very sad that he can’t stay home with us forever.

i want to start off this post by just saying that i had arlo via a scheduled c-section. i know there’s some shame and guilt of not experiencing labor associated it with caesareans, but we made the decision that was best for us and i don’t regret it whatsoever. 

you may have noticed through my pregnancy that i had quite a big belly (at least it felt big to me), when arlo was measured in my final trimester they told us that he was already 6.5 lbs with a head size in the 97th percentile — and that he would probably be well over 8 lbs by my due date. i’m only 5’1″ and pretty petite so i was a little nervous about how i cooked such a big baby. my aunt and grandma on my dads side both had c-sections because of their small size — and i kind of always felt like that was gonna end up being what happened to me. throughout my third trimester i cried to gid about not wanting a c, and he would repeatedly tell me to stop putting that idea in my head. i was also three weeks late to come out myself, so i figured why wouldn’t my baby be lazy like me?

we took a labor class and i felt good about giving birth and i had my whole suitcase packed with aromatherapy and a labor playlist and tennis balls for massaging and a hand fan… but in my last couple of weeks, i got even more scared because i hadn’t felt any contractions or signs of labor and i wasn’t dilating whatsoever and i was just so big i could barely move around (and getting bigger by the day). every time i had my cervical exam, my doctor told me he felt discouraged that he would come out on his own — so he suggested we do everything we could to induce naturally because he didn’t want to go more than a week past my due date without inducing at the hospital.

so we had gross pregnant sex (TMI?), gid gave me lots of foot massages (which i’d been afraid of my whole last couple of months of my pregnancy, little did i know i could have been indulging in them the entire time), i took baths, and i went to eat a labor inducing salad on my due date. nothing seemed to work, he was content where he was.

my doctor offered the option of scheduling a c-section because he was worried i would end up getting one after trying labor, but left it up to me. since we only had a few days we could go past my due date, gid and i started talking about our options and i started calling all the people i’m close to who had c-sections, asking about their experience and i started feeling like that was the way to go. i really felt like i could give vaginal labor a shot, but i’d just end up getting an emergency c, and then have that much worse of a recovery going through both. in the end, i called my doctor and scheduled it for tuesday june 27th because gid and i got married on the 27th lol.

i’ve never stayed in a hospital or even broken a bone, so the idea of major surgery scared the shit out of me — and i was crying and anxious for the days leading up to it, even getting the IV put in was horrifying to me (i’m such a wimp i know). my surgery wasn’t until 12:30 pm, so also not being able to drink or eat 8 hours prior was killing me.

it was a really strange thing to know i was having my baby the following day, but the night before, my whole family and i went to a big last dinner out, where my feet swelled so bad i literally had to walk to the car barefoot. as nervous as i was about the next day, i was soooo ready to not be pregnant.

anyway, the next day — i cried and cried and we headed to the hospital to have our baby. during pre op, i cried and cried again and was freaking the fuck out about surgery, but i did it. the hardest part was being wheeled away from gid, who waited outside while they prepped me and gave me the spinal. i will never forget seeing him coming back into the room and feeling so much more calm because of his presence. once i lost the feeling of my lower half, i felt pretty relaxed and i had gid tell me about our wedding and our honeymoon haha. i felt nothing until the moment when they pulled him out, and although i couldn’t feel anything — the moment they pulled him out, it felt like this giant weight was lifted out of me.

and then i heard him crying. and then gid and i both cried so much and i never felt closer to him than in that moment. i laid there longer than we would have liked, waiting to meet him while they stitched me back up, but gid ran over to see him and came back to assure me that he was cute. and then they put him on me and i couldn’t see much of him but it was so weird to feel him outside of me.

the rest was a complete blur. we went to recovery and i tried to breastfeed and then i got wheeled over to my room while they played the lullaby over the loud speaker to announce arlo was born (they do this every time a baby is born at our hospital and it made me so weepy). our parents were already in our room when we got there and it was one long stretch of constant visitors for the next few hours while i told everyone how chill a c-section is because i felt zero pain still and i had a baby in my arms. (little did i know…)

the first few days were really hard. i had a lot of pain walking around and trying to sit to pee, and the next night i got really nauseous from the medications i was taking, and throwing up all night right after abdominal surgery is something i never want to do again. gid was amazing at taking care of both arlo and me while in the hospital, and for the weeks after. day by day i got better and stronger, and three weeks later i feel pretty great and my incision looks so good i was able to look in the mirror (i went all three weeks without looking at it until now).

arlo was born 6/27/17 at 12:56pm, weighing 8 lb 10 ounces. he’s such a big perfect boy with a big perfect head (which is the compliment we hear the most often). i’m still not super used to the idea that i have a baby, but i am madly in love with him.

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    1. also sitting here reading this crying

  1. many blessings to the three of you, ARLO is adorable!

  2. Hi Molly, he’s perfect 🙂 You must be so proud of yourself for creating something so beautiful 🙂

  3. Congratulations! This post definitely brought tears to my eyes. I had my daughter 7 weeks ago by scheduled C section, so maybe it is the hormones? 🙂 Lots of parallels though – lots of nerves before surgery, waiting a while to look at the scar & feeling sore for weeks. I felt a lot more like myself around 6 weeks or so. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your realness is important for other women. It’s funny and witty and a joy to read but also an important way that you support other women by bringing the honesty they can relate to and take comfort in. Arlo and Gideon are lucky guys. ❤️

  5. Congratulations! He is so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your birth story. My baby belly was measuring really big too, throughout the entire pregnancy. But I dilated a bit 2 weeks ahead of my due date, so doc said I was a good candidate for a scheduled induction at 39 weeks, to just try vaginal, knowing it might likely end up in a C section. The induction worked well, and 24 hours later our Cosmo arrived. Turns out I had a TON of water, which made my belly sooo big and the ultrasound measurements skewed big. He actually wasn’t that big of a baby, just 7 lbs. Its such a wild ride! And no matter what, its just so hard on the body regardless of which way they come out! I am so glad your surgery went well but so sorry the recovery was rough. Its just crazy how much mamas go through! You are a rockstar, and creating such a beautiful family!! Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. Congrats momma and baby! ???? New motherhood is the toughest job in the whole entire world. So many hugs to you!!!

    I also had a c section due to scary complications, and can recommend the silicon c-section scar strips from Amazon to all my friends. My scar was extremely sensitive so it helped with that, and after wearing it for a year my scar turned out smooth and light.

  7. Welcome Arlo! He’s so perfect! I had my son via emergency C section after 42+ hours of labor, the spinal didn’t take and I had to be intubated. My recovery was so so hard! With my second we scheduled the delivery and it was like night and day, and being awake for it was so frightening but also perfect. You guys made the best decision for you, no shame in it! I was also so happy I didn’t destroy my V region with a normal delivery haha

  8. What a beautiful boy! (it’s okay to say he’s beautiful, he’s a baby!)
    Glad you are feeling so much better … I know you will do very well ~
    even without Gid being home! Don’t worry, “little Mother!”
    Thank you for sharing Arlo’s sweet birth story, and know now that
    you will always love your child beyond words …

  9. I’m crying too lol love your site and this experience. Enjoy motherhood! <3

  10. Awww, what a cutie! Congrats mama! At 2 weeks postpartum I’m also in the crying club.

    My little guy was 2.5 weeks early and a mere (ha!) 7lbs 12oz. They think he would have been close to 10lbs if he had waited until his due date so I probably would have ended up in the C Section club too. Kudos to you for knowing what was best for your family–the most important thing is that everyone makes it through delivery in one piece!

  11. Congratulations! Wishing you the best on your journey through motherhood!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story! A mother should be celebrated for going through childbirth no matter how it happens. No option is easy and how the baby came out doesn’t remotely reflect how you’ll be as a mother. Thanks for being so honest and Arlo is already amazingly cute.

  13. Congratulations on the safe delivery of your cutie.

  14. Susan Bauer says:

    Congrats on your cute baby. No way you could have pushed that head out–I say that as a veteran (18+) years NICU nurse. My sister had 4 c-sections due to large German headed babies. It sounds like you are experiencing all the normal new mother emotions–you’ll do great!

  15. Congrats! <3
    I just had my baby boy on the 27th too, so we're in the same boat. He came 2.5 weeks early, which was lucky because I'm really small too (5') and he was already 6 lb 11 oz. Wishing you guys all the best 🙂

  16. I just saw in Instagram that you were having trouble putting him to lie flat and that he seemed uncomfortable….. Seems like acid reflux Aka heartburn. He’s probably also going through a growth spurt (he’s around 3weeks,right?) so he must be eating lots… Thus the heartburn. My oldest was like this……its a little distressing for everyone but he’ll outgrow it….. Maybe don’t try to have him lie flat….. I “wore” my daughter in a sling and baby carrier for a long time and that is how she napped….. Good luck…. These are the times you gotta dig deep to care for the kids…. But in the end, you become a tree with really strong roots and you grow big and have strength of character you never thought possible. It’s the biggest blessing in the universe, what the children help us to be ♥️

  17. Legit crying right nowwwww ???? this is so cute and so sweet and omg its exactly kind of how I imagine I would be (terrified,crying,unable to look at stitches for 3 weeks) if I were about to give birth. Thank you for sharing, he’s adorable!! Congrats!

  18. Good for you being open about your c! I hate the shame that tends to be surrounding c-sections nowadays. I had one and to each they’re own. Also, I totally feel you about the IV, that was the scariest part in my mind! Argo is ADORABLE! Love watching your stories too. His gorgeous little face is too much!

  19. omg molly! this is a beautiful story and so raw – i feel like i can relate so much to your story. i have a bicornuate uterus and the baby boy is still breech at 37 weeks (my daughter was never breech so i had a vaginal delivery with her though post-recovery was ), so the doctors are scheduling me for a c in 2 weeks. i’m feeling like it’s the right thing to do for similar reasons to you… i don’t want to end up in an emergency c and have it be even harder of a recovery! i’m also nervous about that short period of time where my hubby won’t be in the room with me but i’ve heard the nurses are your best friend in those moments… giving birth is an incredible journey no matter how you go through the process, so cheers to you mama! that is one cute and smiley baby.

  20. Your birth story is almost exactly like mine. I went past due (41 wks 3 days) with mine with no sign of her wanting to come out when I finally gave in and had to be induced at the hospital. Unfortunately I labored for 24 hours until baby started not tolerating labor so I had to have a c section. I was so stuck on and wanted so badly to have a vaginal birth that it depressed me for some time afterward, I also hated being cut open (my first surgery as well) and the recovery from it. In the end how they come out matters so little and they do come out with those perfect little heads. Glad to read a story like mine because I’d never encountered one before. Thanks so much for sharing ?

  21. This made me so weepy! I’ve read so many birth stories and this one is my favorite 😉 I cant relate because I am the biggest baby about the hospital. This year was tough for us – we were pregnant and then suffered a loss……so I love watching your journey and find so much joy in what you have shared and seeing little Arlo xoxoxox!

  22. *CAN relate, I meant 😉

  23. my son was 8lb 15oz omggggg why didn’t anyone give ME a c-section!?!?!?!

    either way, big babies rule.

  24. Having visited Molly, Gid and Baby Arlo right after he was born was a most amazing day in my life. Watching my baby holding her baby brought me to tears and the realization that we had passed thru a new generation. Arlo has been the light of Gid and Molly’s life ad every morning, I get a wake up call to say hello to baby Arlo as he is now 9 months old. Thank you Molly for being such a devoted daughter and a wonderful mother to Arlo. You are an awesome wife to Gid, and terrific daughter to John, Scott, Cathy and I. And you have shared your life, your talent, your taste and your voice with so many who adore you like I do. thanks you for being you, my darling Molly Moo.