Megan Elise » Madison Wedding / Engagement Photographer


*throughout my pregnancy I wrote a series of “Dear baby” letters that talked about what we were up to, how we were preparing for parenthood, and my thoughts and emotions {anxieties} about becoming a mother. this is the last letter in the series.*


Dear baby,

You were born on a Tuesday.

Our induction was scheduled for 7:30 that morning and I spent the whole weekend doing whatever I could to try and go into labor on my own – walking on the treadmill, eating spicy foods, leaning over the ottoman to get you into optimal position – really anything I could think of. On Monday I started having second thoughts about being induced at all and was considering trying to convince Dr Thousand to let me wait it out until Saturday at least, to see if it would still happen on its own. I called the office and talked to the nurse and it didn’t really sound like that was an option for us. And so, Tuesday it was.

Monday night, dad and I went to Greenbush for pizza as sort of a “last meal”, then home to finish packing up and get some sleep. I slept well until about 3:45 and then I was wide awake with excitement and anxiety until my alarm went off at 5:45. We got up, showered, ate breakfast, and made our way to the hospital.

We got checked in on the second floor and were shown to our room by our nurse Holly. She was pretty awkward and quiet and I was disappointed that, of all the great nurses I had heard about, we got one that wasn’t making me feel comfortable at all. I wasn’t looking forward to spending the whole day with her. She hooked me up to the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors before the resident on call came in to explain the induction process to me. She then brought in the sonogram machine to make sure you were head down before we got started. After scanning it around for 30 seconds, she wasn’t able to find your head, which {of course} made me panic. You had a head at the 20 week ultrasound…where was it now?! Right then, Dr. Fok walked in, grabbed the ultrasound wand and immediately found your head….right at the top of my uterus – the thing I had thought all along was your butt. You were breech dear baby, despite my being told at multiple doctor appointments that your head was down and “very low”.

I was prepared for a lot of things walking into the hospital that morning but I certainly never ever expected that you would be breech and our only option would be a csection – something that could have been scheduled two weeks ago. To say I was frustrated and heart broken is an understatement. One of the only things on my birth plan was that I didn’t want a csection unless it was medically necessary. And there we were. I cried pretty hard at the whole situation. Not just being frustrated but also being terrified at having to have major surgery very unexpectedly.

Since I had eaten breakfast already, they couldn’t do the procedure for another 8 hours until my stomach was clear. So dad went to go board Wrigley since we were going to be in the hospital longer than we thought and then we spent most of the day watching tv and hanging out while I cried fat, ugly tears off and on.

Around 2:15 Aunt Kristi showed up after her meeting in Columbus and Uncle Jeremy came over as well while we waited it out. At 3:00 the nurses told me it was time and walked me down the hall in a robe and socks, wheeling my telemetry bag into the operating room. I started to get really scared at this point. The OR is no joke, with tons of lights, instruments, and people running around. They got me up on the table and then the anesthesiologist went to work on the spinal tap. It started to work almost immediately and made my legs feel very warm and heavy, like I was laying on a beach somewhere instead of on a cold, metal, surgical table. They draped up my lower half and dad came in right as they were making the incision.

There was a ton of pressure and pushing and pulling and I squeezed your dad’s hand tighter than I ever have before. Your butt came out first and then it seemed like a long time before the rest of you was out. I just laid there waiting to hear you cry, so I knew everything was good. The nurse anesthetist was up by my head and she was the first one I heard say “it’s a girl” and then I heard Dr. Fok say “indoor plumbing” haha. A girl. I was so shocked – both dad and I thought for sure you were going to be a boy. It only took me a few seconds to start crying when the thought crossed my mind – “I have a daughter”. It was so surreal. I felt like I was twelve years old laying on that table. But I wasn’t. And I had a daughter.

You were born March 10th at 3:45pm. You weighed 7lbs 3oz and we named you Etta Eloise Ruhland.

Dad followed the nurses into the side room and cut the rest of your cord off and watched while they cleaned you up. Then he brought you out to me and said “she’s really cute, Meg”. I looked up and just remember how white your skin looked. They placed you on my chest but there wasn’t a lot of room between my neck and the drape, so you kept rolling into my face and smooshing against my mouth and I couldn’t really see you. We took a couple of pictures and they let you lay there for awhile while I was stitched up. Dad went with you when they weighed you and took some vitals and I finally got to really see you and hold you and start nursing you in the recovery room. We stayed in recovery for about two hours until the spinal tap started wearing off and then they moved us upstairs to our room.

Both sets of grandparents and Aunt Kristi and Uncle Jeremy were there. It’s kind of a blur for me, those first few hours after surgery and the whole first night. I was in more pain than I’ve ever been in in my life but I wouldn’t change a thing about the way it happened. You were finally here.

It’s night two now and they told me you might be clingy at this point. And boy, were they right. You’ve been non stop feeding for the past few hours but I don’t mind. I can tell that you know I’m your mom….and that you need me. I hope you always do.

I love you, dear Etta. Thank you for making me a mother.



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