My C-Section Story : Why c-sections aren't always the easier choiceThursday, April 28, 2016
It took me a long time to have the strength to share my labor & delivery story. But I am finally here, 8 months later, sharing my experience. I’m not sharing my story to scare or discourage anyone from child birth. I’m a big believer in birth being absolutely incredible. We, as women, have been given the amazing privilege to bring life into this world, and that is so special.
I’m sharing this because, C-Section mamas are at times told that they took the easy road for choosing a c-section over natural birth. I hope my story helps change the misconception. C-sections are at times the most difficult road to take. I too am a c-section mama and I chose to bring my baby alive into this world. This is my story.
*Disclaimer: If you are pregnant I ask that you surround yourself with positive thoughts and people who will support you and encourage you on your birth choices. As I said before I am a big believer in birth and what a privilege it is for women who get to experience bringing life into this world. I am not writing this story for you, soon to be mama, but for the women that have gone through their own difficult birth experience and need healing in knowing that they are not alone.
I had planned to have my baby in a birth center, which I absolutely loved. Throughout my prenatal appointments my midwives were compassionate and caring and always answered my questions and fears with strength and love.
I started having contractions on a Wednesday morning at about 30 mins apart. I contacted my midwife but a few hours later they slowed down. At exactly 39 weeks and 6 days I was over being pregnant and I wanted this baby to come out! So that night I went over to my in-laws house and to naturally induce labor we went on a neighborhood walk. I should’ve really rested, but I was so ready to bring in labor that I walked and walked as much as my body allowed. After that walk my contractions started to pick up this time only 10 mins apart. I contacted my midwife and since I had my 40 week appointment the next day she told me to come in the next day. I did not sleep that night in my head my contractions were really strong. Though I did not know that this was only the beginning and they were only about to get stronger and closer together.
In the morning my husband and I headed to the birth center with my contractions 5 to 10 mins apart. My midwife checked me and told me to go home and get my things ready, this baby was on its way. When I got home my contractions only got stronger and closer together so I told my husband we needed to go back to the birth center. When we arrived at the birth center my water broke. This was at 2:30 PM on Thursday. Since my water had broken and I was GBS positive I was told to stay at the birth center to continue through labor. When my midwife checked me I was only 1 cm dilated. It was devastating. My contractions were 2 to 5 mins apart and very strong. I continued laboring through my contractions with my husband as my coach. I labored for hours and hours with my contractions as strong as ever. At around 1AM on Friday my husband started to worry, I was starting to get tired and my contractions weren’t easing up at all. My midwife checked me again and I was only 5 cm dilated.
At that point I started crying out of frustration and my husband asked if it would be time to go to the hospital. He was worried I was too tired to keep laboring without any pain relief. We spoke to the midwives and they agreed. At this point I was already in an IV with antibiotics. My midwife called the back-up doctor and he agreed for me to go to the hospital. He would continue to let me labor at the hospital. I felt relieved to hear this and his team kept their word on letting me continue to labor at the hospital. Once we arrived it was now 4:00AM I had been in labor for longer than 24hrs.
The doctor told me they would start me on Pitocin, though I was nervous about this I agreed. The nurse asked if I wanted to have an epidural and at this point I agreed. I couldn’t see myself laboring any longer with Pitocin. The epidural was really the greatest relief I had felt after laboring for so long. I was able to rest and it seemed that I continued dilating normally. After 8 hours of arriving to the hospital I was finally dilated to 10 cm. And my nurses started to help me push. I pushed and pushed and pushed, my doctor kept checking me but Mia wasn’t coming out. I pushed for 2 almost 3 hours with some breaks in between. It was now 5:00PM of the Friday I had been in labor for 36 hours and I couldn’t go any longer my body was weak and I had developed a high fever. The doctor looked at me and said, “Honey it’s important this baby comes out, you need to have a c-section.” I cried and told my husband, “please just get her out!”.
The nurses prepped me for surgery in what seemed like minutes. Inside the OR I kept looking out for my husband... he was taking too long, I started calling out for him when I saw him finally in the room he held my hand and the doctor said, “You might feel some pressure.” The pressure was intense. I yelled at my husband, crying “It’s a lot of pressure! I feel a lot of pressure.” And then I was out.
As told by my husband: In that moment the anesthesiologist had given me general anesthesia. And Mia came out seconds later. She was born at 5:50PM. They asked my husband to cut the umbilical cord and if he wanted to hold her, he agreed and brought her to my side so Mia could feel me. "This is Mia" he whispered in my ear. As the surgery was over he asked his mom and my sister to stay with me until I woke from the anesthesia. As he made sure he stayed with the baby.
I woke up a couple hours later. I opened my eyes and saw my sister next to me and squeezed her hand and she assured me Mia was healthy and that my husband was with her. The nurses came in and wheeled me into the recovery room where my husband brought in this tiny wrapped up baby and placed her in my arms.
I spent a lot of days and even months playing back my experience of her birth and asking God why I had to go through that. Why did it have to be so difficult? Why didn’t I get to see her be born? There are a lot of questions unanswered, but there is one thing I can never forget. The doctors saved my life as well as my baby’s. I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Every day I see her smiling face I can’t help to thank God for giving me the opportunity to have her, safe in my arms.
I still meet moms that give me judging looks and comments because I had a c-section without knowing my story. I still get comments from women that mention how I don’t understand what real labor is since I went through a c-section. And even comments from people “Oh you had it easy, you had a c-section.” It still stings. And though I want to reply and go through my story, I know they won't understand. So now every time I meet a c-section mama I get her. I look at her and ask her for her story. I have to be real and admit still feel a tad of jealousy when I see beautiful natural birth photos and ask why that wasn’t my story. But the reminder is there in front of me, conception, pregnancy and birth is HARD. Women are so strong. We are strong when we can’t conceive and continue to try. We are strong when we experience loss and continue to remember and hope. We are strong when birth is difficult and we still love and care for our child. You mama are strong. Don’t ever forget that.