Becoming a Mom | My First Birth Story | My Unplanned C-Section
Nervous about having a c-section? Read about my birth story. It was beautiful and magical and after 32 hours of labor, it ended in a c-section.
I should preface this post with the fact that I really wanted to have a natural medication free labor. I wanted to experience birth the way it was intended.
I got the opposite…
P’s due date came, and I was no where near about to go into labor. I went to my appointment at 40+2 where they did a Non-Stress Test and an Ultrasound. These are standard tests for women past their due dates. They didn’t quite see the movement they wanted in the NST and during the ultrasound they didn’t see the correct ‘breathing’ patterns, but the large movement, small movement, and fluid levels seemed all good. I was told the lack of diaphragm movement wasn’t something I needed to be concerned about, but that it could just be “time” for her to come out. Naturally, I was now super worried :) I was maybe a ½ cm dilated so they didn’t induce me that day. My doctor knew that I really wanted to have a natural birth, so she said I had to come back the following day for the same tests and hope that my body made some progress with labor. She knew that if I went into labor, I’d have a better shot at a natural birth because induction would put me at a higher likelihood of ending in a c-section. The results were similar the next day. However, they did see the diaphragm movement the second day! The NST wasn’t as active as they’d like, so they suggested I get induced.
In hindsight, I wish I would have asked what would happen if I waited a few more days. I truly believe that if I went into natural labor, I would have had a much better chance to avoid the c-section. In the moment, I was 40+3 and a bajillion pounds. I had PUPPs rash and was pretty miserable. I just wanted to have my baby. So, we left the doctor’s office, got everything ready, ate some Lou Malnati’s with my parents, and went to the hospital around 7 pm.
Around 8:30 pm they finally got things moving. We started on Cervidil which is basically a tampon with medicine in it (my recollection...possibly not accurate LOL) to soften my cervix. My water broke a few hours later at 12:30 am. After that, we waited a bit to see if labor would progress after but around 2:30 am they decided to start the Pitocin and IV Fluids. They start super low and work their way up. I didn’t sleep at all that night. The beds are terribly uncomfortable, and contractions are kind of painful….
My next check was at about 10:00 am and I was 1 cm (started at ½ cm) and again at 2 pm where I was 2 cm. Laboring on Pitocin was painful, but manageable. I’m not surprised to hear everyone say it is horrible pain. I was determined to make it through with no epidural though! I labored all day and the pain did increase as the day went on. I could not have done it without my husband! He was such a great supporter. The worst part was with the induction, you are stuck next to all the monitors and even if you take a while in the bathroom they come make sure you get back on the monitors… It would have been much better had I been able to walk around.
At around 9:45 pm my doula, Leah, came to help me through. She was the most amazing support and I couldn’t have done it without her. Even before birth during our meetings, she helped me so much. She helped me work through contractions as well as mentally working through the likelihood that I would be having a C-section. Once they checked me again at 2 am and I was only 3 cm, and the realization of the inevitable c-section was there. I knew it was coming and was so glad Leah was there to help me get to a better mental state before we went in for surgery.
Read more about my post c-section experience here
I got the Epidural around 3 am because after 24 hours of Pitocin, I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed to try to get some rest since I had been awake for 36 hours and knew this was my last chance!
Turns out, I didn’t get any sleep night #2 either. I mean it was 4:00 am by the time the anesthesiologist was done and out of the room. At about 5:00 they came in and put an oxygen mask on me because P was in distress. They ended up turning off the Pitocin but they kept coming in to check the monitors and I was so worried at that point. Like, an oxygen mask can't be good right!? So, no sleep! As soon as they said P was having some distress, I truly accepted the c-section was happening because I didn’t want her to struggle at all anymore! I’ve never been so nervous about anything in my life. I was worried about her (even though the doctors weren’t) and I was so scared for the c-section.
Around 7 am they started prepping me for the c-section which happened around 9. The whole procedure was about 40 minutes. The entire time I was so scared! They increase the epidural medication, so you are numb further up your body. Part of your lungs get numb, so breathing feels super weird. The anesthesiologist was so nice and even though I was acting like a crazy person, she stayed with me. She even checked on me several hours later!
I was so tired from being awake for 48 hours and laboring for 30 that I felt like if I closed my eyes I wouldn’t wake up.
She stayed with me and talked with me the whole time. She got me cold towels when I felt too hot and squirted water in my mouth when it got dry. I felt so bad that I was almost going to fall asleep during my daughter’s birth! But I made it through. Once they started, P was born within a few minutes. I didn’t get to see her right away, but after the measured and did whatever they do, my husband held her next to me and it felt like time just stopped. I had never had so much love for someone in my whole life! I’m so lucky Ryan was there and could go with her to the nursery while I finished in surgery.
It was so emotional and not at all what I wanted. But she was a perfect 9 lb 7 oz and 21 inches long with an amazing head of hair! Looking back, 6 months later, it wasn’t that bad. Now, all I think about when I think of that day is my beautiful daughter and my amazing husband who has never been happier in the 10 years I've known him.