This is the story of a dream birth turned nightmare.
I hate to have written that.
But I did, because to me, it was, and sadly will always be in my mind, the furthest thing from what I had expected or hoped for my daughter's birthday.
Things started off pretty textbook.
My water broke 3 days before her due date around 2am.
In my head I was thinking, "Oh, no-not in the middle of the night! This is going to happen fast. Grandma has to drive out here at 2am? Hux is sleeping. My sweet baby boy. This will be the last I see him as my only child--I better sneak in some kisses and last looks."
After getting Honey Mom Mom (Hux's nickname for my Mom) all tucked in for the night, we headed off to the hospital--on our way making a quick detour to Meijer for some muffins (Matt reminded me that they wouldn't let me eat as soon as we were admitted so this was my last chance) and a cooler (for the placenta...I opted to try encapsulation this time around).
As soon as you enter the hospital they have you by the balls.
By your maternal-instinct, printed-out-natural-birth-plan-clutching balls.
Being admitted was terrible. I had to have tests ran to prove my water had in fact broken, and that included an internal exam by some fresh out of college, bloated frat boy who couldn't find my cervix and I wanted to punch in the throat a million times. He also failed to document the results of said horrible tests so when I actually met the birthing doctor, oh joy!, I had yet another internal!
So what felt like days later, we were finally given a room--atleast it was one of the larger birthing suites with glorious jacuzzi tub that I immediately got in (despite not having any contractions or actual signs of labor).
Since I wasn't in active labor so I was cleared to eat. We spent the majority of the early morning/afternoon dining on hospital room service. Intermittently, a nurse would stop in to check my progress and calmly remind us our doctor would be there soon (he was in a marathon that morning--while I was in the middle of my own personal marathon...) When he did finally arrive he checked over my charts, and noticed that my previous birth had complications due to shoulder dystocia.
That's when the topic of a cesarean section was brought up for the umpteenth time.
I have should prefaced this by saying we were planning to deliver at a Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania where they were fully aware of my previous delivery and thought nothing of it, and were confident I could birth naturally without complication. Well, we moved back to Michigan when I was 32 weeks along so I decided to get back in with my old OBGYN who was super crunchy and anti-pharmaceuticals...or at least that is what I had thought..
My first appointment with her, I kid you not, first thing to come our of her mouth was, "When would you like to schedule your cesarean?" Talk about being blindsided. I mean, 32 weeks of mentally and physically preparing for a natural non-medicated birth, and now having to advocate for myself against the woman I am entrusting to bring my daughter earth-side. Fairly certain I turned several shades of red as my face does not conceal my inner feelings at all (one of the many reasons I do not play poker).
So here I am at the hospital, riding out the beginning stages of labor as we have an hour long conversation with the delivering doctor who said everything from "you're selfish to want a natural birth" to "your baby could be born with cerebral palsy" or "worst case scenario, death".
He even said if we chose to birth naturally that he encourages us to video the event incase any complications arise and we threaten to sue.
[Basically, he wanted to cover his ass while mine was hanging out of a gown for all to see.]
Around 17 hours into labor I opted to go forward with cesarean, and from the moment I said, "go", it was a whirlwind of needles, tubes, catheter (which the put in prior to having me put socks on, so. not. cool.) and I was then escorted across the hall to the operating room where I had to have spinal block placed while I began getting hit with real contractions. There's nothing quite like having to hold completely still while riding out waves of hell crashing inside your body.
The whole procedure didn't take very long, and felt like I was being rocked back & forth from my mid-section down. At that point I had the shakes, and shallow breathing. I remember looking at my daughter through giant tears hanging in my eyes, and thanking God she was perfect.
Ellis June came into the world, not in the way I had hoped and dreamed, but she was healthy and her father got to hold her and love on her first, which he treasures to this day. During recovery I asked if I could nurse her--even though my arms did not move they placed her on my chest and she latched instantly. At that point I was content.
Ellis and I stayed at the hospital for 5 days, basically because I didn't want to face reality. I was in pain, and scared of what life looked like at home with not one but two little people pining for our love and attention. Huxley was smitten with his sister from the moment he laid eyes on her, but we all knew life as we knew it was about to change.
We didn't, however, know the intense journey we were about to embark on.
Incase you haven't been following along with our blog you can find out what happens next by visiting here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
In honor of Cesarean Awareness Month I mustered up the courage to finally post our story. It's been a hard, 2+ years since Ellis was born, as I have hinted at here & there.
This, this, & this article helped me work through some of my thoughts and emotions on having a cesarean.
Thank you for sharing in our journey.
This blog has been a safe haven to me along the rocky path I've been walking, and I cherish this community of people more than words can say.