On October 16th, 2008, my son came into this crazy world. He was born via emergency C-section, which to this day I am still not too sure how I feel about it. I was induced not even being a week overdue. I was anxious, uneducated and just wanted to have my baby here. My blood pressure was up and I was starting to swell but nothing major, so my OBGYN could have definitely waited or tried other things first. Needless to say after 3 days in the hospital with gel being put on my cervix, not too much was happening so my OBGYN decided to break my water and start the oh so lovely Pitocin! Well I had NO SWEET CLUE what I was in for, it was HELL. I was pretty much completely bed ridden because I had to be hooked up to the monitor, blood pressure machine and IV.
After a few hours of that I lost control and needed an epidural because I was no longer handling the contractions at all. I had my epidural which took a couple hours to get because being in a small town the anesthesiologist was either in the OR or was at his house (I can’t remember), but either way, it was torture waiting and waiting for him! A few short hours after I had my epidural, the nurses turned the Pitocin off and called my OBGYN down to the room where he told us that he was going to have to do an emergency c-section as I was not progressing quickly enough and that the baby was in stress. So off to the OR we went. This was the first time I had any type of surgery, I had never even had stitches in my life!
In the operating room I was transferred to the operating table where they prepped me and told me what was going to happen. They started to cut and I screamed!! I could feel everything because I was not completely frozen; my epidural that I had hours before had pretty much worn off. I was given more medicine and they began. After that a lot of it is a blur, I remember my husband came into the room and held my hand. I was shaking so badly that it was hard to breath. I remember asking the anesthesiologist for an ice cube or a sip of water because I was so dry from the oxygen I couldn’t breathe through my nose and from shaking so bad it was hard to breathe out of my mouth because my jaw kept locking up. The list just goes on and on from my OBGYN and family doctor talking about a golf game while closing me up, to throwing up when they rolled me over to take my epidural out to having to be in the recovery room for a couple hours because my blood pressure kept dropping. Needless to say I was scarred physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Holding my son for the first time I cannot remember, all I have is a picture. It was the next day when everything came together for me and I really realized what all had happened, I finally had my baby boy why wasn’t I happier? Everyone met my son before me, they all held him loved him before I even had a chance. The following months were not great at all; it took a good 6 weeks until I felt good physically. I battled night terrors from the C-section, postpartum, PTSD, and the worst of all, guilt. Guilt for not being happier, guilt for not wanting to breastfeed sometimes, guilt for wanting a minute to myself and guilt for knowing that I loved my son but I just didn’t have that “feeling”. I was broken.
My son has taught me so much about myself about life he is my life my pride and joy , there are no words to describe the love I have for that little man; it was always there I just did not know how to let it out with everything I was going through. We got through my darkest days together and survived! With the help of my husband because God knows I could never have done it without him he is truly my other half.
My OBGYN that I had with my son had told me at my 6 week postpartum check up that I was just not made to have babies and if I wanted another one then it would have to be another C-section! Well, that made my mind up for me; I was NOT going to have any more children. That lasted a while but I knew that I was not yet “fully complete.” So when I became pregnant with our daughter I was scared, all of the emotions I had with my son came flooding back to me but I tried to have the approach, “it is what it is,” whatever the outcome, I will have another beautiful baby, and I would walk through hell and back for that (which I am pretty sure I did the first time). I had always looked online after I had my son about VBAC stories and I would cry because I could relate to every one of those “broken” women. I knew I wanted a VBAC and I was definitely going to try for one. I had a new family doctor and a new OBGYN (go figure my OBGYN lost his licence and my family doctor only lasted a year here)! I expressed my concerns and fears to my family doctor about wanting a VBAC and she said, “Well as long as everything goes normally it should be ok to try.” TRY….TRY…try? She was so pessimistic sounding. So once again I doubted myself, I thought, “Well I will try for it…it won’t happen, but at least I know I tried.”
When I was referred to my OBGYN he was great, he saw no problem with going for a VBAC; he even encouraged it (I thought he must be sniffing glue because didn’t he know it was going to end in a C-section)! My pregnancy went great, just as it did the first time, but this time I had no blood pressure issues at all. Around 40 weeks my OBGYN did a membrane sweep and sent me home and said come back if things get going. Well, I had a few cramps and that was it, and my mucus plug had started to come out. I went back to him at the end of the week, he did another membrane sweep, and he said I’ll probably see you this weekend, if not come back Monday! Once again, cramps!
Monday morning we went back and he did yet another lovely membrane sweep and said if nothing happens then we will do a C-section on Thursday, that’s when I looked at him and said shall we call a spade a spade and just do a C-section. He looked at me and my husband looked at the nurse in the room and said no I think you will be fine.
My husband and I left and went shopping and out to lunch. I was having fairly consistent cramps so around noon I decided to start timing them. My mom had our son, so I asked her to keep him a bit longer just in case. We came home and I cleaned up a bit, had a warm bath, and then walked around our kitchen table nonstop for about 2 hours. Around 7pm we decided to go to the hospital because the cramps (I would not admit to myself that I was in labour, they were just cramps) were consistent and kept getting worse.
When we got to the hospital they monitored me and checked. I was a couple cm, contractions were fairly consistent so they decided to keep me. We were put in our room. I called my mom and she was going to keep our son for the night. I had a bath which seemed to help a lot, asked for a birthing ball and we were good to go. The nurses really left us alone for the most part which was really nice. Around midnight I had a shot of morphine because I was getting really tired and the contractions where getting harder to deal with the nurse checked me and I was around 2-3cms. I was able to get a couple minutes of sleep in between contractions.
I got through the night. I had a few baths and was in the bath at shift changes; our new nurse came into the room and wanted to put me on the monitor so I got out of the bath. Everything was fine but unfortunately the contractions had faded; they were coming every 8-10 minutes my nurse checked and I was about 3-4cms and had told me you know sometimes this will happen labour can stop. Not long after my OBGYN came in and decided to break my water at 8:50am, my contractions where still roughly 7mins apart. I laboured pretty well. I used the birthing ball and went for a couple walks.
I decided to have another shot of morphine at 11:15am because once again I felt like I was losing control over my contractions because I was getting tired. At that time my nurse told me that my OBGYN would like to start Pitocin just to help things move along a bit. I decided I was OK with that but I wanted an epidural because from past experience Pitocin and I are not good friends (and to be honest I figured that at least it would be in when I needed my c-section). At 12:10pm I had my epidural and at 12:40pm the Pitocin was started. I tried to sleep but it was hard to, I kept feeling pressure so my nurse checked me at 1:50pm and I was 7cm. About 15-20mins later I knew I had to push!!
The nurse that had checked me was filling in for my nurse who was on her break, she told me that she had just checked me and that there was no way I was ready to push! Thankfully my nurse came back into the room a couple minutes later and checked me! She told the other nurse to call the OBGYN because I was fully dilated and asked me just to give a little push which I did and she told me to stop and wait for the OBGYN. Our OBGYN came into the room checked me and asked to give a little push and said, “Woah, wait,” and quickly got his gown on. At 2:25pm I started to push and our beautiful baby girl was born at 2:45pm! I could not believe what had just happened all I could say was that her!! Is it over?!
I cannot thank my OBGYN enough, I feel like I have been healed. My first birth was awful from the moment we walked into the hospital. Birth… the most natural thing for a woman absolutely terrified me; I was broken, how could I be broken, unable to have a baby? Was I not meant to have children? These questions always haunted me, they were always there as time went on I thought about it less and less but always knew it was there.
This time around I had the most beautiful experience, I was able to have my baby placed on my belly the minute she was born, my husband cut her cord, and I nursed her and held her skin to skin before she was passed around to everyone! I have an amazing 4 ½ year old who teaches me every day we have a very special bond and my little miss who is 5 ½ months old who helped me heal.