A Necessary Cesarean by Mother’s Instincts

This mama is awesome! I met her on BWF when she posted about a rude comment someone made to her when she was pregnant. She was planning a natural hospital birth, but it didn’t go that way. She was informed and trusted her instincts. She knew she had to have a cesarean for her baby. I have met her and her family and they are just wonderful! What an amazing birth! ~Mrs. BWF

My contractions started about 6:30am Saturday, January 29, 2011. I didn’t even realize I was in labor at first. I went to the bathroom thinking it was an upset stomach from the Mexican food I’d had the night before. The stomach cramping stopped, so I went back to bed.

I was up again 30 minutes later with the same problem. The same thing woke me again in 20 minutes, and it got closer together as the day went on. Around noon, I ran a warm bath, grabbed a granola bar and bottle of water and went to sit in my tub. For the next several hours I slowly sipped my water and rode the waves out in my tub, keeping the water as warm as was comfortable. I called no one, told no one I was in labor. Around 12ish I told my best friend I suspected it, and around 5 I told my husband we might be having our baby that night. He didn’t know I was in labor, only that I had spent several hours in my tub, which towards the end of my pregnancy had become normal anyway.

My baby and I were doing fine, relaxing as much as possible as the waves became more intense. I left the tub and began wandering back and forth between my bedroom and my bathroom, returning to my bath here and there. I tried sitting on my birth ball, but that was very uncomfortable.

At 8:15, my husband still wasn’t home from work. I called my friend Mary, a L&D nurse who lives a few hours away. At 8:20 I lost my mucus plug. My husband arrived home about 8:45 and at this point the contractions were much closer together and much more intense. He wanted me to go straight to the hospital. I handed him the phone and let him talk to Mary, who helped him time my contractions.

I finally went to the hospital, arriving close to 10:30 that night. Because it was my first pregnancy I was admitted to triage instead of L&D. They checked me and told me I was 7 cm and then moved me across the hall to L&D. I progressed to 8 cm before a doctor was brought in to see me.

It was not my doctor, and on top of that, it was a male doctor. No exactly in my personal comfort zone. I looked to my husband terrified. He stepped in front of my bed, maintaining touch with me the whole time and talked to the Dr. He asked me if I was comfortable. I agreed to let the Dr. treat me and examine me. He sat and talked to us for a few minutes, then reached for something that looked like an over-sized crochet needle and came towards me. My husband and I both yelled “No!” at the same time. I pulled my legs up under the blanket as my husband pushed forward, demanding to know what the Dr. was doing.

He began trying to explain to us how beneficial it was for him to break my water since it had not broken on it’s own. As we were explaining we did not want that, my daughter decided to break the water on her own! The Dr. explained that most women want their water broken which is why he didn’t ask, and apologized. I didn’t see him again until the very end.

I had three nurses in my room, three failed attempts at an I.V., leaving my arm severely bruised for 3 weeks by one nurse (which I later threw out of my room). At 9 cm they forced me to roll onto my left side, which was beyond painful. My grandmother and mother were brought into my room somewhere in between 8 and 9. They helped keep me on my side to get me to dilate faster. I was in tears and once I hit 10 cm they put me on my back and asked me to push.

I spent 2 and 1/2 hours pushing and crying with my grandmother and mother holding my legs and my husband telling me how much he loves me. I kept telling them something was wrong. It hurt only on the left side, and in one spot it hurt too bad to push. I was screaming in pain, kicking my mother and grandmother off of me, trying to get them to pay attention to what I was saying! My baby was stuck and something was wrong. The nurses and my mom and grandma kept telling me they could see her head I just needed to push harder or I wasn’t pushing right and to keep at it. I kept trying to tell them they weren’t listening to me, only to be told I wasn’t listening to them. My husband was the only one who believed me.

Finally when I refused to push anymore, and the baby’s heart rate dropped down a little (not enough to be dangerous,

but enough to make them pay attention), they went and got the Dr. again. He came in and talked to me, told me I either needed to push her out or have a c-section. I told him something wasn’t right as I cried. I didn’t want surgery but I knew I needed to. Somehow my mother in law got brought into the room. She talked to me and my husband and asked us what we thought about it. As they were prepping me for surgery my grandmother told me how easy it would be for me to push her out and wanting to know why I was having surgery and told me I should have just done that to begin with and said I should have gotten an epidural.

They brought me into surgery, I still refused the epidural, opted instead for the spinal block which has a lot less effect and is much safer. Normally no one is allowed in while they give the injection, but I would not allow them to do it without my husband in the room, and they couldn’t really keep him out. The pain had become unbearable in the one spot at this point. I needed my husband to help hold me up as they did the injection because of the pain. Once the injection took effect I began to drift in and out of sleep due to how worn out my body was.

As soon as they made the incision, I remember hearing the Dr. say “Oh” and they had to call someone else in. My daughter was stuck under a large fibroid cyst. If I hadn’t had a c-section she would have died. They couldn’t even take her out without first removing the cyst. After they had removed one large one, (which could not be cauterized until she was taken out) there were 7 more small ones under her. If the nurses had listened to me, neither me nor my perfect baby would have gone through the insane stress put upon us by shoving her harder and harder against the fibroid and getting her stuck under it.

c-section birth story

Just after the surgery instead if carrying her straight to our room, my husband brought her to my face, kissed me, then let me kiss my daughter as they were operating on me. At 3:19 AM on January 30,2011 Autumn Rose Gaudin was born, scored an 8 on her APGAR, and began breastfeeding not long after I was brought back to my room. No one touched her until I was there and I got to see them weigh her (6 lbs 6.9 oz and 20 in long) measure her, and bathe her. They brought her to me before anyone but my husband was allowed to even touch her little hands.

c-section birth story

cesarean birth story

My grandmother still insists I “wussed out” and constantly berates me for it, tells my now 4 week old daughter how I was too lazy to push her out and I didn’t want to do the work. As much as this hurts me, I know I was right. I trusted my baby and my body. I had the most rare thing ever and empowering c-section!

cesarean birth


  • brittany l

    Pretty sure I would tell my grandma to shove it. You go mama, I’m in awe. And so sorry no body listened to you sooner. Hugs and CONGRATS!

  • Officerswife33

    Oh my gosh! I totally bawled through that. I am totally sad that the mama is being told she wussed out when that so obviously was not the case. She did what she had to do to get her baby safely into the world and that deserves as much commendation as birthing naturally. At least, in my eyes! And I’ve birthed both ways… completely naturally at 42 weeks and one emergency c section due to a placental abruption at 40 weeks 5 days.

  • Leigh Johnson

    Kudos to you for trusting your body and I am so glad your husband was a very strong source of support during your delivery. Your story is amazing. Congrats on your healthy daughter.

  • Megan

    I am sooooo anti c sections. I’ve had two and i just *hate* them. Passionately hate them. Thank you for helping me remember that they are sometimes necessary. Your story was beautiful!! You did great!!

    • Alyssa

      I feel the same way. I’ve had 2 c-sections and prayed everyday with my second baby that I’d go into labor and show up at the hospital dilated to 9. It never happened. I dread my next baby because I don’t want to have another c-section, however I am extremely grateful that we live in this day and age where we can have c-sections if necessary. 100 years ago I would have died along with my first baby. This article is so inspiring that c-sections aren’t all bad. I am so glad this was posted!

  • Tracy

    Just wonderful! What an amazing birth story. I’m totally of the opinion that if moms listen to their bodies, they know what’s going on and this mom is living proof of that. While I wish more people would *aim* for a natural birth, they don’t always happen, but it’s how they don’t happen that can be bothersome. In this case, mom made the right call and saved her and her baby and that’s, as she put it, so incredibly empowering!

  • Deanna Russell

    So sorry you didn’t get the birth you wanted, but so proud of you for trusting YOUR instincts and not listening to anyone else! I agree, I would have told the grandma to shove it, I kicked my grandma out of my hospital room because I did opt for the epidural because they gave me 2 shots of demeral (spelling) and I was completely out of it, but felt every pain, and so out of it I couldn’t work through it. It was a horrible experience, and she still says I was a wuss. 2nd birth was a natural childbirth, painful but empowering, and I’m due again with my 3rd at the end of the year.

    Be proud of yourself for doing what was right for you and your baby. They could have lost the both of you, so they should be happy that you realized something wasn’t right and opted for the c-section. Maybe one day you can have a VBAC. But always always trust your instincts.

  • Brianne

    Fairly certain I would not allow my grandmother to see the baby if she kept saying such nasty things. Good for you mama, for knowing what was best for you. Love to you and little one.

  • Nic

    So sad when women are women’s worst enemies, especially when they’re the ones we need to love and support us the most. You are the perfect example of the resons cesarians are necessary sometimes and a woman in tune with her baby, body and instincts. Be proud and tell your daughter the true version of events, not your gma’s!

    • Nicole

      I could not agree more!
      We need to stop valuing certain birth experiences (homebirth, unmedicated, no intervention) more than others (induced, c-section, hospital) and begin to embrace the ability of the womb to give life. Every woman has a different idea of the perfect birth experience and each woman should have the resources to educate herself on her choices, and the freedom to make an educated decision.
      Thank You.

  • Ashleen Cook

    CONGRATS, MAMA! πŸ˜€ January 30th is a good day … my birthday πŸ˜€ I have a cute little birthday buddy!
    If my grandma said something like that to me I’d tell her great granddaugher that “Nana didn’t want you or mommy to live!”
    Yeah, I’m mean, but crap like that doesn’t fly with me. I’m sorry you have to go through that!

  • Maria

    Wow I never thought I’d hear a momma feel so empowered over a c-section. I am also pregnant with my first child and had wish to have a home birth, but because of lack of funds and insurance i must deliver at a hospital. Its amazing for me to hear her intuition yell for a procedure most would not want to take if avoid but still understand that everything we do as mothers is for a safe healthy delivery of our perfect child.

  • Carrie

    Good job Momma! I chose a csection myself when the doctors told me she was breech. We tried to get her to turn around, but she wouldn’t and I felt she needed to be sectioned to be born healthy. I felt like it was the right choice to schedule, so we did. 330am that morning came, I went into labor. She had shoved her head under my ribs. There was merconium in the fluid as well. I know in my heart that she needed that csection, but everyone looked down on that decision for a long time. Trust yourself. You will know the right choice for you if you stop and listen to your heart.

  • Kate

    So happy you and your baby had such a wonderful outcome, your relationship with your husband was very beautiful to read about too.

    I’m hoping Grandma didn’t have twilight sleep and that’s why she thinks its straightforward and easy!!

    Congratulations on your birth and baby πŸ™‚

  • Estasia

    Thank you for your story, it warms my heart. I had an emergency c-section, baby was stuck after a week of labor. I love how you followed intuition. I am still healing, an am so grateful for my son. I felt somewhat similar to you, I could feel the head and kept pushing.

  • Suzi Coonrad

    ~Good birthing, Mrs.Gaudin. I was just curious, did you have sonagram during your pregnacy, at all, and were you aware of the fybroids? I had a pregnancy in my early 20’s, that gave me a beautiful 10lb Daughter. When I was 36, I was pregnant with my second child. The sonagram showed that I had fybroids. My doctor wanted to terminate my pregnacy. I told him that if God decided to terminate the pregnancy, that would be one thing, but to take the life that I had prayed so much for, well, that was just out of the question. Lucky for me, and my baby girl, the fybroids were up high, and aided my baby, and I in labor and delivery. Another prayer answered, plus she did come on her due date. Two and a half years later, I gave birth to another beautiful healthy baby girl. I did have my uterus removed 5 months later, for I was hemoraging, and was anemic from it.
    Enjoy your beautiful Daughter, and I wish you and your Family many Blessings. Not to be disrespectful to your Grandma, but maybe you could just tell her that it doesn’t serve anyone to tell negative stories about your babies birth. You were there and you see it as a beautiful c~section birth, baby is thriving, and Mother and baby are doing fine.

  • Jennifer Gossett

    I’m glad that you were able to feel empowered by a c-section. I have three kids and all three were born via c-section. After the first I felt robbed because I thought if they had listened to me about how big he was then I would have been able to have a natural. Turns out that isn’t true. My body does not dilate, at all, ever. As in, they couldn’t even scrape my membranes because I never dilated over 1cm with any of my kids. I find that people want to be in my business and try to make me feel bad for having a c-section. I have learned to distance myself from those people as I know in my heart that my children and likely myself would have died without a c-section. Great Story!

  • Ladan Howell

    Thanks for sharing your story , I can relate to it as my little boy was breech so we were told we had to have a c section, although I did try natural remedies to turn him, without success. Turned out that while the surgeon was operating, I too had fibroid cysts which were removed so there is a wisdom in everything!

  • Tess

    This is such a beautiful story on why c-sections are sometimes necessary. I need to keep that thought in the back of my mind. I’m super against c-sections just like a bunch of ppl and it’s a good reminder that they don’t all have to be negative experiences!!

  • JessicaD

    You are a strong mama! I made a similar call for my second baby. I had no fiboids but I knew something was wrong and the pushing was not going to work. And Truly, I was right. It is hard. Even now, 27 months later. i have hated both of my c/s, but I did my best both times and sometimes they really are necessary.

    Dear Grandma, I hope you are never in the position you are putting your granddaughter in. Show some love. It won’t hurt you. Love, another mama whose family thinks she’s wrong

  • babz

    i am a home birth midwife(that’s what “they” call me i dont call myself that .)i have been privileged to catch many babies over a 35 year period. i am always proud of my homebirth mothers because i know they’re following their bodies instincts and doing what they feel is the very best for their baby.That being said, i must tell you that i am as proud of you as if you were my own child on her birth journey. the fact you listened to your body and stood up to the medical staff, while all of your attention was “in your bottom , having a baby”, (as ina may says) well ,i am proud to share the planet with a women with such character.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you everyone. We did 6 ultrasounds. We knew there were fibroids but did not know they would interfere with a vaginal birth, they shouldn’t have. I believe being forced and held on my left side is what caused the problem.

  • Theresa

    Umm…excuse me? Since when is a C-section “wussing out?’ It’s a much bigger ordeal for a woman’s body, and the recovery is so much harder!!! Way to trust your instincts! So glad you and your baby are okay! πŸ™‚

  • Elana

    Ya, I agree. A C-section is by no means wussing out. I too had a emergency C-section. It has taken a long time to physically and a even longer time to heal emotionally and mentally. Your story has helped me to take another step in my healing. Thanks for sharing. And congratulations. Tell your gram-ma she is hurting you. She needs to stop being un-supportive of you. Hugs.

  • Tasha

    wow! i had goosebumps and some tears well-up at points. i love how assertive you were throughout the whole thing and how encouraging it must have been to have your husband by your side like that!
    thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

    it sounds like it was indeed an empowering c-section experience. something i’ve never heard before πŸ™‚

  • JaxDoula

    What an inspiration you are, and thank you for the courage to share your story. The two things I am most impressed by in your account is your courage to listen to your body and your baby and your husband being such a strong advocate and defender for you! If he hadn’t been there, you might not have felt safe enough to progress, and had a failure-to-progress c-section. You are truely one of the rare women who was able to take the situation and become empowered and involved in your own birth πŸ™‚ Congratulations on a beautiful birth!

  • Marlene

    Stephanie, I know you said they forced you on your side to make you dialate faster, but was there a reason they needed you to dialate faster, or were they just being impatient? That sounds horrible. I couldn’t imagine anyone trying to make me do or not do anything during my natural birth. Being held in a horrible position that is putting you in pain is simply torture, not to mention taking away from you something that should have been a wonderful experience. I am so glad that you went without the epidural. I could only imagine the outcome if you were not able to feel that something was very wrong.

  • Stephanie

    Marlene, no reason. I was at a 9 and leaning to the right, they decided since I was only effaced on that side to push my on my left side, against my wishes, and much to my protest, to “help the other side along”

  • Kristin

    Thanks for posting this. I really needed to read about a c section that WAS indeed Necessary. I am one of those moms who feels like women are so forced into c sections that most are not needed. Sure they give excuses of the baby’s heart rate dropped, breech, etc and I needed a reminder that some c sections ARE better for the baby. Thanks again for putting my thoughts in check. πŸ˜‰

  • Jennifer

    this is awesome! i’m sorry you had to have a c-section but i am SO thankful that you were WISE enough to listen to yourself and your body. the safest birth for a mother and child is one where the mother is in tune with her body and trusts herself.

  • Gena

    Thank you for the story. I too had a c-section, scheduled, on Jan. 27th, 2011. My baby boy was breech and my doctor tried everything to turn him (including an external inversion….VERY painful), to no results. The chances of him coming out safely were too low to justify risking going into labor. We chose to have a c-section. It is the scariest thing in the world when you planned a natural intervention free birth πŸ™ It takes forever to heal, physically and emotionally. You did NOT wuss out. Im pregnant again and pray for a VBAC. I trust my body, as you did with yours. Congrats on a healthy baby girl. Never let anyone say you wussed out!!!!

  • danica

    SO GLAD to read your birth story!! This is so healing for me to read!! I too had one of those rare, but necessary c-sections. I, too, kept thinking “he’s stuck, he’s stuck”…I could not offer any reason or any explanation. After we transferred at 8cm from our home to a hospital and they did an ultrasound, they realized his cord got tangled and prolapsed when he flipped breach somewhere around 6 or 7cm. I got some of those “wussed out” comments too, but by far, the worst criticism has come from inside my own head…feeling like a failure and kicking myself for it…so it is nice to read such an empowered experience…it is helping me accept what happened and acknowledge myself for trusting my instincts!

  • Belle Kellan

    Stephanie, if I EVER need a c/s, I will remember you & your story. It’s powerful & awesome to have such an amazing birth, even though it didn’t go anywhere near as planned! Congrats on your beautiful baby, & way to go for listening to your instincts! I hope I will be strong enough to do that if I’m ever in that situation.

    I also am one of many against unnecessary c/s’s, so hearing about one that’s as empowering as a homebirth helps keep that dislike in check, so thank you for sharing it. πŸ™‚

  • audriana lobue

    I’m pretty sure I would of bawled my eyes out too if iwent through that.you’re not a wuss,you were listening to your body.you did a great job mama.

  • Tobi

    I write this message through eyes blurred by tears. Thank you thank you thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful story. I am so PROUD of you for your courage and strength. As far as grandma is concerned, some people will never get “it”. WAY TO GO PAPA! It sounds like your husband was AMAZING and the perfect supportive birth partner. I always say my husband was my drug during OUR labor. πŸ™‚

  • Elisabeth

    A good sign of a good birth is one where the mother feels powerful after for what she accomplished. How it played out doesn’t matter. A “natural” birth does not automatically make it an empowering birth. A “natural” birth means a lot of things, but a huge thing I hear people talk about is trusting your instincts. You trusted yours and protected your baby. Awesome birth story!

  • Bonnie B Matheson

    I just shared this on Childbirth Solutions Facebook page. It is a wonderful story for women to read so that they can understand that a C-section is sometimes a life saver for mother and baby.

    If only there were less of them for unnecessary reasons. Oh well. Congratulations to this wonderful mother. So glad she found her birth empowering, in spite of the fact it did not go as she originally wished it to.

    I wish we had more stories like this on http://www.childbirthsolutions.com
    Would someone like to contribute an original one?

    In the meantime I will write about this and link to this page from my site.

  • Ashley

    What an amazing mama you are! You definitly didn’t “wuss out”. You were strong and brave and you SAVED your daughter’s life! I’m sure when she’s old enough to understand what really happened, she’ll thank you for listening to your instincts and bringing her into the world safely.

  • Wendy

    I’m impressed with the care you and your baby received Post Partum. Especially since you didn’t originally plan for a c-section, and a ‘humane’ one at that. Being able to be there for the weighing and everything, and having no-one else but your husband touch your baby until you had that chance/opportunity! WOW!!!!! Things like that don’t happen very often, and not usually without a lot of planning ahead of time!!!

  • Megs

    I am friends with an excellent independent midwife in the UK. She said she has never had to suggest to a mum that to transfer to hospital for anything, that the mum will usually say ‘something’s not right’. My friend says ‘always trust the mom’. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It should give women hope and trust that they know their bodies better than anyone else (including grandma). And January 30, 2011 is an excellent day, as that is the day my son was born (and is my doula’s birthday)! Happy early birthday to your precious little girl!

  • Deborah

    I’m so impressed with you! When I was pregnant with my daughter, I planned a completely natural birth. Everyone but my husband laughed at me and told me I’d change my mind once things “started happening.” I was able to have the natural birth I wanted, but honestly … and it pains me to admit it, but here it is and it’s something I need to acknowledge and fix in myself … had I been in your situation, I don’t know that I would have recognized that there truly was a problem and had the courage to have the c-section! After all the comments and discouragement, I quite possibly would have thought “oh, this is what they were talking about; well I’ll show them and have a natural birth anyway!” and ended up endangering my daughter’s life. I’m very impressed that you were able to recognize that there really was a problem and that you had the courage to back down from your plans and do what was necessary for your daughter, despite all the negative influences around you. (Way to go, Daddy, by the way!)

    And with regard to your grandmother and her continuing to sow the seeds of mistrust and disrespect between you and your daughter … we told everyone before our daughter’s birth that her interests and our immediate family came first. Anyone who tried to come between her and us would be cut out of her life immediately and permanently. It worked–my extended family has a history of some people wanting to be the children’s favorite so badly that they undermine the parents, but no one has done that with our daughter; they know that we were serious and that the first time it happens will be the last time they see her. Maybe a warning to that effect with your grandmother is in order?

  • trinity

    Wow! Amazing story. Love how your mommy instincts kicked in. And seriously a rare occasion for an empowering c-sec, the joy in knowing you saved your daughter’s life! You are not a wuss, I admire you for birthing on your own at home! That has always been a tough one for me, I gotta have someone to fuss at and encourage me. Lol. I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t be classified as a wuss to labor and go all the way to 10 and push all that time. Great job mama@1 what a beautiful time for you as you prepare to celebrate yours and hers “birth-day”! Blessings!

    • Stephanie

      I just labored at home, I didn’t birth at home Trinity. Though that is thee plan for next time. I would love a vbac. Before ttc again I would like to take a hypno babies class and a few others though.

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