I’m a pretty naturally minded person, especially after being diagnosed with Valley Fever in August of 2016 and living with extreme fatigue for over a year and a half. When I became pregnant and started doing research to decide how I wanted to bring my child into the world, it’s probably not very surprising that I was interested in a natural, unmedicated birth. I even chose to use a birthing center! But in the end, E decided that was not how he wanted to come. This is a story about how E decided to teach me a lesson in learning how to surrender control. This is his c section birth story.
34 Weeks and 6 Days: Hello, Dolly!
At 34 weeks and 6 days pregnant, my husband and I had tickets to see Hello, Dolly! Up until this point, my pregnancy had been pretty smooth sailing, normal 1st trimester nausea, a relatively enjoyable 2nd trimester where I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (hello low carb diet) and then the normal progressing into the 3rd trimester where I started to get more physically uncomfortable as we approached the final month of pregnancy. This is the night where things started to get interesting. I must say that the musical was very entertaining and a great distraction from the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having off and on that evening. As the musical drew to a close, and we were walking back to our car, I started to realize that I was really irritable and not very comfortable. Turns out that my blood pressure was a little elevated.
35 Weeks and 2 Days: We Spend our Sunday Night at L&D
A few days pass, I’m now 35 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy. I’m still keeping an eye on my blood pressure, which is still a bit out of wack and getting worse every day. At this point, my biggest fear is that I’m going to end up having to get induced, granted for a medical reason. This is something that I VERY MUCH want to avoid. I’m an anxious mess, and that is an understatement. Sunday evening rolls around and I check my blood pressure to find that it’s slowly creeping into hypertensive territory and on top of that I’m not feeling so great so we decide to go to Labor and Delivery to get checked out and make sure everything is alright.
Long story short, we spend about 4 hours at L&D where I’m hooked up to all the monitors. The nurse tells me that she hopes I’m prepared for the baby because this baby is probably coming sooner rather than later, but she sends me home because E needs to cook a little longer.
35 Weeks and 5 Days: My Water Breaks, I Thought I Peed Myself
Around 5:30 am on January 16th, also happens to be the day my Dad turns 60, I feel a little warmness, I quickly jump out of bed and run to the bathroom wondering if I just peed a little. As I’m standing there cleaning myself off, a little more liquid trickles out. I’m confused because I’ve had decent control of my bladder this far into my pregnancy, and I have a feeling that it is my amniotic fluid leaking. Its worth noting that at the beginning of my pregnancy, I read that 1 out of 10 labors start with water breaking before contractions. When I imagined how labor would start, I imagined being uncomfortable with contractions, not wondering whether I peed myself.
I Am Not Prepared For Any of It
I mentioned above that the nurse at L&D warned me that I wouldn’t be making it to 40 weeks, but I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t even make it to 36 weeks! I was not ready at all. I call my midwife to let them know that my water is trickling out and I text my doula to let her know that I think my water broke and today seems to be the day. As I’m packing my bag, a huge gush of water explodes in my pants, well, that was definitely my water breaking. My midwife had told me that since contractions hadn’t started yet, we had some time. She asked me to come into the birthing center at around 10 am and told me to eat breakfast and shower before heading in for an evaluation.
When I got to the birth center, she checked to see that yes, my water did in fact break and she checked to see if baby was still head down and in position. She felt my stomach and thought he was head down, but turned on the sonogram just in case, and of course, there was E’s head where his butt should have been.
When I heard the news, I didn’t understand that it meant that I needed a c section, I thought that maybe there were positions I could use to help turn the baby head down, but it turns out that once your water breaks, there is very little chance that the baby will change position because they no longer have any room to move around. I was heart broken when it started to sink in that there was nothing I could do, but instead of dwelling on what I couldn’t do, I started to focus on what I could control. Turns out that the only thing that I could control was my mindset.
Mental Preparation and The C Section
We get to the hospital, around 11 am and I find out that my emergency c section is scheduled for later in the evening around 6:30 or 7 pm. They hook me up to all the wires to monitor us, making sure that I am not about to go into labor before the surgery. I had taken a Hypnobabies birthing class, so I spent most of the time leading up to the surgery listening to my hypnosis tracks, which by the way, were a great tool for keeping me calm. I was terrified of being awake for surgery, but I was excited to meet my son. I focused on my breathing and stayed in a relaxed state of mind. An hour before the surgery is scheduled, Dr. Figueroa walks in to introduce himself and we go over some of our wishes for the surgery. My husband requests delayed cord clamping and I request skin to skin contact immediately after he is born. Everything is all set to go.
Baby E is Born
Although I am having an emergency c section, I did not have a trial of labor. My contractions start to become more intense about an hour or so before the surgery, but I am still able to walk into the operating room. The nurse anesthetist is wonderful and attentive to my needs. I put in my headphones to resume listening to my hypnosis tracks and the surgery begins… and then there is the sweet sound of a baby screaming his head off! E comes out fighting mad and scores an initial 8 and then a 9 for his APGAR scores.
The doctor holds him up over the drape and I’m overwhelmed with relief that he is here and that he is healthy. As they set him down on my chest for skin to skin, I feel myself begin to breathe again.
Have your own birth story that you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below.