Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birth Story- A Positive C-Section


I have been posting positive birth stories on this blog for months now and this birth story is different than an others I have ever posted. I think it is important to read and very telling about what does and does not make for a good birth experience. For one, a good birth is different to every woman. That being said, I have noticed that how happy people are with their birth experience has more to do with how kindly and respectfully they are treated than where or how they birth. Enjoy!

I moved across the globe at 32 weeks pg. I was single and didn't know anybody. I had worked labor and delivery years before but really didn't know anything that hadn't been fed to me by medical staff. I was 40 weeks along when I finally allowed the nurse practitioner to even check my cervix, as she was doing so I told her it was pointless as I hadn't even had any CTX yet, she laughed and told me I was having one right then, further more I was already 4 cm.

Then she sent me on my way. I spent the weekend preparing, and on Sunday went out sightseeing with some new found friends. We spent the entire day out and about. I got home just after dinner time and finally went to bed. I couldn't sleep. so I got up and took a hot bath, ran out of hot water ( stupid broken tank lol).

So finally around midnight-1 am I called my friend and asked her to come get me and take me in, all I wanted was some sleep aids as I still didn't feel CTX. When I got to the hospital I was checked and found to be 5 cm. I asked for sleep aids and was offered an epidural. Even though I wasn't feeling CTX I agreed if it would help me sleep. By the time the Anesthesiologist got there the CTX were hard. so I was thankful. I fell fast asleep. In the morning I awoke to the Midwife saying this is no way to have a baby (he wasn't the kind to mince words) I just lay there thinking it was the perfect way to have a baby. A few hours later I was uncomfortable and briefly regretted the epi since I couldn't get up.and we'd discovered that the baby was facing up so moving me into different positions trying to get him to turn was difficult.

After 2 hours the Midwife finally called the Doc. he got there and came to talk to me. I remember how sweet he was assuring me I was doing a great job and that if I wanted I could keep pushing. It had been more than 3 hours at this point so I point-blank asked if the baby was moving and he said in a very disappointed voice, no I don't think he is, and he's too high for forceps. So I agreed to a C/S. they dosed up my EPI becasue it was a holiday and the surgical staff was doing an emergency appendectomy (I wouldn't have let them call in the back-up team without an emergency)

An hour and a half after the decision was made we went in and I had a C/S. The first thing the midwife said was WOW that is a big baby. While they worked they both ( Dr and Midwife) commented on how I had plenty of room in my pelvis. that just a cm less angle to his head and he would have flown out, but as it was my 9 lb 15 oz baby was not only facing backwards, but had his head tilted at just an angle to be completely lodged. My midwife told me that no matter what they'd tried it would likely not have worked because he was seated in there very well. they also laughed and said that his giant cone head proved I was an awesome pusher.

In the days after my birth my Dr. the surgeon mind you made a point to tell me that I was totally capable of VBAC'ing a baby at least this size if not bigger. He was so supportive, The midwife supported me insisting I had done everything that could be. I honestly had no clue why they were doing this. I felt emotionally fine about it all sure I was sore, but my baby was healthy and to me that WAS the important thing.

I share this because my story has many of the "natural birth" horror elements yet for me it was a satisfying experience that I have no problems with to this day. I am the poster child for successful VBAC. and I would never chose an elective C/S. I'm now a doula and active VBAC supporter. But my most recent VBAC was far more traumatic than my C/S. I had everything lined up against me the first time, no family, no close friends, co-workers delivering my baby, single mom with no involvement from the baby-daddy. But because of the support and care of my medical providers I had a positive experience.
During my last (3rd) textbook perfect- VBAC wonder story ( 9 .6 lbs flew out in 3 pushes) I was left with a lot of emotional trauma because of a horses posterior Doc.
~
I would like to add a note not really as part of my birth story but feel free to post it too. I have spent many years working in the OB field, don't assume that your staff does these things because they don't care,. With my second birth I asked my Dr. ( different one) What he thought about VBAC vs C/S and he said " I'm a jaded OB, I will choose C/S every time because I can control that. that doesn't make it your best option". See he worried more during a VBAC because it's out of his control, but he stood by my decision. I've seen medical staff cry right alongside a patient with a bad outcome. I'd seen a Docs get angry with themselves even though there was nothing they could have done. And I've sat in staff meetings were we scoured every second of a birth for any minute thing we could have done differently. Most of us care. we're just uninformed.
Anyway I certainly hope this made sense. I am a genuine supporter of no-intervention and Birth centers. To be frank I have seen just enough genuine emergencies that HB would never be an option for me. I don't want to come across as Pro-C/S because I'm NOT I just don't want anyone to think they should feel less of a woman, of a mom, because they had a C/S.

6 comments:

Rutter Family said...

It is nice to hear a positive c-section story. Sometimes there are outside sources that you can not control and a c-section is the right answer. I often worry what other might think I am "for" c-sections...I am all about natural birth and achieving that, however for me the risks are much too high. I LOVE to read a great natural birth story, I wish I had some of those some experiences. But, for me my next with be a a scheduled c-section and I am ok with that. Thanks for supporting moms who have hard choices to make and go against the natural way of birth.

Marion said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also had a C-section due to a posterior and stuck baby. At the time I was happy with it but after I got severe PND I can see how it made it really tough when learning how to be a mother. My daughter was born healthy and I grateful for that. But next time I am hoping for a homebirth. I don't think my experience is black and white and it is easy to get stuck thinking it was traumatic, when actually it was the weeks after which were the worst.

Anonymous said...

I appreciated reading this story. My emergency c-section (brow presentation baby) came as a shock as I was fully expecting my plans for a natural waterbirth to work out. However, the c-section turned out to be a dignified experience, thanks to kind staff in theatre, and I was left wondering why I had been so afraid of the c-section option. Meeting my daughter was as glorious, and wonderful as I can imagine anything on earth ever being. I know my natural-birthing friends think I missed out and feel sorry for me, and I have had to process disappointment, but I am learning to live with my story being different - even if I'm not a VBAC success story next time - I'm ok to be a happy caesearean mother.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see a positive c-section story. I was scared out of my wits with my daughter and my son - I was terrified of a c-section. With my daughter, I was 14/15 and I was able to successfully birth her despite all the insane interventions (maybe I question the necessity of now).. She was born vaginally.

My son was au natural. I had a very natural team that I switched to at 31 weeks of pregnancy. I went into labor on my own. I did have my water broken only because we were hoping that it would really progress. I'd been at 4/5CM for 2 weeks and having active contractions for days and days.. bad positioning of babe.. more on that later) after a total of 17 hours of labor.. I ended up in what I consider an emergency c-section. My son's heart rate was dropping to scary lows, I was yanked out of the birthing tub because they LOST his HR for a while and I ended up barely being able to get an epidural before having to be cut open...

My c-section experience was better than my vaginal birth with my daughter. My team was more caring. Much more supportive. I knew I gave my all.. my body did NOT fail me. My son was positioned in an awkward position because his cord was wrapped around his neck AND his arm. There was no way babe was coming out any other way!

Priscilla said...

All 3 of my children were born by C-section and I would not change a thing. With each delivery, I had an epidural block and my husband was by my side. I was awake to greet my baby. The worst part of the C-section was the unexpected vomiting when my repaired uterus was put back into my abdominal cavity. I was not prepared for that.

With my third child my husband and I had decided that this would be our last baby because of our age and financial concerns. My OB explained that she would allow a VBAC after one C-section but she did not recommend attempting VBAC after two sections. I told my OB that I was fine with having another C-section and that she could just go ahead and do my tubal ligation while she had me open. During the pregnancy, I developed an umbilical hernia so the general surgeon graciously agreed to do my hernia repair on whatever date my OB scheduled my C-section for. Again, I had epidural block and was awake to greet my son, with my husband by my side. It turned out to be a blessing that I was scheduled for a C-section because my son's umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Once the general surgeon came into the OR, I asked the anesthesiologist to let me go to sleep so he gave me something in my IV and I drifted off to sleep. Some people expressed concern about me having so many surgical procedures done in one day but it was really the ideal way for me. My husband had taken a couple of weeks of vacation time so I had plenty of help at home with the baby and getting 3 surgical procedures done in 1 trip to the OR was much preferable to three separate trips to the OR.

I do not feel "less of a mother" from having C-sections. I bonded well with all three of my babies and sure, I was sore and it took a while to get my strength back but I have known women who had horrible complications from vaginal birthing.

C-sections save the lives of many mothers and babies in this country. In fact, the reason that the mortality rate for childbirth is so low in this country is due to the ability to perform C-sections for women who need them.

helenredfernbirthandbaby said...

I did HypnoBirthing and planned home births. Both births ended up being elective c-sections. However, they were both perfect, and I wouldn't change them one bit.

A C-Section can be truly beautiful with the right frame of mind from the parents and caregivers.

My story is here: http://wp.me/p1k0Oy-5H

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