Updated: Jan 10, 2022
When I asked on Instagram if people wanted to hear about my birth story, the overwhelming answer was YES! It seems like this is something people always want to hear, and I imagine it is both to prepare you for what’s to come (if you plan on having children) or so that you can relate to other women who have had similar births! I know I always love hearing others' experiences, and I spent a lot of time reading/listening to other people’s stories before my birth! So today, I’m sharing our birth story. I’m going to put up a disclaimer (because this is the internet and you know how these things can go….) - please be kind! Judgement is not welcome here. I also am only sharing what I am comfortable with. This was such an emotional and deeply personal experience for me so I am keeping some details to myself! If you’d like to chat 1:1 - I’m always open to that! :)
Let’s see….where to start!! I think I need to bring you back a little bit! When I was 32 weeks pregnant, we had a growth scan with Maternal Fetal Medicine to see how everything was looking. Baby Boy was growing right on track BUT my amniotic fluid was low and he was breech! The doctor told me that my fluid was still within the normal range (I believe the normal range is 5-25, and mine was around 8...so pushing it!), but he advised me to push the fluids to help bring it up. He also gave me exercises to try to get the baby to flip to a head down position.
I left that appointment determined to bring up my fluid and get the baby to flip. I was so upset to think that I might need a c-section. I had spent months planning a vaginal birth - thinking about the playlist I wanted, taking childbirth classes, deciding between an epidural or natural birth, etc etc. Having a c-section felt like I was being cheated out of the birthing experience. So every day I did my exercises, tracked my water, and I was scheduled for a follow up at 35 weeks to see if the little man cooperated.
Well….my 35 week appointment came and my fluid was even lower (!) and baby was STILL breech! Everything else looked great - he was healthy and continuing to grow right on track. But I left that appointment knowing that I would be scheduling a c-section at 39 weeks. Due to my low fluid, I wasn’t a candidate for a manual inversion (and honestly I didn’t want to take the risk!) But I’m not going to lie, I was upset. Having a c-section was not what I had envisioned, and I was disappointed. But at the end of the day, all both Ethan and I wanted was for our baby boy to be safe and healthy - and if that meant delivering him via cesarean then that was what was what needed to happen! We spent time reading up on planned c-sections and I asked my doctor lots of questions in order to prepare properly. We set up additional changing stations around the house to make my recovery easier and tried to look at all the positives of having a planned delivery. We got to choose his birthday, and we knew exactly when he was coming and could plan our leaves from work / clean the house / make a plan for the pup, etc! The more we looked on the bright side, the less bummed I was and the more excited I became!!
Originally my c-section was scheduled for Friday Sept 25th. My due date was Sept 28th, so I was a little nervous having it scheduled that close to my due date, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I had decided I was going to start my maternity leave on Monday the 21st so that I could take a few days to myself to relax and prepare for this major life change. But as fate would have it, I got a call on Sept 17th asking me if I wanted to move up the surgery to Monday the 21st. This was the date Ethan and I had originally wanted, so even though I felt unprepared, we felt it was a sign and we took the new date.
The night before, neither of us could sleep. We were so anxious and excited, knowing we were going to meet our son in less than 12 hours. We arrived to the hospital at 6:30am for registration and pre-op. We spent quite a while in the pre-op room just waiting. I had bloodwork done, and they had monitors hooked up to me to watch the babies heart rate. I also had some IV fluids to keep me hydrated. It honestly felt like we were watching the clock the whole time. Time was going fast and slow. The weirdest thing about having a planned c-section was knowing we were so close to meeting our baby. That our lives were about to change in such a monumental way. It was such a crazy, overwhelming feeling!!
Finally at 10am, they wheeled us back to the OR. Ethan had to wait while I had my spinal block and catheter put in. The spinal was a crazy experience. I felt a lot of pressure in my spine when they put the needle in, and then immediately my lower half of my body was warm and numb. My surgeon was wonderful, and let me bring in my phone and listen to music. I created a playlist a few days before with calming music, because I knew I would be overwhelmed!! (and I was right!!) Once I was all set, they let Ethan come in. I felt a few tugs and pulls and seriously within 10 mins, they pulled the baby out! It all happened so fast and I was just overwhelmed with all the feels. The longest part of the surgery was stitching me back up. Once that happened, I was wheeled into the recovery area and had skin to skin time with the baby and we spent an hour or so as a family of 3! Just us, with no nurse/doctor interruptions. It was perfect. Once I started to get some feeling back in my legs, they wheeled us to our post-partum room and that’s where we stayed for a few days!
And that’s where I’m going to wrap this one up! Like I said - I want to keep some of the details of actually meeting our son private, because it was such a special and surreal moment. Honestly I cried throughout most of the surgery. It was such an emotional experience and I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions I went through! Overall, my c-section went so smoothly and I am so fortunate that I had such an incredible team of doctors and nurses. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and I am so thankful my husband was able to be with me the entire time, especially in this crazy time of COVID and hospital restrictions. If you are preparing for a planned c-section and want to chat 1:1 more, my DM’s are always open on Instagram! I’d love to chat with you and support you in whatever ways you need!