It’s A Boy!
It has taken me awhile to open this post and begin to write it. I’ll admit that some of that was due to the pure exhaustion you feel after giving birth, but I’ll also admit part of it was due to being angry. I was angry at how it all finally played out. At least I was at first. Logically I knew I was doing the right thing, but it took me awhile to get emotionally on board with it. Here’s the story of how I went from a natural childbirth at a birth center to a scheduled cesarean section.
For weeks, I tried everything to start labor. I was trying all the things my friends listed as sure-fire ways to get things going along with acupuncture appointments at least 2 times a week to induce or at least try to get him to move down into my pelvis, but it wasn’t working. I was having varying degrees of contractions from 38 weeks yet I wasn’t making any progress. I took the evening primrose and birth prep while eating dates and eggplant parm to only find week 39 being the same as week 38. Finally, it was week 40, and I hoped for progress. It was during this trip to the midwifery that I realized something was very different. We discussed my options, and I finally agreed to meet with the OBGYN with whom they partnered. This is when things started to get very hard.
You see I had a birth plan. I knew that it was possible things wouldn’t go according to that plan, but I couldn’t see them veering this far off course. The midwife assured me that I’d go to the appointment with the OB, and he’d induce me. She explained how the cream worked. I was prepared for this result. I still expected childbirth to take on the expected course after that. This was not at all what the OB had to say when I was sitting in his office. The doctor pushed the chair back down onto the floor after having examined me and explained that I had 3 choices, but he really came down to only 1. The first choice was to wait, but it was clear that my Bishop score was not going to progress into me going into spontaneous labor. The second choice was to induce, but he didn’t expect that would work either. Finally, he came out with the dreaded c-section term. It hit me like a punch to the chest. It hit me so hard, because I hadn’t been truly prepared for it. The midwife had assured me that this wouldn’t be the case. She had indicated that the doctor said this wouldn’t be the case when she told me he said if I truly wanted to avoid it I should come in now versus later. Yet, I sat there with him explaining to me that I’d mostly likely end up with a c-section no matter which path I took. I cried. I was honestly a mess. I don’t like surprises least of all these kind. We discussed some of my concerns before he was called away to a birth and agreed to talk more later. As I left his office, I was devastated.
The hubs and I headed to lunch. I went from crying to trying to logically work it out in my head. I was angry at the midwife for the way she explained things. I was angry that I’d done all the right things only to be thwarted at the end. I was angry at the doctor for giving me such terrible options. Yet, I knew the right decision to make. When he called to discuss any concerns I had left, I agreed to have him schedule the surgery. I knew this was the right thing to do. If I had let him induce me with such a low Bishop score, it was likely I’d end up with an emergency c-section. This was the least optimum way to remember the birth of my child for me, and it was the most risky for both myself and the child. I didn’t want to put either of us in distress. The doctor and I agreed that I could continue to try natural methods of getting labor going up until the surgery so I continued on as planned. I had a pedicure with an intense massage. I had more acupuncture. I ate more foods that were supposed to help promote labor. I scheduled an early appointment with the midwifery to look into my prospects for a Foley bulb to help open the cervix, but it couldn’t be inserted. I was finally at the end of my attempts. There was nothing that could be done so I was happy the surgery was scheduled.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 was to be the day. The surgery was scheduled to start at 1pm. I was anxious about this, because I hate being hungry. Thankfully I was allowed to eat up until 5AM. I ended up not taking advantage of this, but it was nice to know it was an option. I wasn’t very hungry that morning though. I was anxious. The idea of being awake for surgery was terrifying to me. I was terrified about this right up until the anesthesiologist walked into my room and melted my fear away. There was something about him that easily rested my fears, and I know that it won’t make sense to some of you. He walked in wearing a cap with the emblem for Duke University on it, and I knew I was safe. I looked at him and started to discuss my love of the basketball team. I asked if he had attended school there. I found out that he and I had attended a basketball game together. It was all I needed. As he was putting my spinal in, we discussed basketball some more, and he was laughing at some of the old names I brought up. He mentioned to my husband that he hadn’t heard Marty Clark’s name in forever. I can’t imagine many of you even recognize the name, but I embarrassed that guy in a Bruegger’s Bagels (long story!). I was relaxed and my spinal took effect.
There was one blip on the screen that day though. Shortly before I was taken back to surgery the baby’s heart rate did drop. I was anxious again. Everything started to move so fast from my pre-op room to the operating room, and I was scared. I was assured everything would be fine. I was less nervous once I ended up in the OR and my playlist started. This for me was the best part of having scheduled it. I was now able to still have my playlist for the birth. Music is always a way of relaxation for me, and I was glad to have that to focus on instead of my anxiety.
Once my anesthesia was effective, we were able to start. They asked what we were having, and we explained that we didn’t know. The doctor asked who wanted to announce it, and my hubs agreed to do it. It was 1:36PM when they finally pulled my baby out. I didn’t feel a thing. I just heard my husband announced that it was a boy. I began to cry. I was overwhelmed. Sure, I thought it was a girl, but I wasn’t disappointed in the appearance of a boy. I was just glad he was out. The OB explained to me that there were 3 reasons I was in the situation I was in that day, but I was just glad everything worked out the way it did at that point. The three reasons though were that my baby was floating, there was meconium in the sac, and I was at 41 +1 weeks. There was nothing that seemed to indicated I couldn’t have a successful VBAC next time. I’ll definitely be planning for this route if we get pregnant again, but I’ll be a little more prepared for the emotional roller coaster if it doesn’t work out.