- 5 years ago
- Wedding: March 2011
I wanted to make sure to write a birth story because I have found everyone else’s so helpful to read. And my experience was a bit off the beaten path, so I thought it might be extra helpful. I’m sure it will be long, so apologies in advance.
At 4:45 in the afternoon on February 12th (at 36 weeks pregnant) I went to the bathroom at the office. As I was contemplating how to best wrap up work to get home, all of a sudden I felt a pop down there and as I finished up peeing, I realized that I was still “going” without actually trying to “go”. It was an incredibly strange feeling. I thought first that it was incontinence, but then I knew, it was more than that (and then I tried to think back to the books and whether your water can “grow back” like your mucus plug – and for the record no it can’t).
So, here I am sitting on the toilet and continually leaking amniotic fluid (or at least I’m 80% sure that’s what it is). So it starts to abate and I run back to my office (soaking my pants in the process) to grab my cell phone and I run back to the bathroom. From there I called my doctor’s office to tell them (and they told me to get my butt to the hospital). I then called my husband, who was on his way home from work, to tell him to come pick me up at the office because we were having a baby …. 4 weeks ahead of schedule.
Now, we had known for weeks that our baby was breech, so as soon as we got into triage they swabbed me to check to make sure it was my water breaking (the nurse took one look down there and apologized for even having to bother – it was so obvious that was what had happened) and then they sent me right up to the pre-surgery wing to await my c-section.
As we were waiting (I wasn’t in active labor when we checked in so they sent several emergency c-sections ahead of us), I started to go into real labor. It definitely got intense after a while, but the worst part was knowing that going through contractions (every 3-4 minutes, 1-2 minutes long) wasn’t getting me anywhere.
Finally (about 4-5 hours after my water had broken) I was in enough pain that the nurse sent in the epidural people. Her view was that it was silly for me to be in pain when I was going to have a c-section anyway. The epidural was pretty easy. I had been scared of it, but aside from a pinch and some pressure, it really didn’t feel like anything. And boy did it take the edge off!!!
Then they wheeled me in for the c-section. I ended up getting the uncontrollable shakes from the medicine they gave me (the anesthesiologist said this was totaly normal, but it really sucked). After spending some time asking me when I felt pressure (to ensure they had deadened my lower half appropriately) they started. All in all, it took maybe 15 minutes from getting me on the table to them pulling out our little baby. Mostly it felt like a lot of tugging, but nothing painful at all. They had Darling Husband stand up to announce what it was (we didn’t know) – it took him a bit of extra time because it was all such a shock – A GIRL!!!
After that they took her into another room (DH got to go with) because she was a preemie and needed to be checked out. And the doctors went about the task of stiching me up. After a little while, Darling Husband came back out with the baby and I was able to touch her and see her while they were finishing up. It was all very surreal. They had Darling Husband give her a small bottle of formula, again because she was premature and obviously I couldn’t feed her.
Once I was stiched up, they brought us all back to the surgery floor to a recovery room. During the recovery the baby stayed with us so my doula came in to try to help me start breastfeeding. This was incredibly hard because I have quite a large chest and she was only a little 5 pound baby. So we didn’t get a good latch unfortunately. In the meantime, I had regained most of the feeling in my legs and once I proved I could move them on my own they took us to the room where we would be staying during our recovery.
And just like that, I was a MOM!!! Crazy!!
Because she was a preemie, they had her on a protocal that required checking her blood sugar every few hours. If it had dipped below a certain level, they would have sent her to the NICU, so we made the decision to feed her with formal to ensure she would stay with us. In the meantime I pumped and asked for a lactation consultant to help me learn to latch.
Anyway, I know this is getting long, so I’m just going to write a few more brief suggestions/thoughts for those who might end up in a similar position as me:
– A c-section is still a birth. Don’t feel like you didn’t go through birth just because you couldn’t deliver naturally. And remember it is major surgery – so you have to take care of yourself just as much as taking care of the baby.
– Make sure you make your wishes clear to your doctor and the nurses before the c-section starts. You can write a c-section birth plan, and you probably should just in case.
– Breastfeeding can be very very hard. It took us two weeks to get it right and I am still using a nipple shield. Don’t worry if you have to start with a bottle or a shield or a pump. There are lots of routes that can lead to a successful breastfeeding relationship – as long as you keep working at it you can get there.
– All nurses are NOT created equally. Some are fantastic and give great advice. Some are (for example) so obsessed with breastfeeding numbers that they shove a screaming infant onto your boob and make you feel like a failure when she doesn’t latch on. Send those women far away and ask everyone who comes in to send you a lactation consultant until someone finally does.
– Don’t forget to take everything from your hospital room that they let you take (ask for more of things the day before you leave so you have extra). The mesh underwear is AWESOME for c-section recovery especially.
Let me know if you have any other questions about things like c-sections, breech babies, preemies, whatever. Things are going wonderfully now, our little one is happy and healthy and up to 5 pounds 8 ounces at 3 weeks, which is great.
I would love to share pictures, but my Darling Husband is too private, so sorry about that. Hope this is helpful to people.