BIRTH STORY: Baby #3: You Are Not Less of a Mother Because You Had a C-Section

On October 20th, I gave birth to our baby girl.

Everything about this pregnancy and delivery was quite different, and we are grateful that everything went smoothly.

Some have asked me to share the birth story:

Let’s start with the pregnancy. We are so blessed and grateful that our baby girl is healthy. We call her a miracle baby because when I found out I was expecting with the IUD, doctors told us there was 50% chance the baby would not make it. Against all odds, she did. Thus, her name: Kennah, meaning Greatest Champion.

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I often get comments such as “finally got your girl!” Well, we were OK with all boys. But God wanted me to have a mini me so here she is!

God has a way of showing us who is truly in control.

At 37 weeks exactly, around 4am, I started having painful contractions. The contractions were really strong and consistent but spaced out in the afternoon. I had been to labor and delivery before and got sent home so I did not want to go unless I was sure it was time. I went to my ob appointment that same afternoon at 4pm and it turned out I was 2.5 centimeters and very soft! I was only a fingertip two weeks prior.

I was scheduled for a repeat C-section (3rd baby) in exactly 2 weeks on November 2nd, but my OB did not think I would make it past the weekend after checking me. I was still having contractions. She told me to go home and that if the contractions picked up again, walk for an hour and head to l&d if they continued. I walked for 30 minutes that evening and so around 9pm I started timing them and they were less than 10 minutes apart. Around 10pm, they got stronger so we headed to the hospital. My fear was waiting until it was too late given that it would be my third C-section! I refused to go through another Emergency Cesarean with all the trauma that comes with it.

I was at the hospital since 11pm Thursday night with contractions. In order to proceed with the repeat csection, I had to be in active labor with changes to my cervix. I wasn’t progressing at first and I almost got sent home when contractions slowed down after they gave me morphine. It was a long night, but then finally, at 6am my doctor encouraged me to walk. After walking for an hour, I finally dilated to a 4. So my Doctor decided it was time! They started prepping me for surgery.

Surgery. Such a scary word!

People think Cesarians are a breeze comparing to vaginal births. They have no idea.

First, the nurses came in with all the consent paperwork. After signing everything my doctor came to explain everything that would happen in the OR in detail. I wish she had delivered my first two babies. She has been such a great doctor. From the moment I stepped into her practice freaking out about the IUD pregnancy to the moment after I had the baby. She is the best doctor I have had and always returned phone calls in the middle of the night as well!

Anyway, she made me feel better because I started freaking out about having another surgery.

After she left, the anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal anesthesia that he would perform once in the OR.

After the nurse finished prepping me, my nerves really started to get the best of me. Hubby and I decided to pray at that moment.

Shortly after, they took me into the OR, and more prepping continued. I really like that I was conscious and aware, not knocked out on too many drugs like my previous c-sections. All the hospital staff present in the OR made me feel comfortable.

It was scary but I felt better once my husband joined me. It happened so fast. I felt pressure. More pressure. No pain. Just pressure. The doctors often asked me of I was OK and explained what they were doing. Apparently, I had a lot of scar tissue from my previous c-sections.

“Are you OK? You don’t feel anything?” My husband asked looking more scared than I was.

More and more pressure and then suddenly, she was here.

I heard her cry and I was suddenly filled with joy–no more fear.

“Beautiful girl. Congratulations, mama!” Said My doctor.

Baby was born at 9:01am Friday morning.

My husband then cut the cord and they brought baby to me so I could kiss her shortly after they cleaned her.

Her brothers met her that evening and they were a bit confused at first–mostly because they were not with us and felt like we “left” them. Haha.

The following days got better and they are now taking good care of bébé Kennah at home.

Recovery has been much easier this time around. I was able to start walking, slowly the same day and now after a week, I can pretty much do everything as normal except lifting and exercise, which I can’t do for another 5 weeks. The main thing that is bothering me is the swelling in my legs and feet. They are extremely swollen this time and I can’t wear shoes at all. All the water went down to my poor feet.

All in all, we are all home and doing well.

As I mentioned, my previous cesareans were emergency c-sections so I’m grateful this one was smooth. Funny because I feel like I got better care at a small local hospital than the big teaching hospital in the city. Recovery has been easier and baby is perfectly healthy.

After three c-sections, I just want to encourage those who also had dreams and goals of having a vaginal birth but couldn’t for whatever reason. For me, I went through labor for hours and even started pushing when baby’s heart rate started to drop and I got rolled into the OR–both times. Scary stuff.

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You are not less of a mother because you had a C-section and yes, you did have a real delivery.

Getting cut open is real stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. People do not realize how painful (physically and emotionally) it is when having a C-section. I don’t know why some think it is a much easier route. Not being able to walk does not sound like an easy route to me. Nursing while recovering from surgery and can’t even feel your abs isn’t either.

So do not be discouraged by such assumptions from people who do not know or could not possibly understand this. I struggled with this after my first C-section. I felt like I got robbed from having a “real” delivery by not having the baby vaginally. And comments from people did not make it better.

“You got it easy…at least you did not have to push!”

I know there are so many C-section mamas with the same sentiments. Be happy that you and your baby are healthy!

Whether you had your baby via C-section or vaginal birth, we are all mothers. We all gave life to a precious bundle of joy. We all gave birth! Let’s not compare who had it worse.

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Birth Story of Baby #2: Another Emergency C-Section

 

Birth Story of J.J.: Baby #2

On that Wednesday, my family and I did some walking in a local mall where I kept getting non ending pressure in the pelvic area. I started to lose more and more of my mucus plug and could hardly walk. Three days prior, my Dr. did give me a stretch but I was barely a 1 and 50% effaced, so I didn’t think it would work–neither did she.

So that night around 2am, my Braxton hicks contractions started to feel a bit more intense little by little. I was 38 weeks and 4 days. The hubz was scheduled to get up at 4am for work, and I had a feeling labor was near so when my contractions started to get stronger, he decided not to go just to be safe.

They say all types of things: don’t go to the hospital unless your contractions are a minute or less long and 4 minutes or less apart. Or they say to labor as much as you can at home etc. See, with my first, my water broke, so that was an easy call. But with my second, we were unsure. My contractions were coming every 8-15 minutes but they were definitely getting stronger after each one. We waited at home and labored until 4am. Then I got worried. I heard many terrifying stories about labor moving so quickly suddenly with second pregnancies.  I didn’t want to risk it.

So we ended up going to the hospital at 4am. When we arrived, they checked me and sure enough, I was 3/4 dilated. 🙂 I was definitely in early labor.  I got admitted…

This time I promised to myself that I would not opt in for pitocin NO MATTER WHAT. With my first, it ended up in an emergency  c-section, which I was trying to avoid.  The plan was a VBAC.

Fast forward hours later,  I labored on my own all the way to a ten. My husband and I did a lot of walking around the hospital and once I reached a 6, and could no longer handle the painful contractions, I got an epidural.

Here’s where things went wrong. The resident on call and doctor on call seemed to be in a rush. They didn’t want me pushing for a long time, although I believed that I could. Apparently, the baby was not low enough to where I could push easily and not get too exhausted.  I remember asking the resident doctor what were the chances of me pushing successfully given where the baby was positioned at the time, and he replied, “It’s very unlikely. ”

Well…. thanks for your encouragement, doc!

Then they proceeded with their offer to give me pitocin to help baby move lower. I hesitated and deep down, my soul said NO!!! I had managed to get this far without evil pit. But these doctors are always so convincing.  They promised it would be a low dose and that they would stop immediately if baby didn’t tolerate it.

They gave me pit. One hour later, there was no progress. Then finally, they decided that I should just go ahead and push.  Finally. So I started pushing,  and the baby started dropping. I was doing a hell of a job pushing.  They were all surprised.

“We can see his hair. Wow. Lots of it.” A nurse mentioned.

“Wow. You’re doing fantastic! Looks like baby is coming,” Resident doc said.

I kept on pushing.

Things were going well. By now everything in the room was prepped for delivery. Nurses, residents and nurses all present.

Then suddenly, I had to stop pushing and change positions from left to right. Something was wrong. But they wouldn’t say what. Then all of a sudden, on the monitor, we saw the baby’s heart-rate drop from 110 to the 40s.

Everything after that was such a blur.

My husband and I stared at each other blankly.  Things happened so fast. Doctors and nurses and people, prepping me, moving me, and rolling me over.

Not again.  I thought.  Damn pitocin. 

So they rolled me over to the OR to have an emergency C-section.  I was so afraid. But then I felt a sudden kick in my lower ab. As if, little baby JJ was letting me know he was okay. And I felt peace. Because I believed that he was okay.

In the OR, I was so drugged up that I don’t remember when JJ came out wailing into the world. I don’t remember kissing him when they placed him in front of me. All I can seem to remember is the conversation the nurses and doctors were having about whether they should give me staples or glue.

I prayed it was glue, like my first C-section.  I also remember asking a resident, whose job was apparently to just stay next to me, if they shaved me. Lol. We had a good laugh about that later on.  Anyway, thankfully everything went well. Baby came out 8lbs and 13oz.  Healthy baby boy and healthy mama.

I was told he was born at 11pm on March 31st and my first thought was, Thank God–not on April Fool’s Day. So close.

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Although things did not go as planned, once again, I am grateful for a healthy baby and no life threatening conditions during surgery.  We were released from the hospital 72 hours later and we are both doing well.

My observations from having 2 emergency c-sections are that

1). pitocin is really hard on the baby and causes fetal distress.

2). Docs try to cover their butts to avoid getting sued. Thus the result of so many emergency c-sections.

3). We are on their schedule. Anything that takes too long will be expedited with the help of meds such as pit.

4). The Labor and Delivery Hospital system in the U.S. is a bit screwed up.

I understand why many women choose to have a midwife instead and have home births.

Always do your research and be ready for anything. Most importantly,  pray for your baby and for yourself before and during labor and all throughout pregnancy.