Our little girl’s [perfect] birth story…our one of a kind, no one else has it story. Yep, that’s the one I’ll be sharing today & next week. Between the story & the pictures, it is quite long, so thanks in advance for making it through it!! :)
To begin our story, we must go back to our 34w appointment. Our little girl was head down & doing quite fine prior to this appointment…then, during this appointment, our midwife found her heartbeat in a different location. She starts to feel my belly & then says “well I think she’s breech.” What?! My mind begins to race. She sends us down for an ultrasound to confirm, which does confirm…she’s breech. We head back to our exam room where we are told some ways to try to flip her & that we shouldn’t worry, there was still time.
I left our appointment feeling pretty devastated. We had been attending our child-birthing classes for a couple weeks at that point & well let’s be honest, I (we) had a plan & this went completely against that plan. Plus, I was terrified of a c-section! In my mind, it was the worst thing that could happen. Major surgery…why wouldn’t I be scared of that?!
Later that day, I received some advice I will never forget…”Babies & God know what they are doing. They flip in the womb for a reason. Sometimes it is for their sake, sometimes for the mother’s sake and other times for both. Trust that God has her breech for a reason.”
At our 36w appointment, we learned she had not flipped.
Side note though: we did get to learn that she had hair during our confirmation ultrasound at 36w, so that was fun. You can see it in the picture below (it’s the “wavy” stuff in about the center of the picture):
At this appointment, we had a decision to make…did we want to go ahead & schedule the c-section at this time or schedule an external version? For those of you all wondering what an external version is, this is the info we learned:
An external version is where a doctor manually tries to flip a breech baby by pushing/manipulating on the outside of the belly. They give the mother some drugs to help relax the belly, as well as some pain medication because it hurts quite a bit, apparently. The other bit…they admit you into labor/delivery at the hospital in order to perform the procedure. This is because if at ANY point the baby becomes distressed (which they monitor the entire time), then an emergency c-section is preformed.
Our appointment was on a Tuesday & at that point, we decided to schedule the external version for the following Monday. And I’m thinking…my (our) plan still has hope.
I had 2 extremely important conversations after our appointment. The first was with one of our nurses at my work. She had a c-section with her first because he was breech. She went through the same situation as us, but they elected to schedule the c-section & not the version. Once their little boy was delivered, they learned a startling fact: the cord was wrapped around his head 7 times!! The doctor told her that if they would’ve tried an external version, they would have surely lost their little boy & possibly her as well. Her advice to me was to go with my gut but know there is a risk as they cannot tell where the cord is through an ultrasound.
This is where reality started to settled in. And fear entered my mind.
My next conversation was with my dad’s wife. She asked the most important question of the day, the one that ultimately helped shape our decision. If faced with two options, a c-section by choice or an emergency c-section in which are daughter is in distress because I was holding on to the dream of “my perfect birth,” which would I rather chose?
WOW!! I was floored. What was I thinking?! I was willing to possibly put our daughter in distress just so MY birth plan could be possible. I was possibly risking our daughter’s life because I was holding so tightly on to MY dream. Recall the advice from earlier, “Trust that God has her breech for a reason.”
So the next day, Wednesday, I called our midwife back & cancelled the version & scheduled an appointment to talk to an OB about scheduling a c-section.
Now, I can’t say that I was 100% okay with the c-section at this point, but I was 100% on the fact that I was going to trust God’s birth plan & not MY (our) birth plan. Over the next few days, I did grieve over not having a “normal” birth. I think our society ruins this whole process for us. For 9 months (or so), you dream about how your birth story is going to look & I doubt many people dream their birth story is going to involve a scheduled c-section, especially for your first baby. An emergency one because something happens during labor is one thing, but setting a plan to have a c-section is usually not the plan most people have. So I had to grieve & get through those emotions, and there is no fault or guilt in the fact that I had those emotions.
I also think society gives so much guilt & shame to mothers who have c-sections. Telling moms of c-section births that they didn’t actually have a births. Like the mom isn’t fully a mom because they didn’t birth their child(ren) “naturally.” Then I read this post: 3 Truths About C-Sections Mamas. And I bawled, quite literally. Society…you are WRONG!! Cesarean section births are births too!!
Alrighty, let’s get back on course from the detour…at our 37w appointment, we met an OB for the first time, as we saw midwives throughout the entire pregnancy. We scheduled the c-section for 9/6/15, when I would be 39w & 1d. We chose 9/6 because the math nerd in me decided that if we were going to have a choice in her birthday, why not choose one that was a math equation…9 + 6 = 15 (9/6/15).
Over the next couple of weeks, I truly embraced the fact that I was going to have a c-section & began to come to terms with sacrificing my entire body in order to bring our little girl earth side. I had never had surgery before; I had never stayed overnight in a hospital; I had never had an IV; an occasional Vicodin was the strongest drug I’d ever had. There were about to be MANY firsts within one experience for me.
Jordan & I went on our “last” date night as just us two (and the belly of course) the night before we were going to welcome our little girl here.
And then the day was upon us. The surgery was rescheduled from a 7a start time to a 10a start time, so we had to arrive at the hospital at 8a instead of 5a…not that we slept much :)
Our hospital is considered a family friendly hospital & OR, meaning Jordan & my mom were both allowed to be in the OR with me during the cesarean section. My mom was the one who captured all of the remaining photos, including the amazing ones when our little girl joined the world!
After getting checked in, shown to our room for the 4 day/3 night stay we were going to have, they hooked up me up to the monitors. At one point, the nurse told us “well if you weren’t already scheduled for surgery this morning, you would’ve been coming in at one point, because you are definitely in labor.” Yay!! We chose the right day :)
(Ooo…that’s a contraction!)
In order to be in the OR, Jordan & my mom had to wear “bunny suits” over their clothes, as well as hair nets & masks.
We were supposed to start at 10a, but like most things, we were delayed. Finally at about 10:15ish, we were told to start making our way to the OR.
Our “last” picture together before we became parents. Jordan is helping God hold me up as we walked to the OR. I was nervous & excited all at the same time. And I am SO thankful I was blessed with a husband who was there beside me through it all.
Next week, when our little girl turns 5 months, I’ll debut her entrance into the world. Thanks for making it this far & I hope you’ll finish the story & “meet” our little girl through some of the amazing pictures my mom captured for us.
You can check out Part 2 of this story here.