My birth story is not what I had expected. After vehemently planning an all natural childbirth and reading all the books and blogs I was forced to confront a large baby, no real cervical progresssion and being a week overdue with my midwife and doctor team encouraging a csection.
I had two days of ugly crying (you know what I'm talking about) and mourning the delivery I'd built up in my mind. With her estimated weight to be 10lbs 10oz, I knew that they weren't seeking an easy out and I had to think of what would be best for my baby. My sweet doctor put it easily for me. A vaginal delivery would be the lowest risk for me (although with her size, that wasn't guaranteed) and a higher risk for her. A C-Section could have more complications for me; but less for her. There wasn't even a choice for me after considering that.
Let me tell you, I had an amazing experience! We arrived at nine and both DH's parents and my own were already waiting at the hospital (first time grandparents). The staff couldn't have been nicer and took note that I was extremely nervous/scared crapless. I was also hungry and thirsty (nothing to eat or drink after midnight) and focusing on that was driving me a little crazy too. Once the nurse set up my IV and began to push fluids into me, my thirst subsided.
My midwife came to my birth anyways, even though she technically served no purpose in the OR. I've grown to adore her and she kept me calm, chatting and laughing through the whole thing. DH had to wait outside the OR as I was prepped, and he said he was incredibly nervous. When he walked into me laughing and joking, he instantly relaxed.
Believe it or not, one of my biggest fears about the surgery was the spinal. I'm the kind of person who absolutely loses her MIND if my foot falls asleep and I cannot immediately rouse it.
After leaving DH in the ante room, I was wheeled in to the OR and prepped for my spinal. Every prick and poke I'd been warned would be a 'big stick' was actually not a big deal at all. After straddling the operating table and getting the novicaine, the actual spinal went it. It sent a couple of startling shocks down my spine towards my butt. Afterwards I felt only pressure and the tingling began in the tips of my toes and worked its way up. Before I knew it the drape was up and my husband was at my head, holding my hand. My anesthetist was fantastic, telling us that he himself was once in the same position (his wife had two c-sections). He kept telling us how perfect the surgery was going and that there was nothing to worry about
The tugging and pulling was a bit of a strange feeling, but they prepared me for it. I was a little surprised that I could still feel them touching, and cutting and moving things around, but there was NO PAIN. Such a strange sensation! Once they got in and into my uterus it was discovered that she was no where near engaged and they had to push rather high on my chest to work her down and out.
The release as they pulled her from me was satisfying and she let out a great big throaty cry, which immediately made me and DH cry ourselves. Her apgars were 9/9 and a few minutes after being suctioned and evaluated, she was brought to us, all 10lbs 7oz and 23 inches of her!!! My midwife pointed out the linebacker like width of her shoulders and assured me we made the best decision possible. She most certainly would have gotten stuck if we went ahead and tried an induction. If she miraculously didn't get stuck she would've done quite a bit of damage on her way out, that was certain.
DH took her to the nursery for some skin to skin, and I have the most beautiful photograph of them from this time. I went to recovery where honestly the most difficult part so far was realizing that my feet and legs would still not move. Now that I had the time to focus on them, it was starting to freak me out. Now that my adrenaline had calmed down a bit I was beginning to become aware of all the tubes and attachments running out of me, and the blood pressure cuff inflating and deflating at regular intervals.
Thankfully, just before I hit full on panic mode, DH was allowed to come down and visit after a little while, and shortly thereafter they brought Rowan down to nurse. I had not had any leakage (?) or anything prior to that moment, so when the L&D nurse grabbed on and squeezed, I was more than a little shocked to see a small bead of colostrum dribble out. This was the first time I really got to hold her and it was incredible. I felt a little detached at first, but that was mainly due to the exhaustion that finally set in after three nights of not sleeping and all the people around me. They took her away again after a little while.
I don't remember how long I spent in the recovery room (maybe an hour?). During this time, my DH was getting to spend quality time with our LO. I was eventually wheeled back to my room where my parents, DH's parents, my grandmother, uncle and best friend were waiting. It was a little overwhelming in my post-surgical state. I held Rowan again, but then realized that because both times I'd seen her she'd been placed into my arms-I needed to see her face.
Oh. My. Goodness. This little pumpkin was adorable, but completely and totally looks JUST like my DH. After studying her sweet little face for a good long while, I finally found something-her left ear came to a tiny little elfin point-JUST LIKE MINE. I've since come to recognize my big mouth and appetite, but in that moment with my little girl, I fell so deep in love.
I was very worried that my C-Section would rob me of so much of the natural bond and connection that a vaginal birth provides you with, but it did not. While I didn't get to hold her right away, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect birth.
The recovery has gone well. If I can give any advice (which I gleaned from previous posters) it would be to take the meds as they're offered to you! I had some serious cramping from my uterus contracting down (especially when I was nursing/pumping). It didn't eliminate my pain, but simply kept the really hard stuff at bay. I was up and walking around as soon as I could (the next morning), which definitely helped, but know your limits. 'Voiding' (bladder or bowels) was extremely intimidating at first. Running the water in the bathroom and sitting forward on the seat helped with the former, and time (and Colace) helped with the latter. The gas pains as your guts get working again are kind of rugged, so take the Gas-X if they have it.
I devoured every one of these birth stories in the weeks (and months) leading up to welcoming my little girl, and they were all so inspiring and wonderful. If there's anything I can say in closing; it's that while plans may deviate from what you expected, that all of us Mama's are brave-no matter how we bring our babies into the world.