We always encourage parents to write out their birth story after their big day. As time goes on, you'll start to forget all the details and emotions you felt before, during, and after birth. Many parents are worried their story won't sound perfect or be criticized by others, but it doesn't matter, it's your story! We love giving parents an opportunity to publish these raw, powerful stories. This story comes from Jana. Here's her story...
As my second birth approaches rapidly, I think it’s only fitting that I actually write down my first daughter’s birth. Miss E was breech presentation from 28 weeks on and I tried EVERYTHING to flip her. 3x week chiropractor appointments, upside down on ironing boards, acupuncture, spinning babies, handstands in the pool, a version, you name it I tried it, but to no avail. She was stuck. I’m not a tall person, so perhaps this shouldn’t have surprised me, but I had wanted to have a vaginal birth so bad it was incredibly disappointing. My poor husband, Dustin, the tears shed leading up to her scheduled C-Section date. My doctor had let me “pick” the date for the C-Section and I remember when the nurse called to schedule it, Dustin was Googling the astrology Zodiac signs and their meaning because her birthday was on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio. I wanted the last possible date (my original due date) because if I had to have a C-Section than I really wanted to at least go into labor and have that experience and know she was “ready”. It worked out well because October 23 was the first day of Scorpio and the C-Section was scheduled for 7 a.m. that day. Everyone won ☺.
Around 11 p.m. on October 22nd I was getting ready for bed, we’d chilled that night I assume we’d gone out to dinner and talked about names and what our expectations for our new addition were. I had reviewed my “must haves” on my C-Section birth plan (immediate skin-to-skin, Dustin videotaping the birth, breastfeeding, no pacifiers, etc.) and we were getting ready for bed. I remember going to the bathroom and hearing a plunk. My mucus plug had fallen out. I really hadn’t discussed what to do if I’d go into labor with my provider he kept telling me it wouldn’t happen (which makes no sense because of course woman deliver breech babies ALL the time), so I called the hospital and they told me he’d call me back. A few minutes later he called and I told him I thought I’d lost my mucus plug and he essentially said no worries, go to bed, see you in the morning. I finished getting ready and then experienced my first contraction. I had never felt one before, so I wasn’t totally sure what it was but woke my husband up all excited. He told me to call my doctor or go to bed, but I didn’t want to wake the doctor up again, so I called my mom. She was super excited for me and told me to just call him that’s what they’re paid to do. So I called him and he, I’m sure assumed, we’d have hours to go, so told me that he’d call L&D and say we may be coming, but that he’d see me in the morning (I’m sure he assumed these were no big deal). I was so excited to be in labor, but my lovely husband told me to wake him when I was ready to go to the hospital ☺. So I went downstairs turned on Survivor and timed my contractions and paced and paced. I recall counting when a contraction would hit as my “coping” mechanism and that if I hit 60 it’d be done. About 2:30 in the morning my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart and I decided why was I suffering since I knew I was getting a C-Section, so I went upstairs to shower and get “ready” ☺ In the shower my contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes, they weren’t lasting long, but the intensity had been amplified X10. I woke Dustin up and we loaded the car and headed to the hospital. I’m pretty sure that 15-minute ride was the longest ever, I was so uncomfortable and kept begging Dustin to pull over, so I could just walk it out. He didn’t stop. Not exactly a good choice on the Dodge expressway. And to add to the drive time, I told Dustin the wrong way to the emergency room entrance – I had pretty much stopped listening in our 8-week birth class after no change in E’s position. I am just grateful it was my navigation error and not his. When we got to our room the nurses checked me and were surprised to see that I was indeed in active early labor and dilated to a 4 with a “bulging bag of waters”…I think my biggest regret is not staying home just a little longer and having that break…if it even would have. Since they could slow down my contractions we weren’t considered an emergency and hung out for 1.5 hours to 2 hours until the OR was available. During this time, my mom and aunt sauntered in to my hospital room, I remember thinking who let these two in?
Before we went back for the C-Section the anesthesiologist came in and explained the procedure and we got dressed/ready to head to the OR. Once in the OR, I remember getting on the very narrow bed and thinking how do people fit on this, it’s seriously narrow! My physician and the physician who was assisting were getting ready and talking about life, like it was any other day. They started the procedure and the doctor encouraged Dustin to video tape the bag of waters being cut open, which Dustin still thinks is the grossest thing yet. After about 10 minutes, at 5:19 a.m., Miss E graced us with her presence and because she was footling breech her one little leg shot right up (they had warned us), so the nurse was triple diapering it down and suctioning her like crazy. I remember thinking hurry up, hurry up and I wish I would have said something. My doctor actually did tell the nurse to hurry because they were already almost done and he knew I had wanted skin-to-skin in the OR. Soon the baby was brought over to me, but I was beginning to get light headed. In the video you can actually see me kind of fade in and out. They then wheeled me back to the smallest post OP room ever and there my BP dropped, so my hubby had to hold our lil’ baby. I, also, feel like it was getting close to shift change because everyone felt like they were in a hurry. Once they had stabilized my BP, I got to hold Miss E (name still undecided) and she rooted right on and started sucking away! Next thing I remember is them wheeling me into an elevator to take me up to the room, but as soon as we got in the elevator I started to feel sick and was begging Dustin to grab the baby because I was going to be puke. Once in our room, I remember puking and the hustle of the nurses as they tried to wrap things up before they got off and then I must have fallen asleep (I have never been an all-nighter person and had not slept now in over 24 hours). I look back now and wonder who held her? I think Dustin must have (I hope he had been listening to me and did skin-to-skin) and think how amazing, as he must have been just as emotionally and physically exhausted (okay maybe not as physically I’ll give myself some credit!). He woke me around 9 a.m. saying we needed to name her.
None of this is how I had imagined those “special” moments after her birth, but in the end, it’s our story and it didn’t matter. I was able to breastfeed for an extended time, our bond is unbreakable and she’s my first. Our story is ours and her breech position and post C-Section taught me that no matter how much I want to control something, some things you just can’t. I’m optimistic and anxious as I approach my “guess” date for Baby #2. And as I imagine my TOLAC/VBAC experience it’s filled with so much unknown and yet I have faith that I’m in good hands (an incredibly supportive hubby, a great Doula team, and a provider I trust) and God has a plan. And I hope to remember that if things don’t go as planned, to give myself some grace.