Wow! My baby is turning three! I have always wanted to share his birth story but have never sat down to write it. I’ve always loved reading others birth stories. I think even more so after giving birth but I wish that I would have seen a story like mine while I was still pregnant. I hope that by sharing the story of Willem’s birth, I can encourage and bring comfort to someone else.
When I found out that I was pregnant, I was full of so much excitement and all the wonder of any first time mom! We decided that we wanted a natural birth without any medical intervention. I watched The Business of Being Born and and enrolled in Bradly Method classes. I had other friends that delivered naturally or were also planning on having a natural labor. Throughout pregnancy, I felt so empowered and confident! I LOVED being pregnant (with the exception of a few weeks of morning sickness). I had a very easy pregnancy, enjoyed feeling him move inside of me and dreaming about what was to come!
Once we hit around 30 weeks, we started noticing that Willem was breech. My OB had a hand held ultrasound machine and would check at each appointment just to take a quick peek! We loved getting those little glimpses of him at each appointment! I tried all the tricks that were suggested on Spinning Babies, visited a chiropractor, and even stood on my head (yeah, that was a site to see!). A procedure to turn him was costly, dangerous, and not always affective so we elected out of it.
My 37 week appointment was the deadline to make the decision to schedule a c-section if he hadn’t turned. I was so nervous going into that appointment. A few days before, he was finally sideways so I became extremely hopeful that he would find his way head down! Once I went in, I told my OB that I just wanted to find out his position and then we could go over any other stuff. Much to our disappointment, he was head up. He was footling breech which is especially dangerous if you go into labor because basically, the baby can begin being born but then get stuck. Yikes! His due date was October 8th and as I had learned in my Bradley Method classes, due dates aren’t always accurate and I just wanted my baby to be ready when he was born so that he wouldn’t need any special medical attention! My OB allowed me to schedule for October 6th but wouldn’t let me go to 40 weeks. At the pre-op anointment, I began crying because they kept talking about the c-section process over and over again. I had to go back to my job at the time and cried all day. I REALLY didn’t want a c-section and was so distraught over having to schedule one. I told my mom that I just wasn’t going to show up and nobody could make me. Talk about hormones, right? I kept wanting to say “but we are hoping for natural!” My mom came by to see me and brought me some baby samples that she snagged at her job (she works in the NICU of the hospital!). Se told me that she knew I was upset but babies are smart and know more about whats going on in there than we do. Those words didn’t sink in until after Willem was born.
A few days later on the 26th, I went to work as normal. There was a wedding that day, but I left early because the rest of the team had it all handled. I was having terrible back pain but #9monthspregnant what’s new? I also had a sudden burst of energy that I hadn’t had in months! With only one week left of work before I planned on going on maternity leave, I had a few final things to do over the weekend that I planned on getting done so we could have time to relax before our son arrived. That night I went to Buy Buy Baby to use our gift cards from baby showers and get a few random things that I really wanted! My husband was out with from friends and I settled myself in at home to watch some Gilmore Girls!
I had barely gotten 10 minutes into an episode before I thought that I had just peed a little bit. I got up to go to the bathroom with and quickly realized that my water just broke! I called my husband and told him he needed to come home immediately. All the training of remaining calm and taking our time kind of went out the window but I also knew that my baby was breech and faced a different set of circumstances than what is typically preached. I tried to gather up some things because I still hadn’t packed a hospital bag (that was on my to-do list for the next day). My husband was in a completely different state of mind. I was trying to breathe and make it through the contractions that suddenly came about! My husband was just out having fun with friends and was in a hyper mood. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to slap him.
We loaded up the car, and I called the hospital on our way there because I didn’t know what door would be unlocked! It was about 11something PM and I knew that only a couple entrances remain open after 8. In the car we began timing my contractions. They were less than 3 minutes apart. When we arrived at the hospital, I waddled in and started getting checked in. I still roll my eyes because the nurses treated me like I was likely not in labor. I am sure that they get a lot of false calls and are used to having to turn first time moms away but there was no doubt that I was in labor! In fact, when the nurse was checking to see if I was dilated any, I was not only dilated, and she not only confirmed that my water broke, but she felt my sons foot. Yup. He was so low that his little foot was about to pop out. They quickly began taking me seriously after that. I was congratulated on winning a c-section that night!
After prep, being poked and prodded (it took nurses 8 times to get my IV in because apparently my blood flow was so strong it bent the needle) we were finally wheeled into the OR where I got the most magical relief. The spinal block felt like a bee sting for a second but the relief quickly took over the pain of the contraction that I was in the middle of. It was weird having slight feeling but no pain. My husband looked over the curtain while they pulled him out and shouted “he has hair!” and then he began crying! I burst into tears of emotion and just wanted to hold my baby! They gave me a quick peak before taking him to be weighed and swaddled. He was born at 1:07 on September 27th, 2015! I was so thankful to know one of the attending nurses who took my phone and took pictures. I was able to do a little skin to skin while they sewed me up and even nurse on the table.
After getting all fixed up, we were taking to another room while the anesthesia wore off. This part of blurry to me. I’m not sure if I fell asleep or if I was just in a comatose state. I remember not being able to sit up much because it made me nauseous, throwing up after trying to drink water, and nursing with 2 other people helping because I was so groggy! I have glimpses of my sister coming in, and everyone says that my husband wouldn’t let anyone hold Willem! We were in sock and awe that we had just had our baby!
Once anesthesia had finally worn off and I could move both my legs again, we went to postpartum. We made it to our room around 4 am and started having visitors around 7 am. I was actually pretty annoyed because well, I had just had surgery, I still had a catheter, and my newborn was nursing every 30 minutes-1 hour so boobs. So my disclaimer to anyone that visits someone who just had a baby:
Wait until they leave the hospital
If you are going to visit at the hospital, call or text before you go and then call or text again before you walk into the room because things can majorly change within 30 minutes.
Bring them food
Even though I had to have a c-section, I still got what I wanted most; I wanted my baby to come when he was ready. When he was born, they found his cord wrapped around his neck and body. He didn’t have any slack left that he could turn! If we would have tried to turn him and delivery naturally, he could of potentially gone into distress and it would have been very dangerous. After everything, I have a happy and healthy baby. He’s turning 3! And I would do it all over again! Having to schedule a c-section gave me the time to accept the fact that I would very likely have to have a c-section and not be allowed the natural labor I hoped for. I was able to process it and move forward with those plans. I asked my OB before being discharged the likelihood of a VBAC and since I had to have a c-section because of a baby circumstance and not circumstances of my body, I will likely be a candidate with the next baby. Whenever it is time for baby number 2, I think I will be able to handle understanding that babies do what babies want to do. My son is still extremely stubborn. And we should have known from the beginning that he would be the boss.
In every hardship, I always try to search for joy and find the lesson in it. I don’t really know what the lesson was from the frustration of having a cesarean vs. the natural birth that I wanted, but I find joy and peace knowing that I had my son in the safest way under the circumstances. Nobody could have prevented it, and nobody would change it. But I eventually (after many tears) chose to embrace it and let God continue to write my story.