under the knife: my c-section story

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

my daughter is ten months old, and that evening is still fresh in my mind. a few things come to mind now; first, how much i wished i had never met that obstetrician in the first place, and second, how much i wish i had given my body a chance.

while i admit that delivering a breeched baby vaginally may have hurt like hell - i wonder if i could have done it, despite the fact that Grace was a whopping 8 lbs, 6 oz. every time i think about it, i wonder if my body could've figured it out: if my cervix would've dialated, if she would've dropped.

on august 15th, chris and i were supposed to go to mass but i was feeling too worn out, so we went home. chicken divan was in the oven, kronk's new groove in the DVD player, and chris was starting to cook the rice. i stood up to help him with it when i felt that huge, tremendous gush. i looked at him and said "my water just broke." the fluid just continued to pour out. i couldn't believe how much there was. i waddled to the bathroom (pants and flood were drenched, mind you) and did what i was told: emptied my bladder. then i checked the fluid to make sure there was no blood or meconium. all was well, so i put on clean underwear and a pad to hold the water. the pad was soaked within a minute, so we put in a handtowel. that was soaked within five. chris called his mom and she came over to help take care of the food as we packed for the hospital.

after she arrived, we finished packing the hospital bags, cleaned the apartment, (water was still gushing at this point. it was actually pretty funny), and made our way to the car. i got to sit on a plastic bag and a bathtowel: so. much. fluid. i didn't know it was possible.

once we got to the hospital, i was brought to triage where they did an internal and checked to "make sure" the fluid was actually my water. (i laughed at them for that.) i was zero cm dialated, my cervix was still hard and not at all effaced, and grace was probably more like -3 or -4 station (HA!). they moved me to labor and delivery, where i was prepped for a c-section: no questions asked. i was hooked up to monitors, my blood pressure was checked, central lines put in, gave a health history, talked to the anesthesiologist, and had my pubic hair shaved off my a complete stranger with a buzzer. oh, then my OB finally showed up. i think the most traumatizing part of it was having someone come at me with a buzzer and shave away. talk about being violated.

it was chaotic, busy, and stressful. there were 10 people in my room the whole time, running around and doing x-y-z. when i had done the L&D walk through, i was told that if there were several nurses in your room running around, that something was wrong. nothing was wrong. my baby was not in distress. i was not preeclamptic. we were both fine. i was just being treated like a piece of meat. i had to be cut open.

my body wasn't even given a chance. 

the normal "time" given from the breaking of water to the birth of the baby is supposed to be within 24 hours, per hospital standards. within 3 hours of my water breaking, grace was out and i was with her in recovery. where was my chance?

it wasn't even a consideration.

in the OR, i was cold. i was drugged. i was alone for half that time. really: chris was there right before they started cutting till grace was being wheeled away. i got to see my daughter for a minute before she was gone again. i was alone, strapped down, and vomiting --- unable to move, crying. the anesthesiologist and my OB simply muttered, "you ate too recently" and scolded me, as if it was my fault for throwing up - not theirs for making sure i hadn't eaten within 6 hours or so (and on that note, no, i hadn't eaten for over 6 hours at that point.)

once i was stitched up and wheeled back to the room, i couldn't move my legs. do you know how scary that is, to not be able to move yourself? i was afraid to hold grace. i had no privacy and didn't even WANT to breastfeed her, because i felt so violated. i didn't even nurse her until we were in the postpartum unit (it was about two hours later.) she wasn't interested because of the drugs, and i wasn't prepared to whip out a boob in front of so many people. it was terrible: and to make it worse, "her blood sugar was low" --- they kept telling me. no one said, "let's leave so you can have some privacy and nurse your baby." it was: "her blood sugar is low."

ask me how mad that makes me now.

some time after delivering, the nurses came in to check my uterus. this was so incredibly painful. i refused more pain medications for the next few days, but every time they palpated my uterus, i just wanted to smack them. it was as if i should've said, "i just got cut open and you're shoving down on an open wound? HELLO!?" i had a piece of cake recovery, let's be honest. but it was miserable. no one told me when to take the wound dressing off, or have the staples pulled out, or take the tape off the scar. really. i showed up at my doctors office for my two week postpartum visit with the medical tape STILL on: no one had told me when it needed to come off.

i will never go through that again.

so, this September, or October, or whenever this baby decides to come --- unless there is no other option, i am VBACing this baby out. there are no ifs, ands, or buts. i am getting him out naturally, without medication or any form of induction, and even if he's breeched. if that means i have to sit at home and wait until the last possible minute to show up at the hospital, so be it.

that's my birth story. i hope it never has to happen to another woman, but sadly, i know that not to be the case. it will happen. it happens every day, to thousands of mothers. be educated. trust your body. don't let the doctor be the boss of you. you're the boss of you. you know your body best. trust it.


About This Blog

this blog wasn't intended to always be happy or true. it was, however, made to be honest -- an honest expression of my beliefs, my feelings, and what I know to be the Truth. it'll be snarky, sarcastic, and put just as i see the world: might not always be pleasant, but neither is life. i hope that from reading this, i can help you walk through an unopened door and help you see things from my walk of life.

dedicated to

my beautiful daughter, grace anne; this next baby who i hope to love just as much; my husband, who is my strength and inspiration to carry on; my mother and father, who taught me to embrace what i know is right, to love, and to always be the woman God intended me to be; all my siblings, who show me what good the occasional sacrifice, often annoyance, and frequent laughter is.

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