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When I first found out I was pregnant, the first thing on my mind was what to do for the birth. My first son's labor and birth was long, crazy, exhausting and traumatic, ending in a very unplanned c-section that seemed to take forever to recover from. I initially vowed to never have another c-section. But upon learning that my preferred hospital, the one my son was born at, had banned VBACs, I knew I had some tough choices to make. I went from planning a homebirth to transferring to a large hospital 90 minutes away to ultimately going back to where I started, choosing to stay at our hospital with the midwife I love and plan a repeat c-section. Based on a ton of personal reasons this turned out to be the best decision.
My due date was Sept 25th but the surgery was scheduled for tuesday the 21st. We showed up at the hospital at 6am to start getting admitted and get hooked up to monitors. The monitors actually showed that I was having some braxton hicks, but I wasn't feeling them. It came time to get the show on the road, so I got an IV hooked up and took the necessary meds. My midwife showed up to be there for me as extra support. I had been feeling increasingly anxious and irritated, it seemed that the questions and waiting was taking forever. The anesthesiologist and both surgeons had stopped in to talk to me and I felt really happy and comfortable with the whole staff. She walked me to the OR while hubby got dressed in his scrubs.
Once in the OR, some old feelings and memories were starting to come back. Although this was entirely different from the first time – I hadn’t just been through nearly two days of labor, I was wide awake and aware of everything going on – it was definitely weird to be back in that room in that situation. The anesthesiologist got me in position for the spinal with the help of my midwife. It really didn’t hurt at all, just a slight pinch and then the fuzzy warmth started creeping up my legs. I was laid down and the catheter was inserted. Suddenly, as they began setting up the screen, I felt extremely sick. Dizziness and nausea took me over faster than I could even register, and I told my midwife that I felt like I was going to vomit. She immediately grabbed a bucket and coached me through it…I never realized how hard it would be to puke without being able to feel your abdominal muscles! The feeling had me so panicky, it felt like I wouldn’t be able to get it up and I would choke. She managed to keep me calm and the anesthesiologist told me it had happened because the spinal causes a drop in blood pressure, which can result in nausea. He pumped me full of some sort of anti-nausea medication and I suddenly felt wonderful. That’s when my husband came in and it was showtime!
I was really worried about how it would be to be so awake and aware for the incision, I was sort of anticipating that I would freak out. As the surgery progresses, I overheard the OBs talking:
“Wow, I take back what I said about her being a good VBAC candidate. Baby is way high up still, and was coming posterior. Martha, it looks like you made a good choice and saved yourself another tough labor!”
I was so happy, honestly… that’s really all I wanted to hear, that I was doing the right thing.
Just a few moments later and I hear the nurses exclaim the arrival – here he is! He let out little kitten cries and the nurse brought him around the side of the curtain for me to see. I kept saying, “there was really a baby in there?!”
Silas David Jordan was born at 8am on September 21st, 2010, weighing 8lbs 10oz and 21inches long! Nearly a full pound bigger than I had predicted.
My midwife was a god send, she was determined to make sure that I got skin-to-skin contact with the baby ASAP. As soon as his cord was cut, before anyone even cleaned him off, she wisked him over to me and laid him right on my chest. I was ecstatic, I never had that with my first. He laid on my bare chest for pretty much the entire remainder of the surgery. He was so pink and sticky and soft, I was in love. That bonding time really made the rest of the surgery go by faster. It wasn’t until it was almost through that they took him to clean him up and get his stats.
When it was over, hubby took him and followed me into the recovery room. My midwife set me up for our first nursing attempts and I was SHOCKED when the very first try, he latched right on and knew exactly what to do. It was amazing. With my first it took so much more practice before he got it. Silas was born hungry and that instinct just took right over! It was amazing. After maybe two hours, we were brought into the post-partum room and got settled in. Once the dust started settling DH went home to spend some time with our other son and my family came to visit. Things were peaceful and good.
It had been really tough for me to accept how things went for my first son’s birth, let alone choosing to do another c-section. In the end I am so, so glad I did. The whole experience and recovery was about a million times less stressful than before. Of course recovering from major abdominal surgery is not easy, and I won’t say it wasn’t really painful and without moments of “omg just kill me”, but I’m so happy and satisfied with the whole experience in it’s entirety. Compared to the first time around it was night and day. I even think that Silas is different than Isaac because of the birth experience – Isaac had much more trouble with nursing, was slightly colicy, and has always been high strung. Silas is way more laid back and snuggly. That skin-to-skin contact was key in our bonding – I felt so much more connected to him right away than with Isaac.
Silas is almost 7 weeks old now and a big, happy healthy boy! I am feeling pretty much back to normal already and had no complications at all.
Last edited by mothra; November 6th, 2010 at 05:31 PM.