I was young, newly married and ecstatic when I found out we were expecting our first. I never dreamed I'd have any problems, I always pictured this perfect vaginal birth where the baby would be placed on my chest and would nurse right away. My mother had had 10 uncomplicated vaginal births, 1 UC birth at home; I didn't think I would have any problems. At my 36 week checkup the doctor told me I had pre-eclampsia and that he wanted me to stay on bed rest for the week. I had to have a nurse come to my home every day and check my blood pressure and swelling. Four days later I went back to the office for a checkup and he told me that he was sending me to the hospital; I would stay overnight and then would be induced in the morning. So off to the hospital I went. Heartbroken that I wouldn't be starting labor on my own when the time was right.
That night they gave me cervidil. In the morning things drug on and on. They finally hooked up my IV at about 10:00. I don't remember much of what happened after that, I do remember that the contractions were hard and strong and that they hurt, horribly. A little before 2:00 the doctor came in and sat by my bed for a few minutes, I remember him leaving the room and then all this commotion as the nurses rushed into my room. Apparently his heartbeat was dropping. I was rushed off to the operating room. I remember laying there on the table totally naked, alone and scared. First they told my husband he could suit up and come in and then they told him he couldn't come in.
I remember feeling the sting as they put in a few shots of local anesthesia on my lower tummy. And then the burn as they started cutting. I was going to do a drug free birth so I didn't have an epidural. When the call went out the anesthesiologist was five minutes from the hospital. I was later told that he got there just as they were cutting into my uterus. I remember a nurse standing at my head telling me to breathe in, and then I was gone.
When I woke up my baby was in the nursery. He wasn't doing too well and had to have some oxygen. I honestly don't remember much of what they told me was going on with him. I just remember I hurt like nothing I had ever felt before. I'm not sure how long I was out but it was awhile. They finally brought my beautiful baby boy to me. He was so tiny, 5 lbs. 9 oz. and 18 inches long. I know now after having more children and having them vaginally that I didn't have the same bonding with him as I did them.
Even though it was medically necessary to have him by c-section, the cord was in front of his head being smashed every time I had a contraction, I still feel like I failed in my birthing experience. My scar says I failed. I also feel like I failed at nursing him. At three weeks old he was admitted to the hospital because of failure to thrive. I have never felt like more of a failure then that day when I found out I was starving my child because my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to.
I have since had 6 vaginal births and have had a lot better experience.
References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
- Navelgazing Midwife Blog - Cesarean Scar: Kathryn
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