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Entries in NICU (5)

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Heather T.

Writing this story I'm 7 weeks PP. I gave birth by c-section to twin boys at 34 weeks. For about a month we knew we would have to deliver early, it was just a matter of when. I was pregnant with fraternal twins and twin A not only had a vericose umbilical cord, but the cord was also barely attached to the placenta. At 13 weeks there was already a 30% difference in growth. At 31 weeks the growth gap had increaded to 40. His cord would no longer sustain him. We waited 3 more weeks, having ultrasounds twice a week. My 2 perinatologists decided that he wouldn't make it any longer and we had surgery March 10th. The surgery was great. Everything was perfect. My only regret is not asking them before hand to lower the curtain. I didn't get to see my little men for over 12 hours. They were born at 3lbs and 4lbs 9 oz. Only 2 weeks of NICU time. Recover was rough for the first few days, but after a week PP, it got much easier.

It's hard to even see my scar. I have to fight folds and folds of "twin skin". But when I look at it, and my entire torso in general, I just think of what an amazing job my body did at housing not one but two amazing little survivors. I look at my scar and I do not have any negative thoughts. I'm happy for what my body did, and I never cared how they got here. I do some days mourn the loss of the shapeliness of my torso, but these feeling never last long. I look at my boys and I know it was all worth it. The flabby skin, the huge stretchmarks that seem to never end, and the scar are all beautiful reminders of what my body accomplished. I would do it a hundred times over again for them. 

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Anonymous 4

On the morning of December 15th I went into labor on my own, at my house. By the time I got to the hospital, I was 4cm dilated. About half an hour after I was admitted and in my room, they checked me and I was 5cm- so they broke my water. Within 45 minutes after they broke my water, I was fully dilated. All of a sudden, my son's heart rate plummeted to the 40's. They had me lie on one side, then the other, then get on all fours. His heart rate was still low, so before I could even process what was happening they were running me down the hall and into surgery. I had an emergency c-section because my baby's cord was wrapped around his neck three times. I was awake long enough to hear him cry for the first time, and my husband say "He's perfect!"... that's all I remember. I was later told I had a postpartum hemorrhage on the table, and ruined some poor nurse's shoes with my blood. My son had a short stay in the NICU after he was born- he became lethargic and as a result wouldn't nurse, and his blood sugar levels became low and they feared meningitis. Thankfully, he is fine.

When I woke up from surgery and remembered what had happened, I was terrified to look under my gown. I was afraid to see the incision, and afraid that since my c-section was an emergency, that I would be cut vertically. I can't lie, I was relieved to see that it wasn't. I had a low transverse incision.

In the weeks following his birth, I was concerned about the dreaded c-section "shelf"- afraid of how my scar would heal... all that stuff.

It's been four months and my feelings towards my scar have radically changed. I'm damned proud of that scar. I wear it like a badge of honor. It wasn't my birth plan to have a Cesarean birth- but coming home with a baby was my ultimate birth plan, and the c-section allowed me to do this. When I feel my scar, it's still pretty numb, and hard as it is still healing. But what I see and feel when I look at or touch my scar is simply gratitude. I am beyond thankful to live in an age when this operation is a possibility- what if I had been born 100 years ago? Would my son and I have lived? I don't think so.

When I look at my scar, I thank God for blessing me with a beautiful, healthy son.

When I look at my scar, I'm reminded that my little boy is a fighter- and so am I.

 

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Elizabeth

My first c-section was an emergency at 25 weeks.  My baby died.  The day I had my staples removed, I ruptured the incision and had to pack it with gauze everyday for two weeks, and it healed funny.  My ex and I would joke that it was my little pocket.  It was the only physical proof I had that I had a child.  I loved my scar.  I loved the story that it told; I had given birth to a beautiful little girl, who fought for her life as hard as she could, and nothing could take my pride for her away from me.  It made me sad to look at, but not for one second have I ever regretted it.  No one can take that from me.  Even though it's not there anymore, my scar, with it's pocket and all, filled me with pride and said everything that I could not, good and bad both.
But my second c-section...that's a different story.  I was high risk throughout my pregnancy, and my OB flat out said, "no OB in town will do a VBAC".  I didn't argue because the only thing I wanted was a healthy, live baby.  That's all I needed out of the pregnancy and delivery. 
That's all I was holding onto.  So when my water broke, I jumped in the car with my bag and showed up at the hospital.  4 hours after my water broke, and through the beginning of contractions, my son was born in the bright, cold OR and held high for me to see him.  I cried, and wanted nothing more than to hold my son, yet I couldn't.  I had to wait until recovery, after he went to the NICU for observation.  My doctor stitched me up so I wouldn't rupture this incision too.  My pocket was gone forever.  And recovery was so much worse the second time around; one of my lungs collapsed, I was in so much pain I couldn't get out of bed, and I'd lost so much blood during the surgery that they nearly had to transfuse blood.  My scar says that I didn't have the support of my doctor, who I had relied on to deliver my son alive.  It says that I did not try hard enough to have the "right" delivery.  It says that it will always be there, and will never be altered again - it is my strength for future VBACs.

 

Monday
Apr302012

Cesarean Scar: Tara Davis

Tara's scar was the "face" of the old CesareanScar.com site. I thank her very much for her generous gift.

Let me tell you about me. I'm a very petite woman, 4' 9" to be exact. My mother, also tiny at 5 ft tall, birthed 4 babies vaginally with no problem. One sister, just taller than me, birthed two babies vaginally and my other sister, the tallest at all of us at 5' 1" had her two daughters by c-section because she has a short torso and her babies were stuck transverse. Though I chose a traditional OB, I also had a doula and took Hypnobabies birthing classes. I wanted a natural and vaginal birth with no drugs.
 
My labor began on a Tuesday night. By morning we called my doula and we all thought I was having a baby. Nope. Contractions stopped and so doula went home and we waited. Friday morning I knew it was time. I labored at home as long as I could until something told me it was time to go. We got to the hospital, got checked in and by this time I was tired and thinking of an epidural. All of my labor was back labor.
 
When the nurse checked me I was at 8 cm and 100% effaced. Yay. I had made it at home this far and I was going to birth my baby. I did get the epidural and rapidly reached 10 cm. My doula and my husband and mother at my side. My contractions were irregular and I turned down pitocin twice. My OB came to check on me after two hours of pushing.
 
He sat down. (Read that again slowly). He sat down. He told me my options. I could keep pushing for awhile. He could use the vacuum but my child's head was farther in than he liked to use the vacuum on. Or I could opt for a c-section.
 
I looked around the room at the faces gathered there. No one was judging me, no one was arguing one way or another. Around me was an environment of support. It was my decision. Mine alone. I took a breath. I looked at my doctor. "Cut me open," I said.
 
Did I feel a little sadness, yes I did. However, my son was wedged so deeply into my pelvic girdle that my doctor (who is built like a linebacker) was leaning into my shoulder through the drape as he was pulling my son out of my body. My husband even tells me the doctor came up onto his toes he was pulling so strongly. My son was covered in meconium and had to be taken to the NICU. Luckily he was fine and so was I. I was also able to choose the music playing in the OR during my surgery. My son was born to the sound of my Hypnobabies relaxation music.
 
When I look at my scar I am still amazed that it is only 5.5" long and yet an entire person came out of there. A 7 lb 5 oz person who was 19.5" long! Isn't that just amazing? Apparently my pelvic bones did not spread enough to get my son out vaginally. He and I both tried like champions and his cone shaped head proved how hard we tried. Without a c-section he would not be here.
 
I can never touch my scar without thinking of my son. I know that I will always think of him when I touch it. My scar is right over the area when I nurtured him and felt him kick. My scar is raised and still red even 13.5 months after his birth which is when I took this picture. Hypertrophic I believe is the term. I wish it were flat and white like my appendectomy scars but that's ok. It's crooked and at first that really irritated me. Now it's just a part of the scar. I'm still numb right above the scar itself but otherwise I have all my feeling back. It does itch like the devil from time to time.
 
I really like the bumper sticker I once saw: Scars are tattoos with better stories.

Tara Davis
Nashville, TN
http://iwantthursdays.blogspot.com 

Monday
Apr302012

Cesarean Scar: Kim - 11/11/05

My name is Kim, my surgical birth was on 11-11-05. I do not have a picture of my scar, I don't know what my scar looks like, and I don't touch it.

I was pregnant and in my 30th week of pregnancy with twins. At a "routine" appointment, I was told that the babies and I were in a great amount of danger and I could not go home, I was told I had HELLP. I spent almost a week in the hospital on a half dose of "mag" when the window began to close. I was informed that the time where I was healthy enough and the twins were big enough was getting smaller. I was transfered to a different hospital, my contractions "broke through," my water broke, and baby A began to deliver breech; rapidly. I was taken into surgery, given an ineffective epidural and surgery began. I could feel the cutting, began screaming and was then basicly paralyzed by medications and fear. I was in a twilight state and have a small memory of the babies being held above the sterile field, they were then taken away to the NICU. It was a week before I held my boys, I had complications from the epidural and complications from the complications. The surgical birth was the most horrific event in my life. I don't believe I gave birth to the twins, I feel they were taken from me. I had a very hard time bonding with them in the begining, the NICU made it harder. I know I was pregnant, but really they could have been hatched.


I don't touch my scar, it hurts often, aches or burns, I stay way from the scar.


My boys stayed in the hospital for 4 and 5 weeks, I was able to get them off of the formula and were 100% breast fed until solid food was introduced. They continued to breast feed past their 1st birthday. They are not behind too far in size and are up to speed everywhere else, minus slight speech issues. The older 3 kids love the boys and everything has come full circle, better than I would have dreamed.

But my scar is something I do not and can not visit.