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Entries in Primary Cesarean (4)

Thursday
Nov222012

Cesarean Scar: Graziela

While researching on the internet about post pregnancy body I ended up finding this webpage. It called a lot my attention and I was touched by some of the stories. Why not to share mine as well? 

My daughter was a premature baby (7 and 1/2 months) and the cesarean was a choice of mine. It was actually planned from the beginning on, but my little girl was not so patient and the water broke on week 35. 

I carried her for months inside of my belly, felt her moving when she was growing and loved her from the moment I got the positive result of the pregnancy test. Being a mother is much more than pregnancy, labor or delivery. Being a mom is pure miracle. It is genuine and unconditional love.  After all, mothers of adopted kids are no different than us. 

My cesarean scar is far from being beautiful, but it does not bother me that much. It is just a scar. What do I think or feel when I look at it in the mirror? That I am a very proud mom of a beautiful and healthy little girl.

Tuesday
Jul312012

Cesarean Scar: Emina's Story

My due date was April 26, 2012 but on the morning of April 20th, I woke up with contractions. What seemed like "fake" (braxton hicks) contractions, I was going to find out soon that they weren't fake. I waited an hour and they seemed to get worse. Finally I went to the restroom and saw that my mucus plug came out. When I saw that, I called my doctor and she advised me to come into her office right away and she would check me out. 

When I arrived to her office, she took me in right away. She checked me down there to see if I was dilating. She told me I was 2cm dilating and should go to the hospital now and register. I will never forget this day because not only was this my first child coming into the world but I was also terrified of giving birth. I was so out of it, that I ended up driving myself to the hospital, registering myself and walking myself upstairs to the maternity floor. I had already called my husband, my mother and father, my in-laws, my brother, my brother in law and sister in law... EVERYONE. They all yelled at me asking why I would drive myself to the hospital ( at the time I did not know why I did either ). 

I checked into my room at about 12:30pm, which was next door to a young women who I work with, that had given birth the day before (such a coincidence). She had given birth vaginally and explained how she was so sore down there. But she told me that she had gone 8cm without an epidural until she finally needed it. Also explained to me how the birth was not bad at all (her baby was 6lbs-ish). She calmed my nerves a bit but I was still so, so scared. 

Finally, after being in my room for 15 minutes, my mother arrived and she was in tears. She was excited and scared for me. She said she didn't like to see me in pain. My contractions were bad. They were 3-5 mins and they were painful. Within the next few hours I had my whole family in the room with me, while I was going through experiencing these painful contractions. I was walking around a lot, because I wanted the labour to go quickly. I was doing stretches and anything possible to get the birth going. 

After about 4-5 hours in my room, my doctor came in to check my status of the dilation. I was 4cm dilated and I was 60% effaced. I was still feeling these bad contractions but did not want an epidural until I was closer to about 8cm. Everyone was watching me in pain. Although I was in so much pain, I had a smile on my face the whole time. My family was making me laugh, walk, talk a lot, stretch out. It was a soothing experience to have everyone there. After another couple hours passed by, my doctor came to check on me and I was at 5cm dilated but still not effaced 100%. 

After an hour of being 5cm dilated, I couldn't take the pain anymore and my doctor suggested an epidural to try to get the birth process moving. I agreed to the epidural, even though I was also terrified of the epidural. I was shaking a lot when the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. My husband was in the room with me and kept comforting me that I would be fine. They did a great job that I didn't feel anything when they stuck the needle in. It was like a tiny pinch and that was it. After the epidural, I felt GREAT! I felt so confident in giving birth. But, after a couple of hours on the epidural, the doctor had checked me again and said I didn't move from the 5cm and also my baby's heart rate was really high. She said she would give it another 30 mins and if nothing changed then we would have to take about other options. 

I felt my baby move A LOT, she was kicking like crazy. Everyone could see my stomach shifting a lot. I saw her foot prints a couple of times on my tummy, that’s how hard she was kicking. After 30-30 mins of waiting, the doctor checked again and of course I did not shift away from 5cm and at this point the head was basically stuck at my pelvic bone. The doctor said that the baby’s heart rate was getting really high, and my BP was getting really high, also the baby was basically stuck at my pelvic bone and if I gave birth vaginally, the baby would probably break my pelvic bone. So, she said I had no other choice but to have a C-section. When she told me I would have to have a c-section, tears poured down my eyes like a waterfall. Throughout the whole pregnancy, the thing I was most afraid of was having a C-section. My husband took my hand and told me everything was going to be fine, and that they wanted the baby to come out safely that's why I have to have a c-section. 

It felt like a knife went through my chest when they told me I had to have a c-section. My husband was so kind and loving. He encouraged me to go into the OR with a lot of confidence. When I got to the OR room, my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I was terrified. They prepped me up, cut me up and in came my husband. They said I would feel a lot of pressure but no pain. The process lasted pretty quickly and I felt EXTREME pressure, it was actually very painful for me. All of a sudden the doctor got the baby out and I didn't hear a cry, all I heard was,"OMG." When I screamed out," WHAT??? WHAT OMG??" The doctor said," Omg, the baby is HUGE."  Then I heard her cry. Everyone was cheering, my husband was in tears. I was crying and overwhelmed and didn't feel anything at that moment because I wanted to see my little ( or not so little ) baby. My husband came over with the baby and she was BEAUTIFUL. He said, "Babe, she is 10 pounds and 1 ounce." And I was shocked. I thought to myself OMG, no wonder she got stuck at the pelvic bone, she is a BIG, BIG baby. My whole family could not believe how huge she was. 

After staying in the recovery room, I finally got to hold my baby and kiss her. It was a surreal moment but honestly, I wouldn't change it for the world. Although I was disappointed that I hadn't given birth vaginally, I was extremely grateful that my baby came out safely and perfect. All I wanted was for my baby to be ok, whether it was vaginally or c-section, at the end of the day I was glad and never bitter about my c-section. 

When I touch my scar, I feel powerful. C-section is a major surgery and a birth at the same time. Although I am not fond of having a scar, it represents my baby and me. I was a strong women to be able to go through this birth, any way it happened. I am never bitter about it. I am more than thankful that my baby came into this world safely. Although I ended up going into Congestive Heart Failure 2-3 days after the c-section and ended up getting Post-partum cardiomyopathy, the experience was still great. I am thankful for life every day, especially my baby’s. My life is precious and every moment is a blessing to me. The fact that I can hold my baby and see her beautiful face every day is a gift of God. I thank God every day for my daughter and for my own life (since my own life hung on a very thin string). No matter how you give birth, be thankful for your baby and yourself. I love my scar, it’s a sign of strength. I love my baby, my life, my family and I love the fact that I can sit here and share this story with everyone. Never look down upon yourself, instead be grateful that your baby came into this world, which a lot of people take for granted. 

Hope you enjoyed my story and the birth of my beautiful little Ariana. God Bless!

Friday
Jul132012

Cesarean Scar: Star

I am the biggest klutz on Earth. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s pretty bad. Somehow, though, I had managed to make it to the ripe old age of 23 with no visible scars and no broken bones or surgeries. This was either through the grace of some higher power or because I never participate in sports. 

And then I got pregnant. I spent 40 weeks deciding that I was going to have a non-medicated hospital birth. My provider was onboard. My then-husband was on board. Everything was good. 

I wound up being induced due to some complications, and I walked around, and I used a birth ball, and everything was excellent.  Except my body did not cooperate. I never dilated past a 2. My ob told me she advised a c-section, and I cried. Big, huge tears. She sat on the bed next to me and hugged me and then gave me a few minutes to think about it. We went in the operating room, and I was scared. I remember telling my husband I didn’t want to do this anymore. A nurse had to come over and soothe me.

In the recovery, I found my scar to be an ugly, horrible, wretched thing – made worse by all of the people who told me what an idiot I was for letting my terrible OB cut me open, and how I hadn’t had birth like a real woman. If I was more educated, if I was in better shape, if I was more prepared…

Flash forward three years to kiddo number two. I’m in the best physical shape of my life, having lost 170 pounds and developed a 6 day a week gym habit. I’m determined to have a VBAC. I do everything I’m supposed to. At 40 weeks, I start encouraging labor in every possible way. Nothing.  41 weeks. Nothing.  I have a brief period of regular contractions, and go to the hospital. They stop. At almost 42 weeks, I have a not-encouraging nonstress test. I agree to c-section number two at 42 weeks, thinking that I am a failure. That I am a joke. That I am not a real woman. The surgery goes easily, with everyone being incredibly nice and the anesthesiologist cracking jokes with me when I got nervous. Recovery is not really a huge deal. I actually start doing some light jogging 4 weeks postpartum. I still feel very conflicted when I think of the birth or look at my scar, though.

But the more I think it over, the more I love my scar. It’s awesome. The 4-5 inch shiny white line is where my children were born. They are alive because someone discovered that you can bypass the vagina and take babies out another way. In the past, we might have died. 

My scar also says that I can roll with the punches. I allowed something that I swore I wouldn’t, for the better of my babies and my own health.  Isn’t that what we do, as moms? Don’t we look at our unique children and situations and do the absolute best for our own families? How can doing that ever be a bad thing?

My birth experiences weren’t what I imagined, but I was always surrounded by a caring team of individuals who did anything they could to honor my wishes, and I have two gorgeous, healthy, perfect children that light up my life every day.  If that’s not what we all hope for as moms-to-be, it damn sure should be.

Tuesday
Jun262012

Cesarean Scar: Kathryn

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.