A STAR IS BORN
CESAREAN BIRTH STORIES, THE BIRTH CIRLCE
Cincinnati + Dayton doula + birth photography
This is a story may trigger birth trauma.
Please read this with caution if you believe this may cause you any heartache.
It was my first pregnancy. So wanted and so planned. I wasn't nervous, I told myself I had "read everything". Turns out I barely knew where to start. For example, I didn't even know people could really have a Doula in real life- I thought only the super rich or the super "natural" mamas could, and I was ok with a Hospital birth. First cycle, first try, BOOM, a baby! I did everything I thought was right- I ate NO sugar or anything fried, I denied myself coffee and any caffeine, I sang to the baby in there, I did PreNatal Yoga DVDs religiously after work. I went for all the checkups and took my PreNatal Vitamins. I was overweight, and conscious of that- the Drs praised me for never gaining any weight at appts, because I was exercising and eating healthy (turns out maybe someone should have been a bit more concerned that I never gained any weight). I started 3x weekly Non-Stress Tests and weekly ultrasounds to check everything, I felt so in control. One day I went in for my 35th week ultrasound, and there was a new tech subbing that I had never seen. She looked at me and said "Are you seeing the Dr today?" I said no, WHY?! WHY WHY WHY? But no one told me, they sat me in the waiting room for 49 agonizing minutes while I sobbed and wondered what was going on. In that waiting room full of people, for 49 painful minutes, not one other patient or person asked if I was ok. I have a bit less faith in humanity, when a room full of people can see one of their own kind falling apart and no one thinks to check on you. Finally the Dr brought me back- my baby had almost no Amniotic Fluid. Levels 8-18 were normal. Mine was maybe a 3, he couldn't really tell. He sent me home with instructions to drink a Gallon of water and come back at 7am to check again. I said "Maybe this new Ultrasound Tech I have never seen before made a mistake!" He was going to do the Ultrasound himself the next day. I wondered if it had been like this for long and the regular tech hadn't noticed- I wondered if someone should have questioned why I had gained only 7lbs and my baby was also 7lbs. I'm an Overachiever. I went home and drank 3 gallons of water in 15 hours. 7am Ultrasound- Maybe a level 2-3 of amniotic fluid. Sent to the hospital to collect pee for 24 hours to see if I was making protein in my urine, and an in-depth Ultrasound. No protein, nothing showing up wrong on the ultrasound. Sent home for bedrest, except for my 4x/week Dr visits. I used my time on bedrest to watch MTV's Teen Mom, because I thought it might make me feel better about my situation. I counted kicks like it was my job. I stayed in the ideal "left side lying" position for hours, until my hips ached and my face had permanent pillow creases from doing so. I went in for my weekly ultrasound 1 week later. The Dr was brought into the Ultrasound this time- of course it was the 1 Dr in the practice I had never seen before, to make it extra awkward. She looked me in the eye, and sent me to the hospital. She said I was to be admitted and induced that day, it was urgent. I drove myself to the hospital in a daze.
I tried to stay calm walking up to Labor and Delivery, and check in. I wanted to scream "She said it was a URGENT, I don't have time for your stupid paperwork"! Little did I know, Urgent means NOTHING to a hospital. I sat in the waiting area for over 2 hours. When they finally admitted me, they told me it was too late to induce me that day. They shoved some Cervadil in my lady parts to try to dilate me- I can tell you fairly certainly that the nurse's diamond ring was probably at least 3 or 4 carats from the way it scraped me up there- at least, it felt like it. The next morning, they started Pitocin. I felt nothing all day long. They broke my water. Nothing. One nurse came in to hang a 2nd bag of Pit per the Dr's orders and said "wow, I have never seen an order for a 2nd bag, I didn't know you could do that". I LOST it. I had a total breakdown- I realized that I had no birth plan, no one had explained anything to me and I knew nothing. Now wasn't the time to start Googling things like "how much pitocin is safe". I felt like I had failed my baby already, I didn't even know what was being done to my own body, and I felt trapped and weak. At 6:30pm, the Dr I knew and loved came on duty. He said he would give me 2 more hours to try and get to 5cm dilated, and if I couldn't, it was C-Section time. I hadn't eaten or left the bed in 14 hours (because of course, all the books said you can't eat while in labor). I was mad and tired. I told him to go eat his dinner and get back here and just do it. And stop the Pitocin on his way out, because it wasn't doing anything. I felt a sense of calm and panic when I knew my baby was coming via C-Section any minute. That strong little creature had never ONCE showed any decels or signs of distress in there- but she was out of "juice" and it wasn't time to mess around. The C-Section just happened to me- I didn't feel like I was an active participant in my birth plan or birth, but by that point, I didn't even mind. Those Drs and nurses did everything right to make it special for me. Stella the Star was here, and was ok, and that is all I cared about. I knew she was stubborn then, and that hasn't changed a bit.
That is my birth story. I like to stop it there, because I had a nurse afterwards that was so terrible that it tainted the entire birth process for me. I look back and I am embarrassed for being so naive and quiet.
But my child is here now, and safe and wonderful years later. I fight for her in this crazy world.