Sidelined by C-Section | River’s Birth Story
River FINALLY arrived on December 8th, 2020 at 8:07 pm. He weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces and measured 21.25 inches long.
“Wasn’t it the best feeling in the world? Weren’t you so overcome with love?”…
If I’m being honest I’m just now processing and able to talk about that day. It wasn’t beautiful or filled with love. Holding River for the first time wasn’t a magical moment I dreamed of for so long. In fact, I can barely remember it.
My pregnancy was a fairly normal and healthy one. I dealt with most of the pregnancy symptoms and I praised the Lord for each one of them. I clung to them knowing that the symptoms were a reminder that I was still carrying my child. I don’t miss them though. Especially not hanging around a toilet for hours and hours. We found out we were pregnant in March- right when the pandemic really hit. And I had the flu the week I found out. The flu is actually how I found out I was pregnant. Nausea and fatigue never went away so I decided to take a test. YAY! It was positive- finally!
Throughout pregnancy, I tried to do things the most natural way possible. I tried to avoid taking any over-the-counter medications and sought out all the natural remedies. I changed providers several times because I didn’t felt heard or supported for my natural desires.
River went past his due date. And my midwife ( who I LOVE and adore) started to prep me that induction may have to happen. Drew and I ramped up all the things to try and induce labor naturally. DATES…DATES… DATES… red raspberry leaf tea. walking. eggplant. spicy time. pumping/nipple stimulation. spicy food. I had multiple nights that we thought it was the night. Bag prepped and timing contractions, but never progressed. My blood pressure started getting wonky.
Induction date it was. 😔
Drew and I went for a steak dinner that night with plans to report to the hospital at 8 pm. While getting ready for dinner the hospital called and pushed it back to 10 pm. Then while at dinner they called again and pushed it back to 2 am. UGH. Talk about frustrating. After dinner, we headed home and tried to sleep for a few hours. Didn’t really work, but I tried. ha
The alarm went off and we scurried around the dark house. Grabbed the bag that had been packed for weeks. Threw in last-minute items and loaded up the car knowing the next time we came home there would be three of us.
When we got to the hospital we waited in the lobby for about an hour. Apparently, during the pandemic, everyone was in baby-making mode and the hospital was super busy.
We finally got to our room. It didn’t take long until I was all hooked up and started on Pitocin.
Let’s chat about birth plans real quick… There are so many moms who encourage you not to make one because it rarely actually happens the way you plan, but also it can be a way to advocate for yourself and your wishes. I decided that I would make a birth plan, but would remain flexible to be able to choose the most peaceful birth. Ultimately, I wanted a peaceful birth (safe and healthy to0, duh).
Pitocin wasn’t what I wanted. I knew that I would struggle to labor naturally with this drug. The contractions didn’t take long to increase in strength and organize. I was progressing nicely. They came in and broke my water around 7 am. The contractions really started to move then. After 10 hours I decided that I wanted an epidural. The contractions were like 5 seconds apart and I was so exhausted.
Wow. That epidural was so weird and so magical. I didn’t really care for the loss of sensation, but I was so grateful for the relief it brought me. I was able to rest a bit and actually fell asleep.
Drew was absolutely amazing throughout this whole process. He was so encouraging and supportive. He was a huge blessing and I fell so much more in love with him.
And then it happened.
I woke up in a panic because the room was buzzing. It was filled with doctors and nurses. I was being prepped for an emergency c-section. I looked up at my doula and Drew. My doula mouthed to me “just breathe”. It took me a bit to figure out what was happening. It was a blurr. A tramatic blurr.
River started decelling. AKA he was in distress and his heart rate dropped dramatically. Enough so that we got the attention of all the doctors. As they were prepping to take me a position change helped River and he bounced back. The room held off for a second to see if he would remain stable. He did. So we got to stay. However, my body completely halted. My 7cm of dilation went back to only 4. River went from a 0 station back to a -3. UGHHHHH
5 hours later- I still hadn’t progressed. And River had a couple more decell episodes. My midwife and Chance, my favorite nurse, did everything in their power to try and help me get to vaginal birth, but I could tell that we all knew where this was headed. River would decell every time I was on my left side. They thought it could be related to his cord positioning. They pumped my uterus back full of water to try and switch his positioning. Nothing worked. We tried to progress for 1 more hour. Then we all knew. It was time to make the safest decision and continue forward with an urgent c-section.
I watched the ceiling tiles and lights as they rolled me quickly to the OR. Drew had to gown up. I was throwing up so much and shaking from labor shakes. They started without Drew being in the room.
I didn’t get to do skin to skin with River. This was my number one desire. They didn’t delay his cord clamping. And I barely remember anything because of being on so many medications and in so much pain. The next three weeks were nothing like I had imagined.
Drew is an only child. He has very little experience with children. It didn’t take too long to realize the silver lining of a c-section. You see, months leading up to birth Drew and I spent lots of time talking about my fear of Drew being removed and lacking presence after River arrived. In new situations Drew tends to withdraw and observe (enneagram 5…LOL). And I so badly desired for Drew to be involved. I knew too that my years of experience working with kids would jump immediately into action and there was a good chance I was going to have to work really hard to not take over.
Sidelined by C-Section.
The Lord gave us the gift of a c-section. He sat my booty down. And gave Drew space to step into the role of dad, because there was no other option. And Drew squished every fear I had and blew all my expectations out of the water.
Perhaps things always would have been this way, but I like to think the c-section had a purpose other than to bring River here safely.
I always thought I would have these intense feelings of love towards River the very first time I laid my eyes on him. I didn’t have that for him, but I did have those immense feelings of love for Drew, watching him selflessly do it all for days and days.
Lord, thank you for my Drew. Thank you for the modern medicine that got my baby here and kept me here. Thank you for physical and mental healing. Thank you, for my c-section and the bundle of love it brought me.