Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of the birth stories from the moms at BabySteals. This is Tammy's story.
I had polar opposite experiences with my two c-sections.
With my first child, I had every intention of a vaginal birth. Weeks before I had my son though, my husband and I had a conversation for our birth plan. Yes, I was opting for an epidural. But, for the most part we would go in with an open mind. We understood plans change during child birth and we didn't want to have a disappointing experience. My husband understood his role in supporting me and being my advocate, so we had also discussed if/when we would opt for a c-section. Of course, it all came down to the safety of our child.
The day came. My water broke, we went to the hospital and we proceeded to hang out for the next 33 hours. Then the moment came when our nurse said it was time to push. And I did... for 3 hours. He was stuck. I was exhausted. I fell asleep in between contractions. Finally, the nurse, the doctor, and the intern all suggested a situation we did not want. My husband being my advocate spoke up and said that we wanted a c-section and I agreed.
They took me into the operating room. I was freezing and falling asleep, my husband had his head down trying to keep his composure. I could hear the doctor teaching the intern as he performed the procedure. Then, it happened. My son cried and I was a mom. They rushed my son and my husband to the nursery and I was put back together.
I'm not going to lie. My recovery was difficult. I was set back with an infection that sent me to the hospital ten days later. It took me two years to wear jeans comfortably again.
So when I was pregnant with my second child, I was a bit hesitant about another c-section. Not only was I concerned about the recovery, there is a lot of pressure and negative connotations that come with having a c-section. I sat down with my doctor to discuss the pros and cons of another c-section versus a VBAC. He said, if I wanted a VBAC, he would support me and with my concerns about another c-section, he would pair me up with another doctor in his practice that is an absolute c-section super star.
Again, my husband and I discussed it thoroughly. I kept going back and forth. I was getting a lot of push about a VBAC from outside sources. Finally, it was one of my co-workers who had three c-sections herself that gave me a pep talk and reminded me to ignore everyone and do what I felt best. So I opted for a second c-section.
I met with the super star doctor and was she ever prepared. She read my file and told me everything she would do differently, like pump me full of antibiotics and use stitches versus staples. Oh and by the way, the way she does c-sections, most of her patients are able to leave the hospital in two days. We planned the date and we were on our way.
The day of my daughter's birth was very surreal. Walking into the hospital at
5am to fill out paperwork and get ready. My husband calmly drinking coffee in his chair in the corner. Me being jealous of his coffee and saying, "two more days."
My normal OBGYN arrived, along with the super star doctor and talked me through how the morning would go. They were working on their accreditation hours at the hospital, so the full-time OBGYN would be in the operating room as well. Oh and guess what, it was a learning hospital for nurses, so there was a student nurse there, and a ministry student. It was standing room only folks!
I was weirdly calm about it all. The most stressed I felt about the whole thing is when the full-time doctor asked me which Pandora station I wanted. I hadn't prepared for that! My normal Pearl Jam station felt too hard for a baby to enter the world to. Beethoven or Mozart felt too cliche. I frantically let out, "Mumford and Sons." Folk music felt just right.
My husband came into the operating room while they were prepping me. It brought our relationship to a new level of, "huh, never thought I would see you in this situation." This time around, I was the more calm one. My husband was jittery and nervous. After 20 minutes, my daughter had arrived. She had so much hair!
They took me back to recovery and the super star doctor was right. I left two days later and felt amazing after one week.
Like every mom, I wear my birth stories like a badge of honor! My children were born safe and healthy. Can we ask for anything more?