April is C-section Awareness month, and Life After Birth would like to recognize mothers that have given birth by cesarean section. Life After Birth member, Crystal McGee, is sharing the birth story of her son by cesarean section.
It was my last check up at the doctor, and I was feeling confident that I would have the delivery experience that I had planned-an unmedicated natural birth. Throughout the pregnancy I followed all the doctor’s orders: take a daily vitamin, eat a balanced diet, maintain the proper weight gain, and exercise regularly. At 38 weeks and 4 days, I felt that everything would go according to plan. Let’s just say, I was wrong!
“It looks like you have developed preeclampsia,” said Dr. Atkins. While I sat there confused and trying to process her words, she also said that I should go to the hospital; it was time to have the baby.
Once my husband and I arrived at the hospital, we were given a room. My vitals were taken and monitors for the baby and me were attached. Nurses checked my blood pressure periodically and monitored the baby. My son seemed to be doing great, but my blood pressure remained elevated. After some time, they decided it was time to induce labor. A medication to help dilate my cervix was administered and almost immediately my baby’s heart rate began to drop.
For the first time during my pregnancy, I was terrified. The nurses assured me that there was no need to panic and that they would monitor him to see if his heart rate would improve. However, it steadily decreased. His heart rate got so low that one nurse decided that she needed to call the doctor. The doctor on call came into the room and informed my husband and I that it was best for both mother and baby to have an emergency c-section. Another nurse, accompanying the doctor, gave me documents to sign regarding the risks of the surgery. Some of which discussed my wishes for the child if I did not survive the cesarean section. My heart ached. Thoughts of my baby not making it or him having to grow up without a mother intensified as they were preparing their team for surgery. My husband and I said a prayer to reduce the anxiety. Before long, the hospital staff came in to roll me into surgery. They also instructed my husband on how to put on his sterile gown.
The surgical room looked and felt so cold. Worst of all, my husband was not allowed to be with me while I received the epidural. All I wanted at that moment was to hold his hand. My husband was let in right before the surgery began. I was so relieved to hear his voice, comforting me, telling me that I was doing a great job. A few minutes into surgery and I heard a little sneeze. My son was here! All the nurses were fawning over him, saying how handsome he was. My husband, the proud dad, leaped up and ran around the drape to see him. He too talked about how handsome he was. My precious baby boy did not start crying until they started cleaning him and performing checkup procedures. His dad was there coaching him, letting him know that he was right there with him. When they brought him over to me, he was still crying. Yet, he stopped immediately after being placed on my chest and started wiggling towards my breast. Little did I know, that breast crawl was a glimpse into the future of a long journey of mother-son bonding.
The six-month recovery was painful, and my scar will last a lifetime. However, when I walk into a room and see my son’s eyes light up and a smile emerge on his face, I know that I would not change a thing. All the fear and pain eventually went away, and my scars too will go away when my time comes. Yet, the love that I have for my son and our bond is endless!