Many thanks to Christy for sharing her birth story with us. Celebrating your little girl with you!
My experience is very different from most of the C-Section stories I’ve read because my C-Section was planned. At 30 weeks an ultrasound revealed that our little girl was in the breech position. Since it was still very early, my doctor informed me that there was still a very good chance that she will flip and a C-Section won’t even be discussed. As my pregnancy progressed I kept in the back of my mind that a C-Section may be possible if my little girl was stubborn like her mommy!
We returned for another ultrasound at 36 weeks and were told not only was she still breech but her head size was larger than the “norm.” Of course you being to think the worst and all I pictured was this tiny baby body with a gigantic head! My doctor reassured us that it was probably due to genetics and her breech position. We scheduled another ultrasound at 38 weeks to check her position and begin the talk of a possible C-Section. At 38 weeks we were told that our baby had flipped! I was so happy and the thought of a C-Section went right out the door! That is until the ultrasound technician revealed my baby’s size! “I don’t think I should tell you how big she is” were the words I clearly remember her saying! After some begging, she finally told me that my baby girl was estimated at 9lbs. 13oz.! I was in shock at first and then as the reality of such a big baby with still 2 weeks to go sank in, the tears began! Now all I was thinking was, “I’m not having a C-Section because she flipped but now I have to deliver this huge baby with a gigantic head!” Once again, after talking to the doctor, I calmed down and we began to discuss our options. The doctor informed us of the risks involved in having a large baby with a large head naturally and after careful thought and consideration we decided to schedule a C-section.
A week later, my husband and I were walking into the hospital for our scheduled C-Section. Let me just tell you that having a “Scheduled C-Section” does not take away any of the stress or fear! It’s still very scary sitting in that little room watching the clock tick closer and closer to your surgery time! I was so extremely excited to meet my baby but also extremely scared of having major surgery! After hugs and kisses from the soon-to-be grandparents, my husband and I, along with the best delivery nurse in the world, walked back to the OR. The reality of what was happening and the panic of it all began to sink in when they made my husband, my rock, wait in the hallway! How could I possibly do any part of this without him! I gathered up as much courage and strength as I could and walked or should I say wobbled with my nurse into the OR, climbed onto the table and closed my eyes as tight as I could while they began my spinal.
Once the doctors and nurses had me situated on the table, they brought my husband in! I couldn’t have been happier to see him! He sat by my head, held my hand, and described in as much detail as he could what was happening around me. I may be in the minority, but I wanted to know what they were doing to me! After a ton of pressure and what seemed like forever, I heard my husband say, “She’s out!” and I caught a quick glimpse of my baby girl as they rushed her over to the heating table. Our daughter, Layla DelleRose, was here! The little girl I had waited 9 months to see was finally here! I watched the nurses and a neonatal doctor clean up my baby but had yet to hear a cry. I began asking everyone, “Is she okay? Is she okay?” They kept saying, “She’s okay. She is just having some trouble breathing” My husband stood up to take a picture and the neonatologist told him to please sit down and she’ll let him know when he can come over. I knew at that moment that something was wrong.
We started to hear words like “respatory distress” , “hypotonia”, “macrosomia”, and “macrocephalic.” I felt the color drain from my face and panic began to set in! Then suddenly I heard the most beautiful sound I have ever heard…a very gurgled, low cry coming from the heating table. The mood in the room quickly changed and I began to see smiles on the faces of the doctors and nurses. The Neonatologist gestured for my husband to come take pictures and all I could do was cry tears of fear, relief, joy, and emotional exhaustion! I watched as they laid my “very big” baby onto the scales and then listened as everyone laughed when the scale showed 7lbs. 7oz.! The ultrasound had been off by more then 2lbs.!
They wrapped Layla up, let me kiss her on the nose, and then quickly took her out of the room. I never got the chance to hold her, really look at her, or even get a picture with her. That moment that I watched on TV for 9 months of the Mommy, Daddy, and Baby upside down picture never happened for me. After my surgery was complete and I was in recovery, my nurse called the nursery multiple times to see if Layla could be with me but was informed that she was having trouble clearing fluids from her lungs and her body temperature was not regulating well. I was devastated that I still could not see my baby. Seeing my frustration and emotions, my delivery nurse, on our way to my postpartum room, wheeled my entire hospital bed into the nursery so I could see my baby. I got to hold her for about 5 minutes, got my family picture, and she was taken away again.
I was informed about 30 minutes later that Layla was born with a large amount of fluid in her lungs and stomach and was unable to clear it on her own. They were also concerned about the size of her head and wanted to observe her and run a few tests. She was hooked up to machines and admitted into the hospital’s Special Care Nursery. Because of my C-Section I wasn’t able to get out of bed. My husband would go into the nursery every hour and take a picture of Layla to bring back to me.
It was not the experience I thought I was going to have when our daughter entered the world! Layla got stronger each day and after four days in the NICU she was released into the Regular Nursery and allowed to room in with us. On our fifth day in the hospital Layla and I were both discharged. Those were the scariest and most stressful five days of my life. Pregnancy and birth is an incredible miracle but at scary and uncertain one at the same time. Whether you have a birth plan or just want to go with the flow, labor in any form is unpredictable. My experience was not what I expected or what I wanted but I look at my scar in the mirror and know that I got the greatest gift as a result of it. I am learning to love my scar and what it means a little more each day!