On June 22nd, I went to my OBGYN for an ultrasound and check up, the ultrasound told me that the baby could be 11 pounds, with a chance of being two pounds smaller or larger. I was given the option to have an elective c-section, be induced, or see when labor started naturally, also being told that chances of me being able to deliver an 11lb (possibly 13lb) baby on my own, was near impossible and quite risky. In my mind, I personally didn't want to go through an induction, being in labor for days, to end up with a c-section after all of that hard work, so I opted for the elective c-section. We scheduled the c-section for that Friday.
So, the morning of Friday June 27th, 2014, I slept in, got up and showered, did my hair and put some make-up on, and made sure everything was all set at home. My husband had gone in to work in the morning to finish up a few things, came home and showered and we left for the hospital around 11:30am, with the c-section scheduled for 2pm. We got all checked in, waited in the waiting room for what felt like an eternity. When I got called back there, they explained how everything was going to go, what would be done, started my IV fluids etc. At 1:30, they had my husband get all dressed in his scrubs, it was go time! We were wheeled back to the operating room, when I was wheeled in that room, it was the most overwhelming feeling ever, huge lights, bright white room, with all kinds of contraptions and tools I had never seen in my life, and all I could think of was, in a short time, I would have a baby. I talked with all of the staff, joked around with them, and they helped me to relax quite a bit. The anesthesiologist came in, and had me sit up to place the epidural, which took very little time, next thing you know, I was numb from the neck down. The drapes were all placed over my stomach, and it was time to begin. My husband came in, they gave me some pain medications through my IV, the anesthesiologist sat behind my head and was playing Pandora radio, and showing me pictures of his dogs, he had his feet up on his desk and we were laughing and chatting like we were best friends. For what was going on, it was a very relaxing atmosphere. My OB came in and got suited up, and at 2:01pm said she was going to get started. At 2:07 pm we heard a cry, and "IT'S A BOY! AND WOW HE'S BIG!" I was given some anxiety medicine at this point because I had asked for some, but I still remember everything! At this point, I completely forgot what was even going on because I was so in love with seeing my baby and my husband, and every one busily moving about the room getting the baby situated. Mitchell Joseph Thoin was born at 2:07pm weighing 9lbs 1oz and he was 21" long. I was wheeled up to recovery at 2:57pm, where we stayed for about two hours, I was able to attempt to nurse, hold Mitchell, and just relax and take everything in. Recovery wasn't as bad as expected. I was up and walking around 6pm, although, walking I may have looked similar to the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I was walking. The more I walked, the better I felt. I was able to shower the next morning. Everything could not have gone any better with my delivery, it was very relaxed, and everyone was happy and healthy. The staff at the hospital was amazing, and the baby never left my sight. Everything that needed to be done to him, was done right in my room (except for the circumcision, that was across the hallway.) You fall in love a million times over with your partner when you see them holding your baby in their arms. So much love that you could explode! It was also so exciting to see all of our family and closest friends that came to visit in the hospital. I never felt overwhelmed in the hospital, or "over-visited."
After about two weeks at home, I was feeling 100% myself, being able to control the minimal amount of pain I had with just Advil. I'm so glad everything went as smoothly as it did, and that my son is now a happy, healthy, smiley 9 month old!
I've recently become very passionate about supporting families who have scheduled cesareans. Over time, through my experiences as a doula and talking with women who've birthed this way, I've learned that ALL births are truly magical, beautiful and worthy of celebration. I love working at cesarean births, cheering mom and dad on as they welcome their precious little one into the world. Mamas who endure labor OR surgery deserve to feel like proud warriors for bringing a child earthside. The added anxiety that surgery can bring to some makes it a perfect place for me to come in, sit with parents and reassure them of what's to come. Before the birth, I meet families at the hospital, make sure dad is informed and not feeling left out, help communicate birth preferences to hospital staff (yes, cesarean moms have choices, too!) and hold hands or rub backs to reassure everyone that they aren't in this alone. During a birth, I've been able to take photos, encourage mom and dad as the birth unfolds and help hold newborns up to mom's chest for immediate breastfeeding if she's a little shaky after birth. If preterm babies or multiples are involved, and babies need to be separated from mom for any reason, I'm able to provide constant updates and photos. The extra postpartum support in the hours that follow the delivery also make cesareans very worthy of having a doula present.
If you want the added support that a doula can provide to you during your cesarean, I'd love to meet with you and talk about your options. I would love to help you create a beautiful birth experience.
In the meantime, here's a real birth story about one mom who planned one kind of birth experience and ended up with another. I like this story, because it reminds you that not all breech babies require a cesarean delivery, that it's normal to grieve your original expectations and that a doula was involved in the process (and helped!)