During my pregnancy, I dragged my feet when it came to making a birth plan. I knew that I wanted to give birth naturally without pain meds, but I hadn’t put much thought into it.
I didn’t want an epidural because I had read so many horror stories of them not working, the negative effects it can have on the baby, and the risk of having chronic back pain from it. I was open to the idea of having one, though. I have a very low pain tolerance. Breastfeeding was very important to me so I put that I wanted to feed her immediately after delivery. Those were the two most important parts of my birth plan to me.
My water partially broke on my due date, December 30, 2015 around 11 AM. I was laying in my bed reading some articles on my phone. I told my husband, Caleb and he was so excited! “What do we do? Should we go to the hospital?” He asked me. I laughed and told him that we shouldn’t go just yet because I wasn’t having any contractions. I called my mom to let her know that Sophia Grace would be making her appearance in the world soon.
Caleb called his parents to let them know as well. I walked around the house all day, but I still didn’t have a single contraction. I wanted to labor as long as possible at home though. At 9 PM I started to feel some contractions, but they were very weak. An hour later, they started to get a little stronger and closer together. I decided that it was time to head to the hospital.
The nurse discovered that my water had no broken all the way. I told her that I wanted it to break on its own. They wanted to start me on Pitocin as soon as we got there because my contractions were so weak. I declined because I wanted a completely natural birth. Around midnight I finally gave in though. I had always heard that Pitocin makes contractions very painful, but mine weren’t that bad. It was more uncomfortable than anything.
By noon the next day, I hadn’t progressed at all. I was still dilated at a 2 (had been for 3 weeks) even though I had been up moving around to help progress labor. My doctor came in and suggested that we consider a C-section. I felt extremely disappointed and emotional.
My labor nurse (who was the best nurse ever!) comforted me and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep trying for a natural birth. I was up even more moving around on the birthing ball, walking, and trying different positions. At 2 PM, my doctor came in and suggested a C-section again. I declined. I was determined to deliver my daughter naturally.
I was a mess at that point, though. At 4 PM, the doctor came in and told me that I needed to have a C-section because the risk of infection was too high at this point. My sister convinced me to have an epidural to see if it would help relax my body enough to dilate. I agreed because the contractions were unbearably at that point and I knew it was the only thing left to try.
Thirty minutes after the epidural, still no change. We prepared for a C-section. I cried as they prepped me and my labor nurse was right there to comfort me again. “You have done everything possible. You were up and willing to try different things. Sometimes these things just happen.” She told me.
She made me feel so great by reminding me of all the things I did to try help move my baby down. I was a nervous wreck, though. I hadn’t read anything about C-sections and I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t even think a C-section would be a possibility. Caleb seemed calm as he got suited up for the surgery. He stayed beside me the whole time.
At 5:23 PM on New Year’s Eve, Sophia Grace Perrin was born. I think everyone in the room was shocked by how big she was. She was so beautiful, all 10lbs. I had felt like a failure because I was unable to give birth naturally, but I felt some relief by knowing that it wasn’t my fault. During surgery, my doctor told us that there was no way she could have fit in the birth canal.
I only got to see Sophia for a couple of minutes before they took her away to the NICU. My husband left with her. I felt so alone as they put me back together. I remember just lying there feeling sad. Caleb did the right thing for going with Sophia, though. It just wasn’t the magical experience I had hoped for. My baby had been cut out of my body, taken away, and I had no family with me while my body was being put back together. I felt alone.
They wheeled me to recovery and my mom came to see me. She showed me pictures of Sophia. Caleb came in and showed me more pictures and told me how proud he was of me. It was strange, though. I didn’t feel excited or joyful. I just felt pain, sadness, and emptiness.
C-sections are rough. To the people who think they are the “easy way out”, you have no clue! I had a coughing fit right after surgery and I thought my incision was going to rip open. It was awful. I couldn’t get comfortable in bed or walk around. I couldn’t even sit up without assistance.
I will never forget the first time I got to hold my daughter. I had to wait about 3-4 hours until they brought her to my room. They handed her to me and I finally felt at peace. I was so happy to have my daughter in my arms.
I wish I had researched what to expect in case of a surgery. I think if I would’ve prepared myself for that outcome, I would have been more at ease. All that matters now is that my daughter is a happy, healthy, 8-month old who loves her momma. I am incredibly blessed to wake up every morning to her beside me.