Where do I even start with this one… this birth story was nothing like I had planned. I’ve now officially experienced all ways possible to deliver a baby; all-natural, epidural and cesarean. This one by far, was my least favorite. Although, all-natural is right up there with it, but for different reasons!
I delivered Everleigh all-natural. She was my first baby and I was naive to just think ‘ woman have been birthing babies for centuries without intervention, I can do it’. While this is all true, I would have greatly benefited from having a doula or midwife, maybe taken some sort of natural birthing classes and delivered at a birthing center. I did none of the above. I feel like I was totally unprepared in hindsight; which is likely why my experience was so horrific.
With Adalyn’s birth, I knew for sure I was getting an epidural, although at 7cm, I was barely feeling the contractions and was considering all natural again. After talking with the doctor, she basically scared me into getting the epidural, because if I should want it in 2cm, she said the anesthesiologist might not be available. All I knew is I could not go through what I went through with Evie. So, I got the epidural and had a picture perfect delivery and recovery. It was glorious!
Now onto Baby Beck’s story… at 30 weeks, the doctor said he was head down- perfect! However, the next day I went for my 3D ultrasound and she confirmed he was, in fact, very much breeched. I didn’t get checked at 32 weeks for placement and at 34 weeks it was confirmed again, via palpation and ultrasound, that he was breech. I discussed my options with the midwife- she said I could try the spinning babies website (which I had used with Adalyn and had already been using off and on since 30 weeks with Beckham). I could also try the Webster Technique with a chiropractor, do an external cephalic version (ECV) or even accupunture.
I originally was planning on the ECV. However, after doing lots of asking around, it sounded like it was super painful- one woman who did two natural births, said it was more painful than natural childbirth, and we all know how I felt about going through that again! Most people also said their babies flipped back to breech after the ECV. Taking those things, and the risks, into consideration I decided against it. I did however do the Webster Technique without success.
So, I succumbed to the fact that I would be having a c-section. It wasn’t that awful an idea, the thought of having planned childcare in place for the other two and not even having to go through a bit of labor, actually didn’t sound that bad. I had heard mixed experiences with a c-section, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was scheduled for Friday, 8/3 at noon.
Either way, Baby B had his own ideas. On Wednesday, 8/1 I started feeling crampy and just not like myself. Something was amiss. However, I didn’t know what to think. BOTH of my labors with the girls presented in the exact same way- I lost my mucous plug, contractions started for quite awhile before active labor and over the course of about two days, I had a baby.
Through out the next day, I also was feeling super nauseous and was having GI issues. Just a few days prior at my 38 week check-up, I was already 2cm- also something I never had with the girls. I didn’t dilate at all with them before my labor started. All of those things combined, landed me a call to my doctor. I was back and forth on whether or not to go in. Ultimately, I made the decision to go and I’m glad I did!
Turns out I was another centimeter dilated and just to be safe they were going to monitor me. So, they hooked me up to a machine and I sat back and watched TV for 45 minutes. Sure enough, in that 45 minutes, I dilated another centimeter. I was shocked. The doctor told me to get to the hospital ASAP. Obviously, he didn’t want me to dilate much more seeing as this kid was bottom first.
So, I called all the people, sounded the alarms and was at the hospital not much past noon. They checked me once I got there and I was 5cm- yup, another centimeter. With Evie at this point I was in serious pain, with Beckham I was totally fine, barely felt the contractions- same with Adalyn at this stage. Because I wasn’t feeling the urge to push and the contractions weren’t really bad, they decided to go ahead with the scheduled c-section ahead of me. I also had eaten breakfast, so they were waiting for my food to process. We waited in triage for two hours before they brought us back to the OR to meet Baby B.
I love the hospital where I delivered, but let me tell you, the anesthesiologist was my absolute favorite. He was the warmest, most kind man I may have ever come in contact with, particularly in a clinical setting. He joked and made the situation light-hearted, kept me talking and distracted and held my hand until Kyle got in the room. I wasn’t really all that nervous about the surgery to begin with, but any worries I did have; he calmed.
So… the surgery itself. There was WAY more rustling about going on then I expected. I think it’s partly due to the fact that I’m so short (there isn’t a lot of working space); and the drape was so close to my face to allow enough room for a sterile field, but I was surprised at 1) how long it took from cutting the incision to actually getting him out and 2) how much movement and pushing and pulling and commotion was going on on the other side of the drape!
As soon as they pulled him out two things happened: He peed all over the place (I couldn’t see him, all I could see was a stream of urine over the drape!) and, I got referred shoulder pain. Oh my gracious y’all. That referred shoulder pain was worse than any of the contractions I had all day. I also had somehow missed that this can happen with a c-section, so I was a bit concerned that I was in so much pain. The nurse helping the anesthesiologist told me what it was and that it was normal, but phew, it was super painful!!! She gave me meds to help take the edge off, but they also made me a bit nauseous… and maybe a bit loopy?
I say maybe a bit loopy, because I remember VERY LITTLE from the hour+ that we spent in the recovery room. I don’t remember being wheeled in there, I don’t remember Kyle leaving the OR a good 15 minutes ahead of me with the baby. All I remember is I was nursing the baby while they were finishing me up, and then being in the hospital room. Kyle has helped me piece some parts of that time together, but I was able to recall nothing on my own.
The days that followed in the hospital were kind of what I expected. I was able to do very little. Kyle had to get up every time I needed to nurse the baby or change the baby, or needed anything really. I basically was bedridden, especially for the first 12 hours while I had my catheter and IV. After that, I tried to do as much as I could, without overdoing it. I almost passed out the first time I got out of bed to use the restroom. They had given me oxycodone and it made me super dizzy; on top of the fact that I had just had surgery and been in bed for 12+ hours. Thankfully, they had hydrocodone which isn’t quite as strong and I did much better with that. Overall, It was a long four days of being woken every four hours for meds and vitals and every 1-2 hours with a nursing newborn. Not to mention the yucky hospital food. The highlights were that Kyle and I got to focus on the baby and my recovery without the distraction of two toddlers to take care of!
The first week home after we got home from the hospital my parents were here to help and I’m so glad they were, because I was still fairly immobile. I got up and walked around, but there was no climbing stairs, no extended periods of walking or standing and getting up and down out of chairs and bed was a bit tricky.
As I write this, I am almost four weeks postpartum and post surgery. I’m still recovering. I’ve pretty much resumed my daily activities, but I still cannot lift anything heavier than the baby. Also, another thing I didn’t know about c-sections… you still bleed. How unfair is that?! I think (hope) that is finally coming to an end. This is the longest I’ve bled with either of my two vaginal deliveries. My incision seems to be healing well, although sneezing is still a bit of a scary thing and I’ve contracted a cold + cough, which hasn’t been fun. My derma bond is almost all off, but the incision and my belly in general is still very tender. I suspect from all of that pushing and pulling that took place!
And there you have it… the story of how Beckham Grey Winchester entered our world on August 2nd at 3:09pm.