It was literally the day after I got married that I found out that I was pregnant with my first.
Although, we hadn’t planned on a baby that early, we were absolutely thrilled at the time. Keeping the pregnancy quiet was tough. I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone. We finally reached the 12 weeks “safety” and while at a group event we were able to share the happy news with a bunch of our friends. That night, as we were driving home, I knew something wasn’t right and headed to the hospital. After several excruciating hours there, we were told there was no heartbeat. “No longer a viable pregnancy” was the term they used. It seems so cold and uncaring, like my baby was just nothing. Needless to say we were devastated. I never knew I could feel that sad.
Fast forward to exactly one year later and I am back in the very same hospital in full on labor about to give birth to my son. I remember the contractions being so strong and painful and practically wanting to call and have the epidural ready for me when I walked in the door. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this pain was nothing like I had ever experienced before.
We weren’t at the hospital too long when I was finally able to get my epidural. Please no judgement in my use of the drugs in my delivery, and I definitely admire those that have a natural childbirth. But this epidural probably saved my child’s life. I was finally somewhat more comfortable but I noticed that when I was having contractions that my son’s heartbeat would drop down. We notified the nurses/doctor immediately and as discretely as they could, the started to go into panic mode. They indicated that it appeared that umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck and he was losing oxygen every time I had a contraction and he needed to come out, NOW!
That is when I turned into the crazy lady everyone hears the stories about. I was literally screaming at the doctor’s to get my baby out. I was not going to lose yet another baby on this day two years in a row.
I remember being wheeled into the operating room and passing my parents who had just arrived. I remember that cold, sterile feeling of the room I had been in just a year earlier and starting to panic and the tears started rolling. All I could say to myself was “This is NOT happening again!”
Luckily, because I had already had the epidural they only needed to give me a local before performing an emergency c-section. I told them I didn’t care what they did to me, just get my baby out and safe.
Soon, my baby was out. But it was those panicked few moments that felt like an eternity before I had the first wonderful cry. I begged my then husband to go and ensure he was alright. He eventually came back and said he was fine. Moments later, he was brought over to me to see. My arms were strapped down from the c-section so I didn’t get to hold him right away, but I got to see his beautiful little face. I couldn’t stop crying, I was so happy to see him and that he was ok.
I guess I always imagined that when I had my baby it would be that perfect scenario that you see in the movies and that isn’t what I got. To this day, I feel somewhat robbed of the true birthing experience. I didn’t get to push, I didn’t get the baby on my chest, I didn’t to be the first one to hold my little bundle of joy. The experience was filled with fear and upset. It wasn’t until I was back into my room that I actually got to hold my son and have that first skin to skin contact with him.
Having the emergency c-section, my first week or so with my son, were not completely filled with happiness and joy either. I anticipated pain, I wasn’t naive enough to think it was going to be a walk in the park, but I never had anticipated the pain I experienced. My c-section scar is large compared to other Moms that I know. And for that first week, I couldn’t just walk out and pick up my baby anytime I wanted to, just getting up and walking took effort and if I turned or moved to quickly, there was excruciating pain. I would have loved to have just been able to pick up my son and carry him around every single minute I could.
Yes, I know that I got lucky in comparison to other births, I got to bring home a healthy, wonderful baby boy. I will never forget than and don’t want to appear like I am ungrateful. I am definitely not!!! However, when I look back on my birthing experience, I feel somewhat let down and unfulfilled.
As well, each year now on my son’s birthday, it’s somewhat bittersweet. I get to celebrate his amazing life, but I also remember the little life we lost that day as well.
I hope that any other Mom that has gone through a similar experience can relate and understand what I am trying to say here.
I think that is perhaps why now I go that extra mile to ensure every moment going forward with my son is everything I ever wanted it to be.
11 thoughts on “Childbirth – my not so Hollywood story”
I understand yorUr feeling of disappointment. I had. C-section with my first (after going through labor and pushing for 3-4 hours). I again ended up ith a c-section with my second (I was hoping for a vbac). I am still sad I didn’t get to hold my babies right away.
I had 6 without an epidural but with my 7th it was finally available and I went for it! I was able to have all of mine naturally, but my 6th was a close call and I knew I was going to be so irritated if I had gotten through so many and then had to have a C-section and then get back to caring for so many kids!
I remember feeling disappointed as well with the emergency c-section with my first baby. His heart rate was also dropping with each contraction. They’d told me to let them know during the c-section if I felt pain instead of just pressure-so when I felt a twinge I let them know and the next thing I know I’m waking up from being unconscious. I was only out a few seconds but after being able to hold him for a few seconds they stitched me up and put me in a dark recovery room, alone. I remember struggling against the drug because all I wanted was to wake up all the way and be back with my baby. The second time I was determined to have a VBAC, but once again (after going through labor with a bad epidural that just numbed my leg…not helpful) the baby stopped progressing and her heartbeat began dropping. At least this time I was able to be with the baby sooner.
I’m about to go through my third c-section in a few weeks and at least I know there isn’t a chance of a VBAC, turns out my hip bones are a funny shape and babies just won’t fit through.
I think the disappointment of not experiencing a normal birth caused me to overcompensate when it came to breastfeeding-when that didn’t go well with either one, I kinda went a little nuts but finally we got to where I was able to do it. 🙂
I had an emergency C-section at exactly 26 weeks. Thank God, my son lived. But I hardly got to feel him kicking, never got to breastfeed, didn’t get to push. I, too, felt cheated. : (
I remind myself that I’m just so blessed he’s alive and well.
I know exactly how you feel. I was prepared by my doctor for a normal delivery while she didn’t tell me that my baby’s chord was wrapped around his neck twice and I ended up having a C section after 12 hours of labour. My doctor refused me any pain meds and instead I was given meds to make my contractions stronger, which means I was in more pain than I should have been! To make the matters worse I was told to push and also jump on a gym ball so that my baby comes down faster! It was only after the delivery that I learnt to my horror that I was jumping on my baby with the umbilical twice around his neck and that it was impossible for him to come out normally, since the chord was almost choking him.
Also, in the delivery room when I saw my baby boy for the first time, he was blue in colour and had the longest head possible due to all the jumping and the pushing I had been doing for 12 hours! What should have been the most beautiful moment of my life was turned into a nightmare. Thankfully, my baby is safe and a very healthy boy now but I have no beautiful memory of my delivery which is very very sad.
I have had a missed miscarriage before where I didn’t the babies didn’t have a heart beat though I was only 9 weeks, I understand your pain. Unfortunately we haven’t been pregnant since though I am hopeful we will be. I’m so thankful you got to bring your healthy baby home! Thank you for sharing. ❤
Praise God your baby was okay. I have never had a c- section, but there was a moment with my youngest daughter that I thought I might need one. She turned transverse. The doctor was able to turn her back, but talk about painful. It was a scary experience. Thanks for sharing.
I can completely understand what you mean that you were disappointed! My son is now 6 months old and I didn’t have to have a c-section, but I can understand how not being able to give birth normally could deprive you of a special moment that is almost a women’s right. I am so glad that your baby was healthy; and I think that it is special that he was born the same day because your first baby would not want you to forget him/her either. It almost seems like it was their present to you, to have a baby born on the day you lost them because now you can also have a happy memory to associate to that day. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!!
I had 3 of my 4 babies with the help of epidurals! So anyone who has an opinion on that can well…I’ll be nice and not say it on here lol. My point is, your body, your pain level, your choice. We are all different and let me tell you, having the epidural DID not rob me of any of my birthing experience. I had plenty of pain to go around so no regrets here. I am sorry that you felt disappointment. BUT your son, healthy and alive is a great positive point to focus on :-). Wishing you continued health and healing :-).