Giving Birth: C-Section Style

I wasn’t like other girls when it came to babysitting.  My sister really liked babysitting when we were younger, for me, I avoided it.  Especially if they had any children in diapers.  Babysitting was never my thing.  I’ve always had a kind of a hard time being around babies, they always cry when I hold them, unless they are asleep.  So, for me, thinking about having babies in my future was far from reality.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love all my nieces and nephews.  When I got married we got asked constantly, “when are you having kids?” “when are you going to start popping out kids?”  One time when I was holding a baby I even had someone comment, “You know, you could have one of these soon”.  This started up pretty much as soon as we got married, and every married couple gets it right?!

We decided we wanted to wait for a little while to start a family, I was in school, and we were newlyweds.  We just wanted to spend time getting to know each other and have fun without having to think about kids for the moment.  I always assumed we’d have kids, but I never really got baby hungry those first several years of marriage.  Neither of us felt like it was the right time for us.

So, I finally graduated from college and got settled at a new job, we wanted to be somewhat financially prepared of what would come eventually.  So, I worked for a few years, feeling guilty all the time and selfish that we weren’t starting a family, yet still we didn’t feel it was time.

Finally several months before our 6th anniversary, yes 6th, we really started talking about it and were really excited to think that we could be having a baby soon.  Finally, for the first time in my life I was ready and excited for a baby.  So, on our 6th year anniversary we decided to take a pregnancy test.   We were pregnant, and we were excited!

Even though the pregnancy test said positive, I wasn’t so sure, it didn’t seem real.  It didn’t seem real until we went to that first doctors appointment and they took an ultrasound to make sure.  Sure enough, there it was, and it was amazing to see.  It had fingers and toes and was already so cute to us (fyi, if you’re pregnant for the first time and have an OB/GYN as your doctor, you will have to get a pap smear.  Talk about akward, don’t worry, it gets worse when you get closer to giving birth :/).

So, as the pregnancy went on I slowly gained weight and had morning sickness in the morning and at night.  It was horrible feeling sick every morning and night, it wasn’t as bad as some I’ve heard of (ginger helps get rid of the nausea and peppermint helps too.  I drank herbal tea and found some ginger candy that I would take at night).

Then second trimester came and it was much better than the 1st trimester(2nd trimester is the best part of the pregnancy because you won’t be sick anymore and you won’t be huge then).  Soon after came the 20 week ultrasound that would tell us the gender of the baby.  I wanted a girl and Tyson a boy, but we knew we’d be happy with either.  It was a girl!!  It was amazing to see the growth from the last time we saw her at about 8-10 weeks.  It really is a miracle that two cells can combine and make a baby that has hands, feet, ears, eyes, mouth, and organs.

It was finally time to start on the nursery, you can go here to see reveal.  Time went by super fast and I was finally in my 3rd trimester.  I don’t think there was much room in there because baby was sticking her foot or butt up in my ribs ALL. THE. TIME.  If your baby is at all like mine was, they’ll sleep in the day and wake up just as your going to bed.  By this time in your pregnancy, it’s getting pretty uncomfortable to do pretty much anything, laying, sitting, standing.

I don’t know if all doctors say this or not, but my doctor told me to make sure to count the baby’s movements everyday.  I think they’re suppose to move 7 times in an hour.  It was about a week or so before my due date, and I was getting really concerned that she wasn’t moving very much.  I figured that I was being super paranoid, but the doctor told me to come in anyway.  He hooked up my belly to a machine that checks the baby’s heart rate (think it makes a vibration or sound so the baby keeps moving).  I was there for over an hour because she kept moving away from the belly thing.  The doctor said she was just fine.

The day Gretchen was born, I woke up at about midnight and thought I’d peed the bed (I’ll talk a little about the birth, but if you want the whole story, go here).  FYI, if you think you may have peed, but you’re close to your due date, smell your underwear (I know it sounds gross).  If your underwear smells like pee, you peed your pants.  If it doesn’t have a smell, chances are your water broke.  It’s not always like it is on the movies with a giant puddle of amniotic fluid.  If your standing the babies head will cover the “hole”, so not much liquid will come out.  If you lay down it can gush a little.  The doctor will want you at the hospital asap, the baby will need to be born within 24 hours after your water breaking or it could get an infection.  When you go in, make sure they check and see if your water broke, they’ll put a little paper down by your hooha and it will test the amniotic fluid if your water broke.  When my water broke, the contractions started pretty soon after.  I don’t know how all women’s contractions feel like, mine felt like cramps and they got worse.  We’d been preparing for this moment and we were really excited, but mostly freaked out and hoped everything would go smooth.

So, I went in and got changed into the hospital gown (I left my bra on, you may want to put on a nursing bra or night bra so when baby comes you’ll be ready to nurse) and layed on the bed for the next 17 hours, I think.  I don’t remember much besides having contractions, trying to sleep, and watching  HGTV, it was pretty hazy.

Don’t be afraid of anesthesia, the needle for the epidural is gigantic, but so worth it.  My anesthesiologist was super nice and very informative.  Since I got an epidural, the nurse put me on petocin to get the contractions going.  Then they upped the dosage and the baby’s heart rate would drop, so then they’d turn it way down and put me on oxygen.  They did this on and off for several hours.  The nurse finally tried to put a thing up there that would tell us more about the contractions (I think).  She couldn’t get it around the baby’s head, and I felt bad because she had to try several different times (I think baby’s head was in the way).

So, after 17 hours, I was 100% effaced (the cervix had thinned and stretched), but I was only dilated to a 5.  Several hours before this, the nurse had explained that I may have to have a C-Section if I continued not progressing.  So, I had this on my mind, thinking maybe it would be better and thinking I wouldn’t have to try pushing (I was just as scared to think that I’d have to push a baby out from my hooha, I still can’t believe it’s possible).  Finally the nurse came in and gave me the news, I would be having a C-Section.

C Section need to know info

  • A C-Section isn’t  as bad as it sounds
  • Be prepared to be numb from the chest down for several hours
  • You won’t be able to hold your baby in your arms when it’s born (because you’re numb, but they will lay it on your chest, so you’ll be close)
  • You’ll shake an shiver for hours after you give birth (no one told me this, and it kind of freaked me out)
  • You’ll feel them cutting you, but it won’t hurt (it’s a weird feeling)
  • They’re going to push down on your chest or right below really hard to get the baby out.
  • Stay up on your meds, unless you want to feel the pain of your recent surgery
  • You will get constipated because of everything being numbed up
  • You won’t have any feeling where you were cut open

Giving birth is a very scary thing, (for me it was anyway) but it is so worth it.  You start loving that baby before it is even born and sometimes you can already see it’s personality coming through.  That doesn’t even compare to the feeling of seeing it for the first time, it is such an amazing feeling to see your baby for the first time.

It’s a really good thing I had a C-Section, when they pulled her out the umbilical cord was around her neck 3 times.  So, I feel very blessed that she is here today.