My second pregnancy was much like my first (you can read the birth story of my oldest, Lyra, here). I was blessed not to have much morning sickness, didn’t gain much weight, and was doing great in general until a condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction slowed me down. My first daughter was nine pounds and really tore up my pelvis — when my second daughter began to gain mass, my pelvis was a miserable wreck.
I walked with a cane for the rest of the pregnancy and had to wear a special belt. Birth options for this condition are limited. Spreading your legs exacerbates the condition, and it was possible I might mess up my pelvis permanently. This was the first seed planted in the c-section garden. Then, I got gestational diabetes, which statistically often leads to c-section as well. So, because of the symphysis pubis dysfunction, having had a previous c-section, and the gestational diabetes, I had a scheduled c-section on December 19th to welcome my second daughter.
It’s feasible I could have given birth vaginally and no one told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t. I just honestly thought I would end up getting one anyhow. By choosing, I was able to meet my doctor ahead of time and ask questions, request an all-female surgical team, and have a birth plan that would be followed. I took my two-year-old to her grandma’s house, and went to go have a baby.
They put me in a gown and took me to the recovery room. I got an IV and they gave me fluids. I had an all-female surgical team and had interviewed my doctor ahead of time and I really liked her. It took another five or six tries to do the spinal block but once it was in, wow! Medicine is pretty amazing. My nurse Jackie (Nurse Jackie!!) was awesome. My husband Joe came in and brought the flip cam. They kept offering to take the pictures for us, but they didn’t know we were doing video! Some cutting, some jiggling, and a very vernixy, very angry little girl was pulled from me and vigorously rubbed for a bit before being placed on me.
After some cuddles they needed to fix me up. As I lay there (Joe went to the nursery with the baby) the nurses asked me what I was saving the placenta for. When I told them I would be consuming it, they didn’t even pretend to politely act like that was cool — they were genuinely interested in it and asked lots of questions. After a long time of stitching me up I got wheeled back into recovery and eagerly awaited my baby. It seemed like a long time, but it might have been 20 minutes, as I sat there eating ice chips before Joe brought her to me. She was alert, calm, and went right to the breast.
It was an awesome experience. I was never scared, I was never suffering, I was never angry with myself for not being able to push out my baby. Choosing surgery was absolutely a wonderful way for me to heal my emotional wounds from my last unwanted c-section, which left me feeling like a failure — I was second-guessing myself for months afterwards. I’m so glad I did it this time. My baby and I had no ill effects. We went home after 48 hours. She has been healthy as a healthy baby could be, and I healed marvelously as well. I couldn’t be more gung-ho about natural birth and parenting, but this was 100% the best route for me. I’m so much happier and well-adjusted this time because I had the choice.