My son Max was born on September 18, 2012 with several other first-born baby boys. According to the nurses, the days leading up to severe thunder storms tend to bring in lots of first-time births where the expectant mom’s water breaks. The day before, I had decided to work late in order to finish as much as I could, just in case baby came early.
Before I had my baby, I had a lot of plans and expectations based around an unmedicated birth and high hopes for a water birth. This didn’t seem unfeasible as the pregnancy had been entirely uncomplicated. I hadn’t bought a pram, preferring a Kari Me sling. I was planning to wear the baby all the time, breastfeed all the time (after all it’s free and if you’re on limited finances that’s pretty important) and was overall looking forward to it.
Two hours after every time I ate, I would have the Cytotec inserted, and be checked for progression. By Friday evening, I was having steady contractions, so after dinner, I wasn’t given any Cytotec. I was only dilated 1 1/2 cm. I was in pain, and panicky at this point. I told Jonathan, “I’m sick because of the baby being inside me. The quicker she gets out, the quicker I get better. I want a Cesarean section.” He told me that wasn’t in my birth plan, and tried to calm me down.
This was just how it was going to be and it had to be done. Pretty soon I was to meet my son for the first time. They wheeled me to a bright, clean, white room and prepared me for surgery. I didn’t feel pain, but I felt pulling and yanking and my body and head were moving along with the pulling. I heard lots of eerie scrapping of metal and the doctor sternly demanding for things to be handed to her and nurses talking and my husband telling me it was going to be alright. I just remember feeling frozen and like I was gone from it all, gone from everything.
My wife and I are beginning the prep work for our anonymous donor assisted baby-making plans. I will be carrying our baby, but I am petrified of labor and vaginal birth. I’ve read all of the C-section posts on Offbeat Families so far, and they’ve been very helpful and gorgeous.
I barely pump anymore, although I can still feed my baby about an ounce of breast milk from one breast every other feeding or so. I’ve given up on my right breast — she’s such an underachiever. I’ll keep taking the prescriptions and supplements and keep hoping that I’m giving my baby girl SOME antibodies and nutrients, but for the most part, my child is fed, and yes nourished, by formula.
We just welcomed twins into our family! I’m thrilled to have a new niece and nephew, but my sister-in-law had a cesarean section and no one else in our family has ever experienced one. I’ve always helped and done what I can to help our family’s new moms with housework, pre-made meals, and doing whatever little things they need to have done if welcome — but I’m not sure if there’s something extra I could be doing in this case.
This birth story is told by two people: Ashley, the birth mother, and Andrea, her doula. Ashley intended to deliver in a hospital with her midwife, mother, and husband present — but as life (and birth) has a way of going plans changed.