The minute I found out I was pregnant, I was so happy and excited but a part of me was also horrified. I was horrified every time I thought about labor and delivery and all that comes with- the contractions, the pushing, the tearing! Just like many of you I was shit scared about this and wondered what my labor would be like, would it be quick and easy or would it last for hours and hours? Everyone has such different birthing stories so the unknown is what made it daunting for me.
Anyways as time went on, I prepared myself mentally and physically for the delivery. I told myself all women go through this and that back in the days they didn’t even have all the medical knowledge and tools they do now so it will be okay. I also had a plan and that was to take the darn epidural if I felt like I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. There was no way I would be able to handle tearing and stitches without it and I wasn’t even going to try and do it au natural (Kudos to the ladies that do!). Anyways by the third trimester I had googled and YouTubed all the labor tips and tricks and before you knew it I was 36 weeks in and eating lots of dates, drinking butter milk, taking Evening Primrose Oil pills, doing kegal exercises and making padsciles to help with a faster and smoother delivery and post partum healing.
But at 37 weeks, we went in for our weekly OB appointment… I hadn’t though anything of it because so far all the appointments went so great, they were just a routine check and we were usually in and out within minutes. However this time our OB said that the baby had shifted and is breached. My heart sank because I knew what that meant- a potential Cesarean (C-Section). He advised that if the baby doesn’t shift in the next few days we would have to book in a planned C-Section. So in case you are wondering what a breach baby is, it’s basically when the baby is not in its ideal birth position which is head down instead their feet or buttocks are by the birthing canal. Breach babies are way more common than you think and happen in about 4% of all pregnancies.
In that appointment, the OB also put me on call for a procedure called ECV (External cephalic version) which is a process where the breech baby can sometimes be turned from buttocks or foot first to head first. It is a manual procedure where the doctors try to massage the baby in place and let me tell you it hurts like a b**** well at least it did for me. I went in for the ECV the very next day and my little guy was so stubborn he did not want to move and so I was scheduled in for a planned C Section for the coming mONDAY (at the start of my 39 weeks). I tried to get a date as close to my due date as possible but the OB said they wouldn’t allow that because they don’t want me to go into labour before the scheduled date, that would result in an emergency C-Section and could have complications.
I am not sure why but once it was confirmed that I was having a C-section, I was feeling all types of emotions. The thought of having a C-section hadn’t even crossed my mind before because no one in my family had gotten one before, my mom, my sister they all had natural deliveries and so I thought I would too! But now that this was happening I felt totally unprepared but I had a week times to hope the baby moves or prepare myself. See I don’t think any women ever expects a C-section, even though we know it could happen, we never really think it will happen to us. So not only was I unprepared but I had some sort of guilt over the fact that I wasn’t going to be delivering naturally even though this was beyond my control. I don’t know if it’s society but for some reason there is this notion that having a C-Section is taking the easy way out and i felt like I had failed as a woman and failed as a mother. I don’t know why I still feel that way now sometimes too, like I didn’t give ‘birth’ to my son but I have to remind myself that I did! I endured a major surgery and the doctors had to cut through 7 layers of skin to get my baby out and that’s something to be proud of!
Anyways as days went on I started preparing for the surgery but had so much anxiety over it (I was also still secretly hoping he would move on his own- I tried various exercises on the yoga ball, using music and warmth). The days leading up to the surgery were the hardest, because I knew exactly what date and time I was going to have my baby boy I was just really anxious and scared. I had never undergone any surgery before big or small so I was constantly thinking about how painful it would be, what the stitches would be like etc. I am also an over thinker so that did not help at all as the countdown started. In hindsight I shouldn’t have been so worried and scared because the whole process was much better than I thought it would be…