This past December, I gave birth to my first child – a hefty little boy weighing 9.9 pounds. He was a breech baby and even though my doctor gave us a few different options, he encouraged us to go with a c-section.
Up until that doctor’s appointment (at about 37 weeks) when we found out that Caleb was a breech baby, I had had what could be considered the world’s easiest pregnancy. Minimal weight gain (20 pounds), no real morning sickness (just a few bleehs and general nausea), no mood swings, no cravings. I did have horrible heartburn at night and bouts of restless legs, but that was it. I took every test under the sun – preclampsia to the 3-hour gestational diabetes test.
But for some reason, Caleb seemed to have gotten himself stuck. My placenta was a bit funny in its placement and I believe even now that that, combined with my small size (and his big size), kept him from turning.
The decision was ultimately left to me as my boyfriend said that since it was my body, it should be my choice. I went back on forth on my decision. Initially, I wanted a home birth (which was vetoed by my loved ones I admit). Relenting, I had planned on giving birth in the hospital without medication. I wanted to spend my last weeks before birth eating dates and drinking raspberry leaf tea. I knew that my body could handle it, that I had been made to give birth. But it wasn’t to be. Understandably, I felt like a bit of a failure at first. But then I realized that how I gave birth didn’t matter – all that mattered was delivering Caleb the safest way for the both of us. Laboring for 24-36 hours and having to have an emergency c-section just didn’t mesh with me. Once I made my decision, I found a sense of peace.
2 1/2 days before my scheduled due-date (after a HUGE breakfast), I started not feeling well. Something was happening within my body, something that turned out to be contractions. 2 days before my scheduled due-date, my boyfriend and I toured the facility that was to be our daycare. I got a haircut that day but I couldn’t sleep that night. Things were becoming uncomfortable. The morning before my scheduled due-date, my boyfriend took me to the hospital to have pre-surgery blood work done. I found the contractions had become painful and were coming more regularly but I thought I could just distract myself until my c-section. Against his better judgement, my boyfriend dropped me back off after my blood work and went to work. When he called two hours later, I was in serious pain and under the direction of my doctor, we rushed to the hospital.
We arrived to the hospital by 11:30 am and at 1:32 pm, we heard our son’s first cry. That is how quickly everything went. There was no time to panic, no time to worry. I could only be present in that moment. The whole time I was pregnant, I knew that should Caleb be born on December 5th and he agreed. He didn’t want to wait until the next day.
I’m glad that I had a c-section but I hope that the next time (if there is a next time), I’m able to delivery naturally. There is no right or wrong way to give birth though. Giving birth is tough no matter how you do it! Women everywhere should give themselves a pat on the back. They’ve nurtured this creature, this human, and have brought something special and unique into this world. It’s not easy.