First, a little background information: Will was born via Cesarean. I know, it seems so unlike me; anti-Beth, if you will... but Will didn't drop and was a stubborn breech baby. Even after three versions, he refused to stay head down, etc. In fact, the morning we went in to have him, he was head down! Oh, if you could imagine the grief those nasty nurses gave me. Thank goodness I had a wonderful, supportive, and patient doctor-midwife team. And after many tears and prayers (again), we went ahead with our decision and wouldn't you know! Will flipped within those 45 minutes and was delivered feet first. Once he was out, the anesthesiologist must have given me something because I was knocked out for the remainder of the surgery and they had to wake me up from my super groggy state in recovery to start nursing my baby boy.
Now, Elsie's story is similar but so very different. She too was a spinning crazy breech baby who refused to drop, etc. The nurse practitioner that I had been seeing (I was just going to a clinic, due to a lack of serious moolah) agreed with my past midwife, saying that it just wasn't likely that my babies would fit through my small and sharp little pelvis... also, the hospital and doctor that I was going to be delivering with would not allow a VBAC. Once again, I sacrificed my ideals on behalf of the health of my baby, and myself. Brad and I decided that because our situation was less than ideal (no access to a midwife and/or chiropractor, past experiences with pregnancies/surgeries, etc.), that we would go ahead with a repeat C-section. Once again, many tears and prayers flowed from my person...
The doctor who was to deliver Elsie would not even allow me to go into labor on my own. Not something he was even willing to risk, so they scheduled me a week before my due date. Now, this due date was based off of my early ultrasounds (6 and 18 weeks), not my LMP. I begged with the clinic, tried switching doctors/hospitals, but no one would push back the section. In the end, Elsie was born on March 11th, at a supposed 39 weeks gestation. She came out tiny, and covered in vernix. I knew she was early. And I wish the medical field would place a little more faith in a mother's intuition... thank goodness she was still considered full term, if not on the small side. The pediatric nurse confirmed my suspicions saying she looked like she was 38 weeks, not 39 weeks. Dumb doctor(s) et al.
Anyway, now for the more positive side of her story. My nurse was amazing and apparently was a huge proponent of skin to skin bonding, even for Cesarean mothers. So, she told my anesthesiologist to not give me the knock out drug, basically to keep me awake --of course I still had the spinal, so it's not like I was in any pain. I was just kept awake the ENTIRE time. This time around, my baby came out and I stayed awake while they sewed me up. I got to hear her cry and all the conversations going around, etc. And then, they came and plopped her on my chest! She immediately calmed down and started rooting around. I got to hold her the entire time, even when they transferred me from the operating table to the recovery gurney. And then, she stayed with me for HOURS in the recovery room while we waited for a room. The only bad thing is I got really sick from the drugs and was dry heaving and sweating for a few hours. I only had that a little with William after I woke up... I think the stuff they usually give you to knock you out afterward helps you sleep through the drug aftermath... but still, totally worth it!
And now, two weeks later, my beautiful daughter is packing on the pounds and basking in her family's love-glow! I know that our bodies are living miracles. I know that our bodies have the strength to complete tasks beyond our comprehension. And I know that our bodies interact on various levels with various environments --mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. I may not have delivered my babies ideally, but I have carried each of them for nine months. And I can provide nourishment and comfort via nursing. I can make difficult decisions to get them here safely. And I can love them and support them. I am their mother, and no one can take that away from me. It is my God-given right and I know that motherhood is a divine calling; one that I embrace with open arms and a full heart.
I am so grateful that I have two beautiful, happy and healthy children and that my body has the strength to recover from what it goes through to get them here. *B