Saturday we just celebrated a milestone in my house. My first son's 3rd birthday. Another fun factoid is that it was also the day my second son turned 4 months. Both boys chose to be born on the 18th of their birth month. Both boys also chose the same way to come into this world. Maybe they wanted the excitement. A sign that they will be thrill seekers and I am indeed in trouble! Maybe they saw the "light" and said, hell no, I am not going "that" way! Both boys came via C-section.
When it was drawing near to have Chase I did what any new mother does. Think and wonder about labor. I consider myself an open minded person and one who prepares herself for any scenario. Truth be told, I hadn't even thought my labor with Chase would end in an emergency C-section. It was a mess from the start really. I had to be induced with Chase after we had a non stress test and ultra sound revealing that their was no amniotic fluid. So I walked up to Labor & Delivery to get induced. Not how I had envisioned labor to start. I had started contracting before induction due to having my membranes stripped that morning. With a little help from my evil friend Pitocin, it was time to rock and roll. I will save you all the details in between for the next 17 hours. I will just tell you that Chase was not tolerating labor and finally I had to be wheeled away into the operating room to have my baby. Leaving behind his father and feeling terrified. Some short time later, at 10:48 am, Chase arrived. 5 days in the hospital and we finally got to go home.
For weeks I cried when sharing my birth story or even thinking about it. I felt like I was robbed. There was a vision in my head of how my baby would enter the world and C-section was not part of that. I would look at Chase and it seemed surreal that he was here. He was taken from me, I hadn't given birth to him. I did feel connected to him, I had for all the months he grew within me. I just was heart broken that my labor ended the way it did. Yes, I had a beautiful and healthy baby. Yet I still needed to grieve.
Part of what helped heal me is knowing that because it was my baby that wouldn't tolerate labor and not a health issue with me, that when we decided to have a second baby I could in fact have my baby VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
When I found out I was pregnant with Wesley I became passionate about having a VBAC. I wanted so badly to have a vaginal birth. I was under the care of wonderful doctors who were very Pro VBAC and felt that I would be able to do this. After having a C-section for my first I had prepared myself that some things are out of your hands. That sometimes you have to "let go of the wheel".
I started having contractions with Wesley on a Monday. They came on and off then finally on a Tuesday morning we were off to the hospital. Once there I was told that though I was contracting close together, that my body wasn't making any progress. So back home I went. I felt discouraged. My contractions ended up slowing down to half an hour apart. They remained this way through the night. I had already had an appointment set up for an ultrasound to check on baby if I hadn't had the baby yet. Ultrasound revealed that baby was OP, or what they like to call "Sunny side up". I was given the option right there to plan to go to C-section, or we could have my membranes stripped and attempt to go forward to deliver this baby. I felt I needed to try to have this baby VBAC. I wasn't ready to give up. I didn't want to feel like I had been defeated. My membrane's were stripped and home I went to labor all afternoon. That evening we went back to the hospital. My body still had not made much progress and there was talk of a morphine induced sleep so we could push along the next day. But Wesley, much like his brother, had other plans. Soon I felt like it was 3 years earlier. Nurses were rushing in. Catheters being placed, blood drawn, signing for C-section "just in case" and here I was having to let go of that wheel again. Wesley's heart rate had dropped and I was told they would keep an eye on it, that he would probably be OK, yet they weren't sure why it had dropped. Not even a half hour later the same circus in the delivery room began and I was being wheeled away, once again, from my partner to have this baby.
Wesley was born on a beautiful sunset sky. I remember that sky as I was being wheeled back into my room after the C-section. It was bright with pinks and purples. It was the same sky that would hold the full moon that would light the sky that night. The night of my second son's BIRTH day.
I have to admit I have not visited the fact I had another C-section. I know I will have to. I know that I need to. Some things in life are out of our control. We have to decide what we want to do with that. How to react, how to heal. I am beyond grateful for my two boys, They are healthy and beautiful. Those are the most important things, I do know this. But my heart still aches, a sting that will most likely always be there in some way. I am a person who wants to feel I have control, to be the one to make my own choices and not having control of both my boys birth story's is bittersweet. I am thankful though for I have a full heart. A home filled with noise, messes, love and laughter. I have my boys, I don't need anything else.