Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes

A year ago today I was sitting in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and medicine that were supposed to help get my baby to make his appearance in this world. My dear little nugget had held out for a whole week past his due date and if you saw me at that point, you would understand how badly he needed to come out. I'm telling you, he really needed to come out. 
This was 39 weeks. He cooked for TWO more weeks.
After birthing three children, I have come to the conclusion that I have what I call a "cervix of steel". Nothing's getting through that sucker without modern medicine. If we had let all of my pregnancies go naturally, I probably would have birthed three 2-year-olds.

I had been induced two times before this, thanks to my over-achieving cervix, so I knew the drill. Be there super early, sign the papers, get hooked up, and away we go. 
Water breaks.
Baby born.
All the feels.
Home in two days.
Wham, bam, thank you doctor.
Only this time it didn't go the way I planned. 
Everything was on track. The contractions were coming pretty good, sometimes two at a time, and were getting to the point that I couldn't talk during them. We were patiently waiting for the doctor to come check me and break my water so I could get an epidural (Yes. I get epidurals, I get induced if necessary, and I wasn't able to breastfeed. So all you Judgy McJudgersons can just judge away with your badself.) and then were hoping to have a baby that evening. 
When the doctor came in, he decided to break my water. About 16 minutes later, we had a baby.
When my water broke, for some reason the baby went up instead of down. I felt that something weird happened but wasn't sure what it was, and then the doctor hung around the monitor and watched it for a minute. That made me nervous. What I later found out was that he was waiting for the next contraction to see if baby would come down the way he was supposed to. They had me turn a little to the side to help him come down (I still had no idea what was going on). With the next contraction came all the chaos. Instead of baby coming down, my umbilical cord came out.
 Like OUT.
On the bed.
And then baby came down on top of it, cutting it off. 
I felt it happen, and I knew whatever it was wasn't good, but I still had no idea what was going on.
The doctor literally jumped on the bed and put his hand up inside to lift the baby's head off of the umbilical cord. My husband told me that the doctor said "Cord" and all the nurses started flying around the room. A nurse came over and replaced the doctor holding the baby's head up and he informed us that we were going to do an emergency c-section. The nurse climbed on the bed, still holding baby's head inside me, and they flew me down the hall to the operating room. Because it was an emergency, they had to knock me out. And my poor husband was left in the hospital room still trying to comprehend what just happened. 

Here's what I remember:
The doctor jumped on the bed and shoved his hand up inside me and started talking to me. I'll give him that he stayed calm, but he was trying to explain what happened while all these nurses were running around the room and I was feeling some serious pain. I didn't hear a word he said. I looked at him and said "Stop, tell me what is going on right now." and he said "We are taking you for an emergency c-section.". My stomach dropped. My heart was pounding, I was still clinging to the side of the bed from when they had me turn earlier. My muscles started shaking. The nurse came and replaced the doctor and they started wheeling me down the hallway with my legs wide open and a nurse's hand up my crotch keeping my baby alive. All the way down the hall all I could do was say Jesus' name over and over in my head. It was the only thought that would form because I was so scared. They wheeled me in the operating room and had to lift me onto the table. 
Have you ever literally felt like a beached whale? I imagine that's what it feels like...
Once I was on the table, there were people everywhere and they were doing all kinds of things to me. And all of it hurt. I can't even describe the pain. I had no epidural yet so I felt every single thing. At one point it felt like 5 people had their hands inside me. It was as close to feeling violated as I pray I will ever get. I actually cried out in pain several times, which I have never done before. I could hear doctors talking and one was talking to me, telling me to look at him and they were going to put me to sleep. All I could think was "Make it stop. Please make it stop!" Finally, they put the mask on and I fell asleep.

When I woke up my husband was there. He told me we had a beautiful, healthy little boy. And then he told me that in the process of the c-section, the doctor accidentally cut the side of his head with the scalpel. He had 6 stitches, but he was going to be just fine. 
I was so out of it that I just said "okay".
When I was ready, they moved me to my postpartum room. On the way, they stopped at the nursery so I could meet my little boy. He was perfect and looked just like his sister.
Honestly, the rest of that night is a blur. I remember holding him for the first time. And I remember my parents coming in the room. My husband had called them as soon as they took me back for the c-section. I remember at one point it was just my mom and I and when I looked at her I just started crying. I couldn't hold it in anymore.  
Everything hurt.
I missed it.
I missed him being born.
Nothing went the way it was supposed to.
He had stitches in his head.
I had experienced pain like I never had before.
I just needed to cry.

But he was perfect. He was beautiful. He was so awake. He would just lay and stare. And I was so thankful for all of that.

The next few days in the hospital were pretty rough. The recovery from an emergency c-section with local anesthetic and a vertical incision is worse than a planned c-section. It was painful and slow and to top it off I fought off a UTI for two weeks. It was at least a month before I felt like a human being again. But I got there with the help of my family and a lot of really great friends.
There's a bit more I could share about that first month, including another trip to the hospital and struggling with breastfeeding, but I wanted to share the birth story. People, women especially, can be so unforgiving when they don't agree with something, and thanks to the internet, anyone can say anything they like regardless of how it might make a person feel. So this is my story and I'm not ashamed to say that I was induced three times after going over my due date each time, I would have totally gotten an epidural again if I had the chance, and I tried my hardest to breastfeed but it just didn't work out. 
Sometimes things don't go the way we plan. When I signed those papers in the morning giving them permission to perform a c-section if necessary, I didn't even flinch because I never expected it to happen to me. But it did, and I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I still came out of it with a healthy baby. Some mamas don't. And my heart breaks for them. I pray that they find solace in knowing Jesus has his arms around those babies.

Now it's a year later and my silly, smiley, healthy, happy boy is sleeping upstairs. He has brought so much joy to our family and I can't imagine if we didn't have him. 
All of those things make it hurt a little less to think back to all that we went through to get him here. Three years ago we suffered a miscarriage at 16 weeks. (You can read about it here.) I was so broken by it I swore I was done having kids. Thankfully God changed my heart. Then my pregnancy was long and not easy. And of course we made it through the story I just shared with you.
I'm not saying my story is worse or better than anyone else's, but it's mine. And through it all I give God the glory. There are no promises that we won't see pain and hard times in our life. Being a follower of Christ isn't a hallpass to get through the world. It just means that when we experience life's hardships and struggles, we have a hope to hold onto and an awesome God in our corner. It still hurts to look back at these experiences, my muscles kept shaking as I relived this while writing, but my pain is lessened because I believe that God has a purpose and a plan for my life and for the life of my son. 
And I can't wait to find out what that is.
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy. 

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." ~James 1:12


  1. I may have had a few tears while reading this! You are right, it is YOUR story. It is so hard when pregnancy and birth do not go the way we want it and is one of the scariest feelings in the world when you know that something is wrong with your baby. Just leaving it in God's hands and praying for it all to be okay is all you can do sometimes. I am so happy he made it here happy and HEALTHY!!! 😍

    1. I totally agree! All we can do is trust God to get us through!! <3

  2. Jeepers! Your story sounds similar to my story with my first born. Except even after being induced 2 weeks overdue, he still didnt want to come out! And so after 12 hours of labour when his heart beat no longer elevating with the contractions, I was whizzed down for an emergency c-section. Only my pain came out in some extremely bad words to the doctor whenever he examined me! I also couldn't breastfeed both my babies and chose a c-section for number 2 bub so Im with you 100% on the Judgey McJudgersons! Thank you for sharing your story. You have a gorgeous little bubba! Xox

    1. Thank you :) Two weeks overdue?!?! You are a strong woman!! I went one week and wanted to die. Lol As long the babies are healthy and mom is, too, then sometimes you just have to do what it takes. Thanks for sharing!!