Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Yes, Blakely is 7 months and yes, I am just now sitting down to write this, but hey isn't that motherhood for ya? Never on time for anything and blaming it on your children lol...
Buuuuuut in all seriousness, we are finally on a sleep schedule with naps && sleeping through the night so this mama has some time to get sh** done!
Before I dive into telling my story I want to preface this by saying just that, THIS IS MY STORY and everyone has a different birth experience and NO two area alike.
I remember when I found out I was pregnant my initial thoughts were about how I was pretty clueless about a c t u a l l y being pregnant and the changes my body would undergo over the next nine-ish months. But I'm a nurse and like didn't I study this kind of stuff?? Well, yes, however.... it has been awhile since I have studied obstetrics and even then, textbook is muuuuuuch different than real life experiences.
Overall, I had a pretty easy going pregnancy. I was nauseous from week 5-12, but never actually threw up (sorry TMI), I just couldn't really tolerate smells or eating much. And just like that when week 13 rolled around **POOF** the nausea was gone and I was into my blissful second trimester! Entering the final trimester, I started having immense back/sciatic pain as well as SPD or symphysis pubis dysfunction.
SPD is a group of symptoms that cause discomfort in the pelvic region. It usually occurs during pregnancy, when your pelvic joints become stiff or move unevenly.
As the weeks passed, I started to develop my very own pregnancy 'waddle' and sought relief from bands that eased the pressure in my pelvic region.
As I headed to my week 36 appointment, I was convinced Blakely's head was down and the culprit behind the intense pressure in my pelvic region, boy was I completely wrong.. The ultrasound showed she was breech with her head lodged into my rib cage and feet down in my pelvis. My doctor also mentioned that she was measuring on the smaller side and we went ahead and scheduled a growth anatomy scan for the following week. Following that check up we would then discuss my options in regard to her positioning and whether or not Blakely was able to flip herself around. In my heart I knew this little girl was going to be stubborn like her mama and I didn't think she would flip. Come week 37, mama's intuition was right. She was still wedged in the same position but thankfully her measurements weren't too far off from normal so there was nothing to worry about pertaining to her growth.
Now, in regard to her position...... I had never even considered having a c-section ... LIKE EVER. My mom had two babies vaginally and that is all I had ever really pictured for myself whenever I envisioned having babies. I don't know why but I looked at a c-section as taboo. I thought having a c-section was the "WORST OUTCOME" and I cried in the car on the way home feeling like a failure. I felt that I would be looked at as "less than" because I didn't experience "labor" - I put that into quotes because I now know that whether it be by c-section or vaginal birth all types are unique experiences of their own. I was given the option for a physical maneuver in which they would try to manually reposition Blakely in utero. After doing research, speaking with friends who worked in labor and delivery, women who had this procedure done and talking it over with Josh we felt that opting out and scheduling a c-section was best for us.
Throughout the next week or so I was overwhelmed with emotions. Wondering what a c-section would be like, frustration that my "plan" was thrown off, excitement knowing exactly when I would see Blakely and anxiety that I wasn't ready. On Tuesday, March 3, 2020 I woke up feeling slightly disappointed. Not the word you may think a woman and soon-to-be mama would use to describe the feeling she had the day her child was to be born, but I was disappointed that I wasn't going to "experience" labor. I would not feel contractions as my body was preparing to push Blakely out into this world.
I felt inadequate as a woman.
As the day went on I became more excited. I was still in shock because, again, I never "planned" for things to go this way and I never expected to be driving into the hospital with an appointment. After checking in and a brief assessment I was given a hospital gown to change into and I went into the restroom. I felt like I had to pee and I was also experiencing some discomfort. When I got on the stretcher and hooked up to the monitor, for both myself and Blakely, I noticed the nurse gave a double take when glancing up at the screen and laughed as she turned to me and said "well looks like you would have been coming in today either way because you're in labor". I was shocked!! I was soooooooo excited that I was able to have that moment and although it was in the very early stages, it was something that meant so much to me.
When my OB arrived she explained that they had a prior case get cancelled and pushed to the afternoon so we were going in EARLY!! I asked how soon that would be and she told me in the next 20-30 minutes! We had expected to wait another hour at least... I looked over at Josh and I could tell he was in the "oh sh** this is happening moment". He called our parents to let them know the change of plans and luckily my mom was able to get there just before I went back into the OR.
For the procedure itself, again, I really had no idea of what to expect. I knew I would receive an epidural, which would basically paralyze me from my mid-waist down, but that was about it. I was clueless about what to expect physically or emotionally and I definitely had no idea how quick it would be! I was taken back to the OR alone as they prepped me and Josh followed about 10 minutes later. If you would have asked me how I thought Josh would react I would have told you he'd be nervous and a little panic-y. HE WAS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE. He was my rock and kept me calm, for the most part lol. His voice was steady as he talked into my ear and held my hand. I was the one who was flustered and at times a complete emotional wreck. My C-section started around 4:00 pm and Blakely was born at 4:18pm. One thing I did request in pre-procedure planning was a mirror to be held above the drapes so I could see her at the time of her birth, but to be honest, things were so emotional and hectic that I have absolutely no recollection of what I actually saw. All I can remember is the nursing staff bringing Blakely to me for a quick sneak peek and then quickly whisked her away for an initial assessment. The first few moments of Blakely's birth were very overwhelming. Josh and I cried as we listened to her beautiful, powerful lungs and smiled while staring into each other's eyes with the mutual understanding that our lives have been changed for ever.
We were not allowed to have a photographer take photos during delivery but an amazing OR nurse grabbed my phone and I am forever grateful to her for capturing these memories.