Where has the time gone? My little guy is now 6 weeks old! I guess the adage is true: time flies when you’re having fun (and sleep deprived). Being that April is Cesarean Birth Awareness Month, I’d like to briefly share my natural childbirth story…the emphasis is on brief. The total amount of time I was in labor was 42 hours…
During my pregnancy, I embraced a holistic healthcare approach and received my prenatal care from midwives at an independent birthing center. My birth plan was to complete the majority of my labor at home, be admitted to the birth center once I reached the active labor phase (6cm.), and deliver my baby while listening to worship music and the diffuser emitted essential oils into the room. The main goal was for mommy and baby to be healthy and safe during labor, delivery, and postpartum. I wanted a natural birth with minimal medical intervention and to return home within hours to rest.
My water broke around 2:15 that Friday morning, and my contractions soon followed. What I anticipated to be a smooth, quick labor turned into a insanely long and arduous labor filled with an overflow of vomit, hot flashes, diarrhea, intense back labor, and pain–plenty of pain. Did I mention I was in labor for 42 hours?
After laboring at home for 18 hours, I was admitted to the birth center where the midwives tried every trick in the book to speed things along. After laboring at the center for 17 hours with failed attempts to vaginally deliver, I was admitted to the hospital to receive fluids and medication to complete labor & delivery. Six hours of labor at the hospital resulted in no change. The midwife suggested I move forward with a Cesarean section, and I agreed.
Within 90 minutes of agreeing to the C section, the OR staff informed me of the procedure, gave us time to pray, got me and hubby set up, and delivered our little guy that Saturday night. Initially, I was upset over needing to have a C section: I had worked hard to stay healthy during this pregnancy, and I was “managing” my labor. To agree to the C section meant I had to relinquish what control I thought I had over this experience. In the first few post-partum weeks, acknowledging I endured labor and a major surgery weighed heavily on my mind and emotions. Additionally, my limited range in motion and constant pain only further bruised my emotions and confirmed my lack of control over the entire situation. Thankfully, my mother reminded me of my pregnancy goal: to have a safe delivery and healthy mom and baby. I achieved just that.
I also realized that I never needed to worry about having or losing control of the situation; God was in control the entire time. And I’m so thankful He was. My baby weighed over 9 pounds, was almost 22 inches long, was lying face up in my womb and held his head at an angle. I couldn’t have safely delivered him vaginally, no matter how hard I tried. To meet my end goal, my natural childbirth included a C section. God gave me what I desired, and I’m thankful.
That’s my natural childbirth story. All mamas are strong powerhouses, whether they’re invisible, rainbow, have all their children, or delivered vaginally with or without complications (also, much love to the mamas who adopted). As a woman, you’ve embraced a privilege that is uniquely ours. To the C section mamas, I salute you. Wear your victory scar(s) with pride and love on your babies, no matter how old they are. I know I will!