Oh how I wish my birth story were different. I'm sure that is the case for most women out there. For me, I knew my birth story would likely include a c-section given Beau had been transverse our entire pregnancy. That being said, I remained hopeful that he would flip. I prepared for the likelihood, but did everything in my power to encourage him to move into a head down position. Twice weekly chiropractic appointments with webster technique... diving into pools... spinning babies exercises... bouncing on a ball. You name it, I probably tried it.
As we neared our due date, we began to doubt he'd have room. Our OB began to discuss with us the option for version. I did a lot of research, looking over the statistics and trying to make the most informed decision possible. Ultimately, according to my reading and understanding, transverse baby versions are not as successful as breech. And even in general the statistics were not overly encouraging. My OB had never personally been successful, and versions came with risks that could also end in emergency c-section. So I opted to schedule a c-section, hope he flipped in the meantime, and if not go with whatever was meant to be.
Beau was due September 3rd (according to our IVF dates) or September 5th (according to early ultrasound datings) but he most certainly had other plans. On Saturday August 19th 2017 I started having some pains. These weren't foreign to me... my pregnancy had been most uncomfortable given his positioning and my small frame, so I didn't think too much of it all. Lately I had found that floating in the pool made me feel best, so I asked Eric if he'd take me. It was getting on in the afternoon and we didn't have much light left so we hurried out hoping to catch some afternoon sun before the day was done.
Halfway on the way to the pool I told Eric we should probably turn around. The pool is a good 30 min from our house, and the opposite direction from our hospital, so if anything went awry we'd be woefully unprepared. This is the moment Eric knew something was up. In all honesty, I did too... but never did I think I was in labor. I believed from this moment on that Beau was trying to flip. But, being responsible, I though it best to be at home and close to the hospital etc. in case anything seemed off.
We got home and the I opted to run a bath to "float" in instead. Now, I'm about 6' (maybe even 6'1") so I don't fit in baths and generally never take baths, so it wasn't the best solution, but definitely helped. I felt better. Eric being the wise man he is, thought we should just call the OB to let them know. It was probably around 6pm at this time. The pain went away, Beau was still moving etc. so I got out of the bath thinking all was well and it was just a bought of either Braxton Hicks or he had flipped (or tried to).
About 5 minutes after getting out of the bath I had to get back in. On a pain scale, I'd say I was at about a 4. I have a pretty high tolerance given my history with endometriosis pain I suppose, but really I was just super uncomfortable. There were no waves of pain, no contractions for Eric to time... it was just a constant discomfort. We called again worried that perhaps Beau was in distress of some sort. They said if nothing improved in the next 30-45 to go to the hospital just to be checked. Everyone felt it was nothing to worry about... perhaps except Eric.
We got in the car with our hospital bags (just in case), and took a picture (again just in case), and made our way to L&D.
When we arrived I was pretty uncomfortable and felt best walking. So Eric checked us in and I wandered off. Pain was still at a 4. No changes. No waves. Just consistent discomfort. I say this over and over again to help you understand my denial. I had taken Bradley Method classes and knew what to look for. I knew what to expect, or thought I did, and none of these were markers for labor. I hate hospitals, and intended on labouring at home when the time came, going in only when contractions were 4 min apart. To me, this was just precautionary and we'd be on our way home shortly.
They took me back to change, give a urine sample etc. Eric was told to wait in the waiting area. We have no idea why that was. I guess because no one thought we were in labor it was a bit different? We still are confused by this all because others who delivered at the same hospital did not have this experience. I got hooked up and Eric was brought back.
I remember it so well, a nurse preparing me for a contraction and me looking at her like she had two heads. My contractions were 4 minutes apart. I was officially in labor. What!? "You're having this baby tonight!" I was literally in shock. At no point in time over the course of our afternoon/early evening did I believe I was going in to labor. It was almost 3 full weeks before Beau's due date. He had his own plans it seems though.
The on call doc checked my cervix. It was basically closed. Because Beau was transverse, there was no pressure to dilate my cervix. A few other doctors came in and felt my uterus, seeing if I would be amenable to a version. It hurt. They all agreed he felt very stuck and c-section was our only option. So they prepped the OR and off we went. It was truly a whirlwind.
Eric got dressed in his scrubs as I got my spinal. I was so scared of this part but the nurses and staff were so amazing that it passed quickly and I was being laid down. This is where things became very stressful and scary for me. They were pricking my legs and abdomen to check for numbness. I couldn't confirm or deny. I was so fearful they'd cut me open and I'd feel it, my brain was getting in the way of accurately answering. It took a while before we were all comfortable I was indeed numb. My heart was pounding, I felt quite ill, and I was terrified. I've never had surgery in my life... fertility related procedures were the worst I'd endured and that felt like a cake walk compared to this. Eric was by my side stroking my face, keeping me calm and reassured. Or trying to. I was a mess. I just wanted this whole thing over with.
Because Beau was transverse it was a bit harder to get him out, but quickly enough out he came. They announced he was born at 10:28pm and my first thought was why isn't he crying!? With a little suction he let out a cry and they showed him to Eric. They cut the cord came around and showed me him quickly and then were off to clean and wrap him. They couldn't (or wouldn't) let me do immediate skin to skin because he was borderline preemie, but truthfully I was such a wreck I don't even know that I cared. I felt ill, I felt insanely anxious, and I felt like I was in a nightmare. Some people cope with c-sections very well. I was NOT one of those people. When I finally got to kiss my baby and feel his face against mine I was so full of joy, but equally full of fear for myself. I was ready to be in my recovery bed holding him, but they had to stitch me up first, a process that felt like a million years.
Eric held Beau, busily soaking in these early moments. He says selfishly he loved the c-section process because he got to be Beau's go to. He was it. I don't feel robbed of that at all, nor jealous of him for that. I do, however, feel sad that I didn't get to experience a vaginal delivery. I felt disconnected from Beau at first, and not in a bad way, just an "is this really my baby?" kind of way. Connecting that he came out of me and was no longer in my uterus but in my arms was hard. I think Infertility factored into this greatly also... I just couldn't believe after all these years that he was here, that he was mine, that I had beat infertility.
To watch our birth video click here.