Giving birth impacts you forever, you will always remember that special day. This is the birth story of a local mama friend of ours. This is her journey and HER positive birth experience. :)
I had my second beautiful baby boy, Eli Patrick last July, he’s nearly 10months old. To give you the full story let me briefly describe my first birth experience of my older son, Oliver Chad…
My first birth experience three and a half years ago was sadly not a great experience at all- I was hoping for a natural birth and did all my prenatal care at a birth center in PA. I was so excited. Unfortunately things didn’t go well when I went into labor at home, so I ended up going via ambulance to my local hospital in Voorhees where Oliver was born. The labor was long and difficult and he ended up arriving by c section for various reasons. Then to make it worse he was taken from me for two hours. My disappointment and grief over “birth hopes and dreams lost” were huge. I felt like such a failure.
So when I became pregnant again I was filled with dread and anxiety about the birthing experience again, knowing I would not be allowed to use a birth center again. I had felt robbed of what I believed to be a true birth experience and I felt Oliver had somehow been cheated too.
I wrestled for a long time over what to do, how to tentatively plan for this birth and what the best thing to do would be. Before I had believed that anything other than a vaginal birth would be a failure, but the more I thought about it, I came to believe that my main goal was to have a happy healthy baby- no matter how he entered the world, and also a peaceful soul throughout pregnancy and birth. I realized that there is more than one way to have a positive, loving birth experience. For me I concluded that meant choosing to have an elective c section and not try a VBAC. At first I thought I was such a hypocrite as I’d been so pro- natural birth before.
I was just so nervous and anxious about going through a 27hour labor again and then still needing a c section at the end. I just thought I could only handle one or the other- labor or surgery, not both. So I came to peace with my decision and decided it could still be a positive amazing experience for us all.
I found a wonderful OB/gyn, Dr Mitchell Williams who was so unbelievably kind, warm and caring, I felt so much more empowered. Throughout my pregnancy she encouraged, hugged, and reassured me, always saying I could change my mind at any time and try a VBAC. Even the night before my scheduled surgery she called my cell phone to see how I was and that I could always change my mind. It was a great pregnancy, I felt beautiful and healthy and excited about meeting my baby boy number two. Whether or not I made my decision for elective surgery out of fear or education, I’m not sure. I knew that it felt right and I felt so confident in my doctor.
So when the big day arrived I went to Cooper hospital at 7am and Eli was born at 09:31. The difference between having an emergency c section and a planned one was amazing. I went in well rested, excited, calm, happy. My wonderful doctor even sat with me while the spinal was being done, constantly asking if I was ok and encouraging me. As she did the surgery she kept me fully informed about everything, even making us all laugh as Eli peed all over her as he came out!. As soon as he was born and they determined he was ok he was immediately brought to my chest and I was able to breastfeed him while I was being stitched up. He never left me. What a glorious experience, compared to the first one. He rarely left my chest for the three days we were in hospital! The bassinet was kind of wasted space in my hospital room :) All the staff were amazing, I cannot sing their praises enough. I requested no eye drops, no circumcision, no shots etc and everyone had no problem with it. As far as hospital births go I think I had a really positive one. The care I received, the value I felt that they put on me and my decisions and my baby, were all incredible. It was no natural birth, of course, and many may criticize my decision but I felt it was the right one for me and my family. I have no regrets- Eli is perfect and as chubby as can be and I am a proud mother of two boys.
To conclude, I would love to encourage any other women out there who find themselves in the position of having a c section birth, through choice or not: it may not be what you would have originally hoped for, but it does not mean you are a failure, or any less of a mommy- it can still be a positive, fantastic experience.
Brought to you by Loving Birth Services: Philadelphia Doulas, South Jersey Doulas, Central Jersey Doulas & Delaware Doulas