It’s been 3 years since the birth of the one who made me a mother. Violet’s birth was a trial that helped shape how I live my life today.
I had always known that I wanted a completely natural birth long before I ever got pregnant. So when we discovered that I had placenta previa and vasa previa, I was heartbroken. I struggled to accept that I had to have a cesarean.
We had numerous scans throughout the pregnancy checking to see if anything moved and to make sure everything was safe.
About two weeks before the birth I got a call from my midwife (I am grateful I was able to continue care with her throughout the pregnancy!) She said, after discussing with the OB, that I should be scheduled for the cesarean at 36 weeks. It all got very real at that point!
A few days before the birth, my amazing friend hosted a mother’s circle for me. It was so special to me and I finally felt at peace with how this birth was unfolding. I felt ready for the cesarean and ready to meet my baby.
August 17, 2016. The birth day had arrived. Jake and I arrived at the hospital around 5 to check in and get prepped. I was a little nervous but I remember feeling so calm and ready to meet my baby.
I was brought into the operating room where they gave me the epidural. Jake wasn’t allowed in the room while they did this. Thankfully I at least had my midwife there to hold my hand and keep me comforted. I was then laid down and strapped to the table. They let Jake in while they waited for the anesthesia to become completely effective.
Once I was completely numb the OB began to perform the cesarean. He was talking through each step as he moved along with the procedure, I was grateful for that. It made me feel a little more connected to the birth process.
Because the placenta was so low, they had to cut through the placenta to get her out. As they were trying to get her out, they had to push on my body A LOT to nudge her down. It took my breath away as they did this. (I am still surprised I didn’t end up with broken ribs or a visibly bruised body! Just very sore.) They finally got her out and I heard a short little screech. The midwife quickly gave me a glimpse of her over the drape and then she was whisked away.
Jake went along with Violet as they sewed me back up. This is where I started having a hard time. I began to feel lonely and disconnected with everyone and everything going on. My midwife, husband, and baby were gone while I got stitched up. I was brought to a recovery room and waited there for around 4 hours before I was finally allowed to see my baby. It seemed like everyone got to see my baby before I did. Sitting in a bed without my baby made it seem like I had just gone through any other surgery and not an actual birth.
Violet was doing great, she needed no transfusions or oxygen. I’m still not sure why they made me wait 4 hours to see her if we were both doing fine. Finally, they did wheel me down to the nursery to see her. She was put in my arms. I didn’t feel as emotional and connected as I thought I would feel, holding my baby for the first time. It felt strange.
A few days later we finally got to go home. I was grateful to leave the hospital. The next while was dedicated to getting breastfeeding to work out. Since I couldn’t hold violet immediately and she wasn’t given the opportunity to latch quickly, it took some work to figure it out.
Since I wasn’t allowed the birth I had hoped for I wanted to at least do this the way I wanted and I did! About 2 weeks later my milk finally came in and a couple months later Violet was exclusively breastfeeding. We continued this breastfeeding journey for two years!
The arrival of Violet was a trial that I am now grateful to have faced. It took me a couple years to feel healed from her birth but this experience encouraged me to learn all about birth and pregnancy which is now a huge passion of mine.
Read her little brother’s homebirth VBAC here