If I’m going to get back to writing I guess I ought to start again with Jack Simon’s birth story since this blog initially began with the birth of my second son in hopes of helping and inspiring other mamas to fight for the birth they want.
Four births. My very first birth experience was an incredibly traumatic emergency cesarean section after 40+ hours of labor and 3+ hours of pushing against a baby who never made it into my birth canal. We would later discover he had craniosynostosis, a condition which meant he was born without a soft spot. My second birth experience was a medication free vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) accompanied with 16 hours of back labor. Pushing went quickly and although immediately after delivery I felt great, recovery was quite difficult. He was also my smallest baby at 7.14 lbs. My third would be a failed VBAC attempt that ended in another emergency cesarean section due to deep transverse arrest, which is a fancy way of saying he got stuck in my pelvis.
Pregnant for the fourth time, the doctor who delivered Van and attended Maddox was a bit worried I would try to push for a VBA2C. I had to convince her I was a firm “Hell No.” Been there, done that enough to know that for this last baby a scheduled surgery would be the way to go! Heck, I hadn’t done that one yet and the idea of having a scheduled, confirmed, absolute delivery date and no prolonged laboring sounded dreamy… add to it the fact that my surgery would include my tubes being tied, and we’re talking something closer to bliss. The boy factory closed for good on December 30th 2016. Tip a 40oz in honor of my uterus.
We arrived at the hospital that morning, make-up and hair done, feeling a bit of irony parking in the “pregnant parking” spot knowing it would be for the last time and in a few hours I would no longer have the right to park there. We strolled up to the hospital and sat in the waiting area for a bit before the nurse brought us into triage. I changed into the always fashionable hospital gown and then spend the next few hours answering a million questions (mostly the same five over and over again). My nurse was to put it nicely, slightly overbearing. However, she did do something remarkable when she listened to me.
Going into this surgery I was scared. My third delivery and second surgery ended with the anesthesiologist putting something into my IV and walking away. I immediately went into convulsions as my blood pressure went through the roof. When the episode ended I had a full body rash from what I thought could have been an allergic reaction but felt closer to a stroke than I am comfortable with.
I explained what had happened to the nurse and my main concern that it not happen again. She became the first medical professional who I had described this experience to who took it seriously and immediately had an idea of what could have happened. After consulting with the anesthesiology team we pin pointed a single drug which was most likely the culprit. Apparently there are two choices of drug for an anesthesiologist to use when someone’s blood pressure is declining. One raises blood pressure and heart rate when administered, the other only raises blood pressure and if you have an arrhythmia like I do, the second gets used. We discovered that I am intensely sensitive to it (not allergic) and at the last delivery I was given far too much a.k.a. the normal dose. So when my blood pressure began to dip this time, a very small amount was given, my blood pressure normalized and I did not convulse. Yay team!
I received an array of new bracelets to go with my gown and all of the prep was said and done.
My IV and I walked into the operating room.
It was 1:42 pm. Go time!
The spinal block was then administered which wasn’t the most pleasant part of my day. Going in it hurt like hell and then burned while the anesthesia nurse talked me through and my nurse held my hand. Then there was a rush around me I wasn’t expecting to get me laying down before loosing all feeling. And then it happened…
I. Lost. ALL. Feeling!
My previous two surgeries had been done with epidural anesthesia which the anesthesiologist adorably described as “less dense,” and I described as having someone cut their version of the Mona Lisa into you with a rusty box cutter in a back alley all while telling you “this is fine,” “you are fine.” Tugging and pulling my ass! This surgery I felt absolutely no pain, no cutting, no stitching and it was glorious. Actual tugging and pulling for the win y’all!
Jack was born at 2:11 pm.
During this pregnancy I spoke with the doctors in the group about my wishes for a “gentle cesarean.” The objective being to minimize the trauma. The one thing I was indifferent about was the special sheet. It is actually two sheets, a blue and a clear that separate the top part of you from what the doctors are doing to the bottom part of you. The blue is up while they make their way to the baby, then they drop the blue revealing the clear so that you can watch the
messiness miracle of life and once baby is out, the blue goes back up for the clean up. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see all of that miracle. What I did want was my arms free for immediate skin to skin contact and nursing baring any complications as well as delayed cord clamping. I also wanted Jack and my husband to stay with me in the OR for support and distraction until surgery was finished.
Going into the OR, I again brought up the gentle cesarean to find those involved to be completely unprepared. They did have the special curtain available since the surgery was scheduled that way and set it up. Thanks to that, I was able to lift my head and watch Jack being born which turned out to be way more amazing and less messy than I ever imagined it could be and was a real gift. However the rest of what I wanted went blowing in the wind. No skin to skin, no immediate nursing, no delayed cord clamping. They even tried to wheel Jack out of the room when my husband made them stop. The surgical sheet was pulled almost up to my neck which made skin to skin and nursing impossible. My nurse did try her best to make me happy by continually shoving Jack into my face and repeating “give him a kiss,” while I silently thought, bless your heart but bitch please back off. My surgery took a bit longer with the tube tying and cleaning up of previous scar tissue as I lay there feeling like a child on a long drive anywhere, “are we there yet, are we there yet, are we THERE YET!!??
Once the surgery was wrapping up the room started clearing out. Jack and my husband went to the nursery along with the pediatric team. The assisting OB/GYN excused himself and while they were wheeling me into recovery I made note of how I was surrounded by women and how cool and poetic an ending that made to my last delivery.
We would find out in recovery that Jack was having issues with his insulin levels and he would have to go to the nursery for a while in order to stabilize him before they would bring him to me for good. Once he was brought to me in my post pardom room he would test normal and be cleared of any problems. A perfectly healthy baby boy to add to our brood.
Jack Simon Seddio was born December 30th 2016 at 2:11 pm weighing in at 8.15 pounds at a length of 21 1/5 inches with a 14.5 centimeter head circumference. We rung in the New Year in the hospital together and just like that we became a family of six and I retained my “mom of boys” status.
If I had it to do over again I would pick a scheduled cesarean section every time for this delivery with no reservation. My boys grow big and my pelvis is small. Two were not able to come through me and I highly doubt Jack would have been able to either. He was born slightly bigger than Maddox, my third, but because I did not go into labor with Jack, adding the time of waiting for labor to start could have put quite a few more undeliverable ounces on him. While no delivery is fun and games and recovering from surgery is hard, often women are judged for decisions like this. I believe that we as women should have the right to choose what is best for us when it comes to our bodies. Without men telling us what we can and can not do or other women judging our choices as either good or bad. Natural, unmedicated, cesarean, segregate, adoption, any and all ways we choose to have our babies come into this world should be an honored celebration of life and love. I’m just thrilled I never have to go through pregnancy and delivery ever again!
P.s. The boys were watching Spongbob in this picture. Way cooler than a new baby brother!