Aria Marie was born Thursday, April 26th at 8:32 A.M. via repeat c-section and weighed 6lbs 12 oz. Her birth story is below.
Aria's Birth Story
A little background: I planned a home birth with my son Oscar, who is now 3. We discovered he was in a breech position at 38 weeks, and after two days of natural and medical methods to try to turn him, I went into labor and ended up having a c-section.
At the beginning of this pregnancy I researched VBAC, but because I would have to drive almost 3 hours away to have one, I ultimately made the decision (because of that an other health-related factors) to have a repeat c-section. It was not an easy decision, but one I made peace with.
Her c-section was as close to a wonderful experience as surgery can be, and I'm happy to share this as a way to add a positive story to much of the horror and fear surrounding c-section. Don't get me wrong, I believe that c-sections can be terrible and traumatizing (my first one certainly was), and I believe that they are often unnecessary, but I also believe that they can be positive and that c-section birth stories can be beautiful.
Aria's birth story actually begins on Monday, April 22, when I began what would be three days of false labor. UGH! I started having contractions Monday afternoon but ignored them, having had contractions on and off for the past ten days. Then at around 9:00 P.M. that night, while we were eating dinner and watching shows on the DVR, they became too painful to ignore. When I actually had to stop and breathe through them we decided to time them. However, they never came consistently more than ten or fifteen minutes apart so I went to bed.
Everything remained status quo until Wednesday morning, the day before my scheduled c-section. Contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes so we decided that Aria was choosing her own birthday and called the babysitter, who came to get our son. My mom and sister were already on their way to visit and would be there that afternoon.
We headed to the hospital where they put me in triage and strapped a monitor on me. When I didn't have a contraction for fifteen minutes a very rude and officious nurse came and told me that since I had no idea what labor felt like, I must have been mistaken about my contractions. I assured her that I had experienced labor with my son and had dilated to six centimeters before having a c-section. She checked with the doctor and they decided to send me home. On the one hand I was pissed, because my OB kept telling me again and again to go to the hospital if contractions got to be 10 minutes apart, because she didn't want me contracting on my scar and I was having a c-section anyway. On the other hand, I felt like it was no big deal. I would be back the next morning for my scheduled c-section anyway.
So I got to experience being sent home for false labor, lol!
I slept surprisingly well that night and woke naturally at about 4:30. We loaded up the car and slipped away with our son and my mom and sister all still asleep. The roads were quiet and empty and we held hands all the way to the hospital.
What I wasn't expecting was how incredibly caring, sweet, and funny our c-section team turned out to be. They asked permission for student nurses to observe, and being a teacher and professor myself, I was SO enthusiastic about the students that they went and got more. It was extremely rewarding, because the students were beyond excited to see a c-section, something most of them had never seen. The whole time they were prepping me for surgery we laughed and joked and ending up coming up with a running joke that would play out during my entire stay at the hospital: "C-Section: The Musical." Some of you may not find it funny, but I have a pretty sick sense of humor.
Some of the musical numbers we came up with:
"Oh, that incessant beeping."
"This IV hurts like a mother f*cker"
"Pay no attention to what's going on behind the curtain" (my OB came up with that one)
"The right fallopian tube is connected to the O-VARY."
My husband filmed one small part of the c-section where our daughter is actually born, and watching it fills me with wonder.
After she was born, my husband followed her over to the warming table. They were both only a few feet away from me, and within minutes they brought her over to me. I kissed her and held her, then handed her back to my husband while they sewed me up.
One of the happiest and most magical sights of my life was watching my husband dance slowly around the operating room while holding and singing to our daughter. At one point he looked up at me and said, "I forgot what this was like. It's so wonderful."
Once in recovery I was breastfeeding skin to skin right away. She latched and breastfed perfectly. The nurses covered us both in warm blankets and turned out the lights, and we had a very peaceful two hours together, nursing and resting.
Aria is a dream come true. She is so delicate and beautiful. In many ways she looks like our son, but in other ways she is so unique. She has a ton of very dark hair, as well as huge purple blue eyes. She takes my breath away.
My milk came in two days later, and by the time she was five days old she had regained her birth weight.
Her birth was not "natural" or at home, but it was perfect. It is her birth story, and therefore exactly what it should be.