Some might call me a c-section expert, even though that's not the topic I wanted to be an expert in. I knew the risks going into my fourth, and final, c-section. My doctor took time to describe the risks, and the actions she would take during each event.
I am well-versed in placenta accreta, which happened to be my biggest worry. The risk of accreta during a fourth c-section is higher than the risk of a uterine rupture. However, I watched for any spotting or pains that might indicate something was wrong.
Nothing ever seemed off. The date of my c-section grew closer, and I noticed an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. That is normal for my pregnancies, so I never felt something was wrong. My doctor scheduled weekly NSTs for the last three weeks of my pregnancy. Everything seemed normal.
Related: How to Prepare for an Upcoming C-Section
The Birth of my Daughter
March 13th arrived, and excitement filled our hearts. Fear also set in for me. This was my fourth c-section, and I always feared that something would happen during the surgery. Despite the assumption that c-sections are minor, they are not. A cesarean is major abdominal surgery.
The c-section started off normal, for the most part. The spinal took longer than average, a solid 15 minutes to properly place. The spinal worked, and the team began to prep for the surgery. The room was buzzing with excitement, and my husband soon appeared at my side as we anxiously awaited our daughter.
The surgery began, and my doctor was full of excitement, but soon her voice changed. She calmly told me that my uterus was rupturing. My world spun, as all of the possibilities rushed through my mind. My doctor continued to tell me that my uterus had a rupture, which allowed her to see the baby and the amniotic sac. She didn't need to use a scalpel in that area; it was already opened.
The staff quickly calmed me. We were already in surgery. My daughter and I were fine. She came out screaming, covered in meconium, which scared me even further.
What The Rupture Means for Us
My husband and I planned to stop having kids after our fourth pregnancy. Four kids completed our family, but the uterus rupture confirmed that our plans were for the best.
I respect my doctor; she handled my surgery with class and a sense of serenity that other doctors may not have shown when they faced an unexpected rupture. My doctor came into my room after the surgery and sat down on my bed. She told me that my daughter and I were lucky to be alive.
We live 45 minutes from the hospital, and going into labor could have caused a catastrophic rupture, resulting in death. I could have died, or my daughter could have died.
Related: C-Section Guilt is Real and Mother-Shaming Makes it Worse
Ruptures Don't Look The Same
I don't tell my story to scare people. I know dozens of ladies who have had multiple c-sections with no complications. Instead, I tell my story because ruptures don't always look the same, and I had no signs that something was wrong. I experienced no spotting or bleeding, no cramps or sharps pains, and no burning at the incision. Nothing I experienced was different than my previous three pregnancies.
I am thankful to be here today, writing my story for you. I am thankful for my 11-week old daughter, and I'm thankful my baby making years are behind me.