I Had a CBAV Delivery and It Wasn’t Part of my Plan
Every mom has a birth plan. Whether it’s in your mind or on paper, you have a plan of how you want your delivery to be. I didn’t write mine down for my first son; I just knew I wanted a vaginal delivery with an epidural. Beyond that, I really didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t know I would be facing what I would like to call a CBAV for my second son (cesarean birth after vaginal).
Drive thru vaginal birth
My two closest friends both had c-sections before me, so they couldn’t lend much advice about the process of a vaginal delivery. In my mind, I thought I would go into labor, call my doctor, casually fix myself up and head to the hospital. In actuality, my delivery was a race to the hospital worthy of a movie. He was two weeks early and I ended up with a spinal instead of an epidural, because I was 8 centimeters by the time I arrived. I pushed for maybe 20 minutes, tore in a couple places, and delivered a 5 lb 14 oz healthy baby boy. At the time, it was such a whirlwind and I was shocked that everything happened the way it did. In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a bit.
Standing on my head
Fast forward a few years, I was pregnant for baby boy #2. My pregnancy was pretty status quo compared to the first. I had minimal nausea, good blood pressure, accurate weight gain and some episodes of bad back pain. When my doctor told me the baby was breach, I was about 24 weeks so it wasn’t anything to worry about just yet. As we got closer to my due date though, he brought up the subject of a c-section. My placenta fluid was too low to try to flip him and I needed to be prepared that my “birth plan” may not go accordingly. So I sought out every technique to try and flip him: acupuncture, chiropractor adjustments to “open my pelvis,” yoga, standing on my head, monster walks. You name it, I tried it.
When I went into labor, I called sooner than 5 minutes apart, knowing how quickly I progressed the first time. The ride to the hospital was much calmer, so I arrived in a good state of mind. Once my doctor arrived, I asked him to just check one more time to make sure little man didn’t flip. Sure as sh*t, he didn’t. Off to the OR we go! As a nurse anesthetist, my husband prepped me on what to expect, and I also spoke to my best friend who had two cesareans. They had my husband wait outside while they prepped me, which made me increasingly nervous. But I knew if I panicked, they would give me more medication, inhibiting my ability to be completely coherent and ready to nurse once he was delivered. Once my husband was back in the room, I was able to calm down and take slow deep breaths. I calmly communicated any nausea or pain to my anesthesia nurse and he took great care of me. My doctor was amazing, talking to me and keeping me aware of what was happening. I must say though, no one tells you what a c-section really feels like. They explain it as feeling pressure but not pain. Umm, no. I literally felt like my insides were being tugged around, not light pressure. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t have pain but I felt like I was being yanked around. I mean, essentially all of your insides are being taken out and from what I hear, it’s pretty icky. Luckily, my husband was used to it and was the best partner for the experience. And once the baby was out, he was healthy and beautiful, full of placental fluid, gook and all. Turns out the cord had been around his neck, and he was in a frank breach position (feet up by the head) so the little bugger didn’t have the ability to flip.
It all works out in the end
While the birth wasn’t ideal, I know it was necessary. My doctor said an attempt at a vaginal birth would have resulted in an emergency section. I’m glad I listened to my doctor in the end. Having a toddler while recovering from a section wasn’t easy, and having experienced both types of deliveries, I can say that I preferred my rushed vaginal delivery to the section. It took me longer to bounce back, the pain was worse and ab exercises in the beginning were a b*tch. But my healthy blessing was all worth it. However, my friend who had two sections doesn’t know any different, and was more than happy with her birth experience. So if you’re like me and facing a CBAV, don’t fret. Trust your gut, listen to your doctor and like Bob Marley, just believe that “every little thing is gonna be alright.”