April is C-Section awareness month. About a third of babies are delivered via C-Section. During my labor, I resisted taking part in that statistic. The thought of major surgery on top of being responsible for a newborn, was a crippling thought to me. Not to mention, we had already spent over 24 hours in the hospital due to being induced and I did not want to have to be there any longer than I needed to be. A C-Section would require a couple more days of recovery. Also, I was committed to experiencing birth the “right way.” I wanted to deliver my son naturally with my mom, sister and husband by my side.
Labor is more exhausting than anyone could have ever prepared me for. Every push taxed my body beyond measure. I pushed for three hours and I could tell by the look in my nurse’s eyes that we were not making the progress we should be. Beau’s head just wouldn’t clear my pelvic bone. It was like trying to fit a ten foot truck under an 8 foot bridge. I was starting to see stars and my vision become blurry. I spiked a fever and Beau’s heart rate dropped. The baby was in distress and infection threatened. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. How was I not making this happen? Why was I failing at something I was trying so hard to accomplish? I asked my nurse, “can I just go home?” I knew that this was not an option, but delirium came over me and I just wanted to give up. I was completely defeated but I knew that I needed to make a decision that was best for my baby and I. I said, “let’s just do the c-section.” I could feel a sigh of relief come over the room. I wasn’t happy about this outcome, but I knew that it was what I needed to do.
From that point, everything happened so quickly. My doctor, who was just about out the door,canceled her next commitment and changed back into her scrubs so she could deliver my baby. I literally had 30 minutes to prepare myself for major surgery. They wheeled me away into a cold, sterile operating room. Brandon had to wait behind until they were ready for him to come in. It was at that moment that my fight or flight kicked in and I summoned a shade of strength and bravery that I’ve never experienced before.
Brandon finally made it to my side as I was stretched across the table like a specimen. I grabbed Brandon’s hand and pleed, “we’re going to have to stay in the hospital a few more days because of this, who’s going to watch Max?” Brandon shot me this look that conveyed exactly what he was thinking. You are about to undergo major surgery and give birth to our first born son and you’re worried about the fucking dog? Maybe that was my defense mechanism, to worry about the small stuff rather than sharp objects slicing layers deep into my body. My doctor, god I love her, must have overheard our conversation because she chimed in, most likely in an attempt to make small talk, and asked me why all of the kids in my family have “B” names but the dog has a name that starts with an M.
The surgery took longer than I thought and I squeezed Brandon’s hand harder in those 30 minutes than I did throughout the entire 36 hours of contractions and active labor. Before I know it, Beau is outside of me. My doctor exclaimed that he looked just like me and a few of the nurses said, “oh what a beautiful boy,” in which my doctor said, that’s what his name means, Beau means beautiful boy in French.” If you ever read this, Dr. Hendsch, I adore you! You are my life line.
It felt like eternity before we finally heard Beau cry. That beautiful sound of life assured me that it didn’t matter how Beau got here, he was born. I would not change a thing about my labor and delivery. It did not go as I imagined or planned, but I will never not love everything about the day I met my son.