Birth Story: pitocin to c-section

After writing the pitocin post yesterday, I cried for awhile. Just one of those nights. I talked about it for awhile on twitter (actually, I more just read what other people had to say and didn’t do much talking). Two things I noticed:

1) An incredible amount of people have a similar story. Why is it so “normal” to receive a c-section these days, especially unnecessary and most likely unwanted ones? What is wrong with medical staff that this is what it has come to? Everyone just wants to get home and when someone arrives who is moving too slowly (like myself, who was at the hospital for 24 hours before the c-section), the surgery is pushed rather than waiting for the natural, magical experience of birth. And it’s sick.

2) People keep telling me I’m amazing and strong and I don’t get it. I didn’t do anything… I sat on a delivery bed for 24 hours before being strapped down and having a baby pulled out of me. I didn’t do a thing. It’s part of what hurts the most–that I’m disappointed in myself–but thank you for the comments.

Anyway…. we had the c-section around 3am. They took me in first and about 5 people surrounded me to get everything ready–it was quick and confusing. They strapped down my legs, laid my arms out crucifix-style, and numbed nearly my entire body. I kept asking when they’d let Steve in and finally, he was there.

I NEVER in a million years thought I’d end up with a c-section so I had no idea what to expect, I hadn’t read anything about them. When they were sure I was good and numb, they started. I could feel everything, but no pain. They cut through 5 layers of skin and muscle, at one point tearing through with their hands (I read about it after I got home) until reaching the uterus. They were moving so quickly, my entire body was jerking around on the table and I was squeezing Steve’s hand. To get the baby out they had to press on my upper abdomen (I don’t know why)–1 push, pull out the baby’s head… 2nd push, pull out the baby’s body. Yes, the pushes hurt–intense pressure, but only for a second.

When the baby was fully out, it was a crazy feeling… my back arched upward, I made some sort of groaning sound, and it was a huge weight lifted, pressure removed, sort of sensation. So hard to explain. I liken it to the feeling a woman must have when the baby is pushed out during a natural birth… and I hold on to having that.

They took Ryan over to a table to clean him off and everything–I couldn’t see a thing, but Steve could. I kept asking him if Ryan was ok and if he was cute 🙂 and I was wondering why there was no crying, but I didn’t want to ask. I could tell Steve wondered too–his face was full of fear. Steve later said they were rubbing him/dropping him and the nurse was getting frustrated or something, shaking his head. But no worries, a short bit later we heard him cry and all was fine 🙂 APGAR scores of 6 and 9.

They called Steve over to cut the cord and get some pictures, etc. then they brought baby over to me so I could see him. I was so happy and so excited, but I didn’t cry. Every time I thought of this moment for the last 9 months, I’d cry. But when it actually happened… I think I was so doped up I couldn’t. But no matter, I was happy. They took him away and Steve went with. The anesthesiologist suggested I take a nap. I tried, I sure felt like it, but they were putting me back together with more pulling and it wasn’t much of a napping

In recovery, high on morphine

environment lol. It took a half hour? Then they rolled me to recovery… Steve came to check on me and brought me ice chips because my mouth was SO dry and I had a terrible taste in my mouth. I was also shaking uncontrollably–from the morphine they gave for the pain. It was awful. I kept telling Steve to go back to the baby, but he was so worried about me, he was reluctant. But, of course, he went back to baby.

I think I stayed there for about an hour. I couldn’t sleep because of the shaking and I was trying SO hard to not shake every time the nurse came by because I thought they were waiting for that to stop before letting me go to the Mother/Baby unit. Fianlly, I went. I breastfed and we all fell asleep. It was probably about 5am by this  point.

Welcome, lil boy!

12 comments to Birth Story: pitocin to c-section

  • Rachel

    Em- you’re amazing because of everything you went thru and how you handled the situation given the circumstances… just because it wasn’t ideal and 100% natural doesn’t mean you’re not amazing for producing such a wonderful baby boy! you are sooo strong and i can only imagine how you felt during the ordeal… but look… you made it thru it and can honestly talk about your experience to help others. you are still amazing !


  • Rachel

    oh…also… surviving 24hrs of labor makes you very strong! pain meds or not that cannot be an easy accomplishment!


  • I agree 100% with the previous commenter!!! You ARE strong – no matter how things turned out, you got through it, and you have your beautiful baby boy. Good for you for holding onto that sensation you felt when Ryan was born. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Like you, I have felt so sure that I will not have a C-section, but after reading your experience, I am going to study up on them, just in case. Thanks again for being so open and honest!


  • Awww, Ryan is ADORABLE!!! Congrats! 🙂


  • sammy

    You are definitely strong for going through 24hs of labor! I’d have asked to be induced when the docs noticed that there was no progress in 5 hrs.

    My baby is due in 2 weeks and I want a vaginal birth, BUT I know that things don’t always go as planned, so I’m mentally getting ready to accept a c-section if necessary. Doesn’t matter how the baby came out. You made that baby, it’s still a miracle.


  • kia

    The reason I think you are strong and amazing is because your are an informed person and knew what was going on while it was going on despite not wanting it. Your state of mind during the process was amazing to me because I don’t know if I would have been so graceful. I think this is one of those cases where ignorance would have been bliss because you would not have had to deal with second-guessing yourself in the midst of everything.

    Your situation is also one of the reasons why I am working to educate myself on the what-ifs. I am planning for a homebirth but you better believe I will be prepared IF we have to go to the hospital for medical intervention. Luckily I will have my midwife and doula there to advocate for me as well because exhaustion is part of the process.


  • Audrey Star J

    Wow. It’s so crazy how so many C-sections I’ve heard about all are different in how they went! Like, I got the huge needle (*shudder*) in my spine, then started to go numb, & felt nothing except when they were tugging on the baby, because they did have to push, & tug, & he wouldn’t come out (didn’t want to let go of his Mommy!)…finally they had to use the little suctioning thing on his head…
    I didn’t have any shaking (that I know of, lol) or pain…
    I think the craziest thing that happened during my C-section was when they asked my husband if he wanted to see them pull the baby out, & he stood up, but they weren’t ready, & he saw my guts all out & whatnot, heh. He was pretty grossed out by that!

    You are a strong woman, most def 🙂 God bless your little family! 🙂


  • Nathalie

    Well… just want to say, I know what it feels to have a c-section. I had one for my twins…

    For my third (second birthing 😉 ), he was naturally born at home… and the pre-labor took about a week. It took about 5 days to bring me to 3cm. I took Evening Primrose Oil, but only in the morning… so I contracted all day, but not at night and I could sleep. It took 2 more days to get to 5cm (approximately, as I checked myself), 1 more day to get to 6cm and 4 more hours to get to the birth. In a hospital, I would have ended up in a c-section… except if I would have waited until the last 4 hours to go 😉

    Just wanted to say, if you want another baby, trust yourself and I’ll be there if you need support.


  • Anastasia

    Hugs to you, is all I can say. You ARE strong–you are a warrior! Each birth teaches us a lesson. You will know better next time! Relish in your beautiful baby and don’t let this experience color motherhood for you. Enjoy your baby moon, mama!


  • Gosh, that’s why I had a homebirth! I highly suggest that for you for your 2nd child. Have a home waterbirth… the water helps so much with the pain. It still hurts like hell, but I had my baby in a birthing tub in my bedroom with my husband, mother, 2 midwives, and 2 dogs… that’s it. Those midwives were the only people to ever examine me “down there” so I didn’t have a million insensitive nurses and obs sticking their hands up my hoo-ha. All my prenatal appointments were held at my house, in my living room… my dogs got to hear the hearbeat with me.
    You would LOVE this experience, and you deserve it! I didn’t video my birth, though I wanted to and wish I had… in the moment I was concentrating on getting through the contractions and relaxing, and I forgot to remind my mother. My friend Meagan used the same midwives I did, and she just had her 2nd son with them a few weeks ago. You should watch her videos… they are beautiful.
    Here’s her new baby Ben’s birth…!/video/video.php?v=1417806693060
    And her 1st born Cohen…!/video/video.php?v=1085396383010
    I hope these put a smile on your face, and they don’t make you sad. I want you to see these and think, “I can have a birth like that. I WILL have a birth like that” You can, and you will. When you’re ready for #2, things will be better.
    Much love to you darlin!


  • An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword ths20#8i3&;. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this matter here on your website.


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