Ava Rae is finally here! She arrived 6 days late on Thursday February 22 at 7pm weighing 6 punds 14 ounces. Labor did not go as expected AT ALL whatsoever. I went from having a natural labor to getting an epidural to getting an emergency c-section. I went into labor at 11pm on Wednesday February 21. I started feeling the back contractions and started timing them. They were manageable at that point so I didn’t wake up my husband till about 2am when I knew I was definitely in labor. After about a half hour after he woke up the contractions became more intense and the only thing that helped was bending over the couch on my knees and him digging his fists into my lower back and hips.
The contractions started to last longer and were happening closer together and became extremely more painful. I don’t even know what contractions feel like in the front because they were only in my back and the pain was horrible! I tried the breathing, but really that just turned into crying every time. Around 5am we called the doctor and she had us come in. The car ride was not fun, having to sit up and not having my husband able to help me with his massaging, I couldn’t take it and got the epidural when I got to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital they had told me I had gotten to 5 centimeters laboring at home, which I was happy about. After the epidural we waited and waited and I tried to sleep, but couldn’t really. At about 2 pm on Thursday they told me it was time to start pushing. I pushed and pushed for 4 hours. They could see the top of the head every time I pushed, but that was it. They had me in multiple positions trying to push to get her past my pelvic bone, but nothing was working. In the end I was on all fours trying to push the last few times when they told me it was time to get a c-section. Turns out the opening of my pelvis is too small and there was no way she was coming out vaginally.
This was the last thing I wanted to hear and was devastated that it had come to this, but after 4 hours of pushing I knew that I had done all that I could. They wheeled me into surgery and started operating very quickly to get her out. They started so quickly that they forgot to tell my husband to come in from the hall so he just came in and unfortunately walked in with me already cut open on the table with the doctor inside of me. He was pretty shocked and came right over to me kind of freaked out. He held my hand as I could feel them trying to get her out. She came out screaming and was very healthy; she didn’t need oxygen or any other kind of intervention. She did have two indents above her eyebrows from me trying to push her out for so long and getting pushed up against my pelvic bone, but those quickly went away.
My husband went over to cut the umbilical cord and then brought her over to me. As soon as I looked at her she stopped crying and opened those big eyes to look at me. It was so crazy to see what had been inside of me all these months. They quickly stitched me up and got me back in the room to breast-feed. She latched right away and has been a terrific eater ever since.
The next 3 days in the hospital were exhausting and painful and the pain was even worse as the anesthesia wore off. I was up walking by the next day even though I was slow and hunched over in pain most the time, but all the nurses and doctors told me I was doing great and the fact I was up and walking so quickly would help me to have a speedy recovery.
After we got home my husband took a week off work thankfully because it was hard for me to just get out of bed and walk around for more then 30 minutes. He really got thrown into dad mode quick and had to take on all the diaper changes, bath time and swaddling. It was emotionally hard on me that I couldn’t just get up to take care of my baby or do all of those firsts, but I am extremely grateful for my husband for being so hands on and caring to both Ava and I or else I don’t know how either of us would have gotten through that first week.
Even though the birth did not go as planned I am happy that Ava and I are both healthy and now three weeks later I am feeling almost back to normal. There are still moments of pain, but at least I am off pain meds and was only on them the first week. I am walking daily which has helped with the baby blues. Being stuck in the house especially being stuck on the couch most of the time was mentally and emotionally hard for me, just a walk in the sun drastically changed my mood.
It has been hard for me to accept the c-section and all that I felt got taken from me because of it, but I am trying to focus on the good and know that it could have turned out worse. My anger about the c-section made my recovery harder in the beginning. Everyone told me to stay on top of the pain, but I was so mad about having to be on intense pain pills that I was not taking them as often as I should which lead to me in tears and in bed because the pain was too much. I changed my mind pretty quick after a couple days of this realizing that I was just prolonging my recovery by not taking care of myself.
At 3 weeks post partum the pain as subsided for the most part, I still get sharp pains in my sides where nerves and ligaments were torn and are still trying to heal and I feel just an overall muscle soreness in my stomach, but I am walking a lot everyday and taking care of Ava now with no problems. I still cannot lift anything so my husband is still carrying the car seat and doing the laundry, but hopefully at my 6-week appointment I will be cleared to go back to my regular lifestyle.
I know that I am lucky that Ava and I are healthy and some people may not understand the hurt and frustration I have over needing a c-section, but everyone deals with things differently. This is why it is important to understand that a labor plan can change in many ways. I knew that I may not be able to go natural, but I never thought I would have to get a c-section and I should have prepared more for that possibility. Even though labor was hard for me other things really fell into place such as breast-feeding. It was always in the back of my head that maybe she wouldn’t latch or I wouldn’t produce milk, but breast-feeding has been the easiest thing so far and I am very grateful for that.
I will have to get another c-section for my next birth and I have heard that when they are planned the experience is completely different so I am looking forward to a more enjoyable birth experience. Also, next time my husband and I will be more prepared for what it takes to recover. So far motherhood has been great except for the lack of sleep, but I really feel like I was made to do this and it is exactly what I have always wanted. Now I just can’t wait to get back in the gym so I can feel more mentally and physically healthy for both Ava and myself!