An Unexpected Cesarean Birth

Birth story. An unexpected cesarian birth.

Mother’s Day inspired me to write my birth story. So I wrote it, read it, and re-read it over and over again, until I was ready to share it with all of you. Here I am, three months later, sharing my birth story in hopes that my story and how I came to peace with it will be of light to a mama out there, who also finds it hard to make peace with her own birth story. I hope we can support each other through the journey of pregnancy and motherhood - because it takes a village, right!?

Ready? Get yourself comfortable, because it’s long :p

Before I was expecting, I didn’t put much thought on the birth process. Then, when I found myself pregnant with my first baby, I wanted to be prepared. At the prenatal consults, every appointment was short and I felt rushed. I wasn’t happy with the lack of attention from my OB. I’d never heard of birth centers, until I decided to look for a different OBGYN. It took me a long time to create the courage to look for a different OB and at 20 weeks pregnant, I landed at Austin Area Birthing Center (AABC) South. That day, I did a happy dance a couple times and it felt like I couldn’t have found a better place for the birth of our first child. Everyone was super sweet from day one at AABC and we even learned that Jacob once was in band with the medical assistant’s younger brother (small world, right?). It was perfect. Suddenly I started getting ready for the natural birth I never knew I wanted. From the centering classes to the people we met and the friendships we made, to all the research on unmedicated birth, to the amazing doula we ended up finding, everything was, indeed, perfect! 41 weeks of pregnancy came around and our lovingly called “SheHe” or “Baby Wade” wasn’t giving us any signs of curiosity to come explore this side of the world.

My pregnancy was really easy and I enjoyed every little bit of it - especially all the vegetables and beef cravings, and the sporadic lava cakes and pancakes with ice cream for dinner. Oh, and the countless stops at Sonic for mozzarella sticks! Those sweet baby kicks just about melted my heart a hundred of times. We went to the BC once because I wasn’t feeling the baby move, but everything was fine :) I had morning sickness in the beginning and some pelvic pain around 8 months that resolved with a little rest.

The not so fun part of being pregnant past our Estimated Due Date were the comments about how wrong it was to wait so long for baby without being induced. All the messages and calls asking for baby were actually sweet. Everyone was anxious to meet baby Wade! And so were we!

With week 42 just around the corner, we spent an afternoon at the birth center trying a few natural ways to induce labor. Contractions started, making us all hopeful to welcome our baby that Sunday night. Well, the contractions stopped as soon as we got home and Jacob and I slept the whole night until our alarm went off to make that yummy (but not!) castor oil & chocolate shake. It was 6am on January 2nd. 41 weeks 6 days. Our day started early, with the best worst-tasting-shake I’ve ever had (and ever will). It was finally happening! Jacob and I were both ecstatic, so happy to finally meet our baby and find out if we were having a boy or a girl!

I don’t know if the castor oil had anything to do with the following events, and I’m sure each person has their own opinion about it. That’s ok. I read so much in preparation for my baby’s birth, but I never read about castor oil. I have no idea why.

The midwife advised me to take either 4oz or 2 and take 2 more if needed. I decided to go ahead and take the 4oz. Contractions started around 10 am and progressed really quickly. To the point that took me over 30 minutes to get out of the shower and dressed. I was prepared to keep myself busy through the contractions, I was going to straighten my hair, play board games… haha silly me! I don’t even remember much of what happen or how long it took from when I got off the shower (around 10:30 am) to when I got in the truck to leave home. According to Jacob, it took me an hour to get in the truck! Labor progressed fast.

A few minutes after arriving at the birth center, all that we had prayed for, prepared and hoped for was about to change. I heard the midwife yelling: “Call 911 and call the hospital, but call 911 first!”, just as I watched Jacob coming through the door holding my camera bag and tripod. Baby was not tolerating the contractions, and the heartbeat was low. We had to be transfered.

That’s when I felt lost and unprepared. Jacob got into work mode and called 911 while the assistant midwife called the hospital. Soon I was being loaded up on an ambulance. At some point my midwife said she needed to tell me c-section might be a possibility. We didn’t talk much. The pain was so intense. It was also a cold and uncomfortable ride. I didn’t know what to expect. I was not prepared for a cesarean birth.

At the hospital, they broke my water to be able to monitor baby’s heart closely. I felt pressured by the doctor who repeatedly said: “a vaginal delivery could take hours, and we don’t know what’s going on with the baby”. I was so scared. The decision was mine, but I had no idea of what the best decision was. The room seemed to shrink as time went by and I had to make a decision. Everybody around just watched me. Now I understand that they didn’t want to interfere on my decision, but at the time, they all seemed scared as well. Jacob was so supportive. The contractions strengthened and my pain increased. At that point, I just wanted to get it over with and have a healthy baby in my arms. The c-section seemed to be the responsible thing to do. As they started taking me out of the room, I heard someone say: she looks like she is pushing. I said I wasn’t. Why? Why did I say that? I don’t know. They were right, but it was too late. The decision was made. I was scared and I wanted it all to be over.

A 5:33 pm that sweet baby was born. She didn’t come crying and it was terrifying. Then proud papai (it’s how we call daddy) came close to me and said: “she is ok. SHE is ok.” We had a baby girl!

She swallowed some meconium, but they were able to clear her lungs and she was a little chunk of 8lb2oz of perfection. I saw her for what felt like 2 seconds and they took her to the nursery. She stayed under observation for 4 and a half hours. The longest 4 ½ hours! Baby girl passed all her tests. She was a healthy baby and we couldn’t have been more thankful.

Her birth was supposed to be peaceful, at the birth center. We would facetime with vovó (grandma) back in Brazil and introduce her right after she was born. We would spend some time just cuddling and admiring her sweet face and chubby cheeks, and probably laughing at her cone head. Then we would invite all the family who were in the waiting room to come meet her. We would’ve had time to set up the camera and to photograph her birth. We would go home a few hours after and just keep loving on her and snuggling in bed.

In reality, it was a traumatic experience. We went home two days later. I was in so much pain that I spent a whole week sleeping in a recliner. I couldn’t even change her diaper. I could barely walk with her in my arms.

She is perfect and healthy and I am lucky, I know. Yet, I am trying to make peace with her birth story.

She is so full of personality! She is funny, and so strong. She is beautiful inside and out. She is so curious! She loves all the animals. She started to hug and kiss recently and to say a couple of words and amazes us with how much she understands. If you spend a day with her, you will hear the most stories and so many songs! She can play harmonica and flute like I never could and she will sit and read you a book or two before she lets you do the same. She has my dark brown eyes and her papai’s curls. The cutest dimples and the happiest three-tooth-smile. Ahh, and the creepiest laughter!! I love her so much and I am so thankful for her life.

Still, her birth story made me sad. At almost 17 months I still cried thinking of her birth story and as I looked through the pictures my husband took for the first time.

As I finish writing this blog post for the 5th time, three months after I started writing it, I need to tell you that I’ve stopped to look through these pictures over and over and over again. For the first time they make me happy. I’m not thinking of what went wrong, but the blessing of her life and all that I’ve learned with her birth story. It may seem silly for me to come here share my birth story, but I think writing about it helped me see the whole story from a different perspective. I hope other moms can relate and find peace with their own stories, because it’s important to move on.

Today, I chose to share with you the picture of the first time I hugged my baby girl. Looking at this picture bring me all the feels. I can almost smell her and feel her nose squished onto my cheek. So much emotion. So much love.

I didn’t have the birth I wanted with my first born- it was a traumatic experience, and I have many unanswered questions. Still, I’m so blessed.

Hubby did a great job capturing these, didn't he? 

Will you tell me about your children’s birth? Are you at peace with it? Did it go as planned? I would love to learn about your story. Maybe it will inspire and help other mamas too!

Hubby did a great job capturing these, didn't he? 

Will you tell me about your children’s birth? Are you at peace with it? Did it go as planned? I would love to learn about your story. Maybe it will inspire and help other mamas too!


Photography by Taila specializes in photographing toddlers, seniors and couples, serving Austin, TX and surrounding areas including but not limited to Dripping Springs, Wimberley, Buda, Kyle, San Marcos, New Braunfels and San Antonio.

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