You and Me & Chasing Little G


Coming to Terms with My C-section

MotherhoodSabra GilbertComment

Wow. I really never thought I would have to write that title. I spent months insisting that everything would go the way I planned it and that medical intervention wouldn't be needed in my birth. No thank you, I was going to be fine on my own.

Oh how wrong I was.

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If you've already read my birth story, you know that I ended up with almost every intervention that there could be. I needed pitocin, which lead to needing an epidural, and when both of those didn't work. I ended with a cesarean section. Everything that I'd been terrified of having to use the entire pregnancy. Everything that was against my well thought out birth plan. The one that I took a 12 week birth class to be able to write out knowing the exact details of all my decisions.

But Gemma had other plans for me. And lucky for her, she was worth it. ;)

For the first few days after Gemma was born. I was perfectly fine with my birth. I guess I was maybe just blocking out how I really felt about it. Gemma was here, healthy and perfect. How could I be upset with the way she came into the world?

But then we got home. We settled into a routine and I finally got to think about everything that had happened. To finally realize the danger that Gemma and I had actually been in. And the lengths that had to be done to get us through Gemma's birth. To feel disappointed in the fact that I couldn't do it. I couldn't do what millions of women have done before me and bring my child into the world on my own. That I didn't get to be the first hands to touch my child. That I didn't get to see my child for minutes after she was born. I didn't get to hold her until longer after that. That I didn't get to nurse her until even longer after that and the first hour that was supposed to be our time, me and my Gemma, was eaten up by me being stuck in a bed while my husband was escorted to the recovery room with my daughter. I don't even know if my wishes for her chord to stop pulsing before being cut was honored. I was in pain, exhausted, and had no idea what questions to even ask after my surgery.

See, I hadn't even done any research into how to handle a cesarean section or what it really was, other than I didn't want it. I was clueless about what would help my recovery. In what I could or couldn't do. About what I needed. 

I panicked. I cried without knowing exactly what I was crying about.

I was jealous of the bond that my husband already had with our baby. I couldn't soothe her like he could since she loved bouncing and I could barely walk. He could jump up to her every cry. He could get up and change her outfit or diaper without even a wince of pain, unlike me.

I was terrified that our breastfeeding journey had been hurt by the pain medications I had to be on and the time that we had lost in the beginning.

I was terrified that Simeon would hate my scar and I refused to look at it. And I hated it myself.

Honestly, I hit a point where I wondered if I had postpartum depression, which scared me even more than everything else that was also happening. (Perhaps that's a post for another day).

And then I admitted how I felt about it to Simeon. That yes I was upset and didn't feel like I had actually given birth to our daughter. That I hated that he was able to do more with her and I was terrified that I couldn't do things with her because I'd drop her from being in pain. That I didn't get to hold her in that time.

Admitting your feelings is so much better than trying to hold them in and deal with them. It's always been something that I've struggled with. Even if Simeon and I have an argument, he has to pull what I'm actually upset about out of me. I usually try to say that I'm fine with everything even if I'm not.

But I always feel a million times better about things once I do.

I've recovered knowing that I grow stronger every day after my surgery. That I've actually had a faster recovery than most. I hold my baby and am comfortable in knowing that I can soothe her just fine on my own now. Simeon calls my c-section scar one of my battle scars from pregnancy along with my few stretch marks which makes us both laugh. And I've checked it out finally and am pleased that it isn't as dark as I was terrified it would be. 

I know that all my fears in the first few weeks have been solved and have been just fine. I wish I had spent more time enjoying my baby than being terrified of what was happening. But all I can  do now is sit here cuddled with her in my wrap loving her like crazy now and know that what happened doesn't make me any less her mother. She's a healthy little girl whose alive and in this world because of me. And in the end, that is really all that matters.

Bringing Little G into The World || July 20th, 2018

Gemma Josephine RoseSabra GilbertComment

Bringing our daughter into the world was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I never even got to push!

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Starting the Wednesday morning before Gemma came into the world, I woke up to contractions finally starting. I say finally because I had passed 40 weeks on the 13th. After spending the majority of this pregnancy absolutely positive that she was coming early, it was driving me nuts that she wasn't in my arms yet. I was walking and walking and walking and eating spicy foods and pineapple and walking some more. I was so ready for those contractions to start after being told that I was still nowhere dilated the week before and had just been told that I had hit 1 cm the day before.

They seemed to come fast and hard and long. And since I was up for the majority of the night, I called into work and then they slowed down again. Making me walk more and more and eat dates and eat pineapple and roll and roll and roll on my exercise ball like crazy to get the contractions going again.

And on Thursday, they did the same thing. Intense all night and then lazy during the day. Except for that Thursday afternoon, I had another doctor's appointment to check in on Gemma and see where I was. 

It was the most stressful ultrasound that I've ever gone through this entire pregnancy. We spent a half hour in that room and while heart rate was fine, amniotic fluid was ok. Gemma was deciding not to move. At all. 

So after that horrible half hour, I then saw my doctor and my blood pressure was way higher than it should have been. So my doctor decided that between those two things that Gemma needed to come today. I was finally at 2 cm so she figured that we could just break my water and that would hopefully get my body really get serious.

So Simeon and I walked over the Labor and Delivery excited with the thought that we were going to get to see our Gemma soon. What we didn't know walking over, was that our doctor thought this was a much more serious situation than what she had let on to us. We got into our room and were told that I was going to be hooked up to monitors and my blood pressure checked continuously, which was not in my birth plan!

But after a few blood pressure checks and Gemma kicking off the external monitor multiple times, our nurse gave me the ok to walk around instead of laying down while dealing with contractions. So I started trucking the halls. Which unfortunately was a U shape so I was literally just walking back and forth constantly.

By the time my doctor came in to break my water, we were at 3 cm. 

Having my water broken was the weirdest feeling I've ever had. I expected a giant gush, and it was more like just a trickle. Until I stood up. Then I wished that I had laid down towels first.

A few hours later, I was at 5 cm and extremely excited that we were going!!

And then the progress stopped.

The contractions got worse and worse, but I wasn't going anywhere. I was barely able to handle them and asked for one last chance to relax in the tub to see if relaxing a bit more would help me dilate instead of pitocin right away.

It didn't help that Gemma wouldn't flip. She was face up and to the side and just wouldn't drop. She's a stubborn girl and has proved it the entire time I was pregnant. We had a wonderful nurse that reminded Simeon of the things that we had learned in our Bradley Method Course to try to manually move Gemma, but especially once my water was broke, it seemed impossible. 

The tub helped me mentally, but I still wasn't dilating more. And I knew that if I couldn't labor in the tub, then there was no way I could handle pitocin making the contractions worse. My body was acting like it was in transition with double peaking contractions and extreme and quick coming contractions, but nowhere near where it needed to be. So I gave in and got the epidural that I had insisted on the entire pregnancy that I wouldn't do. Simeon tried to talk me out of it, just like I asked him to, and we talked about the reasons I was deciding that I need it instead.

I have to admit that after getting the epidural. I don't remember much. I know my heart was racing enough that they didn't know if the external baby monitor was picking up Gemma's heartbeat or mine. Which meant that they needed to use an internal monitor for her. And that 2 hours after my epidural (which I slept through) I was told that I would need a c-section. That baby wasn't doing well with my contractions and Simeon had already been told that my contractions weren't really doing anything anyway. They had already stopped the pitocin because Gemma's heart rate was no longer fluctuating.

At this point, I remember panicking a bit and throwing up as I was being wheeled into surgery. This was the very last thing that I had wanted to happen and it sent me into a bit of a panic.

Then I was staring at a blue sheet. I had been asked if I wanted a see through one and screamed no. I don't do blood and the idea of seeing myself cut open didn't sit well with me. I wanted to see my daughter, but the idea of surgery was messing with me. After a bit of panic in the surgery room (I could still feel some pain after the epidural was at it's max, but luckily had a wonderful doctor who had the idea to use lidicain), I finally got to hear my baby girl for the first time.

Simeon even admits to almost crying and I know that I did.