by Natalie Kogai
After those first dreadful and scary months though things were fine. God calmed our fearful hearts week after week with the sound of our baby girls ever growing and ever-strong heartbeat. The rest of my pregnancy was pretty normal and easy.
Up until the last month my blood pressure started to go up and my feet started to swell up pretty badly. At each dr appointment my blood pressure was worse. My OB said that we would keep monitoring the baby and me and try to make it as far as I could but that we might have to induce labor if things become dangerous for either of us. Honestly at that point I wasn’t that scared, I was so ready to meet my baby girl that being induced didn’t sound that bad… At 38 ½ weeks at my dr app my blood pressure was still high and my dr said she would set up an appointment at the hospital for me to be induced. That was on a Thursday and the dr said I should plan on going in on Monday. It was a very strange thing to plan on going in to have your baby on a set day when in your head you have this mental image of being in bed in the middle of the night or in the grocery store and rushing to the hospital. Like in the movies…
What was even more odd was that Monday morning I was supposed to call the hospital before my scheduled time to come in to make sure there was an available room for me. Starting from I think 7am to about noon I had to keep calling every 30min to an hour to check on their room availability and if I could come in. It was incredibly frustrating. As time went on and on I got so upset at one point I started crying. I did not know that it would be such a waiting game. Finally though we were able to go in. After getting checked in they sent us to our room, which was very spacious and nice. There we waited another few hours for someone, anyone to come…
Throughout the rest of the day and the evening they gave me more and more pitocin through an IV, kept a monitor on Camilla and we just waited. It took awhile before the contractions started and even longer until they got bad, but when they did they got very bad quickly. The only way I can explain the way I felt was pain in my lower stomach like someone was stabbing me over and over again. Sometime during that day the doctor broke my water, which was also very painful and uncomfortable. I do remember it was after the really bad contractions had started. I did end up getting an epidural because I was not handling the pain well at all and hadn’t slept well for a few days and I was just exhausted. There were two reasons I decided to do the epidural, one was that I was worried that after being in labor for more than 24 hours I wouldn’t have much strength to last through actually giving birth, secondly my husband really wanted me to. Poor guy was exhausted himself from watching me scream and cry in pain… My husband was amazing through the whole thing, holding my hand, trying to make me laugh. He even didn’t leave to eat for a long time because I wasn’t allowed to eat. I wouldn’t have made it without him with me. The night was long and finally after having the epidural, which was scary! I was able to sleep some. The nurses came in and checked on me regularly. They also regularly checked to see how much I was dilated. So much time passed, into the next day and the most I dilated was 3 cm. I was so disappointed it was taking so long, but I was willing to do what I needed to. Originally when I wrote my birth plan I wanted to do it naturally, I did always tell myself that if it got so bad and I needed an epidural I would take it but that I would try my best to do without.
Things did not go at all as I had planned or wanted. Sometime in the afternoon after the nurse checked me I asked her, (thinking it was just a random thought at that point) how long the doctor would wait before suggesting I have a c-section or what would happen in order for me to need one. The young nurse, already the 4-5th one that we had had, answered sweetly that she would ask the doctor but that she didn’t think I needed to worry about that. Literally 2 minutes after that the doctor came in and said the words I was most terrified of hearing. She told me that since they broke my water and so much time has passed it was getting dangerous to wait any longer. She said that my temperature was rising and my baby’s heart rate was slowing… I asked her if we could wait a little longer of if we had to make a choice right now, she said we could wait an hour or so but that she didn’t think anything was going to change. I sat and looked at my husband and began to sob. As much as I was terrified of giving birth, a c-section scared me twice as much. The doctor and nurse gave us a few minutes, and we decided not to risk anything and go ahead and do the c-section. I was so upset and so petrified I couldn’t calm down. My husband and the doctor and the nurse all stood there patiently and waited for me to calm down but I didn’t. I just kept crying until finally I started shaking. Honestly parts of that day and a half are a blur and I forget the order in which things happened, but from that moment on I remember everything so well. They gave my husband some scrubs to wear and told him that they would come get him once I was ready for the procedure to start. Having them take me away from him only added to my fears and crying. By now I had calmed myself somewhat and just tried to pray as they wheeled me into a very scary room. Nurses and doctors were busy preparing things while I just layed there. They did a few things to prepare me, because I had already had an epidural I was not able to move my lower body and they had to roll me onto the table from my bed, it was very awkward. Then this man came in and poked me with a needle starting from my legs up to my chest to make sure I couldn’t feel anything, and I didn’t. The whole time I kept saying thank you to everyone and tried not to start crying again. Soon they let my husband in and put up the sheet separating us from seeing the lower half of my body, I guess so that neither of us freaked out when they cut me open, which was probably a good idea (I know, they do that for everyone). At this point I was shaking uncontrollably from the meds and it was driving me crazy. I didn’t feel anything as they cut me open, until they started to pull my daughter out. It was an intense pressure, like someone was rolling a bowling ball across my stomach. Then there was one last push of pressure and I heard my husband say “I see her!” The doctors and nurses were all making happy comments like, “oh my, she is so big probably at least 9 lb” and “look at all that hair” and the doctor even said “she’s huge, no wonder you weren’t progressing”. At this point I was growing frustrated and wanted to cry because I had still not caught a glimpse of her, and she didn’t cry so I didn’t even hear her. Then finally the nurse came over to my side with my daughter and I felt such relief when I laid eyes on her. I let out a sound that I didn’t know I could make and just stared at her as the nurse wiped her off and swaddled her. She then gave her to my husband and he brought her up to my face and I gave her a huge kiss and slowly breathed in the smell of my little angel.
I wanted to hold her so badly, my arms ached for her but I couldn’t move. I strained my neck in the most uncomfortable position so I could watch every move while the nurse weighed and measured her. It seemed like forever before they finally finished stitching me up and gave me my baby girl. After that nothing else mattered.
It was not an easy recovery but with the Joy of having my daughter in my arms everything was ok.
The hardest thing for me after my daughter was born had nothing to do with recovering from a c-section or anything that I ever expected. The day we brought my daughter home I was overwhelmed with fear, fear that something would happen to her. That she would be taken away from me. I know now that it had a lot to do with loosing our first baby. For the first 6 weeks of my daughter’s life I barely slept, barely ate or took care of myself. It was more than the normal worry of a new mother. I was overcome with fear; the smallest thing would set me off. I cried every time she cried and was a complete mess. Thankfully now my daughter is a healthy, smart 8 month old and God has taken away my fears. She is a great baby and the biggest blessing in our lives.