It’s not a secret that I had an emergency c-section. Most moms are so scared to admit that they’ve had a cesarean because there is this stigma that mothers who have cesarean are not “real moms”. I want to put it out there; that is complete bullshit!
Here’s my story:
I went into the triage feeling totally normal, scared because I thought my water had broken, but feeling absolutely normal. No pains, no signs of labor. I even took a long shower and shaved my legs and lady parts before leaving the house. When I arrived, they checked to see if my dilation had progressed since the last time I was checked (about four days prior) but nothing. However, I was dehydrated so they gave me an IV, which actually induced my labor (surprise!)
Within an hour, I went from 3cm dilated and 70% effaced to 9cm dilated and completely effaced. They monitored me for about half an hour but my contractions were irregular and they were concerned about the baby so my midwife immediately suggested being moved into the delivery room since I was almost ready and they needed to make sure my baby was okay. I agreed.
They wheeled me over and placed every contraption to monitor me. The contractions made me so miserable. All I was able to focus on was my heart pounding and the massive sharp pains shooting through my body. The midwife and nurses were beginning to get nervous. They kept losing the baby’s vitals, the contractions were still irregular and I was in complete agony. They offered me an epidural so that they could break my water (nope, it had not broken apparently). I was so upset with myself, like there went my dreams of having a natural birth but I needed the medicine, the pain was really unbearable and I was scared out of my mind.
After they broke my water, they inserted an internal monitor to check the baby. Her vitals were okay but she was starting to go into distress. While she has head down, my baby was facing up. Sunny side up, they said. All I could do was cry, they had to rush me into the OR. I was dosed with every kind of medicine possible. My body was literally shaking. My doctor was scared, I could see it in her eyes and it only made the experience so much scarier for me. She advised me of all of the things that by law she has to tell me before operating on me and asked me if it were to be necessary, what would she want me to do. I was so drugged, but I felt the tears streaming down my face. I was scared to lose my child and all I kept repeating was for her to do whatever was necessary for her. I needed them to choose her. To do whatever was possible. It felt like an eternity. My world was spinning, both figuratively and literally. I kept looking to Luis for solace and he did his best but in his eyes he was scared. I was scared for my mom, because she didn’t know what was happening. She was supposed to arrive two days later. I was scared for Luis and how he would respond if something were to have happened to me. I was scared for my baby.
The whole time I laid there, I felt hopeless. I couldn’t feel the tugging they said I may feel, I didn’t feel anything but the tears streaming down my face and my arms shaking.
At one point, I remember just closing my eyes to pray and that is when I heard her cry. It was the single most important moment in my life. I cried, but this time I was happy. Luis and I were happy. Our baby was born! He cut her umbilical cord and was the first to hold her. When he came over to me, all I remember was his voice saying, “she has so much hair! She’s beautiful! We did it, baby!” The moment that they laid her on my chest and I gazed at her, my world changed. It was no longer about me, it was about her. My princess, Chloe Isabelle Garcia.
After, they took Luis and the baby away to do skin-to-skin while they put me back together. I seriously felt like a jig-saw puzzle. The anxiety was killing me and I just wanted to be with the two greatest loves I’ve been blessed with.
Once everything was over and the drugs started to wear off, it became so exciting *eyerolls*. I had a different nurse every 6-8 hours. They would change my “diaper” and clean me up. The pain was excruciating but the embarrassment was worse. I kept being asked to move a certain way or lift myself up. After all, they had a job to do but I was resentful and it was taking every ounce of strength not to cry out in pain. It was terrible.
I did not sleep well for about three weeks after. My body was retained so much water and I was just swollen everywhere. I did eventually lose all of the weight, but it was depressing. I was limited to what I could do. I wanted to clean, walk around, feel normal, but I could not. The first few days I was so loopy from the pain meds, but in excessive pain. The pills that they prescribed were just not working. Sure, they helped but not like I needed them to. To make matters more colorful, I became sick shortly after.
You haven’t felt pain until you have received a cesarean and had to cough. It fees like your organs are trying to burst through your incision.
I am not sure how it is for other moms but today, I still don’t feel “healed”. There are still times when I feel like I am “pulling a stitch”, if that makes sense. If the weather is bad, my incision just hurts. In time, the scar will heal, but the trauma will not. Every mom wants the natural birth. For me, I wanted a home birth, no medication. I wanted to do it on my own to prove that I could do it, that I was strong, but it did not work that way. The way my labor and delivery progressed, was an awakening in so many ways. It was the scariest time of my life, but also the best. I made the ultimate sacrifice in putting my child’s birth in the hands of my doctors. Doctors who delivered my baby safely. I think that makes me a tremendous mother. I was willing to do whatever it took for my child. I suffered for weeks and to this day still do.
For those who believe I am not a real mother, I hope that you never experience a delivery the way that I did. You don’t deserve to. It takes so much strength, patience, and outright faith to have a cesarean. The way my baby was delivered has no impact on the simply fact that I am a mother, an amazing one. I shared my story because I don’t want other moms to feel unworthy. In fact, I want them to be proud of themselves! The scar on our abdomen is special. It’s part of our story, our badge of motherhood, proof of our strength. No one can take that from you.