cookieOptions = {...}; Kent Heartstrings: a C-Section was not my plan...but I am grateful

a C-Section was not my plan...but I am grateful

Wednesday, August 13, 2014




When I was pregnant with Gigi (my first) we did all the normal things to get ready for baby- baby shower, assembling the crib, choosing a name and going to birthing class.  It was a standard class, no special method.  I didn't give much thought to any method because I knew I just wanted to have the baby- get an epidural and get the baby out!  I heard the teacher break down all the info of the C-section, but I purposely tuned out and went to daydream land instead because I knew that would never happen to me...nothing was wrong or would go wrong- I was healthy, I was strong, everything would be normal. 
I was just that confident....or ignorant or naive. Take your pick.

Fast forward a few months.....
  


I am 42 weeks pregnant and well in doctor land- thats all the time you get kid! So induction it is. They measure me (ahem, cervical check) and.....drum roll please....I measure....Nada, Zippo, Zilch, Nothing, a BIG fat 0....at 42 weeks? really?!! Depressing. Hit me with the patocin and away we go.

Fast forward 32 hours......



After getting an epidural, having it taken out and placed lower, having my water broken, laboring for more than thirty hours, worrying of contractions being too strong....then being worried the contractions were not strong enough, being concerned of the baby's heart rate, spiking a fever...the Doc comes in and delivers "the news" that we need to make the decision of moving forward with an emergency C-Section, as if we really had a choice in the matter....I cried.... ugly cry, weeped of disappointment, discouragement and complete and utter failure. This was not supposed to happen. After mourning the loss of my perfect delivery moment, we gave our consent to the Doc and the rest was a crazy blur....I was surrounded by a flock of people preping my poor exhausted and round body for surgery, someone was chatting up me and hubs about the possibility of me dying in surgery (wow, really?! thats always fun to hear). Then I was ushered off to the surgery room without the husband...since he cannot be in there with me at the beginning of things because of some I am sure good reason...

...there I was...prepped for surgery. naked. ALONE. surrounded by a dozen people. People doing their job I am sure perfectly, but all not having the time to see the problem...ME, you know the human being- the thing on the table with their life at risk, you know the thing with flesh and bones, a heart and feelings.

stripped of all things comforting and familiar. For that 10 minutes before Mike was allowed back in I was filled with crazy anxiety and fear, so prayer was all I got and all I needed....Lord, Lord. I don't think I even formed an actual prayer, just his name was all I could muster in the moment...Mike comes in and we get started.

The anesthesiologist kept asking me...pain or pressure? pain or pressure? on scale of 1-10? I must have given the wrong answer, because instead of being awake, aware and observant for my first born child's birth...

I was put under.... knocked out cold...

To say I was (and still am) devastated to miss the moment of my first-born's birth does not even cut it. I will never have another FIRST. This was a monumental, no... HUGE milestone...in my life..and I missed it!!! And it wasn't my fault...why did I get knocked out?!!! That is something I specifically requested not to happen...ever. But alas there I was...

I woke up...numb. naked. ALONE. I was confused...wait, where am I? What happened? Where is Mike? Where is my baby?!!!!!!

Before panic could set in the nurse came over saying everything went fine, baby is healthy, and my husband is with her....oh, and here is a picture of your baby.

I am a first time mother. I just gave birth to my child. I was out cold. So my first, first experience of my child is a...picture. I was so, so confused. Wait, this is my child? How do you know? This kid in the picture doesn't look like me...she could have handed me any picture from any album and I would have had NO IDEA it was my child....

I am a mom, shouldn't I know? Aren't I supposed to bond with my child right away? Look at them sweetly and say, "Oh of course...its you!". A moment of recognition. A moment of realization. Discovery. Introduction. Nope...a picture.  

Mike was with the baby, I did not want to take him away from that....so I had to lay there for a whole hour (ahem, an eternity!) until I got sensation back in my body to be allowed to go to a room and finally meet my daughter!

Then it happened. Finally. I met her. She was wrapped up. Cozy. Little. Sweet. And Beautiful.

I was still disoriented, I was still angry from the whole thing, I still didn't feel any quick moment of bonding between me and my child. Shoot, the nurse could have mixed up the kids and handed me the wrong child and I still would not have known any different. But I knew one thing....



My heart grew bigger in that moment. I knew I Loved HER...and I would Forever. Here was something that was created out of Love by the hand of our Lord....beautifully and wonderfully made for US!

Reflecting on the events of this day, August 9th 2009...at every turn something went wrong, something went in the opposite direction I planned. Not joking, every turn. After the dust settled my heart still was harboring feelings of anger, hatred, bitterness, resentment, failure, and lies, so many lies.

It wasn't for months later, after replaying the day in my head a billion times over that I forgave...everyone. Everyone that day did their job. No one purposefully was at fault for how I felt. But I, Cassie, needed to forgive them in order for me, Cassie to heal and move on. I even needed to forgive myself. Its weird I know ...I had to forgive the people that did no wrong to me in order for me to forgive myself for being angry, bitter and harboring so much hate in my heart. So that is what I did. Washed the slate clean...

I forgave the doctor, the nurses, one by one I was visualizing them in the day and I forgave them....then it came to the anesthesiologist....that was the toughest. He was just doing his job, I know, they all were, but he was the one that robbed me of my "moment" ... the moment for more than 9 months I was dreaming of, fantasizing about and looking forward to...he was the toughest, but I did it.  

I mentally walked out of that room in my mind and left my dirty heart on the surgery table...that yucky heart full of the filth of anger, hatred and bitterness...It wasn't easy, in fact it would muster back into my heart sometimes and I had to push it back, but I did it.

I had to leave my victim self on the table. Leave it for good. I am not a victim. I am moving on.

Forgiveness. It was hard, but it was a relief. I let it go. All of it. Now, I had to address the LIES that were robbing me of my joy of being a new mom:

C-section = Failure = You're not a good mom = You are missing out on a "right of passage" moment =your not strong enough = you are inferior.....blah. blah. blah. shit. all of it. shit.

Why do we perpetuate this filth? In our hearts and in our speech?! This was and still is the long road to healing...

This is where I do not want to go on a negative rant. This is where I have written several drafts of this post.

I want this post to continue to be about my  journey towards something good when something unexpected happened to me.....Please note I say unexpected and not bad. 

C-sections are not bad. They are extremely extremely good.  

A C-section brought my daughter into this world alive, healthy and unharmed.  

A C-section allowed me to be alive,  healthy, and heal.  

100 years ago some poor woman was in my position one day and did not have the resources available to her when she needed it to bring her child into the world or even to save her life.  I am grateful. Blessed to live in a time when faced against life threatening situations in birth for both mom and baby a routine surgery can be performed to save both lives, so very matter of fact....no biggie. 

Wait, this is huge!! This is big!! C-sections are so very good. Praise the good Lord for his mercy to provide a way for us to bring more life safely into this world. 
Beautiful. Precious. Life.





Now going through 2 C-sections (yes, I chose to have my second!...I wasn't put under! It was an amazing experience, but another story) I do not and will not ever understand why this is such a taboo subject.  It is true sometimes I think....Am I missing out on something by not giving birth (the more natural way)? I will probably never experience certain sensations that a woman is made to experience...am I sad about this? Maybe a little, but then I look at my children and I forget. The whole point of giving birth is to bring a child into the world, not for the mom to have an "experience". So I focus on my children. I focus on life.
The surgery itself was not the issue for me, it was the loss of my perfect plan (R.I.P.P.P // rest in peace perfect plan) and mourning the loss of my mommy moment of my child being born since I was knocked out (which I am still not sure at all what the miscommunication was....oh but I forgave him...ok moving on)... 

Advice for any preggo mom: mentally prepare yourself for all birthing outcomes! By all means plan plan plan on having your child the way you want. But consider preparing and having a solution for all possible outcomes- this would have provided me with so much more peace and would have allowed for a better, not perfect, but better transition.

***I want to give God some serious props for giving me a great gift, a miracle even....

I was knocked out right?!! Well, I do remember Gigi's first cry. Through blurry eyes and foggy brain, I remember her being taken from behind the blue curtain, crying, over to my right where all the measuring and weight stuff was....I have relayed this info to Mike and he confirms all the details as I recall them...so I am not crazy, God just loves me that much, He threw me a bone ;)...I wasn't deprived of the whole moment. Thank you Jesus. I will hold on to that silver lining the rest of my life.***

What I have learned through all of this brokenness is one really important lesson....

COMPASSION.

Compassion for the imperfect. Compassion for myself in my imperfectness. Compassion for the imperfectness in others. 

God has a plan. It is perfect. It is good.

We live in an imperfect world. shortcomings and disappointments are just a reality. So the sooner I realize that the better and the sooner I can let my heart grow in love, forgiveness and compassion for others rather than grow in resentment and bitterness. 

Life is too short. We do not have time. It is not worth a second of our time. 

Compassion. Love. Understanding. That is what I will embrace. That is what I will try and live by.

When days are dark and rough and I let my "victim self" back in my heart,  I look at my children, my treasures, and I remember it is...

 ALL WORTH IT. And I would do it all over again.



Phew...that was a long one! You made it to the end, but if your still hungry for more here is another great 
C-section read
Did you go through a C-section or a hard labor? 
How did you react in the aftermath of it all? What were your struggles?
What are some ways we can love and support each other better? 
We are not alone...how can I pray for you?


32 comments:

  1. I had a very similar experience only without induction. My water broke, I had normal contractions and I made it to 10 cm naturally, but once the pushing started things slowly went downhill. After 3 hours of pushing, I had to have a c-section knocked out cold like you. I never talk about it. I felt like I had failed at doing something that all women should be naturally able to do and on top of that, I missed those precious first moments with my baby. After 15 months of thinking and praying over the situation, I am finally coming to a place of peace, understanding and gratefulness. It sounds foolish to be so upset when there is a healthy baby at the end of the experience, and I do wholeheartedly understand the blessing of the two saved lives that were a result of that c-section. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Megan! You know I totally get you. Except I think to get all the way to 10cm and pushing that long and go into C-section has to be WAY worse, I am sorry. Its heartbreaking. Be upset, its worth being sad about. Gigi is now 5, so it has only taken me 5 years to finally process it all and be ok talking about it, and letting it go. It doesn't go away over night. I will be praying for you! We are in this together ;)

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  2. I had a traumatic first birth, even though it was a natural vaginal delivery. Due to poor care, I was left with 4th degree tear and had to go to the OR to be stitched up due to the severity so instead of enjoying my baby, I had to be separated, etc. I am certainly very grateful for medical intervention when needed but I still think we have to ask questions about what put us in a position to need them. A better midwife would have likely helped prevent my tearing so while the ability to stitch up my tear was there, the problem was that the midwife in large part created the problem. Induction is like this. Doctors start the process of induction and then come to the rescue when things don't work out. Are there times for induction, yes, but nowhere near the numbers they are at today. I am not saying this to try to make this more painful for you. I have cried tears for years after my birth, talked with a Catholic psychologist about it and a priest, and honestly didn't get over it until my next birth which was so different, so I know the kind of pain involved. You might really be a case where in induction was needed but in general doctors today freak out when people go past due dates (when those aren't even typically that accurate to begin with). So my point is to say c-section often acts as a firefighter putting a fire out - yes, am I grateful the fire is out - sure but the problem is the firefighter started the fire. Maybe he should consider not doing that so we don't have a fire to deal with. I can say after a rough first birth and a second birth that was like giving birth on a different planet compared to the first time, that we as women do miss out on something when things don’t go the normal natural way God intended it. I am at peace about this. I was robbed of something the first time around and it could have been prevented (as many c-sections can be). If I truly need a c-section, sign me right up, and though I know I will be missing out on what is the optimal way to begin motherhood, but I prefer to admit that I am missing something that is ideal because I can be at peace about it when it is truly needed. The problem is that when it isn’t truly needed, we are being robbed of something important without good reason and that is tragic. Again, I am not trying to inflame this but present further food for thought from someone who is passionate about empowering women in a very broken system, because I have had two very different experiences. Women deserve better!

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    1. Jacky, thank you so much for sharing. We all have our own unique story don't we?! good, bad, ideal, or imperfect...its ours and it is our journey... God does what he does for a reason and I try to always find the lesson in it, even though it hurts and I am confused sometimes. I agree the "system" is a little jacked up, you have to really be aware and clear of what you want to happen and fight fight fight for what you want or even go elsewhere to find it...which is so hard as first time naive parents. My second birth, even though, it was a scheduled C-section, we were so much more proactive in what we wanted and had so much more courage to push the docs and nurses in a direction we wanted, The result was night and day from our first. Modern medicine is such a gift, but so is our hearts and minds and we have the freedom to pursue and fight for what we want out of our healthcare. Praying for continual healing for you!

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  3. I just also wanted to add to be sure it is clear I am very compassionate - I know how stacked this system is against proper care and I know the deep pain involved. I am sorry that you have suffered in this way. I know it all too well myself.

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  4. Oh Cassie, I couldn't wait to read this and it is so perfect. You had to be put to sleep... I can't imagine, but what a beautiful gift that you were able to hear your baby's first cry. I have to say even though I was awake I was so groggy that those first moments felt much like a dream anyway.

    I'm sorry for how things turned out but you are such a strong and courageous person to come through this with incredible life lessons and advice for other women about to embark on the birthing experience.

    I really don't understand why C-sections are so taboo, without them who knows where we would be today. We might not even be here, like those who died during childbirth years ago, before modern medicine. We should be celebrating c-sections, not disregarding them :)

    xoxo

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    1. Tawnya! Thank you so much! I am glad we both are on this road to healing together. I also love my scar- it reminds me of life and sacrifice (like a mom's whole life, right?!) I LOVED your story too, crazy we both wrote one the same week! I was happy to share your story here too, its a good one! Let's un-taboo this subject, eh?!

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  5. Those baby pictures! Love it. I could totally relate to your feelings while waiting in the operating room. I had two C-Sections myself. At 40 weeks, I was dilated, maybe a centimeter, and I'm being generous. But that feeling in the room, I was laid out, panicked and my arms out, almost crucified like and I couldn't stop crying because I had no control and my little baby was in the hands of so many other people. It turned out fine, and when I had my second, I cried again - at the same point. But they are lovely and perfect. Just like your babies. xo

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    1. Cristina, it seriously is so nice to know so many of you have had similar experiences. I know the stats, and they are tragically high, but in this moment and many many after you feel alone and you are the only one. Thanks for reading, lets just hug the heck out of our kids, ha?!

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  6. Loved reading this, Cassie, thank you!
    I had to have a c-section with my second and dealt with so many of the same feelings, and it did not help that whenever I told anyone that I was going to have one (it was scheduled) they would respond with "I'm so sorry!", like someone was about to die, not be BORN! I am so grateful that c-sections exist and that I have a healthy second born because of them. Thank you again for sharing!

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    1. Ana, You put it perfectly. People often react like some died instead of going to born! So true. So unfortunate. It is not a competition for who is better, its about bringing a happy healthy baby into this world. I am happy to be on this path with you!

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  7. I never knew you had a csection! I had one with Ted too...I can relate to so much of what you said. I also sobbed when they told me it was time to start talking csection (44 hours in). I know in my heart that all that really mattered was that Ted was healthy, but it still terrified me. After 44 hours and all the meds I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open to see him. I felt like the worst mother in the world! Your story was great...you touched perfectly on all the emotions and I think it will benefit other mothers who also "mourn the loss of vaginal birth". ladysoper.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-birth-plan.html?m=0

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    1. Kellie! I didn't you had one either. crazy. Gosh, the pure and utter exhaustion....and the emotion exhaustion too! You are a beautiful mother, Ted is so blessed to have you! Thanks for sharing your story too! xo

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  8. Cassie, such a beautiful post. I can relate to so much of everything you wrote. I think three years later I'm still trying to find that peace. With my first labor from start to baby out of me was a good 50 hours give or take. I pushed for three hours and the big boy was just not coming out. Our few day journey was quite the experience too. Your post brought me to re-read a few of my old posts after having cesareans (I've had two). Forgiveness is not something I have intentionally pursued. Not that I ever felt terrible anger towards but I think it's something I should to take to prayer. Thank you for sharing. I sobbed like a crazy woman when my doctor told me after all of my effort that we would be going in for a cesarean. And, I sobbed mostly the whole way to the hospital when we went for our second (I had wanted a trial of labor but didn't get it afterall). This is my most recent post, I guess it's where you can say I am now in the whole process of it all: http://www.thesideoflove.com/2013/03/little-crosses-and-little-blessings-for.html So glad to have found your blog from facebook group!

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    1. Amanda! Your story, it breaks my heart. 50 hours? and then pushing?! Gosh. That is so devastating. I am sure the Lord will reveal to your heart what needs to be healed and what path you need to take to be able to truly let it all go....it took me such a long time, but HE got me there!...and I have a happy heart and happy kids to prove it =) You will be in my prayers!

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  9. Cassie- I am so glad you shared this! So very true! I had an unexpected c-section the first time and then decided to have scheduled ones for my next 2 children. And people can say the rudest things about it. We each have different stories and it is so important to support and encourage one another. This was wonderful to read. THANK YOU!

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    1. Thank you Keri! Yes! Support! Encourage! I completely agree! I scheduled my 2nd and was so so glad I did!

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  10. Look at your precious babies. Beautiful, like their Mommy. So man times we get wrapped up in what we think we're supposed to do and who were are supposed to be that we forget -- all is well. Seriously. Your words here are sure to touch many Mommies who have yet to get to forgiveness or perhaps Mommies that get stuck where I often do - in forgiving myself.

    Brava! So glad we were both at the sitsblogging party today. :-)

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    1. Julie! So happy you found me! Thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot to me. I hope my story can be a light.

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  11. I had an emergency c-section for my first, and I chose it for my second. I also don't understand why it's so taboo, and all the pressure and expectation that a vaginal birth is always better only made me feel guilty and sad. BUT now I tell everyone how amazing my experiences were and that I wouldn't have had it any other way!

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    1. Grace! I hear ya girl! I hope to un-taboo this thing...seriously, I just do not get it! I am so glad you have 2 happy and healthy babies! They are such gifts!

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  12. what a great post! love that you said the whole point is the child coming into the world! :) that looks different for different moms & that's okay! :)

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    1. Absolutely! Different is not bad, just different! =)

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  13. Loved this post... birth looks different for everyone, and no woman should feel pressured to have it be "just so". At the end of the day, if mama + baby are healthy, the birth was successful + went as planned :) // Stopped by from Jack of all Trades

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    1. Caitlin, YES! Keeping those things in perspective are so important!

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  14. I still have never had kids but have talked with some friends about the way that giving birth via c-section or natural seems to be almost a symbol of status (same with giving birth with an epidural versus without). I love how you showed your progression from the true anger you felt to being grateful for your c-section and I've never thought about it like you pointed out... c section is beautiful because it allows you and your child to be healthy! Such a great way to put it!

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    1. Sarah, yes it totally is a symbol of status in casual conversation, you are so so right. It is sad. But I hope we can learn, and grow- together. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  15. SO glad you wrote about this. I still need to write about my birth story - but I keep shying away from it because C-sections are so taboo. But, reading yours makes me want to write about mine. Mine sounds pretty similar. My little one was 9 days late and I did 30 hours of natural labor... I was adamant about not having any pain meds. And after 30 hours, I was only 2 cm dilated an 20% effaced. Spiked a fever too and then her heart rate was really crazy. I tried everything I could to birth vaginally, but it just wasn't in the cards. Praise God for C-sections. I don't even like to think of what it would've been like without it. I think a may be writing out my birth story pretty soon. I think it's important for other C-section moms to read eachother's birth stories!

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    1. Natalie! YES! Please, please share your story!!! It is so important for all moms to be able to support each other on just the sheer fact that we ALL share a commonality---of bringing life into this world and sharing our wombs with a little person, you know?!! You had such a similar experience to mine, I am glad we are not alone. Cannot wait to hear your story ;) get on it girl!

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  16. As a mama of 2 babies delivered via c-section, I loved seeing this post! You are right; it's not about the birthing experience, its about bringing a child into the world. My first was an emergency c section, but my second was planned. And I loved that it was planned! I got to pick the day my baby would be born!
    www.518nymammaof2.blogspot.com

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  17. I'm so glad you shared this! Reading this really helped me to get a better perspective on having a c-section if that's the plan that the Lord has for the future (the FARRR away future!). Thanks for linking up with us! :)

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  18. I'm so glad you wrote this story! My experience was extremely similar to yours. C-Sections are serious blessings. Having a C-Section saved my sweet little girls life. I still remember crying on the operating table feeling some of things you did (scariest moment of my life). In the end it doesn't matter how the baby comes! Now I have a healthy one year old, who I thank God for everyday! Thanks for sharing your story!

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