December 7, 1999 – I was exactly one week past my due date and had an appointment for a non-stress test around noon. I had been dilated for weeks and was almost four centimeters since my last check up. No one expected me to make it to my due date, much less be late. Yet here I was. The non-stress test showed that everything was perfect so we would continue to wait. No one would have ever expected that I would be having an emergency c-section just twelve hours later.
Around 9:45 pm I began having contractions that were immediately only a few minutes apart. Even though this was my first baby I knew that this wasn’t how it was supposed to go down. After about fifteen minutes I was no longer able to breathe through my contractions so my oldest son’s bio father called my doctor. She tried to talk to me because surely she thought that I was being a hysterical first time mom. When I was only able to speak to her for a minute or so before having to stop and breathe she told me to get to the hospital.
That was the longest twenty minute drive of my life. The pain was unreal to the point that I was blacking out. I’m still not sure how we got from Point A to Point B but we did. Once I was admitted and examined I was 7½ centimeters dilated already. This was going to be quick, I thought. It wasn’t until after they got me hooked up to monitors that I realized that something wasn’t right. The baby’s heartbeat was dipping down into the 90s with every contraction and my doctors were worried. They broke my water to get things moving (what a disgusting feeling that is!) and noticed some blood in my fluid. Now things just got serious and they started talking about a c-section and asked me to consent. I was still blacking out and vomiting between contractions when I asked if it was really necessary. They agreed to try one more thing and attached a monitor to his head.
All I remember after that is telling Red’s bio father to call my mother but not to tell her that I might be having a c-section and then him being told to change into scrubs in the bathroom. Then I remember being wheeled down the hallway, a comment about my piercings, a mask over my face, and then my son’s bio father sitting next to me with a baby in his arms, my mother pacing, and me being woken up with smelling salts. Come to find out later that my son’s bio father never made it into the operating room. Something happened in those few minutes that changed it from a consentual c-section to an emergency. He walked out of the bathroom with his scrubs on to an empty room. When he walked out to the hallway to see what he was supposed to do he heard over the intercom at the desk, “baby boy, 12:38 am”.
This surely wasn’t the birth that I had envisioned.
Who knew that a completely uneventful pregnancy would end so dramatically? As it turns out they believe that I was having a placental abruption. Not only that but the umbilical cord was cris-crossed across Red’s chest which was causing the dip in his heartbeat during each contraction. So while I may always wish that circumstances were different, I don’t have one single ounce of regret. My son was born healthy just twelve hours after my non-stress test on December 8, 1999 at 12:38 am. If it wasn’t for my c-section I may not have been so lucky. In the end it doesn’t matter how your baby gets here, whether naturally, medicated, or via c-section. All that matters is that you deliver a healthy (and live) baby.
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