Blake’s Birth Story
*Photography by myself, Steven, and the first image below via Bella Baby Photography.
We recently welcomed our handsome baby Blake into the world on June 4, 2017. I was scheduled to have a c-section at 39 weeks on June 7… but our Blakey had a different plan 😉
Blake J Williams
June 4, 2017 | 7:02 PM
8 Lbs. 3 oz. | 19 3/8 in.
Scheduled C- Section
I had an emergency c-section with my daughter Eliza after over 24 hours of labor, 3 arrests of labor, an infection (caught by me), and meconium. For me it was an overwhelming experience, and I was exhausted after so much unsuccessful laboring.
This second time around, I had many discussions with my doctor (and OBGYN dad of course) about the safest possible option for delivering Blake. I truly wish that my body were capable of doing a vaginal birth, but the reality is that Steven and I make babies that are too big to fit out of me. I blame Steven for being a 10+ lb. baby ;).
Don’t get me wrong, I count my lucky stars every day that we’re capable of bringing healthy, beautiful and amazing children into this world. I just wish that I didn’t require so much medical intervention to get them here.
But that’s okay… I have accepted the limitations of my body, and I am beyond grateful for modern medicine.
June 4, 2017
The c-section was scheduled, and I began to count down the days.
I am blessed that I have relatively “normal” pregnancies. This time around however… I felt more nausea, more heavy pressure on my pelvis, I felt even bigger (even though I gained less weight overall – 33 lbs. vs. the 46 I gained with Eliza)… plus I was exhausted trying to entertain my toddler during the last few weeks.
So… no complaints over here that Blake decided to make his debut 10 days early!
June 4 was a Sunday, and I was scheduled to teach the youth at my church that afternoon.
While I was teaching my lesson to the kids, I had a feeling that my water broke. It wasn’t a big break, so I guess it was a leak. <— This same exact phenomenon happened with Eliza at 40 weeks: I wasn’t sure if my water had broken or not.
I decided to stay at church since I wasn’t positive my water had broken, and it didn’t feel like an emergency anyhow. On my way home from church I stopped by the hospital just incase… I wanted to be safe, and last time this happened… my water had indeed broken.
The ROM Wrong Test
At the hospital they performed a test to see if my water was broken. The test came out negative, but while I was waiting for the results I began to have regular contractions (3-5 mins. apart). My dad calls the test they gave me the ROM WRONG test, because in his experience it has only been accurate half of the time. I’m convinced that my water did break, but we may never know.
My doctor came in and told me that she could not send me home with regular contractions; she would need to perform the c-section that day.
I tend to be an anxiety ridden person, and my anxiety levels began to sky rocket when I heard the news.
I wasn’t ready to have a baby yet… Well maybe I was, but I was terrified of having the surgery again. Maybe I was having post-traumatic stress as I remembered the difficult and failed labor I had with Eliza. <— That… and my doctor gave us a brief summary of all the risks involved with the surgery.
I made my doctor explain to me one more time why I had to do the surgery, and why I couldn’t opt for a vaginal delivery… or at lest try. I adore and trust my doctor very, very much. She again told me I could try to labor, but that she sincerely felt I would end up in the same place as I did last time. I agreed… and then I signed my life away.
Everything happened very quickly. I was on the operating table within an hour, and my mom and brother came over right away to watch Liza so that Steven could join me.
I mentioned this in the birth story I wrote for Eliza, but I want to mention it again:
C-sections are common these days, but to me it feels like a foreign and highly overwhelming experience:
- There are so many people in that room I don’t know.
- I’m being injected in a variety of places with a spinal, IV, catheter … and maybe even other things. I don’t know…
- Everyone explains what they are doing to me very quickly. Many things go in one ear and out the other.
I just nod, say okay and hope for the best. I hate it because I am completely out of control. I’m just a passive patient with a lot of trust in the professionals around me.
After I got the spinal, the drape was lifted and my handsome husband came to join me. The person assisting my doctor was my dad’s old partner, and my dad stood outside the door like a giddy kid at a candy store dying to come in. I told him previously he couldn’t come in (I didn’t want him to see me naked!).
The beginning of the surgery felt like a breeze. After Blake was out, I was able to do skin to skin and even breastfeed for a while as they put me back together. This felt like heaven. I wasn’t even thinking about the surgery, and I felt so bonded with my Blake right away. He looked beautiful to me, and I felt overwhelmed with blessings and gratitude.
The Uphill Climb
Eventually Blake had to be taken from me to get some screenings and newborn assessments done. Steven went with him to document the experience. Our paradise on that operating table quickly came to an end :(, and things got a bit more challenging.
I began to itch intensely all over (a side effect of the spinal). The anesthesiologist offered me some Benadryl, and I agreed to it. I’ve taken it before, and I’ve never had a problem. For some reason I had what they call a “paradoxical reaction” to the Benadryl. The only thing I remember is that my blood pressure dropped very low, and the blood pressure monitor began to alarm. This gave me an anxiety attack on the operating table, and the anesthesiologist gave me some Versed to calm me down. Right after that she gave me one other drug to make my uterus shrink (necessary to slow down the bleeding – given to everyone).
I don’t remember being done with the surgery, and I can’t say that I remember being in the recovery room (the Versed makes you pretty out of it). Steven got some pictures of me holding Blake while I was in there though, so it must have happened ;).
I eventually made it to the mother baby part of the hospital and I began my recovery.
It’s possible that God makes us forget how challenging it is to recover from a c-section (or childbirth too – I don’t know), which is potentially why this recovery has seemed so much more difficult to me than my first. All I know is that those first couple of days were rough. My blood pressure was so low, that I wasn’t able to stand without the sensation that the world was closing in on me and that I was about to pass out. When my catheter was removed I required a lot of assistance from the nurses to use the restroom (to make sure I didn’t fall and hit my head).
I also have a disdain for narcotics (what they give you to control your pain after a c-section), because they make me very delirious and constipated (sorry for TMI). As often as possible I refused pain medication. Several nurses convinced me however that I needed to get my pain under control, so that I could get up and walk sooner. I gave in a few more times than I wanted to with the narcotics.
I went home after 3 days, but could have stayed 4. I’ve cried a few times at home because of the pain, but now that I’ve hit week 3… I’m feeling a million times better every moment.
In terms of my low blood pressure and high anxiety, my doctor assures me that everything with the surgery went well. I was never in any danger, because my blood pressure tends to run low anyway. In the future I may want to avoid Benadryl (at least in that situation).
My doctor said that I had a good amount of scar tissue from my last surgery, and that the lower part of my Uterus was attached to my peritoneal wall. She detached that area and put some film in to prevent scar tissue as I heal. She said that I can have more babies if I want to, and that all is well.
I’m trying to live in the moment. It’s hard to be in the postpartum phase at times. We are living in a baby cave, and the things I can do are limited… but yesterday I walked almost 4 miles!
In this moment I am absolutely IN LOVE with Blake. I have an appreciation and love for my body and what it can do, and I also continue to have an appreciation for modern medicine.
It’s possible that I’m just a wuss, but the delivery and recovery phases of having a baby feel like an immense challenge for me. I have days where I’m not sure I want do this to my body ever again. I also have days when I’ll take one look at my babies and fall in love all over again. “Mama NEEEDs more :)!!!!!”. And I’m in baby heaven.
Time will tell, so for now I’m living in the moment with my 2 babes. I’m beyond blessed and I could die a happy woman.
Below are some pictures I took Blake and Liza while I’ve been recovering in the baby cave :).