Happy Sunday y’all! I am so glad you’ve chosen to join us for our second week of Birth Blogs! I loved reading all the comments on last weeks story and how much joy it brought all of y’all. This week is another super special tale. On the blog this week is Danielle Gagnon, the Mom behind the All Real Mama blog. I love following along with her journey because the stuff she posts is not only totally precious but also super thought provoking and it’s been an honor to partner with her!
“The whole time I was pregnant, I kept saying one thing to anyone who asked if I was nervous for birth: “As long as I don’t have a c-section, I’ll be fine.” Spoiler alert: I ended up with a c-section and as it turns out, I was still just fine.
When I would tell people that I desperately wanted to avoid a c-section, it wasn’t because I was scared of the surgery or recovery. Instead, as someone who tries to live as naturally as possible, I wanted the experience of a natural birth. I wanted my son to get the experience of being born naturally and get the healthy bacteria that come with it to start his gut off on the right foot. Yes, I’m a gut health nerd like that.
I spent my pregnancy doing what I could to prepare for what I hoped would be a vaginal, unmedicated birth. I took Hypnobirthing classes, read all the books and did daily meditation with birth affirmations. I felt great, I felt strong and I felt confident leading up to the day of my son’s birth.
Things started to go “wrong” (a.k.a. off my birth plan) when I was about 41 weeks. I had an ultrasound and discovered my amniotic fluid was getting pretty low. The doctors strongly recommended induction so I headed to the hospital the next morning to be induced. The induction was slow and after 24 hours I still wasn’t dilated past 1cm and was having only very minor contractions.
Unfortunately, something else was going on. My son’s heart rate started dropping with every contraction, despite how minor they were. I was a little nervous, but I knew I was being monitored closely.
By mid-morning of May 20th, the day after I went to the hospital for my induction, my sweet baby’s heart rate was dropping with any movement I made. I got up to go to the bathroom and his heart rate went from the 140s (normal) to below 80. I was terrified.
After that episode, the doctors were sure there was a problem and told me that a C-section was going to be needed ASAP in order to ensure the safety of my son. I was crushed. This was everything I didn’t want. I hadn’t even really gone into labor. I couldn’t believe I was going to miss out on this right of passage, this incredible life experience.
For a few minutes, all I could see was my self-perceived failure. I had wasted time, wasted energy and wasted money preparing for a birth that wasn’t going to happen. As doctors came rushing in to prepare me for surgery, a nurse bent down, took my hand and said, “You know, a Cesarean birth is still a birth.” I immediately burst into tears.
Her words were so simple, and yet exactly what I needed to hear. In that moment I realized that the only thing that truly mattered about my son’s birth was his health (and mine).
In a matter of minutes, I was rushed into surgery, given a spinal tap and laid into the operating table. My husband was brought in and the team of surgeons immediately started the birth process. Just a minute later, I heard the sound my son’s first cry. They lifted him over the curtain so I could see him and I joined him in crying. He was beautiful. It was incredible. It was my perfect birth because it was the birth that gave me the greatest love in my life.
My husband got to hold my son first – an incredibly special moment for him- and stood by as the nurses weighed, measured and tested him. Just a couple minutes later, he was laid on my chest. I will never forget that feeling.
Looking back, I am still sometimes sad that I did not have the traditional birth experience. I would still like to experience a vaginal birth, and am considering trying for a VBAC when we have another baby. But I realized that no matter how my son got to me it truly did not matter. Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of bringing a child into the world. It is the most amazing thing, whether it goes according to plan or not.” -Danielle Gagnon, @allrealmama
I hope y’all enjoyed that story as much as I did. There’s never a perfect plan for each birth, but each birth is perfect.
Y’all can go follow along on Danielle’s Blog allrealmama.com and social media’s @allrealmama ! Like always subscribe below to be the first in the know! Thank you for joining us!