The Day I Was Braver

People close to me and those who read my post about my first son’s birth story know how I fear CS, how I panicked just before the doctors were going to do me and how I was traumatized by the experience and vowed to do my best by all means to prevent another CS and go on with normal vaginal delivery.

When I learned that I was pregnant the second time, I had the determination to go on with normal birthing as I know some women who were successful in doing VBAC or the vaginal birth after a Cesarean section. Many women fear the pain of birthing, but I don’t. It’s set on my mind. Every pain I feel I will welcome, for I know it would take me closer to my baby. What I fear is having an incision on my belly. I dread it actually.

During my prenatal visits, my OB in Kabankalan City presented to me the reality of my situation. She said I can go on with normal birthing as long as labor occurs normally on my own — that is without the need for labor induction medications. She would regularly check the amount of my amniotic fluid and the baby’s weight. If the amniotic fluid drops below normal from 37 weeks until my guess date, it would require an induction of labor, and since it is no longer advisable for me to be induced, I would be a candidate for CS again.

On my 39th week, I went to and stayed in Bacolod City together with my sister. I had myself checked by another OB in Bacolod because I would be giving birth there. The first OB gave me Eveprim to soften my cervix as I was only 1 cm dilated and still not effaced. She conducted an ultrasound as well, and it turned out my amniotic fluid was normal, but I had a big baby of 3,500 grams, and she was more inclined to me having a repeat CS although she gave me more time to have labor on my own until the 41th week.

I asked for a second opinion from my mom’s OB, who later ended to be my attending physician when I gave birth. She explained very well the possibility of having another CS because of the big baby who was not still descending or engaged in my pelvis. She had me undergo a non-stress test, where my uterine contractions were monitored as well as the baby’s heart rate. It turned out I was already in labor. I was having strong contractions without pain but am not progressing.

There. We decided to have another CS. No matter how I wanted the normal and natural way, life has other ways for me. We can’t always have our way, can we?

When the OB and I talked about it at the labor room of the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center at noon of February 14 (a day before the 40th week), I suddenly shivered. I knew I shivered not because the air con was too cold — because it wasn’t. I shivered because there I was again, feeling hopeless and was totally out of control of my life. I know for some a CS is no big deal. But for me it is. I never had been hospitalized except for my first son’s birth and this one. I never have had any minor — much more major — surgery done on me except for my first CS and this. I fear to lose my life and everything I have. That’s true.

But this is a very big test of faith. Weeks prior to this fateful day, I tried memorizing Psalms 23 especially the part that says “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.” thinking that this will come in handy during delivery — to handle my fear.

My brother-in-law came inside the labor room, and I handed him my bag with my phone inside. It was symbolic. Not having my phone with me means losing communication with my mom, who was at the time eating a quick lunch outside and didn’t know that the operation will be started in a matter of a few minutes. She and my brother-in-law were the only ones present with me at the hospital. Again, it’s one of my fear, not having to say anything to my mom before anything else happens.

I touched my brother-in-law on his arm and said, “I’m afraid.” and released a few tears. To console me, he assured me that I won’t be feeling any pain. But pain was not really what I am afraid of. I was more afraid of the unexpected things that could happen while the operation is going on. I fear the unknown, and this called for my total surrender to God, recalling Psalms 23 and Proverbs 3:5-6 — Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.

I composed myself and aired my concern to my OB who encouragingly said that I should drive off those negative thoughts. So I did. And I told myself that I’ll be back from the OR to see my mom after her lunch. That thought of “going back after everything’s done” was my hope.

So I did.

The whole experience in the operating room while I was being operated gave me a new perspective about CS. The whole surgical team was great, especially my anesthesiologist. She’s heaven sent. I talked to her the whole time I was able to during the operation. She listened to me, and attended to my needs, and I believe I had faster recovery because of her and the whole team.

My OB said my placenta was already turning a bit yellowish, meaning sooner my baby would have already his first poop or meconium inside imposing danger to both of us. There’s also a great possibility that I had cephalopelvic disproportion or CPD, in which the baby’s head does not fit to pass the mother’s pelvis, that’s why he’s not descending at all even though I did have contractions (just like my first birthing).

I now view CS as a saving procedure, not something that makes me less than a mother because I was not able to birth normally. Without it, I or my baby or both of us won’t be here.

CS also shouldn’t be viewed with fear. Yes, I fear. It brought out the fear that I never actually knew existed. But strengthening oneself spiritually and surrounding yourself with people who can listen to you patiently and give wise words to handle fear can help overcome it.

I thank God (super) for this opportunity to be braver than I was before, to conquer fear, all for the sake of motherhood — this time, not only to one, but to two kids.

Baby Liam Johann will now turn a month old this coming Saturday, and God has been faithful to Him.

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19 comments

  1. I also had that same fear with my first baby. Thoughts like, “What if I don’t make it?” were filling my head. I also had CS and although my baby had to take antibiotics because she already ingested poop, I’m thankful for the procedure because I was already feverish and I was only 3cm.

    1. Hi, Ceemee. We were on the same boat with my first son. I was only 3 cm back then, and he was already distressed because of ingesting his poop. But I seem not to accept the fact that I wasn’t able to birth normally. After the second CS, I surrender and I’ve come to accept the situation already. I am thankful that CS is available for us mothers who are in situations where we cannot birth the natural way.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. I almost missed the comment button. Anyway, I love this post because I can almost hear myself. I have the same exact thought about CS or giving birth in general. I’m so afraid. I haven’t given birth yet. I’m not even pregnant yet, but my husband and I are planning to have a baby soon. I am excited to have a baby but I dread giving birth. I haven’t experienced being hospitalized. Ever! The thought of lying in a hospital bed and being operated brought tears to my eyes. I also prefer normal delivery than CS. I think I can handle pain. I have high tolerance in pain. So wish me luck. 🙂

    I admire your bravery and faith to God. I was really inspired. I must confess that I almost shed a tear or two reading this. I feel you girl. Anyway, I’m happy you survived it and I bet you feel that your son is all worth it. I hope he grows up to be a God loving person. Sorry for the long comment. It’s just that this post moved me and inspired me at the same time. I might refer back to this post before I gave birth. 🙂

    1. Hello, Mayen.

      I appreciate your “long” comment. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for relating to me. Good luck to you and your husband din. Are you anywhere around Metro Manila? I just read the beautiful post of Ms. Martine on her hypnobirthing. I think it would be helpful for you in preparing for pregnancy and childbirth if you want to bear soon. I did the course on Hypnobabies for my first pregnancy. The tracks and the handbook were just shared to me by a friend I met on the Internet. It was great, but it didn’t work out for me since my situation was different and I lacked support (hubby’s not here). I just don’t know if Ms. Martine and I have the same course/program. You can read about her birthing experience here:http://makeitblissful.com/2015/02/my-gentle-birth-story/

      I pray you can have the birth experience that you desire. Thanks again.

  3. I had goosebumps reading your post sis. Parang nagfalshback din lahat ng nangyari when I had Matthew. I also had undergone CS. I’m on my 38th week naman when I saw blood on my undies na. I texted my OB and she said, I should go to her to check my cervix. I was 3cm na and she said I might be on labor. I never felt any pain except parang nangangalay lang yun balakang ko. Nag-open naman cervix ko but ayaw lang bumaba ni Matthew. I tried to have a normal delivery and pushed at about 2 hours. Fetal distress led us to the decision na CS na. At that very moment, all I want was to see my son so I kept my faith to God that He will keep us safe. Ngayon, thinking about having another baby and a possible CS, I will be honest… I have fear also. But thank you for posting this, nakakawala ng takot 🙂

    1. I thought before parang ako lang ang may ganitong experience na the baby is not descending. It led me into thinking that there’s really something wrong about me and like I’m less than a mother because I’m not this kind of woman who can birth normally. Pero when Ceemee and you shared your experiences and reading Mayen’s thoughts too, I feel that I am not alone in this experience. Kinaya nyo at kinaya ko din despite the fear and the apprehension, and I feel even more empowered as a mom. So thank you!

  4. Congratulations, Kristine for giving birth to a healthy baby boy! Putting our faith in God especially when undergoing an operation is the most prudent move. He is absolutely in control. Stay blessed! 🙂

  5. I too wanted VBAC for #2 but it didn’t happen and I had C section again.. so for #3 it was confirmed C-section again.. it’s not that scary and I’m glad you overcame it.

  6. verabear · · Reply

    Thank you for sharing your birth story. My girl friends and I just met up to celebrate the news that one of us is expecting a Baby Boy and we got to talking about natural and Cesarean births. All moms really go thru a life-threatening experience whenever they bring a baby into this world. I salute you! When my turn comes, I can only hope to be so calm. hehe 🙂

  7. I also didn’t like to have a CS on my 5th childbirth, but since the baby is so big, almost 4 kg (the biggest among my kids), I had to. It’s painless during the process but definitely not after all the anesthesia wears off.

  8. leybainpublic · · Reply

    Your article gave me chills. I mean, my wife do have the same fear of undergoing the CS procedure. This is why she tried hard to make normal delivery. We have 2 kids now and both of them are delivered via normal procedure.

    You are one strong woman and I salute all mothers who risk their lives to give birth to another human (babies). May God bless you more!

  9. I admire you courage as a mother, I think that is one of the many characteristics of being a mother. I too have to go a CS operation. I am not sure if I was as scared as you, but just like you I placed my trust to God.

  10. Both of my pregnancies have been quite challenging. Coming from a family of hypertensives on both side of the family tree, my OB informed me that, although, it hasn’t manifested yet, there’s a big chance that it will. She was right. Both deliveries, I had eclamsia. That was scary but seeing my two daughters, everything’s worth-it!

  11. congrats for your new baby. proud ako sa lahat ng mothers, mapaCS or natural birth pa yan. it is because, they risk their own lofe just to deliver a new one. hope someday, i will be able to experience also that

  12. When I learned that I am pregnant I keep on saying that I will be having a normal delivery, but unexpected situation happened during my 38th weeks my BP is 180/100 when my OB decided to admit me in the hospital, I told them if we can try to have a normal deliver and they decided to have an induce procedure unfortunately ayaw mag contract ng tummy ko and then I prayed and asked God what he wants for me and asked him please I want to see my baby and I want to spend time with him this is my dream to have my own child. And I remember what my mom keeps on telling me “if nahihirapan ka mag labor same with your baby nahihirapan din siya” from then I told my OB let’s have a CS operation I don’t want to risk anymore. Now my little kulit is turning five already. Every mom who is giving birth is not thinking the pain they will fell, but thinking what if something happen to us during the delivery, what will happen to our babies the answer is just pray and trust GOD, He will take good care of us

  13. Congratulations for the baby and for being brave. It takes a lot of strength to decide on it. My cousin also decided on a CS right after her check up because it would save both the baby and her.

  14. You are one BRAVE woman. I been in that situation and its so hard because I don’t have my mom with me when I have my daughter but as you said you became braver. Congratulation Sis for your cutest baby ever.
    http://www.wish4less.com

  15. Wonderful story. God will definitely bless you and Baby Liam. I admit, I always have fear in the idea of giving birth. I have a lot of what-ifs now. But reading your story makes me think to accept the pain if this happens to me. I will get married soon and definitely would want to have a baby but the fear is getting it. I need to hold on to the courage and prayers that I will also conquer the same thing mothers have done.

  16. I remember the time when Mommy gave birth to Matthew.
    She started having labor in the morning, tried to have normal delivery for two hours but ended with a CS at around 10pm.
    I was even asked by the OB to go inside the delivery room for moral support hoping that Matthew will go out but nothing happened. The placenta is still lying high.
    By the way, congratulations again.

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