Our path to becoming parents was a pretty typical one. Met through friends, dated four years, went backpacking, got engaged, got married, and started trying for a baby. Months and months went by and then it finally happened and we jumped for joy (literally). At 10 weeks we lost our baby and our hearts were broken.
After 3 months, we were allowed to try again and it happened! It really, really happened! We were finally pregnant. We were terrified. I could not get my mind to stop going down that dark, worried path. I was terrified of losing our baby again, but I knew that stressing out and being afraid was not going to help. It took until we were about 5 months along for me to calm down. – it wasn’t until then that I felt like we could BREATHE!
Once we started not feeling so scared, I began to plan. I literally tried to plan everything. I was a chronic planner! Right from the first month we tried to conceive I couldn’t help but think “if we get pregnant this month, our baby would be born in [insert month here] and that would be so perfect because [insert super awesome reason to have baby that month here]. Every month it was the same routine. In the end, our baby would be born in August which was awesome and perfect because she would have a summer birthday – just like me!
And so the planning continued…
When discussing how we wanted our birth to go, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go all natural. I used to joke a lot about being loaded with drugs when I had a baby, but I never intended for that to actually happen (but to each their own! You do you, Mama). My Mom and sister were both blessed with beautiful short, all natural (ZERO drugs… how the heck did they do it!?) and I wanted our birth story to be the same.
We had heard about HypnoBirthing through a friend and found “Lifetime of Love Doula Services” online with a quick Google search. I was super intrigued. We did a lot of reading up on the topic and as someone with fairly severe anxiety, this choice seemed like a no brainer. We signed up for classes and boy am I ever glad we did!
The one BIG take away from our time with Sarah & Carol Anne was to
If you are uncomfortable at all with what your care providers are telling you, do not ever be afraid to ask questions. This saved me from some serious lasting negative memories of our birth story. Throughout my whole pregnancy, I showed a ton of concern about having a caesarean to both my OB as well as Sarah and Carol Anne in our HypnoBirthing classes. I tried with all my might to stop worrying, but something inside of me knew it was a valid concern. Near the very end of my pregnancy, my OB told me all signs were pointing to the natural birth I had dreamed of, but not to worry if that plan didn’t end up working out.
Week 40 came and went. My once perfect blood pressure started to rise. It rose some more… and more… Then we were admitted to the hospital for monitoring. My OB initially said that we could wait until 41 weeks to induce, but when we went in for monitoring, the OB on call said that we would need to be induced sooner as my blood pressure was still on the rise. We knew this meant a caesarean was likely as I was not yet dilated or even close to being fully effaced. There was something about the way that this particular OB approached this conversation that rubbed us the wrong way. We asked if we could wait until the following day to induce and his response was a snarky “whatever you want”.
The Induction Process
The next day we came back and got hooked up to the machines for monitoring again. This time the OB on call had a very calming, gentle demeanor. I instantly felt far more comfortable than the two days before. After a few hours of monitoring, we were told that we would in fact need to be induced. I expressed my concern about the induction leading to a caesarean and how terrified I was of that thought. The OB said that yes, my chances of a caesarean had now increased, but not to worry, that everything would be fine.
So we were induced… and 7 hours later there was still nothing happening.
The OB sat next to me on the bed, put her hand on my shoulder and said “Honey, it’s time to get your baby out. We need to perform a caesarean.”
I cried. I was scared.
I called my sister and Carol Anne who was our Doula on call. I now had my husband, the OB, nurse, Doula and sister calming me down, assuring me everything would be just fine. And much to my surprise, it was. It was more than fine. When we asked if we should pack up and come back the next day (at this time, it was already about 10:30PM) the OB said, nope – the anesthesiologist would be up in an hour. What!? An hour!? This was when the excitement hit! We finally (sort of) came to terms with the caesarean and were just super excited to meet our little babe!
The OB and nurse both went over what was about to happen step by step and let us ask our thousand and one questions!
Once it began, everything happened quickly. I walked into the OR and was prepped for surgery. I remember all of the staff in the room were talking about taking their kids to Disney World – this was strangely comforting to me for some reason. Now all I could think about was NOT the fact that someone was about to cut my baby out, it was the fact that in a few short years, I could take MY baby to Disney World! It was the perfect distraction.
In what felt like a few short minutes later, she was born.
Our sweet baby girl was out in the world and my hubby took her over to be weighed and all of that fun stuff before she was placed on my chest.
At that moment my life changed forever.
After our sweet girl was born, I was the happiest I’d ever been. But there was something that kept popping into my mind: I realized that despite my sheer joy, I was mourning the loss of my “natural” birth. This seemed like such an odd thing to think about when I had this perfect little baby to cuddle, but it was a reality I had to accept.
It took months, but finally I wrapped my mind around the fact that I wasn’t able to have the all natural birth I had dreamed of. The one thing that made this easier to accept was that I know that after all the discussions with all of the doctors and nurses – the caesarean was necessary – it was the safest way to bring our daughter into the world. We asked all the right questions, made sure we felt comfortable with the decision and now have our beautiful little baby.
Sarah King was born and raised in Caledon, Ontario. She lived in downtown Toronto as she studied and pursued a career in Marketing and Advertising. She has since moved back to Caledon with her husband Kris. They now lead a very happy, low key life in the country with their daughter Annie who is 8 months old.