My first c-section was traumatic.

I went for a routine check when I was 40w4d and thought our discussion would be about an induction at 41w.

Oh boy how I was wrong.

Baby girl failed a non-stress test and my blood pressure was through the roof.

I barely remember calling my husband in tears, telling him to leave work and meet me in the hospital. Baby was coming today and fast.

I truly don’t remember how I got to the hospital.

My car was in the garage so I know I drove myself, but I have no memory of the actual drive.

The three hours I spent in OB triage that day are an absolute blur; like I was watching a movie of someone else’s life.

The only thing I remember from the actual surgery was looking up into the bright lights of the OR and telling my husband “I think I’ll just take a nap.”

The look on his face is also something I will never forget. He was so confused and gently reminded me that I was giving birth and probably shouldn’t sleep.

I spent 72 hours in the hospital and as soon as I came home I started crying.

Here I was, with a perfect baby girl and I had little to no memory of how we had gotten there. So, my husband and I started writing everything down and piecing together the last 3 days.

When did I call him?
When did he get to the house to get my hospital bag?
When did we text our families about the wild turn of events of the day?
When was our first picture of Aurora?
When did I order dinner?
When did we call our parents?

We put everything onto paper so I could read and read and read over the events and try desperately to put memories with those bullet points. That notebook sheet of paper is in her baby book so I can always speak accurately about the day she was born.

So when I was pregnant again 18 months later, I told my husband that I wasn’t going to have a traumatic birth this time. I was determined to control the experience and rewrite the narrative for myself. When my provider asked if I wanted to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) my answer was “no way.”

She and I had talked at length about the trauma I experienced with the first birth and she quickly agreed to let me schedule a second c-section.

At 5am on October 31st 2019, I walked into the same hospital I had Aurora, fully aware of what was happening, confident and happy with my choice.

I remember every nurse’s face from that morning, every encouraging word, every smile, every moment.

My Halloween baby
My Halloween baby

This time, I was in the hospital 36 hours. When I returned home, I had a second perfect little girl in my arms and a memory full and happy of the last 36 hours.

Despite every risk a c-section (planned or unplanned) presents, it was worth it for the sake of my mental health.

I knew I couldn’t risk another traumatic experience.

I knew I owed it to myself to remember every moment of the time my last baby entered the world.

I knew that I was worth the risk.

So with the support of my husband and my wonderful care team, I walked myself to the OR, got myself up onto the table and laid myself down to bring another baby into this world.

In the end, I was worth it.


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