An Unplanned  Cesarean Birth;  The Birth Story of Harrison

Sue is very wise to call the birth plan “birth wishes” instead, because it’s not necessarily likely that the birth will go according to plan, and managing your expectations is important. In our case, none of our wishes were granted. However, it wasn’t the end of the world, in fact, it was just the beginning of Harrison’s world! Our story might sound undesirable to someone who hasn’t given birth yet, but I want to assure any reader or listener that while it might have been somewhat dramatic, it is our story, the beginning of Harrison’s life, and it is treasured! Contractions began on our due date at 2am. I was in labor for a total of 39 hours. I had started leaking amniotic fluid about 24 hours into labor, so that started the clock. When my water finally broke, there was meconium present, so I was going to have to be induced, and a water birth was no longer an option. However, before they started the pitocin, they noticed on the monitor that the baby’s heart rate was dropping significantly with each contraction. I was only 5 centimeters dilated. I was going to have to have a c-section. Honestly, when the midwife told me, I was relived! I had already been in labor for so long, and the contractions had become really intense; I had been dreading the pitocin and was ready for labor to end and to meet my baby! I said ok, without hesitation. Glenn, my husband, was actually quite upset and crying, so I assured him it was just a surgery, I’ve had surgery before, we were going to be ok, and to be happy, we were about to meet our little boy! Finally! The whole process was very quick, I was surprised. Harrison’s muffled little cry was the happiest sound I’d ever heard! Once he was out, the doctors held him up above the curtain and he let out a big open mouthed cry, it was so dramatic and beautiful, like the opening scene of The Lion King! They cleaned him up and brought him over to me, but by that point, the epidural had creeped up to my ribcage and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I could breathe, but I was panicking, so they put me under and I slept for two hours. Glenn followed Harrison and the nurses to the nursery and spent the first two hours of Harrison’s life together as father and son. I was not disappointed. I had gotten to know Harrison tumbling around in my belly for nine months, I was happy to let Glenn have the first two hours outside the womb, snapping pictures and watching him sleep. It was meaningful to Glenn, and a really special bonding time for them! Besides, we have his whole life ahead of him to spend together as a family! As I write this, Harrison is a healthy, funny, and energetic little 13 month old boy. He loves singing with Mommy and Daddy, reading books, and arranging his toys. His birth seems like a lifetime ago. A distant, fond memory. He is here, we are all happy, healthy, together, and that’s all that really matters :)