I had an elected c-section. There it is.
I’m in no way ashamed of my decision, although I was shamed for it—and I hope sharing my story will help others not feel like crap if they decide it’s the best decision for them. Also, hopefully it’ll help the people on the other side understand and again: stop making c- sectioners feel like crap!
I’m 5 feet 1 inches, about 135 pounds. I’m just a little person overall. I’m short and I have small hips and shoulders. Now, some of you may have stopped reading at this point because you think I’m bragging, but I promise you this information lends itself to my story. (And, just for the record, I have a jiggly belly and my boobs have been ravaged by breast-feeding, not that I should have to defend just how my body is.)
When I got pregnant, I started showing pretty quickly. I got big…really big. But, when you’ve never had a baby before, your judgment of what’s normal and what’s not is just off because you’ve never been through it. Plus, every pregnant woman and every pregnancy is different. That’s 100 percent true. That’s why pregnancy advice can be so annoying because what’s true for you just may not be true for the next person.
I was 36 when I got pregnant which is considered high-risk. But, for some reason, I wasn’t ordered to have a lot of ultrasounds or extra appointments. I guess because I wasn’t having any complications? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.
So, I saw my baby at the all-important 20-week ultrasound and then I didn’t actually see him again until 36 weeks. 16 weeks…nothing. No info given, just a “Oh, I hear a heartbeat.” Uh, okay, cool. Well, it wasn’t really because at 36 weeks I was told, for the first time, that my baby was big. Four weeks from the promised land and I’m informed of this for the first time.
The word “macrosomic” was mumbled by one awful doctor I saw and when I googled it later, it basically said I was having a bigger than average baby. By the way, my husband and I decided not to find out what we were having, and when you tell someone they’re having a macrosomic baby, a simple google search, to find out what the heck macrosomia means, will tell you that most macrosomic babies are boys. Cool spoiler, bro.
Dr. Awful wasn’t my regular doctor, but I was told I needed to meet all the doctors in my group because any of those docs could be on call the time I happened to go into labor. Besides basically informing me of my baby’s sex, Dr. Awful also mentioned my size and weight. Oh yeah—forgot to mention that. I gained 60 pounds. Yep, 6-0! I didn’t really care that much, but Dr. Awful sure did and said to me, “If it looks good, smells good or tastes good, you can’t have it.”
He said this to a very pregnant woman, carrying her first baby. He’s lucky he’s still alive and standing so he can be awful to other patients.
I did not start watching what I ate…I was pregnant, get out of here. But, I did start getting my vagina ready for this baby since almost every one of his body part measurements was in the 90th percentile. As a pregnant woman, you read about things like massaging your vagina with olive oil to help prevent tearing. So, I did it. It was weird, but I was prepping. I got the highly-recommended Tucks medical pads for after baby and special stuff to put in the bath to help in the after weeks and with hemorrhoids. Was I ready? Of course not, but I guess my medicine cabinet was.
One morning, two days after my due date, I started leaking fluid and lost my mucus plug (sidebar: um, gross…can we come up with another name for that?). I already had an appointment scheduled the see how big the baby was, so the doctor on call said to just come in.
We checked in at the front desk and the receptionist asked me if I was in labor. “I think so?” I don’t know, I’ve never been in labor before. And my contractions were very mild and spread apart.
Once we were in the room and had the ultrasound, we were informed my son was measuring 10 pounds 2 ounces. Now, they tell you these measurements can be off as much as 20 percent either way. So, I could actually have an 8-pound baby…or a 12-pounder! Even though I had not really imagined myself having a c-section, it was very clear to me what was the best choice for me, my small hips and my son. The doctor informed me that I was leaking fluid, so I needed to go straight to labor and delivery (or, the mechanic).
My regular OBGYN happened to be on duty when I arrived. I loved my OB and still do to this day. She is sweet and never made a big deal out of the 60 pounds I gained, unlike Dr. Awful. She had learned from the nurse that we were opting for a c-section and came into the room we were in.
“I get it,” she said. “You’ve been carrying this big baby around for 40 weeks and you’re done. I get it. I mean…I’m gonna get a slap on the wrist and I don’t get compensated as well for c-sections, but I get it.”
Ummm…what? Didn’t see that coming. When we tell people the story, people ask my husband if he said anything to the doctor. I guess to defend my honor. His answer is always something like, “No! She was about to take my baby out of my wife!” What was the guy going to say to her? Rip her a new one as she walked into the O.R. right before she grabbed a scalpel?
It did get worse though. She came up to my husband as I was getting prepped for surgery and said something like, “Hey, sorry for what I said earlier. I mean, I will get a slap on the wrist and I don’t get compensated as well so..sorry not sorry I guess.”
On the bright side, my surgery went well and my son weighed in at 9 pounds 11 ounces. The nurse who weighed my son didn’t believe he was only that much because of how big he was and reweighed him just to be sure. Once he was out and my doctor saw how big he was, she said I made the right decision. But…I knew I did. I know I did.
Bill Maher does a segment on his show called “I don’t know it for a fact, I just know it’s true”.
I don’t know that I’d labor forever with that baby, not be able to actually push him out and have to have a c-section anyway for a fact, I just know it’s true.
My son was born into a world of no stress while Jack Johnson was being played. People in the room were casually chatting and then all of a sudden, there was my son. I know some people have bad c-sections. A friend of mine got a staph infection after hers. So I, in no way, think it’s the easy way out. It’s just not. All I’m saying is that I knew, in that moment, it was the right choice for me and my son. And there ain’t no shame in that game.