My mom had a C-section with me and all of my siblings. Mainly because my mom’s body wasn’t able to go into labor on its own. My oldest sisters, Lauren and McCall had the same experience. But with her first child, Lauren had a C-section and McCall broke the “C-section trend” by having her baby vaginally, but she had to get induced to do so.
I was caught off guard when I went into labor on my own. No one in my family had been able to go into labor on their own up to this point. So I was pleasantly surprised, knowing my body could go into labor on it’s own meant I could have a baby vaginally.
I got home from my lash appointment around 8:30 pm. I told my mom that my stomach was contracting. She wondered if it was just Braxton Hicks contractions because I had them throughout my pregnancy. Braxton Hicks is essentially false contractions that can sometimes be mistaken for labor contractions.
I started timing the contractions and they were coming every 4 to 5 minutes. I got nervous because I wasn’t supposed to have surgery for another 20 hours so was I supposed to labor until then? Maybe I should just have the baby vaginally? The thought of having my baby vaginally sounded so much more appealing, but it made me way too nervous considering the potential risks and consequences.
My mom called the hospital and they said that since my contractions were coming every four minutes that I should come in. By now it was about 10 p.m. and honestly I really just wanted a good nights sleep. I knew if I went to the hospital I would have to check in, wait for a room, do tests and other things and I would just be exhausted.
My mom had never experienced natural labor before and obviously neither had I, so we didn’t know what was best to do in that moment. We waited until about midnight, and then we decided that I should just go to sleep. We made preparations in case if my contractions got worse overnight or my water broke.
I went to sleep, and I felt okay. When I woke up I still felt fine. I had contractions, but not nearly as frequent as before. Thinking back, this is so strange… I thought once you go into labor and have contractions frequently that they never stop happening until the baby comes out.
Now I was having a contraction maybe every 20 minutes or so. I wasn’t planning to go into the hospital until 3:30 p.m. and my surgery was supposed to start at 5:30 p.m. This was SO hard for me. Not because I didn’t want to wait, but because I had to fast all day long.
I couldn’t have any food or water. I felt like I was dying of thirst all day. Even more so I was absolutely starving. I was used to eating so much all the time… so even though it was only a day of fasting, it really felt more like a week!
Then the hospital called me. They told me they needed to push my C-section back now because they had to do an emergency C-section on a lady who was carrying twins. Of course, I was understanding, but this now meant I had to fast even longer. it also prolonged my anxiety about having a C-section.
My mom tried to keep me busy so I wouldn’t get too anxious about giving birth or think about the fact that I felt like my stomach was eating itself. So we went to get our nails and toes done! I wanted my nails to be blue for a boy but the nail lady convinced me to go with this blue-green color which looking back on now I cringe.
After getting our nails done, we went back home to wait out the remaining few hours before I was supposed to check into the hospital. I kicked back on the couch and desperately tried to keep my mind off the fact that I was starving AND that I was going to have surgery in the next five hours.
It’s Finally Time
Finally, after what seemed to be forever… it was time to go to the hospital! I felt super anxious, but by now I was so over fasting and being extremely large that I was ready to give birth.
I really couldn’t believe that the time was here. After all of these months… he was the only thing that kept me going, and now I was finally going to meet him! Am I really about to have a baby right now? I couldn’t even wrap my mind around the fact that I was going to be a mom in a short couple of hours.
We checked in at the front and filled out some paperwork and waited a few minutes before someone took us up the elevators to the mommy section of the hospital. While we were waiting to go up, I noticed my contractions were getting close together again. I think my stress and anxiety about having a C-section sparked them back into full swing.
We got upstairs and they checked me into the birthing suite. It was actually really nice and spacious. From there I got into my hospital gown… I still remember I took a mirror bump pic (my final one) and posted it on my snapchat story.
I got onto the hospital bed and they put monitors on my tummy. Which I thought was interesting because I thought they only did that for mothers having their babies vaginally, but I guess not. By now my contractions were speeding up. Every minute or so I would have another one!
The doctors took my medical history which was pretty funny since I had to answer some questions about my past that I don’t think my parents knew too much about. The female nurse who was in the room said, “wow you’re having contractions one after another right now!” In this moment I so badly wanted to just bail out of the C-section and have this baby naturally.
Cue the Squeamishness
Then another nurse came into the room to give me my IV. This was a part I was so dreading. The lady first put a blue pad down beneath my arm, like the pee pads for dogs. I was so confused. Wasn’t she just doing an IV? If so, why is this pad here? I didn’t think I was even supposed to bleed!
My anxiety started building as she started putting the needle in my arm. For some reason, it was stinging like crazy. Normally this wouldn’t bother me too much… but knowing that there was a needle and probably some blood made me feel so faint.
My monitor started beeping, alerting the other nurse in the room that my blood pressure was dropping rapidly, which in turn made my baby’s heartbeat drop. The nurse rushed over and started adjusting the monitors on my tummy and getting me to lay on my side. It made them nervous that my baby’s heartbeat was falling so quickly.
They kept telling me to breathe and just relax. I was trying my best, but I felt SO sick. Meanwhile, my mom was nervously by my side, using her magazine as a fan to try to help cool me off. The only thing I really wanted was water to just cool me down, but I couldn’t have it. It took five whole minutes to get that IV in, and then once the fluids started rushing through my veins, I felt a lot better.
I guess the nurse administering the IV had to take blood from the IV in order to make the “cocktail” for the spinal block I had to get before my surgery. Spinal blocks are like an epidural but some say they hurt worse.
When I finally felt a little better, I looked down at my hand and it was covered in dried blood. No wonder it was stinging like crazy, it was bleeding everywhere! This kind of made me nervous to get the spinal block. If my IV was this bad, then the spinal was going to be a lot worse!
Then my sisters arrived which made it more real, it was almost time to go into surgery to meet my baby! I was so excited but nervous at the same time. I did a fair share of online research so I knew what was going to happen during surgery. This made me feel better because I wouldn’t have to worry about any surprises but at the same time worse because what I was prepared for was still pretty gruesome.
My contractions persisted one after another, but this time, they were coming every minute! Then, I felt something wet. My water just broke! Wow, either way, this baby was coming tonight! It also kind of just made me sad, I wanted to have him vaginally so bad and just skip all of this scary surgery talk… but it was too late. The surgery room was now ready for me.
C- Section Birth
As I got up to walk to surgery I felt even more water come down. It felt like I just peed my pants or something. I remember I lifted my left arm up to hold my hospital gown up, and then the nurse said I needed to lower my arm. “Why?”, I thought. I look at my arm and now my IV had filled up with blood because I lifted my arm.
“GREAT”, I thought. I kept telling myself to keep cool, and luckily I was able to clear my mind and continue walking to the surgery room without any issues. This is where I had to part ways with my mom.
They don’t allow anyone to be in the room with you when you get the spinal block done, just in case something happens. They don’t want the extra stress of a panicked partner in the room, and they would be in the way of the doctors. In general spinal blocks are scary, if they put that huge needle in the wrong spot, you can become paralyzed instantly.
I said my goodbyes to my mom, and then walked into the operating room. It was kind of warm which surprised me because usually operating rooms are super cold so that everything is sterile. Music was playing in the background, so overall it was a pretty chill vibe which made me feel a little better.
I got on the operating room table and waited to get my spinal. Luckily I had the most amazing anesthesiologist who was informed that I was extremely squeamish so she was super sympathetic to my needs.
They had me sitting on the table but bending forward with a hunch-like back. In front of me was a nurse that they told me to hold on to. They let me bring my phone and earphones into surgery because they knew I was squeamish. I had an earphone in one ear playing, “Holes in the Sky” which was a super significant song to me at the time.
My anesthesiologist gave me a little pinch to inform me where the needle was going in so that I didn’t jump with surprise when it went into my back. The first needle went in, and it felt like a bee sting. Then she warned me again not to move because she was now going to be putting the huge needle into my back now. It just felt like a ton of pressure. Almost like someone putting pressure on a wound you have or something. That’s the only way I can think of to explain it.
I didn’t actually feel too nauseous I thought, but my body was saying otherwise. About 15 seconds after I got the spinal one of the nurses yelled out, “she needs oxygen!” I guess my blood pressure was dropping again.
Then as I was laying on the operating table I started panicking. I couldn’t breathe. This was something I was always concerned about when I found out I had to get a C-section because whenever I laid flat on my back, I felt like I couldn’t breathe because the baby was so big.
I felt like I was literally breathing through a straw. It reminded me of those experiments you do in middle school, the one where you breathe through a straw while exercising so you could see what it felt like to exercise as a smoker.
Panic washed over me, I thought I was going to die. My anesthesiologist kept saying, “Mayci you’re okay, your oxygen level is at 100%”, but it definitely didn’t feel like it. I frantically said, “no, no, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!” I think this is one of the only occasions besides the day I found out Arik passed away, where I was having a full on panic attack.
About a minute later, I started feeling so.much.better. Almost like I was floating in
They let my mom into the operating room, and I was like, “heeeeeeeeeey mom.” She was relieved that I was okay. I told her to “look at all my pretty bracelets”, referring to my hospital bracelets that they put on your wrist. It was obvious that I was feeling really good because my mom later told me that I said, “I look like the statue in Brazil because my arms are extended out.”
I stayed calm throughout all of the chaos because of the medication in my IV. I remember I could smell burning, that meant that they were cauterizing my stomach… which really meant that my stomach was now sliced open. I could hear suctioning and lots of other things that would probably freak me out, but I stayed SO calm.
During the whole process, I had my earphones in with “Holes In the Sky” playing on repeat. Now, I feel like having a C-section wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. But then they started tugging and pushing. Even though I was calm from the medication, this did NOT feel good at all.
They were pushing hard on the top of my stomach, kind of by my sternum which made me feel nauseous. Luckily it didn’t take too long. I heard a splash of water and a nurse kind of laugh. Then one of the other nurses said, “it’s all baby in there.” That’s when I knew my little guy was out.
I didn’t hear a cry at first. My heart started pumping, and my anxiety was starting to rear its ugly head. But then I heard a very raspy little tiny cough and then another one. After only a minute of him being out, they told me he was okay and didn’t have a stomach obstruction. I was SO relieved. They also told me he was 8 lb 15 oz. Which was a lot smaller than what they had predicted him to be. I probably could have delivered him, but either way, I think it was all meant to be.
My mom was able to cut his cord, which was super special for her… she still talks about it to this day! The nurses brought him over to me, and I held my precious angel for the first time. He was beautiful. So calm, he just looked around the room. I couldn’t even believe that he was mine.
I remember just brushing my hand on the side of his perfect little head. Examining his perfect little face. He was so warm and so squishy. I was so in love! I felt like I waited a lifetime for his arrival and now he was here in my arms.
Everything was worth it. The hurt, pain, depression…. It was all so worth it. My heart felt like it grew ten sizes. He was my little savior, and in that moment, nothing in the past mattered.
About five minutes after holding him, I started getting a little bit nauseous. They were still operating on me so I think that may have been part of the cause. They took Hudson off to the recovery room where I was to join in 20 minutes or so once they put me back together. I told my mom she could go with Hudson so she went to watch him get his first bath.
While I was still getting operated on, they allowed my dad to go into the recovery room to meet his grandson with my mom. In there Hudson got his first bath and they ran some tests on him.
Shortly after I was wheeled into recovery. Then they let my two sisters and sister-in-law in my room, they had anxiously waited to see me and the baby. The nurse said, “well he’s a hungry baby, he’s ready to eat!”
This was a concept that was SO foreign to me. When I was pregnant I didn’t want to breastfeed because I was weirded out by it. At the hospital I gave birth at, they are “pro-mommy baby” hospital which means they only want you to breastfeed. Formula isn’t an option unless your baby won’t latch.
Now that I just gave birth to this precious angel, there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him. Breastfeeding now seemed nice instead of weird. It was kind of like a spiritual experience. A bond between mommy and baby that isn’t really explainable. So I am so glad that I did breastfeed Hudson because it truly was an amazing experience!
I stayed in recovery for about 50 minutes or so before they wheeled me off to my room for the night. Even though it was tough, it was the BEST experience of my life. Looking back it almost feels magical. I was now the happiest girl in the world.