'I'm Stronger than a 58 Day Labor'; mom shares her emotional story of Violet's cesarean birth
Violet's birth story, as told my mom, Veronica:
"I’m stronger than a 58 day “labor.” That’s what I learned from this birth.
I was diagnosed with placenta previa and as my pregnancy progressed it became clearer that my second amazing VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) was not going to happen.
I spent months preparing my laboring space at home, preparing for this wonderful second VBAC. I spent months thinking my placenta would surely move. I did literally anything anyone mentioned would help it move and it never budged.
I was hospitalized for 58 days due to bleeds from my placenta until I delivered my baby. We had several scares where we thought we would deliver a 29 week baby, then again a 30 week baby and then finally my last bleed at 32 weeks. I put myself on stricter restrictions than the doctors did, because I felt in tune with my body again. I basically remained in my bed from weeks 32-37 after my last bleed. I got up once per day and that’s it.
Prayer got me through what seemed like an eternity. Constant prayer. I felt this was what needed to be done to make it to our delivery date safely. I was right. My body did good.
My hospital stay was other worldly. Being in a hospital bed for that long brings you to the brink of your sanity. I was told I could have blood clots or pulmonary embolisms due to restricting my movement and declining blood thinners. Each day was a day of weighing risks and benefits of a new intervention or medication. Luckily, I was able to keep my baby safe and give birth to her at a healthy 37 weeks 1 day via planned cesarean.
For weeks I was afraid to cry afraid to really let out the anxiety, fear, disappointment and sadness I felt over the bleeds, the medical decisions I had to make. I woke up on the day of my scheduled cesarean and we took some belly pictures with my doula since I hadn’t had the chance to take them out of the hospital and had been too afraid to walk to my window to take them before. A half hour before I was taken to the OR I cried all the tears I had held in for almost 2 months. I cried hard and it felt so good.
I was wheeled back and had my doctor choose a playlist. My core and body were so weak I couldn’t sit properly for the spinal to be placed well and it took 4 tries. I was laid down and the bright light was in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it was starting. 58 long days of prayer, fear and stress and I was here, there was no going back. The song Kiss Me started playing. I made jokes as I always do when I’m scared or traumatized about something (I learned that about myself during this time).
My husband was brought in and then I felt the pressure. It felt like my lungs were being pulled down I knew that meant her birth was close. The doctor said he saw a lot of dark hair! Then they pulled her out and I felt her little soul was born. I can’t explain how but it was like I felt her enter the world. I looked at her and my husband announced she was a girl. When I heard her cry tears welled up in my eyes. She was here and she was safe.
Although I blamed myself for her early birth and all of the medical interventions she had to endure because my placenta implanted wrong, I had kept her safe.
I wasn’t going to have a baby in the NICU.
They put her on my chest and I held her tightly. She was full of vernix something neither of my other children had and I loved it. I smelled her and truly rejoiced in seeing her.
We breastfed in recovery. A couple of days later, I was reunited with my other two children I hadn’t seen in almost 2 months.
My doctor did a great job on my cesarean. My placenta came out without incident, no complications and truly the surgery couldn’t have gone better.
I’m still processing it all but we are happy to be home and together. I am a different person than I was when I went into the hospital. I’m rediscovering my body and myself.
Even a complicated “labor” and surgical delivery can be victorious and triumphant in a way.
We triumphed over placenta previa together and share a very special bond.
My beautiful daughter Violet Rayne was born at a healthy 7lbs 5ounces and 19.5 inches and stayed with me from the moment she took her first breath and let out her first cry.
Thank you, Veronica, for sharing your beautiful insights with us as you welcome your baby to the world. It has been our pleasure to support you during this piece of your journey into Motherhood! Your words are wise and inspirational. Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!
Our doula best,
Tara and the Mindful Birth team