Towards the end of my second pregnancy I began to feel anger and despair about being virtually forced to have another C-section because Maui Memorial will not allow for VBAC.
I attempted a home birth with my first pregnancy and after 33 hours of intense labor and every trick in my midwife’s book, I never dilated past 1cm. My daughter was born via C-section and I have to admit, it was a positive experience. Yet still, as I prepared for a scheduled C-section for the birth of my son and knowing it would be my last pregnancy, I felt saddened that I would never experience the orgasmic home birth I read about in all those books (you know the ones). After much contemplation, prayer, a visit to a midwife to assess my pelvis to see if VBAC was even an option for me (she said it was), my inner wisdom lead me to the realization that a scheduled C-section at Maui Memorial Hospital was my path.
The morning of my son’s birth, I woke up early, after spending most of the night dancing in my kitchen with my unborn child to music I carefully picked out for his birth. I drove to the beach alone and jumped in the ocean as a sort of baptism for my son to enter the world. Afterwards I bathed with a salt scrub that my sweet girlfriends had blessed during a full moon ceremony just weeks prior. This was my labor. Soon after, I was at the hospital with my husband, daughter, and my best friend/doula. It was calm and exciting at the same time.
I had a very comprehensive and innovative birth plan inspired by a video I saw called “The Natural C-section”. My doctor was on board and in the operating room she made sure everyone else knew “the plan”. I began to cry just prior to the surgery, some of the staff tried to stop me from crying but my doctor understood and allowed me to just be. I had to cry to let out all the hurt and sorrow for a surgical birth and also for all the love and excitement I was feeling inside. My husband grabbed my hand and the surgery was underway.
Once his head was delivered, the curtain was lowered so I could see my son being born, slowly, as my doctor “milked him out” and simulated vaginal delivery as much as possible. After he was completely out, the pediatrician suctioned him and he was immediately brought to my chest so I could hold him and begin skin to skin right away. I attempted breastfeeding but he was more content to just be held. I sang to him in my arms for the next 20 minutes of surgery before they took him away, completed my surgery and then transferred me to the recovery room.
My heart ached being away from him while I was lying in a recovery room for over an hour. It is so unnatural to separate a mother and a baby for no other reason than hospital policy (even the nurses agreed). Nonetheless, I reunited with my son and he latched on my breast easily and eagerly and has been a champion baby ever since. I feel so blessed to have had an even more positive C-section the second time around and have since been educating other women on the possibilities of this “natural C-section”. It clearly was the path for my family.
P.S. I have written to the hospital about moving C-section recovery to the post partum floor so mother and baby stay together. I was informed by the nurse in the recovery room that some nurses have suggested this to the hospital. A representative from the hospital called me to tell me they are taking my suggestion seriously. We need more mothers to write to the hospital about this. So please feel free!