Last updated January 2013
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*The first c-section was an emergency 8 weeks early (my water broke and Meghan was in distress). I thought I had been leaking fluid but every time I went in to be checked they couldn't detect any. Then I had an accident in the car and slid into a ditch. My back was hurting so my doctor wanted me to come into the hospital and be monitored. It was there that they noticed that Meghan was in distress. They wanted to do an ultrasound and as I rolled over for the ultrasound, my water broke and gushed. I was thankful we were at the hospital when it happened. They don't know if the accident caused the problem or not since I kept thinking that I was leaking anyway. We decided it was Providence and that the Lord was taking care of us by having me go in the ditch and then to the hospital with the back pain. Having worked with neonates (preemies), I knew too much for my own good and I went into shock when they told me I was having an emergency c-section. Because of this I was given general anesthesia. I remember waking up in recovery. They told me I had a girl and my first question was how much did she weigh. When they told me her weight, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing she would probably do very well. Meghan was fine; she weighed in at 4 pounds 7 ounces and stayed in the hospital for two weeks to put on weight.
**With the second I was going to be given a "trial of labor" with the same doctors. My water broke 10 days before my due date. They said I had to come into the hospital and they put me to bed right away. They didn't even let me get of out bed to use the bathroom. I had to use the bedpan! 12 hours later they started pitocin which I was on for 12 more hours. At that point it was 6:30 pm on a Sunday evening and I was only dilated to 2cm. Since it had been 24 hours since my water broke it was time for the c-section, according to my doctor. This time I had an epidural and was able to be awake for the c-section. Matthew weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.
*** With the third baby, I found a different doctor, a woman, who was willing to give me a trial of labor. She said she would do her best to let nature take it's course. Unfortunately , she was in a group and she wasn't on call when my water broke (this time only four days before my due date). They hadme come in and started pitocin right away. When the doctor came in and examined me after only 2 hours of pitocin,he said I was high, tight, and closed. He basically was very ugly and said I could keep trying if I wanted to but he could either do the c-section now or come back later and do it. This was so hard!! He left and I cried for at least an hour!! I knew that I couldn't even try without the support of the doctor. My dh and I prayed about it and finally decided to just have him do the c-section. I was emotionally wounded and we were not as educated about birth at this time. If I had known better, I would have pulled out the IV and walked out. They stopped the pitocin and then I waited two hours for the next doctor who was coming on call. He ended up doing my c-section, not the doctor who had been so rude and ugly. Sarah weighed 9 lbs, 6 ounces. We arrived home from the hospital on Meghan's 3rd birthday!
4th c-section/ February 18, 1994
**** For the
fourth pregnancy, I
found a midwife who was willing to not do anything to me at all and let nature take its course. She had me read several books,
one of which was Silent Knife. This would have been
wonderful except that halfway through my pregnancy her
backup doctor retired and she had to find a new
one. Her new backup doctor wasn't as comfortable with
my previous track record and so, they did all sorts
of things to me! They had me come in to
hospital for Prostaglandin gel about 1 1/2 weeks before my due
date. This was just to ripen up my cervix but it was done
in the hospital just in case I went into labor. Then my
midwife repeated the prostaglandin at her birthing center a few
days later. I think we did it again a few days
later. I did get some cramping from the prostaglandin but I
never went into labor with it. So, on Tuesday, February 15,
one day after my due date, I was pitocin induced at the
hospital. We did it all day. I
to stay in bed with nothing to eat on the pitocin, and I
was only 1 1/2 cm dilated by 8pm. They sent me home. I
rested on Wednesday and we started again bright and early on
Thursday, Feb. 17 with the pitocin. After all day in bed on
pitocin with nothing to eat, I was only 2 cm dilated and in
miserable pain. Pitocin is so rough!! The doctor broke my water
around noon that day thinking it might help. They pulled out all the stops for me and gave me an epidural. All night
was hooked up to every monitor you could imagine so I didn't
sleep very well. I could not have anything to drink. Even though
I had the epidural, I was uncomfortable and miserable, physically
and emotionally. My midwife kept saying she was sorry; that
she knew that this was not what I wanted but her hands were
tied. In the morning about 9:30 am I was dilated to
ten and they wanted me to push. Push with
what???? I had had no food for over 27 hours, nothing to
drink but ice chips, and no rest . My epidural had only
started to wear off so I had no strength at all. (I know that an
epidural can take up to 8 hours to wear off completely from my
working in the hospital as a respiratory therapist.) I tried
pushing for 2 hours with no progress at all. It
was a nightmare and I had started running a fever. I ended
up with another C/S. I also ended up with an
infection and had to be on IV antibiotics for 5 days. I was
then discharged and went to my baby's bedside. He was moved to
the pediatric ward when I was discharged so that I could be with
him. He was on the IV antibiotics also just as a
preventative measure. It ended up that all of his blood cultures
came back negative.
Nathan weighed 10 pounds, 7 ounces. I have to share this...During
my c-section my epidural wore off and I began to feel pain. My
husband said I was yelling and bending the bars that my sterile drape
was attached to! When this happened, the anesthesiologist
apparently gave me sleepy medicine and valium through my IV and also
added more medicine through the epidural cathether (which, thankfully
was still in). The medicine in the epidural takes a few minutes
to work so that is why they had to make me sleepy; to stop me from
feeling the pain and make me forget the pain (valium does this very
well). When I woke up in recovery I knew that I shouldn't be groggy so
it really scared me. I thought something terrible had happened to
Nathan. It was quite a relief to find out that he was okay and
the problem had been with my anesthesia.
5th c-section/ July 17, 1997
*****Now for the story of the fifth baby: The Lord had moved us to Chicago and there was a group of doctors called Homefirst; they do home deliveries. Homefirst was started by Mayer Eisenstein, MD, author of the Home Court Advantage. His mentor was Robert Mendohlsson. They basically felt that I had just not ever been allowed to go into real labor on my on; that people were always intervening. So, they were willing to let me try. Here was my chance.... to have a totally natural delivery with doctors I could trust to not intervene...and do it at home!!!! All went well up until I went into labor. I was overjoyed that I was actually in labor on my own (my due date by dates was July 8 but they had adjusted it by ultrasound to July 15. I needed the ultrasound because at 7 weeks I was spotting and bleeding.) Homefirst will only do ultrasounds if they are truly necessary. So, I was in labor, only two days after my adjusted due date. Our nurse came out, did the first exam and couldn't feel our baby's head. So it was into the office for an ultrasound. Our baby had turned sideways (transverse)! I lost it and became totally hysterical. My husband just held me as I kicked and screamed out my tantrum. Our nurse was wonderful and she prayed with us and went with us to the hospital. (It was a horrible ride with no a/c in mid July with contractions every 3 minutes. It was good she was there to try and soothe me while my dh concentrated on keeping up with the doctor.) To top it all off, it was my 32nd birthday!!!! The C/S went well without event (just a little longer than the others due to scar tissue and the doctor taking his time to sew me up good) and our 10 pound, 10 ounce baby Stephen entered the world. They still can't believe that a baby his size managed to turn. (At my last checkup he was head down. The doctor determined this by feeling the baby externally not by an internal exam. I didn't want the internal exam because this was when they would always say you are high, tight, and closed and I feared hearing those words.) This was so hard to deal with. At least I know this c-section was needed, as was the first.
6th c-section/ March 17, 1999
******Now, for the sixth baby...I need to say that I am thankful to have had healthy babies but that the desire was still strong to have one the way God intended. I used Homefirst, the same doctors that I used for the fifth baby. I began having contractions Tuesday afternoon, March 16, one week past my due date. It wasn't until 12:30am or so that night that I felt they were regular enough (4-8 minutes apart and lasting 40-55 seconds each) to call my doctor. I called the doctor around 1:30 am (call was delayed because of a sick child throwing up. My dh and I were thrilled at this!!) The nurse was paged and arrived by 2:30am. She did her initial check and we timed some contractions. (Micheal was head down but very high.) Then she called and spoke to the doctor. The doctor said all sounded well but that it was early so we should have something to eat and drink and try to rest. We laid down around 4 am. I didn't really expect to be able to sleep but I did. I dreamed about the contractions as I was having them. We didn't wake up until 6am. In the next hour my contractions were spreading out and were not as intense. We ate breakfast and the nurse checked me again. She could actually feel the head more easily this time though it was still high. After a call to the doctor we decided to take a walk; this was to increase the intensity and frequency of contractions and help Micheal to get lower in the pelvis. We (nurse, dh, and I) walked for 1 hour, 45 minutes all around our neighborhood. While walking all I felt was a constant tightening with only an occasional increase in intensity so it was very difficult to time any of the contractions I was having. After the walk, we came in, rested for a few minutes and started timing contractions. They were still spread out and not very intense. We thought my labor was stopping. We called the doctor and he wanted her to check me again after we had just rested for a while. When she examined me (internal) she could no longer feel Micheal's head. By external exam, he was still head down just higher than before. So, my doctor wanted us to go to the office for monitoring (just to make sure there was nothing wrong with Micheal which could cause labor to stop) and an ultrasound. Micheal's heartbeat was fine but they had trouble monitoring it for any length of time due to his movements. Next was the ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a transverse baby!!! I couldn't believe it. At home, he was still head down so somewhere between home and the office, he moved!!! He was low transverse and I was still having contractions, although they were not as intense as the night before when I called the doctor to begin with. We knew what had to happen next...head to the hospital in downtown Chicago for the c-section!!! I wasn't very happy but I wasn't hysterical either (when this happened with the fifth I was hysterical). I couldn't talk about it because if I did I would have started crying and I didn't want to be a wreck when I got to the hospital. We drove in silence to the hospital. Once upstairs and in bed, my contractions started getting harder and more frequent. The surgeon came in, got my history and examined me. He then did an ultrasound to verify the position of the baby. The baby was still transverse but now he was very high in my abdomen, right up under my ribs, sideways. They got me prepped for the surgery and then I was told that surgery was backed up and it would be awhile. After being there for 2 hours, I was getting frustrated that I was having to endure these contractions for nothing, knowing that I was going to have a c-section. The contractions were now coming every 4-5 minutes and were much more intense. I told the nurse I wanted brethine to stop the contractions. Well, this got their attention and within the next 30 minutes I was in the OR. Right before they began the surgery, the surgeon checked me one more time, in hopes that Micheal had turned head down. He had not turned so they did the c-section. The surgery took awhile as there was much scar tissue. Two blood vessels in the scar tissue began bleeding. They had to stop and sew these two vessels up before they could continue. Once Micheal was out, it took a little over an hour to sew me up. (In retrospect, I feel it took so long more due to the doctor than due to the state of my uterus.) Before the surgery Wednesday afternoon, I told my doctor that I wanted my IV and foley out as soon as possible. I also let him know that I wanted fluids (not ice chips) immediately and food the next am and that I would go home Friday morning. With my first c-section I went home the third day post-op. I had general anesthesia for the first c-section as it was an emergency and this takes a little longer to recover from. For the fourth I had to stay five days due to an infection which required IV antibiotics. With the second, third, and fifth c-sections I went home the second day post-op so I planned on all going well and doing this again. The doctor said sure as he realized I had been through this before and I knew what I was talking about !! All went as planned and I came home Friday morning, about 42 hours after being wheeled to my room after surgery.
As for this birth and how I am feeling about it...I am relieved and joyful to have a healthy baby boy. I am disappointed to have had another c-section yet I am thankful as I know it was needed. God gave us clear direction (you don't have a choice when the baby is transverse and you are in labor). As for future births, we probably will not try a vaginal birth again. The Lord seems to be saying that I was just not meant to have babies vaginally. Micheal was 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Micheal, according to one baby name book, is the Irish way to spell Michael. Since he was born on St. Patrick's Day, we named him Micheal Patrick.
7th c-section/ September 17, 2001
*******I was scheduled for surgery at 8am. After arriving at the hospital at 5:45am and beginning to get prepped for surgery, I was told that another woman was going to have a c-section before me and that my surgery would be later than planned. This woman had been in labor all day Sunday and apparently was making no progress. I've been there and remember how hard it was to wait for the c-section and birth so this did not bother me. I took the extra time to rest and continue to pray about our day ahead. About 9:00am they came and took me to the operating room. First thing was to get the anesthesia done. For all of my c-sections except the first one I have had an epidural so this was what I wanted for this surgery as well. What's great with the epidural is that they can give you duramorph for pain through it. This duramorph lasts 24 hours and it's not systemic, it's a local pain medicine. I was told that they do something a little different at this hospital. They start an epidural but then give you a spinal for the actual surgery. The epidural is then used to administer the pain medication after surgery. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist had difficulty inserting the epidural catheter. I don't know why as they've never had problems before. He kept hitting bone when trying to advance the catheter. Can you say ouch? Actually it was more like OUCH! It was so very frustrating and I admit that at this point, I became scared. They do not allow anyone to be there with you while starting the anesthesia at this hospital. I even mumbled under my breath to the nurse, "At what point do they stop trying or call someone else?" I started to cry quietly and the nurse just tried to reassure me that it was going to be okay. The anesthesiologist tried four times but had to give up on the epidural. He then easily gave me the spinal anesthesia and explained that I would get morphine for pain after surgery that I could administer myself through a PCA pump (you pushthe button when you need the pain medicine and it goes right into your IV). I wasn't too happy (as this meant the IV would be needed till the next morning) but I didn't have much of a choice. I certainly didn't want general anesthesia. Once I was numb and further prepped, Chris and my doctor came in. What a relief it was to see both of them!!
My doctor quickly got started and had absolutely no trouble with the surgery. I was amazed at how fast they got David out! The time just flew by as everyone was talking, and they were keeping me updated step by step as to where they were in the surgery. We had talked with my doctor and with the nurses about our last 3 babies being so large (over 10 pounds) and we were curious what this baby would weigh When they weighed him and he only weighed 9 lbs 2 ounces, one of the nurses joked that he must be a preemie!! They sewed me up pretty quickly also and we all headed to the recovery room. You know, Chris brought David over to me while I was being sewn up and yes, I was amazed, but all I could do while laying there was talk to him and kiss his forehead and cheek. But when I got to the recovery room, they handed him to me. At this point, I began crying over the absolute miracle that he is and I was totally in awe over God's creation. It never gets old; even though he is the seventh, he is not just another baby. Each and every one is so specially created. Chris and I had a special time there together rejoicing in God's goodness to us! It was here in the recovery room that Chris pretty much decided on David's name.
We didn't have a boy's name picked out; we only had a girl's name and we had been praying that God would give us a boy's name. I'm not sure how God gave the name David to Chris but He did. Once Chris started using the name David, he was sold on it. The middle name, Emerson, is special to us. Bruce Emerson Morrison was Chris' best friend and our best man in our wedding. Bruce went home to be with the Lord in February of 2001. Thus the perfect name for our seventh arrow, David Emerson. In the recovery room we talked about the surgery and what the doctor reported to Chris. My doctor told us that there were only a few minor adhesions which he fixed and that my uterus looked great. He even said he looked forward to seeing us again (meaning he figures we'll be having more babies)!
add that I had great peace in scheduling this c-section. I did
not question at all whether I should be trying for a VBAC once
again. David presented bottom first (breech) and this just
further confirmed that I
Now for the story of the eighth c-section...
8th c-section/ August 11, 2003
********Surprisingly, I was able to sleep that Sunday night. BUT I was up bright and early, long before the alarm clock went off Monday morning. It's not everyday that you get to look forward to meeting your 8th child! We got up (dh was excited too!), got ready, gathered my things, woke our oldest daughter, gave the wake up call to my friend who was coming over to stay with the children and headed out the door. The hospital was so quiet as we entered (it was 5:30am). Was I really headed off to have my 8th c-section today? I had such peace and thankfully, no fear. Once in my room, they hooked me up to the monitors, started my IV and gave me the yucky stuff to drink (to prevent nausea). IV fluids were going by 6:45am and we expected to be in the OR by 7:45am. At 7:50am my nurse informed me that there was an emergency c-section to be done before me. This was no problem. It happened last time and I could be somewhat patient. Then there was another emergency c-section. Thankfully God was with me and with my dh as we watched the clock and waited; sometimes being silent, sometimes dozing, sometimes talking, sometimes praying. It's hard waiting when all you want is to hold your sweet precious baby in your arms!! Finally at 11:15am they took me to the OR. I was so ready and so excited! My epidural and spinal went in pretty quickly (yay--not like last time), the foley catheter was put in and my dh was soon by my side (although he said it seemed like forever as he waited for them to come get him--they don't let dh's in the OR while the epidural and spinal are being given). My doctor and nurse talked constantly while cutting into me and they gave me updates as to where they were, what they were doing, etc. Before I knew it they were cutting the uterus and breaking my water. My doctor said something like, oh, look, here are the feet. Heather was in a double footling breech presentation. No surprise here. None of my last several babies have wanted to be in the right position! They had no problem with Heather's little legs and bottom but what a tug of war it was to get her chest and shoulders out! My doctor was pulling and maneuvering Heather and the nurse was pushing and pressing on my abdomen. It was quite a scene and quite a feeling for me! (Maybe next time my doctor will make the cut a little wider?!) Heather did well, with great apgars but her blood sugar was low. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 15 ounces. After she was somewhat cleaned up and checked out by the neonatologist, my dh gave her a bottle of formula (there's no way to nurse while you're still being sewn up!). Dh was holding her right by my head so I could see her and talk to her while I was being put back together. At one point, I asked if they were doing the staples yet. My doctor laughed and said he was quick but not that quick. Shortly after that he told me he was doing the staples and I'd be out of there very soon. They got me over to the gurney and handed Heather to me for the ride to the recovery room. In the recovery room Heather was able to latch on and nurse. Of course, then we did offer a little more formula so that her blood sugar would hopefully be good for the next draw. Again, her blood sugar was low so we nursed every two hours that afternoon, offering a small bit of formula after each nursing. All of her blood sugars were fine after that. Once we got back to our room, my dh got me settled and left to go get the rest of our children. They were all very ready to come and see Heather! When he came back with the children, he also brought me orange juice and a wrap from Wild Oats. You see, I insist upon juice and water and I usually get it even though the nurses are always hesitant. I simply explain to them that I've done this MANY times and I know what my body can handle and need. But they won't give me food so I just have my dh sneak it in. It was so good!!! That evening after dh and the children were gone, I got up from bed and sat in the chair with the help of the nurse's aide. One unfortunate incident was that my epidural (which was still in for pain management) had come out and leaked all over my gown and bedding during the night. I was in lots of pain because of not getting the meds through the epidural and I was soaking wet. They had to get me oral pain meds and then get me all cleaned up and changed. That was not a good experience. I'd never had an epidural in all night after surgery. I guess I moved around too much causing it to get pulled out. Next am the foley and the IV were taken out and I was able to walk the halls. C-section on Monday, home on Wednesday, just as I had hoped. Thanks be to God! Doctor's report: all looked good inside (uterus, scar, etc.). No warnings, no cautions, nothing!
X-rays reveal that my tailbone makes a sharp inward and upward turn into my pelvis. This is probably why my babies want to go the wrong direction!! Ouch...their poor little heads! My doctors all agreed that this could be why I have had to have my babies by c-section.
Positive home pregnancy test!!
9th c-section / October 29, 2007
All praise to Him who reigns above!!
God is so good to us!
We had a few specific prayer requests for this c-section birth and God answered each and every one! Surgery was scheduled for 8am. We checked into the hospital at 5:45am and things got started. As usual, we had to go through all of the admission stuff, get an IV started with fluids, meet the anesthesiologist and wait...I still am amazed that different doctors all have their own "approach" to c-section anesthesia management. After talking with the anesthesiologist, we discovered that he preferred to give only spinals for c-sections. I was a little disappointed with this as I feel my best recoveries have been when I had an epidural with duramorph. I told him about this and he said he could give me duramorph with my spinal as well. We also discussed my comfort level throughout the surgery and some of my previous c-section experiences. I was very pleased with this anesthesiologist; he really listened (and I was really glad to know I was going to get the duramorph). :-) Then, our wait began. With the last two births we ended up having to wait past my scheduled surgery time due to emergencies that came up. Even though I had mentally prepared myself to wait, we specifically prayed that there would be no emergencies that would cause a delay in our getting to meet and hold Kaitlyn. We were so pleased that God chose to answer this prayer; I was walking into the OR at exactly 8am! Right away, my spinal was being given, first with the duramorph and then with the anesthesia for surgery. The time seemed to fly by so quickly; I was getting all hooked up (anesthesia, blood pressure cuff, heart monitor leads, pulse ox, oxygen, etc.) and my anesthesia was taking effect nicely. When I was numb enough, they inserted my foley catheter. It is so wonderful that they do this after you are numb! Chris joined me in the OR at this point. I always feel relieved when he is allowed into the OR. I don't remember the exact time that my doctor started cutting. It was probably around 8:15 or 8:20. The surgery went very smoothly, even with my doctor taking his time to make my abdominal incision a little wider (he remembered how hard it was to get Heather out --see story above--and we all figured we had another big baby). SURPRISE--Kaitlyn was actually head down!! The previous 4 babies had been either some form of breech or transverse so we were expecting my doctor to find feet when he got into the uterus! The wider incision worked wonderfully and Kaitlyn was born at 8:41am (only 41 minutes after walking into the OR). I was in awe at how quickly and smoothly she was born. While I was getting stitched and stapled, Kaitlyn was getting checked out and they told me she weighed 9 lbs, 14 ounces. I waited with baited breath to hear her blood sugar level. (Heather's blood sugar had been low so she had to have a bottle while I was still being sewn up and couldn't nurse her. I didn't want Kaitlyn to have low blood sugar and get a bottle.) The nurses couldn't get the blood sugar equipment to work properly. You see, there were two new computers recently set up in the OR and they were still working out the kinks. The blood sugar monitor was supposed to synch with the computer, but it wasn't. The nurse was joking about how the new computer systems were supposed to make their work easier! :-) When they finally did draw Kaitlyn's blood, her blood sugar was a little low but not low enough to need a bottle!! Yea!! I believe that if they had gotten a blood sugar reading when they should have, it might have been too low. Perhaps the equipment malfunction was a way of God answering my prayer and allowing some time for Kaitlyn's blood sugar to come up a little?! We don't believe in coincidences; just God-incidences!! My doctor finished stitching and stapling while Chris held Kaitlyn very close to my face. I have come to cherish those moments, with Chris right there, holding my baby so close to me, snuggling our cheeks together. It is a special time even though I can't hold them right after they are born. It wasn't long before I was moved to a gurney and I got to hold Kaitlyn for the ride to the recovery room. Our time in recovery went pretty quickly. A close family friend of ours was allowed to join us in the recovery room so we had plenty to talk about. Kaitlyn nursed some and then I got sick. I didn't remember the duramorph causing me to get sick before; but nauseousness is a side effect of morphine so it can happen. They were able to give me something for my stomach and I felt much better. My doctor came in and said that my c-section went just about as normal as any other repeat c-section. He said that I had hardly any adhesions and that everything looked great. Thank you Lord--another answered prayer! My doctor prayed with us before he left. I didn't remember him doing that before. After getting settled in my room, I began to itch all over (another side effect of morphine) and get nauseous. I threw up again. Fortunately, my nurse had standing orders for the nausea medication and benadryl for the itching. Both worked great and I didn't have any other problems after that. Even with the nauseousness and itching, I'd choose the duramorph in the future. For me, it works much better for pain control than a PCA pump with morphine, pain shots of demerol or other pain medications, or having an epidural still in my back all night. A while later, all the children arrived to meet and hold Kaitlyn. We had so much fun! It was nice, though, when they left; Chris and I could just rest and spend time with each other and with our newest little gift from God.
C-section on Monday,
Home on Wednesday,
Great report from my doctor!
All praise to Him who reigns above!!
Several have asked if we stopped having children after the 9th c-section. We have not done anything to prevent the
blessing of children but the Lord has not blessed us with another child since Kaitlyn was born in 2007.
We are, however, expectantly looking forward to becoming grandparents in March 2013!
Please visit our family's website.
Email Cindy : email@example.com
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