Expressing Gratitude with an Unexpected Cesarean Birth

50 Hour Labor and Unplanned Cesarean Birth

Jelisa thinks of her birth experience as being nothing like she had envisioned, and completely different from any birth story she’d listened to or watched online. After nearly 50 hours of labor, she felt as if she had to surrender to the process and do the one thing she REALLY didn’t want to do: have a c-section. Despite the many interventions and multiple breakdowns she had during labor, she describes it as a positive birth experience, which is what she ultimately wanted. By sharing her story, she wants other Moms to know that even if their birth looks NOTHING like they envisioned or dreamed of, it’s perfectly OKAY and you can STILL have a positive birth experience IF you allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling and find whatever ways you can to express gratitude around your birth. The practice of expressing Gratitude really helped Jelisa through what could have been a traumatic experience.

processing birth story

Jelisa Smith Bio

Jelisa Smith is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach, a former certified personal trainer, and an NPC figure competitor. She is currently on a mission to coach as many Moms as possible to unapologetically pursue their dreams and goals by teaching them to cultivate deep self love through fitness. Jelisa feels like Moms usually do so much for everyone BUT themselves, and she wants to remind them that their happiness, fulfillment, and well being matter too. If Mama is taken care of, everyone and everything around her is as well! She currently resides right outside of Washington DC with her husband and their 5 month old baby girl, Savannah. You can connect with her on Instagram at @JelisaSmithCoaching and on YouTube.

Birth Resources

Baby Tracker App
Boost Your Breastmilk by Alicia Simpson (book)
Facebook Groups
MommyRealness Private Instagram page

Three Unplanned Cesarean Birth Stories

Three Cesarean Birth Stories

Afra has undergone 3 C-sections mainly due to intervention. With her first she was induced at 41+2 with cervidel to prepare me for an induction and went into labor shortly after. She was 3 cms when admitted to the hosptial, but was put on a bed, not allowed to move around much, and also given some pain meds through an IV which slowed things down alot. She was naive and didn’t know much about the importance of movement, and advocating for herself. She labored and got to 8cms, but baby wasn’t engaged even though she was 80% effaced. Her baby quickly moved and went transverse as the OB says and so she ended up with an emergency c-section.

With her second she ended up having a c-section again after her water starting leaking. She wasn’t getting any contractions and so she was induced at 41 weeks, and she progressed to 8.5cms after about 30/40 hours or so. Her daughter was eventually at station 0 and Afra was 100% effaced but baby wasn’t descending as they later found in the c-section the cord was around her neck. Her cervix had swollen with all the constant cervical checks, water ruptures, and catheters inserted. she had been on the IV, antibitocis and eventually had an epidural which helped her progress to 8.5 from 7.

With her 3rd baby, she couldn’t find a supportive provider or midwife that could take her on except for an OB who agreed to allow her to TOLAC provided everything was going well. She dilated and went into labor on her own this time and without her approval got a sweep from her OB which set off active labor. Her baby ended up being posterior in brow presentation which gave her back labor and was the reason why her labor wasn’t progressing well causing decals. She ended up having her 3rd C-section shortly after.

Afra Said Bio

Afra is a Mommy Blogger & Influencer at “Through Mama’s Eyes’ is a wife & stay at home mom of 3 (aged 4, 2 & 4 months). She uses her experiences as a mother and an entrepreneur to connect with & support mothers in their journey as new moms, moms with young toddlers and moms who want to work from home. She loves keeping it REAL and talking about managing birth, breastfeeding, managing motherhood, toddler tantrums, teething, baby wearing, life as a work from home mom (previous corporate world workaolic), the best products for babies, to toddlers & moms. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook. Check out more from Afra’s Birth and her Birth Plan Template & VBAC Preparation Checklist here.

Bestow

This episode is sponsored by Bestow — smart, affordable term life insurance you can buy online instantly. If you’re like most expecting mothers, you’re probably concerned about your family’s financial future yet have zero time to plan for it. Bestow helps you embark on life’s journey with confidence knowing your family is protected. The process is easy—you answer simple questions about your lifestyle and health, and if approved you can buy a policy online in minutes. And it’s affordable too. For example, a healthy 25-year-old mom could buy $50,000 in coverage for as low as $2.50 per month. Visit hellobestow.com to learn more.

Unplanned Cesarean Birth After “Doing Everything Right”

Planned Unmedicated Hospital Birth turned Cesarean

Catherine Gray planned an unmedicated hospital birth and did everything she could to have a low-risk pregnancy. She took Bradley classes, exercised, followed the Brewer’s diet, interviewed numerous care providers, had chiropractic care and acupuncture, practiced relaxation techniques…and ended up with an unplanned cesarean birth after a long labor at 42 weeks. Sometimes you do everything right, and the part of birth that is a mystery takes over. In processing her birth as a mother, Catherine has explored how her experience as a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse affected the decisions she made during labor and the feelings she had afterward. She has pursued the question, “What if my cesarean was my healing rather than my scarring?”

Catherine Gray Bio

Catherine Gray is a wife, mother, and writer in Mississippi. She writes her blog Unsilenced Woman about her experiences navigating motherhood, marriage, sexuality, and all things human after emotional and sexual abuse. She has trained with Birthing From Within as a Birth Art facilitator and Birth Story Listener, drawn to the experience of birth as a powerful rite of passage to motherhood. Connect with her on Instagram at @unsilencedwoman.

unplanned c section birth story

Resources

Milkies Milk Saver
Earth Mama Organics Belly Oil
Meal Train

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour and they will know I sent you!

 

Double Whammy Twin Birth Story

After a bout with infertility and IVF, Julie was thrilled and terrified to be pregnant with twins! But after an uneventful pregnancy, and making it to 38 weeks, Julie experienced the thing all twin moms dread: the “double whammy” birth.

Julie Burt Nichols

Julie is Twiniversity’s “Wizard Behind the Curtain,” serving as Editor-in-Chief of Twiniversity.com, Account Manager, and Instructor for Chicago Twiniversity classes. Julie is a full-time working mother to twin boys, born on Halloween. She loves serving as a resource and support for new parents, soon-to-be parents, and we-want-desperately-to-be parents. Julie is proud to be a certified child passenger safety technician, and the Twiniversity Resident Songstress/Jingle Writer.

twins birth story

Resources

Twin Classes
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two

Babylist

This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.

Hospital Induction Turned Cesarean Birth Story

Leslie was 40+3 when she went in for a Non stress test. The NST showed baby’s heart rate was declining after each contraction so she was admitted to the hospital that same day. She was induced around 7pm Thursday, April 14th. After almost 24 hours of labor, baby wasn’t moving down the birth canal so it was decided to go ahead with a cesarean birth. Jaxon Maggit was born via cesarean at almost 8pm Friday night.

Leslie Maggit Bio

Leslie and her husband of two years, Quincy, live in the suburbs of Seattle, WA with their son Jaxon and stepson, Evan. She works as an eCommerce Lead for a local technology sales company. Leslie and her family love to watch movies, play sports, and laugh! Leslie loves connecting with other moms so feel free to reach out to her on twitter at @LeslieBurns_.

cesarean birth story

Resources

Babycenter & birth month group
Reddit BabyBumps
Reddit BeyondTheBump

Favorite birth/parenting podcasts:
The Birth Hour
The Mom Hour
One Bad Mother
Mom and Dad Are Fighting
What Fresh Hell

Crane Humidifiers

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH18 at www.crane-usa.com.

Cesarean Birth, Two VBACS and Emergency Cesarean Hysterectomy

 Three Birth Stories

Tonya’s first pregnancy ended in a misscarriage at 10 weeks, which lead to a D&C, continuous bleeding, and a hysteroscopy.

After her miscarriage, Tonya had a rough second pregnancy, fighting with all-day and all-night (morning) sickness all the way until the 3rd trimester. Also, the baby continued to be on the smaller side which lead to many ultrasounds. After having a miscarriage, Tonya was relieved to be able to see her baby so often, but she was always in the breech position. Every ultrasound, from 20 weeks on, she was in the same position. Baby was monitored for fluid levels, growth, and head size. Because she continued to be breech, Tonya reluctantly started planning a scheduled c-section. Tonya had always hoped for a vaginal birth, but she quick;y realized things don’t always go as planned. The day they went to the c-section, they did an ultrasound to make sure she still hadn’t turned and, sure enough, she was still in the same position; so, they continued on with the c-section. Everything went smoothly and they met their firstborn, Teal.

Second Birth Story – VBAC with Epidural

With Tonya’s next birth, she was determined to have a VBAC, but at the same time, she just wanted her baby here safely, whatever way that was going to be. Tonya didn’t want to put so much pressure on herself that she would be disappointed in how her baby was birthed. She was very nervous about what was going to happen.

Tonya tried everything in the books to have the baby on time because her care providers encouraged having the baby around 40 weeks or shortly after for a VBAC. Tonya was walking, even running, trying to get the baby out after 39 weeks. It felt to her like it was never going to happen and she started feeling defeated at the end of 39 weeks. On the night of 39 weeks 4 days, she got a phone call that her grandmother had fallen and was life-flighted to the hospital. By 3 a.m., she got the call that she should drive down to Denver (about an hour away), to say her goodbyes. Tonya’s mother-in-law came to watch Teal as Tonya, her husband, and her brother headed down to Denver at 4 a.m., arriving at 5.

As soon as they pulled into the hospital, Tonya started having diarrhea with contractions beginning shortly after. They were spaced out 10-15 minutes, but throughout the rest of the morning the contractions grew closer and closer. By around 1 p.m., Tonya’s mother and husband told her it was time to get going to the hospital. Tonya was afraid it wasn’t really happening (she wasn’t in as much pain as she was expecting; she just felt uncomfortable), so she hesitated to go in. Finally, they headed to the hospital at about 2:30pm to get checked. She was dilated to 5 cm with contractions coming about every 5 minutes so was admitted.

She was asked about an epidural, and the nurse on hand highly recommended it, especially being a VBAC patient, so she went ahead with it. Immediately, the epidural caused her to get sick, lose her hearing, and get dizzy, but the anesthesiologist eventually got it balanced out to where Tonya regained her hearing and started feeling better again. At about 7:30pm it was push time. Tonya felt like she was struggling to push, asked for a mirror, and eventually got the baby out at around 9:00pm. And they met their 2nd daughter, Layne. Within a half-hour of Layne being born, Tonya’s grandmother passed away. It truly felt like she was holding on until she heard Tonya’s baby’s name, who was named after her. A very bittersweet day.

vbac picture

Unmedicated VBAC & Emergency Hysterectomy

With her next baby, again, Tonya was determined to have a VBAC and felt much more confident this time. But, she really hated everything about the epidural so she really wanted to have an unmedicated birth this time. She watched many youtube videos and listened to the Birth Hour daily to help her prepare. At 39 weeks 4 days, Tonya woke up at midnight with her first contraction. She tried to sleep through them, but they progressively got more painful and closer together. At about 3am, she decided she better eat something in case she wasn’t going to be able to eat again for awhile.

At 4am, she showered and her husband started getting up and packing, thinking they should head to the hospital soon. Shortly after the shower, the contractions seemed to taper off, so Tonya laid back down and encouraged her husband to head to work. Once her older children woke up, the contractions were anywhere from around 7 to 12 minutes apart, so she fed them breakfast and decided to take them on a walk. The walk seemed to pick the contractions back up so when her husband called around 10am to check up on her, he decided it was time to head back home. They went to the hospital at 11:30am and were admitted because she was 6 cm dilated with contractions coming about every 3-5 minutes by then.

She had planned on walking, bouncing, and possibly sitting in the tub for labor, but the room they were admitted to did not have a tub. She also discussed with her doctor using the TENS unit and/or laughing gas for pain management before going to an epidural. Tonya tried the TENS unit, but within about 5 minutes of that, it was push time. She had about 5 big pushes and baby Eva was born. Tonya felt amazing after this birth! Like she could go run a marathon! She was in awe of her baby and the whole experience.

vbac birth stories

Then, the doctors started trying to get her placenta out. It was not coming out normally, so the doctors started kneading Tonya’s stomach. Still, it wasn’t coming, so they started pressing harder and harder. It got so painful, Tonya had to hand her baby off because she was in excruciating pain. Still, the placenta wouldn’t detach. Finally, after an hour of trying to manually extract the placenta, the doctor determined it was time for a D&C. Tonya was able to nurse her baby and introduce her to her sisters, mother, and mother-in-law and then they prepped her for what was supposed to be a 30 minute surgery. About 8 hours later, Tonya woke up on life support. Eventually she learned she had nearly bled to death and in order to stop the bleeding, the doctor had to perform a cesarean hysterectomy.

Tonya Trostel Bio

Tonya and her husband Evan have three beautiful daughters. Teal who is three, Layne who just turned 2, and Eva is her 4 month old. They reside in a small town in Colorado. Tonya is a former teacher and hair stylist but now is trying to keep up with her daughters as a stay at home mother. She has had three very different births, first was a c-section, second had an epidural VBAC and the last was a natural VBAC, followed by a cesarean hysterectomy due to placenta increta. Tonya is still recovering as she and her husband are adjusting to becoming a family of five.

Resources

The Birth Hour
Kelly Mom
Mama Natural

Babylist

This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.