Jewel shares her story in her own words, listen to the podcast to hear the full story!
My husband and I started talking about babies a little over a year after we got married. I had gotten off the pill after being on it for ten years, so I was off of it for two when we started. I was really familiar with FAM, so when we started trying it only took three months to actually conceive.
I found out I was pregnant on our delayed honeymoon. We were supposed to go to Vietnam when the pandemic started and that went out the window so we went to Louisiana a year later. I packed a box of soft cups and a few pregnancy tests since we were trying and I would need one of those two things no matter what. I was a day late, and that seemed suspicious, so I took a test but it was negative. Then on the second day, I was supposed to start, nothing. So I lad a pregnancy test on top of the toilet to take the next morning. I rushed to the toilet when I woke up on the third day, took the test, and while waiting…which felt like forever, I finally saw two faint lines. I sat in there for about five minutes making sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me and called my husband in to look at the test with me. I cried from excitement, he’s the more level headed one so he was really excited but told me to wait until we could confirm at home since I was barely three weeks along at this point. We had to keep it from family and friends until we could come home and make sure with about five more tests. Which were also positive.
I, like countless other women, watched The Business of Being Born before getting pregnant and was determined to have a natural labor with midwives. I received care from The Bastrop Birthing Center under Ellie Noble and that could not have been a better choice.
Pregnancy was great, I never had any complications until after my due date. I went to the gym, got some funny looks in the weight room, and took long walks. When I got ultrasounds the techs commented on how good the oxygen delivery was from placenta to baby so that’s what encouraged me to keep some sort of active routine. I did suffer from some serious pelvic pain and swelling. Since I’m black, my midwives monitored me closely for preeclampsia, protein in the urine, and hypertension, (plus my mother ended up having both when she was pregnant with me) but I think from a combo of reducing stress and exercising often I was able to avoid developing those issues.
My body was trying to go into labor for about two weeks but nothing was progressing past evening contractions. One night I was convinced we would have to go to the birth center but once the sun came out, contractions stopped. Since I was so far past my due date, my midwife scheduled me at Austin Perinatal and I had a biophysical done on the baby. This was scheduled when I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant.
He was a 4 out of 8 on where he should be and his amniotic fluid was almost halfway gone. The head nurse came in, sat down, looked me in the eye, and said, well, you will be having a baby in the next 24 hours. I immediately resigned all my lovely Birth Center plans and accepted the fact that I would be having the hospital birth I did not want.
I called my midwife and she immediately got all my labs and paperwork sent over to St. David’s Main in Austin. I was admitted to L&D and the nurses were wonderful, one of them even told me she was sorry I didn’t get to have the Birth Center experience I wanted and that made me feel a lot better.
I scarfed down some Soup Peddler while she went over paperwork with me and then waited for my husband to show up with my truck and my hospital bag. The initial plan was to induce with a foley bulb but I was actually at 3 cm when I came in, so they offered a combo of cervidil, Cytotec, and Pitocin. I kindly asked them if I could just do the Pitocin and see how I progress and they were fine with that. The Pitocin contractions were so intense I caved and asked for the nitrogen, which did nothing other than made me feel sick. Then I needed an epidural because the contractions were sending me out of my body and I really could not handle the pain. After three rounds, it wasn’t really working, but my body progressed to 8cm. Unfortunately, it stayed at an 8 for almost 10 hours or so. By this point, I had intense shivers, had developed a fever, and the head midwife came in to let me know I had developed Chorioamnionitis. The baby was rather large and in a sunny side up position (I think) so a C-Section was recommended. I cried and agreed to it, nothing about this experience was going the way I intended but at this point, all I wanted was our baby boy to get here safely.
A lot of what happened next is a blur because of the surgery but I remember my midwife being the best cheerleader I could have asked for during the process and she really kept my husband and me calm. Her energy was absolutely perfect and she turned a less than ideal situation into a positive one. My husband was encouraging me letting me know our baby boy would be here soon.
There was a point where they struggled to get him out of me because apparently my abdominal tissue was so dense it required an extra hand and the sight (from what I’ve been told) was NOT pretty. I’m glad I was told this after the surgery and not during. They got the baby out and once I heard his cry my life changed forever. I cried, my husband cried, and he was the first to hold him
and do skin to skin while I regained my energy and awareness. He latched like a champion and he’s gained 7 pounds since birth.
His birth weight was 9.86 and he was 21 inches, now he’s about 25 inches long, 16 pounds, and he fits in 6-month-old clothing at 3 months lol.
I had a lot of help after surgery, but since I could walk the same day I really overdid it and had to remind myself to rest. I was walking around in the recovery room of the hospital and the nurses were like, “What are you doing?!?!” So if any other athletic mommas have a cesarean planned or think they won’t have one, just keep in mind not to overdo it.
I have some diastasis recti and my pelvic pain is better but hasn’t completely gone away. It’s really flared up by laying on one side the entire night or wearing my baby too long.
Even though I had the opposite birth experience of what I wanted, it was still really positive and my baby boy never had to do any NICU time so I have that to be grateful for. And even though I had a c-section, my breastfeeding experience has been wonderful. I thought my milk would never come in since it took a full five days to show up, but it did, and now I’m a little bit of an oversupplier so I donate to a national service called ni-q HDM. So if you find yourself having an unplanned or surprise c-section, keep latching your baby as much as possible and use balm if there’s any pain. I didn’t even have to use my pump to get my milk supply started!
Jewel Broussard Bio
Jewel lives in Smithville, TX with her husband Wyatt, their 3 month old son named Theodore, a cat, dog, and two donkeys. Jewel is a graphic designer and Wyatt is a jeweler. They met through jiu-jitsu almost five years ago. Connect with her on Instagram @ruraljewel.
- The Birth Hour – I am grateful for the women who shared their experiences, especially when things didn’t go as planned. Because of that, I went into my induction and surgery very calm knowing that medical interventions might not be ideal, but they can save lives.
- Kindred Bravely (code BIRTHHOUR for 20% off)
- STIX – their ovulation/pregnancy tests are amazing
- La Leche League
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Babywearing – I use an Ergobaby and a Moby wrap and it does wonders for bonding and nap time.
Part II of this episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely. From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered. See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their summer line of clothing and loungewear!