Motherhood: A “Natural” Cesarean
September 25th, 2012 – three years ago today, my sweet baby girl was born. Today’s bonus post was pulled from that month she was born, and it’s full of some valuable information if you are going to have a baby soon!
So long natural birth. Hello Cesarean #3.
As many of you know, this was a completely different experience than my last two. After two attempts at fully natural births, both resulting in emergency cesareans, this time I opted to have a scheduled cesarean…something I never, ever anticipated. For a granola girl like me, when I laid out my birth plans originally, I never considered the possibility of ending up in an emergency c-section. By the time I made it to the OR, I was so exhausted from intense labor that with each delivery it was all I could do to keep my eyes open to welcome my little girls, who were immediately whisked off to the nursery while I passed out in recovery, only to truly meet them hours later.
With this one, knowing the decision had been made for us to choose a healthy baby in one piece vs. forcing my “perfect scenario” delivery, I wanted to just see what options I had. When I googled “natural cesarean,” I had no idea what would come up. What I found, however, fascinated me.
I know your first thought – “natural” cesarean? You must be crazy! However, as you’ll see here, it’s not about medicine being nixed – it’s about bringing back the natural process of mother/child bonding and the beauty of birth vs. simply being a surgical procedure.
When I approached my doctor about doing something similar, I wasn’t sure what her response would be. Thankfully, not only was she completely on board with it, she had the power (as Chief of OB/GYN) to actually test it out! Thus I became the first mother at Baptist Hospital to try some of the procedures you see in this video below.
My Scheduled Delivery Day
September 25th, 2012 – my delivery day finally arrived. In an effort to let my baby come on her own, I scheduled the cesarean 2 days after my due date. My little Chiquita was perfectly content to wait it out. The time arrived, and unlike before, I didn’t walk into the hospital in the throes of labor pains. We arrived at the hospital ready to go at 5am. At 7, we went into the OR, and by 7:14, our little baby was born!
I am so, so thankful for the experience I got at Baptist. They listened to my desires to create a natural environment for baby and me, even though I couldn’t have it without the help of modern medicine. Every person involved in the process of bringing my baby into the world – from scrub nurses to surgeons to anesthesiologists – all made it a point not just to work together to bring her into the world, but to personally introduce themselves to me by name and include me in the process. They took a standard surgical procedure and made it personal.
Birth is a natural occurrence, yet sometimes needs medical intervention. I was able to bring the natural beauty and human connection back in with the help of a supportive medical team – it wasn’t about the surgery or the hospital – it was about that priceless moment when you see your child for the first time.
My Hospital, My Voice
Checklist for a Natural Cesarean
- Every staff member in the OR personally introduced themselves to my husband and I – the power of using names takes you from being simply “patient 12” to really being personal…and thus they were more inclined to include me in the process – telling me everything that was being done and why.
- Put the IV drip in my non-dominant hand and ECG dots on my back and side so my chest was free for baby.
- “Walk” the baby out one shoulder at a time – similar to easing baby out during contractions vs. simply pulling her out (this allows for the lung fluid to be squeezed out of her lungs similarly to a vaginal delivery).
- Once the head was out, the curtain was immediately dropped so we saw her being delivered.
- The cord was not clamped until it had stopped pulsing. During that time they wiped her off a bit and I never took my eyes off of her!
- As soon as the cord was cut, the delivery nurse placed her straight on my bare chest – immediate skin-to-skin contact.
- All assessments of her were done while she laid on me with no eye ointment – we got to see her open her eyes and us be the first thing she saw.
- From the moment she was delivered she was in my arms, and other than when Nathan took her to be weighed, in my arms is where she stayed!
- She and Nathan stayed in recovery with me – just the three of us – before we moved to the room where I remained for the rest of the visit (that was flooded with visitors)!
Remember We Are All People First and Foremost
Baptist has slowly been integrating a more mother/child approach to the maternity ward. They emphasize the importance of skin-to-skin contact, keeping babies with their mothers vs. automatically putting them in the nursery. They now even raise the temperature in the operating room during cesareans so it’s more comfortable for baby and mother.
It’s not about medicine and doctors vs. midwives and a holistic approach; it’s about going back to the person, not “the patient”. Connect with your body and be fully informed about the experience. You are not a project or simply a patient.
Thank you, my amazingly incredible Dr. Schlechter and your wonderful staff – you listened and we worked together to bring forth a beautiful life. I am eternally grateful and honored to have your support through the process!
Happy third birthday to my sensitive, social, silly and amazingly sweet Jules (or J-J-Bones, as she references herself). I love you to the moon and back one hundred times plus infinity, and you’ll always be my little baby!
8lbs 13oz, 19″
Born September 25th, 2012 at 7:14am