Tristan Scott's Birth Story By Erin V. Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Thursday, 05 February 2009 08:57
My first son was due December 10, 1999. Unfortunately, I had a difficult pregnancy...complete with migraines, major swelling, and fluctuating blood pressure. I had also gained over sixty pounds; by the time my due date came, I was beyond ready. I was obsessed.

My due date came and went. I became desperate, and tried nipple stimulation, castor oil, evening primrose oil...but as all mothers know, there is no way to make a baby come before it is ready. I went to all of my past-due doctor's appointments and begged for an induction, especially when I still hadn't dilated ten days later. To complicate matters, my mother, grandmother, and brother had traveled over a thousand miles to see the baby...and he still hadn't been born. My mother began going to doctor's appointments with me, and begged as well.

After countless non-stress tests (which are actually quite stressful) and ultrasounds, an induction was scheduled for December 21st.

Tuesday, December 21st

We were due at the hospital by 5pm. To my chagrin, my family decides to go out to dinner at 4, and it takes an excruciating amount of time to order food. My boyfriend is slowly eating french fries and sipping beer as the clock nears 5, I want to kill him. I finally snap and tell everyone that I'm not waiting any longer, dinner or not, I'm going to the hospital NOW.

Mike and I are two miles away from the hospital when he stops at Hardee's to use the bathroom...I want to kill him again. When he returns, the car (which has behaved for the whole nine months) won't start. He jiggles some battery cables and revives it; we barely make it out of the parking lot when it stalls again. Somehow, he gets the car to behave and we make it to the hospital.

Tuesday night is pretty uneventful...I am given Cervadil to ripen my cervix and hooked up to monitors. The Cervadil is painless, similar to a tampon. The nurse gives me sleep medication--I joke that Dad could use some as well--and we sleep uneasily in the birthing room.

Wednesday, December 22

I have been promised a liquid breakfast, but I am given nothing before they start the Pitocin drip. This is the first time during my pregnancy that I have skipped a meal, and I'm cranky to say the least. My cervix is checked; the Cervadil has had no effect. I'm having some minor contractions on my own, but nothing productive. By this time, I am sick of being hooked up to monitors and IV's...and this is only the beginning.

I really want the baby to be born today. There is a full moon on the shortest day of the year. I am nervous as the nurses check on me, I am afraid that the Pitocin isn't working...the regular contractions I'm beginning to have aren't dramatic. From 7am to 5pm, I contract regularly but achieve no dilation. The pain is more annoying than debilitating...that's how I know nothing is happening.

From the beginning, I have been told that the induction might take two days, but I have refused to believe that. Now that truth is unavoidable. The Pitocin is stopped at 6pm and I am inconsolable, tired from hunger and discomfort.

I am given more sleep medication, and Mike raids the hospital cafeteria for me. We eat cold french fries, microwaved chicken sandwiches, and try not to be depressed. He is the voice of reason at this point...telling me that I *will* have the baby sometime, which I honestly no longer believe.

Thursday, December 23

I wake up in pain...but that's no longer unusual. Mike goes home for a shower, and I slowly realize that this pain might be different. I am no longer hungry, or angrily flipping tv channels. I loose periods of time: first ten minutes, then I concentrate on the cramps seizing my body. I am mid-gasp when they start the Pitocin again.

When Mike returns, he is shocked, I was fully functional when he left. Now I am making a growling sound and he looks ghostly to me, ringed with light. He is there when I first ask for drugs, and he is pounding down the hallway when I am not given them immediately. The first shot of Stadol calms me down, but does little to numb the pain. My mother appears, I notice the concern in her face, the bright noise of her eyeshadow. The nurse checks me and says I am five centimeters. "Five?" I ask, unbelieving. She runs to get the doctor, who uses a long pink hook to break my waters. The warm gush feels wonderful; for a moment I am embarrassed to be soaked, but then the pain comes back and I forget.

I beg the nurse for another shot of Stadol, an epidural, something, anything. She says it might be a while for the anesthesiologist to get there, and she's concerned about my last shot...she tries to talk me down. I keep saying "I understand, I understand," until I'm screaming the words...she cracks and gives me another shot. Before I know what's happening, the anesthesiologist is there, garbed in reassuring blue. The epidural doesn't hurt--I've had a spinal tap before--but staying still is a ludicrous challenge. The effect is immediate...I go from feeling full body cramps (kind of like concrete is being poured into my uterus) to feeling a small electric sensation along my spine.

I become calm. I speak in complete sentences. My mother and Mike are there; we are all excited by my progress. I continue to talk even though I am given oxygen, much to the nurse's concern. As the epidural kicks in, Mike looks at the monitor and tells me I'm having contractions...otherwise, I would have no clue.

The doctor checks me again. She looks very concerned, pale beneath her summer tan. "You're nine centimeters," she says. "But the baby still hasn't dropped. I'm going to do a c-section."

I always thought I'd greet this news with anger, fear...but at this point I don't care. I want it over.

It's amazing how quickly I am prepped for surgery...soon nurses in blue are wheeling me down the hallway.

Tristan's Birth

The OR is horribly bright, all white walls with florescent lights. A blue drape separates me from my torso and the team of doctors. An anesthesiologist sits by my head, explaining what is going on. My arms are strapped down, Mike is given scrubs to wear.

"You might feel some tugging," I am told. I feel a little pressure, nothing more, and a doctor tells Mike to look up. Suddenly, I hear crying, the most beautiful sound in the world. Someone says, "That is a big, big boy." Mike looks at me and says, "He's perfect, absolutely perfect." The anesthesiologist pulls the drape back a little so I can see him on the warming table; still strapped down, I can only see a little pink foot. I can hear him crying, though. Finally, he is brought to me for a second, placed by my head so I can kiss his sweet face. I am amazed at how alert he looks, and by his perfect features. He has a fluff of blond hair and gray-blue eyes.

The next few hours were pretty depressing. I was taken to recovery, Tristan was taken to the nursery...and I didn't see him for two hours. Mike was with him as he was given a bath, and examined by a pediatrician. I got some morphine and a catheter.

Finally, my baby was brought to me. Even though I had major surgery after two days of labor, I wasn't the least bit tired. I was too excited, too name it.


Tristan weighed nine pounds, nine ounces at birth. I had told the doctors several times during my pregnancy that he was too big to deliver...after all, I had his feet in my ribcage for several months. In the end, I was very upset that I was given several painful inductions when a scheduled c- section would have been the best route.

A c-section is very draining physically and emotionally. I couldn't do the things I wanted to the most...hold my son, change his diapers, rock him to sleep. My birth experience is very difficult to think about; I worry now that all my future births will be the same.

I have the best distraction from the pain, though...the sweetest little boy I've ever seen. Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined this perfect, peaceful child.