Well, this time a year ago, I was getting set up for an epidural. I had been awake for 30 hours, my labor wasn’t progressing, and we were all really at a loss. I needed sleep, and everyone, except for my husband really agreed the epidural may be most helpful. I think Will disagreed with it so much because I had told him and basically drilled it into his head for 9 months that I would not be having one this time around, but none of us anticipated a back labor that would span over 26 hours either.
Complication after complication started when I woke up a little before noon. My cervix was starting to swell, and Ben just wouldn’t come down past -1 station. We tried everything to get him to budge, and he wouldn’t move. At this point I think the giant elephant in the room became more and more apparent to everyone. It took me about an hour to come to terms that the only way Benjamin was safely coming into this would was by a second cesarean section, which I worked so hard through my entire pregnancy to avoid.
Benjamin Emil Elwood was born at 1:59 pm via cesarean section weighing in at 7 pounds, and 3 ounces. Smaller than my oldest, even though I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with my pregnancy. The moment I saw him, right after they removed him from the incision in my abdomen, I could see a giant bruise on his forehead. It took the on call OB, and the Resident on staff for the day to get him out. He was JAMMED in there. No way he would have descended anymore than he had. I think that made me feel slightly better than I originally felt with the decision to consent to the second cesarean.
I know looking back at all that happened with his birth, there is nothing that I could have done differently to change the outcome of my birth experience. I think that is what has helped me be more accepting of his birth than my first. Had I not consented and continued to labor, I not only could have hurt myself, but I could have hurt myself. I desperately wanted a VBAC, but I am not a martyr, and I would not do it at the expense of anyone’s safety. Contrary to what some seem to think.
Looking back, there is nothing that I would have changed. Not getting pregnant when Camden was only 8 months old, not choosing the midwives I did, nothing. I loved every moment of my pregnancy with Benjamin, while I may not feel the same about his delivery, I was blessed with such a unique, bright, and beautiful little boy who was always meant to be part of our family.
I certainly do not feel that our family is complete, but for the time being, it certainly is. I think after Ben’s birth, both my husband and I are certainly scared to have anymore children any time soon. The two cesareans have been emotionally trying on both of us, and certainly physically trying on me. It took me nearly 3 weeks to actually feel human after Ben was born, and to remove myself from my dark bedroom and join the rest of the world.
There is so much my little Jo Jo (one of Ben’s many nicknames) has taught me. One being that no matter what we do as parents, sometimes our children have other plans for us. Ben was exclusively breastfed for the first 5 weeks of his life, during that time, we couldn’t figure out why he was so colicy but in reality, it was a reaction to my milk. We tried everything from dietary changed, to a variety of formulas before we finally found something that would work for him. It was the longest 8 weeks of my life. Cap that off with 3 surgeries (for me) starting when Ben was only 5 weeks old… I think that seriously aided to the stress in the house.
He is the light of all of our lives, including his big brother Camden. I thought there would be some jealousy issues in the house between the two children, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Camden has been the most attentive big brother. Loving, teaching, and overall infatuated with his little brother. I really could not have asked for a better big brother.
The process of transitioning from a mother of one, to a mother of two would have made me insane if I didn’t have the help of my husband. The day we brought Ben home from the hospital, our oldest got his first flu of his life. Such timing!
There are some days I am sure I am going to lose my mind before my husband gets home from work, but I somehow manage to keep it together till he walks through the door and the kids clamor to him like they haven’t seen him in a year.
Wow! I just can’t believe that it has been a year already! Where does the time go? It feels like yesterday he was born and I was cradling him in my arms in my hospital bed waiting for one of the nurses to come in and yell at me for co-sleeping!
Benjamin Emil, you have changed my life in so many ways. Given me and understanding of difficult parenting, and children. Taught me the feelings and emotions that go with a medically necessary cesarean section, which has enabled to me help mothers on a whole new level. You are the light of my life and Mommy loves you so much!