Wednesday, February 26, 2014


At 38 weeks, I went in to see my doctor for a regular scheduled
prenatal appointment.  She did a routine ultrasound to check 
Elliott's measurements.  She said he was approximately 9lb 1oz!
I was shocked as I knew I had at least 2 weeks to go.  He was that
big?  Of course she mentions that ultrasounds can be +/- 25oz
and as they get bigger the measurements become more inaccurate.
But she did warn me that with a big baby you risk shoulder dystocia
which is basically where the shoulders get stuck and it can be a 
serious situation.  She said it's not necessarily safe to do an induction
just because of a 'big baby' and she encouraged me to think about 
scheduling a c section if he didn't come before his due date.
She ordered me a formal ultrasound to get another look.  I did that 
ultrasound a day later and it came back the same.  'Could he already
be that big?' I thought.  Also, 'I can't believe after 9 months of 
planning for a natural birth I may have to have a c section!'  At 40
weeks, Elliott still content in my tummy, I had another appointment 
and again my doctor sent me to get an ultrasound that day.  As I
expected, he was measuring BIG.  And this time they said he was
10lb 13oz!  I was sent up to labor and delivery to talk to a doctor
that was on that day.  From the minute I met him I was uncomfortable
and he took my husband and I into a room and basically told me what
I already knew.  "You have a BIG baby", "You are risking shoulder
dystocia", "You don't want to be that 1/however many that has to 
go through that emergency situation".  He said "I can do your
c-section tonight if you want".  Whaaaat? I felt like I was in a business
meeting, someone trying to sell me.  Hello, this is my body and baby
we are discussing!  I declined the c-section for that night of course, 
saying I would discuss again with my doctor.  I talked to her the next
day and decided that I wanted to wait a little bit longer to see if my
body would go into labor on its own.  In the meantime, I did end up 
scheduling a c-section with MY doctor which would happen 6 days
past due if he wasn't here yet.  I was sure he would be here, right? 
As the next days passed I struggled with my emotions and doubt in
having a c-section.  Did I really need it?  Was Elliott that big?  Was I
being selfish and risking my baby's health?  I didn't know.  I cried to
my doctor, I cried to my mother, I cried to my husband.  My mother
decided to drive down and be here whether or not I decided to do
the c-section.  I had hoped Elliott would arrive before the c-section 
date but he did not.  The night before I was scheduled to go in, I was
texting with my doula and she said, "Why not discuss an induction" 
when we went in the next day.  It was something that had been put
aside because what I thought was that they wouldn't do an induction
just because of a big baby.  But I thought it wouldn't hurt to try.  And
my gut was just telling me, "Your body can do this, Jenny.  You already 
gave birth to a big baby (my daughter was 9lb 3oz).  You are strong 
and focused and can do this".  

The morning came for my scheduled c-section and we met our doula
at the hospital.  I felt down, but strangely calm.  If I had to have a
c-section, I would be okay.  It's not what I wanted, but there was a 
possibility I would have to accept it.  We walked in and I signed in. 
A nurse approached us and said "Oh so we are going to try to labor first
right?"  My doula quickly said, "Um yea!".  As I just nodded with her.
I thought, "Wow, this would be great if I could try to labor first".  The 
nurse then proceeded to say, "Dr. Lewis said that she thought you guys
would want to come in and do that".  Needless to say, my doctor
figured we would come in and want to discuss an induction first, rather
then going right into a c-section.  Well, that was easy I thought to myself.
We got settled into a room and my doctor came in and we discussed the 
risks again, but she said it was my choice.  And I decided to go for it.  I
went with my gut.  I knew I could do it.  I trusted my body.  
I needed a dose of antibiotics before we got things started and then
I was able to walk the halls for an hour.  I walked with my mom and 
my doula.  We even did lots of stairs! ;)  I went back and they started
me on Pitocin.  I was nervous knowing that contractions can be pretty
painful on Pitocin and who knew how long my labor was going to be.
They usually up it every 30 minutes if you aren't progressing.  I was 4cm
when I walked in.  At the 30 min mark my contractions were progressing
so we did not up the dose.  An hour in, my contractions started coming
on strong.  I was at about 7 or 8cm and had this feeling that it wouldn't be
too much longer.  Another 45 min of painful contractions, breathing 
through with the support of my husband and doula.  My doula massaged
my lower back through every contraction!  Thank heaven for her! Pretty
soon I felt so much pressure in my low back and butt, I knew it was time 
to start pushing.  They checked me and I was 10 cm, ready to go!  I pushed 
for about 15 min or less.  Before I knew it Elliott was here!  My first thought
when I saw his little face was that he looked just like Nathan :)  He was here
and my heart was filled with such joy and relief.  I had done it.  I was so
happy that I went with my gut and trusted my body to do what it was
supposed to do.  I am so thankful that I had my husband and doula by my
side the entire time.  And that my mother and sister were able to be there
to see the birth of Elliott.  What a whirlwind event!   

We stayed one night in the hospital and were ready to get home to
our daughter so she could meet her new little brother!  Elliott 'brought'
her a balloon, books and puzzles.  The balloon stole her heart.  To this
day she tells everyone, "He brought me a balloon!"  My little family of 
three is now four and I couldn't be happier :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jenny, this makes my heart so happy to read!! As you are obviously aware, we are so blessed to live in a time where a Caesarean birth is an option when needed, but I truly believe too many women are induced for suspected big babies. Do you read Rebecca's blog on Evidence Based Birth at all? She has a great article on this that I wish I'd have known to send you when you were struggling with this decision! (I share this with you now just in case you ever have a friend/sister in a similar situation)

    At any rate, I had a 9#5oz baby boy at home without problem (MUCH easier than his 8#2oz sister, in fact), and the next week I read that you had Elliot at 9#12oz vaginally after a schedule c/s and thought DAMN - way to go Jenny!

    So yes, I truly 100% believe that all women should be supported in the way they want to give birth, but I am SO happy that you went into this birthing time STRONG and CONFIDENT with a practitioner that was on board for letting you try to do it your way. Reading this just seriously made my day! Congrats on your beautiful family of 4. :)