I had a c-section with Oliver and was REALLY REALLY trying to avoid one this time. My medical reason for my first c section was “failure to progress” after more than 24 hours of labor because Oliver was 9 lb. 10 oz. and he was NOT going anywhere naturally. So I told myself if I ate correctly and exercised I could keep the baby as small as possible and I’d be able to have a VBAC.
As an avid planner, this pregnancy taught me that you can plan all you want, but life will always get in the way of those plans.
I was definitely smaller this time around. I worked out 3 times a week, I ate healthy. I gained 10 lb less than my last pregnancy. The baby looked smaller in all my growth scans. But at about 37 weeks I started to feel extremely itchy. Now I have many food allergies and have been sent to the hospital for extreme hives many times in my life, butt this itchiness was nothing like I had ever experienced before.
I mentioned it to my doctor at my 38 week appointment. He told me about a rare condition called Cholestasis that you can get during your last trimester, and that the main symptom is itchiness. It is rare, but because the outcome can be fatal (stillborn) they test for it based on that one symptom alone. So I got my blood tested for liver bile levels. I waited and waited and heard nothing, so I assumed I was fine.
Checking in to the hospital
I’m a hot mess from crying so much!
On Monday, February 11th, I dropped my son off at school at 9am like usual. At that point I was a day away from being 39 weeks. I was on line at Starbucks when my phone ran at about 9:07am. It was my doctor. I picked up the phone and without even getting to ask how he was he blurted out that my liver bile levels were high and that I should head to the hospital where the on call doctor would meet me, because I was having this baby today or tomorrow.
When you are diagnosed with cholestasis, your baby is then safer outside of your body, so women will end up being induced or having emergency c sections as early as 36 weeks. I didn’t notice the symptoms until much later in my pregnancy, where I was already at the point where I could have given birth naturally anyway. So the baby needed to come out.
I started to hysterically cry in the middle of Starbucks. I called every family member one by one but nobody was answering. My original plan was to leave Oliver at school, but since nobody was answering I went back to pick him up in case nobody was around to get him at 12pm. I walked into school and had to explain that I was giving birth ASAP and Oliver needed to come with me (I must have sounded crazy). Oliver was confused and didn’t want to leave which didn’t help.
Finally I got in touch with my husband who was waiting for me at home, and I got in touch with my dad who left work to meet me to watch Oliver. At about 9:45 my mom calls me back and she just so happened to be two blocks from my apartment in a meeting.
Waiting 8 hours before the c section
Trying to entertain ourselves…
The hardest thing for me was having to say goodbye to Oliver. He had no idea what was going on, but this was not how I envisioned this moment. For some reason I always thought it would be a middle of the night sort of thing where I could just slip out.
My mom, Jonathan and I headed to the hospital where I would get an exam to determine whether they would induce me for a VBAC or if I would have a c section. I wasn’t dialated at all so I was told it would be another c section. I was crushed. But it wasn’t safe for my baby anymore. They waited 8 hours because I had breakfast that morning. I was SO nervous because I knew what to expect. I hate surgery.
Julian was born at 6:22pm that same day.
The second c section was not nearly as bad as the first, but definitely just as scary.
Julian Meir Gordon
Born February 11th, 2019 at 6:22pm
Post C Section
And into the recovery room…