Birth Story: Maryland Gentle Cesarean

Meet Shannon, Jose, Gabriel and Liliana. Shannon has birth 3 babies and each time she had a cesarean. Shannon’s first two births were emergency cesareans. Here’s this Maryland’s family story on how cesareans have changed over the years.11 years of change to be exact.

 Shannon has had 2 previous cesareans, both emergency cesareans. Her first was her son Gabriel. With Gabriel Shannon was scared. She was pushed into being induced because of her blood pressure. The doctor never explained the ranges that were safe/unsafe. (After the fact and doing her own research her blood pressure was well within the current normal range) With being induced so early her body wasn’t ready to give birth and after 26 hours Gabriel went into distress. They rushed her into surgery and had serious complications with anesthesia not working. Shannon sadly felt everything, the cutting, burning, everything. They had to stop and she bled out for 5 minutes while they tried to get her to sleep. She lost a ton of blood and almost died. It was scary and she wasn't given any say in her care. 

 Eight years later in 2012 Shannon was ready for delivery again. This time she wouldn't be bring baby home instead she would be giving birth to her cousin. That right Shannon was a surrogate for her cousin. With Bella, Shannon was very aware of what her options were. She decided to pursue care with a midwife. She was induced 8 days before her due date and after 6 hours the baby was trying to move away from the contractions. So instead of going down she decided to go up. The midwife was reading through the surgical notes from Gabe's C-section and they never indicated what type of incision they made on Shannon’s uterus (straight line or T) so with not having the information they decided to go to the ER, and use caution and do a C-section to avoid possible tearing and rupture of Shannon’s uterus.  This time Shannon had the standard C-section. The blue drape to block the view of what’s happening. Doctor talking with the nurses. Then "It's a Girl"  (Please check back to hear about Shannon’s story on being a surrogate for her cousin.)

 Two years after Bella’s birth Shannon was gearing up for birth number 3. On their first appointment Shannon & Jose sat down with their doctor and discussed the options for delivery. How they got their gentle cesarean, wasn't hard at all. Here's Shannon’s and José’s story from Shannon’s View point;

 The doctor said I could labor and attempt a vaginal delivery or schedule a cesarean. We discussed the possibility of uterine rupture because of the scar tissue and fibrous adhesions I have on my uterus and ultimately decided that a calm, collected C-section was what we wanted. No one wants to have major abdominal surgery but having had 2 before that weren't ideal situations, I wanted to be in control this time. The date was set, July 20 - 39 weeks 3 days.

 With that control I also decided this time I wanted to watch the birth of my baby girl. My doctor was very open to the idea and said there was a clear drape they could use instead of the big blue drape that is typically used. That was great but I REALLY wanted to watch! So I asked about the possibility of positioning a mirror so I could see everything and she was on board! I was so excited!

 The morning of July 20 we checked into Labor & Delivery and as the nurse was prepping me I made sure she knew I wanted the mirror, it was important to me. She said that I was the first person she's ever worked with that wanted to watch but she made sure there was a mirror for me.

 Everything goes so quickly once you're in the OR, vitals, anesthesia, prep, then all of a sudden they're cutting. The carefully cut through everything layer by layer. My doctor would look down at my face through the clear drape every once in a while and I could see her smile through her eyes. We talked about our dogs (she knew I was a veterinary technician) and about my son, Gabriel. I could see they were at the uterine wall and the anticipation spiked, my little girl was coming!

They pulled her out and the doctor says "we have a miracle baby today!" My heart sank for a moment - why is she a miracle?! All babies are miracles but why would she say that and sound so surprised?! - The doctor immediately explained, she had a "true knot" in her cord and with all the babies she delivers she only sees 4-5 a year.

 She lifted Liliana up so I could see her better and then showed us how the knot slid up and down the cord never getting tight. Our beautiful daughter was then handed to the pediatric nurse and Jose got to cut her cord. They brought her over to me for a few moments of skin to skin time before doing all the other fun stuff that makes then scream and cry.

It was amazing, absolutely incredible. They used dissolvable staples to close the incision and off to recovery I went. I wouldn't trade any moment and I am so very glad I asked about watching. It was breathtaking.

 Destination Baby would like to thank Shannon and her family, for allowing us to share their birth not only with us but with the world as well. 

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