If you haven’t read this Birmingham mom‘s incredible story from the beginning, part one and part two are linked at the bottom of this post. It’s such a sweet birth story. If you are all caught up, part two left off with an amazing nurse reassuring Ashton as the seeming chaos of an emergency C-section began. She looked Ashton in the eyes and said, “I know that this feels chaotic and rushed, and it needs to be quick, but know that it only feels that way to you. We do this every day, we know what we’re doing, and we know how to do it quickly so that you and both babies are safe”. The story continues:
A Birth Story | A Birmingham Mom Shares
“I don’t know what it was about that that calmed me down, but I felt so much less frazzled after that. She didn’t leave my side again until I was safely back in my room waiting for the anesthesia to wear off so I could go see my babies. She stayed at eye level with me while the spinal anesthesia was administered. She must be a Birmingham Mom, herself. She kept her hand on my shoulders on my way down to a laying position for the C Section, she stopped the 3 other people assisting in getting me to that position when I had another contraction halfway down. And she stayed within eyesight until my mom came into the OR and took her place. I remember her name still, and the name of the nurse anesthetist that sat behind my head speaking calmly during the procedure. I remember looking at that blue drape separating me from the “action” and how I felt like I was going to stop breathing at any second because I had to lay down, I kept finding myself in that laying down position despite my best efforts. I remember feeling like the weight of the world was on my chest on that table, my mom holding my hand. I remembering feeling the pressure in my pelvis release as the doctor pulled Greyson out, surprised that I could perceive the sensation despite countless people telling me I’d still feel pressure. My glasses had been removed so I couldn’t see much besides that blue drape, but my ears zoned in on everything. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was listening for until I heard it. I just became a Birmingham Mom.
A Birmingham Mom Birth Story
In a fraction of a second the chaos seemed to still as I took in the sound of my son’s cry for the first time. I immediately burst into tears while I felt my entire world shift. Nothing was the same any more. My perspective was different, my purpose was different, my heart grew in its capacity to love. I heard someone declare time of birth 5:16 PM over the sound of that tiny beautiful cry. I felt another rush of pressure being relieved and I knew that Ava had been born. I heard someone declare her time of birth, still 5:16 PM. I didn’t hear her cry. I had a moment of panic and asked why I couldn’t hear her cry, and my mom told me I just couldn’t hear her over Greyson. He was bundled and brought to me. I stroked his face, waiting for her. It was several minutes of just Greyson and me before she was placed on the other side of my chest, and my life felt complete and so peaceful in that moment as a new Birmingham Mom. I began to feel nauseated and the babies were removed and taken straight to NICU, their new Granny following them closely while I stayed behind to be put back together.
I now know that during the time between when Ava was pulled and when she was placed on my chest, she was receiving CPAP with a NICU team. I didn’t hear her cry because she didn’t cry, she was turning blue instead. I didn’t know any of that until she was released from NICU 29 days later. Miraculously, she didn’t spend a single second hooked up to oxygen when she came off of CPAP and neither did her brother. I was told I could go see them in NICU as soon as I could move independently enough to go from my bed to a wheel chair assisted. I tried to wiggle my toes constantly for 2 hours post-op until I finally regained some feeling.
A Birth Story | Birmingham Mom
The first few days are a bit of a blur now, but at the time it was a fast-paced cycle of pumping, visiting NICU, trying to sleep a little, and trying to navigate the hormone crash that comes after childbirth. By then we were trying to coordinate for their dad to come to the hospital and see them, but we were being met with visiting restriction after visiting restriction (since my mom had been the one to bring me in) that seemed to just add layers to the already stressful situation of having 2 very premature newborns in NICU. I suppose that’s somewhat to be expected when you give birth during a global pandemic. My mom was my only source of physical similarity during my 8-day hospital stay, and there’s no way I could have done it without her.
A Birmingham Mom Birth Story
As a Birmingham mom reflecting back on this story, I feel like one thing I must address is the delivery method of cesarean. While I had an emergency C-section, it was my choice to do so. My doctor and I talked early on about the risks and possibilities of a vaginal delivery vs. C-section. I didn’t know that I was pregnant until I was 12 weeks, and even then, Ava (baby B) was in a breech position at that first ultrasound. She never moved. As an expecting Birmingham Mom I decided along with my Doctor that when the time came I would more than likely have a C-section unless Ava turned, and maybe even then. When I was in the hospital discussing my delivery with the doctor who actually did the procedure, he mentioned my weight possibly causing increased blood loss and a slower recovery from a C Section than a vaginal delivery. I still chose to go to the operating room instead of the delivery room. To me, it wasn’t worth the risk of possibly putting Ava into distress by having to try to either manually turn her or force a breeched birth. Knowing now that she was struggling to breathe when she was born, I shudder to think what could have happened if we’d attempted to turn her at all or prolong her exit in any way. Because of the way my experience went from admission to delivery, I felt like I didn’t have any control over anything at all. Choosing a C-Section was my way of grounding myself. With the world spinning around me, that was a decision that I was in control of, and regaining even just the tiniest little bit of power over what was happening gave me the strength that I needed to get through the rest of the pregnancy and delivery. I was lucky that I had a doctor who valued my opinion and didn’t brush my wishes to the side. One of the first major decisions that we make as mothers is how our babies are brought into this world, and our wishes should be brought into consideration along with what’s best from a medical standpoint. Not everyone has their preference considered, or a doctor that works so well with them. I wish all women understood that they are worthy of having that, that the childbearing experience is theirs, and that their voices are heard and understood.
Ashton is an amazing Birmingham mom! The courage it takes to voluntarily choose surgery for the well-being of your baby takes guts. The first act of selfless love is the choice you make for your children that don’t necessarily benefit you completely. That sweet baby will be forever grateful to her mama for her unconditional love. If you enjoyed this incredible story, you might enjoy reading:
Birmingham Women’s Hospital | What to Pack for Your Birth
A Birth Story | Grandview Hospital Birmingham AL
A Birth Story | Alabama Hospital
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