Fetal Intolerance to Labor.
That was the official diagnosis after 40 weeks and 3 days of gestation, going into labor naturally on a Wednesday – where I worked a half-day and went mall-walking that afternoon, followed by 8 hours of active labor at the hospital.
After a few hours, my midwife began observing what she thought may be late decelerations – in other words, the baby’s heart rate was dropping at the end of each contraction. (Up to that point, I had been going the natural route – but once I was bed-bound, I chucked that plan out the window.) By 4AM, I was dilated to 9 centimeters, but nonetheless my midwife let us know that she had to step away and call in the OB/GYN on call. 20 minutes later, Elizabeth Grace arrived via emergency cesarean section. 6 lbs, 6 oz, 18 inches long. Perfection.
Obviously this wasn’t an ideal process – I’ve been offered condolences on the c-section by everyone ranging from friends and coworkers to my mother-in-law’s eight-year-old neighbor. (Seriously.) But the end result was a beautiful, healthy baby girl – and for that I can’t be disappointed.
Even after going through labor, I still can’t claim to know much about it. But I’m so glad that I went into the process with and open mind and limited expectations. I’m thrilled with the level of care I received, and the trusting relationship I developed, with the midwives I saw throughout pregnancy and during labor. But I’m so thankful that those midwives practice out of a traditional OB/GYN office. When Libby showed signs of distress, she was in good hands. We’ll take the healthy arrival of our daughter via c-section over a perfectly executed birth plan, any day.
That said… c-section recovery is no joke. So serious, in fact, that it deserves a post of its own.