Mom with Scheduled C-Section Delivers Naturally | Birth Story

Birth Doula Halifax
It was June 6th and we actually had an ultrasound scheduled that morning at 8am for a growth measurement. I was followed by a high risk OB so these were pretty routine. I only gained 10 pounds during my pregnancy so there was concern that Henry might be underweight. My alarm went off at 6:30am to get ready for our ultrasound appointment, when I woke up I grabbed my phone and started scrolling Instagram haha. I noticed my lower back was sore but I figured it was just from laying in bed. I got out of bed and started to walk to the kitchen and when I stood up I felt something wet. YUP my water broke when I stood up! I yelled for Josh to come quick, he sprung out of bed and asked what happened, I told him my water broke and that I had to call my parents. My parents live about a 4 and a half hour drive from us, so my first thought was… I should probably tell them. I called my dad because my mom didn’t answer, I remember telling him that my water broke and I “might” be having the baby today. He quickly went to grab my mom from work and they started their drive to see us. Josh called the number the hospital gave us in case anything was to happen. I was scheduled to have a C-section so they wanted me to go in right away if I went into labour beforehand. Josh called and spoke to the nurse who informed us to come in once we were ready. I got a shower, curled my hair, Josh had breakfast and we packed our bags which I think took about an hour, I still hadn’t had any contractions but I was starting to get anxious to leave.

Birth Doula Halifax
On the drive to the hospital I was still in denial that I was about to have a baby that day, I was 36 weeks, so in my head I thought they would try and “keep him in there longer”. When we arrived at the hospital we checked in and I still wasn’t having any contractions. We were admitted to the Early Labour Assessment Unit and asked for an overview of our history, I explained how I was scheduled for a C-section for medical reasons. Women with a j-pouch have a risk of damaging their pouch if they deliver naturally, so most surgeons recommend a C-section. The nurses assured me that I had LOTS OF TIME and they would get me in for a C-section around noon. My OB was currently performing a C-section on twins and would be in to see me once she was finished. To paint a clear picture, Josh and I were left in a tiny room, I wasn’t hooked up to any monitors, I still had all of my clothes on and we were just waiting… About 30 minutes into waiting, I started having contractions; the first one came… then 7 minutes later the next one… then the one after that was 5 minutes… now down to 3 minutes. I told Josh he should go get a nurse because I knew something was happening. Josh went and told the nurse I started having contractions and they were now 3 minutes apart! About 15 minutes passed and a resident Doctor came into the room to check on me. I told her that I started having contractions and they were happening every 2-3 minutes now and I was scared that I wasn’t going to have time for the C-section. She continued to tell me that it was my first baby and I would still have lots of time! She went to leave the room and before she left I asked if she could at least check to see if I was dilated. She checked and I was 5cm! That’s when things started to pick up and I could feel the vibe in the room change. The resident quickly left and came back with an Attending Doctor, whom I never met before. When the OB came to see me she also repeated that I “still had time” for the C-section and everything would be fine, she even said “you can have a natural birth if you want to” that statement really threw me off. The plan for the last 9 months was a C-section, recommended by my OB and Colorectal surgeon, had she not read anything about me?! My contractions were pretty strong at this point and happening consistently. I asked the doctor to check me again before she left because I felt like I was going to “push him out”. When she checked, I was 10cm!
So up until this point we were sitting in a waiting room in the Early Labour Assessment Unit. Once the Doctor realized I was 10 cm everything happened very quick. They rushed me into an elevator and up to the delivery floor, I remember being rolled into the delivery room thinking… OMG this can’t be happening! This isn’t what I planned at all, this Doctor has no idea what she is doing, I can’t push this baby out, … where are the drugs.. Once I was finally hooked up to the monitors we quickly realized that Henry was in a lot of distress and his heart rate was dropping fast. They called the NICU team and they arrived so quickly which was a relief. The doctor told me she would let me give a few good pushes to get him out but if he didn’t come quickly she would need to use other methods. I looked her dead in the eyes and said “do not touch me with forceps”. All I could picture was my J-pouch being destroyed and needing surgery after giving birth. But in that moment I realized, ok this is it, it isn’t about my wellbeing it’s about Henry’s and I need to do what I can to make sure he is ok. I pushed as hard as I could and thankfully he came without any intervention, weighing 6lbs 2oz. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice and we had no idea! I thought I had experienced lots of pain in my life but holy cow, drug free childbirth is no joke! Haha When they passed him to me they honestly could have passed me a football and I would have felt the same, I was in total shock of what just happened. Josh and I actually started laughing and couldn’t believe it.
Birth Doula Halifax
Henry’s delivery happened so quickly my sister who lived 15 minutes from the hospital didn’t even make it in time. She was pretty surprised when she showed up at the hospital expecting to wait with me for the C-section and walked in to see me holding a baby. My parents also didn’t make it in time for the birth but did arrive soon after. We called them on speaker phone after Henry was born so they could hear him crying in the background. They were absolutely shocked when we told them he was here and that was him crying. We had a few small bumps in the beginning, Henry had low blood sugar which needed to be monitored and we noticed right away that he had a tongue tie, so he wasn’t able to latch properly. But I am so thankful that everything ended up working out and we were both healthy and safe. It is one of those experiences you never forget, I still think about that day and how crazy it was. If you asked me if this would be Henry’s birth story I wouldn’t have thought in a million years it would be. I didn’t even read a single thing on childbirth- I watched lots of videos of C-sections but nothing on delivery. When my contractions started Josh and I were googling “how far apart should contractions be”!
Birth story by Brittany Thistle of Sick Mom Collective

​Jessica Palmquist
Turquoise Compass Fertility, Doula, & Yoga Services
MEd, BEd, BA, CYA-E-RYT 500, FSP, Doula