Bonni’s Family Centered Cesarean Birth Story

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My first pregnancy was scary; delivery became a “non-emergency emergency” as they put it, when I rolled into L&D after a massive bleed 3 days before my scheduled csection due to complete placenta previa. After GD, high risk appts, MRI, along with weekly ultrasounds, the delivery of my first daughter haunted me after they whisked her off to the NICU for “observation” for 24 hrs, and I never once get to touch her and sat alone in recovery until my husband could pop by to give updates. She joined us a day later, sleepy and late preterm, and we marched forward with breastfeeding issues and lack of sleep. Newborn life carried on – she’s healthy as can be. 

So for my second pregnancy, we were hopeful for a VBAC. Boom – placenta previa *again*. It cleared. Boom – GD *again* I am not prediabetic, but figured same result. So, I braced myself for a CBAC, in case. The fetus (we were team green) never turned head down. My high risk doc said something was wrong in my body and the “baby knew”. Not reassuring. I broke down outside my appointment calling my husband sobbing: we could try something like burning incense, maxabustion, by my toe and acupuncture (had no effect, but was relaxing), but due to my tilted cervix and irregular uterus, another c-section was in my future. 

We scheduled the c-section for 39 weeks; made arrangements to have someone with me in recovery, if this baby needed NICU, too, someone to look after our toddler, etc. When we rolled into the cold OR just after 8AM, it was a party. The music was good, everyone was chatting. When I heard the first cry, I cried. When they showed her to us and played “Isn’t She Lovely” announcing she was a girl, I sighed.

I waited to hear as she was assessed to see if she didn’t need NICU for what seemed like hours, and when they laid her on my chest, all I could do was touch her little nose as I was in disbelief. I cried and felt relief wash over me. My family was complete, and this squishy face was safe in my arms.

Later, my OB told me that I had a uterine window larger than she’d ever seen. She said by not turning, and not experiencing labor, that baby saved our lives. Our gentle c-section was as good as a surgery could be. We laughed and I was able to have closure with my family’s birth experience, something I wasn’t sure was possible.

Congratulations, Bonni, and thank you for sharing your story!

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