42 and 1/2 Weeks

Holding Maia for the first timeFour years ago, a week past my due date, and still working away at my laptop (I work remotely for a major corporation), my screen turned blue and the laptop crashed. Done.  Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. You’ve got to focus Suzy if you are going to ever have this baby.

So I started hiking, every day. Going to acupuncture, every day. Taking evening primrose capsules, ever day. Drinking Castrol Oil (just once, thank you very much). Having sex. Eating spicy pizza. You name it, we did it. None of it worked.

These little people, they have their own plans for their life.

The doctor’s, of course, had their plans.  I dreamed of a gentle water birth for my baby and had received care at a free standing birthing center in Colorado. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to time out of these places and be let go. Suzy – you now report to the hospital across the street.

While the birthing center had a relationship with the OB they sent me to, it was still a bit of a free fall. All through the pregnancy, I thought it’s 2 weeks past the due date that they give you (nope).  My original D day was Friday. If I didn’t go into labor by then, I would have to be induced.   On Monday’s check up, D day was moved to Thursday. On Tuesday night, while shopping for a great bottle of wine that would please, please do the trick, I got the call that the doctor wants me in the hospital on Wednesday night.

Really??? All this based on when I thought the magic moment occurred  10 months ago? You’re breaking it down to the hour this baby must be delivered by? What about all the tests and ultrasounds that showed the baby doing great?

The comical part about this rush was that the hospital was full. There were no beds to put me in. So while  my husband tossed and turned on Wednesday night waiting for the call to be summoned in. I slept. We went hiking the next day. Four and a half  miles, 700 feet elevation gain in Denver, which is already at altitude. I was nowhere near labor.

At the top of the hill we got the call to come in. We took our time. Finished the hike, ate lunch, bought a new hospital stay outfit. Waited patiently while they realized all papers had been lost for our pre-check in.

We tried Cervadil. We tried Pitocin.  We spent the next 4 days in the hospital  trying to get the baby out. We took a breather on Friday morning since I had yet to accept the epidural and went back to an increased dosage. News flash – even Pitocin sometimes doesn’t work. I could have skipped drinking the Castrol Oil.

On day four, nicely sedated by the epidural, on antibiotics, and after many many tried procedures in the middle, it was bound to happen. For those of us who read any and every natural birthing book out there understand that the heart rate of the baby will go up under these conditions and the doctor will not like that.  Our doctor held out longer than most. Every nurse in there was saying Saturday was the cut-off. I had a c-section on Sunday, early afternoon. I gave in. I had no choice.

Sorry Ina May, but it doesn’t always happen the way your books may lead us to believe that it should. That given enough time, more often than not, everything will be okay. Ultimately, I chose to deliver in a hospital and in a hospital, time does run out.

She was 6 lbs, 14 oz.

I’d like to say that the fact we took home a very healthy baby girl was enough to reconcile the feelings of the labor/delivery.  For anyone who has been there, that is not how it works. I was a bit beat up. My insides felt like they were going to fall out (Belly Band does help). Six days later my husband would watch my face melt while I got bells palsy. (It’s common to get it the first week after delivery – who knew?)  And no, I didn’t recover immediately.

I did however, recover. Time is a healer. So is the baby, whose middle we gave to mean Angel, to bring me solace during the heavy fog. She turns four this week. I am well. My birth no longer haunts me as a failure. I did go to a birthing circle and I did, eventually, reach out. I cried. A lot.  If you  are still dealing with your experience, whether unplanned C-Section or any delivery that did not go as you hoped,  I highly recommend researching birthing circles in your area and checking out the International Cesarian Awareness Network:


May you find your healing path.


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