August's Birth Story: Part IV (The Part Where I Almost Die)


Okay I didn't really almost die. But there was some scary moments. More for John Paul than me.

They wheeled me back into the surgery room. It was so white and so bright and John Paul wasn't there at first. He was changing and waiting for them to come get him when they were ready. (Side note: John Paul has always wanted to wear scrubs (ever since he started watching Scrubs) so he came him with a smile on his face).

Since I'd already had the epidural they couldn't give me a spinal tap. They just had to give me an "industrial strength" epidural dose. I was kind of worried the anesthesiologist was going to accidentally kill me. I already had so many drugs in my system at this point...antibiotics, pitocin, epidural, etc. and he was giving me what he playfully described as a "drug cocktail". Despite his efforts it was only 100% effective on the right side of my body. I still felt a lot on my left side. But once that was in me I was pretty out of it. I was struggling to keep my eyes open the entire time.

John Paul later told me that part of what made the surgery scary was that the doctors kept bickering and disagreeing about things. And there was so much blood they were sopping it up with towels. When they made the first incision August freaked out and flipped completely upside down. Because of this they had to make another incision the other direction. I lost a lot of blood.

And remember all those drugs? I didn't react to them well. At one point I started convulsing on the table and couldn't breathe despite the fact that I had one of those oxygen nose thingys in (very technical I know). John Paul said this was the scariest moment for him. The doctors just looked at the anesthesiologist and he didn't seem to know what to do because my vitals were fine. He gave me something that settled it down and I was even more out of it. I kept trying to talk and I couldn't. It was a really helpless feeling because in my head I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I just couldn't get it out. I was trying so hard. I kept making "p-p-p" sounds trying to get any words to come out of my mouth. I wanted to tell John Paul I was sorry for scarying him. When I could get words out the only thing I could seem to say was "sorry" over and over.

Towards the end of the surgery I started feeling what they were doing on the left side of my body. The drugs seemed to be wearing off. I could feel pain. It was dulled so I could bear it but I kept saying "I can feel that. I can feel that. It hurts" to which no one seemed to be paying attention. Towards the very end after August was out I actually 'jumped' several times because I could feel things. If you've never had a baby, this is probably scarying you away from c-sections. I don't think this is normal. I just had a weird combo of drugs in me and it's not like I was ever truly in a lot of pain. Even if the c-section went exactly the same way as it had, I'd do it again---so don't panic, haha.

Pretty soon I heard August crying. He entered the world just a few minutes before 9pm on Tuesday night. I remember it all, but I wasn't able to really react. They brought him to me and we both struggled to keep our eyes opened. They took pictures and let John Paul wheel him out to see the family.

 (If I don't look happy it's just because I was so out of it, lol).

It took awhile to put me back together and then they wheeled me back into my labor and delivery room to recover. I had this really awesome thing on top of me that blew heat onto me. I was in and out but mostly slept for the next few hours.

(August's first picture)

Eventually they took us over to the mother baby unit. They must have felt sorry for us because they gave us a double room as a single so that John Paul could have a bed too.

Over the next few days part of me felt like I was going to feel like the birth I wanted was stolen from me. That I really missed out on natural birth and those moments together right afterward that I didn't get to experience. I do sometimes feel like I missed a big milestone and I hope to have a natural birth in my future. But, we did eventually get those bonding moments. And during the few hours that I was out of it, August was being loved on by my family and in the nursery getting checked out, cleaned up, etc. so that they wouldn't have to take him away from me later. It turned out just fine.

Late that evening when I was more alert and in our actual room the nurse brought August in to us. John Paul and I just sat in our room with August...just the three of us and I finally got to enjoy it and take it all in for as long as we wanted.

I was a mom and it was love. It was surreal. We were a family. I can't really describe that time we had except that it all felt right.

Ironically, everything up until this point wasn't half bad. I would do all over again and I don't regret it. It was the days following his birth that were rough...


  1. Noelle, I so feel your pain! I had to have an emergency c-section after failed induced labor for my first baby. (I had severe preeclampsia). During my second c-section, the spinal wore off towards the end and I could feel pain. I had to shout to them that I was in pain and they finally gave me something to take the edge off. If you have repeat c-sections, I can tell you that the recovery gets easier each time. I love reading birth stories - thank you so much for sharing!

  2. So glad you both are safe and healthy! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, you are scaring me for if a c section is ever going to be necessary! You got some strength girl!

  4. I was praying for u the whole time u were in labor and then Hallie called to say u needed a c-section. I totally understand. With Jeremiah my water broke at home and I went from 1cm dialated to 8 within 20 min drive to hospital. They were prepping me to deliver and then somehow he flipped and became breech. They immediatly took me in for a c-section. I cried. But in the end I was just happy to have a healthy baby. Cant wait to meet August.

  5. You are so great at telling your story!!! Thanks for sharing! :)