*This is part 1 of a 4 part series on ‘Gentle Cesarean Sections’ and the birth of our daughter, Matilda Piper.  It is my goal that by sharing this I will be able to encourage the many moms who end up needing medically necessary C-sections to take control and have the best possible birth for both them and their babies.
Originally, I wasn’t going to share any of this.  C-sections are talked about with an air of disgust or failure on most ‘natural living’ blogs and I felt like I would be shunned for having had one.

Baby bump at 37 weeks

Part 1: Before she arrived

All things considered I had a relatively easy pregnancy.  Hardly any morning sickness, swelling or other ‘fun’ side effects.  I was able to maintain my energy and make it through the busy camp season with only some muscle soreness as my complaint.  That being said, there was more going on ‘beneath the surface’ that would ultimately effect the natural birth that we were planning.

During our 14 week ultrasound I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids.  My midwife (who is an amazing lady!) wasn’t too concerned but we decided that we would schedule several ultrasounds through out my pregnancy so that we could monitor the size and location of the fibroids versus the growth and location of the baby.  At this point we continued to plan our natural birth but knew that if complications came up we’d need to rethink things. I wasn’t too happy with the idea of extra ultrasounds but I understood the reasoning behind them, the most important thing was a healthy baby.

At an ultrasound farther along in the pregnancy (I had enough ultrasounds to lose track of what happened when) it was determined that one of the fibroids was large (approximately 10 centimeters) and appeared to be blocking the baby’s “exit”.  Our midwife told us as gently as she could that we should start wrapping our heads around the idea of a c-section.  We agreed to keep monitoring the situation and to hope for a natural birth while planning for a c-section.

At around 37 weeks I went in for yet another ultrasound, this time to get a better idea if the baby would be able to navigate around the fibroid to make her appearance.  It was at that ultrasound that we found out the baby was small and not growing as well as she should be (most likely because she was competing for space with the monster fibroid) I was scheduled for non-stress tests / ultrasounds every 3-4 days and an appointment with one of our midwifes backing OBs.

I felt like I was constantly at the doctors office, it was beyond frustrating.  Thankfully, at every test the baby was healthy and happy and at every ultrasound she was wiggling around and sucking her thumb.

On November 9th I went in for my scheduled tests and for the appointment with our midwife and OB.  After reviewing the latest ultrasound and not 1 but 2 exams they gave us the news we had been dreading.  They were both pretty well convinced that the baby was not going to fit past the monster fibroid and they were recommending a C-section.

Along with this piece of bad news came two pieces of good news.  The OB that we had already met and felt very comfortable with would perform the surgery and that the hospital had approved “gentle cesareans” a type of c-section that is designed to more closely mimic a natural birth, our doctor also happened to be trained in them.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Arrival of Matilda Piper