Inverted T incision
“Happy New Year!” we all exclaimed about an hour into pushing. I was laboring in the hospital since 3pm. I had an epidural after fighting with my not-so-dear friend Back Labor for about six hours. I believed I was ‘giving in’ by choosing an epidural although I had already tried everything; laboring in water, pacing, rocking, spinal saline injections, rebozos, counter pressure, birth ball, massage/therapeutic touch, and nitrous oxide. I just could not relax. The back labor was so intense, I could no longer distinguish when I was having a contraction. Thank heavens for epidurals! It was the best choice for me at that moment.
I had a very healthy pregnancy with minimal sickness. Three weeks prior to birth I experienced prodromal labor, my cervix began to open, and baby was descending. New Years Eve I was curling my hair at home when my water broke. I decided to wait until active labor started, and it sure did within an hour! I managed my contractions pretty well and we decided to go to the hospital once they were five minutes apart. On our way there I felt total excitement! This is what labor felt like! I was going to birth baby Jane! I asked my husband, “Is this real or am I pretending?!” He’d laugh, “Yes, babe. It’s real. You’re not pretending.”
My birth experience was nothing like I had hoped. After getting the epidural and pushing for two hours, we evaluated the situation. Jane was tolerating labor just fine, but I was exhausted. C-section was discussed but I decided to keep trying. I gave it my all, though little Jane could not get past my pubic bone. She was not only posterior but asynclitic (disappointed I wasn't helped change positions after laying on my back for 6 hours). After a total of four hours of pushing, the resident asked to assess if forceps could help. However he did not ask to attempt to turn her manually - EXCRUCIATING pain, and it did not work. My husband and I took a moment to privately pray about what to do. I couldn’t keep pushing, I was too exhausted, and there was no improvement. So I felt it best to go ahead with a c-section.
During the c-section, the doctors discovered Jane was not just stuck, but wedged in my pelvis. My husband is in medical school and even he struggled watching the doctors trying to get her out. “They were REALLY pulling on her. I could tell they started to worry.” They eventually got her out with the cost of cutting an inverted T incision on my uterus (traverse cute with an additional small vertical cut). Jane and I were ok and I held her briefly. Eventually they took her to the nursery where Blake spent time with her while I recovered.
I vaguely remember everything the couple hours after the surgery. Althou I distinctly remember the resident explaining what happened and the incision he made. He said because of the high uterine rupture risk I could no longer deliver my babies vaginally. Repeat c-sections needed to be scheduled at 36-37 weeks to prevent going into labor.
This was so incredibly shocking and disheartening. Never? Or my uterus would burst?! I cried a lot. And just about every day during postpartum. I just couldn’t believe how a perfectly healthy person is suddenly high risk and her choices are now being made for her? It hurt. I felt robbed of my agency. I felt less of a woman.
I very much wanted to experience an unmedicated birth. I truly believe our personal choice gives us power! And I'm happy to say that with the help of my doula, I was pointed in the right direction and have studied the facts. I also found a VBAC supportive provider who listens to me and respects my personal intuition.