From One Extreme to the Other…

Thursday, May 25, 2023

_Written by Melissa Paris_.

I remember it like it was yesterday…It was 8 am, Monday September 29th, 2014, I turned over in bed and my water broke. Being my first pregnancy I did exactly what the doctor said and called her immediately.

Receptionist: Hello, how can I help you?

Me: My water broke.

Receptionist: Hang on, I will get the doctor.

Doctor: Mrs. Paris, your water broke (in disbelief) I just saw you a few days ago and you were not dilated at all.

Me: Well my water broke.

Doctor: ok, you don't need to rush or worry but meet me at the hospital soon.

After that call I showered, called my husband at work and we eagerly made our way to the hospital.

I was so calm, excited and clueless about what the next few hours/days would be like. When I got to the hospital I was examined and put in a small room (essentially a nurses station/supply area) to wait for many hours because there were no rooms available. We sat and waited all day while the doctor and nurses filled in and out. Because my water had broken I was given a variety of medications to try and get my labor to move along, but nothing worked.

This went on all day and through the night, as I didnt sleep and was growing more anxious. The next morning I started to slooooooowly dilate, that seemed to take all day. When it was time to start pushing I was weak, exhausted and starting to feel defeated. Everytime I pushed the baby's heart rate would drop and I grew more and more worried about the delivery.

At about 3:30 pm on September 30th, the doctor came in and said I should really think about a c-section. My body tensed up and I immediately started to cry. I said give me 30 more minutes to try and push. She agreed. The problem was the baby was stuck at this point and needed to come out.

At 4:17 Augustine (Auggie) Julian Paris was born via c-section. I was scared but I pushed those feelings aside as the adrenaline kicked in immediately and I was elated to meet my perfect, healthy baby boy.

My c-section recovery was not terrible, and I attribute this to the extensive amounts of physical training I was able to keep up throughout the pregnancy. Auggie was a healthy baby and was very attached to me. But I was still left wondering what truly happened during that pushing process.

When I had my first postpartum check up I questioned the process and the doctor said my pelvis was too small and/or misshapen. And I asked if my next baby could potentially be a v-bac. She promptly responded I was a bad candidate for that and my next baby would have to be even smaller than Auggie (6lbs 2ounces), to make it out of my pelvis.

In between baby’s I did extensive research on vaginal deliveries, c-section deliveries, the risks of both, the risks of a vbac and how this could relate to me. The BEST thing I ever did was to advise a pelvic floor therapist, Lindsey Vestal, I owe her so much emotional, spiritual and mental thank you’s. She did an in-home exam. I remember her telling me “Missy it’s not you, your body can accommodate the baby you are given, there is nothing wrong with your pelvis.” She empowered me to take control of my body and trust in my decisions.

I went back to the doctor at one of my annual appointments and asked AGAIN why I couldn't try for a vbac. The doctor finally said to me after pushing further, that the practice is conservative and because a VBAC (in general) is considered high risk that they would not do it.

So right then I knew I needed to switch practices. I wound up in a high risk practice. At one of the initial appointments the Doctor sitting across from me, said “you are not a good candidate for a vbac.” Mind blown again. I let this roll off my back. This time I knew way more about my own body and research than anyone could tell me.

When I got pregnant with Jordan in spring 2017 I knew I needed a team. I needed a doula who was well versed in VBac’s. I found the most amazing doula, Morgane Richardson. She had countless hours of experience and filled my life with warmth, positivity and empowerment. I trusted her with my and my baby’s life more than anyone.

8am, Monday, February 19th my water broke as I rolled over in bed, I kid you not. SAME exact start to my second labor. This time I didn't rush. I had no contractions and decided to wait.

I stayed home till about 4:00 and walked to the hospital. When I arrived Morgane was waiting for me. The doctor examined me and said my water didn't fully break. She broke my water and immediately after that contractions started to kick in full force.

I labored through the night and started pushing around 7:30 the next morning. I remember even being a part of pulling him out…within 30 minutes baby Jordan. He weighed 7lbs 10 ounces.

I wouldn't change anything about each experience. Without my c-section, I would have never learned to advocate for myself. It made me a better person, trainer, mom, sister, friend, wife. I learned to educate, prep, and empower myself and others with the right information. With my second I was able to have the vbac because I was mentally, spiritually and emotionally prepared for a vaginal or another c-section.

I learned how to meditate, advocate and ask for what I needed. My team of friends and the support system I build was something I learned to do out of necessity. Both experiences have made me a stronger, more compassionate, whole human.

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