We’re so grateful that Minaz Khajah, founder of Klōn Apparel, shared her birth story with us!
“I had my first baby via unscheduled c-section in October, six months ago.
Of course with your first you have this ideal birth plan. I wrote it up, had it printed and ready to go to the hospital with me. Did we look at it at all? Nope. I had high expectations of delivering vaginally, but things didn't go as planned, which really took an emotional toll on me. I was induced then immediately had my water broken at 1cm dilated and went 8 hours without an epidural.
I remember trying to tough it out, trying to power through. After those 8 hours, I was 3cm dilated and that's where the disappointment started to set in. They checked my cervix every hour so I felt like I had made zero progress. I have a background in fitness and competitive bodybuilding, so I wanted progress, I wanted to see my efforts going towards my goal, but nothing was happening. It was exhausting. I labored throughout the night and into the next day. Finally I "caved." I say it in quotes because that's how I felt, I felt like I was caving. Looking back now, I wish I would've had more grace and patience with my body but these are the lessons you have to learn the hard way sometimes.
I got my epidural and I thought this was the point everything would shift and be better. Everyone talks about the epidural, and yes, I'm definitely still for it, but now I strongly advise my friends to think about what if the epidural doesn't work? My epidural did not work, or maybe my body didn't accept it. Either way, it sucked! I could feel everything! It was like I didn't have the epidural at all, so every hour they'd come give me a dose of a stronger medication (name forgotten) that was supposed to last 3-4 hours, which only lasted me about an hour. It was rough. It was disappointing. It was exhausting. I was emotionally tapped, which took a toll on me mentally. I was at that "I give up" point.
My partner was incredible through it all, he's never seen me so vulnerable or in pain and I could tell it was getting to him but he kept strong and sat with me through each contraction. I was at my most vulnerable point and still only 7cm dilated, after about 20 hours. But now my doctors were worried about infection because my water had been broken for about 20 hours also at this point.
Finally, I completely broke down. You know those silent sobbing tears where you can't even catch your breath? That was me. I was terrified of a c-section. TERRIFIED. You hear so many scary stories and stories about avoiding c-sections at all costs. What if I died? What if something happened? What if... what if... what if...! It was completely scary and all encompassing! So I talked to my partner and I asked him how he felt about it, it was like I needed validation that it was an okay decision to make. He didn't want to make the decision for me, he was pretty awkward about it but it makes sense. I just wanted to know it was okay. My incredible doula (honestly the best and only decision that happened from my birth plan) walked me through the steps of what would happen in a c-section to help my decision. I just kept saying "I'm sorry, I failed. I'm sorry, I failed." Because I truly believed I was failing everyone.
My c-section wasn't an emergency or scheduled. It was considered unscheduled because I wasn't planning on it but I ended up going with it. But here's the thing, once I decided to go for it, my doctor and nurses gave us like 30 seconds to prep. My partner was in the bathroom and they just wheeled me away. He came out and I was gone. It was chaos, and it was scary. Once I was in the surgery room the meds they gave me made me so sick, so I was laying on the c-section table and my partner (who found us just in time) was holding the barf bag next to my head. The whole thing took literally 8 minutes and my baby was out and healthy.
As scared as I was to have a c-section, I was grateful. I was grateful immediately after. It was the right decision for me and for my baby. I don't want women to be scared of c-sections. I'm not saying choose it before vaginally but if it's needed, don't feel guilty or scared. It's there for a reason and I genuinely believe I would've had a traumatic birth experience if I didn't have a c-section. I would've had a traumatic experience if I didn't have a doula that gave me the knowledge to make an educated decision for myself. My hospital staff, as amazing as they were in caring for me, didn't educate me or make me feel confident in my ability to decide for myself. My doula and my partner did.
From my first birth experience, I've learned how important it is to advocate for myself, my body and my baby. And if I can't, have a team of people in my corner that will, that was my partner and my doula. I trusted them to advocate for me when I was unable to. My c-section and the people I trusted to help me made my birth experience positive when it so easily could've been traumatic.”
To check out Minaz' brand: follow @klonapparel on IG!Looking for more information, check out our On-Demand Cesarean Birth + Recovery course here. If you’ve had a cesarean birth, download our free scar massage guide to help with your recovery and reach out with any questions.