Two Years Ago This Week I Willed My Cervix to Stay Closed

This is quite possibly the longest post I’ve ever written, but I want to record these things before they slip away. You might want to skip it if you don’t enjoy reading birth stories or are eating liver and onions. And can I just say for the umpteenth time that I can’t believe my baby is about to turn two?

When I got pregnant with Miss A my OBGYN recommended that I have a scheduled c-section, considering my previous labor and delivery experience.

My emergency c-section with Miss C was way more than I’d bargained for. I remember crying in the middle of the night after she was born, feeling like I’d been hit and dragged by a semi while a burning serated knife cut through my abdomen. Where was that piece of cake delivery that my friends had assured me I would have, once my epidural kicked in? No one in my family had ever had a c-section and as luck would have it, we missed one of my birthing classes and, you guessed it, we missed the c-section portion.I never, however, felt like many women apparently do after a c-section. I never felt cheated because I was not able to deliver her vaginally. I was too exhausted and too relieved that I’d just survived the entire ordeal with a healthy baby as the final outcome to worry about not pushing her out down there.

After a horrific hospital recovery with Miss C, which included nearly having to have a blood transfusion, passing a blood clot that resembled, and felt like, a large, uncooked cow liver, and a four night hospital stay wherein I watched couple after happy couple go home with their little bundles of joy, I was willing to do anything to circumvent laboring all night and pushing unsuccessfully for 2 1/2 hours. The grand finale with Miss C was the nurses helping me stand up and hold on to a birthing bar. At that point I wouldn’t have balked had they asked me to swing from a ceiling fan and recite the Pledge of Allegiance backwards.

Turns out Miss C was snugly situated face up with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. No wonder she didn’t want to come on down!So at the mere mention of a scheduled c-section, I was all SIGN ME UP like a Botox addict at a plastic surgery convention.Apparently, however, my doctor subscribes to the male OBGYN school of thought that flies in the face of female impatience, because unlike every other woman I knew who rattled off their scheduled c-section date months in advance, as if it were a pedicure appointment, my OBGYN waited to schedule my c-section. And waited. And finally at about week 36 I asked him, again, WHEN he would schedule it.

He told us that his philosophy was to wait until as close to the due date as possible because he wanted to make sure the baby was ready. I wanted to pout and protest, but I kept my mouth and my cervix shut.I was on pins and needles until my 39th week appointment with Miss A. Literally. Miss C had arrived just a few days after my 38-week appointment, which had been fairly routine, with no indication that she was coming any time soon so I was convinced I’d go into labor early with Miss A, too.

At about week 38 with Miss A I started having those lovely stop you in your tracks sensations in my cervix, where the baby feels like they are jabbing you with a fork, while gravitational forces give you the sensation that a giant water balloon is about to fall out of your vagina.I remember waddling into Walgreens two years ago this week and having the cervical lightning bolt jabs take my breath away. Grown men recoiled in horror and dropped their jaws, and nearly dropped their cell phones, watching me as I’d stop, grimace and look like I was about to give birth in the greeting cards aisle, only to witness me breathe a sigh of relief and head on over to look at fingernail polish like it was no big deal.The hubby and I went to the doctor’s office for my 39th week appointment, excited about finally having a date for my c-section. My doctor had news.The hospital was full.There were no vacancies for my c-section until SATURDAY.

I had to make it five more days without giving birth and would be close to 40 weeks. The hubby was forbidden from touching me as we believe that certain activities the night I went into labor with Caitlin contributed to the whole chain of events. I wouldn’t even walk to the mailbox. And I made it five more days to March 12.It was the first 70 degree day of the year with not a cloud in the sky. The hubby snapped this photo from the hospital window that morning.


My father came over to stay with Miss C and my mother met us at the hospital bright and early. It felt surreal filling out hospital paperwork and knowing that in a few hours we would meet our baby girl. I learned that having an epidural while not in the throes of labor is a tad unsettling, to say the least. When I arrived at the hospital in labor with Miss C, my water broke on the examining table and I was already 5 centimeters dilated and would have gladly taken an epidural needle in my big toe, if that’s what it would have taken. I was given an antacid during the c-section prep for Miss A’s debut and remarked to the nurse that I’d had a lot more acid reflux during this pregnancy. She commented that Miss A would probably have a lot of hair. And she was right. She had a head full of beautiful dark hair.


The mood in the operating room was more festive than frantic. The nurses were wearing St. Patrick’s Day theme scrubs. Like big sister, Miss A was wedged tightly in my belly, and at one point the nurses were helping my doctor pull her out while I felt that odd tugging and pulling sensation in my abdomen. When I asked again what time she was born, my doctor jokingly responded, “Which part? Her knee or her elbow?”

Soon I was in the recovery room and holding Miss A, who sported a lovely tiny purple bow in her hair, a little something extra from the nurses. I remember holding her the next night while she contentedly slept in the crook of my arm, swaddled tightly, as I watched Law and Order from the hospital bed and thinking, “Wow, this feels good.” I remember Miss C coming to visit her new baby sister and how she climbed up into the bed with us and was all grins for the camera, but was a little confused when she and the hubby went on home. I remember coming home from the hospital with Miss A, placing her in the same white wicker bassinet we’d used for Miss C, and thinking our family was complete.



  1. Charla says:

    So very sweet! What an ordeal you had to go through with Caitlin! Drs. like yours with Amelia make me so mad…they just don’t get it. I’d like to see what they would do if they were pregnant!
    I’m proud of you for writing this down…I’ve had good intentions for, oh, 5 years now to get Chase’s birth story down. If I don’t get both of them down before this 3rd baby comes, I’m afraid I won’t remember the details. You may have inspired me!

  2. nutmeg says:

    I love baby stories! I can’t help it – they just make me cry like weddings. I can’t allow myself to watch the Baby Channel anymore. The crying and drooling confuses my kids. Thanks!

  3. Ginger says:

    I love this post! I can relate to the c-section being not quite what you bargained for. I had complications and yes, it felt like someone had beat me and took that same burning, serated knife to my abdomen, too.

    Of course, then I look at my child and know it was all worth it.

    I love the little bows they put on the baby girls’ heads. It’s so precious. 🙂

  4. Richie Ann says:

    It doesn’t matter how they come into the world, the only thing that matters is how beautiful they are when they finally arrive.

  5. Cathy says:

    That’s a beautiful story. I too had three hours of pushing with my first, but the situation was rectified with a vacuumn extraction instead of a c-section (he wan’t breech, just big). Now I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my second and hoping that I won’t have to experience that again…

  6. Colleen says:

    What a beautiful recount of Amelia’s birth. It was heartfelt and I had to stop myself from crying a few times. But when I got to the last sentence:

    “…thinking our family was complete.”

    I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.

    Happy birthday, Amelia!

  7. Nancy says:

    What a wonderful story, and what a beautiful baby Amelia was. Such a sweet princess!

    Happy Birthday, Amelia!

  8. the mad momma says:

    heppy birthday amelia!!! someday she will know how many strangers wished her on her 2nd birthday… thank you so much for this link Jamie… I have put it up with my c-section posts on my blog…. i owe you!

  9. mrsmogul says:

    Early this morning I woke up and thought to myself ,”when my birth controls run out” maybe i should try for a baby.” then i thought NAH! But then reading this post and you writing your family is complete I THINK this could be possible!!

  10. malia says:

    Thanks for sharing that! My ob-gyn waited until I was about 36-37 weeks before talking about scheduling. Part of that was because I was trying to convice her to let me VBAC but in the end I knew the scheduled c-section was a better idea. And, yes what a night and day difference between an emergency c-section and a scheduled one! My doctor was ready to deliver me at 39 weeks, but I opted to wait (I know, I know), it’s a long story. But it seems that both of my children were pretty content to stay put because I wasn’t even dialated at 40 weeks when we did the c-section with my son!!

  11. Liza says:

    Beautiful, sentimental, precious birth story. It’s nice that you can “preserve” it this way 🙂

    I could relate to many of your C-section story..I had emergency C-section for G (oh, that’s worth a post), and we’ve scheduled N, our second, for a C-section because of my previous experience with G.

    Happy birthday Amelia!

  12. Mrs. Flinger says:

    Ahhh, Jamie! Great timing (writing the pregnant lady who is yelling at the calendar THIRTEEN MORE WEEEKS?!) I loved this line, “I wanted to pout and protest, but I kept my mouth and my cervix shut.” Heh. At 26 weeks I feel that way.

    I also like knowing the epidural will not be nearly as easy when I’m not in labor, which I suspected as much, because I felt a lot like you did the first time around. Didn’t care. The man was my medical hero. But I also want that last bit where LB comes to visit and I feel that sense of complete.

    Followed shortly thereafter by a snip. 😉

  13. Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday Sweet Amelia!!!! Hannah and Amelia are 1 year and 4 days apart.

    It’s amazing how time has flown. I really loved this post.

    Are you doing anything special for the sweet girl?

    Call me I will be home all weekend!!!!!!!

  14. Anne says:

    I Love your story and especially the awesome pictures. That last one looks a lot like one of mine! (I bet all the girls say that!)

    Happy Birthday Amelia! You are one lucky little girl to have a Mom like this!

  15. Blonde Mom says:

    Thanks ya’ll for all the nice comments. Tomorrow afternoon we’re having family over for cake (my mom’s famous chocolate sheet cake) and ice cream and appetizer type goodies. Monday is her actual big day and I’m taking cupcakes to daycare for a treat with her buddies and picking her up early.

    Today at big sister’s soccer game, as she repeatedly ran on to the field over and over again, Amelia reminded me that she really is about to be 2. 😉

  16. Oma Flinger says:

    I just loved reading your story and how special for Amelia to have that too.

    Now fast forward 20+ years. It will become important to her when she is pregnant. To be able to compare her own arrival into the world and what is about to happen with the birth of her own baby is priceless.

    Happy March 12th Birthday Amelia.

  17. Makita says:

    I love birth stories and yours is beautifully written! I think, often, first deliveries are more traumatic/harrowing then those that follow.

    I have to wonder though, does the type of delivery have any affect on the child’s behavior later ??

    My first – horrible delivery – easy baby, generally pleasant toddler (eager to please, follows directions)… perhaps she feels guilty? 🙂

    My second – 30 min delivery “fast & furious” – wild child, into everything, never listens, we’ve had to put locks on all cabinets, etc. “all boy”


  18. Janean says:

    GREAT birth story! I’m a birth story junkie. 😀
    I loved the pictures, too. She is just precious!
    You described that stabbing cervix pain so well! That’s exactly what it feels like…a fork jab with everything about to fall out. EXACTLY!!
    Here from CHBM carnival.
    I had an emergency C-section with my 2nd and it was the worst thing I have ever experienced. When they asked me if I wanted a scheduled c-sect for #3, I said “Only if either me or the baby is about to DIE! And I am NOT even halfway joking!” I’m glad your’s went well!!

  19. Auburn Gal Always says:

    How sweet! I have a newborn boy (Jan 25) and a 6 y-o daughter that already adore each other.

    My birth stories include scheduled inductions (for 2 different reasons) but, like you, when I my ob offered to reserve me a room and schedule the induction 2 days later this time – I SOOO jumped at it.

    My January 2007 archives tell about it all.

    I’m here from the CHBM Carnival!

  20. Liz says:

    I’m here – late, because I got lost in my laundry – to wish Amelia a very happy birthday. Thanks for sharing your story!

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