My Birth Story
Thank you, Facebook, for giving us daily reminders of where we were in life 1, 2, 8 years ago. On This Day in 2016, I shared my birth story online.
On this day, I am still in the bed. Undressed, unshowered, unmotivated. I do not want to get up. Yet, I have to shower, get dressed, and force myself take care of the new baby. I have to adjust to this new life as a mom. The only problem is that I am not adjusting to motherhood. I’ve only been home from the hospital for 2 weeks. I cry almost every day due to feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and most importantly, in pain. All of those feelings came about because of my emergency C-section. This is my birth story.
The Beginning of My Journey
In 2012 at the age of 19, I was having lower abdomen pain. I found out I had a benign fibroid tumor on my uterus. My OBGYN told me that whenever I got pregnant, it could possibly cause me some minor pain. But, at the time, there was no need to remove it. I did not think much of this discovery because I was a teenager. I wouldn’t be having children for another 10 years.
In 2015 at the age of 22, I read an article stating how fibroid tumors were more prevalent among African American women and that the hormones in birth control could cause it to grow. Imagine the worries I faced seeing how I had been 100% faithful to my birth control pills for a few years. I’m 22, close to graduating college, and I rely on those pills. Surely a baby would derail all of that. But, the nagging thought in the back of my head caused me to ditch birth control altogether.
Fast forward to my first prenatal visit in 2016. Not to my surprise, the tumor had grown a little bit. At the time, it was the size of the baby. So, it was pretty tiny.
My OBGYN once again advised me that it could possibly cause pain later on in the pregnancy & cause pre-term labor. But, it could not be removed and she did not see a reason to worry. Through the duration of my pregnancy, I inquired about the tumor, but not much was mentioned.
I thought everything was okay.
However, it was not.
Then comes delivery day. Everything was going smoothly, I had been admitted and a few hours later, I was given an epidural. They told me I would be in labor for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, the nurses and the OBGYN rushed in, told us that Jaxon had to be delivered immediately, and made my family leave the room. I was quickly taken to the operating room, and because my epidural hadn’t begun to work yet, I was put under a general anesthesia.
13 minutes later, Jaxon was born. I don’t remember anything from the time I was put to sleep until halfway through the following day. Eventually, I found out why all of this happened. The fibroid tumor on my uterus had grown to 10 CM, the size of a grapefruit. The tumor was blocking Jaxon’s way out and cutting off both of our oxygen, which was causing his heart rate to fall rapidly.
I don’t know when this happened. Was it something they could have told me during one of my ultrasounds? Or was it within those final weeks when he was growing half a pound a week? I wish I would have known. I wish this would have gone differently.
I’ll never remember the moment he was born. I didn’t get to hold him, hear his first cry, watch him take his first breath, or witness his first bath. My family couldn’t hold my hand or kiss my forehead during the delivery to make me feel better. The entire experience was taken from me. But, as sad as I was at first, I realize now that the only thing that really matters is that I was blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby boy. This experience was more than worth it.
A year later, I have had follow-up appointments to see if my fibroid has shrunken. It has, but it is still the size of an apple. At this point, my OBGYN has decided that because I plan to have more children in the future, it will not be removed. However, all of my deliveries will be scheduled c-sections.
I am not sure what the cause of my tumor is, but there are risk factors and I check two of the three boxes.
- African American Women ages 20-40
- Family History
I encourage all women to make their yearly appointments to see their OBGYN and report any signs of discomfort. It’s better to know for sure.
My birth story is special to me, and it brought forth a strength that I did not know I had.