This is the story of the beautiful birth of Tessa Rose written by her strong and courageous mom, Hilary. Hilary had a CBAC (Cesarean Birth after Cesarean) with Tessa after originally planning for a VBAC. This story was written with Tessa was 3 weeks old. Enjoy and be inspired!!
By: Hilary Barnet
The morning of the procedure, I got up super early and went out on the deck to watch the sunrise. I felt God encouraging me, helping me see that this was the right decision for myself and my family. It was so hard to make that decision, because I have been there before, and I know what recovery is like with a Caesarean. I didn’t want to go through that again. But I just knew that this is what I had to do. I kept repeating the verse “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and SOUND JUDGMENT”… sound judgment.That is what I was begging God for this to be. The right choice, the wise choice. And even though recovery hasn’t been easy, I can say with confidence that I believe it was. Am I grieving the “natural” birth I will most likely never have? Yes. Am I wondering what it would be like to have that beautiful, redemptive VBAC experience? Yes. Do I wonder if there was anything else I could have done, or done differently? Yes. But I have no regrets— only gratitude. When I look at her face, that is all I can possibly have.
I have to say, going in for a scheduled birth is one of the weirdest experiences. We drove to the hospital in a strange silence. We checked in, and the nurses began to get me into a gown and get my vitals. Resident after resident came in to introduce themselves, along with the surgeons, the anesthesiologists, and the amazing nurse who would be helping us with the “family friendly” aspect of the procedure- getting to do immediate skin-to-skin with Tessa, delayed cord clamping, delayed testing (yes, that’s a thing now! Pretty neat, eh?) As we got closer and closer to “go” time, I found myself getting increasingly nervous- I could still get out of this, right? I could just take out the IV and run… right?
But I wanted to meet my daughter so badly. Finally they wheeled me into the OR, and administered the spinal. I felt my whole bottom half go numb, and for some reason just wanted to move my legs so badly. My brain was trying to send the signal, but my legs wouldn’t respond. This made me frustrated, so I squeezed Matt’s hand REALLY hard. He appreciated that, I’m sure. The procedure went smoothly, but it was longer than I expected. Evie’s birth was fairly quick, but apparently I had alot of scar tissue built up, and it was taking them a little more time to get to Tessa than I expected. I kept shouting “come on baby girl! Come on Tess!” The doctors told me with all my shouting and singing and praising Jesus, I was the talk of labor and delivery that day. 🙂 ha.
Finally she arrived, and I got to hold my baby girl in my arms after 10 months of waiting and preparing for her! It was such an amazing feeling. Unfortunately I began to shake pretty violently from the anesthesia (which is common), and they gave me Demerol to calm me down, so I was a little too sleepy to hold her after that, but just knowing that she was right there next to me in Matt’s arms, and didn’t get whisked away from me for testing, made me so happy. We could all be together. She never left my side after that. As soon as I got back to the recovery room she nursed right away— what a relief! My children might not be to keen on leaving the womb, but they are great eaters, and I am so thankful for that. Recovery has been tough, as I expected- it’s not easy to care for a newborn when your ab muscles are basically useless. 🙂 But having done it before, I knew the drill, and made sure I got up and walked as soon as I could. Once we got home, Matt was a huge help to me, as well as our amazing friends and two adoring grandmothers who have been my heroes.
Evie has been in love with Tessa from the word go, and I have to basically just keep her from
smothering her with kisses and hugs. It has been an amazing thing to watch Tessa’s eyes light up, and a smile come to her face when she sees Evie. I am an only child, and so watching their love for each other, even at this early stage, has been such a gift. I also had an incredible doula who helped me through every phase of the process- from all my “false alarms”, hospital visits, and finally my decision to do a RCS. I could not have done it without her. She was such a gift to me throughout the whole experience, up to being there with us in the OR prep room and giving me a foot massage. 🙂
Now, looking back on the last 3 weeks, all I can see is God’s hand and His grace in every aspect of it. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family surrounding us who have been there to help every step of the way, and sweet Tessa is a dream baby- sleeps well, eats well, and has brought so much joy to our family already. This being my second time, my perspective is so different- I am used to being up at night, and love just getting to hold her and look into her eyes. I know this time is so fleeting, and I want to cherish every moment as much as I can. I am so excited to see how she completes our little family, and how she grows.