• Desiree Montesano

Cesarean #2 or VBAC ... during COVID

Planning to grow our family.. I knew I did not want to be pregnant for Gregs surprise trip to Vegas for his 40th birthday in May 2019. Well what do you know, we got pregnant in June.. That happened fast. Spending a good portion of summer in my first trimester feeling nauseas and completely different than I did with Eleanor, the thought of how I would give birth hadn't crossed my mind.

The more I thought of labor and how the baby was going to come out of me sat heavier on my mind, the further along I got. My cesarean went smooth the first time around, I stayed in the hospital for 4 nights and totally was able to feel ready by the time I left. I got so many questions this pregnancy and even my MIL mentioning "it was a shame" to have a second c-section. I was torn, it was my body and to be shamed or questioned as to why I would even consider a second major surgery electively made me extremely emotional.

At about 26 weeks I had seen all but 1 Doctor in my practice. Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, many of you know her by @biglovefiercejuju. She delivered Eleanor and something about her presence and guidance I needed to hear before making my decision. I remember giving her a big hug and it made me have a flashback of her holding me as the local anesthesia went in my back before delivering Eleanor. At this appointment she looked at the calendar and said perfect, it's my week at the hospital and your c-section is booked for 3/23 I'll be there. Talking to Greg he was taken back a little that just seeing a Dr. could make that impact on my decision. It was just a good gut feeling.

I mentioned in the beginning this pregnancy wasn't as glorious as the first. I did however continue to Crossfit until 36 weeks! Approaching the end of the month in February I was about 35 weeks, and starting hearing about COVID-19. Not thinking that would make much impact on my delivery. Then week by week my Dr. visits being quick not much contact, and no pre-opp blood work was ordered. I started feeling anxious. I tried naturally putting myself in labor with every wives tale in the book. My mind set went from I'm having a cesarean to if I go into labor I'll push and get him out as quickly as possible.

FEAR was starting to set in. I then heard no visitors at the hospital and the joy of bringing my baby into this world was quickly sucked out. Imagine that I wasn't scared of being cut open. I was scared of being in the hospital during a pandemic with my newborn baby. I was sad and angry Eleanor couldn't be there to hold him, and share our excitement with us.

March 23, 2020 heading into Stamford Hospital at 5:30 am to have my cesarean. Using sanitizer every second, making sure my bags didn't touch the floor. This is what I was stressing about. For the next 2 hours the staff was amazing, making me comfortable and reassuring me the labor and delivery unit was Carona FREE! I get wheeled into the OR and the first step was the epidural, the Dr. this time nailed it! There was no pain and he didn't poke me in the wrong spot like the first time. That set the stage of what I would feel the rest of surgery.

Completely forgetting about Covid, I am ready to meet my baby boy. My husband comes into the room, seconds later I am opened up and just like that he's out... I didn't hear anything and freaked out that he wasn't screaming like Eleanor. 40 seconds later and some suction, there he was. Not the whaling I was hoping for but he was here and healthy and all ours. The rest of patching me up went smooth, I couldn't believe I didn't feel the tugging and pulling like last time. My mindset now, how can I shorten my stay and get home to my family.

Typically a stay after cesarean is 4/5 days. The grueling wait to push out a pee after being catheterized and have a bowel movement was totally fast tracked. Instead of waiting till the next day, I needed the IV out and to make my way to the bathroom night 1. The pain was managed with motrin every 6 hours. The baby slept good so I focussed on my potty skills and woke up Tuesday morning ready to shower myself. That day the Dr.'s came in and saw I was up and about and were ok with my early departure. My Dr. sent me home with a staple remover so my mother could remove them on Friday (she's a nurse btw). I made it a point to walk the halls drink a ton of water so the swelling would go down and suck back any pain and total meltdowns until I got home. Tuesday night I sent Greg home to sleep, and said be ready to get me out of here tomorrow. All the paperwork, carseat, bags, that's on you. By day 3 morning my room was packed up, baby and I were dressed ready to go. We waited until Myles got snipped and they showed us how to care for it. Then we made our 10 minute journey home!

If Covid wasn't a thing, I would have 100% have stayed longer to recover. I knew Eleanor was cared for, It was the celebration part (or lack of) that really forced me to get out. The unknown of what the heck was happening in the outside world also freaked me out. Inside Stamford Hospital it was great. It was calming, quite (because no visitors) and the staff did a great job to make me and I'm sure every mom on that floor feel so secure and comfortable.

This is my story. Everyone has a different experience. I wanted to share because I know it can be so hard especially now. My pregnancy and delivery this time around I learned a lot about perspective. I have a healthy baby, I am healthy and with all that is going on during this pandemic in our world we need to be grateful for all we have. Mom's need to stick together, and that's why I am here. Feel free to ask any questions or share your story with me.



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