C-Section Stories: Dawn Pope

1. Briefly, please share the circumstances that led to your c-section birth(s):

My c-section was completely unexpected. My baby was head down from the time I was thirty weeks. Each week I went into the doctor and was more dilated than the last. I was told I had a "favorable cervix" and I would not make it to forty weeks. At thirty-eight weeks, my contractions were consistent. I was dilated to five centimeters before I knew it and all was going "well". Then over the next couple of hours, through various checks, I was not progressing. Before I knew it, the nurse came in and turned off the Pitocin, said the doctor will be in shortly and left. I knew it was not a good sign. I immediately wanted to cry and felt defeated. I sat there feeling like a failure inside but trying to keep a brave face on for my family who was there in support.

The doctor called it "stalled labor" but more worrisome than that was my baby’s heart rate declining with each contraction, showing a sign of stress. He recommended I have a c-section.

Later, the doctor explained my baby had a larger than "normal" head that would not fit through my pelvic area. With each contraction she was being pushed somewhere she would not fit through.

2. What surprised you the most about having a c-section?:

That I still can't feel a part of my stomach above my incision. The shaking, nausea, and extreme pressure are a very close second.

3. What kind of support do you feel you received (from friends, family, healthcare team) after your c-section(s)?:

I do/did not have anyone close to me who has had a c-section (nor was I informed of what to expect prior as it was unexpected) so I am thankful for pages like this that lend a hand to c-section mammas and provide emotional and physical support and well as helpful information.

4. What’s your #1 piece of advice/encouragement for a new c-section mom?:

You are a warrior! Having a c-section does not mean you failed (or your body failed you), it makes you a selfless badass who did what had to be done to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

5. How do you believe having a c-section birth(s) made you stronger?:

I went into my first pregnancy never having surgery or even an IV in my life. I am also scared of needles. It is crazy what you'll do to ensure your child is safe. A c-section is not just a huge physical change but it took a toll on me emotionally that I never expected (on top of "typical" new mother emotions). I now feel empowered and convinced I can get through whatever life and motherhood throw at me.

Name: Dawn Pope

How to Connect With You on Social Media: @dawnpopex0 on Instagram