At 20 weeks of my pregnancy we found out that our baby had S. terratoma, a growing tumor on his lower back. Abortion was recommended but we declined. By week 32 we realized, due to the size of the tumor, that we would never get a chance to even try having a natural birth. The dream of a water-birth and having my wonderful partner coaching me was gone. We also had to come to terms that we had to fly 2000 km before week 36 because our hospital didn’t have the right facility for our baby.
Knowing that I would have to walk into the hospital at a particular day, not the baby’s day but a scheduled day, stretched out on a table and being cut open terrified me. Even though I knew it was necessary as a team had to be ready for him. The hardest part was to know that my baby boy would be born, taken away and operated on for more than 5 hours. Please let me have skin to skin contact before you take him away, I asked. I cannot do this without being able to hold him first. We don’t allow skin to skin contact in the OP was the answer. My heart was bleeding and as if things couldn’t get any worse I was told a few days before the scheduled c-section that they would have to do a classical one as the tumor was in the lower part and it would be too risky to cut there. You know that means you will never be able to have a natural birth, they said. Could you at least do the skin cut at the bikini line? Well I might not see as much and you don’t want to risk anything to loose your baby, do you? So we agreed on vertical incision, external and internal.
The day arrived and my husband and I walked into the hospital. I made lots of jokes, such as whale coming through, or you might have to call green peace, a stranded whale on your table. However, behind the jokes was a terrifying mom to be. Terrified of the pain, terrified that I will die, terrified that our little boy may not walk or have bowl function or even worse die.
My husband was by my side, even though he faints seeing a paper cut and had to sit down when they gave me the epidural. He did fantastic and was my rock in there! Not being able to feel my legs or move my legs was scary. You feel the pulling and wait for the cry. Sooner than we thought, Kai was born at exactly 9am on the 7.7.2011. They did wrap him but put him on my chest, his cheek touching me. The most important moment in my life. He immediately stopped crying and just looked at me. I will be okay he seems to say to me. His calm nature just oozed out through me. This was the moment I became a mom and I realized I can do this! I didn’t even see the 2.5kg, 20cm radius tumor on him! All I saw was his eyes.
He was taken away and my husband went with him. Alone on the table I was stitched together. The epidural was too low and I was in pain. As they rolled me out the surgeon told be that I would only be able to carry maximum to 35 weeks and she would make sure all the hospitals know about it so that I didn’t get any strange ideas of trying otherwise. My baby boy wasn’t even in surgery yet…..
The first time I saw my belly I cried for hours. I felt so violated. Quickly stitched back together, folding skin over because it didn’t add up at the end. It made breastfeeding a painful experience. The positive part of it is that our boy recovered so quickly that we could fly home within 7 days. He can walk and except from an impressive scar on his bum he is perfectly healthy now.
Almost 2 years later, after a long period of research and the support of the SS group, I am considering trying for another baby and having it naturally.