With my 1st child I had decided that a water birth was the way to go. Throughout my pregnancy and mild cramping I loved the shower pressure on my body and the warmth of the water, I was convinced this was going to be my best option. So of course I was heart broken and felt completely cheated when things didn’t work out this way.
My 1st daughter was an emergency c-section. This came as a huge shock to me, I was not mentally prepared for this option at all. We were abruptly awakened that morning by the abrupt enterings of nurses prepping me followed by the Dr. telling me what was happening. Their reason, after overnight monitoring, was that “the baby was not moving as much as they’d like”. This was very confusing to me, as this had been the same amount of movement I had felt throughout the entire pregnancy from the time movement was first felt.
There was no time to talk me through anything, explain anything further to help me understand what was going on. There was no ultrasound done first, just a paper to sign once everything was prepped.
I as completely terrified when I got into that operating room, and for reasons I don’t know nor would likely understand, my fiancé had to remain watching from the outside of the operating room while they were jabbing me with needles to prep me for the C-section.
My fiancé joined at my side for the “birthing” of our daughter and I remember hearing them announce that she was a girl, and I remember just enough time to think afterward how my fiancé had been correct about the sex of the baby then I was put to sleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep for, but I woke up alone in a large aisle of recovery beds. I missed those first moments with my baby and with my family. I was the last one to hold my baby, and there were already many excited first hold photos taken by the time I got to see her.
The hospital was so busy and intrusive. There was always someone coming into our room throughout that week that we had to stay for my recovery. The surgeon, nurses just checking up or coming to take our daughter away for weighing, undiscussed vaccinations, or whatever else. Lactation specialist as I had chosen to breastfeed, other “experts” offering whatever else that was all overwhelming exhausting and extremely intrusive.
Going back to the C-section – The Dr.’s try to paint a pretty picture of ease and convenience when it comes to getting a C-section. You can plan for it, there’s no messy after birth, it’s what all the celebrities do – you can get a tummy tuck at the same time, and that bikini cut – no one will even know!
Truth – the only convenience is on them. They get to plan your hour surgery around whatever they would rather be doing that day instead of being woken in the middle of the night or interrupted in the middle of the day when you actually go into labor!
So what do you need to know?
- Well firstly, this is the go-to method of birth for Dr.’s – at least here it is. I say this because each birth afterward was pushed to be planned C-sections without discussion – it never happened that way but we’ll get there later.
- 2nd, make sure you get a bikini cut – the scar is almost always hidden nicely below your hip line.
- Lastly, the recovery. Not only did I have to spend 7 exhausting days in the hospital, but the recovery was extreme! At least in my opinion.
So here’s the part they don’t tell you!
My fiancé is a smoker and the first time he went outside for one on that first day, I was left alone with our daughter who was laying asleep in her hospital “container”. While he was gone she began to cry and that’s when I realized just how helpless I was! I had a catheter for the simple fact that my body didn’t have the strength to stand much less walk to the bathroom. I couldn’t get out of bed to get her and I was too proud to call a nurse JUST to get me my baby who was only an arms reach away! Long story short, I found a way to get her myself without getting out of bed, and from that moment onward she slept with me, both in the hospital as well as home.
In the hospital, one of the requirements to being discharged is being able to walk a full lap of the ward – YES you read that right! What people don’t seem to realize is that a C-section isn’t “just some simple in and out procedure”, it’s MAJOR abdominal surgery!
The staples on your incision until you leave are uncomfortable and pinch the surrounding skin. It itches for like a month! You aren’t allowed to drive until the incision has fully healed – so at least a month! And you may have skipped the whole stretching of your lady parts, but that doesn’t stop your body from still going through the natural after birth routine. You still have bleeding and cramping as your body works to shrink you back to your pre-birthing and pre-pregnancy size. Now brace yourself……this meant that for months afterward, even once I was medically able to enjoy the love company of my fiancé, physically it was extremely painful and was something we had to work into one day at a time. Needless to say many a times it ended in his cold shower!
So what they don’t tell you:
- 7 days minimum in the hospital
- A month of no driving or physically strenuous activity
- C-section increases your chances of having post partum depression
- C-section increases your chances of breastfeeding issues right from the beginning
Thanks for reading 🙂