Friday, August 24, 2012

The truth about C-Sections

As a newly expectant mom, there are a lot of things you worry about, "Is my baby healthy, how long will this morning sickness last, how much will it weigh at birth, do I plan on breastfeeding, am I having a boy or a girl, what's labor like?" I could go on forever but you pretty much get the picture. About the time I reached the middle of the second trimester of my own pregnancy I started to think about labor and delivery more and more as each day would go by. I remember I would ask my OB/GYN questions like "What happens if my baby comes on the weekend, will you be there to deliver her?" or "Is my babies current weight normal? Is she big?"

I worried about having to push a 12 lb baby through the birth canal, and my boyfriend didn't help matters as he would continuously tell me, "I was a big baby, I weighed 10 lbs at birth and I had a big head." Why would anyone say that to their already fearful girlfriend? Later I found out it was lie but that's besides the point. I was terrified of child birth because I've heard all the horror stories, tearing during the birthing process, pooping while pushing, having trouble pushing, etc. Not to mention the effects on the body afterwards, peeing every time you laugh, the woman that does my hair told me she couldn't even sit or stand after she gave birth because the tearing she experienced was so painful.

By now I was so frightened I wondered what I had got myself into, but then I thought, "Maybe I'll just ask for a C-Section, surely it can't be as bad as natural birth." So I considered it for awhile but realized there was no point in asking just prepare for natural labor, besides many women do it every day and come out of the birthing process fine. So the weeks up to my due date I spent telling myself I would be fine and that I could do it, I even convinced myself that I wanted a natural child birth.

So the day finally comes around 7 am on May 10th I am in labor and boy am I in a lot of pain. I really was not ready for what the day had in store for me, around 7:30 I arrived, by 10 am I had my epidural. By 1 pm I was only 5 cm dilated, my daughter's heart rate had been quite high all morning, and the nurses were struggling to see movement from her on any of the monitors since I came in at 7 am. I was on oxygen all morning and afternoon. By 3 pm they informed me I would be leaving for an Emergency cesarean section because my baby was going through shock.

I remember being even more frightened than before, "What? I just got comfortable with the idea of having a natural birth and now I'm being forced to have a c-section? I'm not even mentally prepared for this." They prepared me for surgery gave me an extra dose of epidural, trust me when I tell you I was so drugged up, I felt nothing. At 4:27 pm on May 10, 2011 my daughter was born.

As I laid in the bed in recovery I had no idea what I was in store for, I was in recovery for over 2 hours and they kept asking me if I could move around, I responded with a "No I still can't feel my legs." The nurse thought it was weird and said the epidural should have worn off by now. I started to feel scared, "What if I'm paralyzed?" An hour later they moved me back to my room and put these strange boots on my feet to prevent blood clots. I was still worried because I couldn't feel the lower half of my body, the nurse in my room assured me I just had a really good epidural and I should be glad I can't feel anything because once I do, it will not be pleasant.

Sigh, boy was she right about 2 hours later I regained all feeling and I was in worse pain then before. No one  warned me about this, when reading up on the whole birthing process, sure they tell you it's painful but they don't go into much detail about it. Not only was my incision site oozing blood for about 2 days, the first day you're on bed rest and the very next day, you're forced to get out of bed and walk around the hospital.
I remember the nurse got me out of bed to change the bandages and clean me down there, yea you're supposed to squirt water down there to keep things clean, anyway those first steps out of bed were the hardest. At that moment I wanted to die it hurt so bad, but I must do it. It was awful, why didn't anyone tell me any of this? My mom had 3 c-sections and was in the room when I was informed that I was getting one, she could have told me.

The nurses also tell you to walk around the hospital because you have to try to release the gas inside your stomach, not to mention the constipation pain. This was too much, NO ONE TOLD ME ANY OF THIS. I wish I would have known how difficult this would be not just on my body physically but also mentally. I was in the hospital for 4 days and when I got home I remember not wanting to do anything let alone take care of a baby.

For about 2 and half weeks it hurt to get in and out of bed, it took me about 4 weeks before I could roll over again, by 8 weeks the pain was virtually gone, I mean it was still sensitive to touch but nothing like those first few weeks where it hurt to even move. I'm natural child birth is a lot better than the horrible pain of a C-section. These are thing that you don't hear, no one told me that when I tried to go poop after that I would be crying because it hurt so much. No one warned me about the recovery period, how big my scar would be, any of this. It can sometimes take a while to regain feeling in that area, it took me about 4-5 months after birth. Although this didn't happen to me in particular, mothers who have c-sections sometimes have a more difficult time breastfeeding too, due to the epidural it makes the baby sleepy and it's difficult to get them to latch on.

I have no idea why anyone would actually voluntarily ask for such a thing. So this is why I'm writing about this, to tell the truth about cesarean sections. To prepare the expectant moms out there that might have to go through this, it's not as glamorous as it seems. If you can mentally prepare yourself for it now then maybe it will be easier for you later. I just wish someone would have told me the truth about c-sections, it may have been a lot easier on me. As hard as it was I now have a beautiful little girl and I would totally do it all over again in a second.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Megan,

    Love your post. It's a good testimony for how painful having a C-Section can be.

    But as you mentioned, being prepared can help.

    Even if you don't expect to have a C-Section it's a good idea to at least understand what takes place during the procedure and be prepared in the event it does occur. I've talked to so many women that wished they had done that.