A short time after the strip turned blue, I sat in the doctor’s office with a dreamy gaze. I had already googled Lamaze and Bradley, and I was fantasizing about a picture perfect, all natural birth. I sat on that cloud for about 12 weeks, until I started to read more about the actual delivery. Then, I sheepishly realized that an ‘all natural’ birth was probably not for me, but I wasn’t discouraged. I would take the drugs, but I was determined the baby was coming out from the parts that nature intended. When we found out during the ultrasound that we were having a boy (I couldn’t stand the suspense and needed to know) we also discovered that baby was breech (head up, legs down). No problemo, there still was enough time to coax the little guy to change positions. At 32 weeks he was still breech, and then we began to worry. But babies have been known to change positions as late as 38 weeks I found out, so I kept thinking positive. Lil Z had other plans because at 34 weeks my water broke and whether we were ready or not, Z-Bear was coming.
I feel the most difficult and painful part of the C-section is not the surgery at all, but dealing with the initial disappointment of not delivering how you expected to. But it wears off pretty quickly, because when you see the baby, all is forgotten. Seeing your baby for the first time, all pink and covered in goo, is indescribable. And I can’t imagine you feel any less emotional whether you pushed til you were blue in the face or simply waited with your eyes closed, listening for that first wail. I want to discuss my experience having a C-Section. The problem is, there is a lot of scary literature out there that basically tells you that C-Section = super dangerous procedure, agonizing, painful recovery, inability for milk to come in, and lots of harm to the baby. Granted, they are all valid points, but I was in a tizzy because of all I had heard, and it really wasn’t that bad. Really.
– The spinal: the needle looks scary, but they numb the skin on your back, and all you feel is a slight sting and then some pressure. You have to hold still and I was terrified that I would flinch and ‘ruin’ it, but the sting is infinitesimal, so you don’t really flinch.
– The numbing: you know the feeling when your foot falls asleep…that’s how it feels pretty much from the neck down until you don’t feel anything at all. You are easily able to move your head and hands. In addition to the spinal, you get some pain medicine through the IV, and if you want, something to help with nerves.
– The catheter: you don’t feel that at all (believe it or not, for me, this was the scariest part of the whole procedure).
– Rubbing your belly with some kind of ointment before surgery – slight tingle or nothing at all
– The incision: no pain
– Getting the baby out: pulling sensation and pressure. But I think the pressure borders a little on pain, but it is very short lived.
– Baby comes out: You don’t notice anything but the baby.
– Delivery of the placenta: Longest part, feeling goes back and forth between pressure and pain. Deep breaths help because you know it will be over soon.
– Stitching you up: Moderate to uncomfortable stinging and pinching
– Post surgery: nurse dresses you, gives you warm blankets, and wheels you into recovery room. This actually felt rather nice. I was up and alert, the warm blankets felt great, I was relieved that it was all over, and I felt a euphoric high.
– PRAY! There are few times I have felt closer to The Almighty than during the miracle of birth.
Note – Take the anti-itch medicine, you will feel itchy. Take the anti-nausea medicine, you will feel queasy, and don’t eat anything just yet, not even the Jello in the room they say is ok, because throwing up after being stitched is not a pleasant feeling at all.
Honestly, I really have to think back hard to all the steps, because 4 months after the fact, you tend to forget, all that matters is the baby.
Note: I will be doing another blog about post C-section recovery…stay tuned!