My Fabulous Life

The C-Section Surprise

A reader asked me when I was going to post Everleigh’s birth story.  Being that she is 3.5 months old now, it’s about time I got that written – it’s on my to do list with the other eleventy billion other things I’d like to get done.  The truth of the matter is that  I am finally (finally) beginning to feel like my old self again.  Talk about a shock to the system.  After successfully (successfully?  Does that mean a c-section is a #fail?) giving birth to my first two children the good old fashioned way, our surprise c-section left me in stitches, and not the funny kind.

I suppose I had it coming.

In the days leading up to Everleigh’s birth, when I was overdue and searching the Internet and pregnancy forums for tips to bring on labor and birth stories (searching for any sign of labor I could relate to…only to realize nothing at all was happening in my uterus) I actually turned up my nose of c-section birth stories.  After all, I didn’t need to read any of that because it certainly didn’t relate to me.  I suppose I could say I was a bit of a c-section snob.

Having never had one before, my perception of a c-section was that it was the stuff of celebrity life that some of us regular-folk experience as well.  “Too posh to push” is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking about it.  Whenever I’d hear of yet another celebrity having a c-section, I’d roll my eyes (truthfully for celebs, I still do) because they seemed to have it easy.

No water breaking in the middle of the night.  No intense contractions making you sound possessed.  No epidural that may or may not work (and in my case, epidurals are always a #fail), and certainly no pushing that baby out.  People who have c-sections have it easy.  Well, maybe the celebs do.

Victoria Beckham, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara and Elizabeth Hurley (all celebs that had elective c-sections) have nannies to help, likely a baby  nurse for overnights, and probably an assistant or 2 to do everything for them.  In comparison to the average woman after a c-section, they really do have it easy.  It wasn’t until I experienced a c-section myself that I learned how ultimately overwhelming the entire experience can be for us regular people, and also learned the things no one ever tells you about c-sections and recovery.

First, having a scheduled c-section instead of an emergency c-section is the better of the two.  Laboring for 22 hours like I did and then being prepped for surgery is not fun.  Your body is exhausted.  You’re exhausted.  In my case I was also battling a fever (I’m a wimp and my body kind of freaks out at a certain point) so it’s certainly not the best place, physically and emotionally, to be before going in for major surgery.  I wasn’t a mess with the idea of having a c-section.  When it comes to labor, this third-time-around mom was ready for anything.  I joked when I was pregnant that this babe would end up in a c-section, just because that’s the kind of curve-ball life can throw at you so we were ok when our OB said it was time.   Everleigh was not dropping even at that point and my cervix was swollen from me pushing against the pain (a no-no).

The first c-section surprise came shortly after the spinal epidural was given and I lost all sensation below my neck.  What I didn’t know, and what can happen to some people, is that you also lose the sensation of air going in and out of your chest.  I literally felt like I could not breathe, could not take in a deep breath, and it felt like I was suffocating.  I likened it to being a fish out of water gasping for breath.  I started to freak out but the anesthetist beside me kept me calm, explaining that my oxygen levels were great and that taking quick little breaths may help, which is what I did the entire time (my husband made fun of me later for it).

The surgery itself was much quicker than I expected.  It’s the aftermath – putting everything back together – that takes the longest.  Once I was back in my room and my husband and Everleigh came in (he followed her for all her checks and bath, etc.) I still felt ok because I was still numb.  We made phone calls (many of which I don’t remember) and took some pictures.  It wasn’t until a few hours later that the numbness wore off and the pain began.  C-section pain is not that bad.  As long as you stay absolutely still.  And for the love of all things holy, don’t cough.  Or sneeze.

Unfortunately, apparently to heal you actually need to get moving.  I was supposed to be up and attempting to walk the morning following my surgery but no one got me up until later that evening (about 24 hours after).  My first attempt was excruciating.  I cried.  I only managed to take 3 steps to the sink and back but it was something.  The next morning we tried again, and it wasn’t as bad.  A few hours after that, it got better.  It’s true – the more you get up and moving, the better you feel but it’s hard and it hurts.  By 48 hours after the surgery, I was proud of being able to walk up and down the hallway outside my room.

I was discharged 72 hours after my surgery (give or take).  The first few days at home were hard (again, no baby nurse or hired help for this non-celeb), especially with 2 older kids who needed attention too.  No one tells you that after a c-section wearing bikini underwear is pretty much impossible as it rests right where your incision is, so I had to ask a friend to purchase me “granny” underwear to get me through the next few weeks.  Even worse than having to wear granny underwear is asking your friend, who is out with her husband, to stop and pick up some for you.

In time, the healing began.  Each day, I felt better than the last.  Friends who had c-sections reassured me that after 10 days, I’d feel like I’d turned a corner (they were right) and that after 6 weeks, I’d feel immensely better (right again).  The first week is hell, especially if you are used to being stronger, more in control, and certainly more hands-on with your babies.  It was hard giving my  husband the majority of the responsibility (especially since I wasn’t breastfeeding, so I didn’t have that “ah- ha!” trump card to offer where I had something only I could do).  He did well – I knew he would, but it made me feel like a slacker even though my abdomen had been sliced into to remove the baby.

That is probably the biggest lesson I learned from my c-section experience.  I had to learn how to let-go and allow others to help me.  Friends stopped by with meals (SUCH a help and something I will remember to pay forward to others), my husband took on more than I’d allowed him to with the other 2 kids when they were newborns, and I had to force myself to sit and watch the household buzz around me.

In the end, I am glad for the experience.  No, really.  It really opened my eyes to that other side of the birthing experience and I learned first hand that one way of delivering a baby is not any more special, intimate, or better than the other.  It’s just different.  I am no longer a c-section snob, and if someone wants to stick their nose up at me and say that having a  baby via c-section is not a real birthing experience, I’d suggest putting on your boxing gloves.

After all, I have a 10 cm scary looking scar.  I’m kind of tough looking now. 

45 Comments

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  • Love this! I come from a family that has all their (big) babies naturally. I had an emergency c-section with my twins (I SO wanted to have them natural, but Baby A kicked her cord out… so ambulance ride and completely knocked out it was). I hated it. I felt so bad, like I didn’t do it the “right” way or the tough mama way. We lost a baby at 18 weeks when they were 18 months old and then we got pregnant again six months later. I chose to have an elective scheduled c-section with her because I was so afraid to lose a child again and they drill the percentages of problems into you when it comes to trying a VBAC. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to “birth” a child yet, but I can tell you that it doesn’t make me any less of a mom. In fact, I think I had to be more of a mom because I still had to get up out of bed, go get the baby, change her, nurse her, etc. and be able to take care of my other two girls… all with a huge wound running across the bottom of my belly. I don’t have any other scars and have never had any other surgeries, but I am proud to wear my c-section scar knowing that it safely brought my girls into this world and shows them how much I love them!

  • Before I got pregnant, I longed for a c-section. I was afraid of natural labor. Then I remember watching birth stories online before I had my daughter and thinking, please oh please don’t make me have a c-section. The video I saw online of a c-section looked awful. Glad you made it through!

  • Oh God!! I am due in a month and am a c-section snob as well. I am keep telling myself that that won’t be me! Thanks for the advice because this is my first and i do not ask for help normally. Maybe now i will fell better about it if i do. I am a nurse and know all that goes into it but still have never experienced it for myself. My husband is usually away on the oil rigs and will only be home for the first little bit. Wish me luck!!

  • I’m so glad you are feeling much better now. I had a complicated natural birth with my first baby. So I have decided to have a c-section next time.

  • I’m so glad you are feeling much better now. I had a complicated natural birth with my first baby. So I have decided to have a c-section next time.

  • I’ve had 3 c-sections and have reacted differently to all of them. I did attempt to VBAC with the 2nd and 3rd as well. It is a tough road physically and emotionally for sure. I’m glad you are feeling better.

  • I had c-section with both of my kiddo’s. Mica was a breech baby. I was low on fluid. I tried everything to get him to turn. Including laying on an ironing board upside down with one end propped up on the bed and the other on the floor. Then I tried to have him turned from the outside by 2 doctor’s. That hurt worse then the c-section! He would turn a bit, then turn back. I think he wouldn’t turn because of my low fluid, plus he was a long baby. My husband said my eyes were big time dilated during the process. That left us with no choice, c-section it was.

    With my second Isaak I just decided that c-section is what I’d have. My doctor said that she didn’t know if I’d be able to deliver because I had a funny tilted birth canal.

    The good news, the scar really lightens up and you do eventually start to feel your muscles as time goes on.

  • I’ve had three children, all in different ways. The first was a long, grueling natural labor. The second was an emergency c-section after trying regular labor and the third was an elective c-section. Having done it all three ways, I can tell you that it’s grueling and taxing no matter how you do it. The outcome, however you do it though, is always worth it.
    Glad to hear everything went well and thanks for sharing your story.

  • Thanks for sharing! I have never had a C-section so I found this very interesting. Thankfully I am done with the baby making, but I agree that it would be hard to watch hubby do it all.

  • I’ve had both an emergency and a planned c-section. Both hurt like hell, but I recovered slightly easier from the planned one.

    I also want to add that if you HAVE to cough or sneeze, to lean forward and put a pillow or something across your c-section and cough as lightly as possible.

    Glad you are feeling better.

  • C-Sections are scary! I had one emergency and one planned. The first one was much scarier, and like you, I labored for 27hrs, got a fever and the baby’s heart rate dropped. It took much loner to recover from that one than with my 2nd planed one. Either way…it’s a very scary experience and a long recovery. Both times I didn’t feel much like myself until 8 weeks postpartum.

    Thank you for sharing your story! It’s good to share to connect with other moms who have gone through it or will be!

  • I am right there with you. I had 3 successful vaginally births and with my fourth child, I had to have a c-section because he was too big to deliver the old fashioned way. My third child had shoulder dystocia (which is where the baby’s shoulders gets stuck behind your pelvic bone) but my OB was able to deliver him and he was pretty blue and my OB did NOT put him on my stomach but rather take him to the warmer bed with the nurse to get him looking better and he was 8lbs 6oz which was a big baby for my small frame. With my fourth baby, they monitored his growth and was 8lbs 6oz at 38 weeks and I started to develop pre-clampsia so I was induced and gonna try for a vaginally birth and after 12 hours of labor and no progress made, we weighed all the options of delivering a shoulder dystocia baby vs c-section…the c-section was less risky because with should dystocia, could lead to harming of the baby even death of the baby…so the decision was a no brainer for us. C-section it was and I had the same issue as you, had to be told to take deep breaths. My little man ended up weighing more than my other son at 8lbs 8oz. Sorry for my long story but had to tell it because I felt the same way as you. My little guy is now 5 months old 🙂 ((Hugs))

  • Your story sounds very familiar; the emergency c-section part anyway. My first pregnancy was a roller-coster of a ride. Our first site of trouble was around 4 months after seeing the OBGYN, she told us that the baby’s umbilical cord was not centered on the placenta because a large portion of it was dead. This was strike one…..just to be safe we were monitored with ultra-sounds on a monthly bases. Strike two came when I was 9 months pregnant, I suddenly woke up at 3am with itchy palms and feet…..it was driving me crazy and nothing was helping. The next morning we went to the hospital and they informed us that I had obstetric colistasis. This is where things took a nose dive. They don’t know what causes it, they don’t know how to prevent….what they do know is that if you are allowed to go past 39 weeks the chances of having a still birth increase by 15%. So in my final month with these two lovely conditions I was being monitored every 2 days. At 39 weeks I was induced and to my knowledge everything was moving smoothly…until yet another surprise took form, our daughter was head down however she was not facing the right direction (back labour is beyond painful). To add to everything her head was not engaging. I was in labour for 14 hours before things took a turn for the worse my fever spiked to 39 and her heart beat raced to 200. It was now 4 in the morning, we were all exhausted and they were telling us that I needed a c-section. Within 30 mins our daughter was born and none of what we went through mattered anymore. We were in the hospital for about 3-4 days. With all the ups and downs that come with delivery we thought we were out of the woods; right before checking out I started throwing up. To cut my story short I spent the next week in isolation, my daughter was home with my mom and my husband shuttled breast milk back and forth. Turns out one of our visitors was sick and didn’t know it. Due to the pressure of throwing up so often my stitches opened and overall ended up needing a little over 8 weeks to get back to normal (even in terms of appetite).
    After this crazy ride I’m happy to say we have an active, smiley 18 month old and I would go through it all again in a heartbeat. We are actually expecting our second in December, I have my first appointment next week, so wish me luck.

  • Had an emergency C with my first after laboring for 18 hours. Sadly, it ended up even worse, as a C under general anesthesia (I could feel EVERY attempt to cut open my stomach – after further doping me and trying three more times, I could STILL feel the knife…so, under general I went). Mind you, I had the epidural and it was working when they attempted that first cut! I remember nothing, of course, and woke 5 hours after the actual delivery in a room by myself with a not so nice nurse. First child and she does not understand WHY I wanted to see the baby? Sheesh. Second child was a C as well, though elective. Funny how all my friends who had vaginal deliveries kindly reminded me (as if I lived on another planet) that a VBAC was certainly an option. Gee, thanks! I was unaware! I personally chose this as NO ONE could guarantee I would not have a repeat performance of round 1. Thus, the elected C. Happy I did it, and would do so again (if I were to have any more kids). Yes, recovery is tough, but my first went through hell trying to enter this world, so I was not going to put another through it, or myself! Completely surreal getting prepped for a c when my first was so frantic (since baby 1 received all the additional drugs that I did, that would not work on me – worked too well on him, unfortunately). At the end of the day, this decision is that of the woman delivering, her spouse/significant other and the doc – no one else’s opinion matters, provided that healthy baby results.

  • I completely relate to this post since I had to have a c-section 4 weeks ago today due to my son being breech presentation. It was hard to accept and I feel fine physically but mentally I am still recovering.

  • Like you, I judged those celebs that did elective c-sections (still do). C-sections should only be done when necessary, not out of convenience. It’s major surgery and I don’t think anyone should elect for major surgery when there is an alternative (as long as it’s safe for both mother and baby).

  • I never read up on c/s before the birth of my first. After 34 hours of induced labor (she was 14 days late) I was at 3 cm, the baby was still up in my chest and her heart rate was dropping. So I had a C/S. The next baby was a scheduled c/s and I got to pick his birthday AND wear makeup for the pictures! It was great!

    Congrats on making it through! :^)

  • I had an emergency c-section due to placental abruption at 34 weeks. Not fun after 5 natural births. I have had more problems since that c-section than I could have ever imagined. Including 2 hernia surgeries and another I need to get looked into. I am thankful for the ability to have this procedure otherwise me and my child might have died. I only wish I would have had someone to ask for help.

    Thanks for your story 🙂

  • Wow, that’s amazing to learn. It’s hard to believe that information is tough to find. Good for you for writing about it and sharing. I had laproscopic exploratory surgery once and the pain afterwards was horrible, I found myself repeating over and over, “How do all those mothers go through with c-sections and never mention how bad it must hurt?” I hope you are feeling much better now.

  • Being rushed down to the OR, surrounded by panicked midwives, doctors and nurses who were all hollering for a C-Section but weren’t telling me WHY or WHAT WAS GOING ON was the scariest experience of my life. I’m of the ilk that the fewer interventions the better when it comes to childbirth so I definitely never wanted or even imagined I’d have a C-Section. But, in the end, my baby was ok and so was I and obviously that’s what’s important. Oh and you’re so right about the underwear! I was totally unprepared and had to send my husband out to buy me a pack of granny panties. I’m sure he loved that!

  • Thanks for sharing your c-section experience! Both of mine were born by c-section, my first was breech and I was not given a choice; my second I opted for a c-section just because the first experience had gone so smoothly and pain free! I know that scheduled sections usually have an easier recovery, etc than those that are not planned (maybe since I did not have to endure hours of pain and pushing beforehand!) Anyways, just wanted to share with others that know (and are nervous about) their upcoming c-section – it’s not that bad! I was home after two days with my first child, and only one night in hospital with my second. With both, all I needed for recovery was regular strength Tylenol to ease the tenderness around the scar area. I was able to do everything I had done prior to surgery within the first day or so (including lifting my 4 year old the second time round!) And my scar is tiny, and hidden on the bikini line!

  • The first time i had a baby was an emergency c-section…after 80 hrs (<—not a typo) of labour i was truly exhausted. Not to mention it hurt like hell, i could not move for 2 days. and when i could move it was awful.
    With my second child i opted for a planned section.
    It was amazing, i was able to hold my baby first (i couldn't do that the first time) Although i didn't get out of bed that day the following day i went home. The first time was awful and such a learning curve, i would hate to have another emergency section again, but an elective one i wouldn't mind that at all.

  • Im so glad youve written this, i had an emergency c seciton with my 1st baby after 52 hours of contractions and no dilating!! I felt like id failed in ‘giving birth’ and to be honest to this day i dont feel i have the right to say ‘i gave birth’.
    My section effected me alot only because like you i didnt ever read up on it cause i didnt think it effected me!!! Oh how wrong i was!!!! Im trying for baby number 2 at the moment and hope to god i am able to have a VBAC!! only time will tell!

  • Great story! I had a c-section with my son who was 10.5 lbs, after days of unproductive labour. I started contracting thursday night and he was born Sunday afternoon. We pushed and pushed….but when the midwife says we’re done, you’re done. With my second I booked it, and the midwife didn’t bat an eye, lol. Recovery from the 2nd was way easier of course, but yes, you learn to ask for help. I remember with my son on day 2 I got in the shower. That itself was an ordeal, but I quickly dropped my shampoo on the floor. -gone forever :-(. -there was NO WAY I could possibly pick it up.
    One thing I like to say though, make A POINT of saying, is that I had an UNPLANNED c-section. Sounds like DM had an emergency c-section. I believe there is a difference, and to call them all emergencies, which I don’t think you did, is wrong and makes women fearfull. In the end you had a baby! You concieved it, grew, it and got it out -doesn’t matter how. Good Job!

  • Thank you for your post. My first was born by emergency c-section — my husband wasn’t in the room when she was born. The nurses had misplaced the fetal monitor, and were picking up mine instead of the baby’s. When it came time to pretty well push the resident put in an internal and they were shocked it was at 50 bpm (and didn’t go up or down between contractions). I’ve never seen 20 people in a room so quick! Baby was in fetal distress from all the pitocin they had pumped into me. It was terrifying to be rushed on a stretcher around a hospital. No open ERs in the birth unit so I was in a whole other part of the hospital. Not husband and possibly brain damaged or dead baby was terrifying. Not something I would wish on my worst enemy. We are very lucky that we had great resident who thought something was up. A few more minutes and it’s likely she would have gone into cardiac arrest. She had no long term ill effects that we’ve found from her ordeal. She spent some time in the step down nursery as she was not able to maintain her body temp, no desire to suck/swallow, but all in all is a happy healthy almost 5 year old now. Really, at the time recovery was the least of my worries.

    My second baby’s labour and delivery was natural, and fairly intervention free (fetal monitor — in the right spot this time + antibiotics for GBS+).

  • I had an emergency c-section with my 1st and the recovery was so bad (for all the reasons listed above plus some others) that I did everything I could to have my 2nd via vaginal birth, and luckily I was able to. Thanks for sharing your story with such honesty!

  • This is a great and honest post. It could be my mom’s story. She had gone through the stages of labour and had a fever but my little brother wasn’t going anywhere. She needed to have an emergency c-section as well. I was very lucky with my firstborn.

  • We had planned on a natural birth, but complications resulted in an emergency C-section at 32 weeks 2 days. Afterwards, I was told my son had been so stressed that he wouldn’t have survived a natural birth. I am so ever grateful that things went the way they did because I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all of the things my son & I do together if i hadnt followed my instincts. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

  • Love your honest story about c-sections! During our prenatal classes, I always kind of zoned out when the teacher talked about c-sections. I just thought “Nope, my labor is going to go fine and I don’t need to overwhelm myself with all the extra information that doesn’t apply to me”. I thought the same thing when she discussed the dangers of high blood pressure – certainly I wouldn’t have a problem with this because my blood pressure is always really low. Little did I know that a month before my son was expected to arrive, I’d be in and of the hospital almost daily due to high blood pressure issues, have to carry a monitor around with me and start preparing for the unexpected. At that time I still wasn’t thinking about a c-section. Then the day came when I had to be induced due to issues with my blood pressure. My son was due in 2 days so he was fully “cooked” and ready to be born. Surely I didn’t have to worry about a c-section now! Well, something went wrong and my son’s heartbeat started to drop dramatically, he wasn’t moving or responding to anything the doctors or nurses tried. That’s when I heard the most terrifying words of my life. The doctor came in and bluntly said “I don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t know if your baby will survive but I’ll do my best”. I cried harder than I’ve ever cried in my life…but there was little time to cry as I was being rushed down the hall and into the room for surgery. I can’t how many people were in the room helping but I’ve never seen people move so fast! Thankfully my son was born healthy and without additional complications.

    As for the c-section itself – I don’t think anyone can truly understand unless they’ve been there. You are right – don’t cough and don’t sneeze! I’d also add in there, don’t laugh! I remember all the times that my son would wake up crying to be fed and I had to wake my husband up to help me sit up. I tried my best but I just couldn’t sit up on my own for quite a while! One of the worst “side effects” was the numbness in the scar area. I had that numbness for months! I would joke with my husband that I honestly couldn’t feel if my granny panties were even pulled up. Seriously, if my pants were to fall off I would probably be too numb to realize it! Thankfully I made it through to a full recovery without ever losing my pants!

    Thanks for your honest feedback on c-sections! Even for those that never think they’ll have one, it’s good to know what to expect.

  • Thanks for sharing your story! My best friend had an emergency c-section too and I can’t tell you how worried we all were about her. It definitely isn’t minor surgery and it took her quite a while to recover. Thankfully she and the baby are fine!

  • Thanks for writing an informative piece on C-sections. There is so much incorrect information out there and I think all it serves to do is scare mothers, rather than educate. With my first pregnancy, I was induced and after 36 hours of tough labour and no dilation happening, I gave birth to our son. Yes, I gave birth to him just as others Mothers like you and those who have their children vaginally. I was advised with the second pregnancy to not even try a VBAC, from a Dr who was very, very pro VBAC, she had never told a patient to not attempt it. She concluded that my body is simply not made the right way to push a baby out, I would have been one of those ladies who died in childbirth all those years ago. So, I am grateful that I had two C-sections, grateful for my children and have never ashamed of the fact that others think I took the easy way out. All of us C-section Moms know that this is not an easy way out, rather an alternative birthing method and one that I am glad exists.

  • Thanks for writing this. As a fellow c-sectioner, I appreciate someone standing up & verbally smacking the snobs on the noggin. I will NEVER understand how anyone thinks that having a c-section is “taking the easy way out”.
    There is NOTHING even remotely “easy” about a c-section!
    I planned to give birth the old-fashioned way… but we realized a few things that might hinder it, and/or cause some major risks that I wasn’t willing to take — I had not spent 9 months eating well, exercising, attending weekly 4+hour Diabetes Clinics from 28 weeks on, having all the extra bloodwork, my thyroid levels checked every 3 weeks (I have Hashimoto’s, and low thyroid can cause problems in pregnancy or TTC)
    The presing issue that arose at the last month of my pregnancy, when it changed to weekly OB visits, was that my baby was sideways, and NOT willing to somersault. She was in a perfect cradling position with the small of her back over the exit door and my hips pretty much rocking her whenever I walked or moved. Nuh-uh no way was she leaving that position. So my doctor explained the procedure of turning a baby — forcefully. It involved chcecking into hospital, Catheter & IV, then an epidural (because apparently it is extremely painful!), THEN pushing and prodding from a couple of different directions to force the baby to be head-down. He explained that it works 50-70% of the time — and I’m sorry but those aren’t great odds. AND if labour didn’t start when this was going on, I would be sent home to wait. AND if they succeeded ion that 50-70% of the time, there was also a HUGE change that she would just flip herself back around anyway, because really, who wants to be upside-down & uncomfy when you can be rocked to sleep constantly & see the light spots coming through Mama’s tummy?
    The second issue was one that lasted my entire pregnancy, I KNEW it was coming before I even got pregnant, diabetes runs rampant through both sides of my family, including my dad. QWhen I found out I was pregnant I started a Pregnancy Journal, and I kept track of everything I ate or drank (EVERYTHING!), how I felt day to day, any weird things or how tired I felt morning sickness, etc, although i had NO morning sickness. Instead I was exhausted. I had to sleep for an hour one day when at a friend’s house for coffee (decaf) — I could NOT even keep my eyes open, I was *that* tired. Anyway, right from the 8-week appointment I started dropping weight, 5lbs every 4 weks, even though I was eating really good tings & with 2-3 hours between, I couldn’t gain an ounce. By the time I hit the first Gestational Diabetes Clinic, I was put on insulin shots immediately because my blood sugars were REALLY HIGH. I had to go to these clinics every Wed. morning from 9am- noon or 1pm, depending on how busy it was each week.
    At the time, there were 3 of us in my group of friends who were pregnant. Tye first to give birth came VERY close to losing her son at one point, his heartbeat dropped to dangerously low levels. So that was in my mind when i had to start making decisions. I had NOT gone through everything I went through for the pregnancy to walk out of that hospital without a baby! Those weekly visits, 3 insulin shots per day, 4-6 blood-sugar test-pokes, eating a huge meal every 2 hours, then being forced to work it off if my sugars still went up. Managing the diabetes & just growing the baby was my full-timejob at the time (I had goten laid off anyway, so I just stayed off)… I felt that the risks to my baby were just too high if I opted to turn her then wait for labour …
    The burning questions were:
    “What if I go into labour, and it’s the weekend, and it’s a student/resident OB on duty and they don’t fully understand the implications, complications and HUGE risks** to a baby with a GD mother?”
    **Babies of GD mothers are at a VERY HIGH risk of diabetic coma in the hour following birth, their little bodies produce extra insulin all through the pregnancy, because the mom’s high blood sugars DO pass the placenta, which is why any GD babies are often huge.
    So what if nobody knowledgable was on duty at the time I deliver?
    What if they cut that cord & baby’s higher-insulin kills her?
    The other thoughts & worries I had were:
    “SO, I go in, get IV/catheter & Epidural and they push & shove then, unbeknownst to anyone, baby gets choked by umbilical cord since there isn’t a really good way to make sure it idn’t getting twisted or wrapped up when turning her?
    I felt that ONE large needle in the back per pregnancy was enough, I didn’t really want oone to turn her then another one for birth.
    SO, they force this, hard enough that mom has to have her lower body numbed, then I have to go through birth all bruised up and already in a weakened state from that procedure… no thanks.
    AND
    So, if this precedure works 57-70% of the time, that means it DOESN’T work 30-50% of the time? Those aren’t great odds.
    AND finally, the thought of going through all of that, it works, great fine dandy, I go home go to sleep, wake up the next morning & she’s right back where she was. Which would mean emergency c-section anyway. OR Something goes wrong in turning her, which would mean emergency c-section anyway. Or something goes wrong in turning & we’re not aware of it, baby suffers brain damage or blindness or any other number of things that could result… which would mean that I did all the work in keeping my blood sugars in check, all the insulin, all that for nothing.
    There was no way in hell I was going to take such huge risks with the life & well-being of my baby & walking out of that hospital wthout a baby. No way.

    So I scheduled a c-section for the following week. And it was NOT the easy way out, and anyone who thinks it is or that moms who opt for c-section are lazy or less of a mother are idiots. It is NOT easy! It is a huge risk of things happening to mom, infections, hell ANYTHING can go wrong in MAJOR SURGERY.
    Mine went off fairly well — except my body went into shock pretty badly. And the spinal anesthesia wouldn’t dissipate, in fact after the surgery it started creeping UP my body, they had to remind me to breathe sometimes, LOL, and by the time I was in my private room, my chin was tingly… kinda scary. And the nurse had to stay with me. Four hours post-op, I still had no feeling at all whatsoever in my legs.
    BUT, my daughter was born with NO complications, no problems, no squished head or dislocated anything, no cord-wrapping problems, etc. And she was in the care of a pediatrician immediately after birth who specialized in babies with GD moms.
    Which might sound easy… but let me tell ya, the description of the pain that our FeistyFrugal mom is pretty accurate… unless you are allergic to NSAIDS, which they usually put in all epidurals & spinals to reduce swelling which in turn reduces pain — I couldn’t have it so I had some bonus pain for the swelling (oh goodie! Not). I found the pain to be AGONIZING. And I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so for me to be in agony says a lot. IT. FREAKING. HURT . The incisions, the whole way through I felt all of it. Just getting out of bed when my baby was crying made ME cry. You don’t realize that there is nothing you can do that doesn’t involve your abdomen somwhow.
    And I was left with some longer-lasting effects, numbnmess & tingling around the incision line to this day (13 years later). The nerve that tells the area it’s supposed to be a pubic area… yeah that message ain’t getting through, LOL (bald spots).

    So NO it was NOT easier, and I am NOT less of a mother because I had a c-section. If any C-Section Snob really thinks that I am less of a mother because I had a c-section, then it can just as easily be flipped around — IF there is a More Of/Less Than then a c-section mom deserves the More Than title, having put HERSELF through MORE risks, MORE pain, MORE lasting side effects & her own nerve damage. DON’T go there!

    ANYWAY — I just wanted to chime in with my thoughts on this. I really appreciate that you wrote this post, I REALLY hope that some of the snobs will re-think their position on the matter, because it is very unfair to think it’s somehow easier!

  • WOW Loved reading this!! I can relate as I had a planned C-Section as my baby girl was in breech position for around 3 weeks and would not turn. I was absolutely scared and terrified as no one in either sides of family had ever experienced a cesarean. Definitely scary being put under the knife and worry is my baby going to be ok. The healing process is the worst. Still healing after 7 months, and my tummy below belly button still has no feeling. Oh yahhh and LMAO @ Granny panties.. Not so pretty and comfy. I had a good chuckle reading.

  • Thank you for sharing your story! I had a difficult natural birth I was a week overdue ,my water broke and I had to be induced because I wasnt dilating still, I was in labour for 25 hours. Babies heart rate was high, I had a fever and when they were talking c-section luckily things turned around and I have able to deliver, She had shoulder displacia and they had to call the emergency team in,to try and kind of twist her out which ended in alot of stitches for me:(

  • Thanks to all for sharing. I had a planned c-section, the first time and delivered naturally the second time. I believe each birthing scenario has its own pros and cons. With a section, there is the healing time afterwards. With the natural birth, I was put on the drip, making labor hard and fast (didn’t seem fast at the time. I remember telling my husband to have the doctor knock me out and give me a section.) and to make matters worse at the time , a nurse said to me, “no pain, no gain).

  • Oh I wasn’t even awake for my C-section, the cord got caught on his chin and they whipped me in so fast that the table hit the door frame …after I woke up I signed the sheet to agree to a c-section LOL

tenille-lafontaine

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