My C-Section Story

My C-Section Story

You might remember (from my last post, “Son of a Breech“) our dilemma regarding my Frank breech baby and our delivery options.  We had originally planned on an ecv but changed our minds at the last minute due to my dwindling amniotic fluid. Much to my dismay, we had to book a cesarean, which was so difficult for me to accept seeing as I was so adamant about having a natural birth!

Labour with my first child was pretty much textbook and exactly what I had “planned” in my “type A” mind.  Having a natural birth was pretty intense but also SO rewarding!  I couldn’t have changed anything about the experience to make it any more perfect!

It might look like my doula was having a good time but I assure you I was not laughing!

November 28th: My doula joined my husband and I at the hospital at around 2:30 p.m. I was scheduled to start with the IV at around 3:00 p.m so we had to wait…and wait…and wait!

Things were much different this time around….instead of writhing in pain (and my doula and husband getting the work-out of their lives from massaging my back), we actually had time to do a mini pre-op photo shoot to distract me from my pending surgery.  It’s a good thing I still had somewhat of a good sense of humor otherwise I would not have been able to deal with the anticipation.

The countdown is on…1 hour and 45 minutes to go!  I killed time making a few phone calls while my doula sipped on her tea.  Check out my labour “uniform!” (I was trying to channel the calm state I was in during my first labour…for the record, it didn’t work!)

After being pumped with antibiotics (for what seemed like an eternity) the nurses came in cheering, “Let’s have a baby!”  Let’s just say that I was not in the same state of mind as them but it was nice to know THEY were excited, and more importantly calm, about me going into surgery!

I only “look” calm…the smile was only for the camera! 

As I reluctantly dragged my feet to the operating room I began to shake uncontrollably.  This was not an ideal situation for an analytical “type A” person to be in!  For the record, the shaking was NOT due to any medication and it took a while to subside…too much adrenaline for one person to handle!

As soon as I entered the operating room my mouth began to spew verbal diarrhea questions…

Poor anesthesiologist!

Although I felt extremely prepared for the cesarean (having googled quite a bit while on bed rest!) there were still some things I wasn’t prepared for.  I’ve compiled this list for other “type A” moms out there having a cesarean who just NEED to know the facts!

Things They Don’t Tell You About a C-Section:

1.) The spinal: I’ve heard that it would sting like a bee, I would feel a rush of cold going down my back and I might get nauseous.  Luckily for me, (seeing as I was literally in convulsions from being so cold) the spinal actually warmed me up!  UNluckily for me, no one had warned me about the very uncomfortable pressure I would feel once the needle hit my spine!

2) The operating room is cold, I mean, FREEZING cold!  (YOU try to stay calm and relaxed when you feel like you’ve been put in a freezer AND you’re getting a needle in your back!)

3.) Strapping your arms: Some doctors give you the choice (thank goodness mine did!) of whether or not you want your arms to be strapped down.  On the other hand, you might imagine yours arms relaxed by your side.  That’s not the case, mine were stretched out to the sides and I lay in a “cross” formation.  (Not a desirable position going into surgery!)

4) The IV: It DOES hurt as bad as people say…need I say more?!

5) Gas pain: Now let’s be mature adults here! You WILL get gas but not necessarily the kind you are thinking of!  After about 24 hours I was complaining about stiffness and a “pulled nerve” in my right shoulder.  Low and behold, it was gas! If you’re as lucky as me it’ll radiate up the left side of your body up to your shoulder (just think of the pain from a stitch you get from running and multiply that by 100!).  They say that walking helps-I was up and about often and it didn’t work much for me!

6) Post-catheter issues: Yup! I did go there (remember, let’s be mature adults here!). I never thought peeing could be so difficult!

7) The hospital bed: It will seem like the best thing ever invented…especially when you get home and try to get comfortable on your own bed then break down because you realize that getting in and out of bed will take at least 5-10 minutes every time and that you will need an army of pillows to prop you and hold you in place all the while writhing in pain from every slight movement.

8) Post-surgery: To end on a positive note, not everyone gets the shakes, nausea or vomiting! 😉

To make a long story short, the nurses and doctors were wonderful, even though I was still nervous and scared out of my wits!  I made it a point to congratulate them for having been able to keep ME calm (well, to a certain extent!).  My healthy, beautiful baby girl was born at 4:50 p.m. and if you ask, OF COURSE it was all worth it!

13 thoughts on “My C-Section Story”

  • BettyUK 7 years ago

    I am glad they never strapped your arms down. I am from the UK and here they don’t this at all. Also they don’t use the armboards very often they just lay your arms out on your chest. But they never strap your arms. But I’m glad you were treated with dignity and not strapped down.

    • I didn’t feel as if I was mistreated at any point and even though it’s uncomfortable to think of having your arms pinned down I can understand the reasoning behind it! It was just overall not a fun experience for me, considering my first was natural and went ‘according to plan!’

      • BettyUK 7 years ago

        Hi again Lisa. But you said in your post that your doctors gave you the choice of whether or not you wanted them to strap your arms down. So I assumed you said no and they did not do it.
        If that had been me I would have told them no but to just hold my hand and that would be better.
        Here in the UK hospitals they don’t use the arm boards they just your arms on your chest but they are not strapped down. They do sometimes use the arm boards but only if you have a lot of IV’s but your arms are just laid out on the arm board but they are not strapped or tied to it and you can move your arms if you want.
        Also you have the midwife and the anesologist and maybe another nurse by your side for support so that and the fact that your not strapped down probably makes the mum calmer. And if the mum should accidentally touch her stomach which is unlikely because of the sheet or drape. They just put her arm back on her chest but they don’t strap her down. I read somewhere that there in the US they used to strap the arms for vaginal birth back in the 1970’s but they never did that here either. So maybe in the US hospitals are more security conscious about contamination than some other counties.
        But the curtain the front just below the chest stop contamination. And as you are numb from the chest down you cannot move.

        • No,they weren’t pinned but it was odd to have my arms in that position! I was lucky to have had my doula there with me (and my husband as well) because they kept me calm. I’ve never heard of strapping arms for a vaginal birth!!! It does seem as if we (in Canada) are more security conscious than in the UK!

  • KidsOnAPlane 10 years ago

    Congrats on your newest family member Lisa. She is adorable and hope you are feeling 100% now 🙂

  • Monica 10 years ago

    She is here!!!! Congratulations on having a new darling family member. I hope that you are feeling well and recovering well. Sending my absolute best to you Lisa! xo – Monica

  • Mommy’s Two Cents (Heli) 10 years ago

    She is beautiful, as are you! Did you pose for those pics or is it possible that someone looks that good during this whole thing?!?! Congrats!!!

    • Thanks! To be honest I look the same as I did when I went in for the c-section because I didn’t have to do anything. The doctors did all the work for me! Lol! Also, my husband did a pretty good job at wiping the mascara off my face from crying so much when she was born! 😉

  • Sonia 10 years ago

    Hey Lisa! You described my experience to a T!!! It gets better with time. Congratulations…… She is beautiful!

  • I’m sorry it was such an ordeal but congratulations on the new baby!! She is adorable!! Seriously, she has the sweetest face 🙂 I hope that you continue to recover well.

    • Thank you Lauren! After 6 days I finally feel somewhat well…recovery is so challenging and I hate not being able to do anything!

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