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!
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…
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!