I always took an interest when I was pregnant reading people’s labor stories prior to having my first. I was incredibly nervous about labor, child birth, etc. I read everything I could get my hands on. I also had an image in my mind of what my labor would look like and I assumed because I was so fit & healthy that childbirth would be something that I, of all people, could do well…and like KICK ASS at (haha, clearly I was delusional). I also had a personal goal (that I didn’t necessarily share with anyone) to give birth without an epidural (also, clearly extremely delusional !!!!) . I think in some ways our society glorifies “natural childbirth”- and don’t get me wrong- if you delivered that way, you’re a rockstar. But there are many ways to deliver a baby and all that matters is getting baby out safely-for mom and baby.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t have been more wrong about my birth experience and the one thing I always tell first time moms is KEEP AN OPEN MIND.
My labor experience was something I never could have expected and I felt completely blindsided by how everything went down. Long story short, my water broke, I didn’t progress past 2 cm, my baby went into distress from pitocin, the labor pains from the pit were the WORST PAIN I HAD EVER FELT IN MY LIFE, and I begged for an epidural after about 12 hours. Baby was slightly transverse, and I ended up getting a C-section after 20+ hours of labor after my water broke. So…I wanted to share some things that EVERY first time mom should read about C-sections because YOU NEVER KNOW. I wish I would have researched it, and kept an open mind about my “birth plan”.
C-section’s seem to be a hot topic in America. WHY, how, should you or shoulden’t you. I consider myself an extremely confident female (and mother) and whenever someone asked me about my due date or we got on the subject of my babies births/birth stories, I felt the need to explain why I had a C-section. And its completely ridiculous.
I’m currently reading “Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother discovers the wisdom of French Parenting” by Pamela Druckerman and even she mentions:
“Very few women make a fuss about this. French moms often ask me where I plan to deliver, but never how. They don’t seem to care. In France, the way you give birth doesn’t situate you within a value system or define the sort of parent you’ll be. It is, for the most part, a way of getting your baby safely from your uterus into your arms.
In French, giving birth without an epidural isn’t called natural childbirth. Its called ‘giving birth without an epidural.’ “
I’m not taking anything away from someone who has given birth without an epidural. Or has gotten an epidural. I guess my point is..let’s all do whats best for our bodies, and babies.
Rather than sharing my birth story and the play by play of it-which to be honest isn’t really that interesting considering it was a scheduled C-section…. I’m sharing what I wish I knew about C-sections in general prior to ‘going under the knife’. I honestly hope ALL moms to be read this because like I said, you may think things will go a certain way, but sometimes they don’t!
What I wish I knew about C-Sections
Stay Calm & BREATHE: If I could give any tips, this would be it! Especially if it isn’t a planned C, or you have never had surgery before-it can be really scary. With my first because things happened so fast, and I wasn’t really prepared mentally, I asked to listen to music. Being strapped down and being operated on while you’re fully awake isn’t for the birds! It helped calm me for sure. I also try and think about anything BUT what they are actually doing. Like what baby is going to look like, etc.
Be prepared that you might get the shakes: With my first, I had so many different drugs in me to try and get baby to come, that I was shaking so hard in the surgery room. I mean…arms shaking, teeth chattering. Crazy. Again, see #1.
You can still feel it: Kinda freaky, but you can still feel them moving around in there. You shouldn’t feel pain, BUT you will feel pulling, tugging, etc. I remember with my second they couldn’t get his head out and they had to reallllly push and pull. Let’s just say that I could feel all that going on! Please revert to #1.
It’s COLD AF in there. They will give you blankets but its still chilly!
You can still have skin to skin. With my first two, they pretty much whisked the baby away to get his scores, weight, and clean him up. This time, at the new Children’s hospital, they didn’t take him for a bath right away. They checked baby out, and then brought him over to me and laid him on my chest (obviously with my husband holding him) and this was AMAZING. I definitely think they are trying to do more “baby/mom” friendly practices which is awesome because I always felt like I lost out on those first moments with my other two being C-sections.
Some people’s doctors request for no makeup-mine never did. However, nails have to be unpainted so save that pedi for another day!
You may feel nauseous (sometimes some people feel sick during surgery too!). With my first two, afterwards I felt super groggy and tired but was OK. This time around I threw up a few times and honestly was super nauseous for probably 12 hours. This sucked big time-especially since I literally haven’t thrown up since I was like 12. So, I’m not one to get nauseous easily! I was told it was a different pain medication they give you (which was great for the pain) but for my overall state was a bummer! I feel like I coulden’t even enjoy baby because I felt so sick and horrible.
Take the stool softeners: I know I mentioned this before, but if they don’t give them to you. ASK for them.
You may have shoulder pain post surgery. I don’t remember this with my other two babies but this time around I totally thought I slept bad in the hospital bed (which I did, don’t get me wrong haha!) but the pain in my neck/shoulder was really from gas that was caught in my system due to everything slowing down post surgery! It was painful!
Get a belly Bandit: I didn’t wear mine in the hospital but pretty much when I got home I slapped that baby on. It helps so much supporting the core, and laying over your incision. Also…it helps flatten out that postpartum belly!
Get the C-panties: If I could go back and purchase one thing after my first baby, it would be this! Not only do these help with a silicone strip for healing of the incision so there isn’t any rubbing on your clothing, etc., but they are high rise and suck everything in. I swear I wore these for like…6 weeks postpartum with baby 3!
HELP, HELP, HELP!! Get help where you can! Honestly..sit on the couch, turn on netflix, read a book, close your eyes, watch instagram stories. Whatever—just relax. Let others do the cooking, cleaning, laundry. If people ask, TAKE THE HELP. I definitely didn’t take this advice the first 2 times around. Remember, at the end of the day you don’t get an award for doing it all. Rest, recover, and save the cleaning/cooking/etc for 6 weeks from now! You’re no less of a person, mom, woman if you take help!
Don’t weigh yourself- because alllll of the swelling and water retention!! I mean…1. you just made a human and 2. you may have tons of water retention from the fluids pumped in you pre, during and post surgery. EVEN a few days later when you come home they can still be lingering! Drink tons of water!
Laughing and sneezing hurts….put a pillow or the boppy up against your incision if you have to the first week or so!
IT IS A REAL BIRTH. Enough said.
My C Section Must Haves:
I have linked a bunch of my C-Section must have’s including The belly bandit, the C panty, the boppy and of course HIGH RISE leggings because you definitely do not want ANYTHING rubbing on that bikini line where your incision is!!