Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let's Talk C-Sections

Because I want you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about c-sections. Coming from someone who has done it both ways (Kay was born vaginally and little M via c-section). I feel like I have some experience.

From the start of my pregnancy with Miss M, the only thing I knew for sure was that I did NOT want a c-section, but yet throughout my whole pregnancy it seems to haunt me. Every time they would bring up the "C" word as I dubbed it, I barely skinned by. She was breech (we talked about the C word) and then she flipped at 34 weeks. They thought she was big (we talked about the C word), until a growth u/s at 38 weeks. I don't know, it seemed like it just kept being brought up, or maybe I was just paranoid. I talked about it here, here, and here.

I should say that I didn't not want to have a c-section because I had this great, easy, painless vaginal birth the first time around, because that was not the case at all. It was complete and utter HELL. By far the most pain I have ever endured in my entire life. During the course of those 11 hours I threatened suicide, to hold my breath until I got pain meds, and asked to just be knocked out because I couldn't take it anymore. I tell people all the time that a gorilla could haven given me my epidural because I didn't even look at the guy...JUST GIVE ME MY MEDS!

All that and I still didn't want a c section this time. I don't know why, but I just didn't. I knew the recovery would be longer, that I didn't want to be cut open, and that I didn't want to stay at the hospital 4-5 days. People talk about c sections these days like its no big deal, but in reality it is major abdominal surgery.

So when my water broke that day, at the grocery store no less, I pretty much was bracing for a normal (vaginal) delivery. Except baby M had other ideas....16 hours later I was being wheeled into the OR. I never got to experience labor, never got to scream expletives, or squeeze my husbands hand, or hear the words PUUUUSHHHHH. I feel like I got jipted. Thank god I have done it once before, or else I'd be really upset. Don't get me wrong, I was willing to do whatever got her here safely, but c-section was not my cup of tea.
The actual c-section itself was not bad at all. It was a lot of tugging and pulling and weird pinches, etc. Minus the shaking for the super dose of epidural, I was okay. It was the long recovery that was my least favorite part.

I had a amazing team of doctors and nurses, I loved the hospital and my time spent there (one of the best), and had a completely normal delivery and recovery, no compliatacitons, a text book c section. But I was completely oblivious to exactly how long the recovery would be.

First, for the first 24 hours after a c section you have to not only keep the catheter in and pee in a bag, but also your IV. Not cool. Oh and don't forgot the air things on your calf's going off every 15 minutes to prevent blood clots. Not cool either. 24 hours after a normal vag birth you are being wheeled out to your car, 24 hours after a c-section finally getting to pee on your own. YAY. After a c section you are stuck on a modified diet the first 2 days, or until you start passing gas. Another YAY. 15 minutes after I got Kay out I was eating fried chicken and potatoes! Two totally different worlds.

Then walking, getting in and out of bed, coughing, laughing, sneezing and pooping are all a big challenge. Yes I realize this is the case with a vag birth too, but your vag is made for this stuff. It heals much quicker.  Once I was home I slept sitting in a chair for the first 5 days because getting in and out of bed was not easy. I needed help to do everything the first 2 weeks, where as with a vag birth after a few days, besides some soreness and swelling your alright! Keep in mind I was up walking around within hours after my c section too, I did help! Then, for 3-4 more weeks, I experienced intense zaps of a burning pain sensation at the incision site (all normal), and it hurt wearing regular pants and certain underwear for the longest time because of the incision.  

And here I am today at 5 month, FIVE MONTHS postpartum, and I still am ultra sensitive in certain spots above my incision line. I still have some numbness, and up until a month ago it still felt very sensitive to bend at the waist in jeans.

I have found the people who say c sections are not so bad, or that they would totally do it again, are the ones who have only had a c-sections. They have never experienced a regular birth so they have nothing to compare it too! And I'm sure there are some who feel other wise, but that has been my experience so far.

I don't want to scare anyone, but share the facts coming from one who has done it both ways. And again I want to say that I did have a great experience, a great team of nurses, and had a perfect recovery! In the end, I was willing to do anything to get my baby here safely. C section or not. I'd say it was defiantly one of those things that you don't truly know about until you experience it. Now having done it both which would I chose? A vaginal birth, hands down. Yes, it was worse initially, but that all goes away. I could go on without experiencing labor pains again (or the ring of fire!), but it was the length of recovery after a c section that I was not prepared for.


Jenni said...

I agree totally and I have not had a vag. but I to still have numbness and tingly feeling at my incesion. It sucks.. I wish I never had to have one. I honestly don;t see how women can electivly choose to have one, DUMB!! I would rather have my va jay jay stretched and cut to get my baby out then my waist line cut, stretched and basically TORE up with and then add on recovery time of at least a year, its not just about healing- you now have to re work those muscles that were cut and that is not a fun feeling!!
So I hear ya!! ;)

osuraj said...

I totally know what you mean about feeling jipped when you have a c-section. I never had that moment of "it's time!"--because everything was scheduled. No pushing, no coaching, no reason really for the childbirth classes we took. It just didn't apply. And you are right about the recovery time. I felt like I could take care of myself around 2 weeks, but add an infant to the mix and it's really hard on your body. My recommendation to anyone knowing they are having one is to have helpers scheduled for the first month, so that you don't have to do a number on your body while you are recovering. Good post!

Amy said...

I have that too.

Let me tell you. I have had THE WORST experience w/my csection, hands down.

Hematoma for almost 8 weeks. Now i have an effin hernia through my inscision.

next baby better squeeze out of my whoha or im gonna be pissed.

Kristen & Nolan said...

6 1/2 months post-partum here and STILL get burning at my incision. Boo. However, if I would have delivered my 10 pound 2 ounce linebacker vaginally, I would probably have to wear a diaper for the rest of my life! haha