What to Expect with a C-section Birth
Everyone seemed to be doing it, it felt as if scheduling a c-section was the norm. It seemed so convenient, easy, organized, effortless….and then it happened, I had an emergency C-section. This is my experience.
Here’s what you need to know about having a c-section delivery:
- If a caesarean section is medically necessary to ensure your baby’s safety, DO IT.All so often, new mothers prepare for a certain type of delivery, yet all too often…process is often out of your control. In the end, a mother must do whatever is necessary to deliver her child safely. While you’re most likely to recover fastest from a vaginal birth, delivering via c-section requires an equal amount of strength and courage
- A c-section is a MAJOR surgery.I’d never had surgery until the birth of my daughter. The operating rooms look just like they do on tv. The big lights, the surgery table, everyone dressed in scrubs….the anesthesia is delivered in the same fashion as an epidural, then once administered you feel a warm sensation come over your legs, as the medicine begins to work. Then your doctor will touch your abdomen to ensure it’s numb. You will feel the sensation of pressure, but not pain.
- Your spouse gets scrubs.Your significant other will be dressed from head to toe in hospital assigned scrubs. They’ll also need to place their phone or camera in a sanitizing device if it joins them in the operating room.
- Surgery requires an empty stomach, or something closeUnfortunately, my emergency-c was scheduled on a day that I’d eaten a “breakfast of champions”. As a result, even though it was an emergency, I needed to wait 4 hours for my food to digest. As it turns out, anesthesiologists prefer to administer medication on an empty stomach.
- You will need to remove all jewelry.Jewelry can be a carrier of bacteria and in an effort to keep the surgery room as sterile as possible all jewelry must be removed. So, no need to dress up for the occasion.
- They WILL NOT “tie down your arms”.At one point in my child bearing years, I recalled a c-section mom telling me that nurses “tied down her arms” during surgery, so she didn’t automatically reach for her child upon hearing the baby’s first cry. I was a bit nervous about this; I assure you, MY ARMS WERE NEVER TIED DOWN, I was free to move them about at all times.
- Nurses will put up a visual barrierOnce you’re comfortable and numb, a blue sheet will go up to block your view of the surgery (and to keep the surgical area as sterile as possible). In my experience, neither you nor your spouse will ever see what happens on the other side of the sheet. When you baby is born, they’ll bring your newborn around to you. It’s not like the movies where the husband joyful watches the removal of the infant from the mother’s womb. Apparently, too many spouses have fainted.
- The procedure takes longer than you thinkThe entire surgery is likely to take 45-90 mins.
- Recovery is painful.Once the medication wears off, the nurses will want you sitting up and walking as soon as possible. For me, this was the worst part of recovery; I didn’t realize how quickly I’d be expected to get up after surgery. Not to mention, so many simple movements rely upon the use of your lower abdomen.
- Take your medication regularly to stay ahead of the pain.You’ve just given birth, you are a mom, a hero, and have nothing else to prove. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication, take it.
In the end, you have a beautiful baby and an experience you will never forget. I’ve gotta be honest, I wasn’t excited to have an emergency c-section but I made it through and you will too. If you are trying to choose between the two, I’d opt for a vaginal delivery.
Written by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC
Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.
LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow.