Just a few weeks ago, I had my second C-section and it made me think of the things I wish I would have known before my first C-section.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, like most pregnant women I didn’t want to consider even the possibility of having a C-section. My Birth plan included a water birth at a birth center with no pain medications or medical intervention.
A week after my due date I was sent to have an ultrasound. From this ultrasound, they found that the fluid levels were slightly low. After a stress test, the midwives found the baby was still doing great and sent me home assuring me that I would go into labor within the next few days. But on the off chance I didn’t go into labor they scheduled another ultrasound for 9 days after my due date.
9 days after my due date I received another ultrasound at a maternal and fetal medicine center, instead of at an imaging center. After just a few minutes the ultrasound technician said she would be right back and left the room. A few minutes later a doctor came in and started moving the wand over my belly and looking at the screen. After a few minutes, he stopped and looked at us.
The doctor told us that the ultrasound was measuring our baby at 10 lbs. He said with my build I should really consider having a C-section, but I could try to have a natural birth if I wanted. No matter what I chose I was having a baby that day.
After talking to my midwife about the doctor’s recommendations I decided to be induced and try having a more natural birth.
A few hours after making the decision to be induced I was hooked up to monitors and started on Pitocin. 19 hours later I decided to get an epidural, it helped a little but did nothing for my back labor.
30 hours after being induced a second midwife came to give her opinion about what we should do. I was fully dilated and effaced but each time I would push the baby’s heart rate would drop and he didn’t move.
Based on two midwife’s opinions that our baby was stuck and the fact that I was completely exhausted and worried about my baby. My husband and I decided that it was time to have a C-section.
During the C-section, the surgeon had to really pull to get the little man out and told us that he was really was stuck.
Having a C-section was not in my plan but after trying to have a vaginal birth the C-section was necessary for his safe delivery. Since having this unexpected twist to my little man’s birth I really wish I would have done some research about C-sections. I would have felt more confident with a little more knowledge about what to expect during a C-section.
What I wish I knew before my 1st C-Section
Ask what options the hospital has
Even with a C-section many hospitals have options to make the birth more personal, if neither the baby or mother are in danger. The hospital I delivered at will let you watch the birth, do skin-on-skin in the operating room and have the baby with you in the recovery room.
I was lucky that even though I didn’t know any of these options where available my midwife did. With my son, I was able to do skin-to-skin while in the recovery room. (My daughter’s birth I was a lot more involved.)
Ask for a Belly Binder
After the little man’s birth, I would hug a pillow anytime I had to get out of bed. With my daughter (second C-section) the nurse offered me a belly binder. The Belly Binder is AMAZING!
A lot less bleeding
After both of my C-sections I had a lot less bleeding than I was expecting. But anytime I over did it (carried my 9lb. baby down the stairs) I started spotting again.
Don’t Overdo it
Apparently during the first 6 weeks or so carrying a large baby for very long was over doing it for me.
Don’t try to be brave – take the pain medication
After my first C-section, I tried to be brave and skipped taking meds for a few hours (about 3 days after the surgery) and it was not good. It takes a lot more work to manage the pain if you don’t stay up on the pain medications.
Have you had a C-section?
What do you wish you would have known before your 1st C-section?