I arrived at the hospital on an empty stomach at 10:30am as instructed. My c-section was supposed to start at 12pm. The nurse gave me a gown to change into and attempted to start an IV. She missed the first time, but since she was so nice and had such good bedside manner I was gracious and allowed her to give it another go. The second time was a success, she started me on fluids and hooked me up to a monitor to track the baby’s heart rate and my contractions.
My husband and I just moved to Texas this year, we have no family here and very few friends. Being that we already have four children we had to find someone to sit with them while we were in the operating room or my husband would have to do it and miss the birth of our son. So we had a friend of ours come to the hospital, he showed up at 11:45. The nurses were coming in and out giving me different reasons why my doctor had not shown yet. First, he was running late and was still at his office, then there was a woman who came in breached and 6 cm dilated so she had to go ahead of me. I was confused as to why an emergency would affect my scheduled surgery, did they have only one OR?
My doctor finally waltzes in at 3pm very nonchalant and says “any questions?” No “hi how are you?”, no “sorry for the wait” just- “any questions?” I said no and the nurse got me into the wheelchair and rolled me to the OR. By this time the friend that was there to sit with our kids had left because this was only supposed to take an hour and he had other obligations. Luckily, one of my husbands’ co-workers was able to send a family member to sit in for us.
Now, this would not be such a big deal if I was not deathly afraid of going under the knife. If it was up to me I would never have had a c-section. I had my first two children vaginally. My third, my first boy had me in labor nearly two days. I stopped dilating at 6cm. The doctor said we needed to go in and get him out of there to prevent infection and/or complications. After a little convincing and encouragement, I agreed. I signed consents and they took me to the OR to prep me. I cried. Like a baby. I was so afraid. My son never showed any signs of distress but once they opened me up they found that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. I am on baby number five and c-section number three, but the fear was just as fresh as if it were number one.
So here I am in the OR being prepped. My anesthesiologist was the highlight of this whole experience. He was so kind, warm, funny, and professional all at the same time. Even my husband liked him, which is rare -his standards are way too high. So they gave me the spinal block and put a catheter in. At this point I found my self again, waiting for my doctor. The anesthesiologist had to ask the nursing staff to call him three times.
So he finally arrived and began the procedure, now, like I said this was my third c-section. I know to expect to feel pressure and pulling, nothing new. This was different. I’ve never gotten nauseous on the operating table, he was so rough I felt like I was going to throw up, I had to have them give me medication to settle my stomach.
When it was over I felt more pain than before. While I was in recovery my nurse and I went through about 4 or 5 medications before I began to feel a little relief. The reason I prefer vaginal delivery to c-section is the shorter recovery time, aside from not having to be cut open. The recovery is so hard, and so very painful with a c-section, especially the first 24 hours. You can barely feel your legs, your better hope your nurses position you comfortably on the bed because you are not going to be able to move for a day or two, and oh dear God that catheter! While you’re dealing with all this they also leave you alone high as a kite with a newborn baby, ironic isn’t it?
Childbirth in any form is nothing short of a miracle, I don’t understand why all the comparisons or notions that having a c-section is somehow an easy way out. Having a c-section is the hard way out! When I had my first child I hopped out of the bed as soon as she came out because I had to pee. The nurses thought I was crazy, they were all like “let us help you”, and I said, “I’m good.” Such a different route to get there but at the end of the day the same amazing destination. A life that you created, and grew, and brought into the world. A life that started as a single cell and morphed into a tiny human.
There is a one and 400 quadrillion chance of the right sperm meeting the right egg and going on to successfully produce a tiny human. Not once, or twice, but five times God chose to make me a vessel for a miracle. I am amazed. Whether c-section or vaginal birth- mom, you are a miracle-making. life-creating boss, and don’t you ever forget it!