Both of my daughters were born via C-section, the first was an emergency and the second was planned. It’s no secret that C-sections are not the preferred birth plan for most women and I found that this was made more obvious during the birthing classes that my husband and I attended. We spent days reviewing the ins and outs (pun intended) of vaginal births and no more than an hour reviewing what would happen during a C-section, and to be honest most of that hour was how to avoid having a C-section. What I do remember from that part of the class was that the conversation was focused on the partner’s role, what was expected of him and where he would go to find scrubs etc. For my benefit, I remember a quick simulation to show how many people would be in the OR and that my arms would be strapped down. That’s it. For the record, of the five women in the class, three of us had C-sections. I wish that we had taken the time and discussed more about what to expect for a C-section.
Here are the five things that surprised me most and that I wish I’d known before having my first C-section:
- Once I signed the papers and agreed to surgery everything moved VERY quickly. I tried to recall and ask the questions I was given in birthing class but I think I asked one half-assed question before I very willingly went along with my doctor’s recommendation. I had been in labour for 30+ hours and the end was in sight! For some reason, I wasn’t really aware of the urgency of the situation (probably for the best) and thought that I would have more time before being wheeled into the OR.
- My arms were not strapped down. They were resting completely free on the arm rests of the table. Considering this went against one of the few pieces of information I had received I found it really unnerving. Was it a mistake? Had procedures changed? Maybe I just looked really trustworthy? Who knows! I’m the type of person that will look for things to stress about and this was it in the moment.
- Once again things moved really quickly, and when the surgery began it was a matter of minutes before my beautiful and slimy daughter made her entrance.
- My daughter didn’t cry right away. I expected to hear a big loud cry but instead, I heard my husband tell me that our daughter was here and then I heard nurses scurrying over to get her breathing. It felt like an eternity before I heard that crackly little cry and I wish I had known that this was not uncommon for C-sections. (Side note: My second daughter was crying before she was she was fully born.)
- My husband did not stay with me while the doctors were sewing me up. We took a picture of our new family of three and then they directed him to recovery with baby A. I wanted them to stay with me but instead my shell-shocked husband had some unexpected one-on-one time with our baby girl, while I vomited all over everyone in the OR as they moved me from the operating table to the hospital gurney. I was still apologizing when they put baby A in the bed with me. You really do lose your dignity during childbirth regardless of whether it’s a vaginal or caesarian birth.
What were some of the surprizes you encountered during childbirth?