Originally Posted by eatingfor3
For those of you who ended up with general anesthesia, how long was it before you were awake again? And how long was it before you got to see your babies? Did you feel like your recovery was much more difficult than it would have been with just an epidural because of the general anesthesia?
I do NOT want an epidural for a thousand reasons but I'm having a hard time coming to terms with being completely knocked out and not present for the birth of my babies because I am very nervous about not having a say in what is done to them after they are born. There is a good chance I will be alone when the babies are born so there won't be anyone to speak for me. If there is someone with me, it will most likely not be the father and I don't believe that person would have any standing in relaying my wishes, KWIM? I know I can have a birth plan, but our hospitals seem have a little problem with following them so I can't rely on that.
Trying to remember... my twins just turned five last month, so it's been a while.
For R (Baby "B"), I had a classical (vertical) c-section due to the fact that she was already descending into the birth canal, compressing her prolapsed umbilical cord. This made my recovery a lot harder/longer than it would have been with a traditional c-section. I wasn't unconscious for terribly long, but when I woke up, they had me on Dilaudid, which had me pretty doped up for the first 36-ish hours after the birth. That was about the time I realized what they had me on and weaned myself off of it. Anyway, once I "came to" and spent some time in Recovery, they wheeled me down the hall to my room, probably about an hour and a half (or so, I'll have to ask DH if he remembers better than I do) after the births. They took me past the nursery window to see S (Baby "A") (R was still in NICU at that point), and I vaguely remember a small, distant voice trying to tell me through the drugs that I should be furious that my child was in the NURSERY. As soon as we got to my room I had them bring S in with us. Shortly thereafter, R was cleared to leave NICU (she was only there about 3 hours, as I recall) and she came to join us. They were born on a Wednesday night, and we went home that Saturday morning.
In my case it really didn't make a difference which form of anesthesia I had because of the type of c-section I had. The recovery from the surgery itself far outlasted the recovery from the anesthesia.
This may sound somewhat cold, and I really don't intend it to, but in the long run what form of anesthesia you have for the birth won't make any difference. It won't affect how you raise your children: your decisions about circumcision (if applicable) or vaccination, about the values you teach them, about the spiritual principles you teach them, etc. Yes, birth is vital and important, but it's the parenting that matters in the end. The birth experience is for the mother... the baby will never remember it, at least not first-hand. Do what you can to make this the birth experience you want. My case was not the "norm." Just because I ended up with a rather vicious c-section definitely doesn't mean it'll happen to you. The odds are in your favor that you'll have a perfectly normal vaginal birth for both twins, and be able to smile all the way home, rubbing it in the faces of the "traditional" medical staff who didn't think it could happen.
: , and I wish you all the best!