Hugs to all of you that had to go through this saddening experience.
I had a c-section under general anesthesia in September of last year and I am still struggling with it today.
My pregnancy was very normal and progressing nicely until the 28 week check up when routine blood work showed my blood platelet levels were very low. After that my "normal" pregnancy turned into being stuck with a needle every week to test my blood and make sure the levels didn't tumble into the dangerous zone. The thing that really got to me though was that when I was referred to a hematologist HE didn't seem too concerned and said that I was well within normal limits, and I shouldn't be too worried.
The entirety of my pregnancy I was planning for a natural labor and delivery. I read "Childbirth without Fear", and "Hypnobirthing" and a whole bunch of other things about natural delivery. I attending all the birthing classes and had an orientation at the hospital's Birthing Center which is were I intended to deliver.
So fast forward to my 39 week appointment. I went in on a Wed, and they did all the usual things. My DS was facing down, but apparently he was not looking the right way. Anyways, they did the usual sticking and drawing of blood and I left thinking the next time I would probably see my doctor would be sometime in the next week in the delivery room. Boy was I shocked when my phone ringed later that night and my doctor was on the other end. You know it's never a good sign when your doctor calls you PERSONALLY. So it turned out that my platelet levels had again dropped to a new low and the Dr. was concerned about me going any further in the pregnancy, so he told me to grab my stuff and head to the hospital.
Well, after a few hours of sitting around, they drew more blood at the hospital and took me for an ultrasound. The tech said they estimated the baby to be 8 lbs 6 oz. Then the blood work came back. Guess what? Platelets were not scary low, they were low but within normal limits. It was up to the on-call doc to determine what would happen. He sent me home.
Come Friday I had a follow-up with my OB and that's when the devastating news hit. Yes, my platelets were low, he was concerned about that... but he was even more concerned with something else. My size.
I am just shy of 5 feet tall. 4'10'' or something like that. My husband is nearly 6 feet tall, so I suppose there was some concern all along that my baby might be big, but it wasn't that prominent in my mind, after all my mother had 4 babies all naturally without any problem, so why should I be concerned? Anyways, on top of it, my Doc starts talking about my "unfavorably shaped pelvis"...WHAT? what does that mean? THAT, coupled with the predicted size of the baby and my blood situation made him suggest a scheduled c-section the following Monday. I was really scared, and I just agreed... I didn't really know what else to do.
WELL DS didn't feel like waiting for Monday morning and my water broke very early Sunday morning. We rushed to the hospital and they did all the preliminary work. I felt calm, I felt at peace that it was time for him to come - but when it came to the c-section, I just didn't really realize what was actually going to happen to me. I had sort of come to terms with not doing it naturally, at least I would still be present.
WELL - cue the anesthesiologist. GUESS WHAT ladies, turns out if you have low platelets they don't recommend sticking a giant needle in your spine for fear of nicking something causing you to bleed in a very inconvenient place. And well, that wouldn't be good. Right? Well, right. I mean, he basically scared the crap out of me, since I didn't want to leave my poor baby without a mother, I agreed.
When they took me into the OR I felt like I was on some kind of medical TV show. They strapped me to the table and I was naked from the chest down and I was cold and I was shaking uncontrollably no matter how much I breathed and tried to calm myself. I felt so scared. It was the most frightening experience I've ever had. And a couple minutes later I was out.
The next thing I knew I was in recovery in excruciating pain. Because of my blood issue I couldn't have some type of local pain meds injected to the incision site due to risk of bleeding, according to my doc. So I could feel everything. The nurses kept coming in a taking turns jabbing me in the gut repeatedly and it hurt so bad. That's all I could focus on. Even when they brought my son in finally I couldn't even focus on him being there I was in so much pain. I literally cared about nothing else.
Luckily they actually let my DH into the operating room after I was already under, so he got to witness our son's birth and even snapped a couple photos. But I feel so cheated, like, I carried him for 9 months and I didn't get to witness his birth into the world. Some times I wonder if that's why it was so difficult for me to feel connected to him right away.
It is just sad. I just feel so sad about it.
So I know how you ladies all feel. And no matter what anyone says, you're right, you don't know how it is until you've experienced it.
I've always wanted a big family and now because of this surgery plus the fact that my blood issues will most likely resurface whenever I am again pregnant, I don't know how many children I will get to have or if I will ever be able to experience a natural birth.
Sorry for hijacking... Just wanted to share with those of you that might understand, and sympathize that it's a hard thing to get over, for sure.