Hi, I was in your exact same situation two and a half years ago. We had planned a Bradley birth and my daughter was breech and never turned despite us trying EVERYTHING - including chiropractic, acupuncture, a bunch of silly/interesting things at home, and finally TWO versions - to get her to turn. I was devastated at the time that we weren't going to get our natural birth. It turned out she had the cord around her neck and also tangled around her body, so I'm really glad I went with the c-section instead of trying a breech vag delivery.
The birth plan I used at the time is available at www.shellykang.com/BirthPlan.doc
- I haven't looked at it lately, but I know we asked for and got
-our doula in the OR with us - she took some awesome pictures while my husband held my hand - and there's no way DH would have taken pictures of them pulling her out of the incision without fainting, but it made me feel better after the fact to be able to see the moment of her birth. There are a few pictures up at http://www.shellykang.com/Julie/2003September/index.htm
, but I could make the more graphic ones available if you're interested - just PM me.
-my hands were unstrapped after the incisions were made, and I got to hold the baby right away - a wonderful thing!
-we specified that my husband or I was to stay with the baby the entire time we were in the hospital (this allowed us to make sure they didn't give the baby any shots, bottles, or other treatments that we didn't want)
-I put in there that I wanted to try for a VBAC if we had another child, so please use the best suturing methods possible - and the doc ended up giving me dissolving stitches inside and out, which worked out great.
I have to say, we had the best c-section experience possible in my opinion. We had a great hospital staff and it was not as horrible as I thought it was going to be at all. I am super-excited about having a vaginal delivery this time around, of course, but I really think I made the right decision with the scheduled c-section for my daughter.
For your nursing relationship, it is important to minimize the baby's time away from you immediately after the surgery. I would ask to keep the baby with me in recovery if at all possible and delay the newborn checkup for an hour or two if they'll let you. Otherwise, what happened in our case was my husband went with her to the nursery for the quick check-up and did his best to rush things along. We did not allow them to bathe her immediately - partly because we wanted to do it ourselves and partly because if the baby gets cold while taking its bath (very likely) they'll keep it there under warming lamps for-freakin'-ever.
Newborn breech babies often do this thing where for the first day or so, they sort of startle every once in a while - and a nurse explained to me that it's because they are used to being so cramped in the uterus with their feet up by their ears that their muscles have to adjust to the new relaxed position. The nurses in the nursery immediately after my DD was born took those startles to mean that she was shaky and that her blood sugar might be low. The best solution to that problem is to get the baby nursing right away, and my husband simply asked if they could hurry me into a room so I could feed her myself - and it worked! They called the recovery room, had me wheeled down, and the baby followed. The alternative would have been to poke DD to get a blood sample for a blood sugar test, and then probably feed her a bottle of glucose-water - which would have potentially kept her from being so interested in nursing and gotten us off on the wrong foot! Long story, but I just thought you might want to know what we experienced. And keep that baby in the room with you - usually they'll require that another adult be in the room to help care for the baby till you are up and out of bed. Even if you are tired, having that baby right there and offering her your breast the moment she's hungry will help you recover (by encouraging your uterus to contract) and will help establish your milk supply. If she goes to the nursery, they may be tempted to give her a bottle to keep her happy "so mom can rest" even though you asked them not to. I spent the nights in the hospital with the baby in bed with me and it worked out great even though one of the nurses disapproved. I just let her give me her lecture about possibly killing my baby and continued doing what I was doing.
Oh, and one last thing! If you're scheduling a c-section, pick up some treats to take to the hospital with you for the staff. We brought a couple dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and the nurses loved us. It really helps to set a cheerful mood and make everyone more "on your side" and want to bend over backward to get you what you want even if it's not their normal procedure. No, you shouldn't have to bribe the staff to get the birth experience you want, but it can't hurt!
And I'm editing to add one more thing about the pain medications...certainly you DO want to take whatever you need to in order to be comfortable after the surgery. But as little as possible is a good thing. Narcotics can make you less able to think clearly and enjoy your new baby, and they can also affect your baby through your milk (even if the staff assures you it won't, they are WRONG!) You want an alert baby so you can establish that nursing relationship right away. Also, the sooner you get off the IV, the sooner you can get up and go take a shower, which will make you feel a lot better. In my case, for the afternoon after the morning surgery, the epidural wore off and I was given some options. They attached one of those pump things to my IV that allows you to push a button and get some morphine if you need more pain relief. That was great, and I was glad to know that I could start feeling better at any time if I just pressed the button. They also gave me extra-strength Motrin, and that ended up being enough - I never had to push the button. By the time for my next dose of Motrin, I was ready for it, and I didn't move around much till it kicked in, but it was worth it to me to get my body back to functioning normally ASAP. I think I have a fairly high pain threshold, too.
And talking about this reminded me of some other c-section advice that I got - as soon as the epidural wears off, start wiggling your feet and moving your legs around - it will improve your circulation and help you heal/recover faster, plus lower your chances of getting a blood clot. When you do get out of bed, and until your incision heals, do your best to stand up as straight as possible. I forget exactly what this is supposed to do, but it had something to do with feeling better/healing faster, and I think it made me feel better to not be all hunched over, which was what my instinct told me to do.
Sorry for the marathon post!