After going to a birthing hospital in South Africa for the duration of my uneventful, healthy pregnancy and being attended by midwives overseen by an OB I came in for my 40 week appointment. The fetal monitor alerted the team that 1) the "Braxton-Hicks contractions" I'd been having for 36 hours were just plain contractions and 2) my daughter was having non-reassuing heart patterns. They decided to keep me and attempted to induce by membrane rupture, then topical, then finaly oxytocin. I was not dialated at all. They hooked me up to the FHM ever other hour throughout the night, checking my baby--at around 6 am, she started having late decels and they scheduled me for the emergency C/S, the first one of the day.
I had never planned to have a C/S, but i was so relieved to get into the OR, get my spinal and get my baby born. The whole thing was extremely fast and efficient and the team was very calm caring and practiced. My husband was not back yet from home when I went into the OR and the nurse was jokingly reassuring me. The Anesthesiologist made me feel relaxed and distracted by chatting about my tattoos while working his magic.
I was in no pain (finally) during the procedure, but very lucid. My daughter beiing delivered felt like a strong tug on the inside of my shoulder. I heard her cry and they showed me her beautiful face right away after she was born. I carry that memory with me to this day. The told me her APGAR which was a 9 and wheeled me out. I saw my husband who had just seen our daughter come out right before me. He was so thrilled.
i recovered well in the hostpital and was on my feet within 24 hours, bathing myself within 48 (my daughter was now sleeping in) and drove myself home (old VW stick) at 72. I was able to carry my daughter up a flight of stairs. The nursing staff was kind and caring and I bonded with the other C/S moms on the ward as we figured out how to breastfeed together. My daughter breastfed for 11 months, no problem, the first day of formula had no impact on her whatsoever. it also turned out for us that the worries about "nipple confusion" for bottles of expressed milk or formula were totally unfounded. I hope all other C/S moms have such a positive experience, healthy kids and excellent care. My scar is unobtrusive and painless--much less troublesome and painful than some of the changes to my cervix after my non-progressing labor.
Based on this experience I would probably not attempt a VBAC were I to get pregnant again.
I had a scheduled c-section and had a very similar experience with a very fast recovery. I was really surprised with how pleseant it all went.. much faster even then my normal/natural birth..
DS1 Dec 2009 DZ Twins July 2012
Expecting my baby girl Charlee on 7-21-12! Love and Light to all the mamas out there!
I, too, had an easy (scheduled) c-section. I was unhappy about it for personal reasons, but the physical stuff was not that bad. I felt that recovery from my vbac was just as painful, only in different ways. I did not think the procedure itself, nor the recovery, were bad.
I am very glad that we are able to talk about the benefits of c-section on Mothering now. I always felt v shut out in this area b/c of my good experience. I would never want to deny anyone a drug-free vaginal birth and I ended up having one myself :) My medically recommended, easy c-section should not be seen as a threat to the birthing world smh.
DD (4.25.08) DD (4.23.10) DD (10.13.12)
Ime, with friends who've been expecting to have natural births but ran into trouble, it was not the physical issues that bothered them, it was that they saw themselves as having failed. I think it's wonderful to educate women about the benefits of natural birth, but I am pretty darned sure that if these women were not beaten over the head with all that stuff they could have felt good about the actual births that they had. I don't know how to solve that problem. I do think that natural non-medicalized births should be encouraged. But it is such a horrible shame that there are women out there who feel terrible about themselves because of a c-section or other intervention.
I actually have a friend who had been studying to be a home birth midwife and went into the hospital to have her baby (where she lives there's really no HB option). I don't remember a lot of the details (this was quite a few years ago) but her labor/birth turned out to be very complicated and she refused to have any interventions. She was so injured by it that she couldn't have sex for years afterward and went through lots of therapy to get over it. And afterward she said that she did it because she didn't think she could live with herself if she had had a C.
It is not the cesareans that are damaging to these women, it is the ideal that they have not lived up to.
Anyhow... I had one truly lovely cesarean (after 30+ hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing) that I have only fond memories of and then one okay cesarean (by appointment) that left me feeling kinda dull. Both babies were breathtakingly marvelous though! And both recoveries were very easy. No problems breastfeeding even though I thought I was completely irate to find out that older ds had a bottle when we weren't looking.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.
My milk, however, never came in. This was more stressful to me than the cesarean. I did everything you could imagine and nothing worked. Literally, there was nothing there. By Sunday I still had lactation nurses still telling me to give him nothing until my milk came in - he was born on Wednesday!! I continued to try even after supplementing with formula. When I realized it just wasn't going to happen, again I felt judged. I probably at one point would have been one of those who judged. I still have shame with that because people judge without knowing what all I went through trying. But, I am happy to report that my son did not have a sick appointment until he was over a year old. He is 8 now and has had maybe two ear infections ever. He was also tested and placed in the gifted program at school.
I really hate when people give the sad face, the I'm sorry, that's ruff take after they find out about my c-section. I had a breech oblique lie full term baby with ruptured membranes and was some what dilated (Can we say potential cord prolapse?). Years ago without a c-section we could have (mostly likely) both died!! No way was he coming out the "normal" way. I don't think anyone gets excited about having surgery, but I'm grateful I live in a place where it was available to me and my baby.
Kim - ditto on the scar. It was never really a big deal to me. I always just kind of thought about it like a battle scar. I would have shown it off anyone, but it's really NOT in a place that anyone wants to look. ;)
Good to hear positive stories. I also have had two good/decent c-section experiences. It's not the ideal, but it doesn't have to be terrible.
thank you for sharing your experience! I also had a postitive c-section experience after planning a homebirth (and being in labor at home for over two days before complications started). when I was pregnant I was terrified for the possibility of c-section, but it ended up being exactly what we needed and recovery wasn't bad at all.
mother to a little silly goose boy (May 2012) + seven non-human kiddos + five who have passed on
partner to a babywearing, dirt-digging, diaper-washing, hammer-wielding programmer since November 2003