Does everyone who has had a c section feel that their birth was traumatic? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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Hi katie,

I didn't feel traumatized by my 1st c-section, 5th birth, I guess because I labored for 24 hours (hard labor!) before the section and felt like it was needed. this time however, I am feeling very traumatized by the C-section, not holding my baby, NICU, leaving w/out her, nursing not going well, and a whole list of other thinkgs that are making me ill right now.

I'm sorry yours didnt' go as planned and i hope you find some mind easing stories mama.

Tenk ~ happily married with lots of kids

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#3 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tenk I pm'ed you.
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#4 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I didn't feel it was traumatic, but I also don't generally post here you know? Most people posting here had traumatic births. I had a breech baby, didn't know anyone in my city that would try vaginal breech, and tried many things to turn her. She didn't turn, and I went into labor, so I knew that I would have to do a c-section. However, I let my body labor for a while to help with her lungs and preparation for birth, but had the c-section before the more challenging parts of labor. Also, knowing well beforehand that I was probably going to have a section enabled me to be mentally and physically prepared for it in terms of boppy, good support from family, downstairs bed prepared at home (my bedroom was upstairs and although walking was fine, stairs were hard for a few weeks), etc. It was definitely physically harder to recover than from my natural birth, but it wasn't traumatic.

Are you adjusting to a traumatic birth or are you wondering if you have a c in the future if it has to be traumatic/how to make it as mom and baby-friendly as possible?

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#5 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I do not feel traumitized by mine either. I had an emergency c that was definitly needed as my ds's heart rate went down below 40 and wouldn't go back up no matter what we tried. I was actually put out under general anesthesia because there was not time for an epidural. I was pretty upset as I was being wheeled in to the OR but my baby was fine (he's now almost 14) in the end and I was greatful for that. My second was due to lack of labor. I was 42+1 and there were no signs of labor.
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#6 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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No!

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#7 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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I did not feel traumatized. Initially I felt disappointed. I labored for 46 hrs and so wanted a natural birth I was very upset when I needed the c-section. The hospital was very good though. They are a "baby friendly" certified hospital so when DS ws born they showed him to me, kept him in the room the entire time and placed him on my chest after no more than 5 minutes. He rode on my chest to recovery. At my 6 week pp appointment the midwives sat down with me and reviewed how we had tried all we could and reassured me that it was not an unnecessary c-section. It wa the way DS birth was meant to be. I healed pretty quickly but was numb at the incision site for 6 months.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
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#8 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I mean PHYSICALLY traumatized- which is how I feel. the emotional stuff is hard to but not in the forefront for me right now. what is so hard is the physical injury to my body.
so I am wondering if everyone always feels physically traumatized by c sections or if some people just experience healing for a while and then are fine.
Maybe I am asking- if the emotional part wasn't so traumatic, is the physical part permanently traumatic or does it heal?
Layered questions I guess
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#9 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Not traumatized at all. My first was an induction that ended in c-section and my second was a scheduled c-section. I normally wouldn't post here as I feel like I'm intruding but I saw this in new posts and wasn't sure why you were asking...but assume there is a reason and that it will help you in some way.

I hope that you are able to find healing on this forum.

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#10 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
I think I mean PHYSICALLY traumatized- which is how I feel. the emotional stuff is hard to but not in the forefront for me right now. what is so hard is the physical injury to my body.
so I am wondering if everyone always feels physically traumatized by c sections or if some people just experience healing for a while and then are fine.
Maybe I am asking- if the emotional part wasn't so traumatic, is the physical part permanently traumatic or does it heal?
Layered questions I guess
No, I do not feel physically traumatized by my c-sections.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#11 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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I was walking well, baby mostly in stroller or carried by DH by 3 weeks after. I was carrying her by 6 weeks after. Did a full day hike probably 7 months later. About 1 year after my c, I felt 90% healed, mild numbness in a few spots. By 2 years after, I felt 100% healed. I don't have numbness or any lingering pain.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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#12 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I've had four c-sections as well, and can't say I necessarily felt physically traumatized by each one. A couple were harder to recover from (the two where I labored 36+ hrs before), and in all honesty I still have occasional pain related to the sections 3 years after my last one. But, I'm not sure it was traumatizing physically. In some ways, yes, b/c major surgery does that (i had a 5th abdominal incisision 2 years ago when I underwent a laparotomy -- That, was much harder to recover from).

Some women heal easier than others, and of course this often depends on the surgeon, how the c-section went (was it emergency, was the baby hard to get out, were there complications, infections, scar tissue or adhesions?), as well as how easy she takes it afterwards, plus how fit/healthy one is before and during pregnancy.

PAin tolerance, too, plays a role. It amazes me when women say they never needed anything stronger than ibuprofen for a few days, when I was taking percocet for almost a month after one of my sections.

So many aspects involved - including emotions, b/c I do believe they impact physical healing. Some women are very much physically traumatized, while others would say they weren't at all.

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#13 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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I've had five c-sections. I felt physically traumatized by all of them. I felt emotionally traumatized by four of them. The last one sucked, but it wasn't actually traumatic.

As to whether it heals - the physical part - that varies wildly. My first one healed up beautifully. I don't remember exactly when it stopped bothering me, but I walked 15 blocks uphill (about 3-4 blocks were/are very steep) home from my six-week checkup. I was a bit slow, but it didn't hurt. By the time I was a year out, the only physical thing I ever noticed was the numbness right along my scar line.

Another hurt for 7-8 months.
Another healed up pretty well, aside from an infected part of the skin incision...but left me with what is probably permanent numbness in my abdomen, and I haven't had full bladder sensation since the surgery (almost 5 years ago). The physical part is just all over the map.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#14 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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I have a friend that has choosen her last 2 births to be c-sections because a vaginal birth traumatized her. She has expressed no issues with her c-sections juts great joy.

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#15 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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Overall, I would not say my c-section was physically traumatizing. Although the weird numbness and seemingly displaced nerve sensitivity in my abdomen bothered me a lot, so I just spent a while not even looking at or thinking about my abdomen. (I still have some numbness, and still generally don't look or feel down at my scar much.) I also fretted over the swelling after the surgery. I didn't swell at all during pregnancy, but after the c/s I couldn't fit into any of my shoes for over a week.

I was able to carry and feed my baby no problem once I was home, which I think made a big difference in feeling OK about being in pain, and not focusing on it too much. Getting up and down hurt for at least a couple weeks, but I could do it. But then again, I took the pain meds for about the first week without even blinking.

About 3 weeks after I had a horrible, popping and tearing sensation, and walking hurt for about week. That worried me a lot. (The nurse said it was the epidural?!?) Then a week later the popping happened again with a very sharp pain, but it seemed to fix the pain with walking.

I guess what still lingers about the physical aspect of the surgery is that whenever I feel something weird, or something is not right, I worry that it has to do with the surgery. For instance, I experienced "asparagus urine" for the first time a couple weeks ago (crazy thing, look it up)...and when I smelled that heinous smell, I assumed that it had to do with my c/s and was really worried. Ends up it was asparagus!
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#16 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I am sorry for anyone whos had a traumatic birth


But I thought my c/section was amazing and I healed very well from it.

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
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#17 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#18 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Katie34 I could not pass by this without offering s

I've had 2 (the 2nd was a failed vbac) and had a bit physical trauma from the first, though the second was longer and harder on my body. The first I felt all bruised on the inside and my exact quote to my DH was "I feel like I went 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali"

Only until I've started doing my doula work, I am learning how much Birth is a traumatic event, some mothers end up with scars (c/s scars, tears, emotional scars) and just how much it takes out of a person.

For me I had to turn it around and look at is as we are all warriors and even the best end up with scars from our battles.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#19 of 46 Old 04-17-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I wouldn't describe either of my two c-secs (one emergency, one a failed VBAC) as traumatic, at all.

The first saved DD#1's life, no question about it.

The failed VBAC c-sec wasn't an emergency. It was extremely disappointing to discover that despite walking, visualization, mantras, and pit, I hadn't dilated at all in 30 hours, but it wasn't traumatic. If nothing else, at least it allowed me to have some of the things that hadn't been possible in my first birth.

If anything is traumatic, it has been having to constantly defend my first section to natural birth activists over the last five years. It is really hard to be told repeatedly that I must not have trusted my body or was uneducated or should have told my providers where to get off or that I somehow caused the situation that led to the emergency c-sec. It's really hard to have people who don't know the first thing about that pregnancy or my labor to immediately dump me in the "unnecessarian" pile or to hear comments like "if I had a dollar for every woman who thought the c-sec saved their baby's life." It's also difficult to hear other women comment that they should disabuse me of the notion that my child's life was saved for the sake of the cause (i.e., lowering the c-section rate, as if that can be accomplished by shaming women without any actual knowledge of the situation).

It's even harder to hear people who would argue that I didn't really "birth" my child, or that the c-sec somehow has hurt our mother-child relationship, or variations on that theme.

This time around, I've found that it's really hard to listen to successful VBAC stories, especially ones that started, as my birth story does, with their water breaking. I don't know why I didn't dilate, and unfortunately, I can never know if perhaps, eventually, my body would have kicked into labor. What I do know is that it had been 30 hours, I was tired, my BP was starting to go up, and that even if I continued to labor for hours or more likely, days more, there was no guarantee that I'd dilate. Heck, most women are already dilated a little bit by 36 weeks, so to be closed up tight after 30 hours of contrax really suggests that all the waiting in the world wasn't going to change the outcome. And yet, there's that little bit of doubt...and the knowledge that some women will judge me just because they can.

FWIW, if you look at the WHO's c-sec goal, 15%, then it's worth noting that about half of all the c-secs done in America ARE necessary. That doesn't change the fact that many of us did not get the ideal birth experience, but hopefully it can give you some peace about how it turned out.

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#20 of 46 Old 04-17-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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My first was a bit traumatic, but not because of the actual procedure. DS was born at 32 weeks due to severe preeclampsia, and he and I were both very sick, so I hardly got to see him before he was taken to the NICU. The actual cesarean wasn't the problem.

My second was under similar circumstances, and wasn't traumatic at all, especially because at 34 weeks, DD was much healthier than DS and we got to spend a few hours with her before she had to go to the NICU for some issues she was having.

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#21 of 46 Old 04-17-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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No, they're not all emotionally traumatic. I actually felt pretty empowered by my emergency c-section after homebirth transfer. If you're interested, my birth story is here.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#22 of 46 Old 04-17-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I actually felt fine throughout the surgery. It was the recovery that was pretty traumatic.

Having said that though I wouldn't dread one in the future if I needed one. My two VBACs were much easier to recover from, and worth the effort, but I don't feel like I have any residual anxiety about Csections, even though I would have never believed it 4 years ago.
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#23 of 46 Old 04-18-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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I don't feel like my c-section was traumatic. Being pregnant with twins was traumatic to my body. Getting them out and hearing their sweet cries was a wonderful, amazing and quite a relief. I feel like my body recovered well from the actual section.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#24 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 05:17 AM
 
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i had 4 c-sections and 3 of them in 3 years. I never found any one of them traumatic and each birth empowered me more because i knew what I wanted with each birth and what I wanted myself to be able to do. The hospital was great (first c/s) was an emergency and due to reasons why, I elected for next 3 to be c/s as well.

I healed well and the only thing I regret is that my abdominal muscle is very scarred.

BUT I love my kids and if it meant for them to come into this world untraumatized and healthy then every flabby shake of my belly was worth it.

Our hospital was great they let me hold the babies as soon as they put me back together and held them/or partner did while they did it because they new that it was best to have that contact.

What traumatizes me is when someone says "99% of serial killers are born via C-sections" - brutal.

My GP and OBGYN to this day still bug me to try for another and have a completely natural birth.... maybe??? or maybe not!!!
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#25 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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I would say yes, I did feel physically traumatized by my c sections. It took a long time for me to feel better, walking hurt for at least 3 months even though I did it every day because exercise was supposed to help speed recovery.
Directly after the c sections, lying in the hospital bed, unable to move, yeah I felt cut open and physically powerless.
Emotionally was completely different, especially the second time. I was able to nurse and hold her almost immediately and no one took her from me the whole time I was in the hospital. We roomed in and because it was hard for me to pick her up, she just stayed with me on the bed.
I had a VBAC after each c section and the difference in my physical recovery was stunning. It felt great to walk around immediately after giving birth and I was able to just be as active as I wanted right away!

I'm sorry you are feeling this way, it is difficult but it gets better. Take the pain meds and listen to your body.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#26 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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I wouldn't say my first c/s was physically traumatic, but I did have a difficult recovery. I think it was due in part to standard practices, ie I wasn't allowed out of bed for 24 hours and was on an all liquid diet. With my next c/s (failed hbac turned emergency situation) they had me out of bed within 6 hours and on real food immediately, and I think it made a huge difference. Of course, I don't blame *all* of my difficult recovery on those things, but I don't think it helped me get off to a good start.

That said, if you feel traumatized, that's certainly valid. But, it doesn't necessarily mean that if you had another c/s in the future, you would feel the same.

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#27 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 09:10 AM
 
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I had a VBAC after each c section and the difference in my physical recovery was stunning. It felt great to walk around immediately after giving birth and I was able to just be as active as I wanted right away!
Yeah, I was really shocked at how much better I felt after my vba2c (although it led me to "over do it" a few times). And my recovery from my second c/s was pretty great. But no matter how good your recovery is, it is major abdominal surgery.
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#28 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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It seems so much of it is the circumstances surrounding the birth. If a mama really..I mean really knows that her section is necessary, or she has a planned section/repeat, and she's OK with that-has planned for being non-traumatized, it can work out better for her and baby.

My first c-section I was so naive. I had 2 vaginal births, and then my 3rd was a persistent transverse/nuchal cord on u/s. The one thing I really didn't do, was ask questions, explore options, OR think about how it would impact the future for my body. I also had family members and friends who "LOVED" avoiding vaginal birth by scheduling theirs...so it's not as if I had many experiences to think about. I just "went with it" because I had the OB knows best mentality...perhaps he did..I'll never know, cause' I didn't ask or find out!

Unfortunately, I had a bad spinal with that c-section. I could feel much, and they gave me the option of going to sleep. They had general at the ready in case it got too intense. I sweated through the whole thing, and my heart rate and BP were reacting badly. They put me out as soon as I saw the baby...

Fortunately, I didn't feel overly traumatized at that time. Recovery was easy! I was very young, fit and active, and it was my first c-section.

When it really impacted me was after we moved out of state and I became pregnant again. While I had never researched, I knew that I could vaginally birth (8 lbs 10 oz on #2 with a large head and chest) and that my section was for a 1 time deal. Well, there was a VBAC ban at our hospital. I traveled to the larger hospital in the next state where they "allowed" VBAC's, but after meeting with an OB, I could tell it wouldn't go well. She really discouraged me with all the risks and low successes. So, I scheduled another section and was PETRIFIED. I think it was because I was worried about all I'd feel..not to mention the fact I was doomed for c-sections for all time it seemed!

Well, that one I had a better spinal and was a bit more relaxed..but, recovery was horrible. I ended up developing a severe post surgical intrauterine infection (my OB said it was child bed fever) and was quite sick. I told myself at this point, if I ever had another child (it was a big if, because I was so scared and no one was supportive of our choice to let God plan our family size) it would come out of my vagina, if I had to do it myself....(and my last baby was a VBA2C at a further away hospital, and was very healing, and this one is a planned homebirth)

So, I think c-sections can be non-traumatic if they are necessary, well-researched and the mama is accepting of the situation. My 2nd surgery wasn't traumatic, but the recovery traumatized me as I faced a serious illness as a result.

Blessings to all of you for your glorious births..no matter how they occurred!

Blessed Christian Wife and Mother to 5 +Oliver James-Our 10 lb 9 oz born Labor Day 2010!
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#29 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I didn't really find my first one traumatic.

My second one was really rough though due to a lot of scar tissue and loss of blood.

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#30 of 46 Old 04-22-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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My third baby was a medically necessary but planned c-section. It was my best birth...I had more control in that birth, it was more peaceful, I saw my daughter right after birth (didn't get to do that with my vaginal births) and all in all, it was wonderful.

It was my vaginal births that were traumatic, including my 2nd vaginal birth where my son went into distress and passed away during a very long and difficult labor. I actually had PTSD diagnosed after that. My first labor was extremely long, drawn out over 53 hours, and ended up with my son in distress then too (he thankfully survived). Both vaginal births ended up out of my control and into the complete control of the medical staff. Ironically enough, it was a complete 180 with my third birth (the c-section) where things were calm, I was able to make more choices, and I I was able to bond with my little girl right away (she was preterm and ended up with a short nursery stay, but it was still less traumatic than my 2 vaginal births).

So yeah, not every c-section is traumatic and not every vaginal birth is the right option.

ETA: My c-section was not that physically traumatic either. I was up walking around that evening. I actually was walking around sooner than I was with my 2 vaginal births (both had vacuums and large tears) and I was on less pain meds with the c-section too. Guess it was just the right choice for me.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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