Um... if you (like I was) are completely naive when it comes to Cesarean surgery (where they slice you open to get your baby out), this is probably not a good post for you to read. Come back tomorrow for a much less offensive (and more enjoyable) Wordless Wednesday. I promise I don't want to convince people not to have babies or even not to have C-sections (about 30% of all births in the U.S. are C-sections!)... I did it and I survived and am infinitely happier than I ever knew was possible with my little bundle of love.
Confession #1: I never even looked at my C-section scar until a month after my surgery. It didn't help that my belly hung right over top of it and I was too scared to lift my bellyskin and look for fear of the scar opening and all my insides spilling out.
Confession #2: I have never seen a video of any C-section and don't plan on it anytime in the near future. Just hearing about what they do to you terrifies me more than you can imagine. When they showed us those C-section videos in the childbirth class, I would close my eyes and pray that that would never happen to me. It was a good thing I was heavily drugged and terribly concerned about the wellbeing of my son when they told me I was going to have to have an Emergency C-section (which I just found out today, is classified as a CS after labor has started).
Confession #3: My C-section was the first (and only) surgery I have ever had in my whole life. I hope I never have to have another one. I am praying for a successful VBAC whenever the desire for Baby #2 shows up.
Confession #4: My scar still hasn't disappeared and I can see it when I wear a swimsuit (much to my dismay, and the doctor telling me it would go away after just a few months), hence the tankini. Even though it it only about 4 inches long and skinnier than the thickness of a pencil, I am still really self-conscious about it, mostly because I can still feel it all the time, especially when I flex (what is left of) my low abs.
Confession #5: Walking post CS scared me, because at even the slightest tightness or pain near my scar, I was afraid it was my scar tearing open, and again, all my insides spilling out. Still one of my biggest fears.
Confession #6: On my "long run" of 6 miles yesterday, I could feel my scar throbbing the last two miles (very Harry Potter-like, I know). Still scares me, but I have to remember that surgery was almost 10 months ago, and at 6 weeks PP, doctor gave me the go-ahead to do ANYthing. So logic tells me I should have nothing to worry about. Except finishing the UV half only to vomit then have my scar split open and my uterus to fall out. Sorry. Too morbid?
Confession #7: I was really surprised that there was NO information about recovering from a C-section after those first few days (during which I was heavily drugged and in a hospital with no desire to research such things) and all they told me, other than that I had "just had MAJOR surgery" was that I couldn't lift anything heavier than my baby. So no carrying him in his carseat (which I did do for weeks 4-6 PP and just never told anyone. Better to split open than wake a sleeping baby, right?)
Confession #8: I still look back at that day and feel like a failure for not being able to give birth "the normal way" (you know, out the womanly parts instead of my stomach). My labor progressed naturally (even with the epidural) and I was fully dilated to a 10. I never had pitocin, but my contractions were hard and quick, which put a LOT of stress on Baby D. As in, I would have a contraction and his heart rate would just PLUMMET, but then (thankfully) work its way back to "normal", just in time for me to have another contraction. When push came to shove (literally), my pushing was for nothing, since Baby D was posterior (his head was down but facing my back) and to keep pushing for the next two hours or so would potentially put his life in danger. Long story short, I always wonder what I could have done better to decrease the chances of having that CS. (Short answer: NOTHING.)
Confession #9: After that experience I would never EVER consider having a baby outside a hospital. I know plenty of women who do, and the more power to you. But if it weren't for those amazing nurses and doctors by my side (and the full body epidural needed for major surgery and those crazy internal monitors), Baby D or I (or even both of us!) may not have made it. Thank goodness for modern technology.
Confession #10: The worst part about my CS was not getting sliced open, or having a scar, or even the excruciatingly long post-surgery 6 week recovery window. It was seeing Mr. D leave my side and not hearing ANYTHING but the low voices of concerned doctors, then asking the anesthesiologist beside me where my baby was, and having HIM tell me that my baby was out but not making any noise. There is good reason why they heavily sedate you so that you have no control over your limbs below the neck.
Everyone keeps telling me I will have some huge desire for Baby #2 VERY soon, because the memories of the pain will fade... but the memories of that emotional pain (on mine and my baby's behalf) continue to haunt me every time I look into my Baby D's eyes or feel that scar on my belly. It is pretty traumatic. And at least for the time being, I don't want to have to deal with anything like that for quite awhile.