Tuesday, May 03, 2011

C-section confessions.

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.
If you want to read my full hospital experience, Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.

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.


Julia said...

ahhh! i was like already pretty terrified to ever have a child...but now I am maybe more scared...haha. but really this was actually kind of informative. I know NOTHING about hospitals, surgeries, pregnancies, etc...mostly because I am terrified of all of those things. you were so brave!!

that pic of baby D in the basket is maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen!

Rochelle said...

OMG I am sooo mad -I just did a freaking huge long comment about this and I got an error and it deleted it! I think we need to go to yogurtland and so we can just talk about it instead! Deal?

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

How do you look SO gorgeous after having a BABY!!! I LOVE BABY D!! I had no idea that you had a c-section. I think your scar is a hero mark!!! I am SO sorry that it was hurting during your run...BOO!! When can we go for fro-yo? Confession #10 would have scared me to death. You are an amazing woman and a huge example to me!! LOVE YOU!!

anna. said...

honestly, i don't think you can be that upset about a harry potter scar. i'm jealous.


Missy said...

Wow girl you are a trooper and I think it's amazing that you are able to talk about this in a post. I do not have children yet, but I can't wait to have them and all my office co-workers have just told me horrific stories so I hope when it comes my time I am as brave as all of them and yourself!
Btw you are the second blogger to use a Harry Potter reference and I am so excited that I got it! because I am now on the 3rd book and am loving them!

Lisa Staples said...

Those confessions are completely normal to have. Although I am sorry you had to go through confession #10 :(

Take care and keep on running! From your new follower, Lisa

Sandy said...

i really, really like this post, how it is completely honest and also informative.

Muncher Cruncher said...

Dang girl...I want to look like you post baby! AMAZING. You're beautiful. I have always thought birth is a total miracle, and reading this just reassures that. Baby D is way too cute for his own good!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Great post! Labor is definitely not easy and I watched my sister go through a very similar experience as you. So amazing that you made it through and have such a blessing to show for it.

You are amazing and absolutely gorgeous!

Stefanie D. said...

Shut up, Shut up, SHUT UP!! Ok. So.

I had almost EXACTLY the same experience you did!! Minus the CS. I had to be induced, and they put me on Cervadyl and I dialated all the way up to about a 9.5 without any pitocin. And then my progression just kind of stopped, and they thought I was 10, and then I wasn't, and then I was. Anyway, the DR. finally came in and we tried a few pushes, which were in vain because Little C's heart rate kept on doing the same thing, AND come to find out later she was posterior!!

So my Dr., was finally like, Ok we can keeping pushing, but I don't think you are going to be having this baby without any help, so we can either try to get her out with forcepts (I didn't know at the time that he was nick-named the forcept King), or we can do a CS. But he was 100% sure he could get her out with forcepts.

Literally 5 pushes later, some serious pulling on the Dr's part, and some MAJOR tearing (sorry, TMI?), Little C was with us!!

So, so crazy!! I can't believe we both had posterior babies.

Wow. That was seriously long. BUT I HAD TO TELL YOU!! Are babies are meant to be friends and/or life partners. LOL.

Stefanie D. said...

OK. Stefanie here again. Sorry.

SO I feel the same way about Baby #2. All of those memories...and the concern of not knowing what was really going on with her. Yeah.
I'm really not sure I want to have another one! Sad?? Is there something wrong with me??

I think we just need to get together and talk about BABIES!!

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