Scheduling a c-section: Was it worth it?

by Ali at Divine Domesticity on June 29th, 2009

Sidenote: Both kids are napping at the same time! This is the first break I've had all day. Wee!

I had a lot of anxiety about planning my c-section. It felt like the ultimate cop-out. My first labor experience was so horrible that a big part of me wanted to bypass that entire process. The doctors did tell me that my second was going to be at least 9 pounds, so I worried that my bad experiences would reoccur this time around with another large baby. When it came down to it, I went with my gut instinct, which was to schedule the c-section.

I had two very different c-section experiences.

C-section #1: After 25 hours of hard, excruciating labor (with bad sciatic back pain and an epidural that didn't work), I was out of my mind with pain, had been starving for over 36 hours, and could barely think straight from exhaustion and pain. Emergency C-section followed, with complications with my daughter's breathing and blood circulation, from having been stuck for 2 hours and having gone into distress. I wasn't able to see her for a few hours after she was born, and it frankly just sucked.

The recovery: Laboring for that long, having no food, and all that pain took an incredible toll on me. Walking was hell. Using the restroom was hell. The first few days following the c-section were incredibly painful. With lots of medication I was functional after returning home, but still in a good deal of pain. I waited as long as I could to check out of the hospital.

C-section #2: I checked into the hospital rested, nervous, but comfortable. I ended up waiting a few hours before getting into the operating room as my doctor was pulled away for an emergency surgery. The surgery was quick, painless, and out Jack came, at 10 pounds 8 ounces. The nurses, anesthesiologist and doctor all said, "He's a tank!" Other than having some extra fluid in his lungs that needed to be suctioned out (common for c-section babies), he was great!

The recovery: Dare I say it, it was a breeze! Don't get me wrong, I still took the pain medication, but I seemed to manage my pain much better. I had to stay alone at the hospital at night, since my husband had to stay at home with my daughter, but I managed just fine. By the next morning at 4 am, I was requesting to have the catheter out and to try to sit up and walk around the room. Walking was pretty easy actually, and the pain was entirely more manageable. I checked out early from the hospital, after about 2 days. For the entire stay, the nurses and doctor were telling me that I was doing exceptionally well and recovering very fast.

So, was it worth it? I speak only for myself when I say that for my special circumstances, scheduling a c-section was the best choice.

Knowing that we have very large babies, that seconds babies are typically larger, and that male babies are typically larger, I took a bet that Jack would be larger than Violet, and he sure was, by nearly a pound.


Giovanna said...

For me, my c-sections were not a choice but a necessity and to be honest I am glad. The first one was like your c-section, tough and painful. My second and third ones were a breeze. I was up and walking around much quicker and healed much quicker.

I am glad your c-section went well, especially with a moose like yours! : ) I love fat little babies. Skinny babies look a little odd to me. : ) Glad you are doing well and get some rest !

Madeline said...

I'm so excited for you. We're thinking about a second, but haven't pulled the trigger yet!