Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The C Word

I had aCaesarian section. And you know what? It wasn't that bad. Really, not bad at all as far as expelling a human from my body goes. 

While I was pregnant, I was terrified of having a c section. I was scared of the surgery itself. I was scared of the recovery. But most of all, I was afraid that having a c section meant I failed at giving birth; that I wasn't a strong enough woman to have my baby "naturally". 

Yikes. Just reading over that makes me cringe. I'm not sure where I got such convoluted notions about what it means to be a woman but I was so wrong. I grew and sustained a new life for 41 weeks and then I safely (with some help from my doctor) brought him into the world. Does it really matter how he came out? Those few moments of his birth do not define me as a mother or as a woman. And even if they did, I made the best decision for my baby's health and safety. So I'm really proud of myself for having the birth experience I did. 

On a less emotional note, let me just say that the c section definitely had some major perks. C sections get such a bad rap, which is why I was so scared, no doubt. But let me give you 5 reasons c sections are pretty awesome. 

1.  Pain is pretty minimal. I was in the unique situation that I never actually felt any contractions or labor pains. I have heard these suck pretty bad but I have no personal experience. So when I was plopped on the operating table, my pain level was around a 2. I got the spinal during and then a dose of morphine and Demerol right after the surgery. I felt nothing waist down between the spinal and 12 hours later. Pain level was maybe a 1. After the heavy duty meds stopped, I could have Tylenol #3 every four hours. For the next couple of days, I was sore and tender, but not in pain. Uncomfortable, yes, but not hurting. Pain level in the hospital never got above a 4.5 and the only reason I started hurting at home was because I was a dummy and thought I didn't need pain meds. As long as you keep your medicine up and move around some, the recovery process isn't bad at all.

2. You bleed less. I don't know why I was so worried about post partum bleeding while I was pregnant, but I was. But since they kind of vacuum you out during surgery, my bleeding was nothing more than a mild/moderate period for less than 2 weeks. Not a big deal at all. 

3.  You can schedule your next birth. If I decide to have another baby (the jury is still out on this) then I will most likely have to have a repeat c section. Which gives me the opportunity to somewhat plan when I will have my baby. C sections can be planned anytime after you hit full term. I absolutely hated waiting around wonder if/when I would go into labor with Wilson. Next time around, the over planner in me can pick a day that works for me and the hospital. No more nervous waiting! 

4.  You get a cool scar. I realize some may not like the scar, which btw is much smaller than I expected. Mine is maybe 4 inches. But I think it looks pretty cool and bad ass. 

5.  Your lady parts stay intact and unharmed. Need I say more? 

So I fully realize that c sections are not the ideal way to give birth. But shit happens while you're giving birth and sometimes they are necessary. There is absolutely no shame in having a c section. In fact, as I listed, it has its advantages. Just embrace whatever birth experience is thrown your way. You are giving life to your baby! It is beautiful no matter what. 

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