It Takes Guts to Have a C-Section

Tuesday, April 21, 2015





You're told to bend over.  Don't move.  Stay steady.  But, you're shaking.

You're shaking because you're scared.  Because you're cold.  Because the medications the doctors and nurses already gave you - are making your body convulse a bit.

You're all alone in a white, sterile, cold room.  No one is allowed in with you -not your mom, not your husband, not your partner.  It's just you, and the baby in your belly.

One prick, a push, and the spinal is in.

Soon, you can't feel your legs.  It's relieving and unnerving at the same time.

The sheet goes up - so you can't see the horror film, blood bath that's about to ensue.  I've witnessed other people's c-sections (not my own) - and yes, I've seen blood splash on the floor.  And I'm not just talking about drops.

Finally, the person who's allowed to come hold your hand - is seated at your head.  They're holding your hand.  Trying not to look over the sheet.  Trying to remain calm for you - but freaking out inside...for you... for the baby.

The doctors ask, "Can you feel that?"

They're poking you with a scalpel.

"No."

"Okay, get ready to feel some pressure."

Your uterus and stomach layers are sliced and severed.  Layer, upon layer.  The muscles are broken.

Your intestines are momentarily moved out of the way, to make way for the excessive, surgical stabbing in your abdomen.

Pressure indeed.

Ten hands are pushing and gushing my guts around in my stomach while this baby is ripped out of my belly.

As I'm seemingly being torn from hip bone to hip bone -  a gas bubble builds in my chest - right as the baby is coming out, I feel like I'm having a heart attack.  I yell!  "I'm feel like I'm having a heart attack! My heart!"

The baby is out.  Here she is.  No heart attack.  I'm fuckin' thankful to be alive.  But, is the baby?  I didn't hear her cry yet.

I'm told she's alive.

They quickly pop her over the sheet, and she's gone.

I'm crying, and shaking again.  My teeth are chattering.

Damn meds.  Or adrenaline.  I don't know which is to blame.  Either way, I feel like a crackhead.

Thirty minutes later, I hold my baby for the first time.  Thirty minutes after I meet her, I have to give her back to the nurses.

I'm wheeled to my maternity room.  I haven't eaten in almost 72 hours.  I demand to eat something.  Anything.  I'm given chicken broth.  I can barely lift a body part from lack of energy, and they give me broth?!

The baby is wheeled in.

It's so late.  I can't believe I have to do this now.  But, I'm still running off of adrenaline, somehow.

I get a lesson in breastfeeding, and the baby is put to my breast.  I barely comprehend what the nurse is telling me.  All I know is that I'm holding my watermelon, 5-pound boob in one hand (that is NOT producing milk) and my baby in the other hand - and somehow I'm supposed to have a third hand to get my baby's mouth to latch.

I want to cry.  I'm tired.  I hurt.  I'm still shaking.  I can't do this.  And NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THE MILK SITUATION!!  I thought I'd be squirting ten gallons by now.  In a few days I'm told.

I sucked at breastfeeding in the hospital.  I could barely sit up because of the pain in my stomach.  I'd hunch over and walk to the bathroom when I had to pee.

The pain medication the nurses gave me - made me break out in rashes all over.  But, meds are a must.

My husband changed every diaper.  Even on Day 3, he changed the diapers.

At home, you still bleed out of your vagina.  Did you know that?  Even though you didn't give birth through your vagina - you bleed.  Heavily.  Clots.

Your c-section incision seems like a gaping hole, that will never close.  When you sneeze, you feel like your guts will shoot out from that incision.  It feels like you're getting stabbed, when you sneeze.

It takes guts to have a c-section.  I'm not a pussy cuz I didn't push my baby out through one.

It takes guts to have a vaginal birth.

Both take guts.  Birthing takes guts.  Moms should not be at war over whether or not someone is a warrior, for pushing a baby out of their woo-hoo.

For most of us - what we dreamed of, or what we envisioned for the birth of our children - didn't happen.  Even the women who had vaginal births - complain of painful episiotomies, drug-hazed deliveries and hurried doctors.

I have a Brazilian friend - who had both of her babies via c-section in Brazil.  I envy her c-sections.  She had very boutique birthing experiences.  For her first child, she arrived at the hospital on her scheduled c-section date with a full face of make-up, hair done draped in a beautiful dress.  She took pictures while sitting on cigar room-like leather couches.  Persian rugs at her feet.  She smiles for the camera - her eyes relaxed, her expression -happy. Her recovery room - looked like a chic hotel.  The doctor told her if she tried to go through labor- it was going to cost more - and wouldn't be covered by insurance.  She chose the c-section.  Brazil has the highest c-section rates in the world. My friend spoke fondly of her c-section - she said it was easy and she loved it.

And here I was, all this time, jealous of moms that gave birth vaginally! HA!

There's no doubt about it - we're living in a time of a baby factory boom.  Doctors get paid more money to perform c-sections.  Because performing a c-section takes 30 minutes - not hours of labor - doctors bang out babies back to back to back, all day long. Do you know how many c-sections you can cram in a day, versus natural births?  The number must be exponential.  Bottom line - doctors make serious dough off of c-sections.

I'm not pro c-section or vaginal birth.  I believe pregnant women and their doctors should make the best decisions for them and their baby.  And every birth experience - whether it's the one preferred by society, or considered more popular, or more "healthy" - should not be judged.

I'm pro-empowerment.  Let's empower each other - by sharing these birth stories, so other women have well-rounded information, before they give birth.  No matter what anyone tells you - we women do have a choice.  We've been giving birth for centuries - go with your gut(s).

What do you think of the high c-section rates in the US?

Did you hate your birthing experience?

Share in the comments section below.

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