Why I Loved My C-Section Birth
Gearing up for the birth of my fourth child, I was nervous. So much of this pregnancy was different, and I was anxious to bring him safely into the world. I had one extra hurdle to get through first: preparing for my first c-section birth.
I knew it was coming. It was a planned birth for a while due to a few medical circumstances, and it was the best plan of action for my case. Like I said, it was going to be a first for me since I had given birth vaginally to my three older children. But they weren't what I would call “positive experiences.” I had expected those labors to be long, given that I had to be induced for medical reasons two out of the three times, but I didn't anticipate the other interventions (including episiotomies and tearing) that were a real source of pain and discomfort for far longer than I wanted.
I was looking forward to not having that pain during my fourth birth. I knew it was a trade-off for a large abdominal incision, staples, and a scar, but I had a feeling it wasn't going to be as bad for me as others often say it was for them. I had never had one of those magical nothing-gone-wrong births that others had described. My doctor called my previous births “surgical vaginal births,” so I felt as prepared as I could be for this large surgery to bring my baby into the world without firsthand experience.
Was I nervous when the day came? Of course. But I was also hopeful that not only would my son be born healthy, but that I would finally get a positive birth experience and a positive postpartum period. Tall order you may think, given the nature of the birth, but I was lucky, and for the first time, I have a birth I can look back on and call a “positive experience.”
Everything about my c-section birth was positive. I had a great doctor who made me feel at ease, and the nursing staff was a great combination of kind and knowledgeable people. The anesthesiologist was also one of the best I had ever met. He made sure I was comfortable and helped answer questions that my husband had about the process.
My son was born on the small end for our babies, and especially so for our fourth child, but that was not a surprise to us since we knew of his umbilical cord issue early on in pregnancy. They had a team ready to check him out and caught his tongue tie immediately and noted he had trouble regulating his temperature. I was still lying on the table while my skilled perinatologist took great care in making sure I was going to heal right, and my son was placed skin-to-skin on my chest. I was thankful I would still get the near-immediate touch with my new child, and this skin-to-skin kept him out of the NICU, as his temperature regulated with this method. I didn't have my hands strapped to the table during my c-section, which you see sometimes, which allowed me to be as active as I could while I was still being closed up and assured that I was one of the first to touch my son — the first to cuddle and hold him.
The recovery was not smooth sailing since I was also healing from ongoing kidney issues, and the incision had to be a little larger than average, thanks to the baby's weird and awkward breech position, but it went by with ease. The recovery was far easier on me and lasted a lot less time than with my vaginal births, and for the first time, recovering from childbirth didn't play a negative role in those first few weeks of motherhood for me. It was nothing but positive, and while I would never recommend it for any reason other than genuine medical concerns, having a c-section is not always a horror story filled with regret.
I loved my c-section, and for my personal circumstances, I would take another c-section over a surgical vaginal birth any day.
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