Preparing for a C-Section
While most of us mothers eagerly (and anxiously) look forward to the day that our little one is born, for some, it is inevitable that we will not be able to give birth to our babies, but will have a c-section instead. In fact, the percentage of c-sections performed in North America has been rising steadily, partly from women choosing elective c-sections, and also from doctors hesitating to allow difficult births to proceed naturally.
Nevertheless, it is important that you be prepared in case you should have to give birth by c-section. Knowing what is going to happen can take a lot of the fear out of the procedure and will let you focus on the birth of your baby, rather than what is going on around you.
So, what exactly happens during a c-section? Well, that depends on the urgency of the birth. If there is immediate danger to mother or fetus, they will simply knock you out with a general anesthetic, and when you wake up, your belly will be significantly flatter than before. Likely, you will be in recovery, and your baby will be in the neo-natal unit or taken up to the maternity ward, where he or she will be waiting for you to arrive.
If you are lucky, your doctor will have enough advance notice so you can be awake for your c-section. In this case, you will be taken to the operating room where the anesthetist will give you a spinal or epidural. After a few minutes, you will not be able to feel anything below the waist, and the surgery will begin.
A curtain is usually put up between you and the surgical area, but the doctors will let you know how it is progressing. Your spouse or partner will be permitted in the room and will sit with you. After the baby is removed, he or she will be quickly cleaned, weighed, and checked over before being wrapped up and presented to you, the new mom. At this point, you will unfortunately have to go to recovery, but your hubby can go with the baby up to the maternity ward. Within an hour, you will see them both.
Now that's not so scary, is it? Knowing what could happen definitely takes away having to panic if your doctor mentions the “C” word, either before or during labor. Just remember that thousands of women have done it before, and regardless of how it happens, you will soon have a beautiful baby in your arms.