I wish I had been ready… Preparing for a C-Section

preparing for a c-section
Photo Credit: Jennifer Wicker Photography

Almost two years ago, we welcomed our rainbow baby into the world. Mary Alice was an amazing surprise after 12 years of miscarriages and growing our family by adoption. She continues to be a joy every single day. We were so delighted to be able to carry a child to term. We were also in total shock. We had sat across from a doctor as he handed us a file and explained that I would never be able to carry a child past 14 weeks, if I was even able to get pregnant. We had driven home, holding hands, numb to the quiet breathing of one another as we processed the information. We walked into our home, hugging our two children tightly wondering why we wouldn’t be able to have any more biological children.

My pregnancy with Mary Alice was a joy, despite the morning sickness and my 39 year old body reminding me that I wasn’t as young as I used to be. 

I was induced at 39 weeks, due to my advanced maternal age. I went through the normal labor, my water broke, and everything seemed to be progressing. But she wouldn’t descend into the birth canal. My heart rate increased and her heart rate decreased. My doctor calmly told me that she knew I wanted to avoid a c-section and that she did too, but that we needed to go forward with one right away. I completely trusted her and agreed. We had discussed c-sections, and she knew I wanted to avoid one if at all possible. We learned later that the cord was wrapped around her head and every time she tried to enter the birth canal, she was cutting off her oxygen. 

I was whisked down a hallway that seemed very bright. I was wrapped in a warm towel and transferred to the operating table. Everything seemed bright and noisy. 

I was truly scared during the recovery. I didn’t understand what was happening to my body and I was worried that I was falling apart. I made my sweet husband check my scar a million times to make sure I wasn’t falling apart. 

I later learned that everything seemed noisy because you are more aware of sounds. Your body is half numb and you can’t see what is happening, so your hearing takes over.

I also learned that is absolutely normal to have a hard recovery with a c-section if you labored first. Since I had labored for over 12 hours, my body was exhausted. I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to go up stairs for 2 weeks or lift for 6 weeks. It was a lot of information to process.

Well, we are expecting again! (Yes, it is a miracle. Yes, I pinch myself everyday.) I am due in less than two weeks and you better believe I’ve spent my evenings reading about what to expect with a c-section. This sweet little boy hasn’t settled on a position yet, so today we decided to plan a c-section. He keeps changing between breech and transverse.

So, if you are expecting, go ahead and read up on what to expect. Yes, I know that many people want to avoid a c-section if possible, but sometimes that just isn’t what is best for the situation. Surround yourself with a doctor and team that knows your wishes, but also wants to keep you and the baby safe. I wish I had been prepared and I truly think the experience wouldn’t have been as overwhelming if I had just done a little more research. 

Here are a few posts from SMB that may help!