What I Learned from My Last Cesarean Birth
*Warning talk of needles and Cesarean birth!*
Cesarean deliveries (C-sections) were never part of my plan in having children. I knew it happened to others but never thought it would happen to me. I went in to have my second set of twins vaginally but learned because of some minor complications we would have my babies through C-section I asked the nurse to tell me everything I needed to know. I never read that part of the birthing books because I was sure I wouldn’t need that information!
Not only did it happen to me once, but it happened to me 5 times as each subsequential birth was this way. I’ve had a range of experience with each birth, but today I thought I’d reminisce about my last birth, a week shy of 6 months ago.
I had had 4 C-sections in 4 years, so I was fairly aware of what was going to happen. I knew I didn’t want oxygen, like my first or receive morphine like my second. I knew the hardest part would be to get my spinal, as I would be going from no pain to a big needle stuck in my back. In the past they’ve had problems finding the right position which resulted in 2 failed attempts before getting it right. Not Fun!
The anesthesiologist on call that morning was the best in the hospital they told me, and he was. He told me exactly how he wanted me to lay. I told him I had had trouble getting it in that way in the past, but he assured me he knew what he was doing. And he did, I hardly felt a thing. He put in the epidural perfectly, but when he went to put in the spinal it wouldn’t go. Instead of starting again he chose to just go with the epidural and pump me with enough medicine so I couldn’t feel anything. This was just fine with me since half of my C-sections were done with an epidural and it wasn’t as traumatic as I was expecting.
My doctor said it was time, they needed to start the operation. The anesthesiologist sat near my head and told me if I felt any pain he had a syringe ready to go to knock me out and they’d bring me back when the operation was over. So I thought very hard about whether or not I was in pain, I desperately wanted to be conscious for my last baby’s birth!
They started the operation. Now, I wouldn’t describe what I felt as pain, but it was very uncomfortable! This is also the first c-section that Jacob was allowed to watch the whole thing, normally he’s sitting by me until they pulled the baby out.
The combination of these two things created for an interested experience and a understanding I now have. Jacob was standing up taking a video and describing what was happening while I was feeling a portion of what was happening. Which is why I now know that for me when they cut through a layer of me, it felt like when Peter had the hiccups the last few weeks when it was way more annoying than cute. And when they pulled a layer back to get to the next one it felt like someone punching or pushing on my stomach.
I didn’t love feeling those things, heaven knows I was praying for them to hurry up, but I am glad that Jacob was able to help me connect to my C-sections in a deeper way. I did miss giving birth vaginally and feeling the process, I realize that sounds weird who likes to feel pain!? But having C-sections made me feel like I wasn’t as much a part of the process; it was in my doctor’s hands not my own. So having this experience, especially with my last, allowed me in a small way to come full circle in my birthing experiences. To remember all my body was able to accomplish, to remember that Heaven is near with both vaginal births and Cesarean births, and to remember that a healthy baby is the most important, no matter how they made their arrival here on Earth!