This article is written by Shari Medini
For more on this topic, check out the full Birth and Labor collection
Note: You can read the full birth story for my first son here: An Induction Birth Story
Monday morning… April 15th, 2013. I had a good night’s sleep. I was freshly showered & was wearing makeup. I was happy, pain-free, & excited.
I was having a c section #2 to deliver baby boy #2!
Baby boy #1 arrived via c section after 3 days of a failed induction. It was not an experience that I wanted to recreate. And at 41 weeks with no signs of anything happening, I chose a c section over an induction.
I sat in the hospital bed in my glamorous hospital gown with my husband by my side. We brought in numerous bags, gadgets, & gifts (for big brother to be). I was feeling calmer than my husband. The experience was already better than the last, & I was grateful for that.
The nurses & anesthesiologist asked me numerous questions about my preferences & explained the procedures. They asked if I wanted to know what was happening as it was happening, or if I preferred to be distracted (I wanted to know it all). They asked if I want to hold baby right away when he came out (of course I did)! They asked if I planned to breastfeed (yes, I did). And I really appreciated that they asked if there was anything particularly difficult about my first c section.
This meant a lot to me that they would ask this, & that they cared about making this a better experience for me. I told them that I was horribly nauseous the whole time during my c section with my first son. My first words when my husband showed him to me were, “he’s beautiful, but I don’t want to throw up on him.”
The anesthesiologist assured me that that was easy to keep under control. He promised that he would be right there, & all I had to do was signal to him, & he would give me anti-nausea medication through my IV.
After that the doctor came in. He knew that I had been hoping for a VBAC, but he also knew that a c section seemed like the best option at this point. Instead of coming in & rushing me into the operating room, he came in, sat down, & asked how I was feeling about everything. He said that he understood that it wasn’t optimal, & he wanted to make sure that I was still feeling good about my decision.
This simple statement made a world of difference to me. I appreciated so much that he was acknowledging that I, the mother, had a say in this decision. It only confirmed further that we were doing the right thing.
I loved that I got to head to the operating room with a clear, alert mind. I have never been too bothered by surgery, hospitals, modern medicine, etc; which I guess is a very good thing when you are going to be awake while they pull a human being out of your stomach.
I was surrounded by kind & confident professionals. I was also familiar with the procedures of a c section, which helped as well. My husband was by my side, camera in hand. I was numb from the chest down. The anesthesiologist was attentive & ready for my cues. And the doctor was calm & chipper.
I could hear the nurses & doctor chatting, which actually made me feel better. I knew that this was a procedure that they were so comfortable with that they didn’t need to work in total silence. I found myself laughing, joking, & telling stories with them; & they told me that I was a rare kind of patient.
There were a few times where a wave of nausea would hit me, but as soon as I began to tell the anesthesiologist about it, it subsided. He was fast. He was my new best friend.
Before I knew it, we were all raving about my big, healthy, 9 pound baby boy.
I heard him scream, & I was worried for a second at how strong his cry was. My first had colic, & I was imagining hearing this loud scream for the next few months as well. (Luckily that did not turn out to be the case this time around)
The loud cries stopped when I got to snuggle him & bask in all of the warm mommy hormones while they stitched me back up. My husband held him near my head for a long time. He bragged about his healthy, sturdy, new son.
When they transferred me to the hospital bed I got to hold my son chest to chest right away as they wheeled us down the hallway. I loved getting to snuggle him like that. I was so alert & aware (unlike last time when I was in a fog of induction medications). I was so content.
As soon as we got to the room, our little guy began breastfeeding like a champ. He was 9 pounds of hunger, & he still doesn’t mess around when it comes to food!
I felt wonderful. I had a c section, & it was amazing. The birth of my son was a magical experience, & we were both totally healthy. I did not spend a second mourning a VBAC that was never meant to be.
Within 12 hours I was up & walking around. Within the month I was moving into our first home, painting walls, & driving the kids to home depot for supplies.
My c section birth story is one that proves that cesareans aren’t all bad. It even shows that they can be a healing experience after a traumatic first delivery. But I think the most important factor for a c section delivery is how the hospital handles it.
I had purposefully switched to a smaller hospital where they truly put mom & baby first. They respected the golden hour, my concerns, my wishes, & my needs. They kept me informed, & they trusted me; which made me trust them.
Overall… I am grateful for my birth experience 🙂