I am now on day ten post my C section.
First, a refresher course on my experiences bringing five kids into this world...
#1: went into labor on my own. got an epidural. labored for 4.5 hours, pushed for half hour. small tear. beautiful baby boy. 8 1/2 lbs or so... (Ian)
#2: went into labor on my own. labored for 45 minutes, trying not to push for the entire drive. nurse caught a beautiful bruised baby girl. slight tear. 8 1/2 lbs or so... (Tuesday)
#3: went into labor on my own. labored for hour and half or so, pushed and tried to maneuver his giant melon out for about 45 mins. tore terribly. no drugs, bawled for hours, wanted to die. actually something in the IV to make me drowsy and take the "edge" off while they were trying to get his head turned the right way, so some drugs, but not good ones... 9 lbs 2 oz beautiful baby boy. (Asa)
#4: induced. nothing happened on pitocin for about 9 hours. finally contractions started. i dilated fast. labored for hour or so. didn't get an epidural in time. got something in IV to take off the "edge" yeah right. pushed for fifteen minutes, Arin got to catch a beautiful baby girl 8 lbs 6 oz. small tear. (Stevie)
(this is how i remember it, i'm not waddling my pathetic A around the house to find all the journals with precise measurements and times, so i could be off a little...but not too much)
#5 cesarean section. no fun. low lying placenta. plus i broke my tailbone early in pregnancy and didn't want to risk re-breaking it. 7 lbs 11 oz beautiful baby boy.(Rod)
(how unfair that my smallest gets cut out and my largest leaves me wrenching in pain for weeks)
now that I've covered all of the births. while i'm comparing, I'm going to compare using the number of birth order.
First off... if I could have traded #3 birth from a vaginal to a csection, i would in a minute. i remember that recovery with terror, thinking i'll have to do it again. so when i think of worst natural delivery scenario, i think of that.
also, i know there are worse than my worst, so i'm just saying that is MY worst natural delivery and I dont wish to re-live it.
I'd also like to touch on the fear and emergent situation in which my spontaneous labor with #2 was born. I have had a great fear of having a baby in the car or at my house by myself. apparently, unless they are huge and their head is positioned wrong, my babies like to come out fast. but guess what?! i was wishing for a baby in the car after this csection!! So I guess an hour of fear and urgency and emergency and sheer craziness is more my style, than cool, calm and collected as i'm slowly gutted. i need more adrenaline and control! and waaay more Arin presence! I couldn't have done any of these without him holding my hand and when they decided to cut me open and he wasn't in the room...i nearly lost it. i need my lifeline. and quite frankly, I prefer him there ready to catch that baby and cut the cord and punch me in the back when i'm having back labor. We kinda have that down... so this csection with its orderly,slow and sterile environment, kinda freaked us both out! Plus, after #2 was born suddenly and the room wasnt prepped plus there was only one nurse and me and arin, we had a really nice calm after the storm where we got to hold her and look at her and love her before the room was bombarded by surprised nurses taking care of business. thats actually a really sweet moment and memory i have.
And let's talk about the fact that with #4 I got induced and the frackin midwife didn't give me an epidural, than wanted me to thank her afterward!! remember how that was one of the reasons i wanted induced?? to get drugs! ugh my anger at her and my fear of traumatizing my little sister in the corner of the room kind of overshadowed the rest. i hated that B and i'm pretty sure i let it be known. but Arin did get to catch and cut the cord and have a lot to do with the birth and i liked that. They also threw her naked, goopy body on mine while i was still writhing in pain and pissed at the lack of drugs... i didn't enjoy that as much as most people who mention it do..all i wanted to do was kick my midwife and cry..at least for a few minutes. (i had a midwife b/c of my fear of having baby in car, for some reason they seemed like a good choice...then with #5 i stuck with them due to ease of insurance crap, bad choice- I finally got released from them and into the care of a real Dr a week before baby #5 was born)
#1 i will remember as the ideal way to have a baby. though i wouldn't have thought it at the time, b/c they taper off the epidural so you can "feel to push" and i remember the ring of fire and my dr and arin saying "theres the head, he's almost here" and i may or may not have grabbed my husbands shirt, pulled him closely and screamed for him to "grab that head and PULL IT OUT!" ahh, what i wouldn't give to go back to those simpler days....the labor was non existant! i could only tell by watching the contractions on the monitor. amazing.
OK, so lets sum this up:
#2 scary but preferable over Csection
#3 wretched. would rather have Csection
#4 pissed me off, but better than Csection, not scary like #2, not stuck or huge like #3.
#5 csection, no thank you. but i still wouldn't want to risk the hemorrhaging that was possible due to the low lying placenta, i didn't like that gamble.
this is about to get real, so anyone who doesn't want to hear about the ins and outs of my netherland ins and outs....i suggest you quit reading.
i hear that the comparison is six one way and half a dozen the other... your stomach hurts or your bottom hurts. i would probably agree, except for the fact that my bottom hurts too. and it has since #3 literally tore me a new one. So I went in thinking only my stomach would be hurting after, but i promise you my hemorrhoids are killing. and my broken tailbone from months ago, back to hurting too. I can't tell you if they'd be worse or the same if i'd have had a natural delivery. b/c #5 is my smallest, I doubt they'd be worse.. I imagine my hemorrhoids got so bad when I was still numb and they were pushing on my stomach to make my uterus contract, even if i couldn't feel it, it was pressure. that's my guess anyway... glad i didn't feel it though!
i know i'm probably the only one who thought this, but i thought, heck while they have me cut open, they'll probably just suck all the blood out while they're at it. but nope. still get to bleed. then i thought, well, since nothing came out of "there" i could at least use a tampon and not a pad so i'll be more comfortable, nope wrong there too. so i'm still bleeding, i still have to use pads instead of tampons, and my butt still hurts, but NOW i have a friggin slice on my gut and IN my gut that are in two close, but different, areas and every time i moved for a week after, I shuttered in pain as what feels like a needle stabs me from the inside a few inches below my new battle wound. still there, but i've finally figured out how to move to make it less painful. i learned that when i cough if i grab my incision, and the lower painful area and raise my leg to my chest, it doesn't hurt so badly.... i look awesome maneuvering it and i have especially loved having to go into public for a few appointments and showing off my moves there.
I dont know if this has anything to do with the Csection but i have a horrible hack that will not go away. it varies from dry and itchy to mucus and gaggy. it's so fun gagging and heaving right now too... ugh.
another thing that could very well pin me as stupid here is that the afterbirth pains happen even after csection! i had no idea! even though my uterus did nothing to get this baby out, i got to deal with the contractions after he was born and i dont know if everyone has heard that they are worse after each baby, but yeah, i didn't love it.
another issue i'm having that i don't recall, and i'm not sure if it's due to lack of memory or what, but i'm hating having a 2yo i can't lift. i know after #3 when i was healing, i couldnt lift anything for about a month or so, including my 2yo then, but this is different and worse. bc then, if i was sitting i was fine. i finally am to the point of letting my 2 and 4 year olds climb on me and let me hold them, but i often get an elbow to my incision and it hurts like heck. and i'm still so far from being able to put my 2yo in her crib or get her out. she keeps testing me and it's heart wrenching. I do not think this was the case with my #2 or #4. (didn't have anyone else to lift after #1, but I dont remember it being like this) honestly, this whole giant (but not really) wound in the gut thing, is kinda getting me down...
a few other things that differ from after my natural deliveries:
-i can't climb into my cozy bed, so i get to sleep on the couch.
-the surgery prep and spinal had me wanting to back out. it was a creepy room. the "pressure" after the initial shot in the spine really just turned out to be hot lava that he was shooting into my back, i describe it as "pain"
-when i go to the restroom, it hurts in two different places simultaneously rather than one...
-pooping afterward is just as bad as after natural delivery..
-when i shower i need a full frontal covering because it hurts from top to bottom. (i used to have the stomach pain free,albeit saggy and gruesome)
-i still cant walk well.
-i havent bounced back as soon as i'd hoped or as soon as i think i usually do. i'm never fully back by now, but usually far closer.
-i didn't have arin with me the whole time through entire process of birth
-i didn't see the baby for 2 hours after he was born, instead i had a one on one date with a male nurse in my room for a solid hour. i liked the guy, but i'd prefer my husband and baby...
-i had some rough goes at the hospital when they would get behind on my meds and i would get to writhe in pain for hours until it got under control, as my exhausted parents watched and tended to baby. those were two very fun nights...
-I've had to rely on outside help far more and for a longer period of time, i'm feeling guilty and wearing everyone out.
-I had to take the percocet longer and it made me crazy. (i'm crazy enough without them, i'm an upper kinda druggy anyway, dont need those downers)
-breastfeeding positions are harder b/c of wound-now my nipples and my incision get to hurt instead of just nipples...
-i can't bend.
-i can't laugh.
-i can't cough. but i have to-alot. why?!
-i'm pathetic and it's really wearing my spirits down.
-i can't use any pics of me in hospital i was so drugged and scary. i freaked out my 4 yo and the pics are horrid and explain well why he was frightened, ha. shut up. dont make me laugh...
the things i hate about natural delivery:
-the waiting game!
-the constant contractions and just waiting for a "real" one to hit so i can gun it to the hospital.
-feeling like i need a babysitter with me at all times for the last month in case i go into labor
-praying for my water to break every night for the last 3 weeks
-the lack of epidural for me
-the fear and urgency, though i'm also counting this as a pro b/c i am better in chaos
-the hemorrhoids, got em without too though.
-peeing afterward is very difficult and traumatic.
-so is pooping
things i like about natural delivery:
-arin being involved in birth
-healing/bouncing back sooner-IF it's not like #3
-not having a cut stomach
-being more in control-ish
-having baby with me immediately after
-shorter hospital stay
-generally feeling better sooner
but i did feel this pathetic after #3, so i'd rather have done all of this crap then, than have the "damage" left from that experience.
So anyway. this probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense. my mind is a bit wacky always, but more so lately and i'm sure this is hard to follow... but to sum it up... i can see both ways.
I guess for my next babies I will see if they think it's over 9lbs with a gigantic head and if so, i'll opt for another Csection, but otherwise I will be pushing for a VBAC, which, I'm told, I'm a perfect candidate for and they are starting to allow them here very soon.. and, I think i'll risk having the baby in the car rather than the induction... but when i'm 38 weeks along, i can't be held accountable for what i will actually do..
(this was originally posted on my personal blog in April)