When the doc told me he strongly suggested a C-section, the sooner the better, I started crying. Of course, a C-section wasn't what I had in mind when I imagined Ina Mae's birth. I considered asking for a trial of labor through induction and if that didn't work, then attempting a C-section.
However, that lasted about 10 seconds before I realized that no matter how she came to this world - through a traditional delivery, surgery, dropped off by a stork, or jumping out of a ring of fire in a clown suit, I didn't care, as long as she came here safe.
At that time we didn't have any information about what was wrong, but I knew that if there was some sort of complication, a C-section would be the safest option for her, so why risk it?
I thank God everyday that I didn't argue with the doctor, that they got her out of there as soon as possible.
Having said that, a C-section is a major surgery, one that I hadn't really looked into because I didn't think I would have one. There were many things I didn't know. Here are some of my thoughts on the positive and negative aspects:
- As the nurse was wheeling me towards the OR, I naively told her I still wanted my baby placed on my chest immediately after she was born. I am sure that nurse thought I was crazy, but she nicely told me that because there could be a complication, the doctors would have to examine her first.
- During the surgery and shortly after, everyone told me I would be able to see my baby "soon." Apparently, to them, "soon" is TWO HOURS. I get it, they needed to make sure that I was recovering properly, but that was the last thing on my mind as the seconds ticked by.
- I was not supposed to stand until 24 hours after surgery. I laughed at the nurse when she (sweetly) told me that. I had a baby a floor above me, there was absolutely no way I was going to stay horizontal for 24 hours not being able to go see her. After some discussion, I convinced the nurse I was fine at about 3 AM - almost 12 hours after the surgery, and I got in the wheel chair to go see Little Miss.
- I was NPO (nothing by mouth), had a catheter in, and was connected to IV fluids, until I passed gas (sorry). I couldn't even drink water. After the surgery, even though I was on fluids, I was SO thirsty. My lovely family members fed me ice chips, and I even convinced a few of them to sneak me sips of water. This lasted about 30 hours after my surgery. Once I finally had all the tubes disconnected, it was so much easier to get around. I took a shower and finally felt like a normal person again.
- After that 30 hour mark, I rarely thought about my recovery, mainly because I felt great. The next evening, in the middle of the night, I tried to wake Dan up because I wanted to go upstairs, but he was dead asleep, so I decided to walk up there myself. After that, I nixed the wheel chair.
- Many of the nurses told me that they couldn't believe I had a C-section. They said that I was getting around better than most moms after a vaginal delivery. I think this was because I really didn't have a choice. I was too busy worrying about if Ina Mae was eating enough, pooping enough, or what her bilirubin level was. By the last day I was there, the nurses joked that they were going to race me down the hall.
- One of the reasons I think I felt so great was that I never turned down my pain medication. I was taking naproxen every 12 hours and a Lortab every 4 hours. I stopped taking the Lortab about a week after the surgery, and I am still taking the naproxen. I have been in painful situations before, when I tried to be tough and say I didn't need any pain meds, and soon regretted that decision.
-Another reason I was doing so well was because Ina Mae was recovering so quickly. When I first saw her, with all those tubes and lines connected to her, I felt pretty crappy. However, with every jump in her hematocrit level and every line or med that was disconnected, I cannot tell you how much better I felt. I was riding the high of her recovery. When my mid-wife would come to talk to me, she could not believe I was so happy, but how could I not be? What in the world could there be to be upset about? I honestly think those first few days of Ina Mae's life are the happiest I have ever been. Ever.
- My staples were removed before I was discharged - 4 days after the surgery. I still have steri-strips on the incision, which is healing very nicely. I had a significant amount of bruising around the incision, but that is mostly cleared now.
- A side benefit of having surgery is that my employer will give me two more weeks paid on my short term disability. Obviously, this isn't a reason to want a C-section, but is nice to have.
- Now I am almost two weeks post surgery and I still feel wonderful. Every once in a while I regret picking something up or bending down, but mostly there is little evidence left of the surgery - besides my wonderful incision scar.
I thought I would be sad that I didn't have my "planned" birth experience, that Dan didn't get to cut the cord, that I didn't get to spend my daughter's first few hours of life with her, but honestly, I haven't felt that, even a little bit, even once. I know that what happened was what needed to happen in order for her to be OK.
Yesterday was a whole lot of lazy.
I am so excited that fresh veggies are finally tasting good again.
My mom made us dinner again, which was so nice to not have to worry about. Thanks Momma!
Poor Dan had to work about 16 hours, so Ina and I hung around the house. It was nice to have a lounging / veg out day, but now I am getting a little restless.
I have some errands to run today, and Ina has another pediatrician appointment. I can't wait to see if she has gained any more weight!