April is Cesarean Awareness month and I’m lucky to have had two of them. When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, there is so much pressure to get it right. It can almost feel as if you’re cheating your pregnancy by having a c-section. Some are planned, some are emergency but at the end of the day all anyone should want is a safe delivery for mum and bub. While each delivery will have it’s own story, there are positive and negative stories to popping the baby out by pushing or by coming out of the sunroof.
My first pregnancy was pretty non-eventful. I’m one of those people who actually enjoyed being pregnant but I was also lucky enough not to experience any sickness, fatigue, back-ache and everything else that sucks that can come with pregnancy. The only thing that was noticed throughout my pregnancy was the size of my baby’s head – it was always in the higher percentile range. This was pointed out to me as I’m 5ft nothing and have a very small pelvic area.
During my pregnancy my obstetrician gave me a very helpful book to read that discussed pregnancy and c-section as an option. Needles scare the living daylights out of me, even when I need to get a blood test I’m nervous and sweaty, so the section on epidurals was an interesting read. I think until you go through it you can’t really understand the feeling and process.
As we approached my due date and there was no sign of baby moving, I had another scan to guess-timate baby’s size and it came back as being approximately 4kg with a large head. Obstetricians can’t legally tell you to go for a c-section but they can provide options and advice. After the scan results and talking to my obstetrician on the phone I made the call to have a c-section. He called me back that evening to advise I’d be going in the next day! I got off the phone in a little bit of shock – tomorrow we’d have our baby at 40 weeks and two days!!
Next day we headed in and I was booked to have the c-section at 6pm. We got to the hospital and they informed me I’d been given the wrong information and I should be in surgery within the next few minutes!
Everything happened so fast after that. My anthesitest (best one ever!) came in and saw how nervous I was. He gave me a little sedation to help me relax before proceeding with the epidural. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous and tense about the epidural. It’s such a surreal feeling – I didn’t feel the needle and tube go in but did feel the sensation of the fluid going down. It was cold and then a tingling sensation in my legs.
I was wheeled into the surgery room and I’ll always remember the funky music they had playing. I was asked if I could lift my legs; I said yes and proceeded to show them – my legs didn’t move! With that they said it was time. My husband was brought in all scrubbed up and sat by my head. I felt no tugging or pulling though my husband did as he held onto my shoulders. He actually found it astounding that I couldn’t feel any of the tugging. Fifteen minutes later our 3.6kg baby boy was born to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’!!!
As for the stitching, I think you’re so caught up in the moment you a) forget that it’s happening and b) don’t feel it because you’re still numb for the epidural. Yes I have a little scar that shows I was beautifully stitched and my body had been through something my husband won’t. Plus the scar is so far down I won’t be showing it off to every Tom, Dick and Harry even if I’m wearing a bikini. We had photos taken with our little boy then my husband went with baby to our room while they finished cleaning me up. Within 20 minutes I was back with my husband and baby. Exhausted from the whole process including anticipation and expectation, it was a positive process I would go through again 18 months later when we had baby number two.