The Untold Truth
While I was pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on regarding childbirth. Every first time mom does. After all, it is one of the most anticipated experiences for a first time pregnant woman. I was prepared for everything from being cut down there if my baby was unable to fit, the pain, the way a newborn looks right after birth, and even having to basically give birth a second time to the placenta. What I was not prepared for was an emergency c-section.
It is not that I thought it couldn't happen. After all, I was a c-section baby and so was my husband. I took the child birthing class and I knew what they did to perform it. However, I really thought I was going to have my baby the "normal" way. That all changed about month before my due date.
At my 37 week check up I noticed my OB kept staring at my hugely pregnant belly. He sat down like he was going to talk to me and then stood back up and pushed on my belly again. "I'm going to have you go get a sonogram to get an estimated weight. The baby just feels...solid."
Well it turned out I was carrying a huge baby (she ended up being 10 lbs at birth) and I was given the option to try to deliver her vaginally, or schedule a c-section. I was heart broken. I did not want to have one and insisted we try it vaginally first.
The day I went into labor all was going well. I was dilating at a good pace, but at noon I suddenly stopped. Then my cervix began to get inflamed and I was off to surgery. This is where the surprises began.
If you have already gotten an epidural during your labor process, you "get" to stay awake during the c-section. They wheel you into the operating room after giving you some crazy meds that cause your lower body to go numb. If you have ever been to the dentist and had your mouth numbed, imagine your lower body feeling the way your lips do after they numb you. Anyway, once you are in the room they take a dulled needle and poke you in the arm. They don't break the skin, just hurt you. Then they poke you where you should be numb and if it doesn't hurt, you are good to go.
Now, the doctor and nurses say that you won't feel any pain, but you will feel some tugging. It feels more like you did a belly flop into the water but you are stuck in a suspended animation right when you hit the water. It is not painful, just weird feeling.
Once they pull the baby out, you get stitched back up. I got the bikini cut, which means they cut you right where the crease is between your belly and pelvic mound. Now, it looks like that is the only place they cut you, but it is not. Once inside, they have to cut your ab muscles as well. They bring the baby over to you while they are sewing you up (baring complications), but you cannot hold him/her yet. My husband was actually the one who brought the baby over so I could see her.
At this point you realize you are shaking. Is it from the joy of seeing your new baby? No, your body is in shock. The shaking becomes uncontrollable as they finish up and bring you back to your labor room. Don't expect to be able to hold your baby for at least an hour. You will feel like the shaking will never stop and you will probably throw up. You will also be so thirsty but if you do throw up, they won't let you have anything to drink until you are in your recovery room.
A few hours later, you will start to notice that your legs itch like crazy. You will want to scratch them, but you can't. The hospital will leave the epidural in for a few more hours so you can get instant pain medication. This means you won't be able to bend down and scratch them. Nor would you want to after being cut open in the middle.
After they take the epidural out, they will want you to stand. This may be the first time you realize you are wearing a diaper. When you do stand, don't be surprised if blood pours out onto the floor from your girlie parts. The next few weeks there will be a lot of blood.
When you get released, they will give you a belly band. I never wore mine because it was uncomfortable. For the next week your feet and ankles will be so swollen you will wonder if they might explode. This is because your body is getting rid of all the extra fluids you accumulated during the pregnancy, plus the fluids they gave you in the IV, plus the medications they gave you from the IV and epidural.
Your incision may also leak as well. It is a clear but pink tinged fluid. It can leak for over two weeks. It is going to hurt to pee and it is going to be agony to do #2. However, each day it gets better. On the bright side, at least you don't have to sit on your incision.
Disclaimer: Please do not take this as medical advice. I am not a doctor. This was just my experience. Yours may be different.