Some recent commenters have lamented the lack of positive c-section birth stories on the web, so I wanted to share my own positive unplanned c-section experience. (Mrs. Jump Rope has also previously blogged about her positive planned c-section here.)
Most pregnant women probably have an idea of what they want their births to be like, whether it’s a home birth, natural birth, medicated birth, etc. I’m sure many women, like me, never even consider the possibility of a c-section. I respect and understand why women want to have natural births, and many of our bloggers have shared their beautiful natural birth stories here on Hellobee. But that’s something I’ve never wanted to attempt. I took childbirth classes and knew that I wanted an epidural as soon as the pain became too intense for me. My birth plan was to labor as long as I could, get an epidural, try to avoid other interventions like Pitocin if possible, and have a vaginal delivery.
I went into labor the day before Charlie’s due date. I had an intensely painful labor and progressed to 8cm before I was finally able to get an epidural because the hospital was so busy that night. After three hours of pushing, very little progress, and Charlie’s heart rate continuously decelerating, my doctors wanted to perform a c-section. Even though I was very disappointed at the time, I wanted to do what was best for Charlie’s health, so I agreed. If I’m being honest, I think on some level I was actually a little relieved as well. My labor was long and painful, and I had been pushing for hours with very little progress. The end was now so close with a c-section. It wasn’t what I’d planned, but I was tired, I wouldn’t have to push anymore, and I’d soon be able to meet my son. If my doctors thought that I should get a c-section, I trusted them.
I was surprisingly calm when we headed to the operating room. All the doctors were very kind, and it was a quick, painless, and straightforward procedure. Charlie was born a big, happy, healthy boy, and that was the main thing that mattered to me. I was able to hold Charlie shortly after he was born and attempt to breastfeed, and I don’t think I felt any less bonded to him because I didn’t have a vaginal delivery. I was definitely disappointed about not being able to have a vaginal delivery like I’d planned, but my c-section was as positive of an experience as it could be.
When I got pregnant with Olive, I had to decide whether I wanted another c-section or if I wanted to attempt a VBAC. My doctor would have supported either decision. I blogged about the pros and cons of a c-section vs a VBAC here, and ultimately decided to opt for another c-section, largely because of my positive experience the first time around. I knew what to expect with a c-section. I knew the surgery wasn’t painful. I knew the recovery was manageable. I knew that I wouldn’t feel any less bonded to my child. And truthfully, I was scared to attempt a VBAC.
Of course childbirth almost never goes the way you plan, and I went into labor 5 weeks early with Olive. I got an epidural shortly after I arrived at the hospital, and was still planning on getting another c-section. But everyone that came into my room — from the doctors to the nurses to the anesthesiologist — gently encouraged me to try for a VBAC because Olive would be small and it would probably be an easy delivery. Had Olive come closer to her due date, I most definitely would have gotten another c-section. But while most doctors seem to encourage repeat c-sections once you’ve already had one, everyone was encouraging me to try for a VBAC!
I decided to try for a VBAC and ended up having a relatively quick, easy, and painless delivery. The extremely painful stitches after the labor for my second-degree tears were something I was not anticipating at all. In fact my recovery with my VBAC was much harder than my c-section recovery (though that has more to do with the specific circumstances following Olive’s birth), and my milk actually came in faster with my c-section too!
Today I still have a physical reminder of my c-section in the form of a prominent scar on my lower abdomen. I used to hate it so much, but it doesn’t really bother me that much anymore because it’s a part of me and it’s a part of Charlie’s birth story. While I’m glad I was able to experience a vaginal delivery with Olive and have no regrets, I don’t think I would have had any regrets if I’d had a repeat c-section either.
Did anyone else have a positive planned or unplanned c-section experience?
C-Section part 4 of 51. What to Expect When You're Expecting a C-Section by Mrs. Bee
2. Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by pregnancy
3. C-Section: True or False? by Mrs. Markers
4. A Positive C-Section Story by Mrs. Bee
5. Swarm: What Would You Change About Your Labor/Birth? by Swarm
C-Section Birth Stories part 3 of 61. Chloe's birth story, part 1 by Mrs. Jump Rope
2. Not Natural; My CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean) by Birth Stories
3. A Positive C-Section Story by Mrs. Bee
4. Welcome to the World: Meet the Babies Blue by Mrs. Blue
5. Becoming a mother of three, my twin birth story. by Mrs. Train
6. A scheduled C section & a tubal ligation: Lilly's birth story by Mrs. Train