This post contains my raw and crabby feelings about my c section; you may have different feelings about your c section and this post is not intended in anyway to invalidate your feelings.
Not exactly the meet-cute I’d hoped for. Photos by Taylor Laramie.
I hate my c section. I hate it with my life.
I know that due to his fetal tachycardia it was the best thing to ensure Nicky was delivered safe & sound, whole and healthy, but I hate it. I hated it from the minute the on-call obstetrician told me it might be necessary if his heart rate didn’t normalize. I was scared of having surgery and afraid the recovery would be a nightmare. I didn’t want to do it and I cried “no, no, no” during my contractions. When someone (a nurse? the doctor? who can remember) asked me what I was saying “no” about I cried “this whole situation! I don’t want to do this!”
I don’t feel guilty, or disappointed in my body, or like I have somehow failed by having a c section. I mean… there wasn’t anything that my body could have done. I think if we’d had a couple more hours I could have delivered vaginally. I was 5cm dilated and I have my “proven pelvis” (a phrase I will never not find funny) thing going for me so I truly think if Nicky wasn’t in distress I would have pushed him out just like I did both the girls, but we didn’t have a couple more hours. When I think back to that night in the hospital it seems like such a long evening but really it was only a few hours: I arrived at 8pm, spent an hour walking around, spent another hour being monitored, and then my water was broken, I laboured for a while, I was taken to the operating room and prepped for surgery. Nicky was born just after midnight, so there were really only two hours between “you might need a c section” and “it’s a boy!”
I just feel… angry? Angry and frustrated. Now that I’ve had a variety of birth experiences I think I can say this one is my least fave. And the recovery is the worst! I honestly wasn’t even going to write this post about my dumb feelings but last night after my shower I noticed one end of my incision was a little open (just like.. a couple millimeters) and inflamed-looking and when I was patting the area dry it… well not to put to fine a point on it, it oozed. It’s gross! I hate it! And now I gotta worry about what if it’s getting infected? Is the whole thing gonna open up like a zipper and all my guts spill out? Ugh! (ftr I don’t think this is going to happen, it already looks less swollen/red and has mostly stopped weeping today but STILL).
But I mean, even before this latest fun development the recovery has sucked, and it’s not even as bad as I thought it would be. It’s still bad enough though. The first couple of days in the hospital when I couldn’t even sit up on my own, like I needed to raise the back of the bed up and then pull myself up the rest of the way before I could even lift my baby out of his little cot. The gas pains in my shoulders, feeling like I was gonna burst open every time I coughed or laughed or went to the bathroom or tried to lie on my side, my abdomen hurting inside and out. I still can’t stand the feeling of anything around my waist, like even my maternity leggings are too binding and I kind of wish I’d had the baby in the summer instead (like, that he had been DUE in the summer, not that he was a super-preemie) so I could just wear flowy dresses and not fuck with pants at all. I can safely say I would 100% prefer to have all the worst pain of delivering a baby BEFORE the baby is born, rather than for weeks and weeks afterwards when I’m also trying to look after a baby. Like if this wasn’t our last baby, if I was to have another I would for sure try for a VBAC because this? This sucks. Zero stars, would not recommend to a friend.
Some people would say the only important thing is that I had my baby, and he’s fine. I know I’ve been guilty of saying it myself in the past and to anyone who I might have said that to, I APOLOGIZE. Because like DUH obviously I’m thrilled to have my baby here and healthy! I was able to come home and bring him with me after just two days in the hospital. That’s amazing, I’m so lucky! But that doesn’t mean I have to also be thrilled with being in pain every day, and with the memories of the fear I felt going into surgery, and this whole stupid thing. The baby is important, but I’m important too, and my feelings matter.
Another frustrating aspect to having a c section is it’s sent all my carefully-laid plans for my return to work into a tailspin. After you have a c section you cant lift anything heavier than your baby for six weeks, and you know what is heavier than my baby? All the daycare kids. I’m pretty confident that I will be able to do most things with them (playing toys and games, preparing their food, regular daycare activities like story and song time) but what I CAN’T do is lift them into and out of their high chairs at mealtimes, and into and out of their cribs at nap time. Thankfully Taylor is going to be able to help me out in the mornings and Sym in the afternoons, but like… it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be complicated. But I am just going to have to do it and get through it. Like the c section itself, I guess.