I’ve been very quiet these weeks and the reason for this is that we had our baby. Days before the happy event I was so swamped with client work (trying to get my clients’ sites done as much as possible for my ‘maternity leave’) and then the baby came and I didn’t quite care about anything else.
I was lucky enough to be able to choose the way I’d deliver and, after serious talks with my OBGYN and some serious ‘soul-searching’ from my part, I decided on a cesarean. Fortunately in my country the pregnant women DO have a say in this, so, if I wanted a c-section, this is what I got.
It’s been 2 weeks since then and each day that passes makes me realize it was a great choice for me.
Here are the reasons why I consider it to be a good move and, if I’d ever have a baby again, it will clearly be born this way:
1. I could plan better for it
I know it sounds dreadful, but I like to have my life in order and waiting for days to see if I’ll give birth or not would have been difficult. It’s true our plans didn’t work 100% (I was supposed to give birth on the 11th and it happened on the 6th), but this still allowed me and our family to be better prepared. I had everything in place already, my work was completed, so that I could take the days off I needed, there were no chances for the pregnancy to go too much ‘forward’ etc.
On the 5th, at my regular consult, the doctor said we won’t ‘make it’ till the initial delivery date, so we’d have to do it earlier. We decided to have the baby ‘tomorrow’, since labor could start in any moment.
With the good planning and screening provided by my doctor, the baby didn’t come too early (the signs were there that she’d be born very soon anyway) and we clearly made sure we didn’t keep her inside for too long to cause any problems.
2. No labor, no pain, just relaxation
The day I was supposed to have my c-section was spent relaxing, making plans and enjoying the baby’s kicks. We got to the clinic 2 hours ahead of the surgery, as planned, we were both in great spirits (just the dad was a tad stressed, scared about all this process). Since the labor didn’t start, I was in no pain, joked around and enjoyed my last minutes with my baby inside.
When I got into the OR, I was still cracking jokes with the doctors and kept on doing it until the baby was out. Then I had something better to do, enjoy her sweet voice (probably I’m the only one there to have enjoyed her screaming) and seeing her cute face for the first time.
3. Pains after surgery? Not that bad …
One of the things many women fear is the c-section pains and recovery, which are supposed to be harsher than when you have a ‘natural’ birth. After 4-5 hours the epidural was gone, so I could feel the exact amount of pain my body was in. Let’s say I was stubborn enough to not ask for painkillers for at least one more hour, since I really wanted to know what I’m dealing with.
They did eventually give me something, but it didn’t quite work, so, after 12 hours since the surgery I got my last ‘shot’ of painkillers. I’ve been ‘drug-free’ ever since. As long as I could cope with the pain, I had no intention of getting anything else in my body anymore. It wasn’t the case, the pain wasn’t that bad and, less than 24 hours since the surgery I was on my feet, walking the corridors and holding my baby like a champ.
It probably depends on the pain threshold each woman has, but in my case the fear of pain was greater than the pain itself.
4. Recovery was very speedy
Again, I might be a bit of a ‘soldier’, but I didn’t take long to get back on my feet. I was taking the stairs into the clinic, walking the halls and carrying my baby the second day already, 5 days after the surgery I was bathing my child (husband was petrified to hold the baby, thinking it would break) and taking care of it. Got back behind the wheels in a week and back to my normal self in no time. Even the incision has healed so nicely it’s hard to see.
5. No episiotomy
My no.1 reason to choose a c-section was that I wouldn’t escape the dreaded episiotomy. My doctor made it clear that, from what it all looks like (baby size, my ‘size’ etc.), there’s no way I’d have a vaginal birth and not get cut, so this was clearly the deciding factor in me choosing a c-section.
I wasn’t afraid of the pains that much, I’d have asked for an epidural before you could say ‘ouch’, I could have coped with getting into labor at 3AM (have a great doctor and she said she doesn’t mind getting up at such weird hours), but I wasn’t pleased with the idea of getting my ‘goodies’ cut and then having to deal with that for weeks.
6. No labor – good for the baby?
From what I was able to read (and I did), in some cases, a longer labor was hard on the baby too. In our cases, 4-5 minutes after the epidural set in, my baby was born, screaming her lungs out. We met again in few minutes, after I was placed on my bed and she had been cleaned and clothed.
As a conclusion, it’s hard for me to realize I’m a mother, since the entire process went so smoothly and uneventful. The baby is doing great, she’s healthy and beautiful, I’m 99% recovered and started working full time for my clients since Monday already.
I’m happy I was able to choose, I’m grateful to have had an amazing doctor, who saw me through the pregnancy and delivery, glad to be home with my husband and our little princess.
And here is a pic with me, 4 days before my child was born. I was getting ready, folding clothing 😉