Whether this is your first baby or you have been down this road before, from the moment you confirmed your pregnancy, you were probably looking forward to the day you got to meet your baby. Just as there may have been details of the pregnancy that you never thought about until you experienced them, it’s difficult to plan the delivery of your child until it actually happens.
If you attended childbirth classes, you probably learned about the different stages of labor, what to expect as part of the labor experience and you may have been informed about the various pain management medications and choices that you would have. Unfortunately, many obstetricians and childbirth classes do not spend a lot of time talking about C-sections.
Many women have normal labor patterns, but don’t progress and after a long time in labor without enough physical changes, it’s deemed to be safer to have a Caesarean section. In other cases, the baby may be in distress or in a wrong position and that is the reason for your surgery. It’s common when a mom is pregnant with two or more babies to schedule a surgical birth and many women who have had a Caesarean delivery before must have one now. It may also be that the baby is too big for labor to continue in a normal pattern.
Some moms have spent so much time anticipating the perfect delivery that it has a negative impact on them when that happy wheels dream delivery doesn’t happen. It’s very important to understand that the goal of every pregnancy should be a healthy full-term baby and a healthy mom at the end of it. Even if your baby was early or has health challenges, as long as you tried your best and made good choices for him or her, you succeeded.
Many years ago, C-sections were much more complex and painful than they are today. At that time, it wasn’t unusual for a woman to spend two weeks in the hospital after her surgery, even with no complications. The surgery typically cut against the muscle and went up and down the abdomen, leaving a long, painful scar. At that time, if you had one C-section, you would always have C-sections.
Now, the incision is made very low on the abdomen and usually is cut with the muscle, which makes it much easier to recover from. In addition, because the tissue is not as damaged, many women are able to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) later. However, that is not always the case and in some areas, it is illegal. You may go home in as little as three days after your surgery and you may be walking around the hospital in less than a day.
Even if your labor doesn’t go the way you dreamed, it will be worth it. The delivery is just one day and you will have many years with your baby.