My youngest baby turned one a few weeks ago and I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon her birth, through my abdominal cavity which was sliced open while I lay awake with my own internal organs on a table by the bed.
For some reason, not very many people share their planned c-section birth stories. There is no drama of the water breaking and the mad rush to the hospital. It is a little surreal to walk into the hospital and check-in for an appointment to have your baby. I have actually had two planned c-sections, so I consider myself to be a veteran. Today I would like to offer some unsolicited advice for anyone who is preparing for a c-section.
In no particular order:
1. Get your hair done and your eyebrows waxed a few days ahead of time. I did blow dry my hair, but I did not wax my eyebrows and now this picture has been on Facebook for YEARS. Try to concentrate on the baby and not the caterpillars over my eyes. I dare you.
2. You are not allowed to wear make-up, lotion, perfume, or deodorant on the day of your operation. I have no idea why you can’t wear deodorant, but you can’t.
3. This was the best advice I got from my friend Shelley: Go buy 4 or 5 old lady night gowns for your hospital bag. Get the ones with snaps down the front. They are perfect for breast feeding and you aren’t going to want to wear pants for a while.
4. They are going to give you very strange disposable one-size-fits-all mesh underwear. Take extra. Especially if you have staples. Getting real underwear snagged on your stomach staples is no fun.
5. Speaking of staples, don’t worry at all about having these removed in a few weeks. It doesn’t hurt any worse than having your eyebrows waxed. (For more on eyebrows, see #1.)
6. Do not ask your anesthesiologist questions during the procedure unless you are truly prepared for the answer. Actual conversation I had with mine:
Him: Are you doing alright?
Me: I think so. My shoulder is in a lot of pain. Is that normal?
Him: That’s because the doctor has the uterus outside of your body right now. He’s just repairing it right there on the table, we’ll have it back in in a minute. That will help with the shoulder pain. You know the nerves of those parts of your body are connected…
7. Speaking of shoulder pain, apparently agonizing shoulder pain can also be a sign of gas. Don’t ask me how I know this.
8. Speaking of gas, you can’t eat anything until you pass it. And you will be starving because you can’t eat anything after midnight the day before your procedure either. You might have to go a full day or even two without food. But you will have a morphine drip, so that’s a plus.
9. Be prepared to embrace the maxi-pad. Not only will you be wearing GIGANTIC ones for days, maybe weeks, afterward. Also, you might not be able to handle tampons anymore because they aggravate your scar tissue. Don’t ask me how I know this either.
10. No matter how scary it seems, just like a vaginal birth, in the end it will be worth it. You will probably even be willing to do it again.
Ok ladies, what did I miss? What other advice do we have for our friends preparing for the big day?