This one is for all the moms out there with a scheduled C-Section on the books, and for those soon-to-be mamas who may be worried or wondering what their experience may be like if they’ll need a C-Section. As a mom of two boys born via C-Section, I’m often asked about my experience, usually from pregnant moms-to-be who are gathering the birth stories of as many friends as possible. My answer is always the same: I loved it. Although I certainly can’t speak for everyone or guarantee you’ll have the same experience that I did, in the sea of scary and negative information out there surrounding the dreaded C-Section, I’m here to tell you that I truly LOVED my C-Section delivery, and I hope you will, too.
My first son was born via C-Section after 24 hours of induced labor (which ultimately failed, obvi). I discussed VBAC with my OB when I first became pregnant with my second son, and although the combination of my advanced maternal age (yes, for real) and the fact that I had a previous failed induction did not make us super optimistic, my OB would support a VBAC if I went into labor on my own without induction prior to 40 weeks, which I did not, so a repeat C-Section it was.
The days leading up to my scheduled C-Section were full of mixed emotions. So much of me wanted to deliver a baby naturally, and knowing this would be our last baby, this was my last chance. At the same time, I had a healthy toddler and a soon-to-be newborn who needed their mama, so I trusted my doctor that this was the best course for my body and my baby’s health.
And guess what? It was amazing. I’ve even gone so far to say it was the best day of my life.
- I arranged for childcare for my toddler. We lived out of state from our family, so knowing a firm date that I would deliver allowed for travel plans to be made in advance, and my husband was able to be at the hospital with me the entire time, rather than home taking care of our toddler.
- I prepared meals and stocked the pantry. I embraced the nesting instinct in the weeks leading up to my due date and channelled the energy into lasagnas, soups and casseroles. Everything I could make ahead and freeze I did! I also stocked the pantry and refrigerator with my favorite post surgery foods so I would be all set when I returned from the hospital.
- Behold the staircase! In my two story house, I limited myself post surgery to one trip up and down the stairs a day. Down for the day, and up at night, so I made up a duplicate toiletry bag that I could keep in the downstairs bathroom including a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, lotions, etc., as well as a change of clothing if I needed it. After learning from my first C-Section that the days and nights tend to blur a bit in the first few weeks, it was nice to be able to to freshen up at any time of the day (or night!).
- I had a full night’s sleep the night before my surgery. Well, as much as a 9 month pregnant woman can get, that is. When I woke up the morning of my C-Section, I took an extra long shower, washed and dried my hair all knowing that this was the day. I arrived at the hospital feeling fresh and ready. It’s a small thing, really, but in this #MomLife, the power of clean hair can not be underestimated.
- My incision scar looked BETTER after the second C-Section. My first C-Section was the result of a long, induced labor and we were against the clock for a safe delivery. It wasn’t an emergency by any means, but it wasn’t scheduled like my second one was. Since my second C-Section was the only scheduled one of the day, my incredible OB was able to really take her time and did a fantastic job going through the same scar, cleaning up any scar tissue, and leaving me with a straighter and flatter scar. Years after healing, it’s barely three inches across and as flat as my skin. Quite impressive for knowing that two little boys came from there!
- And finally, and the most important one of all, I knew the day I was going to meet the newest love of my life. The anticipation of knowing that the incredible, incomparable moment of seeing my newborn child was right around the corner gave me butterflies just to imagine. I was also able to hug and kiss and snuggle (and hug one more time!) with my toddler before I headed to the hospital, knowing these were our last bittersweet moments together without a sibling in the house.
Nothing can ever truly prepare you for birth, but knowing the date of my scheduled C-Section allowed me time to emotionally and physically prepare as much as I could ahead of time. Did I give birth to my boys naturally? Technically, no, but I did give birth to perfect and healthy little babies, and I’m forever grateful for my experience. I hope you are, too!
Author: Candace Thomas