I have lots of mama friends having their second babies in the next few months and I get so many questions about the scheduled C section vs. laboring and an emergency C section so I wanted to share my thoughts. Here are a few reasons why I loved my scheduled C section:
- Planning. I am a huge planner and the thought of not knowing when I'd go into labor and having to possibly leave my toddler in the middle of the night stresses me out. Again, I never considered a VBAC so I didn't lay awake worrying. Chances of me going into labor before my 39 week CS were slim considering I never went into labor for 41 weeks with Ford. Knowing the day and time Lucy would be born, we were able to arrange care for Ford, have everything prepared, get rest, freeze meals, and spend that last few days as a family of 3 relaxing. The week before Lucy was born was so sweet. I didn't sleep much the night before because I was so excited but I was a lot more rested than my first birth. I also knew my doctor would for sure be at my birth, no random on call doctor. Crazy that my sweet doctor wasn't my doctor with Ford's pregnancy. She was on call during my induction, delivered Ford, and I fell in love with her so I switched! She was incredibly instrumental in my pregnancy and I am sad not to be seeing her often at appointments (but happy I am not pregnant!).
- No labor. This is a given. Check in was 5am for my 7:30am surgery and I arrived chipper and free of pain. I remember feeling empathy for ladies I saw walking the halls of L&D hunched over in the pains of labor. Sure the recovery of a C section is painful but nothing can be compared to labor pains (and I had a Pitocin induced labor without an epidural thanks to Thrombocytopenia). God wasn't joking when He said He would increase the pains of labor. No thank you.
- Time. The most time consuming thing of a C section is the prep- blood work, paper work, waiting on doctors, etc. I gave birth on a Monday morning and the hospital had a full load of inductions and surgeries. That evening I looked at Jon and said, "think about all the ladies who showed up the same time we did but to be induced and still don't have their babies". I was grateful that I had the first surgery of the morning and the rest of the day to rest and recover.
- No damage "down there". I think this is pretty self explanatory. I have friends who are still dealing with issues from tearing while giving birth (sex, peeing themselves, pain).
- Recovery was easier. Recovery from a scheduled C section was 10x easier than my first birth. I was up walking around 12 hours after surgery and that really helped speed up my recovery. My body wasn't exhausted and fatigued from laboring and the spinal when being awake was a lot more gentle on my body than the general anestesia I received when I had Ford and was fully under. To be honest, the most painful thing about my recovery was my hernia repair.
- Jon and I were together. This was the biggest blessing of Lucy's birth. Jon got to watch his daughter literally come out of me and I was awake to hear her first cry. I did not feel like I needed a redemption birth after Ford's but I desperately wanted to experience a "normal" C section. It was such a surreal and incredible thing. The nurses and doctors were in such good moods and the mood was light and happy.
- My past experience. I keep telling people what a blessing second time motherhood is because you have the experience. It isn't easier per se, but you know those hard times aren't forever. My 2nd C section was painful but I knew time would bring healing. After my first C section I wasn't sure if I'd ever feel normal again (same with the pains of breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, etc). I knew that I couldn't baby my body as much as I did before and that walking the halls of the hospital would help in my recovery. I knew I couldn't push it by jumping back into life post baby and spent 3 weeks at home letting my body heal.
Never did I think I'd be a repeat C section mama, writing a post about how much I love them but I have totally embraced the story God is writing for us. I love that no 2 birth stories are the same and what an incredible thing our bodies do when giving birth. I want to be an advocate for mothers... not C section moms, not cloth diapering moms, not breastfeeding moms, but moms. No matter how your baby got here and no matter how you choose to feed, diaper, clothe them, you've been given a gift and living out the miracle that is parenthood!