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Thursday, June 18, 2015

I loved my scheduled C section

Lucy is 7 weeks old and her birth is just a faint memory for me. It's hard to believe I had major surgery less than 2 months ago, my incision is my only reminder of it these days and I am so thankful for that. After a pretty traumatic birth for Ford (you can read it here), I was really looking forward to a scheduled C section. With the need for a post umbilical hernia repair from my first pregnancy and a few other things, I didn't ever consider a VBAC. I actually wrote about my decision to have a scheduled C section here. Although Lucy's birth wasn't without a few little bumps, I wouldn't change a thing. I absolutely loved my scheduled C section. In fact, I think Jon and I say this at least once a week, "Why wouldn't all women choose a scheduled C?". Now I know my love for a CS is circumstantial. Prior to having Ford we skipped all the chapters in the baby books about CS because there was no way I was having one. Wrong-oh. I've always thought of birth as such a divine thing. God used the births of both of my babies as a way to teach me, grow me, and a platform to share my story. As much as we want to write down and choose every detail of our births, we have no control. I went into birth assuming I'd do it vaginally but without a birth plan. When has anyone's birth ever gone to plan? I am so grateful to be a mama of two beautiful and healthy babies and how they got here shouldn't mater. If I would have given birth vaginally the first time, I wouldn't be so pro-C section, obviously. So this post isn't to bash mamas who birth vaginally (you guys are amazing, seriously I don't know how you do it), but to encourage C section mamas.

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!


Emily said...

I loved reading your thoughts on this! I am with you too-I LOVED both of my scheduled C's. Glad your recovery went/is going well!

Confessions of a Glamour Junkie said...

As someone thinking about getting pregnant, I'm just wondering, would you choose to have a scheduled c-section just to avoid complications from a vaginal birth (ie sex and pain issues)? Also, how long ago did your friends with those issues have their babies?
Lucy is adorable!

Bec74 said...

In response to Confessions of a glamor junkie, I had 4 babies vaginally.
I'm 5ft 2in and weigh 110 lbs. my biggest baby was just under 10lbs. I have zero issues with peeing myself or pain from sex .. My recoveries were not so fun for the first few days. Other then that, zero issues. Everyone is different! Ruthies story has to be such a blessing to those
Moms who have to have c-sections, or those who choose too. Just don't be afraid of the vaginal way... It's not so bad :)

Unknown said...

I kid of WANT a c-section after reading this... My recovery from my vaginal birth was painful... bad tearing, painful sex, the whole sha-bang. LOL. Love you C-section mamas and what an encouraging post regardless of the way you gave birth. ;)

Raena said...

Peeing yourself and pain after sex is NOT normal. It is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction and it can be remedied by seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist. Don't let these things scare you from a vaginal birth. There are things that you can do both prenatal and postnatal to remedy this issue.

Thanks for sharing your story, Ruthie!

Veronika said...

I had a vaginal birth and I hope to with my next one as well, but I am so glad that c-Sections are avaialble to moms that need them! Thank goodness for modern medicine.

Though I had a vaginal birth, I did experience a complication (a placenta accreta) that is most commonly associated with c-Sections, and that risk increases each time a woman has a c-section. Not an issue if you want to have 1-2 kids, but any more than that is where the stats (risks) start to really rise.

I am expecting our second and it will be our last, so not something I'm too worried about, but just something to think about with c-Sections. Having said that, I am so glad so many women are having better birth experciences with c-Sections. They have come a long way and I am thankful they save so many moms and babies. In fact, I have had many friends who experienced better/shorter recoveries than I did and they had c-sections whereas I didn' you just never know! Glad your experience was great.

Carolyn said...

Love this! I am thinking we're going to end up with another c-section, since baby boy is measuring 3 weeks ahead, just like Weston. I'm telling myself it's not a big deal, but I've been stressing about it, but this post helps me feel better about it! How was your recovery from the surgery with Ford? I'm scared of not being able to pick up Weston after the surgery! Was it hard dealing with two kids while healing? Tell me all about it my friend! :)

Allena said...

I went into my birth with Trent with no plan either (scheduled induction with pitocin, water being broken, epidural, episiotomy...the whole 9 yards) and luckily (in my opinion) the complications we had didn't result in a c-section. So I made sure to be prepared with Drew and my birth plan (and the fact that I even had one) was about as different as you could expect. Everyone told me to expect it to not go exactly as planned but hers did! It was exactly as I hoped and prayed for. I feel so blessed that it went exactly as I planned. She was a drug-free vaginal delivery and the recovery was amazing. I was pain free in about 24 hours and felt totally normal (physically) in less than a week. I think second deliveries just naturally have an easier recovery because your body remembers it. I'm so glad your second delivery was easier as well! You have 2 of the cutest kids!

Unknown said...

I have given birth vaginally twice and have snapped back within days! My first experience was a very hard labor and birth but I never have had tearing, leaking, or any other problems after. For me, it was worth it to be able to feel my baby come out of me. Its an amazing feeling! I am very glad they have the option of c sections for those mamas that need them, but I think you can have just as great of a birth experience vaginally and without many of the risks that come with c section! As long as you have a healthy baby and a happy mama I dont think it matters which way you choose to bring them into this world! :)

Evelina said...

I agree that birth plans often don't get flowed through on. I think when it's my turn, I will want to keep an open mind and take the doctors' advise for what is best for me and my baby

Beth said...

Thank you Ruthie, I have never commented on your blog before though I have been reading a long time! I had an emergency c-section with my first and everyone asks me if I plan on trying for a VBAC with my second. Almost to the point I think they are judging when I say no way, there is an increased risk to a VBAC and I love the idea of knowing and planning my next babys birthday!

Megan C said...

That is great! I am so happy it was a great experience this time around for y'all. With our second we will definitely have a scheduled c-section. After having an emergency c-section, we both decided it was best for us to do a scheduled c-section because it was a tough day that day. Beautiful, but tough day. I want to be able to have a different, less crazy experience with our second. That is what is best for me and my baby.

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