Having a caesarean was not as bad as I thought

Photo-illustration: Josiah Whitfield; Photos: Getty

During most of my first pregnancy, I learned how to avoid cesarean section. The books I read are full of advice on how to do your best for vaginal births: hire a midwife, use a midwife instead of an OB, don’t go to hospitals with a high caesarean section rate, keep the baby at home (or at least stay home as long as possible) and let them know you. Don’t be tempted by pitocin. When I was not diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I avoided refining carbohydrates and sugar and avoided checking my blood sugar after every meal, so the child was overweight. As my period approached, I changed the version of the dog looking down, hoping that the force of gravity would cause the child to roll over.

But as the weeks went by, my daughter’s head began to press hard on my ribs, and my doctor told me that I needed to think more seriously about planning a caesarean section. It is not uncommon for a baby to be miscarried: in about 4 percent of pregnancies, the fetus remains in the breast. This is just one of the many reasons why doctors recommend childbirth, some of which are more questionable than others. Today, nearly one-third of babies in the United States are born through a C-section, a figure that has grown in recent decades and more than double that of the World Health Organization. The doctor can pressure you into something you don’t need.

As a result of my research, I realized that a cesarean section was very dangerous and unpleasant, and that later everyone would get sick. If you asked me about my biggest risks associated with any surgery, I would say that I would wake up and feel how the procedure was going. Both are regular scenes with a C-section. In most cases, women come to their senses because surgeons perform incisions. The incisions are usually made under local anesthesia, which involves the lower part of the body; I was told it wouldn’t hurt, but when the surgeons took the baby out, I felt drawn and stressed. I was annoyed by the diagrams showing how the doctors separated my skin and abdominal muscles. Even worse, it was the most discussed documentary in 2008 Birth business, then included long shots of women being cut and ripped off. Emily Oster’s Better wait highlights the risks, including infection and complications of future pregnancies, and emphasizes “much worse” recovery. “Any movement that uses the abdominal muscles for several weeks (sitting, lying down, standing, rolling over, walking, etc.) can cause pain,” he writes.

Once I realized that I might need a C-section, but it was easier to plan it. Some of me was upset that I couldn’t do my job, but I felt like I had been given a fraudulent code. Birth has always seemed a big mystery. The presence of the plan was comforting.

My doctor operated on me at 39 weeks. My husband and I brought luggage, clothing, and other items to the hospital for several days. “Are you ready to have a baby?” Said the nurse who had taken us to our room, as if we were entering an all-inclusive resort. After they confirmed that the baby still had teeth, they tied me to an IV vein and shaved off the skin on my cut hair.

I felt relatively calm before they took me to the hospital. The room was light and cool, full of people wearing scrubs around. I shivered as I leaned over and sat down on the edge of the table so that the anesthesiologist could insert the needle into my spine. OB was holding my hand and telling me I was doing great, but I wanted my husband to be in the room; I wanted to cry; I would like to ask if they can reduce the space.

The anesthesiologist injected various needles into my back, tapped my thighs, and asked, “Can you feel it?” I didn’t believe it and was afraid to give the wrong answer. Eventually, they decided that I was not feeling well enough and put me to bed. Suddenly I became a star, my lower body was paralyzed, and someone was circling my genitals to insert a catheter. They set the screen so I couldn’t see what they were doing, but I could feel it. The next thing I knew was that my husband was there, smiling with a surgical cap.

They said it would take about three minutes to get the baby out. I listened to them talk and felt that something was wrong with my stomach, but I tried to divorce, as if you were praying at the dentist. They pushed my stomach and tried to control me. Then someone said, “Mom, look!” I heard that. They picked up the baby, and I couldn’t believe it. Who was this little creature? I didn’t really feel that he was inside me.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I lay there, weighed him, and carried him across the room to be cleaned. On the one hand, I was depressed, and on the other hand, I was relieved: He was alive here. I had long imagined what it would be like to hold him in my arms, but when they brought him to me, it was uncomfortable. The doctors were still stitching me, and I could not move my arms completely. It was thrilling to see her mouth instinctively searching for my breasts, but as she tried, I felt like I needed two extra hands to support her head and keep it in the right position. I wanted to give it back to someone more competent.

I spent the next 24 hours in bed. I was uncomfortable with the idea of ​​a catheter, but after nine months of pregnancy, there was no need to urinate, and walking all day seemed luxurious. Still, I was afraid to look at the cut. I was afraid that if they massaged my uterus or removed the catheter and staples, I would get sick. I felt as if my bowels were falling out, as if my bowels were coming out, and I was afraid that my bowels would come out.

Most of my recovery is unclear, and I may have had more to think about with the birth of a child. I don’t want to paint it: except for going to the microwave to warm up, I didn’t walk much in the first week after giving birth, and when I stood for more than a few minutes, I had a cut. began to burn. I thanked a friend who took painkillers and asked for better painkillers. The doctor’s instructions were also easy for me. When I was breastfeeding, I had to trust my husband to bring me a glass of water or a sandwich. The arrival of my daughter changed my life completely, but I felt that nothing was as bad as I had expected.

The vast majority of birth literature, with a few exceptions, still works with the assumption that C-section is a poor method of childbirth. Most of what I read was to convince me that I shouldn’t want to. It is clearly a good intention to encourage women to educate and protect themselves in the delivery room. There is evidence to encourage physicians to perform C-sections for benefit and efficacy, even if this is not in the best interest of the patient. However, after reading many popular books on childbirth, it is easy to accept that a woman should not be subjected to a number of unnecessary medical interventions, despite the fact that her doctor advises otherwise. “Part of the birth in the twenty-first century involves understanding the two categories of cesarean section: those that are necessary for medical reasons and those that are performed for other reasons,” writes obstetrician Ina May Gaskin. There are many good reasons for not wanting a caesarean section. But talking about a surgical birth, first and foremost as the worst-case scenario, should be avoided – despite the fact that more than 30 percent of American births occur this way – and the stigma and fear continue. As Leslie Jamison points out, “Although cesarean section is a stimulus for women’s empowerment, it has become another way to embarrass mothers or make them feel inadequate immediately after giving birth.”

None of this negates the experience of those who have found a traumatic intersection. Like many people, my feelings would have been much more complicated if I had been under pressure or had surgery for difficult reasons during childbirth. The medical profession has also made several efforts to improve the practice: It is now common for a mother to hold her baby in her arms after surgery, and many doctors allow patients to use a clear screen if they want to see their baby born. vaginal birth). I also want my doctor to talk to me carefully about everything that will happen in advance. The worst thing for me was not knowing what to expect.

I avoided the feeling of being deceived, not because I had a caesarean section, but because he felt so bad about me. The C-section was a safer and more realistic option for me, but sometimes when I hear women, including Gaskin, talk about how “natural” childbirth can be transcendent, I still feel like I miss it. In fact, my birth took place outside the body. Although I was paralyzed on the operating table, it was the most powerful and unrealistic hour of my life. Eventually I got what I wanted, and he was a healthy kid. Now, even though more than a year has passed, my scars still don’t touch and feel amazingly amazing, and I’m proud to tell people these details. It’s not because I like it, but it feels like part of my and my daughter’s story. Although I can do it again, I will not change it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.