All about my wonderful scheduled cesarean section

Guest post by Hunny

Hunny's daughter, Zephyr Natala.
My second pregnancy was much like my first (you can read the birth story of my oldest, Lyra, here). I was blessed not to have much morning sickness, didn’t gain much weight, and was doing great in general until a condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction slowed me down. My first daughter was nine pounds and really tore up my pelvis — when my second daughter began to gain mass, my pelvis was a miserable wreck.

I walked with a cane for the rest of the pregnancy and had to wear a special belt. Birth options for this condition are limited. Spreading your legs exacerbates the condition, and it was possible I might mess up my pelvis permanently. This was the first seed planted in the c-section garden. Then, I got gestational diabetes, which statistically often leads to c-section as well. So, because of the symphysis pubis dysfunction, having had a previous c-section, and the gestational diabetes, I had a scheduled c-section on December 19th to welcome my second daughter.

It’s feasible I could have given birth vaginally and no one told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t. I just honestly thought I would end up getting one anyhow. By choosing, I was able to meet my doctor ahead of time and ask questions, request an all-female surgical team, and have a birth plan that would be followed. I took my two-year-old to her grandma’s house, and went to go have a baby.

They put me in a gown and took me to the recovery room. I got an IV and they gave me fluids. I had an all-female surgical team and had interviewed my doctor ahead of time and I really liked her. It took another five or six tries to do the spinal block but once it was in, wow! Medicine is pretty amazing. My nurse Jackie (Nurse Jackie!!) was awesome. My husband Joe came in and brought the flip cam. They kept offering to take the pictures for us, but they didn’t know we were doing video! Some cutting, some jiggling, and a very vernixy, very angry little girl was pulled from me and vigorously rubbed for a bit before being placed on me.

After some cuddles they needed to fix me up. As I lay there (Joe went to the nursery with the baby) the nurses asked me what I was saving the placenta for. When I told them I would be consuming it, they didn’t even pretend to politely act like that was cool — they were genuinely interested in it and asked lots of questions. After a long time of stitching me up I got wheeled back into recovery and eagerly awaited my baby. It seemed like a long time, but it might have been 20 minutes, as I sat there eating ice chips before Joe brought her to me. She was alert, calm, and went right to the breast.

It was an awesome experience. I was never scared, I was never suffering, I was never angry with myself for not being able to push out my baby. Choosing surgery was absolutely a wonderful way for me to heal my emotional wounds from my last unwanted c-section, which left me feeling like a failure — I was second-guessing myself for months afterwards. I’m so glad I did it this time. My baby and I had no ill effects. We went home after 48 hours. She has been healthy as a healthy baby could be, and I healed marvelously as well. I couldn’t be more gung-ho about natural birth and parenting, but this was 100% the best route for me. I’m so much happier and well-adjusted this time because I had the choice.

Comments on All about my wonderful scheduled cesarean section

  1. Good for you! Making the best choice for your body is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

    And yay for curious doctors! Never miss a chance to learn!

      • Same here; my Lyra was born 6-11-2010!

        How do you guys pronounce it? We say LEER-uh, but most people think it’s LIE-rah ๐Ÿ™‚

        • If I’m not mistaken, LIE-rah is pronounced like the character from The Golden Compass. I know two Lyras — your daughter, and the daughter of a friend who pronounces it the Golden Compass way. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • I think you’re right, though I’ve never seen the movie or read the book, either! More than one person has commented on it so it’s probably true ๐Ÿ™‚

          • We’ve got a Sophia Lyra Rae. It’s always been one of my all-time favourite names. We pronounce it Lie-rah too ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congrats! But i only have one question: why an all-female team? I mean, by limiting your options to women you automatically dismissed any other male surgeons that might have been better than women. Please don’t take this the wrong way, i’m only curious.

    • I have spiritual beliefs that include that my husband be the only male who sees me nude, unless there were an emergency. I fully acknowledge this is a sexist veiwpoint on my part, but I feel my surgeon was extremely qualified. I did have my spinal block done by a male however, after the female nurse was unable to get the needle in.

  3. I also had symphysis pubis disorder. I am still dealing with the pain from it, 6 months post partum. I was able to have a vaginal birth, but with an epidural, although my pelvis was not the worst of the pain, actually. Thanks for writing about your experience!

  4. Thank you! I love a good natural birth story as much as the next person but as a diabetic its a long shot at best, since an induction is often necessary. It was with my son. After 5 days of awful pain I had an emergency c. Not the best experience ever. With this one, well for starters they will be born too close together for a vbac and I am still a diabetic :). So this time it isint really an option. I would have loved to do them both naturally but in my case its not going to happen so thank you for sharing a positive c section experience. I think my experience of having a c section is just as valid and can be a positive experience.

    • I’m a diabetic who had to have an induction. My C-section was at the end of an unsuccessful induction… and I’m at peace with it because it was what was right for my baby girl.

      The only thing I regret was not having the lower tech option of a midwife- mostly because at my age and with diabeties, I knew I would never trust a midwife who agreed to work with me.

  5. I’m really glad your experience worked out so well for you. I’m a nursing student and I plan to work in OB in the future, in fact I’m in my OB clinical right now and observed three sections yesterday.

    I just wanted to point out one thing, I wouldn’t call your C-section an elective procedure, but rather a scheduled one. Generally when people talk about elective C-sections they are referring to those done for no medical reason, which are being done less often now because of increased risk of complications. You had three different medical reasons for having a c-section, so while you could have attempted a vaginal birth you were at a much higher likelihood of ending up having a c-section anyhow.

    I’m probably just being too picky about terminology. I’m really glad your birth experience was positive! There’s too much guilt in baby making these days.

    • I agree. I’m not currently pregnant but after my last caesarian my doctor did suggest that I have a scheduled c-section with my next baby. So while I agree that I am making the decision, if my doctor advises me to schedule a Caesarian then it’s not an elective procedure.

      • I’ll change the post title to reflect this. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not 100% sure, but I imagine Hunny chose “elective” to emphasize that this was a choice she made on her own.

        • Thanks for changing this! I thought I was going to be reading about someone who chose to have a c-section for no medical reason. (Which I think needs to be embraced as well–our bodies, our choice as long as we know the risk/benefits).

          Hunny’s story was also amazing and it’s awesome she shared it.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story, it makes me feel better about my decision to not try for a VBAC and schedule a c-section in July instead.

  7. thanks for writing this, it comes at a perfect time! for me it gets more and more likely to ghave a second another c-section because iยดm having identical twins (*yay*) with just one placenta. and i really wanted a birth-canter birth this time, since the first one didnยดt work out.
    so, reading your awesome approach to it helps me on my way to peace with another cesarean birth.

    and: such a cute baby!

  8. I too had a seperated pelvis with my son; it was a tough situation, i didnt understand the pain i was feeling wasn’t normal and my doct. didn’t look further into my complaints but no one knew until after i had my son and i couldn’t walk, it took 6 weekes to be able to walk on my own and months for the pain to go away. I guess my point is i relate and to ask if having a c-section actually reduced recovery time as i had a vaginal birth with my son and the pain was unbearable do to my pelvis {i couldn’t even turn on my side}

    • It was exactly stuff like this that made the choice for surgical birth for me. I hope you are healing

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this story. There are not enough scheduled caesarean stories on offbeat or the internet in general. I was starting to doubt whether people even knew what I was going through (in regards to choosing). The dirty looks I was getting from all sorts of people has prompted me to stop telling anyone my choice of delivery. Thanks again.

      • A stranger once appologized to my baby for not having been born vaginally. It happens.

    • I made the choice to have a c-section on my own; there were no medical reasons involved – it was really tough for me to tell folks who wanted to know as well. Even among friends and family, telling people that you’re choosing to have a c-section tends to put them off. I feel you!

  10. I had symphysis pubis dysfunction with my second child as well, and also ended up with a C-section. I swear, that pelvic pain was worse than the actual labour! I tried labouring after my water broke, but the contractions never got going and after 22 hours I decided I’d had enough. I was in too much pain with my pelvis to walk around enough to help things along or attempt any birth positions (like you mentioned, anything with legs spread was nauseatingly painful) and even a ton of pitocin didn’t get the ball rolling. I opted for the C-section and it was definitely the right choice for me. My daughter was in no distress and was born perfect, healthy and just the way she was meant to be born. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  11. Even though it is commonly recommended, one of the worst things you can do when attempting to have a vaginal birth with pelvic separation is to get an epidural. When you can’t receive the very real warning signs that your body is giving you (the increase in pain) you WILL do serious damage. I got through the entire labor and well into pushing without problems DUE to the fact that I could listen to my body and adjust as needed. Unfortunately, at the point that I was pushing a NEW nurse walked in and decided that the baby wasn’t descending fast enough because I wasn’t pulling back on my legs far enough. Despite being told by myself, my husband AND the doctor not to TOUCH me, she grabbed one thigh as I pushed and wrenched it back BEHIND me, tearing the cartilage in all three pubic joints. My daughter was born after 5 minutes of pushing. “Slow descent” was pretty much the last thing we needed to worry about. eight years have passed and I’ve been seriously limited in my mobility ever since. It’s hard to find anyone who understands the pain and the risks. I had a vaginal birth because it was extremely important to me to NOT have a c-section. But I totally understand not wanting to risk the pelvic damage and opting for a surgical birth!

    I’m so very glad you had such a wonderful experience! More c-sections should be an empowering and affirming the way yours was. It is always wonderful to hear about a HEALING birth, no matter what form it takes.

    And thank-you for managing to avoid the “Mommy Wars” pitfalls of being overly defensive, or denigrating other options/choices.

    Congrats on your beautiful family.

  12. Hey Hunny,

    You look at your birth story as one that made you happy, not miserable and that’s what I like to hear.

    I’m just now reading a book called ‘Choosing Cesarean – A Natural Birth Plan’.

    The title struck me as interesting because most will argue that a Cesarean is not natural. I think there are benefits and drawbacks to both birthing options.

    But everyone is different and we need to do what is right for our own health and the health of our babies while also understanding the risks in whatever option you choose, vaginal or Cesarean.

    Your decision is a very personal one.

    Thanks for your great story ๐Ÿ™‚
    Elizabeth

  13. I LOVE hearing beautiful c-section births. I was born via emergency c-section, and my brother was planned, and one of my all time favorite births to attend as a doula was a c-section. Congrats to you on your beautiful birth!

  14. I am so happy to have read your story. Thank you for sharing it with us. There are not enough like this (anywhere) from this perspective.

  15. What a great story Hunny! Ive just found out myself that I will be having a scheduled c section in a couple of weeks, due to my stubborn baby remaining breech, despite my best efforts. Im now trying to research c sections and making it a positive experience ( I was really hoping for a natural birth) What did you do to recover so quickly is what I would like to know?

    • I think having a positive outlook and attitude about surgery was the best instrument in my recovery, honestly. That and consuming my placenta.

      • Great, thanks for the response! I’m working hard now on changing my frame of mind about the whole thing.

        • I want to preface this by saying that I am in no way trying to speak ill of the choice to have a cesarean birth. I simply wanted to put this out there since you said you were really hoping for an unmedicated birth. Have you looked into vaginal breech birth at all? Many people don’t know that it’s available as an option, but breech does not have to equal an automatic cesarean.

          • Jen, I already had my baby ๐Ÿ™‚ It turned out that I had a subseptate uterus, or heart shaped and my baby’s head was literally stuck under my ribs. They had to yank her out, so there was no way she was coming out vaginally. Unfortunately this could also happen with my future babies too. The C section was no way near as bad as I was expecting anyway, it was a great experience ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I had SPD with my last pregnancy, though it prompted me to go in a very different direction as far as birth. I feel for you. Or with you. I kept trying to convince myself it was normal pregnancy aches and pains all the way up to the point where I lost the ability to walk. The pelvic pain was worse than labor. No contest. Makes me shudder just to remember and gives me some major anxiety towards the idea of carrying another pregnancy, even though I really want more children.

  17. I really appreciate this post, because I had an emergency c-section 3 months ago. I was having a water birth and had some complications at the very end.( my daughter was breech and also I got preeclampsia in the last month. My daughter Laylah eventually turned but she turned again during labor and was O.P.(head down still but, face up)). Anyway, I have just recently started to accept that it was all ok and cosmic in every moment,even during the surgery. I have also been thinking about future children and what I could or would do during the labor. Long story short, I was thinking maybe i’d try again for a natrual water birth, but if it started to look complicated again towards the end that I would be ok with having another c-section. I have realized that its so special experiencing my daughters life and the labor was just one memory stacked against many amazing memories of her childhood. This post affirmed me. THANKS

    • Im really happy about all the positive responses I have gotten from this post. Im glad it has helped so many women.

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