Childbirth: Expect the Unexpected
Blog Submitted by Jyoti
Photo by Carlo Navarro on Unsplash
I was pregnant with my first child. I assumed everything would go well because I had no complications during my pregnancy. My plan was to have a natural birth. During my birthing class, I focused all my attention on natural birthing tips and tricks. Little did I know; my real birth had a surprise waiting for me!
On my due date, everything was going normal and well. I started to feel contractions by 5 pm that evening. I visited my doctor and was admitted to the hospital. By 7 pm, a routine doctor came to visit me and checked my vitals and said everything is under control. I relaxed but my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. She said you can call any relative but the delivery will happen the next day. My gynae entered my ward the next moment to check. She checked the monitor and to my surprise suddenly, she broke my water! It was so sudden that I felt like all hell broke on me. She checked the monitor again and felt that the baby heart rate was dropping. She immediately told us to go for the c- section. I was terrified and baffled for a few minutes. But I calmed myself down for the safety of my baby. My mind was loaded with so many negative thoughts as they wheeled me to the Operation theatre (OR). Once you are in the OR, everything goes super-fast. They gave me anesthesia on my spinal cord. I was praying all the time and hoping for the best. I didn’t feel any sensation but was wide awake and alert throughout the surgery. I just focused on listening to that little baby cry!
Finally, it happened. I was kept in the recovery room for about one hour immediately after the delivery and then shifted to another room. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given my baby to hold in my arms, see or feed her immediately. Her crib was next to my bed and the nurses fed her formula milk without my consent. I was furious and wanted to yell but was under so many anesthesias that I cried silently instead.
On the second day, the nurses asked me to walk. I couldn’t sit or stand. That’s when I realized that this recovery was going to be pretty difficult. I felt like my body had failed me.
My husband and my mom were my support system. They took so much care of me and my baby for the next few days to stop me from lifting, putting down, or bending over. I know I am fortunate and grateful that my child was born healthy, but having a C-section was not my plan. I stayed in guilt and remorse for so many months.
The birth of my daughter taught me some lessons, some of them are:
Educate yourself: You should be aware of the circumstances that can lead to a C-section. In my case, I was unprepared, lost and clueless. Talk to your doctor to about what will happen in the delivery room to feel prepared though it is not easy to anticipate. Remember you are not alone. There are others going through unexpected deliveries too.
Focus on the bonding time: it’s ok to feel sad about missing the very first moments of birth with your child. I wanted to hold and breastfeed my darling. Though the studies have proved that the first hour is very critical for babies. I know the healthcare providers in India don’t consider that. Converse with them in advance and in case it's not possible don’t beat yourself up. You will have plenty of opportunities to bond with your baby later. Even breastfeeding will take practice.
Quit pretending that you are okay: You must ask for help. Share your feelings with your close friends. Consult with your doctor if have any signs of postpartum depression (which can be like mood swings, loss of appetite or any negative thoughts)
C section is a Major surgery: Caring for your incision after a C-section is a serious task. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your baby. It will be easier to recover if you focus more on moving rather than sitting. It is very important to take more liquids in your diet. Take it easy and avoid lifting heavier things. Recovery can take 2 days to 2 months depending on your body’s ability. Don’t compare with others.
VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean birth) is quite possible: It is a myth that once a c- section is always a C-section. Listen to your body and prepare yourself for a second birth after a C-section so you able to make the right choices for yourself.
Remember a C-section does not mean you did something wrong. It is modern medical miracle doctors are able to provide, in order to ensure the best survival for you and your baby. Giving birth is about letting go of your control. Remind yourself how fortunate you are that you and your child are alive and well. Be kind to your body and have gratitude for what your body is capable of. Your birth experience is as unique as your own child is, and coming to an acceptance of the experience will bring you peace.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store
About the Author: Jyoti is a mother to a vivacious daughter. She relishes motherhood and is dedicated to nurturing her own personal development . A professional juggling between work , life and blogging, she talks about her daily journeys of parenting