Guest Post: Emergency C-Section

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your baby! 
I am Amanda and my little guy is Jonah! I am 29 (or will be by the time this is posted!) and he is 18 months. I am a licensed social worker and work part time in an outpatient mental health clinic preforming intake assessments. We have an excellent nanny who we love and she takes care of Jonah while I work. My husband works full time in the mortgage industry. 

How did your labor begin? 
I was about 37.5 weeks when I just had a weird feeling that something wasn’t right. I used our home blood pressure cuff and saw my blood pressure was a little high. I called my OB and he suggested going to triage for monitoring. Once we were there my blood pressure normalized but I was told to return if it higher. Sure enough, the next morning it was super high and I returned to start my induction!  

How did your labor progress?
I was surprised that I responded pretty well to the pitocin and meds to soften my cervix. I took my first dose of meds at 6pm and my water broke at midnight! I will never get over the feeling of water gushing out of me. From midnight to 1pm the next day I progressed to 8 cm but began to stall. 

At what point did you learn you needed to have an emergency c-section and why? 
As mentioned above, my labor stalled at 8cm and I was getting more than antsy. It had been 24 hours since checking into the hospital and i was ready to go. The OB checked and it turned out Jonah was sunny side up (this led to horrible butt labor that was not controlled with the epidural). Jonah’s heart rate was also having declines so the doctor suggested a c section. 

About how long did it take for you to go from your hospital room to the OR?
I was MORE than happy to have a c-section and once I agreed to it, the room became a circus. Doctors and nurses flew around the room and I was rolling down the hallway in less than 5 minutes. 

How long did the c-section itself take? 
I think the surgery itself was a half hour, but Jonah was out in 10 minutes. My husband went with him to the warmer and I got stitched up. I felt absolutely nothing the whole time and was chatting with the nurses and doctors. The one thing I remember is that while I was getting stitched up, the doctor told the resident “don’t forget to stitch the muscle” 🥴 One thing to know is that many women shake uncontrollably during a csection. It is not dangerous, just your body’s response to the medication and a bunch of adrenaline. 

How long did you have to stay in the hospital after your surgery?
I stayed on the labor and delivery unit that night and transferred to postpartum the next day. I needed to be able to walk on my own to go to that unit which proved to be a challenge. It took a few try’s but I eventually walked to the bathroom on my own! The one thing I did not expect from a csection was to bleed so much. I figured if I didn’t have a vaginal birth there wouldn’t be a need to bleed. Well there is! I won’t get into the technical stuff because I’m not a doctor, but you bleed as heavily after a csection as you do in a vaginal birth! 

What was your overall experience and recovery like?
I had a fabulous experience. I was not scared for even a second. I think this is because my mom has a csection for myself and my brother, so from a young age I was told I came from my moms stomach. I saw her scar throughout my life and asked questions about it. I went into the labor experience knowing a csection was possible and also being ok with that. I sometimes get sad that my son wasn’t put on my chest at birth, but then I remember that he is here, he is safe and he is healthy. I’m happy for that. 

If you have any future children, would you try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) or have a scheduled c-section?
Absolutely a scheduled csection! I’m a very anxious person and the “when will I go into labor?!” made me crazy. I would love to know that there is a definitive end date! I also was lucky to have a good experience that makes me see c-sections in a very positive light. 

Disclaimer: This blog post contains the authors researched opinions as well as actual experiences, and not one of a medical professional. Please consult to your medical professional for their official opinion on items referenced here, and defer to them in case of any conflict.

Day in the Life: 17 Months

8:00 AM: Time to wake up! I go get Theo from his crib and let him scoot around the downstairs for a while. His favorite activity right now is going into his room to sort diapers – it will keep him occupied endlessly. We went up to Daddy’s office to visit and Theo nursed for about 10 minutes.

8:45 AM: Breakfast time! A banana and yogurt pouch. I am about to buy stock in Chiquita! We eat a lot of bananas here these days.

9:15 AM: Theo & I head to speech therapy. It’s only a 5 minute drive from our house, which makes it convenient! Theo is in speech therapy for an expressive speech delay. I will share more about this very soon!

9:30 AM: Speech therapy sessions where Theo works with the therapist – mostly the two of them playing together while the therapist teaches me the best way to help him at home, in between sessions.

10:00 AM: Therapy is over. We see that the fire trucks are out at the Davidson Fire Station, so we go say hi to the trucks!

10:15 AM: drop off some packages in the UPS box, and head to Target to retrieve our pick-up order. This week if you do $100 in baby items (diapers, wipes, snacks, etc.) you get a $20 gift card to use at a later time! Target pickup is the best ever. It was so busy today though! We had to wait a little while.

10:45 AM: head to the car wash and McDonald’s drive thru because we are parents of the year and let our child eat Happy Meal’s (he loves them and I don’t have to prepare any food – it’s a win-win).

11:15 AM: lunchtime!

11:40 AM: we go upstairs to play a little bit. I never know with him exactly when he will be ready for his nap (it’s almost always between noon and 12:30 PM), so I wanted to do a little activity with him. We practiced opening and closing Easter eggs, and I put mini M&M’s inside as a little incentive. He loved it, but lost steam pretty quickly. I think Theo is addicted to mini M&M’s though (again, parents of the year LOL). Also, big news: Theo took ONE step today before he fell down. We cheered him on like he won the lottery.

12:00 PM: Naptime, Naptime! (sung in the tune of “Backpack, Backpack” from Dora the Explorer)

2:15 PM: Theo wakes up, but I leave him in his crib until 3 so he can have some additional quiet time. I took a quick 15 minute nap, because I forgot to have coffee this morning and my head was killing me.

3:00 PM: Theo is up and we go upstairs for playtime and a snack. After snack, we do some play pretend with the baby doll, flash cards, and play ball.

3:30 PM: Theo does independent play while I work on some blog posts.

4:30 PM: Theo goes over to the baby gate and says “tttt, tttt” which means “eat” so I give him another snack to hold him over until dinnertime. Sandy stole most of his granola bar, so I had to go get him a second one. He continues independent play while he watches Songs for Littles.

5:45 PM: Dinnertime! Theo still isn’t really eating meat, so he gets KidFresh macaroni & cheese and fruit.

6 PM: Bathtime

6:15 PM: Between dinner/bath and bedtime, I have started the traditon of letting Theo watch one or two Dora episodes in our bed, before he goes to bed. I think it’s a nice way for him to end the day! Also, once he is on our bed, he usually stays put. He will scoot around the bed but it’s one time when he isn’t all over the place. Sometimes he nurses in the afternoon/evening, sometimes he doesn’t! It just depends on the day. I took a shower and put on a face mask that scared the living daylights out of him. Poor kid! He recovered though.

7 PM: Bedtime!!

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Hospital Bag – Scheduled C-Section

A good friend of mine who had a scheduled c-section gave me this list of what she recommends to pack in your hospital bag!! I wrote a post a little while back about what I packed for a scheduled induction, but I wanted a perspective from someone who had a scheduled c-section as well!! There is definitely some crossover, so please be sure to check out both posts.

  • The Stars Above Target nightgowns: anything comfortable that is not on your incision!
  • Long phone charger
  • Boppy Nursing pillow: It was great to just set the baby down too even when not nursing or visitors wanted to hold her (pre-covid)
  • Colace stool softener: the first poop IYKYK (editor’s note: you definitely want to have this at home. They may not let you take your own meds at the hospital. My nurses administered my Colace while I was admitted).
  • Travel size shampoo and conditioner: most C sections you stay at the hospital for at least 48-72 hours so it was nice to have some of my stuff
  • Belly binder
  • A nursing and pumping bra: I had every plan to breastfeed, but due to latch issues (a tongue tie), so we moved directly to exclusively pumping on day 2. I didn’t know pumping bras were a thing so I just had to hold the pump to my boobs for 30 mins at a time. I’m LOLing thinking about this sight 
  • Extra pillow and blanket for Mom & for Dad
  • Cute outfit for baby: we actually did the newborn pictures in the hospital and I love them! We also brought a pretty blanket for her, so just anything you may possibly want to have pictures of!
  • Announcement board or something personalized for photos!
  • Care package for the nurses: I 10/10 recommend this. They are so sweet and so helpful. My husband brought it up when we were in our recovery room and they loved it.
  • Highhhhhhh waisted Panties: Once you’re out of the diaper. Unknown to me, even when you don’t deliver vaginally you still bleed.

What were your hospital must-haves when you had a baby? What did you bring that you absolutely didn’t touch?

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