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.