“Please!” I begged, “Please let me have a c-section!” Ugly crying and starving, I was at hour 53 of labor with little progress. I had been induced, and I was T-I-R-E-D. After some convincing and a final check of my cervix, my doctor finally gave the okay to end my misery. She scheduled my unexpected c-section for 2 hours later. I was so grateful, but now the reality of this drama had come to a head. I was about to have my baby, and I would deliver him in a way I didn’t know anything about.
I knew little about having babies since this was my first baby. But I didn’t see myself needing an unexpected c-section and had just focused on natural birthing tips and tricks. With a short time to wrap my head around my new C-section birth plan, I needed to get used to this idea quickly.
1. Call a friend!
I called a friend I knew who also had an unexpected C-section, and she was an awesome resource. She told me exactly what to expect when having a C-section, such as that it would be cold in the operating room and that I might feel sick with the medication. She told me to try my best to stay calm, tips on C-section recovery and essential items to have for recovery after my C-section. I could ask her questions and get honest responses, not medical ones.
2. Talk with the Nurse!
Ensuring I understood the process of this surgery was helpful for my analytical brain. My nurse answered my questions and was with me pre- and post-op. Having the same person with me the entire time was nice because my husband couldn’t be. She held my hand while I got my spinal and talked to me about anything other than the very intimidating instruments lying nearby.
3. Take a shower!
I had been in labor for DAYS. Multiple lubes, salves, and who-knows-what had been on my body, and I felt like a mess. So, I took a shower immediately, my mom braided my hair, and I even put on a little makeup. I felt like a new woman, ready to welcome my new baby!
4. Keep your mind busy on all of the good things!
Keeping my mind on all of the good things that were about to happen was vital. I tried not to dwell on the worst-case scenarios everyone loves to talk about. Of course, having my baby out and with us was my main goal, but finally eating again was also one of my top priorities; let’s be real.
5. Focus on hearing that little baby cry!
Once in the O.R., everything goes super fast. There isn’t much time to sit around and overthink anything. They are on a schedule, and the time to get that baby out is limited. I just focused on following the directions of whoever was talking to me at the time. I also kept talking to the anesthesiologist in case I started to feel sick. When my husband came in, my nerves subsided, and we could enjoy the C-section birth experience as best as we could.
If having an unexpected c-section is or was not in your birth plan, but you are also faced with this scenario, you can do it! Switching gears mentally about how you will give birth is overwhelming, but at the end of the day, we all want the baby here safely and for mom to stay safe. So, settle in and enjoy the ride; this is just the beginning!