So, here it goes. The Cesarean Section story with pictures. Do not click on "Continue Reading" if you are squeamish (although I think the pictures are absolutely amazing), about to have a C Section yourself, or have no interest any hearing any more. For the rest of you, brace yourself for a bit of over sharing.
(The brains in our relationship, Maritza (she of Fertilicare fame) watermarked the pics for me. The pics aren't as clear on this lower resolution, but I think it's better this way - rather with the watermark than without)
This was my third C Section, and by far the worst. Which is really strange as this one was theoretically 'perfect' in every way. A planned C Section, as opposed to the first two which were emergency sections. A (just about) full term baby, as opposed to the first one. A good chance at a live baby; very different to the first one. No direct trip from the womb to the NICU, as it was with Ben and with Adam. A singleton, not twins! A wonderful, caring, patient anesthetist. A fantastic, exceptionally competent gynae who I greatly admire and whose competence and vigilance probably saved my mother's life. A great hospital, my husband by my side.... All the ingredients for a perfect C section, and yet it was dreadful. Not physically, but mentally.
Up until the point where they wheeled me into theater, I was fine. Or at least, I thought I was fine, but as they wheeled me in, I suddenly got extremely anxious. What if they messed this up. What if the needle went in skew and I was paralyzed. What if I died? And these were the thoughts of someone who isn't normally afraid of surgery. For some or other reason, I suddenly went into a complete panic. I was terrified. I literally gritted my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut through out the whole process. I kept repeating over and over "I will never, ever do this again". It was only when they had taken him out and brought him to me that I relaxed a bit.
I don't know what happened. My first C section was fine. I was on a high even though I knew the situation was far from ideal. The second C section wasn't as great, but still ok. (I had gone into labour with A & K and by the time they did the spinal, I was shaking badly and contracting, so it wasn't exactly 'pleasant'). This time it should have been ok as all the necessary 'things' were in place, but I was just plain terrified.
And there is the recovery. It has hit me a lot harder this time. Firstly, whatever they put in that pain pump (pethidine? morphine?) is REVOLTING. Every time I got a blast of it, my eyes would roll back and I would just about pass out. And I was in a lot of pain for a lot longer than before. But as my mother so kindly pointed out, I just had a major operation, and I am "not 16 years old anymore" (thanks mom!)
But of course all of that, and more was worth Max's safe arrival. It was just a lot harder for me this time than I expected, and I now realize what people mean when they say 'a C section is major surgery and not to be taken lightly'. I somehow escaped that fact the first two times, but not this time. This time it kicked my aged ass. So much so that through out the operation I kept thinking "pushing a baby out the vagina has got to be easier than this". Of course now that I have recovered, I am pretty glad my vagina has remained 'for recreational use only'.
(Apparently the more sections you have, the tougher the recovery as there is more scar tissue. And having your tubes tied also adds to the length of the recovery process.)
PS By the time they started the C section, I was apparently 1cm dilated and the uterus had started pulling at the scar. So Max was coming, ready or not.
Now on to the reason why you clicked on 'continue reading' - check out these absolutely amazing pics taken by my paed, who is one of the coolest guys I know. How mind blowing is that pic of the doc taking Max out my belly!
(I was so so so relieved it was over and that he was fine. It was a big moment.)
Five days later, doing what I do best - working on my laptop. Not letting a simple thing like a new baby or surgery slow me down ;-)
I am very, very glad that it is all over, but mostly I am incredibly grateful that I am mother to three amazing living children. I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.