On the first Saturday of November, I was scheduled to give birth to my third child, my first girl via scheduled c-section. I was slightly nervous about it, but I had done this twice…so I thought I had it in the bag. Things went a bit differently than I thought but the end result was this amazing baby girl that I grew a brand new heart for.
I decided to have my girl at NYU Langone in NYC. I had both boys there and I really liked the hospital. Thankfully, seven years later, my OB was still in practice so I was able to be in a familiar setting with my very amazing OB. We arrived bright and early Saturday morning 7am, and I was checked in immediately.
One of the first parts was putting in the IV. I have TERRIBLE veins and unfortunately I couldn’t utilize my handy trick of drinking a ton of water to make my veins pop up because of the pending surgery. As a result I got poked with the largest needle I’ve ever seen 3 separate times, with actual tears rolling down my face. That was fortunately the most pain I would feel for a while.
Just a few minutes after that I was ready for surgery. Less than an hour after I arrived. Everything was moving so so fast. They put hubby in scrubs and had him wait outside while I got my epidural. The epidural this time around was completely different…this time I actually felt every drop of liquid that rolled down my spine. It was super weird and uncomfortable. The fluid made it’s way down my right side especially, and I’m still feeling the effects of it, two weeks later!
Finally hubby came in. When I saw him I realized how truly nervous I was in that moment. I started to cry and he asked me if I was in any pain and I told him honestly that I was scared. Yes, I had done this twice before but laying on the metal in the freezing cold operating room is enough to rattle anyone. I cried silent tears as he forced me to talk about any and everything that didn’t have to do with what was actually happening behind the plastic barrier.
In under 10 minutes, I felt a pressure release and an immediate void and seconds later, we heard her cry. They told us how beautiful she was. We cried again, this time of pure joy. They brought her over and she looked exactly like my eldest child. I had my daughter!
I didn’t shake as much as I anticipated, the postpartum trembles went away much faster than my last birth and I was so happy because I was traumatized by how long and how violently I was shaking. They brought her into the recovery room with me where she latched immediately and aggressively. This had never happened with the boys so I was excited to finally experience this thing called breastfeeding and all of the magic behind it. (But I’ll save that for another post)
Right after the surgery they let me know that I was passing too much blood which is a common repeat c-section symptom. They started weighing everything that came out of me, while pushing insanely hard on my stomach. I passed some large blood clots so they let me know that I’d be on a couple of blood thinners that required injection shots to the legs every four hours. Blech.
They made me keep the epidural in until the 3rd day, and once that left, that is when the real pain began. They offered me the hard stuff (Oxycontin) but I had no interest, my OB told me about a recent study he read that proves the opioids can actually travel to breast milk and sedate the newborn. Now I had no plans to touch the hard stuff, but this convinced me for sure. 2 weeks later the pain is still there, but getting a bit better by the day (with ibuprofen).
Also? It’s REALLY hard taking care of a newborn after just having major surgery. Like SO hard. Yes I had the help of the nursery but the early days and hours are crucial for mother/child bonding. It’s tough to transfer them to the bassinet, tough to cluster feed and get up every couple of hours. I definitely felt more normal when I got home.
I was nervous about being cut in the same place for the third time in a row. It was a better experience than my first 2 but I don’t think I could do it again. If I have to I will, but man, it will be a LOT to put my body through again. I am pretty sure my limit is 3 kids, but I’m never saying never after falling in love with this girl so quickly!!