Thursday, December 3, 2009

V vs. C

I was hanging out on Twitter, 'cause that's where all the GOOD stalking a good deal of my brainstorming happens, and our conversation turned towards deliveries. If you didn't know, the Crayon Wrangler is due to pop here very soon. (If you haven't checked out her blog, do. But, do yourself a favor. Get up now, go pee, THEN go to her blog. I promise, your bladder, and probably your couch/chair/bed will thank you.)
Kate from Kate's World, who is Canadian, and also a flipping riot (the conversation also covered playground creepasauruses and hospital-wandering stranger-danger husbands.Seriously.) was asking about post-delivery hospital stays in the US. Which led to the differences between the "V" birth and the "C" birth.
Now, let me just say, I've done both. And if I'd have had a Cesarean first, I'm not sure I'd have 3 kids. BUT- I also had the C-Section while trying to care for my boys, who were 30 months and 13 months old at the time. I remember my Ob-Gyn explaining to me that I couldn't lift. I laughed at her. I also wasn't supposed to drive for two weeks. However, when we ran out diapers and my entire support system was at work? I did that Wal-Mart run. (It had been almost a week. It was ok.) Finally, I don't take pain medications stronger than OTC stuff. I don't like them. I don't like how I feel when I take pain medications. And there's to much family history out there in regards to addictions. Thank you, but I'll pass. (Except on my coffee. I'll keep that addiction, thank you very much!)
Now, childbirth is supposed to be this marvelous experience, and honestly, I had great deliveries with my boys. Except the part where they were starving me to death with E. But they made up for it with not one but TWO dinner trays once I actually delivered. With J, it was all very relaxed. (I will mention that I had epidurals with all of my deliveries - I should have passed on it with E, and wasn't going to have one with M until there was the concern for the C-section. It was that or general anesthesia, and I wasn't interested in going under. Epidurals will greatly improve many labors, in my own personal experience.)
Anyway, it made me wonder about how many of us have had both kinds of delivery. For example, MannLand's Keely had only C's, and you could have knocked me over when she said she loved hers!
So, I wanna know! What kind(s) of deliveries were yours, and talk honest at me - ignoring the wonder and awe of that little life you created, how was the process and recovery?
For example, when I had J, they stripped my membranes on Friday night, my contractions got to under 5 minutes apart and we headed to the hospital around 7:00am Saturday. They broke my water about 11:30, at which point I was fairly certain my body was being ripped in half. By about noon, Dr. God showed up and plugged in the magic medicine, I watched basketball until 3:30, when they said "Ok, let's push" (and I laughed, 'cause I for real couldn't feel anything from just below my breasts. Epidural worked really, really well.) At 4:09, I had a J!
Post delivery was odd at first, as my epidural was NOT wearing off. Seriously, the next day they had to catheterize me to drain my bladder so my uterus could continue to contract. Couldn't feel my feet (or my really full bladder!). Eventually, by late in the day Sunday, I was great. I did take a couple of Tylenol on Monday, but that was it.
E was also pretty smooth- hospital around lunchtime on a Sunday, lots of walking and football watching, epidural around midnight, and that was immediately followed by pushing. He showed up at 1:41 am (Along with those dinner trays- I had been meeting my mom for lunch when I freaked her out with 4 contractions in about 8 minutes. They wouldn't let me eat once I got to the hospital. Meanies.) No epidural recovery delays with him, and I ended up taking the Tylenol twice.
And then. There was M. It was Friday, and I was leaking fluid. Just a little bit, and for all I knew, I was peeing on myself. (It WAS kid # 3! It happens!) But, it happened 3 different times when I went from sitting to standing, so I went to the Doctor's office. At about 10am, I was seen by the Dr. who had seen me on that Monday. He asked me if I hurt, and I laughed and said no. He just looked at me, and said "Well, you should! You're at 5cm! You are to go to the hospital now!" Huh. Well, alright then! I didn't go straight to the hospital, though. I went to McDonald's. I called everyone from the drive-through, and have promised all of the women in my life that if they are hungry while laboring, I am the one to call. Those nurses want you to push with no nourishment in your body.
As we approached 7-8 cm's, M's heartrate began to drop with each contraction. As the contractions would end, her heartrate would jump back up. It was at that point that the Dr. mentioned the possibility of a C-section, and told me while she hoped it would not be necessary, if they did have to do a C, and I hadn't had an epidural, I would end up under general anesthesia, so we did the epidural. As we approached 9.5 cm's, I was pushing, but that heartrate dropped again, and didn't come back up. At 4:45, I was pushing. At 5:02 I was being opened on a table. At 5:14, my baby girl was lifted from my belly and taken off to the NICU, and I had morphine injected through my epidural cath into my spine. Woo-wee! I itched. I froze. I thought I was hallucinating. (Or dead. That was my actual statement at the time, in fact.) I didn't see my newborn. When, more than two hours later, I mentioned that fact to the nurse taking me to my postpartum room, she quickly ran off, grabbed a Polaroid camera and brought me pictures from the NICU. It was a few more hours before I got to hold my little girl, who was just fine. (She was, and to this day still is, just the drama mama about it all.)
But oh, the pain and discomfort. I couldn't sit. I couldn't lay flat. I couldn't poop. I couldn't fart. I couldn't hold my boys. And while SOMEONE would answer my page begging for Tylenol, my actual nurse was apparently busy, and no one else was authorized to give me any Freaking TYLENOL. (I literally threatened to walk out of the hospital that night. I warned them I might kill people on the way. Tylenol came fairly quickly then.) Oh, and the Lord Bless You and Keep You if you have to sneeze or cough! The agony!
After all that, though, I more or less felt like myself within a week. I never did take anything stronger than the Tylenol, although my Doc wouldn't release me without at least handing me a written prescription for stronger stuff. I had a really fabulous giant Ace bandage that they swaddled me in, and I swear to this day it's the only thing that kept me from having my insides become outsides.
Ok, there's my stories! Having done both, my money is and always will be on vaginal delivery. I'm a pretty big fan of the epidural, but really had wanted to have M without it. (Funny how a scalpel will change that in a hurry!)
Things like our birth stories are probably a bit long for comments. So, if you've posted your birth stories before, link to 'em for me! If you haven't, there's a good topic for a day you are struggling with what to write about, then link to it! And, if you just want to quickly comment on it, then, by all means, just comment!


  1. Great post Megan!! I LOVE the shout out..

  2. Thanks for the recognition! I will post my stuff tonight and link you.
    It seems appropriate to write about it since I am having impending pushing!

  3. My first was a normal labor...23 hours of labor...then 2 hours of pushing...then c-section. My second was a c-section. Due to my beat down, dog tired state the first time, I ended up falling asleep while they took Addyson out. With Colton, it was all planned, so I was very awake, and very aware of what was happening. Neither recovery was harder than the other. Neither was too terrible. I didn't enjoy the process of the section the second time around. I couldn't stand the not being able to feel my body, yet being able to feel the tugging from like INSIDE my chest. Just wierd.

  4. Just popped in tonight to say hi!
    I loved reading your story!!

  5. Something I have yet to write about. I may go ahead and do that today or tomorrow and make sure I link up to you. I love that the nurse brought you a Polaroid of M since you hadn't seen her yet... so sweet! Question then being: Do you still have that Polaroid?

  6. I didn't do meds for either of my children. I was determined! Wondered later if I should have just went for it but oh well, it's all said and done. My first was 9 lbs 2 oz. Big boy! Tore me too. I took meds after that! My second came fast so I had no choice for medicine even if I wanted it. She was 8 lbs 15 oz so only slightly smaller weight wise but had a larger head circumference and chest circumference. I've never had a C, but really don't think I want one either.

  7. Gavin was 13 weeks early....and I wasn't allowed an epidural. I labored for 12 hours with back labor and no drugs, but he was so tiny that once I dilated to 6, I pushed twice and he was out. Sam was 7 weeks early, I was able to have an epidural (labor was wonderful!) but he was 5 1/2 pounds and I didn't know what I was in for when it came to pushing! I pushed for an hour, there was a lot of collateral damage and walking/sitting/driving was not fun for several weeks. I'd say it took four months to feel "normal". But I would take a long recovery over a 27 week preemie any day!