Whether a woman wants to have a natural birth or a C-section is a personal decision; however, it's a decision that isn't always up to the mama. Sometimes, emergencies ensue or the baby has other plans for their grand entrance. Nevertheless, I'm sure most moms don't care how their baby is born, just as long as they're born safely.
If a woman was planning on a natural birth and her doctor tells her at the last minute that a C-section seems to be the only course of action, there are a million things that go through her head. Not only was she not planning on a C-section birth, but this changes everything in terms of healing time, postpartum activities, and life outside of the hospital. After months of prepping and preparing, it can seem like all that was for nothing.
From not having the proper necessities in one's hospital bag to being numb from the neck down, these 20 women were thrown for a loop when their doctors told them they needed to have a C-section in order to deliver a healthy baby. Some have experienced C-section births before and are giving helpful advice, while others are going through this experience blindly, asking for help in all areas.
20 Emergency C-Section With No Meds
Some women had a C-section with their first children but did it naturally with their second, or vice versa. One mom explained how her first C-section was an emergency situation, but her second was planned — will it be easier since she's already been through it?
"I had an emergency C-section after 26 hours of natural labor (baby's heart rate was decreasing, which led to the [doctor's] decision). It was a bad experience (probably due to the fact that I had not mentally planned for it)," she told Reddit. For her second baby, however, her doctor is looking at a planned C-section for her baby and she's worried about a possible infection in her original C-section scar.
19 Planning For A C-Section May Calm The Nerves
Would it make a difference if the C-section was planned or unplanned? For this mama, she had both experiences. As told on Reddit, "My first was an emergency C-section and my second was planned. They were polar opposite experiences," she began. "I had time to mentally prepare for my planned versus being rushed into it. Also, it felt so relaxed to the point that my doctor was joking around with me during the procedure. The whole procedure was so calm in comparison."
Perhaps having a planned C-section could actually be a more positive experience than a mama originally thought? After all, she'll have time to do her research and plan accordingly!
18 Worrying About The Anesthesia
You gotta love forums where moms can come together and give advice and feedback. One mom did her homework thoroughly when she was told she would need a C-section. As told on Reddit, "I'm still undecided as to what type of anesthesia I would eventually end up requesting for my elective C-section but I still have a few questions." To be honest, what kind of anesthesia I was given during my C-section would be the last thing on my mind, but this mama is thorough! It's smart to know what you'll feel (or don't feel) during the labor and how long her body will be number during and after the baby is delivered!
17 Is A C-Section Anticlimactic?
We've all seen the movies and TV shows; a woman's water breaks and she's immediately rushed to the hospital where she almost goes into labor in the car — will she make it to the hospital!? In reality, though, life isn't always as dramatic. One mom explained that she was told she needed a C-section and was surprised by how "chill" it was. As told on Reddit, "I thought it was super chill. Go in, sit around while they poke you a bit, walk down the hall to get a spinal, and lay down. Everyone comes in, cuts you up a bit, hands you a baby, and you and your support person chill with the baby while they close you back up. Almost boring."
(Side note: They don't really show too many mamas have C-sections on TV either; is that because they're not as *entertaining* as a natural birth?)
16 I Wouldn't Suggest It
"I was having my third baby and she was measuring huge, like 98th percentile big. I was also diagnosed with polyhydramnios at 34 weeks, which means I had extra fluid, so that made me a high-risk pregnancy," on mom told Reddit. So when she was scheduled for a C-section, she knew it was for the safety of her child — but that didn't make it any less weird. "It was weird going into the hospital with no contractions, no water breaking, no labor symptoms. Lying down on the operating table awake is pretty surreal," she said. Although the delivery of her nine-pound baby went as planned, the healing process afterward was something she never wants to go through again!
15 Planning For A Natural Birth But The Opposite Happens
I'm definitely not the "planning" type, but when it comes to childbirth, I would like to know what to expect in terms of natural C-section. "When I found out I needed to have a C-section with my first baby, my daughter, I was surprised. We discovered I actually have a heart-shaped uterus, meaning it's basically upside down, which is why she was breached," she told Shape. She only had a few days to accept the decision and was upset with the outcome considering her mother gave birth naturally and saw C-sections as "taking the easy way out."
As many women with children know though, there is no easy way out with childbirth.
14 A Lot Can Happen In Five Minutes
When a woman is told she needs to mentally prepare for a C-section, most don't know what to expect. Heck, most women don't even know what to expect when it comes to a natural childbirth. They're just prepared to feel earthshattering pain! But with a C-section, what is it that they will feel? "Doctors had to induce me to break my water with my first baby, and after hours of strong contractions and laboring, my doctors called an emergency C-section because my son's heartbeat dropped too quickly," the new mama told Reddit. As she explains, the doctor announced she needed a C-section at 12:41, " and my son was born at 12:46 p.m. It happened so quickly that my husband missed it while they were dressing him. It was all such a blur, but the pain afterward was way worse than I could imagine."
13 Are My Organs Okay?
My aunt has two children and had C-sections with both of them. I was pretty young when she gave birth to my cousins but I was old enough to begin hearing that sometimes doctors "mess up" and can alter a woman's abdominal forever. I just imagine a woman never being able to get her pre-baby belly back and that though scarred me alone. One woman expressed her worry to Reddit, saying, "My friend says that during C-sections organs are removed to take the baby." As you can see... rumors about childbirth are spread wildly. So if you're going to partake in a C-section, be sure to be comfortable with your decision and ask questions.
12 Is It Really As Bad As Everyone Says It Is?
Whether it's from a C-section or natural birth, I've never heard of a calm and collected first-time mama going into labor. We all have worries about the unknown, especially if we've only heard worrisome stories about the unknown. For this woman, however, a C-section wasn't as bad as she thought. "I had an unplanned, but non-emergency, C-section with my first and only baby. It was honestly not nearly as bad as everyone led me to believe it would," she said. "The surgery itself wasn't fun, but it wasn't the most painful medical procedure I've had." Then again, maybe it has to do with the comfortability of the woman and her doctor?
11 Tricked Into It
Do you think doctors pressure women into situations because they find it easier? Don't you think a mama should have a say in a decision as big as childbirth? Then again, a woman isn't necessarily in the brightest of mindsets in those conditions, so sometimes they're forced into things without being able to clearly map it out. One woman expressed her dismay on Reddit, saying, "They tried to induce me with my first without any success. They then decided to do a C-section. I was [pressured] into it and I was so worried." Her baby was born healthy and safe, however, the slow recovery did not help her in the slightest.
10 You're Able To Watch The C-Section On TV?!
One of the things moms get upset over is they don't really know what's happening downstairs. While some mamas don't want to see the mess that comes along with childbirth, other moms want to be fully involved, even helping their baby exit their body. If you're scheduled for a C-section, though, it's not really possible to bend over and see your sweet baby entering the world. After a few visual concerns, one mom explained her doctor's room had a screen showing the birth!
"My second one was scheduled. I went in at 6 a.m. got brought back at 630 a.m., [and] waited for the doctor. They ran into some complications with the equipment — suction didn't work at first and the numbing wore off on my right side. They gave me a local and then everything was peachy. Saw the whole thing on a monitor (didn't want to see but it was nice to see what they did)!
9 Wait... Can A Mama-To-Be Wear Her Glasses?
A woman can wear any jewelry she likes during her labor, yet most opt to go for the more natural look since they may be swollen or uncomfortable pre- and post-labor. Something a little more important than jewelry, though, are eyeglasses! Again, we don't see too many mamas with glasses on during their labor, so a mom asked Reddit if she was able to do so because she has brutal eyesight. "[I'm] having a scheduled C-section in August due to prior uterine surgeries. I don't have contacts and am wondering if I can wear my glasses for the procedure. I know with scheduled surgery you have to take all jewelry off but wasn't sure if glasses are the same."
And in case you're looking for the answer, the nurse told her she could, indeed, wear her glasses so she could see her baby clearly.
8 'I Cried'
Some women have such safe and easy pregnancies that they expect their labor to be the same. And while that may be true for some, it's definitely not true for all. As one mom told Shape "My pregnancy was easy. No morning sickness, no nausea, no vomiting, no food aversions. My daughter was head down and facing my back, the ideal delivery position." Things quickly changed though. After being in labor for 55 hours (!!), she decided to opt for a C-section. "I cried," she said. "I was exhausted, frustrated, and disappointed."In every delivery room, a soon-to-be-mama needs to listen to her body and do whatever it is to birth a safe and healthy baby.
7 Wanting One Thing But Being Told Another
Baby or no baby, there are some women who are petrified of hospitals — even if they've never been in one before. Truth be told, a ton of serious things happen in hospitals, so it's understandable why some women are more worried than others — especially when delivering something as important as a baby! One mom logged on to Reddit to ask for advice for her pregnancy. After being told she would need a C-section, she explained how caught in the middle she was. This was her first baby, she'd never been overnight in a hospital before, and, what's worse, her husband (and his family) were severely against C-sections. "Am I wrong to think his opinion shouldn't matter?" she wrote.
Regardless of her husband's feelings, if the doctor says she needs a C-section — that's what's gonna happen.
6 More Than One Baby To Care For
Most mamas know that C-sections require intensive caring post-op. They need to make sure the scar is healing nicely, there's no infection, and they can't lift heavy objects or do much activity. As those with toddlers know, this can be difficult. Not only do kiddos not understand that mommy is out of commission for a little, but they may become territorial. As said on Reddit, "But this time I have a toddler in addition to our eldest and I am freaking out a little at having a newborn and a 20-month-old. I guess my main concern is getting around the house and not being able to lift the middle kid to change and feed." Like many moms, this woman does not want to feel like she can't take care of her own kids or make them feel secure.
5 Embarking On A Frightening Journey
No matter how you cut it (pun intended), labor and delivery are frightening. C-section or otherwise, it's not an easy process for a woman and her baby. After her baby was in a breached position, her OBGYN told this mama that she needed to prepare herself for a C-section. Although she was frightened, her doctor eased her nerves. She told Reddit, "I felt zero pain during the surgery. Right off the bat I sort of felt like I was going to pass out because my pressure dropped quite a bit after the spinal started working." But that's not all. She felt a lot of tugging until the baby was finally pulled out; a feeling she still remembers.
4 Should I Hire A Doula?
Not every woman is petrified of a C-section. As this Reddit mama stated, "I had an unplanned, non-emergency C-section and will plan to have another should I become pregnant again." It was, apparently, one of the "calmest" experiences of her life, mainly because of her doula. And yes, you can hire a doula for a C-section birth. "It was nice to have someone to answer my questions and to talk me down from my nervousness. She distracted me by telling me exactly what was happening to the baby as I couldn't see her from my vantage point at one point."
3 What Kind Of Undies!?
As many soon-to-be mamas hear, the baby isn't the only one leaving the hospital in a diaper. Whether it's a C-section or natural birth, no new mama is leaving the hospital without a limp. After getting a scheduled C- section for the end of April, one soon-to-be mama needed to know what kind of undies she should be prepared to buy. It's not like she'll wanna wear one of those thin thongs right after birth! If anything, she'll need the biggest, cheapest, and softest pair of undies she can find until she's able to walk again without moaning and groaning.
2 The C-Section Hospital Bag
Similar to the post above, does a hospital bag differ in whether a new mam is having a C-section or natural birth? Well, thanks to Reddit, you may need more or fewer things when it comes to a C-section.
At 33 weeks pregnant, this soon-to-be mama found out she had "placenta previa totalis and that it's very unlikely that it will move so much that it will clear me for a natural birth (bummer!)." Due to the change in plans, she needed to know what to expect post-birth. Let's just said she was told to bring extra-high-waisted pants.
1 Fasting Facts
Many moms are afraid of what will come out of them while giving birth (if you catch my drift). They're afraid of being vulnerable and that their partner will see too much content for their own eyes! Considering the body is just doing what it needs to do to birth this baby, mamas shouldn't worry about anything else; however, with C-sections, most mamas are asked not to eat six-eight hours before the scheduled procedure. "I'm supposed to be there at 7 a.m. and the surgery is at 9 a.m. but I have to fast for 8 hours before (you know the drill)," one mom told Reddit. But after hearing that some deliveries experienced a delay, she was worried about being able to eat at all! And if there was a delay, would this hungry mama be able to at least snack?