Sunday, September 16, 2012

Winning the Birth Lottery

In the afterglow of my son's birth - I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness about the care I received and I am very happy that I didn't have to leave the country or take out the equivalent of a car loan to get it. My son's birth, far exceeded every expectation that I had, on every account. It was everything and more than I had hoped for when I planned my daughter's birth. In short, I feel a little like a lottery winner on so many accounts - or at least on any account that really matters.

I got the healthy baby - APGARS of 9 and 9.5. There was nothing sweeter to my ears than to hear him cry within moments of being born. My son has 10 fingers and 10 toes. He has good hearing. His blue eyes checked out. He is perfect from pin-pricked heal, to the top of his fair head.

I did not experience labour this time around. There were some Braxton Hicks contractions, there was a softening of the cervix, there was some dilation - but labour held at bay. Thank god labour held at bay.

Pain management exceeded my expectations - I'll be frank, I expected there to be some pain involved - in truth I always kind of thought that instead of the pain of labour that there was the pain of recovery, and that in the grand scheme of things that the two methods (vaginal birth versus caesarean) were kind of 'on par' in this regard. From the time the spinal was placed until now - 4 days post partum, I haven't experienced any pain that has been worse than a bad period cramp. The pain I experienced during my daughter's delivery was unimaginable. The anaesthesiologist worked magic - and I am extremely grateful for his skills. Further - not once did I feel 'out of it' or high, and there is a lot to be said for being able to remain 'sober' during a time like the birth of your child.

I felt involved in my care, every step of the way. I was given plenty of opportunity to ask questions and was told what was going on and what to expect at each step.

I got continuity of care - the OBGYN who provided my prenatal care was the same person who delivered my son. I knew the person who would be delivering my son had delivered hundreds (and likely thousands) of babies before mine. My Dr. Visited me both days I was in hospital after the surgery.

I got a room full of trained experts - a pediatrician, an OBGyn, an anaesthesiologist, residents and nurses - as a result, I knew that if anything were to go wrong, the right person would be there at the right time. I felt safe.

My mood this time around is dramatically improved - I am not in shock over what happened. Reflecting on the experience generates overwhelmingly positive feelings. For the first time since my experience with my daughter's birth, I feel myself again. It would seem in part (at least right now) that the surgical birth of my son might have helped to alleviate some of my psychological issues.

I had no idea just how much my daughter's birth had really impacted me - but perhaps it's a little like having a bad relationship, in that it's hard to understand how bad it really was until you have had a good relationship to compare it to - after all I got a healthy baby out of that deal, an AMAZINGLY wonderful little girl. However, I now understand just how much more was possible from that experience and how many of the negative consequences could have been avoided.

I feel like I've hit the jackpot with my son, I got the healthy baby and I got so much more than I could have hoped for - I am so thankful for my family, friends, readers, therapist, and healthcare providers who supported me through my pregnancy and the birth of my son as without them, it would not have been possible. I got what every woman giving birth deserves, regardless of the mode of delivery chosen.


  1. Very happy for your great experience! You should go over to MDC and start a thread called "my healing C-section." :)

  2. Yay, congratulations!!! I agree with Karen above, "my healing Csection" would probably melt their brains. Except for the few in-the-closet ones that HAD healing Csections.:)

    Everything I've ever heard suggested that healing from a planned, pre-labor Csection wasn't too bad (barring infections or adhesions), but healing from an emergency one, especially after hours of labor is pretty awful. Glad you didn't have to go through labor and that you are feeling pretty good. My babies were born VB, and between the long labor and the large amount of blood loss from PPH, I felt like shit for weeks afterwards. Looking back, if I had done what you did, recovery almost certainly would have been easier.

  3. I'm so glad. It sounds like a wonderful day for all!

  4. I am so glad you ended up with the birth you wanted. I liked my planned csections. If you keep on top of the pain management things are not too bad at all. I would only get super bad pain if I pushed myself too hard too early. Enjoy your new little one.

  5. I am so so so happy for you! So glad it turned out just the way you dreamed it would...& more! You had my dream birth - I hope I get to experience it this way too when the time comes

  6. Woohoo! You are on a birth high! I felt like this after my son was born too... so grateful and so at peace.

    The Pragmatist