Monday, April 28, 2014

My top 8 reasons why my c-section was not too bad.

When I was told I needed a c-section, I have to be honest: I wasn't really that bummed. I was past my due date and scheduled to be induced, which made me really nervous. I'm just not sure how I feel about Pitocin and I didn't want to end up not progressing and being forced into an emergency c-section after umpteen hours of labor. Plus, I've always been a little queasy about the whole “pushing a watermelon through a water hose” situation.

So, when the doctor informed me that there really weren't any other options for my breech baby, I was a little relieved. Now I knew exactly what to expect and I didn't have to make any more decisions. I'd be able to get a good nights sleep, shower, show up at the hospital, have a baby.

Overall, I'd give the whole “c-section experience” an 8 out of 10. I'm deducting 2 points for pain, because with any major surgery, there's gonna be some of that. But honestly, even the pain hasn't been unmanageable. The day of the surgery, I had about half an hour where I was like, “BRING THE MORPHINE FASTER”, but beyond that, I've been able to manage it with the pain meds they prescribed me. Oh, and walking wasn't too pleasant at first, but I found a way to fix that, which we'll talk about later (Hint: his name is "abdominal binder" and he's basically the love of my life). 

So, here are the top 8 reasons why my c-section was not that bad:
  1. Free bikini wax, kinda....

    So, before you can have surgery, they have to “shave the area”. This means that a sweet little nurse has to come in your room, hike up your dress, and bring out the “clippers”, as she called them, which made me think of these:

And let's be honest, bikini area grooming was not high on my “pre-baby” checklist, so she probably needed the big guns.

Also, file this experience away under “things your husband can't un-see”. On the plus side, aside from the huge Frankenstein scar and jiggy postpartum belly, WHO'S READY FOR BATHING SUIT SEASON???

  1. Complimentary nightie!

     Basically as soon as you walk in the door, the hospital wants you to change into a gown of theirs. It's got a couple interesting features like a “peekaboo” back (you too can flash your family!) and what I'm going to call a boob pocket. Right at boob level there's a slit, presumably to breastfeed through? It only works if your boobs are flat enough to fit through the slit though. I don't know, maybe you're supposed to put the baby up to the slit and force your boob through? As fun as the gown was, I changed out of it as soon as possible.
Right hand: pointing at the sign. Left hand: frantically holding the back of the gown together.

  1. Concierge service

     Otherwise known as your wonderful nursing staff. There are some things you don't consider before you have a c-section. Like, afterwards, you can't bend over at all. So, anything on the floor is off limits. Let's take a moment and name some things on the floor! Um, how about....your underwear, after the mandatory first shower! And who is gonna help you get said underwear to its rightful spot? Your sweet nurse, that's who. Also, after you have a baby, there's quite a lot of blood loss (I know, ew.) So much, in fact, that for the first day, you'll just lay on a bunch of towels. Who's going to change those towels? :) Nurses. And who's going to hold them in place during your (horrible) mandatory 1st time walking? You get it. Nurses = Saints.

  1. Access to the VIP room

          Unbeknownst to us beforehand, our hospital has a room that's set aside for new dads called the “Nourishment Room”. Why they didn't just call it a kitchen, I'll never know. It was a little kitchenette with a few basic provisions: cereal and milk, crackers, soda, coffee, etc. And y'all know that free food will get me outta bed any day, so you better believe that the first time I ventured out (realllllllly slowly) to the hallway, I “hightailed” (re: at a turtle's pace) it to the Nourishment Room.


         My testimonial: “Before my c-section, I tried many diets on my own, but could never get the weight off! After only 4 DAYS in the hospital, I lost 16 POUNDS!!! And, I got to eat whatever I wanted (off the hospital cafeteria's sugar and salt free menu) and I only exercised TWICE (walking up and down the hallway.....once to get free food). All it took was having a human baby removed from my abdomen via major surgery. And for 40 weeks of pregnancy and one easy payment of between $500 and $1000, you can have results like mine! IT'S THAT EASY.”
  1. Room service!

         If there's one thing I miss the most about our stay in the hospital, it's the little red button on my bed that called a nurse to my room, most of the time with Percocet. :) And every time the nurses brought me my painkiller, they were like, “oh, you should take this with food. I'll bring you a snack.” Um, amazing! Helloooooo access to unlimited generic saltines and no-sugar added peanut butter! Also, that same button is the one you push when, at 3 am, you can no longer listen to a newborn scream. A smiling, sweet, wonderful nurse will come take them from you, so you can get 2.5 blissful hours of sleep. Nowadays, I wake in the night, sweating, feverishly grasping for a button that my fingers will never again find.  Sigh. It's my Vietnam. 
  1. Do you know the muffin man? No, but I know his wife.

    Here is the most magical thing about having a c-section (besides the obvious: bringing new life into the world): the muffin lady. Every morning, at around 7 am, a little hispanic woman would come into my room and bring me 3 things:  a banana, a teensy container of juice, and a muffin. The first morning, I was confused, mostly because I was in a haze of pain killers and exhaustion from a newborn that wouldn't sleep. I assumed it was breakfast. The banana was what you'd expect, as was the juice. But guys, THE MUFFIN. SO GOOD. Seeing this woman became a highlight of my day. By the last morning, I was up at 5:30, sitting in my chair, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, awaiting her arrival. And the best part: that wasn't even my breakfast. They'd bring that around 8:30. The muffin was like a little breakfast appetizer. Man, I miss the muffin lady. 

    8. Beware the complimentary "massage" 

    One of my favorite pregnancy terms is “fundal”. It's the measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus and doctor's use it to see how big your baby is. After you deliver, your fundal height is supposed to go down an inch a day. To check this, the nurse comes in and gives you a “fundal massage”. Don't be fooled, it is NOT a relaxing event. I actually managed to avoid it for the first couple days, but by day 3, apparently my uterus wasn't contracting enough, so I too got my first fundal massage. It is unpleasant, to say the least. Turns out, when you've recently had your uterus sliced open, you don't want anyone massaging it. I kept trying to work in the phrase “You put the fun in fundal!!”, but since my teeth were gritted together in pain, I couldn't quite spit it out.
So, as you can see, having a c-section is basically one long trip to the spa. In all seriousness, we had a really great experience -the nurses were WONDERFUL, the food was actually pretty decent (there was a pot roast one night that was amazing!), and let's not forget that we got a happy, healthy baby out of the deal. :) All in all, I'd do it again. Not anytime soon, but maybe someday!

"My name's Claire and today, I'll only sleep if I'm being held! Also, I can poop 10 times daily, no problem!"

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