Not because I’m psychic, but because I’m a scheduled C-section

Mar 15, 2007


I’ve recently come down with a wicked case of pregnancy brain. I had my glucose test this morning and after staying up late reminding myself not to forget my medical records from my previous doctor, I rushed out the door and realized an hour later (still sitting in Seattle traffic) that I left them on the counter. Again.

It’s affecting every aspect of my life. I have to write lists. I’m easily distracted. You will email me and I’ll go, “oooh!! EMAIL!” and then I’ll start writing you back, look over my shoulder and go, “Ooohhh, dishes!” and off I go to do the dishes. While doing the dishes I’ll see the garbage needs to go out and I’ll go, “ooohhh, garbage…” and off I go. (Please see a pattern here so I don’t have to spell it out for you. Or maybe I’ll spell it out anyway….)

I am easily distracted by all things S-H-I-N-Y. Or not so shiny. Or, apparently, smelly.

What was I saying? Right. Today’s glucose test…

So I go to the doctor, get the blood drawn, yaddayadda (this is not the fun yaddayadda from Seinfeld but rather an insanely boring string of events revolving around needles that do not include a large usage of the word “DUDE”) and as I’m leaving, I ask about scheduling my C-section. I’m a scheduled C-section since LB’s horridly long birth story involved a major traffic jam in the hayhay region and 24 hours of “why won’t she just COME OUT. GET HER OUT.” :: hurl hurl ::  It was a bucket full o’ fun that I do not plan on reliving ever again. The entire first week of her life was the hardest week of mine, which makes me sad to say, but reflecting on the labor, emergency c-section, failed breastfeeding, uterine infection and re-admission to the hospital after two nights in the ER lasting 12-14 hours each, I think a planned c-section is the way to go this time. No wonder I got wigged out with PPD afterward. That week alone could cause some sort of post traumatic stress disorder.

And yet? After all of that? I have my reservations about the C-section. It’s so strange to me to walk in to a hospital completely fine and healthy and ask them to hack you up. “HI! I’m FINE! Can you please give me some drugs, cut me open and then make me feel like crap for six weeks? Oh! And give me a pretty scar and ask me if I’ve started farting yet and then, when I hurl, tell me that’s normal and ok and I’m going to be just fine. Please?” See? Do you see? It’s weird, isn’t it?

I guess it’s not as weird as walking around for two weeks waiting to wet your pants/bed/car/floor. So, there’s that.

I’ve been reading more and more about women who went in for scheduled C-sections (or who are going to shortly before me). They tell me the same thing my mother tells me, “It’s so much easier the second time. You’re not exhausted from the long labor, your body is better able to recover, you can plan the birth, you mentally heal faster. It’s just that much easier.” And I believe them. I read about it. I hear about it. I know they aren’t lying.

Or are they? Like those moms that say, ‘My child slept through the night at three weeks and put himself to bed for naps starting at 18 months. Oh! And taught himself to potty in the toilet. And got in to Harvard at 14 but we decided to keep him in public schools because of the experience.”

Do you have any thoughts on repeat C-sections? And not in the “You should try a VBAC” because I’ve had seven doctors tell me I will NOT try a VBAC given my experience and the reasons she got stuck. Apparently it’s not a healthy option for me to even try and the risks of death outweigh the anxiety I might feel about the surgery. And honestly, the kid has to come out one way or another. Last time I checked, the vajaja was a one way street. It’s just a bit weird that I already know the date and time of this kid’s birth. I practically have the birth announcement filled out. Fudge the weight and height a bit and slap in a photo. Nobody would ever know I made it three months early. If I could only remember to get the paper….


  1. Totally not lying.  I swear. 

    I, too, labored for days (and pushed for 4 hours) before having an emergency c/s with Boo.

    This time around?  SO MUCH BETTER.  I swear.  The hardest part of the whole thing was getting that damn IV.  It really was quick and fairly painless and I was up and about and chasing the kidlet (not the new one) in no time.  I did take my fair share of rx drugs, but probably just cause I was afraid of pain and not really because I was experiencing it.

    But I swear, it was such a great experience this time around.  The whole labor thing?  Totally overrated.  And this is coming from someone who totally wanted to have a VBAC and went c/s as plan B.

    As for the distracted by shiny things, well, I’m still waiting for that to go away.

    By Andy on 2007 03 15

  2. Let’s see…thoughts on repeat C-sections. Well, I hope mine won’t be too discouraging, but my second was MUCH worse than my first! Of course, I tried a VBAC and labored with back labor for like two days and then at 3 am after being in hard labor since 10 pm the previous evening, it was decided that my 9 pound 23 inch boy just would not fit. I thought I was going to DIE when the doc said it was time to throw in the towel. When I learned how big he was, though, I was relieved. The surgery was awful though. It took longer because of the scar tissue to cut through from the first incision. Also, my hubby didn’t get to room in with the second time due to needing to be home with our 2 1/2 year old. I desperately missed my daughter at home the entire LONG time I had to be in the hospital. Then my incision bruised really bad three days post-op…we’re talking BLACK abdomen.

    Having a toddler to chase immediately after being hacked open AND having the whole newborn thing going on was beyond exhausting and excruciatingly painful. All the literature reminds you that you just had a MAJOR surgery ON TOP OF childbirth and managing a newborn and strongly suggests that you need to get LOTS of rest! ?????????????? How the hell do you get LOTS of rest with a newborn crying every two hours to be fed (did I mention that in spite of nursing my daughter a full year and thinking I was a real pro, I STILL got nipple scabs when I began breastfeeding again?) and simultaneously chasing a toddler all over the house? It was bad….a very bad dark time.

    I will even allow myself some disgusting detailed tangents next, because, well…I read your blog and it can’t get any worse than some of the stuff I’ve read here before smile. So here goes….
    The worst part was that for some reason, even though I never got the pushing stage with either of my pregnancies, the second time I developed a MAJOR case of hemorrhoids several days after the C-section. I mean, it was BAD! That alone would have been the deciding factor for me to NEVER go through childbirth again, if I hadn’t already made the decision. OMG! I’m talking piles that literally HUNG there in such a way that I could NOT in any way forget about their existence, even for a moment. Not even if I laid completely motionless. They pretty much covered the entire area from one opening to the other. They were throbbing and wedging my cheeks apart to the point I was relieved I didn’t want more children because I figured my husband could never see past (pun intended) the anomaly in my crotch to ever have sex again anyway. I had to send hubby to the pharmacy for all sorts of wild ointments and a donut pillow thingy. BTW, if you develop this problem, Vicks is the key. I know that sounds crazy, but the icy hot effect is really relieving…if you can deal with the funky smell. HA! I think I’m having flashbacks right now!!!!! THANK GOD they did actually go away within about three weeks. I’ve never Googled hemorrhoids as a daily ritual before that experience. I was seriously afraid that I would have to have surgery. After surviving the C-sections, I sure as heck didn’t want my sphincter area operated on next.

    Anyway, you survived some ugly stuff with the first one, so what I described with the second one probably sounds like a cake walk. Thus, I must deduce that you will be just fine. Pick up an extra bottle of Vicks, though, just in case!

    By MGM on 2007 03 15

  3. Would I lie to you? (cue Annie Lennox)

    I labored all night with Caitlin and pushed for 2 1/2 hours yadda yadda yadda (you’ve read it by now). Any way, the scheduled c-section was so much easier on me physically. Therefore, I wasn’t a blubbering, exhausted sweaty mass of oozing liquids in bed. I had a two night stay at the hospital as opposed to four night, too. Mucho better hon. The hardest thing was the epidural while not in labor. Ouch. But so much easier. They also gave me a non-narcotic pain killer which was mucho better than the morphine I’d had the first go round.

    Now you’ll still need help with LB and all that jazz, but I think (hope) you’ll find it easier on everyone!

    HUGS! I understand the nervousness.

    By Jamie on 2007 03 15

  4. So what’s the date??

    If I had another (which I most likely won’t), it would be by planned C, after the emergency C the first time (our stories are similar, but I think yours was worse)... I understand how you feel, and in the end it sounds like it will be best all around.

    Your pregnancy brain sounds like my natural state lately… easily distracted!  (Blogging is grrrrrrreat for that, isn’t it?)  wink

    By Marie on 2007 03 15

  5. ps—did you hear? Lindsay @ Suburban Turmoil had her son yesterday… a 10 pounder! Ouch!!

    By Marie on 2007 03 15

  6. I already knew I’d be having a c-section with Eli cause he was breech, so when I went into labor 2 days before the date I didn’t labor long before the surgery, which went great. I was insanely tired afterward but that’s to be expected. Not a lot of pain, sex a few weeks later, yadda yadda. With Anna it was a planned repeat c-section and there was even less pain, good experience (except that time I dry heaved a few time during surgery, not sure why) , but I got cocky and did waaaay too much waaaay too soon (I don’t recommend a day long walking shopping trip a week out) so it took my incision a little longer to heal the second time around.

    Good luck!

    By Sarah on 2007 03 15

  7. I’m doing the repeater this time too. I’m praying it goes the way I hear from everyone. I’m just praying I don’t go into labor beforehand. I had a similar but different bad first experience, emergency c/s then infectted incision. IT BLEW. I don’t think I left the house for 2 mos. Talk about PPD. Anyway, I’m praying it’s better this time. Cause really? That’s all we can do. Pray and go with it.

    And JEEZ will this one get OFF my sciatic nerve for the love of all things HOLY.

    By Susie on 2007 03 15

  8. Personally, since I had a C-Section with Julian, I’m like “Right on!  No More Labor!”  LOL As I told my husband, “well, atleast we don’t have to play the waiting game anymore.”

    Anyway….please don’t get discouraged but….that attention span issue you’re having…it keeps going even after giving birth.  Oooo…look, SHINY STUFF!  *runs off*

    aka the queen of lists or, I swear, I’d forget my own name

    By Anne on 2007 03 15

  9. My only thought about your c-section is check your insurance coverage.  And start saving your pennies now.
    My oldest cost $25K, with $5K out-of-pocket.  Was a vaginal birth, I was only in labor with him for less than four hours.  I was not pleased with those bills.  Btw, 10-pounders are do-able…  hurt less than my not-quite-8-pounder… they’re squishier.

    I’m in my own ‘shiny stuff’ phase - ooooh, gardening seeds!

    By Lanna on 2007 03 15

  10. Oh, and have a meal game plan for after the baby’s born.  Whether it’s gift certificates for takeout at Applebees or frozen entrees in the freezer or flirting with the pizza guy for free coupons, start thinking about that stuff in the next few months.  Cooking will be the last thing on your mind.

    By Lanna on 2007 03 15

  11. I’ve had two scheduled c-sections, and I’ll have a third at the end of May.  While they’re not total pieces of cake (you still have to have the epidural and the catheter, and you still have to recover from surgery), I found them totally peaceful and pleasant in comparison to my one attempt at labor and then a c-section after no sleep and no shower and an epidural-gone-wrong.  I liked going in all rested and showered, and saying, “Excuse me, but I seem to have a baby lodged in my uterus; could you please remove that for me?”  And then they did, and then I went back to my room and my hair was still approximately as it had been when I arrived, and I could sit up in bed and talk pleasantly to people and enjoy the baby and be awake for the rest of the day, instead of collapsing as I did after my post-labor c-section.

    By Swistle on 2007 03 15

  12. First of all, it sounds like you don’t have a choice.  It’s not like you are Britney Spears who was scared and wouldn’t even try.

    And I went through the same (or similar thing) although mine wasn’t on threat of death.  He just wouldn’t come out.  Over two days of inducing.  NO PROGRESS.  Doc broke my water. STILL NO PROGRESS.  I opted for the C-Section.  And after that i said no way in hell am I trying labor again.  My other two were scheduled and it really is easier when you aren’t so tired (physically and mentally and emotionally) from the labor and disappointment of not being able to do what you are told your whole life that you should be able to do.

    Try not to stress or obsess over this Leslie.  You are doing what is best for you and your baby.  And you know what to expect this time and I think you will find that none of it is as bad as you remembered—because this time you get to go in scheduled, planned and well rested.

    By sleeping mommy on 2007 03 15

  13. Pregnancy brain is going to help you.  How? you may ask?

    Simple…tomorrow you are going to forget that the baby has to come out. wink

    OoOoOOO pretty shiny object!

    By ^starshine on 2007 03 15

  14. That photo reminds me of Sarah Silverman taking a drive with her cough syrup. Awesome.

    By Leah on 2007 03 15

  15. I can’t really say anything about a c-section but I can commiserate on the pregnancy brain thing. I had to go back to the video store twice because I forgot to put the dvd in the case and then because I forgot the other movie. I keep meaning to call and change an appointment and then I sneeze/ David cries/ a light flashes and I don’t remember my name anymore.

    I just can’t wait for the psycho dreams to start. (please note sarcasm)

    By Mrs X on 2007 03 15

  16. I am one of those women who had a horrible labor and eventual emergency section with my first.  I had an induction and a VBAC with my second and amazingly actually pushed out my 10.5 lb. guy.  He got stuck at one point, I tore A LOT and needed many stitches, and I remember telling my OB, “Never again.  I am getting a scheduled c-section if we have a third.”  And I meant it!  I think you’re making the right decision.

    By Jessica on 2007 03 16

  17. Starshine makes me giggle.

    I almost burned my house down from pregancy brain once…..not good.  But I think you’re a lot smarter than me, so no worries.

    I never had a c-section, I bow before anyone who has.  My first son was a 9 pounder (please keep in mind that when I got preg with him, 5 feet tall and 110 pounds…yes, it hurt like hell) and yeah, I tore all the way up to the back of my neck.  but then by the fourth baby, they pretty much walked out of my uterus.

    So, seriously…you’ll be fine.  YOUVE DONE IT BEFORE!  No worries girlfriend!!

    By Sonia on 2007 03 16

  18. I’ve had 3 c-sections, it’s really OK.

    While the subsequent ones felt a bit more like abdominal surgery than the first one did, the other readers are right, when it’s scheduled, you just go in and do it, it’s done, and, there’s your baby. It doesn’t take long at all, and, you are not quite as exhausted.

    By Busy Mom on 2007 03 16

  19. jeeze louise…reading about all this baby birthin’ , tears, and stitches makes me want to grab my crouch and an ice pack! OUCH!!

    And men thought they had it rough with a kick to the crouch…

    By ^starshine on 2007 03 16

  20. I agree. I’ thinking C-section sounds a lot better than a tear. And I appreciate everyone who’s subsequent C-sections went well (MGM mom, poor thing…) and I LOVE the “I was showered and my hair was mostly the same when it was over” because I remember being so out of it one day, three days after labor started (without a shower now) that when the nurse walked in, it could’ve been anyone and I wouldn’t have known, I blurted out at 2AM, “I REALLY WANT A SHOWER.” I didn’t even remember telling her this. She came back later that morning to help me with it.  And not in the “chicka chicka bowow” kind of a scene my husband wishes it was. More like floppy used uterus with IV drip taking shower while nurse keeps chords out of the water.

    By Mrs. Flinger on 2007 03 16