When I was pregnant with C., I had a problem with P.I.H. that resulted in an induction at 38 weeks. Medically, it was a sound decision for my doctor to make. I wasn't pressured or pushed or compelled to go into labor so my doctor could go on vacation. I had a pretty good experience. Spent the night in the hospital and by three the next afternoon, I was minutes away from delivering. But, a totally unpredictable complication arose and I wound up having a very emergent c-section. The time from "decision to incision" was less than three minutes. Carrie was born in less than 7 minutes. My OB saved my baby's life. When she had finished repairing my incision, she came over and gave me a kiss on the head. We've kind of had a weird bond ever since.
But, what I remember about my birth experience is having a nurse jump on the bed with me and running down the hallway to the O.R. I remember the frantic instructions being literally shouted back and forth between the medical staff. I remember feeling the tug of the incision before I was all the way on the table. I remember the bright lights and the way I spread my arms out so the anesthesiologists could get the lines they needed. I asked the doctors if I was going to die. But, all that was really ok. I didn't mind not having a "normal" birth experience too much. I was grateful to have received the care I needed.
The hard part came after everything was over. I didn't get to see my baby because I was upstairs with a morphine drip and she was downstairs in the NICU. As I write this, I realize I'm not ready to write about the details yet. Suffice it to say, it was hard.
I was shocked at how many people have some pretty mean things to say about C/S in the U.S. Doctors are blamed (a lot) for doing unnecessary surgeries and inductions. It seems that all of a sudden, some people don't even believe in the possibility of a needed intervention. And people come out of the woodwork to criticize your decision (except for that I didn't really have a decision) or to let you know that if you had chosen a different kind of health-provider you wouldn't have had the experience you did. So, it becomes your fault that you had an emergency c/s and a baby in the NICU. And it sucks. (And this is not to say that whatever you did or whatever you choose is awful. You have freedom, too. It's just to say that I wouldn't have a baby if I had made another choice. And that is black and white.)
What has also been hard, though, is that I am now faced with the prospect of going through the whole process again. But this time, I have the choice whether or not to have a C/S again. And it's a choice I've made. And I'm feeling okay about it. But it's pretty soon to be making that choice again. And I'm not going to lie and say that this is going to be easy, or that I'm not nervous.
And that is all. Except for this: I don't have a scar. Not even a little tiny scar. I mean I have NOTHING to show for all of this trauma. Who comes away with a 7-inch incision (emergency c/s incisions are large and uneven) with NO SCAR? I do. Thanks, wonderful OB fairy.