I had two C-sections and they were very different experiences. My first was an emergency C-section after being induced and laboring 24 hours. I stalled out at 8 cm and baby's heart rate began decreasing as my contractions increased with Pitocin. Turns out he had a huge head and was stuck in my pelvis. He came out bruised, abraded, with torticollis, but healthy. While a C-section was not my birth plan for that baby, I thought that I was ok with how it had gone. Mamas who have a C-section, I had covered the topic in my birth class, but not in depth. I didn't know that I might shake uncontrollably from the anesthesia. And I threw up twice on the operating table. Both are normal reactions but I didn't know to expect them. I had a wonderful nurse in the OR who comforted me when I threw up and did her best to make me comfortable. Nurses keep the world turning.
My second birth was supposed to be a VBAC. That was my hope. But, at 38 weeks my blood pressure went up and I didn't feel good and my OB listened to me. After my BP had gone up at the end of my first pregnancy and I then went to the ER for it 2 weeks postpartum, I knew how to better advocate for myself and I had changed to an OBGYN who took the time to know me and my history. While my second C-section was also unplanned (until 19 hours before it happened), it was not an emergency and that made all the difference. I slept the night before. I walked myself to the OR. I remember hearing my baby's first cry and this is where I get teary telling the story because I was so exhausted, scared, and sick during my first C-section that I can't remember hearing my oldest son's first cries. It's all a blur. I realized I have some unresolved emotions surrounding my first birth experience and I know I'm not the only one with an induction to unsuccessful labor to C-section story to tell. There are too many of us.
Birth is messy, whether you have a vaginal birth or a C-section. Whether it's the birth of your dreams or things go sideways. The hope is that you have a birth team who knows you and guides you as best they can. Who listens when you express concerns and who works with you towards your common goal of a healthy mama birthing a healthy baby. I didn't have the birth experience I wanted either time, but I came away with two beautiful babies. My oldest son loved to see my scar as it was healing the first year after I had his brother. He would run his finger along it with wonder in his eyes that his brother had come out of that line in mommy's skin and that look reminded me that my body did amazing things.