I’ve been meaning to write this post for a very long time and wondering exactly how to formulate it without scaring the bejesus out of my readers (not sure who these readers are but my stats claims that I have some so “Hello readers!”)
The topic is caesarian section…
My biggest fear in birth-related things was having to have a c-section. I wanted ‘my birth’ to be as natural as possible (though I never ruled anything out as being a no-go) and the direct aftermath of surgery, i.e. not being able to walk around and take care of my baby, as well as having to stay in hospital for 5 days made the idea of being cut open absolutely the last resort.
As it turns out, an emergency c-section was the only way to get Philipp out after an induction (because of gestational diabetes) and a 2-and-a-half day labour. Our little ‘stargazer’ had his chin extended upwards, rather than having it tucked into his neck, which meant it was impossible for him to come ‘the natural way’.
I can’t help thinking to myself that there was one thing only that created this situation and that is:
The induction: Many (not all, but many) pregnant women who I know have been induced have ended up having a caesarian. (See the Sceptical OB for more about this)
The reasons given for an induction on the baby’s due date were threefold: He would be big (he turned out to be quite normal, weighing in at 8lbs 15oz); He might have diabetes (he didn’t but that wasn’t to be known); The placenta would become less effective after the estimated (and I repeat, ESTIMATED) due date.
Essentially, the medical profession used my fear of ‘something bad’ happening to coax me into giving birth not at the hospital in which I wanted to give birth and into being induced a day or 2 after the estimated due date.
At the pre-induction exam, it was definitely the case that the baby was not ready to be born. Not at all. Yet they still went ahead and ‘got things moving’. That took 2 days. 2 days in which I didn’t sleep. On the 3rd day I got the hardcore drugs (oxytocin) and then the real fun started. I was in a lot of pain, so much so that I vomited with every contraction. Then there were more interventions: Buscopan to stop the sickness and shortly afterwards when I couldn’t take any more pain, an epidural.
I believe that the contractions were so strong that our baby was forced into a bad position, wrapping the umbilical cord around his neck, causing trauma to his head/neck , which meant his heart rate plummeted with every contraction.
A half hour or so later Philipp was released into the world, allbeit not in the way I’d imagined and was whisked away and ventilated. Looking at the photos of him not long after he was born, he was almost immediately yellow and spent the following day under blue light to break down the bilirubin in his body: Another thing I put down to the ‘early retrieval’ of our son from his comfortable little cubbyhole!
Luckily I had little problem breastfeeding, or more I had a lot of support but it did take 4 days for any real milk to arrive and so we were finger-feeding in the meantime, which was advocated by the hospital. This was a very good thing because I really wanted breastfeeding to work for us.
All in all, the section wasn’t as bad as I’d feared: I was up and about the next day, there was a lot of pain and I still can’t feel an awful lot around the scar but I survived and have my ’emergency exit’ to show for it!