I knew a C-Section was a possibility as soon as I found out I was having twins. Everything had to align so perfectly in order to have a vaginal birth that I knew the odds were against me. I agonized for months whether I should give it a try but in the end both my twins were very, very breech and there was no way they were coming out without a C-Section.
I had plenty of time to wrap my head around the idea of a C-Section so I felt pretty prepared when my OB finally said it was time to throw in the towel and sent me over to the hospital to wait for my surgery. I had spent hours watching YouTube videos of all kinds of C-Sections and asked my OB so many questions that I’m sure she was counting down the days until the end of my pregnancy just as anxiously as I was.
What helped me the most as I mentally prepared for my C-Section though was reading step-by-step accounts of the actual process. When it came time for me to walk back to the OR I knew exactly what was going to come next and that was comforting to me as a first time C-Section mom.
Every C-Section is different but this was my experience:
8:30 Show up for my OB appointment to be told that I’m 5 cm. dilated and at risk of a cord prolapse with a breech baby. Sent immediately to Labor and Delivery.
9:00 Sit in the parking lot of the hospital for 30 minutes freaking out that I was having babies in the very near future. Try to make up my mind about baby names.
9:30 Walk into L&D and immediately put in a room and hooked up to monitors and an IV.
9:45 The nurse discovers that I’m contracting 4 minutes apart and starts worrying that my water will break. Puts in a call to my OB and tells her to hurry up.
10:30 Anesthesiologist comes in to walk me through the process. I warn him that my blood pressure is going to drop as soon as I get the spinal and ask him a million questions. He seems used to it. I decide I like him enough to let him stick a needle in my spine.
11:00 The nurse starts to really freak out about how close my contractions are. Puts in another call to the doctor. I’m told she’s on her way over and they are getting the operating room ready.
11:15 The nurse comes in and puts a scrub cap on me and hands my husband a paper gown. She tells me it’s time to head to the operating room. I take one last belly picture then walk down the hall with the nurse. My husband waits outside.
11:20 I am told to sit on the edge of the operating table and lean forward onto a nurse while the spinal is put in. As soon as it’s in, the nurse helps me lay on the table, a blue screen is put up in front of my face (but not too close as I’d worried it would be) and my arms were propped (but not strapped down to) platforms to either side of my body.
11:30 I’m told they have pinched my stomach really, really hard. I feel nothing. My blood pressure starts to drop a little with the spinal as it always does but the anesthesiologist is on it and adds a med to my IV that makes me slightly loopy. My stomach is prepped. My husband is brought in.
11:45 I hear the sounds of what seems like dozens of people coming into the room. A team for me. A team for each baby. A NICU nurse for each baby. I can’t see anything but the blue screen in front of my face.
At some point, the surgery begins. I don’t know when because I forgot to ask them to walk me through what was happening. I smell burning skin, which grosses me out a little and I decide I’d rather not know what they are doing on the other side of that curtain.
I get a little nauseous but the anesthesiologist pumps something else into my IV before it gets too bad. Suddenly I just want to go to sleep.
I feel a little tugging. This was always the part that grossed me out the most as I read about C-Sections during my pregnancy but it wasn’t bad at all. I barely felt anything at all and the whole thing was over before I even had time to freak out.
11:59 I hear Baby A cry. My husband snaps pictures over the blue screen.
12:00 Baby B cries. I hear the doctor say there was a true knot in the cord. I’m so sleepy I decide to process that later.
12:15 My husband carries Baby A over to me. It’s hard to turn my neck to the side, especially since I’m still so sleepy but I get a quick look. I’m told Baby B needs a little help breathing so they work on her for a few minutes before bringing her over so I can have a peek.
12:30 I’m all stitched up and am wheeled into my recovery room followed by two gorgeous babies in a warmer. Their nurses follow us to keep an eye on everything for the first few hours.
The actual C-Section wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought it was going to be. Immediately afterwards I remember thinking that it was really so much easier than a vaginal birth. Then my spinal wore off and I changed my mind as I went through a much harder recovery than I was used to.
Read my full C-Section birth story to get all the details.
Have you had a C-Section? What was your experience like?