Sometimes I am sad to be done having babies. Even though I have three wonderful kids and do not need ANY more. Even though my tubes are tied, so it is not even an option. Even though I had pretty horrible birth experiences.
My births were actually not horrible in the sense of the actual birth procedure part of it. I had two planned c-sections, both of which went great and I recovered well from. I learned some things about planned c-sections...if anyone is preparing, here is what I recommend:
- ask for a spinal
- when you get the spinal, you will lose feeling in your legs and belly and chest VERY fast - lie down as quick as you can (you will have help!)
- the numbness will be in your chest too, so you will feel like you can't breathe. You can breathe, it just feels wierd for a minute
- you might feel a bit naseous right after you get the spinal, but it usually passes quickly (breathe...). They can inject some anti-nasea medication into your spinal line as well if you ask.
- drink A TON of water afterwards
- get up and walk as soon as you can afterwards
- if you need more and more pain medication for your incision pain as the days go by, you most likely have an infection. Get antobiotics ASAP.
My births were horrible in the sense that all of my babies went straight from the OR to the NICU. I never held a baby right after birth, I never breastfeed a brand new baby (it was around 2 weeks post-birth for each of them, I pumped in the meantime), I never came home from the hospital with a baby, which was....VERY tough.
My twins, Ben and Lily, were premies, due to preeclampsia that hospitalized me on bedrest for a month before they were born at 31 weeks. Ava was a full term baby, but was born with Presistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn (PPHN). I thought premies were tough. A very ill baby who is hooked to more and more machines as her body tried to make the switch over from being in the womb to being out of the womb, who was extremely close to dying in the 2-3 days after birth before she finally turned the corner, well...that made premies look easy.
I REALLY enjoyed and appreciated seeing Mark Sloan discuss PPHN in his book Birth Day, as it was always hard for me to explain to people what having a baby with PPHN was like. The phrases "stuck in fetal mode," "caught in a trap," "up and down pattern" were exactly what Ava experienced as a baby with PPHN. Like the baby Dr. Sloan talks about in his book, Ava narrowly escaped being placed on the last resort effort of ECMO and her life was saved by the medication nitric oxide. She turned her corner on Mother's Day, 6 days after she was born.
It has always been amazing to me that any of my babies survived. And that I survived. Had we all been born just a couple of generations ago, it would not have been possible, not at all. It is a very different world of obstentical and neonatal medicine that exists today. And to the doctors that make that possible, I say thank you very much.
This post was inspired by the book Birth Day by Mark Sloan, M.D., which the Silicon Valley Moms Group bloggers are discussing today for our book club. (Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.)