Editor’s note: We believe that all birth stories and all birth experiences matter. This post is part of our ongoing series of birth stories featuring a diverse range of women and their birth experiences. Kate’s induction and emergency c-section didn’t go so smoothly for her. Thankfully her second c-section went a lot smoother.
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I have had 2 c-sections. My first was an emergency c-section done at 10:30 at night seven years ago.
By the end of my first pregnancy, I was getting anxious. We were first time parents, a week past my due date, and sick of waiting.
On Monday they had me come in for an induction using Cervidil. It did nothing.
Tuesday was a crazy day in Labor and Delivery, so they couldn’t start the Syntocinon (Pitocin) drip until that evening. But once they began it, they ended up having to stop due to a medical emergency in the unit that required most of the staff to help. A woman came in who was losing triplets and they almost lost the mom too, so they needed all staff for that and for the regular deliveries that were going on. They kept calling codes…it was scary to hear.
Finally, on Wednesday morning my induction was back on and my water broke and things started to happen. By 8:00 pm I hadn’t dilated enough and the baby was starting to experience distress, so the doctor decided I needed an emergency c-section. They just kinda decided in front of me I needed a c-section. They brought in the forms that say basically, “You could die.” So much more heavy when you’re facing it right there.
I actually barfed on the table in the OR. Luckily my nurse caught it in time and held one of those little bowls for me. I don’t remember much else about being in the OR. They got my baby boy out, and I remember watching my husband hold him.
I was in hospital for another 3 days after this. 6 days in total. At one point I remember bursting into tears and wanting to go home because our dog was probably lonely.
My recovery was rough. We had our first check up with our family doctor about a week later, and she wanted to see my incision. I mentioned it had been leaking a lot, so I had been keeping it covered. I had also lost a staple in the shower. My doctor recognized my incision was infected and had me come in to meet with a nurse every other day to have it cleaned and dressed. It healed in a little over a week.
I also suffered from postpartum depression. My PPD was treated with Zoloft, and I was on it for over a year before I felt like myself and went off of them.
Last November, I had a scheduled c-section. I went to the hospital in the morning and held my baby in my arms a few hours later. We came home two days after. They didn’t use staples so I didn’t have to have them removed. No infection this time, and I was healed and feeling pretty good in a few weeks. This time around I haven’t felt “off” like last time, so I haven’t needed any antidepressants. It was a much better experience this time.