I don’t understand why anyone in her right mind would want to purposely have a C-section.

Sure, you can schedule it and know exactly when your bundle of joy is going to leave your body, but we’re talking about abdominal surgery. That’s not pleasant.

I had my first child the old-fashioned way, which is to say with an epidural and pushing for hours and my entire face puffing up like a Peep before it explodes in the microwave. I was very unattractive post-birth. I even think about the photos of me from then and I shudder. Burn them, please.

So you’d think that given all that (I pushed for probably three to four hours; not fun), I’d have embraced the idea of having a Caesarian section for my second child.

My ob/gyn is not an advocate of C-sections, either. She believes they should be done when necessary. In the case of my second child, she told me it was.

After I went into labor, they noticed the baby’s heartbeat was dropping every time I had a contraction. It was likely one of two reasons. The first was that the umbilical cord was around his neck and the contractions tightened it. The second was that his head was too big and pressed against the cord in the birth canal.

Can you even imagine the horror? The first reason is awful enough. But then I had visions of his head getting stuck. Worse, she had to go on to tell me that even if his head came through, it was possible his shoulders could get stuck. By this time, I’m silently screaming, “CUT ME OPEN NOW, PLEASE!”

Watching horror movies now is nothing – contemplating my child’s head coming out and the rest of him being stuck in my body gives me nightmares to this day.

The nightmare doesn’t end there, though. Of course, the recovery from the surgery is painful, sure. But it’s when your digestive system starts working again that the real pain begins.

See, your body has a defense mechanism against your abdomen being sliced open: Your digestive tract more or less shuts down so it doesn’t get all infected. (That’s completely not the medical explanation, but I’m not a doctor.) That’s why you have an IV at first, and then only liquids and have to work your way back to solids.

Then your body starts working properly again, you are in for the worst gas pains of your entire life. My body was wracked with pain; I wanted to rip my intestines out. I ended up taking Percocet for that pain – more powerful than what was prescribed for the pain for the surgery. I don’t remember how long it lasted – hours? Days? Months?

It’s all a blur – a psychological defense mechanism, because if women actually remembered the pain of childbirth easily, they’d never do it more than once and tell their children to never, ever, ever have babies.

Photo by Janko Ferlic via Unsplash.

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