my cesarean experience
In 1995 my husband and I were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first baby! After experiencing two miscarriages, her upcoming due date filled us with feelings of hope and excitement coupled with bits of anxiety.
On March 9th I was scheduled for a routine visit (4 days post-date) to assess baby. Within 30 minutes of the appointment we were told she was in distress & an emergency Cesarean was necessary. The hospital room quickly became flooded with hospital staff preparing me for surgery. Minutes later my husband met our baby girl. Due to the emergency situation, he was not permitted in the operating room & I was under general anesthesia.
After a brief recovery I was taken to meet my husband and baby girl in the hallway. My journey into motherhood began with major surgery which I hadn't been prepared for. I suddenly had a newborn and had a rush of emotions as I was faced with recovery both emotionally and physically neither of which I had any prenatal education for.
I choose to use my experience to provide clients with education and preparation for both planned and unplanned cesareans.
Over 35% of mothers in the U.S. give birth by Cesarean. I believe it is my job to educate all clients on the possibility of Cesarean delivery. Education empowers the mother and support person. Understanding what to expect in the operating room before, during and after delivery makes the experience less traumatic. Explaining the unique emotional and physical needs of mothers recovering from Cesarean birth helps prepare the mom and support person for the postpartum weeks following birth.
Educating clients on the new "Family-Centered-Cesarean" approach to Cesareans gives the couple potential choices & options to discuss with their providers prior to surgery whether planned or unplanned.
As a Certified Labor Doula I may also be permitted to go into the surgery with my clients. When I've accompanied clients into the operating room I have been able to provide information and reassurance to both mom and her support person regarding the process of surgery while holding space for them to enjoy the birth of their child. If the baby needs to leave the operating room before mom is finished with surgery, the support person may decide to go with baby while I remain with the mother until the surgery is finished.