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I was told from the beginning of my twin pregnancy that I was destined for a c-section.
Most all twin mommas are. A multiples pregnancy is very unpredictable, which is why an unpredictable vaginal delivery is something many doctors steer away from. If twin A is not head down, a vaginal delivery is not safe at all. Even if twin A is head down, once she comes out twin B could flip any direction and then his delivery will no longer be safe. Opting for the vaginal route in that case might just land you both a vaginal and cesarean recovery. No thank you! My Twin A was footling breech the entire pregnancy, so I never even read up on vaginal deliveries. I did my research on C-sections, but nothing could have prepared me enough for the real thing.
I was admitted to the hospital with pre-eclampsia at 29+3. Fast forward to 32+6, and I was being stripped and prepped for an emergency c-section. The pre-e was suddenly worsening after being stable for three weeks and the on-call doctor made the decision that the time was here. Shaking, I called my husband and told him it was time. I was SO scared. After weeks of being in the hospital it was all sinking in at rapid speeds. I was going to have preemies. They were going to be here in a matter of minutes and I would officially be a twin mom. And I was terrified for all that was about to happen.
Before-hand, I thought that I was mentally prepared for my c-section. Being in the hospital for three weeks prior, it was something talked about often. Nurses and doctors shared their stories with me, and my mom (who had both my sister and I via c-section) told me it was nothing to worry about. Well there I was, scared shitless and felt more prepared to retake the SAT at 22 than be sliced open with a blue sheet between my eyes and the knife.
I wish more people would have shared the nitty-gritty truth about their c-sections. Once all was said and done, I realized they all shared extremely surface level stories.
Here are the 10 things I wish they would have told me.
- Getting prepped for your cesarean is VERY uncomfortable. Once my doctor decided it was baby time, a few nurses came in my room and undressed me. Then one started me on some fluids while another one shaved my vagina! Why did no one tell me this would happen??? No one bothered to share with me that even though they’re going to slice my belly, my vagina needed to be shaved as well. So there I was, stripped and legs spread while a very nice nurse shaved what I hadn’t even seen for more than two months.
- Your spouse will not go back with you at first. My husband was told to scrub up and wait outside until they called him in. As if I wasn’t nervous enough already!
- The OR table is strangely small. Maybe I have watched too much Grey’s Anatomy, but the OR wasn’t what I expected at all. The table was SO small. In my overly nervous state, I actually asked how I was supposed to fit on it. I am not exaggerating when I say it was maybe two feet wide. My doctor laughed it off and somehow I did end up fitting on the table.
- Getting the spinal block is no joke. I had previously had back surgery, so my anesthesiologist decided the block was the best pain prevention method. I didn’t expect that I would have to crawl up on that tiny table and sit on the edge, bent over in my nurses arms, and be poked several times until they got it right. Crying and cussing into my nurses arms, I was shaking, overheating, and begging for them to stop. They poked the wrong spot three times before getting it right. Each time they inserted the needle into the wrong spot, a surge of shooting pain went all the way down one leg and all I wanted was my husband.
- A nurse will poke you with a surgical blade to see if you’re numb. This one really caught me off guard. My husband was finally let into the room and all of a sudden I was being poked. The poking stopped once I could be pinched without feeling anything
- You might just be strapped into the table. Once I was numb, my arms and legs needed to be strapped in place because they kept falling off the extraordinarily small table.
- You will feel a weird tugging sensation. Once it was go time, my husband kept asking me if I felt this or that. Well, yes and no. I felt something but it wasn’t like anything I had felt before. The closest thing I can compare it to is tugging. Don’t let me scare you, nothing was painful. The tugging was just strange.
- You might not be able to hold the babies. Mine were whisked away to the NICU because they were so early, but even if they could have been held I wasn’t physically able to. I was shaking too much. I was shaking so much my teeth were chattering and could barely talk. My doctors said the spinal block causes the shaking.
- You will shake a lot and for a while after surgery. I delivered at 20:17 and 20:18 and didn’t stop shaking completely until the wee hours of the next morning.
- The numbness will take hours to wear off as well. I kept trying to move my legs once I was back in my room and I think it took until about 8:00 AM the next day to be able to move them enough to get out of bed and into a wheelchair.
I hope you can take what I learned, and walk into your c-section a little more prepared than I was. If you have already had a c-section, what are some things you didn’t expect? Leave a comment below with your c-section story!