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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!
I wish I read this before mine! My spinal didn’t work though so instead of tugging I felt everything so that was fun…
Oh jeez!! I am so sorry that happened to you. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like. I hope the procedure went quick!
Thank you so much for this post! I also had a preemie at 32 weeks via c-section and nothing I read could have prepared me! I was only admitted two days prior to giving birth for “observation” since my baby wasn’t gaining any weight inside me (we learned it was due to IUGR- intrauterine growth restriction). After those 48 hours a nurse came into my hospital room and informed me I was having my baby that day. I have told so many people since how uncomfortable and straight up vulnerable it is just being prepped. To me, that was the worst part. I later learned that although the hanging sheet protected me from seeing the procedure, it did not, however, prevent my boyfriend from witnessing the entire thing. It was all worth it in the end of course, but there should definitely be more stories like this. It’s good to know I’m not alone!
I am so happy everything turned out okay with you and baby! Having them at 32 weeks is surely not the norm, and finding info is hard! I remember the ‘you’re having them today’ talk and jeez; I was SCARED. Luckily they were only in the NICU for two weeks. But still, finding relate-able information is scarce. I hope you and baby are doing great and wish you the best!
You nailed everything. I also had a c-section, mine was at 28 weeks 5 days due to severe preeclampsia. Something I found extremely strange about the c-section was how low my blood pressure got during the surgery. I had been hospitalized for high blood pressure (200/110, yes very scary high) and i’m assuming the spinal block also caused the low bp (60/40), they had to give me medicine to bring it up, when I had been fighting for days to keep it down. Also, I was so happy to be awake to hear my baby cry when they pulled her out, but after they whisked her away to the NICU I wish I was knocked out. I hated hearing them sew me up and just all the post surgery stuff they have to do to seal you up. Also hated the smell of room.
Preeclampsia is no joke! Mine was a more ‘manageable’ case I guess because with meds they were able to keep it under 180/105 until the day of my emergency c-section. My BP did the same, it went very low and I needed oxygen when they started cutting me open. There are just so many things no one prepares you for in regard to a c-section.
I am hoping you and baby are doing well!