giving birth

What It’s Actually Like To Get An Emergency C-Section

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true-emergency-c-section-storiesI didn’t know much about c-sections when I was pregnant. I had one book, and that book basically said that if you’re low risk, you’ll probably give birth vaginally, and if there’s a problem, you might need a c-section.

Vaguely, I think I was aware that this meant someone would cut your abdomen and pull a baby out, but I didn’t give it more thought than that; I chose to ignore that my baby would one day have to leave my body because thinking about labor too much made me kinda pukey.

Then I went into labor, where I learned that contractions feel nothing like your vagina opening like a majestic flower, and as much as that sucked, I ended up needing a c-section 12 hours into it anyway. I’m not ashamed of my c-section. I don’t think anyone should be, whether its an emergency or not.

“Not being ashamed of” doesn’t equal “have fond memories of”, though. Emergency c-sections are big old suck sundaes smothered in awfulsauce. I’ve tried to block the whole thing out, but here’s how I remember it.

First, your water breaks and you’re like “welp, I feel like I just peed on myself.”

 And then there’s the small detail of ZOMG contractions holy mother why did no one prepare you for this?

You have to go to the hospital, which is where you realize that admitting is nothing like you see in the movies.

Once you’re in bed, you realize that those contractions from before didn’t really hurt like a mofo. These contractions, on the other hand…

Sometime between the fourth and fifth person checking out your cervix, you realize that no one told you how many people would be touching your Precious Lady Bits.

They ask you to switch positions so you move onto all fours, and just when you feel your gown slip off of your backside, you hear your in-laws come into the delivery room.

They brought coffee, but not for you. Have some ice chips instead.

Halfway through your meal of ice chips with a side of ice chips, you get contractions so bad you want to go back in time and slap the wuss from a few hours ago. 

People are trying to be encouraging, and tell you how great you’re doing in awed tones. You remind them that you’re having a baby, not defusing a nuke with your vagina, and ask them to shut up.

Just when you think labor can’t get worse, some machines start going apeshit bananas, and everyone starts whispering all urgently but won’t tell you what’s going on. 

You hear “fetal distress” and start bargaining with God.

You get to go on a speedy ride to the OR on a gurney, which is kind of fun:

But then you remember why and you’re like:

You’ve been anesthetized, which is kind of cool but you can feel all kinds of stuff going on on the other side of the sheet, and you realize someone’s touching your organs, which is simultaneously awesome and horrifying.

You feel a weird pop and then you hear your baby cry and you get all weepy:

Chances are, you’ll barf:

And in the recovery room you’ll shake a lot:

But then, baby!

And hey, at least you didn’t end up pooping yourself.


(Image: Artem Furman/Shutterstock)