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C to the Section–A mom’s general observations about c-sections

Editor’s note: Since writing this post, Gretchen gave birth to her eighth child yesterday. He weighed 7lbs 15 oz. He is currently in the NICU for rapid respiration so be sure to send Gretchen your well-wishes.

My first five kids were born via what some people deem the old-fashioned way. Then the exit sign flickered out.

The next two babes were born via c-section, both undeniably necessary. I have no regrets regarding either delivery. Mr. Baby is scheduled to arrive in an OR, too. I’m fine with that.

Here are some general observations about c-sections. They are in no logical order. If you are a dude or otherwise squeamish, this may be too much information:

1. There is a big difference in recovery time between emergency and scheduled c-sections. If you have an emergency c-section, like I did with Beatrix, you have to recover from labor and major abdominal surgery. Plus, the doctors were in a frantic hurry to get her out, so I felt quite battered after she was born.

With Archie, it was more leisurely. Even though I wasn’t expecting to have a c-section that day, there was a happy, chatty, mellow pace that made the surgery and recovery much easier to manage. There were lots of laughs in the OR, good music, and a blessed vibe. Don’t automatically assume the OR is a cold, heartless, life-defeating, grim place. The moment I heard my two c-section kiddos cry, those ORs were the happiest rooms on the planet.

2. Beatrix was born at a hospital where I wasn’t allowed to eat real food until I passed gas. The spiders had to bark. I had to step on the duck. My hospital gown had to cough. Naturally, I was beyond hungry, so after a couple of days I lied and said I had finally accomplished what most people do with great ease in elevators and other enclosed spaces. I figured I needed real nutrition to make yummy milk, so I’d risk the grilled cheese sandwich. I never noticed any ill effects from eating the foods I obtained via false pretense.

3. Archie was born at a hospital where you could order anything off the menu, any time of day. There were no menu restrictions. It was pretty awesome. They called it room service, and I took advantage. It didn’t matter that I just had big time surgery. Bring on the macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake! They didn’t care. Unfortunately, this other extreme did have ill effects