March 12, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Pregnancy | 25 Comments

I did actually mean to tell you that our c-section is scheduled for 1:30pm on Tuesday April 1 – two hours earlier than the first time we had been given. Which is at least a little better – since I can’t eat or drink ANYTHING (including water) after midnight on March 31.

Which, as a total aside, seems really restrictive to me. And sort of arbitrary. Because if I go into labor right after dinner…  will they hold off on performing a non-scheduled c-section because I’ve eaten?

I highly doubt it.

But anyway. I’ll follow my doctor’s instructions, of course. It might be that J and I stay up late the night before and have a fun just-before-midnight snack dinner. That’s all.

As nice as it is to have a date set in stone, I’m still working through some emotions as it relates to having a c-section. It hit me yesterday that I’m foregoing the chance to have my newborn baby put right on my chest as soon as he or she is born. I’m not going to be able to be the first person to look into his/her eyes and say hello.

Which makes me a little sad.

But I’m trying to look at it as a positive – J will be a lot more involved this way – he’ll have to take a bunch of pictures. And he can be the first to hold our baby.

And I’m hoping they’ll lower the curtain just a little bit so I can get a glimpse of our baby as soon as s/he is born.

I do intend to request of my OB that, provided that everything looks good with both me and Squishy, that maybe  the baby and I can have some time in the recovery room together to breastfeed. Even if the whole BFing thing doesn’t work out all that well, at least s/he and I will have some bonding time before I’m transferred to my room.  

That’s really about all I intend on asking of my OB, all that’s included in my “birth plan.”

J and I plan on doing a few other things, though, over the course of the four days we’re in the hospital. First, we’re trying to limit visitors to a handful of good friends and immediate family. Given that I’m going to have a c-section, I’m REALLY worried about the recovery. I expect I’m going to be out of it on Tuesday night, and in a lot of pain for most of the time I’m in the hospital.

And of course, there’s the whole BFing thing, too. If I’m going to give it my best shot, I’m going to need to be able to have the flexibility to BF whenever I need to. And though I have no issues with popping my boob out in front of people – it’s all about what’s best for my baby, people! – J is not as comfortable with that as I am. (I wonder why?)

To that end, we’ve mentioned to only a few people that we’d really like to see them. My friends J and Heather. My in-laws, SIL & BIL, and J’s cousin S. Obviously we’ll call my parents and my grandparents and my siblings too – after all, they all live in NC and FL and won’t be able to come visit us in the hospital anyway.

For the rest of the world (because let’s face it, people are WAITING to hear, right???), we’ll figure out after our baby’s here who we want to call and when. We’re not quite certain about the timing of that – trying to balance what’s best for our family and sharing our news… well, it’s tougher than you think it would be.

Also in the plans: we will keep our baby with us in the room during the day, but as of right now, are planning on sending him or her to the nursery at night – until it’s time for a feeding, of course. As much as I thinking I might want to keep the baby with us all the time, I know that I’m going to need to focus on recovering and resting as much as I can. And after all, we’re not going to be able to send Squishy to the nursery once we get home.

And surprisingly, almost all of the unsolicited advice I’ve been given from my real life friends centers on this very subject. All of them, unequivocally, tell us that we should do it this way. So we’re going to give it a try.

My parents are planning a trip to visit us as well; but we’ve asked that they come the week after we’ve gotten home – it’ll be right around the time where J goes back to work, so I think it should work nicely. First, it’ll give us a week to be a family, just the three of us. Hopefully we’ll be able to get into some semblance of a routine (ha!) before they get here – and I can work out the whole BFing thing – whether or not it’ll work for us.

And I think by the time they get here, I’ll really WANT another set of hands to help out. Plus my parents are so excited about having a grandkid… it’ll be wonderful to see them with our baby.

That’s really the extent of our “plans” as they stand now.

I know I say this all the freaking time, but wow. I still can’t believe we’re making plans.

It’s just all so crazy.


My good friend D reminded me yesterday that I was lax about taking a 36w belly shot this weekend. So I made J take one of me last night, which is up at the following link.  

If you’re inclined to look, that is.



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  1. I had an emergency C-Section with Michael. Within 1/2 hour I was breast feeding him. Also, as I was leaving the OR, they bundled him up and put him on my chest. We rode together on the gurney.

    I think with a scheduled you will have even more access (at least that is my hope). My scheduled C-Section is on April 24 or April 25th.

    From what I have heard, a scheduled C-Section is much more relaxed on the “seeing your kid” front, so you should be able to have pretty good access.

    And yeah, the no food thing–I remember that you don’t get anything afterwards either–I was DYING for Orange Juice–I even had my husband take a picture when they let me have it finally.

    So glad to hear you have a date and time! Soon soon!

  2. Sorry about double post–

    Just wanted to say that recovery is actually not bad. The first day–you are definately out of it, but by the second day you should be feeling pretty good actually. The nurses were very good with Michael. They brought him in whenever he wanted to breast feed, at my request, but they did supplement with formula so that I could recover. It worked out great. And definately–no in room stay for the babe for me…it really is helpful to recovery.

    We are going to use a free service at the hospital for announcing–its web-based. I thinks its called

  3. For my c-section, they actually WERE going to hold off if I had eaten too recently, since everything was ok and still in early stages when I got to the hospital. But, you know, 6 hours and you’re good. The narcotics make a lot of people nauseous, and puking during surgery is not fun. (On that note, do not be afraid to ask for the anti-nausea drugs.)

    At the hospital I delivered at, they take the baby out of the OR within 5 minutes (because of the temperature), but as soon as you get to recovery, if everything is fine the baby comes out to you. So I would think you won’t have a problem there.

    Ask for something if you’re itchy, take your pain drugs on schedule, let the nurses help you, and you’ll be fine. So close – so exciting!

  4. I just wanted to share a few things from my experience that may be helpful. Feel free to take with a grain of salt, as a parent if you do it with love you’re doing it right. I was also hoping for a natural childbirth, but my daughter was breech from 30 weeks on. It was really hard to accept a c-section, I spent 6 weeks grieving the loss of my natural birth, but then at 36 weeks i finally embraced my c-section and met with the doctor (I was with midwives for pre-natal care). It was like having a huge burden lifted and i was able to enjoy the last three weeks of my pregnancy. Not eating b4 surgery was awful, and they made me wait until lunch the next day to eat real food, but the nurses gave me popsicles which helped. But by the time you can eat even hospital food tastes good! Big things for me that were important, the baby did not need to leave the OR right away. The nurses know how to bundle up a baby, if there are no problems you should have time in OR to see and cuddle your new baby. Being awake for the whole thing i really felt like i was a part of the birth and an important presence for my little girl when my husband held her up to my face. Seeing your baby for the first time is the most amazing feeling in the world, even if she’s not right on your chest as with a natural birth.
    As for breast feeding be confident, going into it with the best intentions is really important, and it sounds like your already there. Just let everyone around you know how important it is to you so they will help you. I nursed in recovery about 30 minutes after my surgery, but i had to argue with the nurse who wanted to do an hours worth of vital sign checks. I just let her know how badly i wanted to try and she finally gave in. I didn’t feel sick but if you do you might need to wait longer. Remember your baby doesn’t need much food in the first 24 hours. Just that important colostrum and sucking to help your milk come in.
    The nice thing about a c-section is the four days in the hospital, by the time you go home your milk should be in and you’ll be feeling confident about feeding your baby. Also if you have problems, there will be plenty of time for nurses and doctors to help you out. Give it your best shot, it really is worth it, even though it’s hard at first. My nipples hurt for three weeks after the baby was born, but after that we had no problems. It is so nice not to have to worry about formula and bottles, and so healthy for your baby.
    Good luck, i hope everything goes well for you. You can still use the breathing techniques from birth classes to help you relax during surgery! Sorry this is so long.

  5. C-sections do take a bit more time to recover from. It will amaze you how much better you feel each day though. The first day or two is the worst and it gets significantly better each day. By the end of the second week you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

    And I totally agree with sending Squishy to the nursery at night. You need your rest and being in the hospital is really your last chance to get any.

    Just make sure you call and have her brought back to you if you need too. Bo slept through the night (8 hours) and when I woke up and hadn’t seen him in that long I totally flaked out on the nurses. 😦 Now I realize that his good sleeping habits then probably helped with his good sleeping habits now… but at the time, I was just pissed! Haha!

    Make sure you really ENJOY these last few weeks as much as you can in your pregnant state. Read books, watch TV, go to the movies, go out to eat, go shopping. Enjoy taking a shower. It will amaze you how different even simple tasks are once Squishy is here. The thing I miss most — reading. 🙂

  6. Sounds like you have everything in order! Re: breastfeeding in recovery etc., when my daughter was born they held her next to my face as they were stitching me up so I could look at her and talk to her, and then as soon as I was settled in recovery they brought her to me to nurse (or try nursing, anyway) and cuddle–was less than an hour after birth, I think. Every hospital is different but I think this is pretty common procedure now.

  7. You look just radiant in your 36 week picture. I never made it that far (only 31 weeks). Our little guy decided to rupture his membrane and I was admitted for observation on a Monday night. Of course, they told me no food but a nurse took pity on me and gave me graham crackers and a small juice. It got me through the night and the kids were born at 12:41pm and 12:42pm on the following day.

    We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts……..


  8. You can google terms like “gentle Cesarean” or “natural cesarean” and see what a few doctors are doing to make C-sections more natural for the moms who have to have them. (Obviously, this couldn’t apply to emergency C-s.) It’s still very unusual (the one story I read was from the UK), but it has been done. I’ve read things about having the room warmer, with lower lights, gentle music playing, no screen across your belly, being able to see your baby’s entrance into the world, the baby gently being guided out through the incision, and allowed onto your chest immediately, and the cord is allowed to pulse for a while. The baby is sterile, so there is no extra risk of infection with this. You can do the research and present it to your doctor and see if s/he can accommodate any of these things.


  9. Sounds like you have a plan!! With this C-section, they put Seth right on the gurney with me as I was being moved from the OR to the recovery area, and he got to stay with me for about a half hour or so. It wasn’t long, but long enough to try nursing if I had wanted to (I was so exhausted that I just didn’t have it in me so my hubby gave him a bottle of formula instead).
    The recovery is hard, but just make sure to listen to your body. And take the pain meds they give you, even if you aren’t in pain. Because by the time they wear off, you’ll really be hurting. It’s easier to stay ahead of it. I wish you all the best!!

  10. Oh Serenity! You’re looking quite nice and round these days! 🙂

    I think that sending Squichy to the nursery at night is a good idea.

    Also, make SURE that they bring him/her for feedings. My best friend was at a hospital who would feed her baby a bottle of formula “cause he was hungry” when in the nursery and then they never even TOLD HER till later….so of course he wasn’t latching when she got to him! Ugh. But like I said, definitely mention it more than once. NO BOTTLES.

    However, a nuk has been our friend and hasn’t ever caused Ethan any latching issues or confusion, so imo those can be ok. If you’re wondering on that one.

    I agree with the above poster….my friend seemed to have a decent amount of pain after her section, BUT she was also up and walking shortly. Listen to your body and you’ll be fine!!


  11. oops…SQUISHY not Squichy. :p

  12. Sounds like you’ve got lots accomplished already. Good for you to think about everything ahead of time.

    With both my sections, I was breast feeding within 1/2 hour. They didn’t take the baby (either one) away until I was in my own room a few hours later. I actually liked that my hubby had such an important role in the “birth”. He was right with me, calmly waiting, and then once the baby was born he’d go take pictures of he/she and bring the camera back over so I could see.

    I have to be honest on the whole visitors thing…good for you to make your wishes known for limiting guests while you’re in the hospital. However…I would really try to monitor people coming to your house too when you’re home. I remember making a plan with my nurse in the hospital that she would say something if I gave her the “look” to rid people. I felt way better about that seeing as though I’m not so good at it when I’m at home. People are excited and it’s nice, but the whole thing is absolutely exhausting.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about how this all goes. 🙂

  13. We sent the baby back to the nursery at night, and it was the best decision for us. They brought her back in to me each night when she needed to be nursed since we’d made it clear that that was our intention. As our nurses said, we could always call to have her brought to us at any time we wanted. BFing was difficult in the beginning for me, so not having a parade of well-wishers visiting in the hospital was a big help. There were already enough people in and out with hospital staff performing various functions. I know you’ll make the right decisions for you and your newly expanded family.


  14. One thing I would do is call the labor and delivery floor at the hospital you are using. I found that each hospital was different when I had sections with my boys. One let me be very involved in the delivery room and the other was a swoop the baby away kind of place. I wish I had known that because it scared me. Also, the other thing they don’t always tell you ahead of time is that sometimes the epidural or anesthesia makes you shake. I was trembling and didn’t know that was normal and it kinda freaked me out too. DO NOT feel like a pest, you have every right to ask as many questions as you want, it is your body, your baby and a wonderful experience for YOU. The staff does this over and over every day and sometimes they forget how special it is for each individual woman.

    Also my second-section hospital, they wouldn’t let my baby stay in the nursery at night. It was their policy that the baby bunk in with the mom unless he/she needed medical care. Just don’t be afraid to ask 🙂

  15. Hi–I was able to try breastfeeding in the recovery room post scheduled-c (and this was at a big city hospital, very possibly the same one you’re delivering at). I was adamant about wanting to bf as much as possible. I also kept Baby L. in the nursery at night so I could sleep and they definitely brought the baby in every four hours to me.

    And for any c-section, I say, don’t be a martyr. Take whatever drugs they offer you for pain. That’s always been my motto: I take the drugs. And I didn’t think the c-section recovery was all that bad. I was walking a day later (to the bathroom, but you have to start somewhere).

    And know that breastfeeding is tough. As my ob.gyn told me, breastfeeding sucks. It’s hard, it’s likely to hurt, and the only thing that kept me going (and later kept me pumping for 8.5 months) was that it was healthier for my kid. But I had serious low milk supply issues and had to supplement in the hospital because my kid lost more than 10 percent of his body weight at day 3. So do what you can for breastfeeding, but seriously, if it doesn’t work, don’t feel guilty about needing to use formula if necessary. If it weren’t for formula, my kid would have starved and don’t let any breastfeeding nazi tell you otherwise. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.

  16. Your plans sound perfect. I actually ate a huge dinner of pasta and meat sauce with garlic bread the night I had the twins. I ate dinner around 730pm, and we were in the hospital by 930pm. Because of a busy night, the kids weren’t born until 4am, but they would have taken them earlier if it wasn’t so busy in the OR, so I’m not sure why you REALLY need an empty stomach. But maybe you are mroe likely to get sick?? who knows?

    I didn’t breastfeed, and my babes were a bit early, so I didn’t get to hold them. Daddy took tons of pics and off they went to the NICU for observation for 12 hours. That was the worst for me. Just waiting to see them. But it’s funny, it SO doesn’t matter now. Once they put ’em in my arm, it really didn’t matter how they got there. You’ve said that a million times, so I know you are mentally is such a great place.

    Definitley limit the visitors, we had a lot of people just show up, and by day 2 I was tired and sore and hormonal and then my milk started coming in, and really I just wanted to rest. So don’t push yourself. There will be plenty of time to see people. And lastly, DEFIINITELY use the nursery! I actually CRIED a few times (hormones!) because I felt awful sending the kids away at night … but I realize it was just because I was crazy, and I needed my sleep and my rest. So please don’t beat yourself up, and take advantage of it while you can.

    It’s coming so quickly! I’m so excited for you!

  17. Your pic looks great!

    I was going to ask what some of the previous commenters have said – whether the CS team could hand Squishy to you right away if possible, regardless of the fact it’s a C-section not a vaginal birth. I’ve heard this is done in some hospitals.

    As for the eating – yes, they would do the op even if it was right after dinner, but the anaesthetist would be more worried and the risks would be (a tiny bit) higher. As with every medical procedure, they would balance the risks and benefits and decide to go ahead anyway, but they’d be thinking, “I wish she hadn’t just eaten dinner.” So it’s not arbitrary.

    I think you’re very sensible to limit visitors. Can you shoo some of your well-wishers away with the task of telling everyone else?


  18. I breastfed in the recovery room too. I took a breastfeeding class and they said if you can try and do it within the first couple of hours it’s good because after that the babies get groggy and aren’t as interested.

    And be forewarned, the nausea may last several hours after your c-section so be very judicious drinking anything. I threw up a few times – including right when I was holding my daughter for the first time. Not quite the moment I pictured in my head!

    Best piece of advice someone gave me – stay on top of the pain. I actually felt pretty good for several hours after the c-section (they told me it was because they really amp up the epidural and give you IV pain meds) so the first day wasn’t bad. After that, just take the meds at the dosage time – don’t wait until you start feeling pain because at that point it really sucks. I have a very high tolerance for pain (proof – I did an Ironman Triathlon) but I took the pain meds for 10 days.

    Another piece of great advice someone gave me – take your breastfeeding pillow to the hospital, (my brest friend is what my lactation consultant recommended) and if your room has a couch or a chair it can be easier to get the right position to breastfeed there than in the bed.

    You will likely get lots of unsolicited (and sometimes unhelpful) advice about breastfeeding from the nurses, I ignored most of it and did what my lactation consultant said.

  19. Wow I can’t believe you’re so close now, how exciting! I had an emergency CS and even though I was so scared at the time, it turned out to be the most amazing experience. As soon as my baby was out, I heard her beautiful cry and didn’t care what was happening behind the curtain, all I wanted was to see her. They held her up to me and I instantly started crying. She was taken to a table 2 metres away for a quick check by the PED but was on my chest within 3 minutes! And I tried BF in recovery as soon as I was stitched up. We were wheeled back upstairs to our room together. You’ll be fine, its an amazing experience and you’ll just be happy that your Squishy is there and perfect. Good Luck!!!

  20. PS. the pain of recovery IS NOT BAD AT ALL. I think the adrenalin of having your baby finally in your arms takes it all away. Oh that and the constant flow of pain pills delivered by the nurses. 🙂

  21. A woman I used to work with told me that in all three of her c-sections she watched the ceiling mirror. She was fascinated with the surgery (biologist, what do you expect?), but that was she also got to see each baby right as they were lifted out. Not sure if this is something you want to try, just thought I would throw it out there.

    I was in a c-section with a friend of mine and her husband 3.5 years ago. He was nervous and wanted backup. They did let the father hold the baby fairly soon after delivery, and he was able to bring the baby to his wife’s face while the doctors were working on closing. HTH

  22. They are being a bit restrictive. My caesar was scheduled for 1pm, and I was told to have breakfast, finish by 730 and then come in. Actually it was at 2pm so I was very glad I’d eaten something, esp as they then didn’t feed me til 8pm for various reasons! You could certainly drink water until an hour or so before as water goes straight through your stomach.

  23. You do look wonderful!

    The c-section is definitely a different experience than a vag birth, and it was kind of weird yet wonderful to be hearing about it all from the anesthesiologist and my husband. My senses were so heightened that hearing my son cry was just amazing since I hadn’t seen him yet. They did bring him over to me, but it was all so wild I couldn’t take it in.

    Many of my friends got to have their c-section babies in recovery with them. I didn’t because he had some oxygen issue that required he be in the “transition” nursery (ie, between normal and NICU) for a bit. My husband went back and forth between transition and my recovery room, bringing me digital photos. I ended up not holding my son for about three hours after delivery (until I was moved to mother/baby), but it was great – I got to have this wonderful second debut moment, and he breastfed then.

    We also sent him to the nursery at night, and I am SO ALL FOR THAT! We had him with us during the day. Our hospital and staff were great, so it was really nice being there. I did have a textbook hormonal meltdown on day 3, when I cried at EVERYTHING – like people being nice to me.

    As far as recovery goes, day 1 was rough, but I had a great recovery. I’m not sure if there’s any trick to it (may just be luck), but I did get up and move as soon as I was able, which people had told me to do.

    You are so close, and I am just thrilled for you!

  24. ok, another piece of assvice. You may want to rethink the nursery thing if the baby is sleepy. Given you are worried about bfeeding anyway, you’re going to want to put the baby on the boob as frequently as possible, and if they take squishy away, for the best of intentions you may miss feeding opportunities unless they are prepared to wake him or her every 2 hours or so. See how you feel but it may be worth a night of being disturbed to help you get breastfeeding working. You can always have squishy in the hospital bed with you and feed lying down so that you can rest while you do it.

  25. sorry I really should read all of the post again before hitting ‘submit’. NO reason why the baby can’t be put on your chest and look into your eyes first. They loosened my gown before they started the section so that they could pull the gown down and put the baby on my skin as soon as she was born. It was a fab moment. No reason why they can’t do the same for you. And I wouldn’t ask to have the baby in recovery with you, I’d insist on it. Why on earth shouldn’t you? Unless there is something wrong with squishy and he/she needs to go to the nursery, he/she should come with you to recovery and be with you the whole time, preferably skin to skin under your hospital gown, and latched on the boob asap if poss.

    Also, they should be able to lower the sheet between you and your belly as the baby is lifted out so that you can see him or her straight away.

    I’m a bit worried that your hospital isn’t making opportunities for you to spend those first few moments and days with the baby in as relaxed and non-clinical a way as possible. Can you give them a call and talk to one of the midwives or nurses to ask how they do things and talk about your preferences?

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