If you’re like me, you’d prefer to avoid surgery, at (almost) all costs, but that may not be possible. Especially if you’ve read or heard from proponents of natural childbirth, the idea of not having a vaginal birth at all can make you feel like a failure, of sorts — but only if you let it. If, instead, you choose to be prepared for whatever your body and your baby have in store, you’ll be able to better cope with a possible surgical birth.
Be Thankful for Surgery
I have a friend my grandma’s age who was her mom’s first and only child. She was also the first cesarean delivery by their country doctor who made house calls. While she was thankful for her own remarkable survival and health, she never met her mom. Thanks to modern medicine, your baby will in all probability not only survive the birth, but will get to meet you, too.
While some doctors may be too quick to resort to a C-section, most of the time, they’re doing so because it’s in your and/or your baby’s best interest. Realizing that surgical births are often life-saving endeavors can help you keep your mind off the fact that you didn’t get the birth experience for which you’d hoped.
Go Easy on Yourself
Until I’d met a woman planning for an unmedicated delivery “just to prove to myself that I can do it,” I’d never thought about foregoing promised relief for that reason. I must admit, I liked it: a sort of she-man idea. But as far as proving what I could do, there would be plenty opportunities for that. For instance, while recovering from my second C-section, I’d be caring for a toddler as well as an infant and traveling across the country at 5 weeks post-partum; I’d also move within that month. Life will probably give you plenty of opportunities to prove how tough you are, so don’t feel like natural childbirth is the only way.
Let Your Body Heal
While your friends, sisters, and the girl next door may have left the hospital the day after giving birth and been able to look and feel great within a week, you probably won’t. Not only did you just have a baby, but you just had surgery! Reminding yourself and others about that fact is necessary for your full recovery. A good rule of thumb is that the less you do during the first week or two, the more quickly you’ll be able to do it all.
As much as you want to settle into the nest you’ve prepared at home for your baby, take advantage of the time and care provided in the hospital. With a C-section, you’ll probably be staying at least 2 full days (48 hours) after you give birth. Once you’re home, let family members and friends do anything for you that they can.
By preparing yourself for the possibility of a C-section, you’ll be able to embrace whatever birth experience your baby gives you.
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