It was February 8, 2020 at around 230pm when I heard the dreaded words: "The baby is overdue already. We need to undergo a C-section."
With a normal delivery, recovery can take just a month though mild care must still be done to ensure that there won't be a relapse. However, with a C-section, healing of the wound alone can take years and movements are limited for the first few months.
So, what exactly happens when you undergo a C-section?
1. Fasting of 8 - 10 hours before the operation.
You are not allowed to eat or drink anything for 8 to 10 hours before they do the operation. You can't even have a sip or drop of water.
Apparently, even when it's a C-section, an epidural is still needed. Imagine being 9 months pregnant where you have the biggest version of your belly possible and you need to curl up into a letter C. Now imagine some guy sitting on your back or pushing your back so that you'd be curled up, being instructed to NOT MOVE at all or even take a deep breath because if the anesthesiologist makes a mistake, you could end up paralyzed.
That is how an epidural is. It is painful and scary. One wrong move can change your entire life and this is not even an exaggeration.
3. You will be exposed.
After they administer the epidural, you will be left alone on the bed that you were rolled in. Your back will be exposed which means your butt is shown to anyone who would deign to look. The good news is you will have the anesthesia flowing in quickly that you would no longer care about this.
I do wish that they were more humane and caring about this part. I personally felt like a slab of meat left out in the open. I know that they are used to it but I wasn't and I doubt that other people would be too since a C-section isn't an everyday thing.
4. You will be placed on a really thin slab of metal.
I know that I am overweight and big but the slab of metal that they placed me on was really slim. I think only those who are size 0 - 2 would fit there comfortably.
Honestly, I don't understand why the table was so slim. It just was and had the medicine not yet worked, my main concern would have been falling off if I made the mistake of moving.
5. You might be conscious.
The thought of being awake while they cut me up to take the baby out was disconcerting. However, I told myself that I had to be brave for my baby and so I pushed through with it.
It was surreal. I could hear them talking about mundane things like their vacation and I could feel them moving about body parts but I did not feel any pain. I knew the moment that they took out my baby (it took 13 minutes from the beginning of the surgery) and then I had a photo with my baby because, in my drug-induced state, I had the presence of mind to tell them to record my baby's arrival and to take a photo of us when he was all cleaned up.
6. You will be dirty.
They don't clean up all the blood that will come gushing out. There will be blood on your stomach and then there will be blood down there. It will look messy, feel icky, and be dirty. You need to make sure you have a binder ready so they can bind up your stomach.
Trust me, if there is no binder, the movement you make when you try to go on your sides will make you feel like you just want to remain frozen forever. A good binder keeps the cut in place so even when you move side to side, it will be okay.
7. You will be bloody.
When they finally remove the catheter and you go to the toilet for the first time, don't freak out about the amount of blood that will come gushing out. It will be a bloodbath so make sure you have a maternity pad in place. This will save you from having a Carrie moment.
8. It will be ugly.
The scar will be ugly. There's no way to sugarcoat it. It's big (it has to be so that the baby can fit) and it will have stitches. Think Frankenstein. However, it will heal and eventually, it won't be so ugly. Think of it as a badge of Motherhood.
9. Your tummy will not flatten overnight.
Mine took two weeks to deflate but it's still pretty big. Don't fret. Eventually, you can get your old body back but do not rush because you had a major operation.
10. You will feel empty.
The baby you carried with you for 9 months is suddenly gone. You will feel vulnerable and empty so make sure that you have a strong support system in place. You will need them.
I hope this article is able to help someone who is just about to undergo a C-section or has been told that this is the only way that they will be able to deliver the baby. I wished I knew about these things beforehand. It would have made my own journey a lot easier.