5 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Unexpected C Section Experience

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Prior to even getting pregnant, I dreamed of having an all-natural, unmedicated, vaginal delivery. As painful and frightening as that may sound to some people, there was something even scarier about a c-section experience. I didn’t want a c-section delivery or go through the experience of a c-section procedure. And I most definitely did not want to have a c-section scar or have to care for it to avoid possible infections.

I knew emergency c-sections were a possibility. But I also knew a planned c-section was not in the books for me because I didn’t have a high-risk pregnancy. However, I didn’t know unplanned or unexpected c-sections were a thing because I thought that is what emergency c-sections were.

What is an unplanned or unexpected c-section delivery?

The major difference between an emergency c-section delivery vs an unplanned or unexpected one is that the mom and baby aren’t in life-threatening situations. Unplanned c-section procedures are still urgent and some common causes for an unexpected c-section delivery include:

  • labor not progressing
  • baby not tolerating labor
  • baby is sideways or breeched
  • contractions are too weak

Unplanned Situation Before Unexpected C-Section

As I got closer to my due date, I filled out my birth plan and mentally prepared myself for the all-natural vaginal delivery I have always longed to have. I filled my OBGYN in on my birth plan weeks before my due date and we were both on the same page about trying to avoid a c-section delivery.

At the last OBGYN appointment, before I was due to have my baby, the OBGYN that was supposed to deliver my baby was on “leave” (a word to describe vacation time in the military world) because her kids were on spring break up until the actual day I was due. Therefore, I had my normal check-up with a different OBGYN.

I ended up going into labor a couple of days before my due date and ended up having my baby the day before her actual due date (St. Patrick’s Day). So I had two other OBGYNs that were monitoring my baby and me.

This right here already was unplanned. They didn’t know my birth plan. And I definitely did not have the kind of built-up relationship I had with my original OBGYN. Ultimately, my water was broken by OBGYN 1, my baby’s position in the womb was not properly monitored as I progressed to 9cm, and when OBGYN 2 checked the baby’s position, she ended up being in an asynclitic position which is not favorable for vaginal delivery. And they had to deliver my baby via c-section procedure.

Key Things I Wish I Knew And Did Before My C-Section Procedure

1. I wish I would have watched or read a few things about other c section experiences.

The only things I was interested in reading about were vaginal deliveries or vaginal birth stories. I was so fascinated with home births. And natural, unmedicated births that that’s all I ever read during my third trimester.

2. I should have looked into c-section postpartum essential items.

Pinterest was my jam all throughout my pregnancy. And I would see c-section related topics pop up every now and then. But I never once clicked on it to read about it. I’m pretty disappointed for having such a negative predisposition toward c-sections.

Or thinking I was ‘too good’ to go through a c-section. Where I would avoid c-section related topics when ultimately, it could’ve saved me some money.

I purchased a good amount of vaginal birth postpartum essentials for perineal care. When I didn’t need any of that but my stool softeners, overnight pads, and postpartum underwear.

3. I wish I knew how common unplanned c sections were.

According to CDC.gov, about 31.7% of all deliveries are cesarean deliveries. Which means it’s rather common.

And the number of c-section deliveries has increased rather quickly. The increase in c-section deliveries might be due to physicians getting paid quite a bit more for a cesarean delivery vs a vaginal delivery.

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4. If I could go back in time, I wish I had gotten a doula.

Doulas are trained professionals who provide emotional and physical comfort and support before, during, and after labor. They are there to give guidance and be your personal advocate.

As a brand new mom-to-be, there was so much information that I didn’t know about the labor process. I feel like if I had a doula, the whole process would have felt more in control and would have gone smoother than it did.

5. I wish I would’ve had a more positive outlook on c-section births.

Instead of completely blocking out the possibility of having a c-section and running away from the idea of it, I should have been more open-minded. Due to my mindset on c-section procedures, I truly missed out on great information out there that could have better prepared me mentally and emotionally those first few weeks after birth,

Final Thoughts

Don’t be like me and think there’s absolutely no reason or no way you’re going to have an unplanned and unexpected c-section. The possibility is always there because the labor process is unpredictable.

That’s why I hope to spread more awareness about unplanned c-sections, the overall c-section experience, and the recovery process. And help new c-section moms care for their bodies post-c-section procedure and with weight loss during postpartum.

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