Guest Contributor Physical Health

My Cesarean Experience & Why It Matters

by Kimberly Obanion

On June 2018, 2017 at 39 weeks pregnant I was admitted into our hospital to be induced. My OB-GYN as well as my High-Risk OB-GYN both agreed that being induced at 39 weeks was best for both baby and I due to complications caused from my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Due to the complications I endured throughout the entire pregnancy I agreed to be induced as I believed this is what was best for both baby and me. Little did I know I was WRONG. After checking into the hospital, being hooked up to what felt like a never-ending line of wires, having an IV placed, and monitors everywhere they inserted the Cervidil to begin thinning my cervix.

After 12 hours of laying in bed, not able to get up, or move unless it was to go to the restroom, the nurse then came in, took the Cervidil out and began the Pitocin drip.  Once starting the Pitocin, my contractions began getting stronger and stronger, and I was being checked every 2-3 hours to see if I had dilated any more. Once I was dilated to a 4, my doctor came in and broke my water to try and speed up dilating and progress labor on faster, little did we know that would be the beginning of a very long, very painful labor. After being in active labor for 26 hours and dilated to a 5 I was then given the opportunity to get my epidural and I took it.

After getting my epidural, an exceptionally long 2 hours passed, and it wore off on my entire left side of my body. I was in excruciating pain, while battling contractions, only to be told I was still only dilated to a 5! During this time I had also become very tachycardic, my heartrate skyrocketing up to as high as 200, and I also developed a fever, as well as baby’s heart rate dropping down between 30 bpm to 40 bpm the nurse and I became very concerned for both my baby and myself.

After consulting with my doctor, he decided that an emergency C-Section was the best option for both myself and baby, due to the high fever, tachycardia, being able to feel everything on one side of my body, and the fear of infection trying to set in.  At this point, myself, my mother and my grandmother began calling family, friends, co-workers, church family and whomever else we could think of to start a prayer chain for both myself and baby, that God would put his hands around us and bring us both out alive. Before I was prepped and taken back to the OR I was able to see my oldest daughter, dad, mom, brother, Mimi and Pawpaw.

I will never forget my Pawpaw standing by my bedside, holding my hand, telling me everything was going to be ok and praying. My life at that point changed forever. I was then taken back to the operating room with my mom, where 15 minutes later my 7 lb. 15 oz baby girl was brought into this world. Due to her being stuck in the birth canal for so long, me becoming tachycardic and spiking a fever and her heart rate nearly disappearing she came out blue, not crying and was rushed out to be cared for.

Little did I know this would be the first battle on a long road to recovery.

Trying to care for a newborn while just being sliced open right above your pelvis with a 3-inch incision and trying to care for yourself is not an easy task. I would refuse my pain medication so I could always keep her in my room with me, only to regret that decision a couple days later. What they do not tell you is that it will hurt to sit down, lay down, stand up, walk, go to the restroom, or even cough. Heaven forbid you must cough; it feels as though you are being shot a million times with little tiny shards of glass. To be discharged from the hospital after having a child whether it be by C-Section or vaginal they require you to have a bowel movement, what they do not tell you is that you will feel as though you are giving birth all over again and will want to scream, cry, curse, yell, and throw something while trying. I have an exceedingly high pain tolerance but recovering from a C-Section is one of the worst pains I have ever felt.

Then you go home, where you have little to no help. There are midnight feedings, changing diapers, showering, and did I mention, having to bend over with a 3 inch incision, God only knows how deep, and Lord only knows how many stitches keeping all of your insides intact, talk about PAINFUL! Some people say that having a C-Section is the “easy way out” and that you “aren’t really a mom if you have a C-Section” but I think C-Section mommas deserve a medal! As a mom who has had both a vaginal birth and a C-Section, I would take a vaginal birth 100 times over, recovery from it wasn’t the grandest, but it was by far faster, less painful and more rewarding because I was able to spend more quality time with baby.

Recovering from a C-Section is like living a nightmare over and over again, you feel the constant pain of your incision with every step you take, every twist, every turn, every time you shake a bottle to mix it, every time you bend over to change baby’s diaper or pick baby up, not to mention you can only lift 10 pounds at a time and what happens if baby is over 10 pounds, you can’t carry their car seat, or lift them to put them in the car, you have to rely on someone else to be there with you. I say all that to say this, C-Section mommas are warriors, and are not “taking the easy way out” and they are most certainly MOTHERS!! Mothers who may have fought for their life, or their baby’s life, and mothers who have given their all to bring a precious life into this world and sacrificed their body to make!

The next time you hear someone say that “C-Section moms just want the easy way out so they don’t have to go through labor” simply educate them, and let them know that it is most certainly not taking the easy way out because they give up so much bonding time with baby and they may not have had a choice, they may have been forced to have a C-Section to save their life, or the baby’s life. Do not undermine the person saying these things, simply educate them and guide them through what having a C-Section genuinely entails. 

-Kimberly O’Banion 4/27/2020