Inspired by a blogging heroine of mine, Swistle, and urged by my wonderful husband to answer some questions I receive (whether received through blogging or not), I am posting my answer to a friend who has a big decision to make very soon. She is in a position where it might be necessary for her to choose to go into labor with a pretty good possibility of an emergency c-section, or scheduling a c-section. Here is my answer, in part (and a bit cleaned up, since typing a Facebook message on my Blackberry isn’t all that conducive to editing grammatical and spelling errors/proofreading):
I would TOTALLY recommend scheduling your c-section. I was only in labor for about 10 hours before my surgery, and it was plenty for me, with the recovery from both being the primary concern. Labor is so very exhausting (because even after the epidural your body is working SO hard!) that recovery from both is just, in my opinion, too much. I had really good drugs after the surgery, so that helped my physical recovery, but I don’t know what kind of meds they give you when you’re nursing. I don’t know what the immediate recovery is like without a morphine drip and a steady stream of percocet. My surgery was also really hard, I think, because it was emergency and really rushed. I don’t think I was really as numbed as much as I should have been because I could feel a lot more pain than I think I was supposed to. That’s another good reason to schedule, I guess!
(Sidenote: I have spoken with friends who had emergency c-sections who did not have the same types of pain during surgery that I had; I think I was so emotionally numb from the whole experience of labor and the emotional stress we were under and I think I told the nurse anesthetist that I was numb when I wasn’t because I wasn’t focusing on my pain when she was trying to get the medicine to my lower half. The medical team that did my surgery was awesome; I think part of what made my surgery so difficult was the emotional pain I was in.)
My surgery recovery wasn’t too terrible, though. It might be different with a newborn, though, without the ability to rest whenever you want. I was given a release to start running again at about 2 weeks, and I had no physical restrictions at about 4 weeks, which was much sooner than I thought. I was done with my percocet and only on motrin within the 2-week mark. I still had random pains until about 6-8 weeks, and kept a bottle of percocet handy for rough moments, but it was a pretty surprisingly swift recovery overall.
Thanks to my wonderful friend for the question! Good luck in the next few weeks; can’t wait to meet your sweet baby. 🙂