Another Saturday, another cesarean section story! You all are enjoying this series and we are glad to be back with another mama's story. We hope that these stories continue to drive conversation and awareness about cesarean section.
Today we have an amazing mama Atinuke Dami-Yakubu, mama to Eden. Grab your favorite snacks cause today's story is sweet.
Qus 1. What is your ideal birth plan, and why?
I chose to have my baby through C-section because I wanted some certainty and believed that labor can be very uncertain, with contraction and not knowing when the baby would come, how long I'd labor for, etc. I didn't want all of that, didn't want to experience that, and don't like the word LABOR. I just didn't think that was for me and that's why I chose elective c-section.
Qus 2. Can you describe your experience with having a C-section? It was amazing, totally amazing! I got to listen to my music playlist during the procedure. Before the surgery, I got to know everything that would happen, how it would go step by step, what I would be given, how my body would react to it, the risk, and everything. I even had a pre-operation appointment a day before the c-section. It was an amazing experience.
Qus 3. Did you have any concerns or fear before the procedure? Yes, I was concerned about the pain of the spinal block anesthesia because I thought it would be like a very long needle going into my spinal cord. Even when the anesthetist doctor came in to explain what would be done, what would be administered, and all of that, it was terrifying for me. I was shaking even when it hadn't been administered. Although my husband was with me in the theater trying to calm me, I was almost crying. To my surprise, I didn't even feel anything because they used the local anesthesia first, and I didn't even know when it went in. The only reason I knew was when I felt it on my legs.
Qus 4. How did you prepare for the C-section, both physically and emotionally?
Physically, I prepared as if it was a virginal birth, packed my hospital bags with the essentials that I needed, then went for the pre-operation appointment a day before the c-section. The medical personnel explained everything to me and took my blood for some final tests to be sure everything was okay.
Emotionally, I remember watching a live c-section video on Youtube at around 25 weeks of pregnancy. Watching it was scary, but I remember talking and asking questions about it on a pregnancy app where mothers shared their experiences of childbirth, and a nurse commented and reassured me that I'd be okay. That calmed me down.
Qus 5. How did you feel during the procedure?
It was just fine because I didn't feel any pain during the procedure and for the first 48 hours. Later, the pain started coming in, and even with that, I took my medications as prescribed and that helped to suppress the pain.
Qus 6. How was your recovery process following the C-section?
It's been over a month now, and I have been recovering nicely. By day 10, I was already okay, moving around but I also get enough rest and did not engage in anything strenuous. My scar has also healed well.
Qus 7. Were there any unexpected challenges during your recovery?
There were no challenges. The only thing I found challenging was injecting myself with a blood-thinning injection in my stomach daily for 10 days to avoid blood clots. It wasn't painful at all just inconvenient. I also had to wear compression socks to avoid blood clots as well and to help with postnatal edema. The socks were uncomfortable but I had to deal with it.
Qus 8. How did you manage any pain or discomfort after the procedure?
I had no choice but to deal with it. I always take my pain medications even before I feel any pain. I do this so I don't feel the pain when it sets in. Qus 9. What products help you with CS recovery?
My pain medications, I took lactose as well. One product that helped me was disposable mesh maternity pants; they are breathable, go over your underbust, and you are not worried that your panties will touch your scar. Love them and would recommend them anytime.
Qus 10. Did you feel supported during your recovery by your healthcare providers and loved ones? Yes! I feel supported, especially by my family members and health care.
Qus 11. How has your experience with having a C-section impacted your life? No, I don't think it has impacted my life at all. I'm just looking forward to when I can start wearing postpartum tummy binders to help me with my tummy pouch.
Qus 12. Do you feel intimidated about delivering via CS or do you feel like a proud mom that can openly talk about her birth experience? I don't feel intimidated by the procedure at all, I'm thinking of doing an entire video explaining the process and my experience, and why I choose it over vaginal delivery. I feel great talking about it even before I had it. I feel so proud of myself.
Qus 13. Do you have any advice for other women who may be having a C-section? The advice I have is for intending C-section mamas to get the "Mesh Panties" I talked about earlier to help them in their recovery process. Also, listen to your healthcare personnel and do your research so it helps you during the whole process. Take it easy on yourself mama!