Had my family guest-starred in the TLC show A Baby Story, you would have watched me
beg negotiate with my OBGYN to schedule my 3rd c-section at my week 38 visit…and at the week 39… Just when it seemed like the baby “would never come” I was scheduled to deliver Gabriel in my 40th week of pregnancy on January 16th.
The only difference between this scheduled c-section and the other two is that when I went to the hospital I didn’t know if I would be getting an epidural or be put to sleep under general anesthesia. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might have read about my issues with scoliosis. While it doesn’t prevent me from any normal activity; my curvature makes it extremely difficult to administer an epidural, and it has left me with residual back and leg pain for weeks post delivery.
Want to hear something ironic? About an hour before surgery, I went into labor! oh yeah. They had me hooked onto the monitors and I had to watch (and feel) the contractions come and go as I waited to be wheeled in. Go figure.
After consulting with the anesthesia team and looking over my x-rays (yes, I come prepared) they decided to put me to sleep with general anesthesia. It was kind of a bummer, because I missed the delivery and the first 8hrs post surgery are very blurry.
I have to admit that I was scared to be put to sleep for the c-section. A few times the thought: what if I don’t wake up? crossed my mind. In the end, I had no choice and I did wake up. The biggest difference between induction, c-section with epidural and a c-section under general anesthesia is the post delivery pain management.
With my first and second c-sections, a pain relieving narcotic was administered through the catheter before removing the epidural. This provided 24hours of pain relief (and I didn’t need a pain pump). With the general anesthesia, when you wake up… well it’s painful. No amount of pain pump relieves the “I just got opened in half” pain. Needless to say, the first 48hours were painful and blurry. Even with the pain pump (which you must self administer every 6 minutes) I didn’t find pain relief until day two when it was removed and I moved on to oral medication (more than likely because I’d often “forget” to push the button to administer).
And the episode ends with a beautiful baby boy, happy siblings, and beyond grateful parents. Shoot! I forgot to set my DVR!