My pregnant friend has been driving me crazy with questions about my C-section.
Did it hurt?
Did I feel a lot of pain?
Did it hurt?
Normally I'd plead the Fifth (it's practically law that women don't share their labor stories with about-to-labor women) and leave her imagination to its own devices, but I figured since it's a surgical procedure, it falls under a different category. You'd tell your friend what to expect from a root canal, right?
So, for my dear friend, here is a step-by-step guide to a C-section, by Mrs. Mullet.
Let's get right to business. The first thing that happens at the hospital, after you've settled into your bed and donned your hospital robe, is that a nurse shoves a catheter into your she-cave. This is actually one of the more painful procedures of the C-section. Insertion is a bitch. The tube snaking out of your crotch will make you feel like you have to jump up and empty your bladder immediately. You can't, of course, because you're now tethered to your bed.
Next comes the IV. It'll make your hand and arm feel cold, but that's about it.
Somewhere between 10-20 doctors will come in to ask you questions about everything under the sun. You'll start to get really nervous because it's clear there's no going back, but listen, before you have a chance to really freak out, they'll wheel you into the OR (or ER, depending on the conditions of your section). This is when you say goodbye to your partner. Not in the forever sense, silly, but in the see-you-after-the-anesthesiologist-has-shot-me-up-with-meds sense.
If you're lucky like me, your anesthesiologist will be really hot and serve as a nice distraction from your impending knife slice. After you've hauled your butt from the hospital bed to the operating table (it's no easy feat, what with all the tubes dangling from you), the nurse will sit you up and bend you over so the anesthesiologist can poke your back with some needles. This will feel like a smattering of big-ass bee stings.
There, you're now numb from the rib cage down. Your arms will be spread to either side. The drape will go up in front of your face so you don't get splattered with your own innards, and your partner can come back into the room. He/she will stand next to the anesthesiologist, who will sit with his crotch near your head and adjust the meds so you don't vomit. If you do vomit, don't worry. You won't be able to push it up because you can't feel your ribs, but a nurse will suction it out of your mouth if turn your head.
So nice of her!
If you thought you'd get away with not showing your goods to the world, this is where all decency goes out the window. The doctors whisk up your robe; bam, you're negged. If you gave yourself a blind Brazilian shave job pre-surgery, you'll probably cringe as you imagine everyone gawking at your hacked pubes.
Don't worry, in about three seconds you're going to be distracted. When the doctors really get to work it's going to feel like a 200-pound dog is using your body as a chew toy. There will be lots of shaking and tugging. Pulling and shoving. If you're like me, you'll yell out "Gross!" and "This is so gross!" as you feel all the tugging. A nurse might tell you it's worth it; you might shoot back with "I feel like road kill."
The good news is that you're almost out of the woods. As soon as the doctors move your organs around, they'll scoop out your baby. To me, this is where the C-section, which has thus far been tolerable, sucks major ass. You'll hear your baby. You'll see your baby. You'll be dying to hold your baby. But they'll hand your baby to your partner.
After nine months of morning sickness, bloating, hemorrhoids, weight gain, sleeplessness, emotional instability, feeling like a house, and surgery, this feels incredibly and unjustifiably cruel. You've been conditioned to believe that the labor process concludes with you holding your slimy baby to your bosom and breastfeeding then and there. To see someone else cuddling something extracted from your body just plain hurts.
But look, you're done. Your baby will go to the nursery and you'll go back to your room to recover. As you wait to see your baby, go on and touch your rubbery legs. You'll feel like a jellyfish. Unfortunately, the numbness takes time to shake so you'll be bedridden until the next day, but hey, you won't be able to feel the catheter anymore.
And you've got a baby! A beautiful baby.
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