My First Delivery
With my first daughter, after 16 hours of labor, I had dilated to only 4 centimeters. My daughter's heart rate was dropping. It turns out her 95th-percentile head was stuck. I could have been in labor till the entire week's nursing staff had turned over, and she still wouldn't have come out. At this point my Pollyanna drug-free labor plans had flown out the window. I awoke from an epidural-induced sleep to hear my doctor asking if an operating room were available. Fifteen minutes after they wheeled me down to the OR, my lovely daughter Ashley Rae was pulled out of my tummy looking around, my husband says, as if to say, "What the hell happened? I was sleeping." Afterward my doctor said the difficulty was caused by the angle the baby was at, and that the next time around I could try for a "normal" delivery. I got the message quickly: What had just occurred was not normal.
The recovery from my c-section was, to say it succinctly, a bitch. I couldn't get out of bed for two weeks without help. I could barely lift the baby to nurse her. I couldn't open a window. I could hardly walk down the street at first. And all those kegels I had done on the train commuting in to work (I would recite my mantra from my pregnancy book: "and the beauty is, no one knows you're doing them!") were for naught -- my only comfort was that at least I wasn't stretched out.