If you saw my post the other week about my 32 week scan, then you’ll know that I’ve got a C-section booked in to deliver this baby at 39 weeks. To say I’m not thrilled about this, is an understatement. Please don’t tell me that I can still opt for a vaginal breech delivery, as I believe that a caesarean is the safest way to deliver a breech baby. This is exactly why I had M via caesarean section. However, just because I’ve had one C-section, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a whole new range of worries about having one this time. So, I thought I’d write about them in the spirit of my blog as my haven for chronic over-thinking.
Will a C-section make it harder for me to breastfeed?
When I had M, I struggled to get breastfeeding right and she lost weight. I put this down to spending longer than I should have in recovery after the caesarean without skin to skin, and lots of well-meaning midwives in hospital telling me that M’s latch was fine, and being discharged too early only to be told by my community midwife later in the week that I was doing it all wrong.
Other women have successfully breastfed after a caesarean, but for me, it felt impossible. I think I had convinced myself that having a VBAC would remedy this problem. I imagined that wonderful, baby-crawling-out-of-my-vagina-and-up-my-body-to-the-breast moment that they show you in videos at NCT classes.
It’s a real worry that having a caesarean will mean that I’ll struggle to breastfeed again. I desperately want to be able to give this baby the same start that M had, but I know I won’t be able to exclusively express for the best part of eight months again, not with a newborn and a toddler to look after!
Will I feel as much pain as I did last time?
I remember being utterly miserable after we were discharged from hospital when M was born. It was terrible. I think this is mainly because I ended up only taking paracetamol as pain relief. My Polycystic Kidney Disease means that I’m unable to take anti-inflammatories, and while I was given oromorph to take, this made me feel worse than I did when not taking it. I’ve heard that arnica tablets are supposed to be really good for healing after C-section. I’m going to find out whether it’s safe for me to take those, and hopefully that will speed up recovery for me a bit.
I’m trying to put it all in perspective. I’ve reminded myself that I was feeling much better and even driving after four weeks last time. I’m really hoping to be able to enjoy the first weeks of this baby’s life, rather than simply surviving it.
How will M feel about me not being able to lift her for weeks?
This worries me as at 20 months, M is still little and comes to me a lot for reassurance. We’ve managed to teach her to climb up and down the stairs over the past few weeks. That will help, but she still asks to be picked up by me all the time. I think the mummy guilt that you won’t be able to give your first child as much attention as you did before is bad enough. I’m gutted that I’ll have to add, “no, Mummy can’t pick you up,” to my repertoire for weeks after the baby arrives.
So there you have it. Those are my three main worries. Yes, I’m sad that I won’t get to experience a natural birth. I’m able to be fairly pragmatic about that (although I’m sure I’ll shed some tears over it at some point!); it’s more the aftermath of caesarean that’s bothering me this time. There is still a chance that this baby will turn and I’ll be able to have a natural birth. I’ll hold onto that but after M staying put for so long, I’m not holding out much hope!