Thursday, September 07, 2006


It is interesting to note how people's reactions to C-sections differs. When I tell some people that a C-section is a likely outcome for me, they express disappointment and sympathy, their faces forming an "Oh" of pity. Others, especially those who have experienced them are far more up-beat.

"Good!" said Galina, my cosmeticana when I told her as she waxed my eyebrows yesterday, "Beleive me, it's the BEST!". She gave birth to her son by c-section, apparently because he was breach in week 41. I recall pencil-thin Galina wearing her pregnancy like a swallowed basketball, so I secretly wondered if size might have had something to do with it too.

Galina showed me her scar too, a thin line about the length of an index finger that fell just bellow her bikini line. Really not a big deal at all.

"Afterwards, for about a day, you feel bad. It's VERY hard to get up out of bed that first time. But only that first time. After that, it's really OK." Galina had a strong opinion about the rooming in too:

"Don't do it! Not at night anyway. Because you need your rest. And if you hear that baby crying and you can't get up, it will torture you. Why? You don't need that psychological scar. Nope. Take your rest. Believe me, that baby isn't going anywhere. At home, for the rest of your life, that kid is YOURS." Good points. She also said it was no big deal if the baby got a bottle during the first few days.

"No one ever said 'no' to a breast. That's not the problem. Getting them to give up the breast later, that can be a problem. So let them have an occasional bottle. No big deal."

I'm not sure I totally agree with her but the positive message I am getting is: don't be such a fanatic. Wait and see. Maybe it will be enough to have her with me all day during the day, when grandparents and Adi are around to help me lift her. And better to sleep throughout the night so I can recover more completely before going home. We'll see. Nothing has to be written in stone now.

Vicky, my manicurists, was also adamant.
"Did you talk to your doctor about a C-section?" she asked. I explained that I was expecting one.
"Good!" she said. Vicky is a little older than Galina and I didn't know her when she had her two girls. She is rounder than Galina too and gave birth to both girls naturally. "But I suffered," she explained. "And why? There's no need for it. C-section is the best."

Now you may be gafawing at these relatively non-professional opinions. But I find that when it comes to "girly" stuff (and what could be more girly than this stuff?), that beauticians are on the mark. Not only do they have their opinions, they have a catalogue of clients stories filed away.

Oh yes, Galina had another good suggestion:
"No one has to know that you had a C-section." A little late perhaps for readers of the blog but her point: once you have the baby it really doesn't matter how it got here.

My friend Jen had her first baby by C-section and the 2nd naturally.
"I really can't say that one or the other was better. They were different, and for reasons that may or may not have to do with the method. I enjoyed the C-section. I was happy. The natural birth was WAY more emotional and in that way harder. I really didn't suffer too much after the C-section. I think it helps to go into it rested and healthy (rather than after hours of exhausting labor). So it just depends."

Which brings me back to the fact that if I don't have a choice, there's no reason to get upset about it. In fact, maybe just the opposite.

On the very last episode of "Coupling" (the one after the episode that sent me into a panic!), Steve and Susan experience birth. Now you may recall that in their birthing class, Susan made Steve promise that he would ask her three times before giving her any drugs.

Well, during the actual birth Susan turns into a sweating, suffering beast who screams, "GIVE ME DRUGS NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"
Soft Steve makes one feeble attempt at holding her off, "Now, honey, remember we said --"
Next thing we see a happy smiling Susan saying what a lovely lovley man the anesthesiologist is. Then the midwife takes Steve aside and explains that too much time has passed and they want to do a C-section, but they need his permission. They need Susan's permission too of course, but she is now floating in la-la land.

"Let me get this straight," says Steve. "If you cut, there will be no damage to the..."
"Yes, but it is MAJOR SURGERY. It will take time to recover..."
"But, no damage to..."
"That's correct."
"Ok, I'll have to talk it over with Susan." The midwife nods.
Steve enters Susan's room and says, "Honey, GREAT NEWS!!!"


Adi and I looked at each other at this point and said, "Yeah! C-section is the best!"

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