Things I LOVED About My 'Non-Natural' Hospital Births

Mom Moment 40

c-sectionHere are some of my least favorite myths about caesarian births: that all women can avoid them by being strong-willed/more informed. (If only I'd used my Jedi mind powers over that pesky preeclampsia!) That it's not a "natural" birth. (O RLY? What exactly are my babies, then? Cylons?) That they're "the easy way out." (*doubles over, slaps knee, throws out back because of decimated core muscles*)

For whatever reason, some people are just really, really, really opinionated about c-sections, and all I can say is that I hope for their sake that their lives continue to go exactly as planned with zero undesired consequences.

But I'd also like to address another increasingly pervasive belief, which is that any and all medical intervention during birth is horrible and unpleasant, and that hospital environments are always rushed and uncaring and uncomfortable.

I'm sure it's true for some people, but my hospital births -- surgeries and all -- were amazing.

There were disagreeable things, of course. I was scared silly about going into surgery, I was unnerved by the nauseating sensation of my intestines being moved around during the birth, recovery was achey and gooey and weird.

But mostly I remember both of my hospital births with happy nostalgia. I even remember feeling like I didn't want to leave, especially after my first son was born. My husband was eager to get back to the comforts of our house but man, I could have stayed for a week or more. At the hospital we had all kinds of experts checking on the baby, making sure everyone was doing okay, and even taking him to be fed if my husband was gone and I needed to sleep. A steady stream of friendly nurses were a button-push away from bringing me ice water, pain meds, and extra diapers.

Everyone says hospital food is awful, but I have fond memories of the little daily menus where I'd circle my meal requests. The shockingly delicious pushup popsicle a few hours after surgery, the blessed cup of coffee on the second morning.

I loved the big comfy bed that could be adjusted to suit my needs. It was crisp and white and even when the sheets got all bloody and gruesome and had to be changed out from under me it felt like this clean, safe, sterile place to be holding a baby. I could crank it into a Barcalounger shape and nestle my child in my lap while holding a book off to the side.

I dozed a lot, especially the first time around when I was recovering from magnesium, and since I went to a teaching hospital it felt like I had a new nurse every time I opened my eyes. Every single one of them was pleasant and patient and kind.

I remember recovering immediately after surgery, with my baby in my arms. The nurses had put a knit hat on him -- you know, the one with the little tied-off piece of yarn? -- and wrapped him like a burrito in that teal-and-pink blanket and the anesthesiologist came by to check on me and there was this bustle of professional good-natured activity in the room and I just felt like we were so cared for.

I have the same exact memory from both births: I'm lying in bed, just me and my brand-new son. The room is quiet and I'm looking at my child's tiny perfect face, while outside I can hear the muted murmurs and bleeps of a busy nursing station. All those people ready to help us if need be. It was like being in a pocket, or cupped in someone’s hand.

I know a lot of people have unpleasant hospital ordeals, and hate the idea of intervention. I didn’t plan on having surgical births either, but I couldn’t have asked for better treatment. Really, considering that everyone arrived in perfect health, I couldn't have asked for better births, period.

Did you have a positive hospital birth?

Image via Linda Sharps



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BubbsJNL BubbsJNL

Like you, I had an emergency C-section the first time around and when the second little man's arrival was imminent, I absolutely chose to have another C-section based upon the addage about the "evil" you know being better than the evil that you don't.  I wasn't progressing and we were both in distress and the worst thing that I can say about the first C-section was that I was FREEZING right afterward.  Other than that, both were EXACTLY as you described.  The worst thing that happened to me during either hospital stay was carelessly turning on Ellen and nearly popping a stitch from laughing so hard while my wee one slept in my lap!!  I told the nurses that they should add Ellen to their "don't" list for C-section patients. :)

eleph... elephantmamaof2

Both of my hospital birth experiences were very positive even though I had very negative aspects of my pregnancies. My first emergency c section due to pre eclampsia that was getting out of hand and the second was a vbac at just 30 weeks. Both were extremely scary circumstances and not at all how I imagined things going, but my doctor and staff were nothing short of comforting and reassuring. I also look back on those experiences fondly because even though I was scared, I was never made to feel uncomfortable or upset!

jscha... jschanerman

My C-section was not planned and my experience with it was amazing, too! Not to mention my hospital was next door to the children's hospital and there was a McDonald's on site -- I mean really, what more could I ask for. I feel cared for, nurtured, encouraged, and safe for my girl which was the most important thing to me. I don't think I would feel that safe at home. They do call it an emergency c-section for a reason.

xanth... xanthian41691

I had a scheduled c-section because they feared my daughter was FTT and I was already at my due date. It was very calm and relaxed, my doctors and nurses kept me informed about what was going on and my OB even agreed to do delayed cord clamping for a couple minutes even though he'd never heard it asked for a c-section before.

I was cold beforehand (like when they were numbing me I was shaking *really* bad) but they brought in two blankets from the warmer and made me very comfortable. My husband was there with me the whole time. We had a healthy 8lb baby girl =] 

My recovery was incredibly easy (and I refused pain meds - I have a very low pain tolerance and it wasn't that bad). The nurses helped me with my daughter and woke me up when I needed to feed her (jaundice). It was incredible.

nonmember avatar Em

My hospital experienced were very positive too. I'm electing a c/s with my twins next month. Contrary to what others may think, I'm not uninformed, or gullible. I trust my doctor, who has years of experience and medical training, when he says that he believes it's the safest thing for the 3 of us.

LizB86 LizB86

What a great attitude you have, yay for you!  You seem to have made note of all the positives of your hospital experiences and that's a great way to give yourself happy memories.  I had two C-sections too, the first because my daughter was breech and the second because I was not progressing.  I feel a bit of regret that I never got to experience a "natural" birth, perhaps because of all the propaganda about what a fabulous experience it's supposed to be.  I really hate it when women try and make you feel "less than" for not being able to deliver vaginally ("Jedi mind powers"--lol!).  We have healthy babies and that's what's really important!

nonmember avatar Trina

Both of my hospital births were awesome too. I didn't have a c-section, but, I was induced with both of my kids. I liked knowing that if something happened we were in a building with hundreds of EXPERTS who could fix it. I also didn't want to leave after my first child was born, but, couldn't wait to leave after my second child. I just wanted my own bed.

nonmember avatar Michelle L

Great post!

I agree. Although I healed slowly from my first c-section, it was still a magical time in my life. My second one went even better – and was even more special since I had a little girl excited to welcome her little brother to the family.

Our birth story worked for us - with the most important part of it being two healthy children.

nonmember avatar Nicole

I felt the same way as you. I didn't want to leave! The nurses there really helped me and gave me some pointers on changing diapers, breastfeeding, and taking care of him. The food was good, and at the push of a button someone was in the room ready to help. I was shaky and shellshocked for a couple days after delivery so it was nice to be forced in this room and let myself be taken care of. I have no desire to birth at home.

Sara0211 Sara0211

I'm really glad to hear of such positive hospital stories for c-section births. It makes me feel better that there are caring hospital staff out there if I ever need a c-section. I also dislike the term "natural birth". All births are natural births. Better terminology (if people want to distinguish the two) might be unmedicated birth and medicated birth.

I do understand that cesarean sections are necessary for the health of the baby and/or the mother. I have absolutely no problem with individual births. However, I am concerned about the national c-section rate which was 32.8% in 2010 ( which doesn't seem quite right. This percentage brings up a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. Is there something wrong with our health care system? Do doctors turn to performing c-sections sooner than necessary? Will the c-section rate continue to go up? Is there anything that we as a society could do to lower the c-section rate and still have healthy mothers and healthy babies?

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