The 'C-Section Vacation' Is One Heck of an Oxymoron

Say What!? 42

I recently stumbled across an article with a title that definitely caught my eye: "Hooray for the C-section Vacation!" The author writes about running into a friend at the mall, and how their conversation turned to their c-section labor and delivery stories. "We laughed because we said the same thing at the same time: Our c-sections were like mini-vacations."

She goes on to theorize that the more kids a mom has, "the more vacation-like a postpartum hospital stay feels." On the one hand, I do identify with her overall positive experience of enjoying a relatively low-stress hospital stay with kindly medical professionals nearby 24/7 for helping with baby-related care and questions ... and on the other, how utterly bananas is it to call major surgery a vacation?

I get where she's coming from when she describes how she enjoyed the transition between birth and going home. I always thought I was kind of a weirdo for loving my hospital stays after my c-section births, but I felt so cared for, and the new-mom paranoia that gripped me even when I had my second baby ("IS HE BREATHING OH MY GOD THAT WAS A DEATH RATTLE OH JESUS SAVE MY -- OH WAIT HE'S SNORING") was held at bay by the constant influx of level-headed nurses.

But holy crap, I would never call it a vacation. The author writes of luxuriating in bed, watching TV, and taking "mandatory naps" while enjoying good food and awesome pain pills. I do remember doing a lot of laying in bed with the baby, but I also remember, say, the giant-ass SURGICAL WOUND on my belly, the spectacular agony of shuffling up and down the hallway, sleeping in fits and starts when I wasn't feeding the baby or being examined, and the shocking amounts of horror-movie-like gore that seeped from my body.

Also, gourmet meals? Haaaaaaaaaa. No.

Plus, there was the small matter of actually coming home a couple days later. Hooray for recovering from abdominal surgery! Hooray for having a post-op poop that was so painful I thought I might actually die right there on the toilet! Hooray for running out of pain medication and not being able to get any more because it's a controlled substance! Hooray for being told not to lift anything but there's both a newborn and toddler at home so hey good luck with that!

Truly, in the grand scheme of things, I couldn't have asked for better birth experiences. My babies were born healthy and thriving and if they didn't come out of my body quite like I'd planned, so be it. My surgeries were complication-free, as were both of my recovery periods.

But a c-section vacation? Banish the term, please, because ... well, COME ON.

(And really, can ANY form of childbirth possibly be considered a vacation? Maybe those orgasm births.)

What do you think about the idea of a 'c-section vacation'? Is that how you'd describe your cesarean?

Image via Linda Sharps



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Coles... Coles_mom

I've had three csections and my first two were in a gorgeous hospital that looked more like a 5 star luxury resort. I never wanted to leave!!! Food was amazing, staff was amazing, the nursery was amazing so I could get rest. My third baby (born last year) was born in a university hospital because I started having medical problems (high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, and I'm an older mom). My regular doc wouldn't care for me anymore and had me sent to a large facility. Worst.experience.ever! There were over 40 other women giving birth at the same time- most with complications like mine (and most of them illegal aliens), no nursery AT ALL. Baby never left my room. Nurses were so stretched thin that you'd hit the call button and MAYBE an hour later someone would show up. Every time a dr came in, they'd be followed by 20 medical students that'd talk about you like you weren't there. Often, my meals didn't even show up an when they did, they were like prison slop (seriously my first hospital would serve lobster and champagne). So no mini vacay this time. :(

Renee... ReneeN1979

Honestly, I loved my last two c-sections. My first was a horror show, the second was a dream come true, and the third one was great (until I had to be readmitted for complications). After three c-sections and two other abdominal surgeries, the hallway shuffle was a breeze, the pain killers were always good, and I did like the hospital food.

youth... youthfulsoul

Guess it all depends on your experience. As you can see by the posters above, and my own experience, not all of us who experience a c section remember it fondly. Mine seriously traumatized me. The anesthesia didnt work on half my body and I could feel everything on the right side of my body during surgery. Then I was shot up with so much morphine to counteract the pain during my horrific surgery, that I was puking non stop in the NICU where my son was taken for the next 9 days. Vacation? I think not.

Taisie Taisie

Hey Coles_mom who cares if some of the other patients in the hospital were "illegal aliens", seriously why does it seem that everyone must bring up things like that in either the blog post itself or in the comments. I'm truly shocked lately by the amount of prejudice in this world it really saddens me...

schlis schlis

Thank you for this. Just had my second emergency section yesterday and your post made me laugh and cry. Def NOT a vacation, but my little man is here. I guess that does make me happier than any vacation....

nonmember avatar Mkayjay

csections suck, your literally sliced open. The pain is aweful, the meds make your whole body loopy& sick feeling.You cant even enjoy the first days of your babys life without enormous pain..
vaction my ass, ive had3& your LUCKY in my eyes to push one out....

Mandy Swanda

I second what Taisie said.  

#1, what does someone's citizenship status have to do with anything?  

And, #2 how could you possibly know if someone was legal or not?  As the family would not have been walking down the halls shouting that they were illegal, as they wouldn't want to be deported, the medical staff wouldn't have had access to that information, and if they did HIPPA laws would have prevented them from telling anyone else.  

So....that just  You saw brown people and assumed they were here illegally.  Classy.

amnew... amnewlon8982

Oh my...compared to having a lumbar spinal fusion, my first c-section was cake. My ob let me choose four days or five. I chose to come home after four so I could attend my daughter's kindergarten graduation. He also left it up to me as to when to remove the pain pump. As my back surgery was a total failure, I am in constant pain so he allowed me to keep it til I was discharged. I was up walking the halls as soon as I could feel my legs. And I heard someone say the other day that recovering from a c-section was horrible because you aren't supposed to get up and move around. Do not true. The quicker you move, the better you'll feel. My cousins wife laid up on her behind and only got up to go to the restroom and she paid for it dearly when she suddenly had to take care of her son on her own.

Nancy... NancyJ422

My one and only was a c-section.  It wasn't a vacation but we were the only ones in the maternity ward for about 3 days (small, small hospital)!  

I had emergency surgery at 1 month pregnant to stop internal bleeding from a cyst so I already experienced the surgery and scar and limited movement.  I guess you could say I had a trial run without the baby because the second surgery and healing wound was a piece of cake 9 months later!

nonmember avatar Rooni

My c-section was awful and it was no vacation recovering from it. I remembered being EXTREMELY cold during the entire 40-45 minutes it took and I remember being shaken back and forth violently while it was happening. The recovery process was terrible. I was extremely weak and could literally not eat for days. I was breastfeeding my daughter round the clock and could not sleep for more than 1 hr at a time. Eventually I passed out in the shower one time. I was very scared because I kept thinking there was something seriously wrong with me. They did a bunch of tests and everything was normal. Eventually I got better and stronger and fortunately there were no complications with my incision, but no, I definitely would not call it a 'vacation'.

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