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