I know many ladies who believe a C-section is the BEST way to give birth. I, on the other hand, am NOT of this belief. C-sections are scary; they cut INTO your body! Did you hear me? They cut through your body and pull a human out of it? SCAAAARRRRRY!! But my own personal experience prevents me from believing positive things about C-sections.
When I had my C-section, it was very traumatic. It was not planned in any way, shape, or form, and I was not prepared for it at all. After having my C-section, I tried looking online in my baby apps and such for people who had emergency C-sections. I could never find anybody who had my same experience, but I knew there had to be people out there who had had one!
At my two-week check-up with my doctor, through tears, I explained to her how traumatized I was. She said, "Jackie, if you came in here and said you were absolutely fine, then I would be more worried about you. We do that surgery, and throw-up 15 minutes later. It's not common, and definitely not normal." At this point, I told her I couldn't find anybody who had the same kind of C-section. She explained that I was calling it the wrong thing; mine was a "CRASH C-section," and not an "emergency." That an "emergency C-section" was the term used for any C-sections that are not scheduled, and need to happen later that day, minutes or hours later.
It was then that I realized not all C-sections are created equal; some are actually WAY better to heal from. Now when I hear about people who have had planned C-sections and how they like them, I completely understand why they aren't freaked out. A friend of mine has had two C-sections; one very urgent emergency C-section, and one scheduled. She told me there is a HUGE difference between the two, and recovery is a million times better. It all makes sense now!
So let's discuss the differences, shall we?!
Let me start off by saying, after speaking with many doctors/nurses, that these terms change between hospitals. Because of this, I have listed them all for you to avoid any confusion with terms you may have heard as well!
Also, after speaking with the doctors at Jordan Valley Medical Center, I have found that these terms are used based off one very important reason: fetal distress. If the baby is in complete distress, you'll end up with a crash C-section. If the baby is in distress, but has a bit of time, your C-section won't have to happen as quickly. So, let's all just hope for NO distress, mmmmkay?
Planned or Scheduled C-SectionsFor all intents and purpose, I would consider this the BEST kind of C-section. A planned or scheduled C-section is exactly what it sounds like. Your doctor schedules this C-section for the day that works best for your pregnancy, and that's that! Supposedly, it is not scary, and recovery is much better. And I can only imagine this, but I'm sure being in the right mindset for a C-section is a huge plus! The doctors have time to be completely prepared and can spend as much as they need to make sure everything is a-ok and going well!
Emergency or Urgent C-sections
These C-sections include a few more instances than the other two groups we will go over. Because of this, C-sections in this group can vary in so many ways. Christina Mack, Manager of Labor and Delivery in American Fork, UT, states, "An urgent C-section is usually because the baby may be at risk if we continue with the current plan. For example, heart rate is decreasing but coming up, or the mom is a repeat C-section but in labor and progressing, etc." These kind of C-sections are NOT planned, but may happen within a few minutes to a few hours later depending on the severity of the situation. Doctors will take time to count instruments, get consent to have the C-section, and then do the C-section.
Depending how fast these calls are made, and how fast you have to have your C-section, you may feel prepared or not. And recovery may be hard or not depending on your situation. If this kind of C-section happens for you, I can only hope you get enough time to process what is about to happen, and feel like things will be okay. Being in the right mindset can help your recovery tremendously.
Crash or Stat C-Sections
I hope you never have to experience this. It is not ideal in any case. In fact, if this C-section happens to you, you will end up with an X-ray at the end of the C-section. Why? To make sure they got all of their instruments, cloths, gauze, etc. out of you. There isn't time to count instruments before they use them in you, so they have no idea what they are looking for when they are done. Doctors at Evergreen Women's Care explain this decision as a "one minute or less" decision: if you don't get baby out in one minute or less, mom or baby dies." This is the type of C-section my doctor says makes her throw-up.
Can you imagine? Everything is going fine, and then all of a sudden, there is too big of a change that now makes it impossible for mom or baby to survive, and you better move fast. Not only does this cause stress for mom and baby, but imagine the doctor who makes this call. They have a huge weight on their shoulders at that point. Someone is dying if that baby does not get out NOW. Would I ever want to be the doctor who has to decide that? No thanks.
This is the kind of C-section you may have to be put under for. Depending on the drugs you already have in you, it may not be possible to do the C-section with you awake.
And would I ever wish someone to experience this? HECK NO. It is not ideal, and is really hard to recover from. There isn't time to be in the right mindset. In my case, it was, "This is a crash!" proceeded by, "Jackie, can you feel this?" as she pushed on spots along my stomach. "Yes," I responded. She asked, "But does it hurt?" "No." And slice. Baby was out about 20 seconds later.