You often hear about the perks of motherhood, but there is nothing like witnessing your child’s first breath, or holding them close after hours of labor. I know because I experienced every possible emotion on the big day.
After 18 hours of labor, I was told my dreams of natural birth (and that means no epidural either) were shattered. As my doctor and the anesthesiologist prepared me for surgery, I had to prepare myself mentally. I was sad and scared of what was to come.
“Going under the knife” is a phrase many people use when they have surgery, and it was the best way to describe my experience. I even wrote a post on my blog about it addressed to my son. Regardless of how I had imagined my birth should have been, seeing a healthy little guy was all I needed to reassure me that everything was going to be okay.
The healing process was interesting. Pain meds and a lot of Google searches were part of my morning routine. I did my best to not use the meds. I knew my body would heal on its own. Caring for my son during the days that followed my C-section required help. I did not want it, but I knew I needed my husband and my parents more than ever. Just getting in and out of bed was a hassle.
Below are 4 lessons I have learned from my C-section that applies to being a first-time mom:
1. Help is critical.
Whether you like it or not, you will need help. It might be emotional (someone to talk to) or physical (while caring for the baby).
2. Things will not always go as planned.
No matter how many times you try to convince yourself that everything will go according to plan, you must prepare yourself for when things go the opposite.
3. How you feel is mental.
You can really scare the heck out of yourself by thinking about all the things that can go wrong. Stay positive!
4. Keep smiling.
I have a permanent smile where my son was born thanks to my C-section, and another in my heart. So, I try my best to keep smiling even when things get tough.