1. Knowing when baby is going to arrive- Okay, admittedly this isn't 100%. Maggie decided to join us the weekend before her schedule c-section. However, the idea of knowing roughly when to expect baby (and knowing that we can't go past that day) does make things significantly easier for Paul and I (as long as baby doesn't decide to come super early) when arranging child care for the big day.
This is big since we don't have family, or really anyone who's watched the kids who we can fall back on in the state we live in. Having a date and being able to organize childcare is one of those things that I appreciate about having to have a c-section.
But with Patrick I found that I really appreciated the extra time in the hospital to snuggle and bond with baby and eat meals that I hadn't cooked for myself (okay, it probably helps that the hospital that I'm going to be delivering in has a fantastic menu that is simply amazing). I knew that the girls were well cared for and having fun and going to the zoo with their grandparents (and coming to visit me and the baby daily) and I let myself enjoy that extra time to nurse and cuddle without having to jump up to pull someone down who was scaling a baby gate.
When Sadie was born they whisked her away for about 45 minutes to clean her up while I was sewed up. When Maggie was born they took her away for about an hour and a half to get her bathed (both times Paul was with the girls the entire time, with Maggie he finally demanded they stop what they were doing and bring her back to me). With Patrick I was shocked when they kept him in the room and handed him to me immediately and let me hold him while they wheeled me into recovery (something they told me was impossible at our hospital in California, but is a policy I love at the hospital here in Michigan). But one thing stayed the same across the board with all three babies. They all started nursing right away without any problem. My milk still came in while we were in the hospital and it was still the start of almost two years of nursing with each kid being weaned a couple months before the next one was born.
In other words, having a c-section doesn't inevitably mean you'll have problems nursing, any more than any other choice will mean that it will be easy (I still solidly struggled with nursing my first time around from about 1-2 months, but that had nothing to do with how Sadie came into the world and had everything to do with her being a reflux-y baby who nursed every hour for the first 18 months of her life).
|About to meet Mae.
I have had one c-section when I hadn't gone through hours of labor (they'd actually been blocking my labor, which was apparently progressing anyways, but I hadn't felt a thing, despite not having any sort of painkillers). And it made all the difference in the world. After both Sadie and Patrick's births I felt like I'd been run over by a truck.
After Maggie's birth, the mostly "planned" c-section I was up and ready to go. I was begging nurses to let me out of bed that day. I was refusing morphin left and right. I was ready to take a shower and get dressed.
So while I don't regret that long, long trial of labor with Patrick in the least, in my experience there was an advantage to not going through labor before having surgery. I found it much easier to recover when my body had only gone through the surgery, without the extra fun of an unsuccessful labor.
6. Surviving- This is the biggest plus. Thanks to the marvels of modern medicine, I'm here to raise my children. And my children are here too. Without c-sections neither Sadie or I would have survived the ordeal of childbirth and I'm infinitely grateful that we live in a time when the doctor's were able to bring both of us through that day. That trumps my birth plan and some imagined experience I would have liked to have any day of the week.