Thoughts on C-section

It’s exactly 14 days since I’ve been taken to the operation theatre for emergency c-section with the birth of my son. I can’t believe I am sitting here right now in the comfort of my home about to write what happened two weeks ago – because honestly, something inside me felt I was never going to make it out there alive. I am a worrier – that is a given but that day, all my spirits have been drained and my bucket of hope simply dried up.

I came out of that ordeal alive and well and wanting to shout out a caesarian section should not be an option UNLESS it’s medically required (as in my case where life of the baby inside me was at risk during the last stage of labor).

To say that it was painful, tough and left me so bitter is an understatement. But more and more women chose to give birth the “easier, more convenient way”. And during labor, I have heard people shout, “Just cut me up and be done with this, doctor!”

As someone who has experienced both types of birth: normal and c-section, I highly, strongly discourage anyone of the ‘cut me up’ route. Sure it sounds the easy way but is it really? Did anyone ever talk about what happens afterwards?

Sure you get your baby out in less than 30 minutes but an hour, a day, a week or even 30 years after that, your life is never the same. No one really talked about:

  • The spinal block anesthesia that could go wrong and might make you disabled forever
  • The pain of that spinal block anesthesia needle that’s so huge
  • The fact that you are bedridden for a few days because of the pain when anesthesia goes off (sure there are pain killers but there’s a limit to how much you can take)
  • The muscle pain from the ‘maneuver’ the surgeons did to take out all those needed to be taken out (baby, placenta, amniotic sac and all those bloody things)
  • That you are attached to a catheter and urine bag for more than 24 hours – they know you are incapacitated enough to go to the bathroom yourself
  • It’s such a pain to even find a position to sleep that you spend more time arriving to that position than sleeping itself
  • You CANNOT turn to your side for at least a week
  • You cannot get up, sit down in bed without crying in pain
  • You will feel golf balls rolling in your tummy whenever you move
  • You would need that daily injection to prevent embolism – that injection that makes you pour out all your misery out loud! The needle itself is tiny but when the medicine is injected inside you, God, IT HURTS. A lot.
  • Since women who’ve had c-section are more prone to blood clots more than women who have delivered vaginally, it is imperative that you walk 24 hours after the surgery, whether you are feeling like shit or not. (If a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, it can cause death)

As if the physical pain wasn’t enough, the psychological, emotional roller coaster set in for me hard. I felt incapacitated – that a new mom who should be taking care of her newborn needs more taking care of herself. I could not even reach for my baby when he cried, someone has to hand him over to me, position him for breastfeeding, soothe him and take him away afterwards.

I could go on and on discouraging anyone to go through this birth route (unless again, necessary). It is a major surgery that should not be taken lightly. If you can delivery normally, by all means do. Labor pain? There options to do away with the pain. Simply put:

Natural vaginal delivery : pain first (only hours of it, none if with anesthesia), normal life almost immediately after

C-section: fast delivery, pain for days and in some cases, complications and trauma

Childbirth is always a personal choice but I am all for encouraging natural delivery because our bodies are made for that, we are made to endure that. If the phrase “recovery is ten times faster”doesn’t encourage you to go natural, I don’t know what will.

Facing the unexpected


I am still in the hospital recovering from what would be the curious case of sorts. Actually, though I prefered, hoped and struggled for 45 hours of labor, I ended up having emergency c-section.

That itself was a nightmare for a scaredy cat like me but then the aftermath was much more shocking. I am still reeling from the reality of this all.

And I can’t recall everything without crying my heart out (details later)…

In a nutshell, I had sudden fever during labor, worry of infection set in, doctors induced my labor, broke my water but even after very active painful anss long labor, I was stuck at 4 cms. Baby showed signs of distress and I heard the doctor speak:

“I have to take you to the operating theatre.”

Then I broke down.

My son has arrived

I am still alive.

And have just been a mom the second time around!! Our new son was born on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm in one of the hospitals here in Dubai.

He weighs 3,690 grams and is 52 cms long. He is healthy and as much as people say all newborns look the same, my son is beautiful but I may be *biased* of course!

I’m having a bit of downtime right now health-wise but hope to come back to blogging soon. I have many, many stories and baby photos I would like to share!

What’s wrong with my body?

It’s been 15 hours since regular labor contractions came – after I’ve been given medication to induce labor. Induction is meant to speed up labor so honestly? I am so not expecting to be writing this blog post in the hospital, in between pain rest times. I expected to be cuddling a sweet smelling baby and preparing to go home.

My body, obviously, has a mind of its own. And (labor) history is attempting to repeat itself! On my pregnancy with Pristine, it took me 40 hours to ‘open up’.

The doctor checked me out this morning and found out that despite 2 induction meds plus 2 membrane sweep I have only, merely dilated 3 cms maximum. A natural delivery needs at least 8 cms.

“The contraction pains (with interval of 4 mins apart that kept me waking up last night) are actually meaningless because your dilation is very minimal and cervix is still long. ”

The doctor didn’t sugarcoat anything. Tired and sleep deprived, it was just what I wanted to hear. NOT!!

Another induction med was inserted and it should help pave the way for the baby. The baby is doing very ok, just hanging out as if telling me, “ready when you are,

Now I’ll start concentrating that things move up the positive direction today. I don’t want to be still pregnant tomorow!!


I had my 39th week doctor’s appointment yesterday (Oct. 25). Everything all right with the baby? Movements? Weight, blood pressure? To everything I answered yes and vitals normal. This is, thankfully, so far, an event-free textbook pregnancy.

Until last week when I suddenly experienced this intense itching in my feet… I figured it must be because of rubber flip flops that I frequently use. I applied lots of cream but it only got worsened until it wakes me up at night 2-3 times. I tried to bear it down while scratching it profusely until my skin bled and the itch spread into my hands! Internet search lead me to suspect that I am having what is called Obstetric Cholestasis or Cholestasis of Pregnancy – a rare condition where normal flow of bile in the gallbladder is affected by pregnancy hormones. 1 in 1000 pregnant women suffer from this.

In short, bile is a toxic substance that would be dangerous for the baby when it enters the mom’s bloodstream and the only way to prevent the bad effects to the baby (namely, fetal distress, pre-term birth and in some cases, still birth), the best “cure” is to deliver the baby as soon as cholestasis is diagnosed.

My world is shattered – I have been managing my weight well, blood pressure and sugar levels excellent and have been active throughout this whole pregnancy and then suddenly towards the end, being told I have a rare pregnancy complication is nothing short of shocking.

What is the cause of cholestasis? I asked the doctor.

“I wish I can tell you, sweetheart.”, was the only answer I got.

One thing I got lucky with is that I am a few days before 40 weeks and there is no problem whatsoever if I deliver the baby now. Some women have been diagnosed with cholestasis as early as 28 weeks and have babies spend days at the neonatal ICU.

I was admitted this morning and induced for labor just before noon. Now, I wait for pain to start. How long it will take, no one really knows.

Being SAHM

I’m currently enjoying life as an SAHM (stay at home mom) for the moment, which will last for another 86 calendar days. Yay! (I am so shallow)

I know how hard it must be to stay at home all the time as there are no dayoffs with household chores (I highly respect SAHM’s) but I also found out… that random daytime naps are possible when you’re at home.  And somehow that has been the delicious highlight of my days.

The nesting instinct have kicked in fully and with added energy thanks to the daytime naps, I’ve actually started the cleaning and organizing frenzy. Everything is ready now, bring on labor!

(But God, make it short this time please? I’ve really been a good person after my past delivery 8 years ago. Thank you.)

The waiting game

Hello, sorry for the lack of posts despite just staying at home for already 4 days now since starting maternity leave. I am still struggling with the new routine of suddenly becoming a stay at home mom and trying to do everything all at once, thinking I don’t have that much free time before the baby comes.

It could be any day now. My advice to all pregnant women? Don’t play superwoman and wait till your 39th week to go on maternity leave and clean house. Your body is not your usual body, someone stole the old one and replaced it with something heavy and low energy. There would be a lot of sitting down and naps required whether you like it or not!

So, while I wait here for the pangs and pains of labor to come (I only got false labor pains so far), what are you all up to?

It’s the 24th of October, due date still a few days away but as I’ve said to my 7 year old everyday, only God and the baby knows the real date so we patiently wait. For the meantime, you can guess the birth date and win a prize if you’re right!

Please say a little prayer for me when that time comes, will you? Thanks!

New born must haves

I’m in the last days of pregnancy and nesting instincts have kicked in – a bit, I think. So I’m just getting ready with the new born must haves to prepare for the arrival of our little bundle.

It’s been 8 years since the last time I had a newborn around and believe me, as strange as this may sound, I already forgot how it feels or the things I should get ready. I do still remember the sleepless nights and fatigue though. Those things can’t be forgotten!

Anyway, I’m trying to squeeze my brain here recalling the things I might need (just the basics, really):

1. Clothes – those cute little clothes for the little one that’s perfect for whatever the season. I prefer breathable cottons, WITHOUT tags and ties or snaps to close so wouldn’t have to go through from the head.

Clothing needs would also include towels and wash clothes.

2. Receiving/Swaddle Blanket by Swaddle Designs – The soft, lightweight muslin allows for better airflow and temperature moderation thanks to it’s light open weave. Not only are they excellent for swaddling, these beautiful wraps can be used as burp cloths, sun shades, nursing covers and lightweight blankets.

3. Infant Car Seat – a must when taking the baby home from the hospital.

4. Diaper Cover – I was using cloth diapers for Pristine for two months and I plan to do the same for baby #2 so these diaper covers is a must. I brought all I used before.

5. Baby bath and baby toiletries – to keep baby clean and sweet smelling everyday!

6. Baby wrap/sling – I have not tried baby wearing with Pristine 8 years ago but it’s something I always wanted to try. It’s great right now that there are a lot of brands to choose from though I am not sure which one works best! Suggestions welcome…

There’s nothing like keeping a baby close to you and having two free hands at the same time.

Wish list:

1. Graco Sweet Peace Soother Swing – My siblings and I, when we were newborns, were soothed by using a makeshift cloth hammock back home. Since I couldn’t just nail something in the cement wall here, this is the nearest perfect solution.

2. Nursing Glider (Rocking chair with Ottoman) – I can imagine falling asleep myself in this mama rocking chair while nursing the baby any time of the day.

That’s about it. Anything more I think I missed? (coz I feel there are!)

Just to mention the things I won’t really need but appearing constantly in ‘newborn must haves’: crib, bottles (I plan to breastfeed exclusively), bottle warmer, breast pump (I express breast milk manually) and baby wipes (I plan to use cloth wipes) and baby wipe warmer.

10 Things I didn’t know about childbirth 8 years ago

(but know now…)

Pregnancy. Child birth. Oh the mystery! But behind that shroud of pregnancy glow and baby coos are secrets women who have been there, done that didn’t tell you!

It’s like a well kept secret – no one bothered to tell me these before and I feel cheated when it was my time one cold winter 8 years ago. After the struggle that is labor, delivery and postpartum blues, I know the story behind: it must be cold revenge. Those who have been through it are not disclosing it and laughing in the dark as they see your sweaty, constipated face during the peak of labor. Or might be even the opposite: love?

After all, what you don’t know won’t hurt you, right? Here goes:

1. During vaginal birth, if your doctor says that your baby’s head is crowning – be ready. It means an entire throne will make its way out of you, not just the crown.

2. If you think delivery is painful (and I hate to break it to ‘ya, it is), don’t make me start talking about labor – that hard work prior to that delivery episode. It deserves to be called “labor”, look up the definition in the dictionary.

3. While on labor, a nurse will come and check, check, check you out. Not with her eyes. With her rubber glove clad hands – between your legs. I will not hide it: it is painful . Yes you are allowed to scream and shout when she does that.

4. The mere presence of her entering the door will make you cry.

5. After delivery when you think you’ve reached Utopia (especially after a long, tedious labor), don’t sing Hallelujah just yet. You’ll be giving birth to something called the placenta. In my case, it hurts much more than delivering the baby because the darn ball of body cells did NOT come out naturally (as it normally does) – the doctor has to rip it off my body!

6. In some hospitals, a nurse will ‘cover’ your b*tt hole with her thumbs or God knows what (I didn’t check or ask) so you won’t have a poo baby when you push (nothing more unsexy than that, hey).  After delivery, your b*tt will hurt when you sit down…and when you think about going to the toilet. Ouch.

7. Your belly will look like a road map. These are called stretch marks and this happens when your skin stretches out too much of its capacity and leaves red/dark purple trails as it breaks. Don’t worry there’s no accompanying sound when it breaks and it doesn’t hurt, just itch.

8. You can only get rid of your fat pants after 6 months (best case scenario) or not ever. But in case you might not ever fit to your pre-pregnancy pants again, don’t cry – probably half of the moms in the world can empathize with you!

9. Don’t get me started on the big momma panties. They’ll be your best friend postpartum. You won’t want to get rid of them.

10. You will be needing maternity clothes when you get out of the hospital because babe, you will *still* look 6 months pregnant (at least) after delivery.


This is my second pregnancy, the things above are all true based on my experience but each pregnancy is different from person to person. No need to be scared. Proceed.

As cliche as this may sound and I risk sounding so corny: It is *still* all worth it.

So how about you? Anything you wish you should have known before having a baby?

[Top Photo Credit]

I survived another work week

It’s the last work day of the week for us here in Dubai and I am happy to say – I have survived another work week without going into labor! Then it’s another work week (Saturday-Thursday) and I am going for maternity leave! I can’t wait. I have lots to do at home, let’s hope I won’t spend it all on sleeping and eating!

Then there’s this waiting for the big day.

Speaking of which, there’s someone who guessed I will be giving birth tomorrow! Oh no,  if it happens! Most of the guesses say we are in for a Halloween baby though, placing the 31st as one of the most popular bets! What do you think? Join the fun, guess the date and win $30!

Back to the baby business…

Honestly, I don’t know if the baby has started/starting to or fully engaged and ready (i.e., going down the birth canal for all those who want a visual explanation) because during the 37 weeks antenatal checkup last Tuesday, the doctor merely put a doppler in my belly to hear the heartbeat. NOTHING ELSE. What?

I expected an internal exam (the one where they poke on your vajayjay to see if your body is starting to get ready for labor) and/or an ultrasound at least but because I was classified as “just fine” they didn’t do any of those.  Top to that, I didn’t need to come back next week (when it’s supposed to be every week from now on) because the hospital is full and they will only see patients more often if there are complications.

Dubai moms, is this normal here?

Lastly, the new doctor at the big hospital was going through my file when she came across:

Nationality: JA

..and asked me, what does this stand for? JAMAICA?

I assure you, I did NOT look like Bob Marley that day.