This post is written in collaboration with Pacira BioSciences, Inc., but all opinions are my own.
These last couple of weeks I’ve spent cherished solo time with my eldest Kai and it’s given me some time to reflect on my journey into motherhood and how grateful I am to be raising a beautiful, strong boy. We have been so blessed with this incredible little human and sweetest soul. I LOVE being his mama and can’t wait to see the man he becomes.
While it’s been 10 years since I brought this little man earthside, I still remember every detail of his birth. We were so blessed to have a beautiful, healthy baby, but what was supposed to be a natural birth turned into an emergency C-section and traumatic experience. I’ve decided to share this experience in the hopes to encourage other expectant mamas to take control of their birth story.
All I can do is share advice on what I did/do and hopefully it helps others in their journey. C-section recovery is different from vaginal birth, and there are few things that you will want to be prepared for on your journey. C-Section recovery is NOT worse than a vaginal birth, it’s just different. What could’ve been a beautiful, powerful first birth with Kai was traumatic and admittedly, fuzzy because of the surprises and hysteria that blanketed my entire experience. I want mamas to know how to prepare for the unexpected during delivery and that begins with recognizing how strong you are and also knowing ALL your options.
THE BIRTH STORY
Preparing for your first, second or fifth birth all comes with their own unknowns. You can never exactly predict how the process is going to go. With all three births I worked with a doula and prepared for a natural delivery. So when I was told I would have to have an emergency C-section with my first delivery, I was in complete shock. I was 26 when I had Kai, and I was the first of my group of friends out here in LA to have a baby and was a bit out of touch with my mom at the time, so I was very much traveling this journey solo. I hired a doula, but didn’t touch on the possibility of having an emergency C-section because I planned on having a vaginal birth.
Did you know that you CAN have a birth plan for a C-Section?
I didn’t with my first and I wish I did. Many hospitals have certain protocols they need to follow, but medicine has come a long way and you have more of a say. Even if you don’t plan to have a C-Section, prepare for one in case, especially regarding your pain management. Almost 1.3 million women deliver babies via C-section each year, making it the most common surgery performed in the US and more than half of patients who have a C-section are prescribed an opioid. I’m partnering with Pacira BioSciences to encourage women to raise their expectations for what should be expected after surgery. It’s so, so important to have a say in your own pain management and know that there are non-opioid options available. You have the power to take control of your birth.
On August 23, 2010 at around 11pm, my water broke. I went to the hospital with Adi and my doula and close family members were there. I was in labor all night and all the next day. Kai’s heart rate didn’t respond to labor well and would drop every time I had a contraction. It was concluded that the cord was wrapped around his neck and the decision was made to move to an emergency C-section.
I had taken pitocin to help speed up the labor and then an epidural, but then was given another drug to reverse the pitocin, so I could go into surgery. At 4pm on August 24th, Kai was here! He was a beautiful, healthy baby and I’m so grateful there were no complications with the delivery.
As upset as I was to hear I had to have a C-section after 17 hours of sitting in the hospital in labor, I was so beyond happy and in love with this little human. The recovery was unlike any other and so much more challenging than I expected, but I healed and had the most beautiful birth experience with my second, Leo Beo, which I’ll save for another time.
Mamas should know that now there are non-opioid options that we’re not available to me like EXPAREL, that when utilized in a pain management plan, help support rapid recovery. EXPAREL, which is injected by your doctor during surgery, post-delivery, only numbs the part of the body where surgery was performed. I encourage you to talk to your doctor about non-opioid options like EXPAREL and ask questions about how your pain will be managed.
After giving birth, remember to enjoy your newest little addition and recognize how powerful you are. Giving birth, no matter how, is the most superwoman thing you can do. You are an incredible mama.
EXPAREL is indicated for single-dose infiltration in adults to produce postsurgical local analgesia and as an interscalene brachial plexus nerve block to produce postsurgical regional analgesia. Safety and efficacy have not been established in other nerve blocks.
Important Safety Information
- EXPAREL should not be used in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia.
- In studies where EXPAREL was injected into the wound, the most common side effects were nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
- In studies where EXPAREL was injected near a nerve, the most common side effects were nausea, fever, and constipation.
- EXPAREL is not recommended to be used in patients younger than 18 years old or in pregnant women.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, since this may affect how the active ingredient (bupivacaine) in EXPAREL is eliminated from your body.
- EXPAREL should not be injected into the spine, joints, or veins.
- The active ingredient in EXPAREL:
- Can affect your nervous system and your cardiovascular system
- May cause an allergic reaction
- May cause damage if injected into your joints
- Can cause a rare blood disorder
For more information, please visit https://www.exparel.com/risks