C-Section Stories: Carrie Zappone

1. Briefly, please share the circumstances that led to your c-section birth(s):

My son was born in 2016 via routine vaginal birth that went more or less how I expected. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had no reason to believe her birth would be any different. On the morning of my due date, June 6, 2019, I went into labor. I just happened to have an OB appointment that afternoon and thank goodness I did. They discovered that the baby’s heart rate was a little low. We were sent directly to the hospital for further monitoring, where they found that the baby’s heart rate was continuing to dip dangerously low with each contraction. Before I really had time to figure out what was happening, I was being wheeled out of the room to an operating room. We had checked into the hospital at 4:00 pm and my daughter was born at 4:37 pm. It was discovered after her birth that my placenta had been calcifying (no one knows why) and was not supporting her as necessary through labor.

2. What surprised you the most about having a c-section?:

The recovery process. Obviously, since it was an emergency c-section, I was not mentally prepared for a c-section recovery. The initial pain caught me completely off guard and immediately made me feel so empathetic towards all c-sections mamas.

3. What kind of support do you feel you received (from friends, family, healthcare team) after your c-section(s)?:

I was so lucky. I had family helping me cook, clean, and take care of my toddler. My husband was amazing at doing most of the diaper changing and other baby care duties, as it was difficult for me to move. I had neighbors and acquaintances who had had c-sections reaching out to offer tips, encouragement, and support. The nurses in the hospital immediately following the c-section were absolutely amazing, kind, and supportive.

4. What’s your #1 piece of advice/encouragement for a new c-section mom?:

Take your time to rest and recover, both physically and mentally. Especially if it was an emergency section, it might take some time to wrap your head around it. Let yourself feel all the emotions (guilt, sadness, disbelief) and then remember that you did something absolutely amazing to bring your child safely into this world.

5. How do you believe having a c-section birth(s) made you stronger?:

At the end of my surgery, the doctor who delivered my daughter looked at me and said, “You stayed very calm in a very intense and scary situation.” I feel stronger knowing that in a time of chaos, confusion, and fear, I can be calm and present. As scary as the whole situation was, I know I would do it 1,000 times over for my daughter. My c-section was ultimately what saved my daughter’s life - how can I not feel stronger for that?

Name: Carrie Zappone

Your Profession: Stay at home mom

How to Connect With You on Social Media: @carriedaway_z on Instagram