C-Section Stories: Crystal Sullivan

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

Two weeks before I was due to deliver, something happened and I started bleeding pretty badly. So, my husband rushed me to the hospital, where they took me back and were able to get the bleeding to stop. Within a few hours I began to go into labor with my son. I didn't think I could make it through without the epidural, so they came in and began that process. Within a few minutes though, I noticed something was wrong. My cheek was twitching, my eyelid was drooping, and I was calling my mom (who was a nurse at the time) for help. She said I was having a reaction to the epidural. For some reason my body didn't like it, so after turning it down multiple times, they just turned the drip off. At this time, I had started pushing. I was pushing for what felt like hours and turns out it was. My doctor came in and told me that my son was stuck in the canal and that I was going to have a c-section because there was no way he was coming out vaginally. I was terrified and started to cry because I didn't want to have the surgery, but knew I had no choice.

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

The pain. Having your muscles cut in half made just getting on and off the couch a struggle.

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

I had very little support in the matter. My husband was back to work in just a few short days. The nurse that came into the room the day after surgery was practically screaming at me to get up and get moving. Mind you, I had pushed for about 8-10 hours and then had a c-section on top of it. Every muscle in my body was sore. I was swollen from all the liquids they pumped in my body. I could no longer fit into the clothes that I had worn on the way to the hospital. Everyone was just pushing me to get up and get moving as quick as possible, no matter how much pain I was in.

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

Even if it is not a planned experience, try to plan for it just in case it does happen. I was unable to really go up and down the stairs a lot, which was not ideal for our house. I should have had a backup plan for additional help if it came down to it. I was pretty much all alone after we were home from the hospital. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

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

It takes a very long time for your body to heal. You may look and feel healed but the muscles in your belly take a very long time to repair, so be patient. I think this experience made me a stronger mom because I had to push through one of the toughest experiences I have ever had with very little to no help. I also learned how to give myself some space and allow my body to heal over time. Over the years, I worked on strengthening my body with food and exercise. I didn't allow this to hold me back from my dreams of fitting back into my old jeans :).

Name: Crystal Sullivan

Your Business: Branding & Design Coaching

Find me at: www.crystal-sullivan.com