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  • 12 Stories of C-Section Delivery: 'I Felt Hands Inside My Stomach'

    Moms from our Smart Parenting Village share the intimate details of their belly births.
    by Rachel Perez .
12 Stories of C-Section Delivery: 'I Felt Hands Inside My Stomach'
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Cesarean section (CS) is not always how women want to welcome their baby into the world because recovery after CS can be more difficult than a vaginal birth. (We've outlined the pros and cons of vaginal delivery and C-sections here.). But sometimes the mom has no choice but to have a belly birth to deliver the baby safely due to pregnancy or birth complications.

    Birth plans cannot be set in stone. All you can do is prepare yourself by knowing what anticipate in the event you need an emergency C-section or elect to have one. you can prepare yourself it helps to prepare by knowing what other moms went through to help ease the fears and calm the jitters. It can also help you formlate questions you want to ask your doctor. We asked moms in our Smart Parenting Village Facebook group to describe what their belly birth was like. Their responses have been edited for clarity.

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    "The whole [CS] operation went very smoothly."

    "It was my first operation and first-time hospital confinement. I never felt any pain during the procedure. Nagdadasal lang ako the whole time until narinig ko na yung iyak ni baby, then napaluha ako sa sobrang saya, especially nung Unang Yakap (skin-to-skin contact). After two days pa ako nakatayo at nakalakad ng paunti-unti kasi inaalalayan ko yung stitches ko. — Leelah Castro-Vargas on giving birth to her first baby at age 40

    "Ramdam ko yung unang hiwa."

    "When I was being cut, kahit may anesthesia, feeling ko ramdam ko yung unang hiwa sa akin. The operation took about an hour — 2 p.m. pinasok ako sa operating room (OR), then the baby was out at 2:30 p.m. Around 3 p.m., dinala na ako sa recovery room and then around 5 p.m., dinala si baby sa akin para lang ipa-latch sandali. We were roomed-in around 8:30 p.m. Kristin Valencia-Dy labored for 12 hours but gave birth via emergency CS  due to failure to descend and cord coil. 

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    "I was awake the whole time."

    "[The surgery] did not hurt. My medical team was amazing, and my anesthesiologist was very reassuring. They explained everything beforehand and even during the process before making the incision, and it helped a lot. The most intense part was when the anesthesiologist gave the go signal to administer the anesthesia, and everything just went deadly silent for a few heartbeats. The next thing I heard was my OB saying 'cutting' and I knew there was no turning back. It was very, very fast though. I think only five minutes went by before I heard my baby crying. I was awake the whole time. The only time they made me sleep was when they were stitching me back up. The next thing I knew I was already ready to be moved to the recovery room. My baby had to be placed in the NICU for a day, so I didn't get to be with him immediately. But when I finally held him, all the pain and the stress just melted away.  Michelle Villarama-Lazarte was too excited to meet her baby to fear the surgery.

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    "I heard my OB say a prayer before the operation."

    "She said a prayer before the operation and the moment my baby's time of birth was announced. I vividly remembered asking the anesthesiologist what my baby looked like because I did not hear my baby cry. My baby already ate meconium, and they had to suction the poop! Then we did Unang Yakap and latched my baby onto me. Then, I slept and woke up six hours later with my legs feeling like there were thousands of ants crawling on them. Haha!

    "Recovery was hard when the anesthesia was fading and the catheter was removed. It was so hard to pee, to sit, or walk. But I was encouraged and forced to move because I had to feed my baby." Thea Alberto-Masakayan labored for 12 hours, pushed at 10 cm dilated but delivered via emergency CS due to cord coil.

    "Mahirap lang talaga kumilos at first."


    "I was given general anesthesia because I had an operation in my spinal cord when I was very young. The operation started mga 1:30 p.m. and nailabas si baby ng 2:14 p.m. When I woke up, nasa dibdib ko na si baby then nakatulog ulit ako. I woke up again nililinisan na ko ng nurse, so I can be wheeled into the recovery room. There was no traumatic pain. Mahirap lang talaga kumilos at first. Mga 4:30 p.m. dinala na ako sa room namin and kasunod na si baby a few minutes later. Faith Yadao Jopson was happy to deliver her baby via CS. 

    "Pain reliever is your best friend talaga."

    "I was super nervous! I was panicking because I heard they were about to start. My super supportive anesthesiologist calmed and assured me that everything was going to be okay. Yun pala, they started na. Ramdam ko yung galaw, akala ko totally walang pakiramdam, so na-shock ako. Everything went well. The pain was tolerable even after the anesthesia. They told me I can go to my baby in the NICU once makalakad na ako so pinilit ko talaga kahit mahilo-hilo ako. Worth it naman. Until now, may pain pa din sometimes like parang tinutusok yung tahi. " — Paula Pangindian gave birth via CS just nine weeks ago.


    "I remembered feeling hands inside my stomach."

    "I remembered being rolled into the operating room at around 4:50 p.m. I heard the doctors discussing my case and the steps they'd do next. The anesthesiologist explained I would not feel any pain. Shortly after, I felt hands inside my stomach, as if they were trying to re-arrange [my organs]. I felt my body swivel from left to right and even heard the doctor say that they have to reach deeper as the baby was somewhere farther.

    The next thing I heard was "Baby out at 5:28 p.m." I suddenly felt pressure on my legs and a slight movement (I think they placed the baby down on my legs for a moment there.) Seconds after, I heard him cry. At around 6 p.m., I was in the recovery room. I was sent back to my room around 10 p.m. with my baby. I didn't start feeling pain until one and a half days after the surgery and when the catheter was removed." — Sunshine SG had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy and was back on her feet less than a day after the surgery.

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    "I was nervous but happy."

    "I had been in the hospital for five days before the surgery due to strong contractions every eight minutes. The staff wheeled me at 5:30 p.m. Doctors briefed me on what was going to happen. I never felt fear because I trusted God and the medical team. I was nervous but happy and even talking with my anesthesiologist who helped me relax. By 7:47 p.m, I heard my baby cry. My tears fell but I was smiling. We had our first 'groufie' as a family (my husband was there when baby come out). Sadly, the pedia needed to take my baby to the NICU because he was having difficulty breathing. 

    "The recovery process was super smooth. I never felt pain. I could walk the next morning and even had laughs with my family. I did not feel like I was opened [for surgery]. — Mary Louie Lizarondo-Balagso emergency CS sue at 35 weeks due to preterm labor. 


    "My C-section was kind of traumatic."

    "Mine was kind of traumatic since I was not prepared for it physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was already 9 cm dilated when my OB informed me she needed to do CS.

    "When the procedure was ongoing I was awake and shivering intensely. I felt like I was going to die; I felt so helpless with both hands strapped. Soon after, I heard my baby cry, and the doctor immediately placed her in my chest for Unang Yakap. It was a touching moment, and I was crying, too. Haha! Then, my baby was taken away for some procedures. I vomited and then fell asleep. 

    "I woke up I was in the recovery room shaking again with a slight fever. I was moved to our room and then my baby was delivered to us. It may not be the most ideal birthing experience for me, but still I’m grateful that we’re both safe. Victoria Ann gave birth via emergency CS after 12 hours of labor due to failure to descend and cephalopelvic disproportion

    What other parents are reading

    "Malamig lang lahat yung naramdaman ko."

    "The first time there was no pain at all at nagising na lang ako sa recovery room. For my second CS, nagising ako during operation and ang daldal ko, as in ang dami kong tanong kaya napagalitan ako ni OB. I tried to sleep pero hindi talaga ako makatulog kaya nakinig na lang ako sa usapan nila. The operation lasted about 30 to 40 minutes, pero hanggang dalhin ako sa recovery room, gising pa din ako. No pain naman, malamig lang lahat yung naramdaman ko." — Aizzy Lacaya had emergency CS for her first baby and a scheduled CS for her second

    "I thought I was going to die."

    "They had to restrain my arms and put an oxygen mask on me, which made me groggy. I could feel people tugging and pulling on my belly but no sharp pains. When the doctor finally got to my baby, she exclaimed in a panicked voice, 'Wala na talagang tubig si baby!' That’s when I became alert again. It took a minute or two before I calmed down because I didn't hear any cries from my daughter. Thankfully, she was okay and was out by 1:45 a.m. They placed her on my chest for a few minutes for delayed cord clamping. I was crying out of joy because she was safe. 


    "After being stitched up, I was transferred to the recovery room. I could see from afar while a nurse attending to my daughter and then she placed her back on my chest to do the breast crawl and latch. From there, my baby never left my arms except during diaper changes. By 4 a.m, I could move my legs again, and for the first time, I felt the pain of my stitches and the uncomfortable feeling of having a catheter in between my legs. Despite all the pain, I did my best to stand up, move around, just so we could get home ASAP. — Tin Celis gave birth via emergency CS due to low amniotic fluid.

    "Hindi tumalab sa 'kin yung anesthesia!"

    "When my husband signed the consent for the operation, nilipat na nila ako sa operating room. I was still in shock and was not prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. Tanging dasal ko na lang was sana safe yung baby ko.


    "Nung lalaslasin na sana ni Doc yung tummy ko, bigla akong nagising kasi na-feel ko yung sakit nung hiwa. They found out na hindi tumalab sa 'kin yung anesthesia, and the anesthesiologist had to give me a higher dosage kaya medyo groggy ako sa whole duration ng operation. Nahimasmasan lang ako nung nilapit na sa 'kin si baby. I really cried out of joy kasi safe kami both ni baby. 

    "After the operation and after mawala na yung effect ng anesthesia, my baby and I were already transferred to our room. The recovery process was smooth. I got up from the bed kinaumagahan. After three days, my baby and I were already discharged. — Sheena Lalaine Moca-Opada was still working as an active duty nurse until her 9th month of pregnancy but gave birth via emergency CS due to cord coil and fetal distress.

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