I'm almost 28 weeks pregnant with my second child, and will be delivering via C-section again. I delivered my first daughter via C-section, and it was a nightmarish experience. I had repressed the psychological trauma, but I had a nightmare about it last night that my next birth would be a repeat of the last incident. Natural labor is supposedly very painful, so maybe I don't have the right to complain, but I'm starting to get scared

A bit of backstory. . . I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III, and numbing anesthetic doesn't work so well for many of us. I've known this from many previous dental procedures and discussions about C-sections on EDS support groups. Knowing this, I had talked to my doctor about conscious sedation AFTER they got the baby out because I didn't want to risk harming my baby. I could have pushed for general anesthetic, but that can potentially harm the baby, so that was something I didn't want to do. I had a feeling the spinal anesthetic wouldn't work properly. Unfortunately, I was right. . .

The nurse and the anesthesiologist talked me out of conscious sedation right before the C-section, and said most women want to bond with their babies and be present in the moment. I felt like a horrible person for making such a request, so I just settled for the spinal anesthetic and epidural. If possible I wanted to be mentally there for the birth of my daughter but I was scared the spinal anesthetic wouldn't work.

As they were cutting into me it was clear I wasn't numb enough so they kept bolusing me with more spinal anesthetic to the point that my whole body was shaking because it was dropping my core body temp. At that point it felt like I was being disemboweled. It's hard to describe how painful and terrifying it is to be paralyzed from the waist down and feel the pain of someone pulling out your organs and putting them back.

Unfortunately, they can only give you so much spinal anesthetic before your blood pressure plummets, so they couldn't give me anymore. At least that is sort of what was being communicated to me as I'm frantically flailing my arms and screaming. So they bolused me with more fentanyl and some benzo (maybe midazolam?) through my epidural and that made it a bit easier to endure, but still incredibly painful. My husband ended up blasting my favorite music into my ear at my request so I could zone out a bit (it's my go to when chronic pain is unbearable), but it was still really awful.

They asked me if I wanted to hold my daughter after they cleaned her up, and I couldn't because I was flailing my arms and screaming. After it was all over I was kind of in a state of shock.. Ironically, I think the traumatic incident made it a bit more difficult to bond with my daughter. Recovery was otherwise uneventful except for the fact that they had a hard time controlling my blood pressure (due to pre-eclampsia) and had me on a magnesium drip.

Anyway, my doctor is having me meet with the anesthesiology team for a consult before my next C-section. I guess I'm curious as to what a normal C-section experience is supposed to be like. I've read a few experiences but most don't go into the actual detail of getting cut into and put back together. The epidural was fine and surprisingly hurt much less than many of the hip injections I've had. Recovery was easy compared to my multiple hip surgeries. In fact the nurses commented on how mobile I was right after the procedure XD Mentally I'm okay with every other aspect of a C-section besides the actual procedure. I'm just feeling terrified