General anesthesia

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
General anesthesia
Wed, 09-29-2010 - 3:20pm

When I had my daughter prematurely by emergency c-section in 2007, they put me under general anesthesia. (We knew before hand that they couldn't touch my spine for health reasons, so we had been planning on an all natural birth, but things didn't go as planned.)

I am now pregnant with my second and know that I will have to have a c section again, though hopefully not an emergency one this time :) I will have to go under general anesthesia again, and it makes me sad becuase I feel like I missed my daughter's birth and will miss this baby's first moments, too. I don't even know how long I was out last time, I get conflicting reports, but I do know I missed quite a bit of time with my daughter before I finally got to see her in the NICU. I'm also upset because my husband couldn't/can't be in the room with us for the birth. I rememer anticipating hearing that first cry, holding my newborn for the first time, my husband cutting the cord, nursing immediately, etc. The first birth was such an emergency situation that I didn't even have time to think about it, but now I'm struggling with the fact that I probably won't be able to do these things again (or with any other children I have, for that matter).

I'm looking for input from others who have had general anesthesia. Have you had similar feelings? How did you handle them? Also, any advice on the logistics of a c section done under general anesthesia? Birth plan? Anything I should think about or talk to the doctor about? I know I've done this before, but it was so shocking that it's pretty much a blur.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2009
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 7:59pm

Congratulations on your new pregnancy.

I know that you are looking to connect with others who have had a general, but I'm curious if you have considered VBAC for your next birth? Did you have a vertical incision b/c of the emergency w/#1? It might be something to look into if you really do want to be 'awake' to have those first moments.

Also, I would seriously ask the quetsion of your providers if there is any reason that your DH can't be there... you might even consider shopping around for a new doc -- if your DH could be in the room and take pictures or video, maybe that would help? If thy are really insistant, perhaps you could have a nurse take photos of baby's first moment? *just a few thoughts*

Hopefully someone else will pop in to share their experiences here soon.

Avatar for engineer2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 10:33pm

I had a spinal the first three times and general the last time.


Tom - age 8, Mike - age 5, Daniel - 3 on Sept. 10, Due 9-28-10 with #4
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Tue, 10-19-2010 - 12:15am

Thank you for the kind words and advice. I am going to keep discussing my options with my doctor. Unfortunately, the health issues I have are related to my nerves and mean that they won't go near my spine with a needle for fear of paralyzing me. I would consider doing a totally unmedicated birth (VBAC) - which is what we were aiming for the first time - but they've also said that because of these same health issues they don't think I should go into labor because that's what caused my daughter's severe distress. Worst of both world, eh? ;p Lest it seem like I'm having a pity party, I'm actually grateful because the health issues don't affect me too much on a daily basis. They just wreak havoc when I'm pregnant, but in the end as long as my baby is healthy I know I'll be fine. Thanks again, ladies!