Had a csection myself. Birth the old fashioned way wasn’t working. I will say, spinal blocks are miraculous. Fentanyl / Dilauded combo worked very well. Felt no pain or discomfort, was present and clear minded for the whole birth, enjoyed those special moments (the surgical team, my husband, and I had some memorable laughs, too), and then I slept really, reeeaaally well. Recovery was a breeze. I can’t believe I was nervous [read near panic attacks] about the possibility of a csection… My experience was so positive, if I could do it all over again, Id elect to just do that from the get-go. (Having another baby soon, we’re planning to go straight to csection)
I echo the doula recommendation. Ones with backgrounds /former careers in psychology are an absolute miracle.
PS I tried several sessions of hypnobirthing, and it was just so divorced from medical reality… It ended up just making me feel like ppl were trying to trick/lie to me, I felt more anxious, and not at all reassured. I wanted solid, professional doctors with experience and expertise who would be calm, kind, reassuring, and explain things to me. I wanted a doula who would be my advocate and help remind me as much as I needed that I was in control, and that she had my back. I did NOT want my birth plan to be filled with floral euphamisms for my own anatomy, metaphors about oceans, or rely upon my ability to visualize cutting a lemon and biting into it. My doula was shocked that someone had recommended hypnobirthing to me given the amt of anxiety that I had surrounding birth at the time. I think hypnobirthing might be for folks who lean super zen, hippy, alternative path vibes and feel centered and calm already and want to stay in that positive mindset --vs folks who feel a lot of anxiety already and want reassurance, plans, contingency plans, and at least the verasimilitude of control, heh.
I say skip the hypnobirthing and go straight to interviewing doulas. Interview several. Pick the one you click with. You’ll feel that spark. Its the feeling you get when you get the sense that someone just gets you (understands you as a person).