Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Okay, give me the lowdown on C-Sections.

I just logged on to write this post and the last comment from Izzy in the previous post started to answer this exact question. She's on top of helping me out, no?

I have had 15 surgeries where I went "under" with full anesthesia, so I'm not scared of surgery. But I've never had an awake surgery like what I'll have with a c-section, so that freaks me out a bit. It also freaks me out that I've literally had 6 epidurals (2 with ella and 4 with allison) and none of them worked - I felt some for a few minutes, but each one faded within 15 mins or didn't work at all. I don't know if this is the same type of thing you get with a c-section or not, but yes, freaked out I am. (ooo - that's a good impression of yoda.)

I pretty much know nothing about c-sections except they cut you open and pull out the baby. They probably sew you up too, as I don't meet many women with their midsection hanging open, so I'm going to go with my assumption being a good one.

So, tell me what I need to know. Here's what I want to know about ...

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue?

~ What's the recovery time? (how long will I have to be in the hospital? how long until I'm "back to normal?)

~ When do I get to breastfeed? (With both babies, they were breastfed within the first 10 minutes of birth)

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? (with both babies, I had them for about an hour, they went to nursery for tests/cleanup for a few hours, then I had them from then on.)

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me?

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink? (afterwards - not before.)

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at?

I guess that's all I can think of. Any and all comments/hints welcomed! THANK YOU!!!

30 comments:

Elana Kahn said...

Even though I've never had a C-section, I will try to give you some answers from what I do know.

Non-working epidurals could be an issue, although I think if you're going in specifically for C-section they may do a spinal. They're different, so a spinal may work where an epidural didn't. If nothing works, they will just put you under.

Recovery time is long. It's abdominal surgery, so you my not feel yourself for several weeks. You only get few extra days in the hospital, but you're probably not going to feel 100% when you get home.

Eating & drinking are both no's. As with epidurals & spinals, they need you to have an empty stomach in case you throw up. (And let me tell you, it's worth it not to be throwing up large amounts when you're lying on your back...)

I have no idea about the baby stuff, but I hope what I do know helps!! After having the cerclage, I REALLY don't want to have a C-section (hell, I'm nervous about them taking the cerclage out!), but I may not have a choice in the matter depending on so many factors. *sigh*

Janet Phillips said...

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue? mine was not a planned csection but i have heard of people having spinals for planned sections...i had an epidural ... this one i really don't know the answer to

~ What's the recovery time? (how long will I have to be in the hospital? how long until I'm "back to normal?)
i was in the hospital for 4 days after the section...they told me 3-4 days was average for sections

~ When do I get to breastfeed? (With both babies, they were breastfed within the first 10 minutes of birth)
i breastfed Riley in the recovery room, about 30-45 minutes after he was born

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? (with both babies, I had them for about an hour, they went to nursery for tests/cleanup for a few hours, then I had them from then on.)
after Riley was born he was taken to be assessed, and washed and then once all tests were done and he was clean and wrapped up he was given to me, about 30-45 minutes after he was born

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me?
once Riley was born the nurses took him but my husband accompanied them the whole time, we had to spend 3 hours in the recovery room before they would take us to postpartum and before we could have any visitors...my dh got to really see him before i did, but no one got to hold him (besides nurses and dr's) before i did

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink? no eating or drinking before the section (ive heard 12 hrs, but like i said mine wasent planned) but afterwards you may eat and drink, they had me on a "liquid" diet for a day which meant oatmeal, cereals, applesauce and liquids

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at? i was not allowed to get out of bed for 18 hours afterwards, but after that i was not allowed to lift anything heavier then the baby for 2 weeks, i was only allowed to walk up/down the stairs twice a day...i was feeling better, not 100% but pretty close, after 4 weeks

Valerie said...

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue? It is possible but if you start feeling anything they will put you under.

I was in the hospital for 4 days. Back to normal? 6 to 8 weeks

I breast fed in recovery, he was about 45 minutes old I think but my tubes were tied after he was born so I was in surgery longer.

You will be able to keep MIL away from baby until you are ready for her to be there.

no eating or drinking before baby is born

I was not supposed to drive for 2 weeks, yeah right I got a kid who needed to get to school I drove.

Word of ASSvice, bring a pillow for the ride home from the hospital to cushion your belly. I wish someone had told me that my first time.

I am still holding out hope that he turns for you. If you want to know anything else let me know.

Amanda said...

Here's what I've been told. If something changes after my experience tomorrow, I'll updated.

~ The hospital I will be at does spinal blocks instead of epidurals. An epidural is done in a different part of the spine and it's actually harder to hit the right spot. A spinal is higher and they give you more drugs in it, too.

~ They told me to expect to be in the hospital around 3 days. I think you're restricted for 3 weeks and supposedly back to pretty much normal in 8.

~ They told me if I requested it they'd have the boys to me within the first hour. Basically as soon as they get me sewn up and into recovery, they'll bring them to me.

~ I think they take the babies to immediately do what is needed, then bring them to you for "ownership". In my case I want them to me ASAP before they're bathed so I can try to get them to latch. Then they can clean them up and do whatever.

~ My husband will get to hold the boys before me, but no one else. (I'll be strapped to the table until they're done with me.)

~ I can't eat or drink after midnight tonight. I'm pretty sure that once they get me to postpartum I'll get food and drink.

~ All I know is no housecleaning for 3 weeks. And I think I'm not supposed to drive for a while.

Lisa said...

I am the mother of 2 c-section boys. My 'exit' does not seem to work thus the reason for the c-sections. I was scared to death to be cut open while awake. I felt no pain, only pressure. I breastfed my first son in the recovery room, approximately 30 minutes after he was born. I was in the hospital for 3 days and had both my sons with me the whole stay. I took my pain meds on time and really after the 2nd day, I had very little discomfort. By day 5, I felt normal. Right after the birth, baby is checked out by a neo-natal doctor. This is standard practice for c-section babies. This usually takes place in a little room off the delivery room. Hubby will be right there with baby. After being 'put back together', I was put in recovery with my baby at which time, the rest of my family was allowed in. I made this request and made sure my husband was aware of my wishes too. Like any other surgery, I was not allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before. I really had no other restrictions except the normal no sex for 6 weeks. Hope this might help ease your mind a bit! Take care!

Monica Fayth said...

I think a lot of these answers will depend on your doctor and hospital. We talked about C-sects in my childbirth class last weekend. At my hospital, they try to do breastfeeding and skin to skin as soon as possible, even with csects. But I think they said that they take the baby to the nursery with dad to do the intial stuff and then meet mom in recovery soon after. My hospital is also big on rooming in so babies don't stay in the nursery unless absolutely necessary.

Anonymous said...

I had csections with both of my kids. The hospital where I delivered my boys does spinal blocks for scheduled csections instead of the traditional epidural but I know not all do it that way. I've had both and if I had to do it again I would go the spinal route as you get the feeling in your legs back faster but you still get the numbness of an epidural. As far as recovery goes, that might depend on you and how easy it is for your dr to get to your uterus and get the baby out. I had scar tissue so it was a little more difficult. But for the most part I was up the next day with some pain and then walking better a day or two later. You won't be moving fast for a little while and getting up from a couch or low chair is a bitch the first week or so. The hospital where I delivered my kids has a "family recovery area" so while I was being sewn up, hubby went with the baby and I joined them after they were done with me which was about 15 mins later. I nursed him right after I got to recovery. You might not be able to nurse within 10 mins like you did with your girls but it won't be hours and hours later either. Eating is usually delayed until you fart out all the gas in your belly. Fun, fun. Oh and you will have a catheter until you regain feeling in your legs and it's safe for you to get up to go pee. I remember being on clear liquids for the first day and a half and then I got to eat soft foods and then regular food whenever I thought I could tolerate it. I was in the hospital three days with my boys and they told me not to lift my older son for a week after discharge. Also, no driving for two weeks. I was like you, I really didn't want a csection but my first baby was in distress and I agreed to it when I saw his heart rate dropping. Then, I was a "scheduled csection" with baby #2 because the doctor and hospital(in FL) I use won't do VBAC's. I hope you are able to go the vaginal route. Good luck and I hope this info helps.

margelina said...

Alright, Nancy, I've had 3 c-sections. Two were after laboring and I had spotty/non-working epidurals. They give you a spinal epidural, which is stronger, longer-lasting that just an epi. You will be so numb, it's amazing. They do it the same as an epidural. You usually can't have anything to eat or drink about 8 hours before...they did some bloodwork before the surgery.
The surgery doesn't take long. They put a drape up so you can't see, but they tell you everything as its happening. They usually give you some nasal oxygen. sometimes C-section babies need extra suctioning b/c they don't get the fluids pushed out going down the birth canal. They make sure your uterus starts to contract back down, then close you up. Most of the time they use staples, which feel tight when the incision starts to heal. They usually get taken out about a week post-pardum in the office. However, with my last one he did a plastic surgery close, which is internal sutures and then dermabond skin glue. No staples. This recovery was much easier, as there were no staples to pull when healing was happening. I think most of the time they oull the spinal out and use a morphine pump for pain management afterward. I didn't like morphine the first time, so my last 2 times I just took oral percocet and ibuprofen. The first 24-36 hours my hospital leaves the IV in and uses Toradol around the clock. It's IV ibuprofen that helps in those first few days. After surgery, they push on your abdomen, which is the worst because you are tender, but they do that to check bleeding. They will give you a velcro binder to wear across your lower abdomen to help support you, it makes movement easier. They generally have you out of bed sitting up the first day, and expect you to be walking by day 2. It's tough at first, but not unbearable. Hardest is washing yourself down low because you can't bend as well. By my 3rd c-section, I knew what my body could do and it was much easier. They let you eat by the second day as long as you have bowel sounds. The stay is usually 5 days, so if you go on a Monday, you are out Friday. Baby stays with you. My hospital has a rule that baby can only stay with you in the room the first night if you have someone sleeping with you, since you can't move around as well on day 1. They give you iron and a stool softener. With #2 I felt great and asked to go home on day 4 and I did...with #3, my docs encouraged me to take the 5 days, and I'm glad I did. Plus, my last 2 were 15months apart! As long as your baby is A-OK, they give them to you right away. My last one, they put him in my arms as we were wheeled out of the OR, and I breastfed him and spent a couple ousr with him before they took him to the nursery for clean-up. My #2 needed more suctioning, so she went to the nursery first, I got her a few hours later. But my hubby was able to be with her. With my first, I had bleeding issues from laboring with pitocin, so I didn't have her right away, but my mom and sister were with her. By then end of 2 weeks, you feel normal. Sooner depending on your body, what kind of closure you get, ect. You aren't suppose to drive for 2 weeks, and limit stairs for a week or 2. I broke both of these, but I knew what I was comfortable with and what my body could do. At home for pain, it was percocet and ibuprofen as needed. I barely needed the strong stuff. Oh, and my doc let me have my sis, hubby, and mom in the OR...some places are very strict about only one person.
margelina@comcast.net if you wanna know anything else! HTHs!

cancersucks said...

I have had 3 c-sections. You can do it! Ask for a spinal instead of an epidural if you are worried. After the baby is born you have your hubby go with baby to the nursery. You are out of it in recovery for an hour or two...but you don't realize the time. Soon they take you and baby to the room to breastfeed and bond. Make sure you walk around as soon as able. And eat lots of fruit and fiber. Take your pain meds every four hours. Don't be proud. Walking helps with the gas and pain. Even if it hurts, just do it. Trust me on this. If not, having your first bowel movement will be worse than the c-section. After about ten days you will feel SO much better and by six weeks back to old self minus the sleep deprivation and leaky boobs. But it's all worth it! I had to have an unexpected hysterectomy last year. Much, much worse. Be well.

margelina said...

Oh, yeah, and sometimes you do throw up during no matter what. During surgery, the Vagus never gets jostled around, and despite anti-naseua meds, I threw up all 3 times. I was assured it's normal.
And, having it scheduled was much easier that being up all night laboring. I was more nervous, for sure, but I wasn't so damn exhausted from labor.

Motel Manager said...

My first son should have been called Frank Breech as well. Thus, I had a scheduled c-section. I've never had a normal delivery, so I can't compare the two, but I can tell you about my experience with the C.

-- Re: non-working epidurals -- I don't have a certain answer to this, but the spinal does work in a different way. I would, however, make an appt. with an anesthesiologist in advance to ask about this. I made one to discuss a totally unrelated issue (I have a weird spine that curves out instead of in at my lower back, and I wanted to know if this would be an issue), and it was SO WORTH IT. With my spinal, it at first didn't quite "get" all the areas of my body it needed to -- but they test you methodically to see where has been numbed. They then tilted me (weird, yes) to get the anesthesia to go where it needed to go, but they would have given me more if needed. Yes, general is a possibility if nothing works.

-- Recovery time:
I stayed in the hospital for the full allotted 96 hours, but I do know people who have left earlier. I would say my first day was worse than someone who'd had a vaginal birth, but after that it was better. I could pee/poop/sit/move easily, etc. The key is to get up as soon as they let you and to move around regularly. I was back to normal pretty fast -- we took a walk around the neighborhood the day we got home. Yes, it was a short walk, and I was pooped, but it was do-able. I gradually went up from there. I did follow the rule of not REALLY exercising until my PP appt., but I took a walk every day. Had no issues with stairs, etc.

-- I got to BF in the mother/baby unit maybe 3 hours after his birth. It sounds like a long time, but he latched right on. He had to go to "transition," which is not uncommon for c/s babies. It's between the regular nursery and NICU.

-- See above for "ownership" answer, too. They made me wait until I could feel my legs to go into the mother/baby unit. My husband went back and forth b/w me and the baby during those 3 hours. I do not think your MIL will be allowed to get to him first. :)

-- Eating/drinking -- I think this varies, but most hospitals now encourage you to eat when you can. They used to keep you on liquids, I think. I ate pancakes for dinner after a late-morning c/s. I may have had something before then, too -- crackers, graham crackers, popsicles, sprite, etc. I needed to eat because Vicodin makes me pukey otherwise.

-- Restrictions are not lifting anything heavier than the baby (which I am now worried about w/ a 30-lb toddler), which also means no vacuuming. I know -- you're heartbroken. I think you can get cleared to do the deed earlier than vag. birth people, but I did not take advantage of that. No real exercise for about 6 weeks, though I know people who have jumped in earlier than that.

Other tips:
-- Take the pain meds in the hospital around the clock. It was Vicodin for me. By the time we checked out, all I needed was the ibuprofen, but I did keep taking that for a week or two.
-- There are many more people in the c/s than there are in a normal birth. I don't know why, but this surprised me. I was also at a big teaching hospital, so there were REALLY a lot of people in there. Like 10-15.
-- When they take the baby out, you feel this weird tugging. It doesn't hurt, but it feels weird. You also can't see shit because they put up a screen. My husband watched over the screen, though, and said useful things like, "Your uterus is now in a bowl" and "I'm going to go take a look at the placenta." They did show me the baby.
-- Getting stitched up takes about 30-45 minutes and is SO TEDIOUS. I disliked it. It wasn't painful, though I did get referred pain in my shoulder at this stage.
-- If you tend to get nauseated from anesthesia (I do!), tell the anesthesiologist to have some Zofran ready in the IV. During the surgery, as soon as I started feeling bleah, I told him, and the sweet Zofran went in and saved the day.
-- During the c/s, you are sort of splayed out like you're on a cross. Kind of weird.
-- I don't actually believe that the delays in BFing or in being in charge of the baby after the c/s matter at all in the end, though it's agonizing to wait through -- but what I mean is that this won't affect your success at BFing or at bonding.
-- FYI, scheduled c-sections are lower priority than other births, so you typically have to call in to make sure there's room for you. Probably the same thing with inductions. Anyway, just a heads-up since you could theoretically have to wait until there's a bed, which sucks because you can't eat or drink after a certain time before your surgery.

Feel free to email me with other questions. I really had a very nice experience with my scheduled c/s. (Incidentally, it was hard to get the frank breech boy out of my abdomen -- they pulled out his butt, and then he pooped all over the medical student.)

Motel Manager said...

Oh, and I just read Valerie's comment -- I also drove basically immediately (since I was off the Vicodin by the time I was home), and I second the idea of bringing a pillow. Someone told me to do that, and it definitely helped on the car ride home!

areyoukiddingme said...

Have a chat with your CNA/anesthesiologist before surgery. Discuss previous experiences. Everyone reacts differently to drugs, so they should have a solution for you. Recovery time pretty much depends on you. My sister followed directions precisely and was being very delicate for weeks. I was at the grocery store the day after I got home (had to get my blood pressure checked anyway). But you can't drive for 2 weeks. And stairs are to be avoided. My hospital stay was 4 days. My doctors would have let me go after 3, but I needed another night of sleep. 4 days is typical (i.e. approved by most insurance companies).

You can check with the birthing classes at your hospital and they can tell you the routine with the baby. At the baby factory that I chose, they had a decent routine. They cleaned the baby up while I was taken off to recovery. After a few (15) minutes, they brought her in to visit with me, my husband, and my husband's parents. We were there for a while, and I tried to nurse the baby then. She ate a little, but it was just a trial run, so we decided not to have any angst. Then, they took her off to torture her in the nursery (blood tests, etc.), while I got all kinds of weird stuff squeezed out of my uterus ("cleaning me up").

I was attached to the good drugs (Demerol) for a day and a half, so I could not have the baby in the room by myself except for feeding times. My husband didn't stay overnight, so she went back to the nursery when we were done with feedings. Once you are mobile, they will let you keep the baby with you.

I think they do the clear liquids for a while after, but you're eating regular food soon. You're not supposed to lift much (but a 7-10 lb baby). You're not supposed to go up and down the stairs. You're not supposed to drive. It's kinda like a really tough ab workout - you don't want to move too fast, because it hurts. If you stretch, you can feel some pulling. I still get the occasional twinge in my scar 2 years later, but if you could find my abs under my "maternal reserves" you would find them to be just about as toned as before.

On the plus side...I did not have any problems with...um...excretory functions, as some of my friends had. Also, I didn't need those sitz baths, and had no tearing/episiotomy. So, while the lower belly was a little uncomfortable, the undercarriage was just fine!

Anonymous said...

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue?
I had two CS - with both I had spinals. Not having any experience with an epidural, and not having the chance to even need to research it (frank breech first time, repeat C second time) I have no clue what the difference would be.

~ What's the recovery time? (how long will I have to be in the hospital? how long until I'm "back to normal?)
I was in the hospital both times for three days. I went home early electively both times. Depending on your insurance, you should be allowed 4 days in the hospital. Back to normal ... you won't be able to lift anything heavier than your baby for the first few weeks. No stairs, no driving. My first cs recovery was a breeze - didn't need the meds after I got home. Second one I had a 2yo, so I really needed the meds. Lots more activity.

~ When do I get to breastfeed? (With both babies, they were breastfed within the first 10 minutes of birth)
My first cs, I got the baby right away in recovery. I got to hold/cuddle (with help) her exactly 1 minute after they took her out of me. Then they took her away as they stitched, did the shots and brought her to me immediately in recovery. Literally, I had her with me in maybe 10 or 15 minutes. The second time, I got to hold my son immediately after he was taken out, and all through the stitching up (takes about a half hour if all goes well), and then they took him away and I didn't see him for an excruciatingly long hour. During the time in recovery they allowed me to bf.

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? (with both babies, I had them for about an hour, they went to nursery for tests/cleanup for a few hours, then I had them from then on.)
See above - though I guess it depends on hospital policy. I know some women don't see their babies for hours.

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me?
I would hope your MIL wouldn't be anywhere near the operating room or recovery room or nursery (well, unless you like her) My husband never left our children's sides all through their testing/cleaning, etc. part. Then he brought them to me himself.

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink?
No... no. Not for a while, but this depends on your doctor's policy too. Some drs feel eating sooner helps the dig. sys start functioning again sooner. Others think it just makes you throw up sooner. You'll be itchy from the spinal, you'll be loopy from the pain meds, you'll be exhausted as hell and you may be nauseous from all the meds and jostling of your insides. You won't want food.

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at?
Like I said, in my experience, no driving (3 weeks typically), lifting things heavier than your baby, limited movement, no laundry/dishes/cleaning for at least 2 weeks.

All in all, the surgery takes about 10 minutes from first cut to baby extraction... then stitching is about 30 mins. The doctors both times talked and joked with me through the whole thing. The anesthesiologist (sp?) is your biggest advocate in the room. Honestly, the worst part is getting up after 24 hours and walking the halls to get your circ going, and your dig. sys. going. Also unpleasant is being completely helpless in most private bodily functions and having someone else clean you like an invalid. At 4am. If you're a rock star, you will feel 100x better after the meds the second day and walking won't be as big of a prob, but you will still need assistance with baby. Make sure you get to hold/cuddle him as much as you can because many women say that the first bonding moments are ruined by a cs birth. Good luck. I hope he turns for you. You'll find most of this info out in your consultation with the cs doctor anyway, but I hope I was able to help a little. Sorry so long -

Chris
(longtime lurker)

Kymberli said...

I didn't read the comments, so I apologize in advance if I repeat answers. I've had 4 c-sections.

1. Not sure about the epidural situation, as I've had spinal anesthesia. It's two shots - the first is a local anesthetic to numb the area and the second is the actual numbing medication which penetrates the spinal cord space (goes in deeper than epidural). It sounds awful but it's over really quick and you're not left with a catheter thingy hanging out of your back.

2. For c-sections 1, 2, and 4, I went home on the 2nd day after delivery (in on Monday, out Wednesday). For the third, I chose to stay in an extra day only so I could have some quiet time and rest. The most important advice I can give is to stay doped up on your meds around the clock for at least a week. Take 'em even if you don't feel like it. It's not often you're allowed to be legally high so take advantage of it. *wink* Seriously though - the pain is manageable IF YOU STAY ON TOP OF YOUR MEDS! I cannot reiterate that enough. I'm usually up and moving around with no meds other than Motrin here and there after a week. For my first delivery, two weeks after the twins were born I was running high school band camp.

I got to hold all of the babies even while I was still being put back together on the table. When the nurses were ready to take the babies, Frank went with them to the nursery and stayed with them. C-section babies usually need to be observed for the length of time that mom is in post-op recovery, which Frank says is 1-2 hours. I can't really remember because I'm usually spacey and half asleep while in recovery. It seems like it goes by fast, though. Once I got settled in my regular recovery room, the babies were brought to me and I could nurse immediately. From then on, the babies stayed with us unless they needed to be taken for testing.

I've always been allowed to have drinks (anything I want except vodka, haha) immediately after getting into my regular recovery room. Then they start the liquid diet the same night. They usually want to make sure your digestive system is running again before they move you to soft solid foods, then full regular meals. I always cheat after the first liquid meal because I'm starving and I end up eating snacks at 2am. Take it easy, though. I think you'll know inherently what your system will handle and what it can't.

Advice many won't tell you about a c-section - as soon as you can, take a dump and fart as MUCH as you can. I am NOT kidding. It's gross and terribly unladylike, but trust me - your guts will thank you. While still on the table, as soon as Karl is out your tummy will deflate to almost flat. Then the next morning you'll puff out to 5 months pg again because of the gas. GET IT OUT BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE, GIRLFRIEND! Now is not the time for propriety. Get up and move around as soon as you can. Take short walks up and down the hall or around your room to get things moving. While laying back, take the tips of your fingers and start at the top of your tummy just under the ribs and push down, making circular motions and working your way down. It helps move the gas down and out. Nurses often enter my room and remark at how wonderful it smells in there, because I always pack a bottle of air freshener. I lie to you not. I'm just tellin' it like it is. :)

WISHING...HOPING...and PRAYING said...

i didn't read all your comments, so i may be repeating things, but-here goes:
1)i had 2 c sections. (unplanned-edpidural, planned-spinal), when your anesthesiologist questions you-be sure to talk about epidurals not working in the past. i honestly didn't feel anything but a little tugging
2)unfortunately while being sewn up (stitches and staples for me) my husband got to hold the babies first. he did bring him to see me and i did hold him in recovery. you are in recovery for a good while.
3)i was in the hospital with cooper 4 days, but with carson (since he was transfered to a different hospital nicu-only 2. i did still feel horrible, but wanted to be with my baby. getting up hurts. a lot!
4)they keep the iv for 12 hours or so after the surgery and still allow no eating, but you can have liquids a few hours after surgery
5)i got to bf cooper in recovery quite quickly. carson aspirated amniotic fluid and was having breathing issues so i wasn't able to bf him. they say that c section babies sometimes don't get all the fluids out of their lungs like babies do going through the birth canal. one major downside!
6)i highly recommend the pain meds before the pain gets too bad after surgery. you won't feel like yourself for at least 2 weeks. no lifting, driving, etc. in fact-3 months later i still don't feel 100%, but remember it is totally worth it!

Anonymous said...

Hey hun I have had a C-section so here are my answers. I put mine in caps so you could distinguish them.

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue?
I HAD AN EPI BEFORE MY C-SECTION AND IT QUIT WORKING SO THEY JUST DID A SPINAL. I WOULD ADDRESS THIS WITH YOUR DOC AND LET HIM KNOW ABOUT THE NON WORKING EPI ISSUE SO THEY CAN MAKE A BACKUP PLAN FOR YOU TO USE THE SPINAL. THE DIFF FROM THE SPINAL AND THE EPI IS THERE ISNT A PUMP WITH THE SPINAL AS FAR AS I KNOW JUST THE IN THERE AND OUT WHEN DONE THING.

~ What's the recovery time? (how long will I have to be in the hospital? how long until I'm "back to normal?)MOST WOMEN ARE IN THE HOSSY 3-4 DAYS AS LONG AS THERE ARE NO COMPLICATIONS AND YOU ARE DOING WELL. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PEE, EAT, AND HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT BEFORE YOU CAN GO HOME. YOU ARENT ALLOWED TO EVEN LIFT LAUNDRY BASKETS TILL 6 WEEKS. YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT VERY EASY. MY C-SECTION WAS PRETTY SIMILAR FEELING TO MY LAP IT JUST TOO ME LONGER WITH THE C-SECT TO RECOVER. YOU HAVE TO BE WAY MORE CAREFUL TOO SO YOU DONT TEAR YOUR INCISION.

~ When do I get to breastfeed? (With both babies, they were breastfed within the first 10 minutes of birth)WITH MY SON HIS LUNGS WERENT MATURE SO HE WENT TO THE NICU. BUT FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN THE BABY CAN BE GIVEN TO YOU AS SOON AS IT IS CHECKED OUT. AND I HAVE EVER SEEN SOME MOMS WHEELED BACK TO THERE ROOM WITH THE BABY ON THEM. I THINK THIS WILL ALL DEPEND ON THE HOSPITAL POLICY ETC.

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? (with both babies, I had them for about an hour, they went to nursery for tests/cleanup for a few hours, then I had them from then on.)THEY SHOW YOU THE BABY RIGHT AWAY IN THE ER SO YOU CAN SEE THEM ONCE THEY HAVE THE APGARS DONE AND GET CHECKED OUT. THIS ALSO DEPENDS ON THE HOSSY POLICY. I WOULD ASK THEM AND SEE WHAT ANSWERS YOU GET.

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me? IT WILL MOST LIKELY BE YOUR HUBBY THAT WILL BE ABLE TO HOLD HIM. MY DH WAS WITH MY DS WHILE I WAS GETTING SETTLED BACK INTO MY ROOM AND SUCH.

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink? (afterwards - not before.)YES, ONCE YOU ARE OUT OF SURGERY AND OUT OF THE RECOVERY ROOM AND YOU ARE BACK AND SETTLED INTO YOUR ROOM YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO EAT AND DRINK NORMALLY. I WAS. AND THANK GOD I WAS STARVING, I HADNT EATEN FOR 2 DAYS BY THAT TIME.

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at?

THEY GIVE YOU A LIST OF THINGS YOU ARENT ALLOWED TO DO AND WONT BE ABLE TO DO. SOME OF THEM ARE NO SEX, NO LAUNDRY, NO EXERCISE, NO PICKING UP HEAVY THINGS (EVEN THE GIRLS) AND THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHERS AS WELL. IM SURE YOU CAN GET A LIST OF THESE FROM YOUR DOC OR THE HOSSY.

I really hope that little mister turns so that you dont have to have a C-sect but if you do it isnt the end of the world. Glad that your little one is doing better.

I couldnt get the open id thing to work so this is Aubrey (ksmommy27 from webmd)

Geohde said...

Okay- the non-working epidurals may mean you have a slightly trickier back than average (perhaps a minor scoliosis), but since you felt some effect, it's probably dose/techniqure related more than anything.

With a c-section you'll almost certainly have a spinal anyway, a spinal gives more dense anaesthesia than a labour epidural. You'll feel pressure and tugging, but not pain. It's a bit odd, but your anaesthetist will remind you that it is okay to feel pressure. Some people think theyll feel nothing and understandably lose it a bit.

You'll usually spend some time in recovery post-op, just to ensure you're stable and haven't lost too much blood. Because of that, you'll often not get the baby to the breast as early- but this will all depend on your hospital's policy. I just describe the convention where I work.

You can eat as tolerated afterwards, but usually fast from midnight before for a morning procedure, and only a light breakfast if an afternoon procedure.

How long you're in hospital has more to do with what your health service/insurance company custom is and how you recover. HERE routine c-sections go home at 5 days. I would have gone home sooner, but my babies were in hospital so I wanted to be near them.

Recovery varies- I had an easy time, some do not. The best thing you can do is take your pain meds early and often, don't wait for it to hurt. Oh, and take the offered laxatives- the meds will block you up pretty effectively!

The say not to drive for six weeks afterwards here, but it'sbollocks. If you're no longer on strong pain meds and have the movement and strength to drive, you're fine. They probably give you some rules about lifting a certain weight, but that's also a bit daft- use your abundant common sense- if it hurts, don't :)

My hubby is an anaesthetist and you know MY background (with interest in obstetrics)so email me if you have more q's.....I have to feed a twin,

J

Anonymous said...

Non-working epis are an issue, and that was my issue when I delivered my son. I was in labor for 19 hours, pushed for 45 minutes, he was in distress, so we headed to the OR. My epi was not working at all, and it was urgent, so they intubated me and put me under general anesthesia to deliver him. Obviously not the way you plan on having your child, but it is what it is.

Because of this, my child went to NICU while I was in recovery. My husband got to hold him first, not me. He followed the NICU team up with the boy, while I was still under being stitched up. I saw him just over 4 hours after the birth, and was able to breastfeed once I saw him. VERY disappointing to have to wait this long - they gave him dextrose-dipped pacis, and a few squirt syringes of formula in NICU while waiting to breastfeed, but they were very strict on the "4 hours of monitoring" rule, so I couldn't see him, there was nothing I could do.

Suturing will be in many, many layers. 2-3 layers of internal sutures to close up your uterus. 2-3 layers to close up your fascia - the inner tissue of your abdomen - and then an outer layer of skin to be closed. Docs do this last closure layer (the outer layer) very differently - some suture, some staple (yes with real metal staples!). Both of those have to be removed. Mine "glued" my incision closed with a surgical glue, and even though it freaked me out, it was fine. Healed nicely.

Restrictions - getting out of bed for the first time 10 hours post op was a BITCH, and it hurt. And it continued to hurt like that for almost a week. No driving for 2 weeks OR until you're off pain meds for over 24 hours straight. So I rode the Percocet train for a while, so sue me. I think I drove at 10 days postpartum, because I was dying to get out of the house. No heavy lifting, no going up and down stairs more than once a day. Those are the standard no-nos.

Sara said...

Hi Nancy. I know you are freaking out about the csection - and I admit, they aren't great. BUT, it could be worse too.

As for the epi, I had a spinal. Which is different, just not sure how! But it worked on me, didn't hurt, etc...

During the surgery, I never felt any pain. I felt some tugging, but I never felt out of breath (some women do) and I never felt pain. My anesthegiologist(sp?) was great so when I did feel nauseous, he gave me something for that.

Afterwards, I was on a liquid diet for 24 hours, but that was due to me being on Magnesium. I don't think that is normal for all csections.

I will tell you - the first time I went to the bathroom I thought I was going to die. Seriously, I think that first poo was bigger than the baby I had just given birth to! And I have never been the same!

That is all I can really help you with. Recovery for me was hard, but I had been on bed rest for two weeks before that, and I was going through a lot emotionally. SO, with you being in better shape and such, I know things will be okay!!!

Wow, after my post I am sure you are extra excited about a csection, huh?

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a c-section, but my stepsister just had a planned one in October. She has problems with epidurals too, she had a spinal for this and it worked perfectly. I know she wasn't able to hold the baby immediately, he was given to her husband until she was stitched up, etc. She was in the hospital for 4 days. She had a clear liquid diet for the first 24 hours or so after the surgery. she had no complications or problems, but was in quite a bit of pain for a couple of weeks. Her doctor didn't allow her to drive for 6 weeks, but I think 2 weeks is more common.

Good luck Nancy. I hope he turns for you.

--Kristin

Mermaid said...

My experience is so totally second hand, take it for what it's worth.

My sister had a C-section (she was already contracting a bit and her water broke, so they did the C-section earlier than scheduled).

Yes, they sew you back up. I'm positive of this. However, I'm not an MD.

After the baby was born, they took him away to the little nursery area, but the dad go to go, too. The dad followed the baby and didn't stay for the end of the surgery. About 30 minutes later, he brough my mom and me in to see the baby - and yes, we held the baby before my sister.

My sister was taken back to her recovery room and the baby was rolled in with her. The dad was totally in charge of the baby. My sister touched him, but didn't hold him. When she was moved to her room, the Dad rolled the baby along. Baby stayed with my sister for the next 3 nights she stayed in the hospital.

She was up and moving around very soon afterwards. In pain for awhile, but able to care for the baby in the next day or so. Her milk didn't come in at that time, so I can't answer the breastfeeding question.

Hope this helped. On the MIL issue, that will be up to your husband to control the situation (unless your hospital is different).

Shannon said...

When I had my c-section, I had a spinal not an epidural. I think they may go that route with you.

I was in the hospital for 5 days. After about 3 days, I could finally get out of bed (slowly) by myself. It took about 3 weeks until I didn't have a lot of pain. I definitely took the pain pills every four hours. I was not allowed to lift anything heavier than my baby until my PP check up (5 weeks later).

My daughter was born at 12:24am. I could not hold her or anything until I was done in surgery. So I probably didn't hold her until about 1am (or later). My husband was the only one who held her, because you can only have 1 person in the room with you.

I didn't get to breastfeed her until about 1:30-2. That was when I got the the recovery room. That is also when visitors other than husband were allowed to come back.

Since Reagan was born in the middle of the night, I did not eat anything until breakfast time. But I think they would have given me something if I asked.

Hope this helps!

Shannon (WedMD)

Heather said...

I had an emergency c-section nearly a year ago. My son did not survive, so I can't answer all of your questions, but since I had an earlier vaginal delivery with my daughter and was generally terrified of c-sections I thought I might have some insight.

The recovery was so much easier than I expected! I had my c at about 6 am, and was up and taking a shower that night at about 7pm. I was moving very slowly, and was a little unstable on my feet, but it felt great to move. I left the hospital after two days. This was fine since I didn't have a newborn to attend to - I could spend the day on the couch with my daughter watching movies. I don't think I would have done well getting up to take care of a newborn until day 4. I was able to run errands after a week, and went for some long walks after two weeks. It really was so much easier than I had anticipated.

I had very little pain in my abdominal area unless I coughed, sneezed or laughed, but even then it was managable. What I didn't expect was to get referred pain in my shoulder. Holy crap, did that hurt! I felt it the second I woke up in recovery and it steadily got worse until about 7 days after the operation. I was told this is not uncommon after the bowels have been exposed to air.

I also didn't expect that I would need to take more stool softeners than when I delivered my daughter. The pain meds after a c are much stronger, but they also really mess with your shit (literally). I had never in my life been constipated, but I got it bad after the c. Take every freaking Colace pill they give you.

Good luck. I still think there is plenty of time for Mr. K to turn.

Anonymous said...

Seems like everyone has covered the details of a c-section. I've had 2. The only thing I can add is to ask for the catheter AFTER you are numb. Both times, the cath was more painful than the c-section!

Jessica said...

I know other people probably answered the same...but here is my story
I had a c-section with my first because he flipped to breech when I was in labor. Yes, while I was laboring, he flipped (all 11LBS 23 inches of him) SO I had to have a c-sec. I got a spinal block and it took effect for me right away. He was out w/in 30 minutes and I was able to nurse him about 20 minutes after I gave birth. My husband was the one that walked him back to my room. And held him till I was able to sit up. At my hospital they do the vitals, bath and all that in your personal room, not a nursery.

My second baby was also a c-sec...again 10 pound baby. I had a set time, went in, gave birth...again I was able to nurse about 25-30 minutes after birth because of it being my second c-sec they had to a different type of stiching and I had scar tissue they cut out. I had GD with that pregnancy so it was a must that I nursed him right away to keep his sugars up. I had a spinal again, this time it took alittle longer for the spinal to take effect, but it worked

With both boys, I was up and moving with in 24 hours. At my hospital, they keep you hooked up with your IV and Cath for 24 hours after birth and then they get you up to the bathroom, cleaned up, showered and off you go. I was walking around the L&D floor about 26 hours after my surgery. I personally had little pain. I was back to full strength within a week.

Sugar and Ice said...

I'm late, and you've already gotten a lot of answers, but I thought I'd throw in my experiences too since i went through this recently...

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue?

My epidural didn't work either, but I had a spinal block for my c-section, and believe me...it worked.

~ What's the recovery time?

I had my babies early on a Wed. morning, and I was discharged about mid-day on Friday. I think 48 hours is required, and I wasn't in the mood to stay any longer. As far as feeling normal again...eh, I think that depends on the person. I wasn't a big fan of the c-section, but it wasn't so bad. I'm going to say you start feeling pretty much back to normal in a week or two.

~ When do I get to breastfeed?

I personally started breastfeeding the twins once we moved to recovery...so probably within thirty minutes of birth. They basically take the babies out, do their vitals, clean them up, etc (all this was done in the operating room), and by the time they're finished with all that you're probably about finished being sewn up (did you know they take your uterus out?!?...I had no idea). So, we moved straight from operating room to recovery room together.

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? They offered to let the babies ride on the bed with me from OR to recovery...but I felt a little wonky, so I opted for my husband to carry them. Once we got to recovery (probably 20 feet from OR), I took ownership. I held them and nursed them and stared at them the entire time...no visitors...no mother in laws.

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me?

I'd say that you'll have that baby boy with you the entire time, so there should be no reason for your mil to get him before you.

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink?

They had me on liquids for at least ten hours afterward. They said the reasoning is that a lot of people have a negative reaction to anesthesia, and when they eat it makes them vomit. Vomiting after major abdominal surgery...OUCH!

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at?

I had no real restrictions...I wasn't supposed to lift over 10 pounds for a few days, and after I went home my doc said I shouldn't lift over 20. They had me up walking and using the bathroom as soon as possible. I was kind of a hormonal mess while I was in the hospital, and they even suggested I go outside and take a walk with my husband. I personally did not take pain medication other than extra strength Advil. That was just a personal choice, because I'd read something about how Percocet and other pain killers can have negative effects on nursing when babies are born prematurely especially...and our pediatrician confirmed this. Since I'd had issues at first nursing my older daughter, I opted for no pain meds ...and honestly, nothing really hurt. I had a little pulling here and there, and sometimes I felt like I needed to walk stooped over like a 95 year old, but I'd call it uncomfortable rather than painful.

Good luck with it all! You're going to do great. That frank breech position is a major pain...that's what happened to my Baby A. I was told getting out of the frank breech position is kind of like if we were to sit in a bucket with our butt planted at the bottom and legs straight up in the air using no arms...doesn't sound too easy.

Emily from the STL said...

Hi Nancy,

I just want to say first and foremost, my daughter (who is also named Ella! =)) was breech until I went in for my 38 week dr. appt. She had been in what they call the complete breech position though, which I know is more common than frank, but she did turn on her own. I refused to have a version done as I did not like the stats I had researched on those and for a few other reasons. Anyways, with that said, I ended up with a c/s anyway due to my severe toxemia and the fact that I was not progressing. I had been in the hospital for almost 48 hours, fighting the c-section which the dr had wanted to do since I was admitted with a BP of 215/109. I was exhausted and starving, and I actually insisted on sneaking a few bites of a cheeseburger DH had about two hours before I conceded and reluctantly had my c/s. I of course told them I had nothing to eat, not something I would advise but I was told by nurses (not OB but still) that in case of emergency you would have a tube down your throat anyway which would not allow you to aspirate as is the reason for the not eating. And let me tell you, the C-section was nothing. Don't be nervous, I have read about the bad break to your leg and I am sure that will be much worse than if you have to have the c/s. DH followed DD to get weighed and such and she was nursing within the hour. Unfortunately, my in-laws were somehow allowed in my recovery room which annoyed the shit out of DH and I both, but that's another story; I am sure they can keep whoever you would like away if you indicate you want that. They did leave my epidural in for 48 hrs but with morphine instead of the normal stuff which helped, and I was a little sore, but by the time I was home 4 days later I was moving around pretty good, and felt about 80%. Within two weeks I was good to go. I don't consider myself to be someone who has a high threshold for pain either, though I am somewhat stubborn! =) You will be fine, I was so opposed to having even a medicated labor, and I was so against the C/S too because I thought it would be devastating for the breastfeeding and the bonding with the baby, I am a lot like you and did not want anyone else bonding with her before I did. In hindsight, everything was fine, and I had a healthy, beautiful baby girl with a perfectly round head since she had not made the journey through the birth canal! Best wishes to your though for a healthy delivery for both you and Carl, that is of course all that matters!

Kim said...

I can give you my experience, yes this is a very late reply.

I didn't have an epi with my other kids, so I have no idea there. I got a spinal, wanna talk about a walk in the park. I was numb for about 2-3 hours.

Recovery- I am still in a little pain 3 weeks post c-section. Am I doubled over in pain, no haven't been for over 2 weeks. What pain I have I think is nerve pain.

I was up and walking-forwarning you WILL hurt the first time you walk, I dropped the F bomb several times as I was getting up. It does get better by day 2. Hint don't let your pain meds wear off. Also walk as much as possible, it really helps with the pain. I was in the hospital for 3 days but could have stayed a fourth had I wanted to. I have felt well enough to do normal activities but I am still on restrictions.

As for your questions on "ownership" I can't answer my baby went straight to the NICU.

I was not able to eat for over 24 hours, but I was sick for almost 36 hours after the c-section. not because OF the c-section it was because of the pain meds.

Restrictions, I can't lift anything over 10 lbs, drive, long rides in the car, for 6 weeks. Nothing in the vagina for 6 weeks.

Some other things, it is very possible to have shoulder pain after it is normal. The bleeding is VERY slight compared to a vag birth. You will bleed heavy the first day or two, and then spot for there on out. The staples will come out before you leave, they are not bad coming out.

A c-section compared to a vaginal, both have good and bad points. It did take me longer to feel better after the c-section. Not having to labor was great. My c-section was planned several hours before hand so it went very smooth. I really have no complaints about it.

Our family is complete said...

Ok I have had 2 c-sections and both were very different. I labored with Carter for quite some time and then had to have a c-section, so I will give you the low down with Peyton since he was a planned one.

~ Could my non-working epidurals talked about above be an issue? You will probably get a spinal which is way different then an epidural. I was terrified of the spinal becuase at least with the epi you just want relief and spinal you know it is coming. It actually was not bad at all and it is instant. I mean by the time he put the needle down I could feel my legs tingling.

~ What's the recovery time? (how long will I have to be in the hospital? how long until I'm "back to normal?) I was only in the hospital for 3 days, but I think the norm is 4. I just kept whining I wanted to go home.LOL

~ When do I get to breastfeed? (With both babies, they were breastfed within the first 10 minutes of birth) Peyton was brought into recovery with me so I could nurse him right away. The hospital that I had him at was all for us bonding right away.

~ When will I get to take "ownership" of the baby? (with both babies, I had them for about an hour, they went to nursery for tests/cleanup for a few hours, then I had them from then on.) They do all the clean-up and everything while you are getting stitched up. Your husband will proably be holding him within minutes after you have him.

~ If I don't get to take ownership right away, who gets to be with baby? Will my mother in law actually get to hold/cuddle my newborn before me? Probably not. Hopefully your hosptial is like mine and kept Peyton with me the whole time afterwards.

~ Do I get to eat? Do I get to drink? (afterwards - not before.) You can try to eat and drink, but I got really sick after my c-section. I was on a liquid diet the first day, and then I was on regular food the next day.

~ What kind of restrictions am I looking at? WEll they tell you that you can't drive for the first 6wks, but shhh don't tell anyone I was driving the next week.LOL They just tell you not to lift anything but the baby, so you won't be able to hold Allison or Ella. I know that was really hard for Carter, but your girls are older so they might now care as much.

Hope this helps you out some nancy. Please if you have any more questions please feel free to contact me.

Amy