ELCS recovery - how long did yours take?

(58 Posts)
Angelico Fri 12-Oct-12 22:44:06

Hi smile Had ELCS just over 2 weeks ago for first baby. Having had previous surgery (but not abdominal) I was shocked at how painful it was, especially the first week after. Wasn't helped by crap painkillers because of breastfeeding hmm

Much more manageable now - can cook, clean, look after baby (bathing her is hard so letting DH do that) but walking for more than a hundred metres is sore and wouldn't dare push buggy etc or walk with baby yet - probably another week or two for that.

Just wondered how long it took others to recover and before you felt 'normal' physically?

Angelico Tue 23-Oct-12 22:28:56

Had to go to GP today because of pain above wound on one side. Also had cramps and a great gush of blood - 4 weeks after CS! Bish think you are right about healing inside but it's a kind of pulling feeling (ouch), especially bad when I lift baby to shoulder to wind her. GP said she thinks it is cramps from BFing as uterus contracts but the contractions are hurting the bit of uterus that was cut open. Is annoying because it feels like I've gone backwards a bit sad It makes it hard to stand up tall IYSWIM - makes me want to hunch over a little. Have taken it as easy as possible last few days but had really been hoping to start walking more etc sad

Angelico Tue 23-Oct-12 22:30:31

And Meglet think your philosophy is exactly right but I do find it hard when I'm home alone with bean and she needs everything done. I'm also finding with visitors I am more inclined to try and tidy things than usual... confused

bishboschone Tue 23-Oct-12 22:43:50

Please just rest . You have been cut in half!! It took me ages to not be in pain and I was on max dose of co codomol and paracetamol/ ibuprofen . It bloody hurt!!! Have you got any meds?

Meglet Tue 23-Oct-12 23:47:10

FWIW I had a hysterectomy and was given a bit of a lecture by the nurse. She said that post CS recovery is dire and women should be resting, they are turfed out of bed too soon. And while a hysterectomy is a bigger operation I was told that internal healing takes at least 6 weeks.

You sound just like me after my first CS, I over did it and ended up in pain and miserable, I couldn't stand up straight for weeks, I remember whimpering in pain in the supermarket at 5 weeks as it hurt so much to bend down and put things in the basket under the buggy sad. Try and keep visitors away, you come first, the baby will be there in a months time when you feel better and then they can visit. Please don't prolong your recovery by putting on appearances and cracking on with everything. You will still be able to charge around, go the gym, carry heavy things in the not too distant future when you've healed up.

You don't have an older child to take care of so please make the most of it and hunker down for a few days and rest.

I get so uppity about this as I learnt the hard way and had very different recoveries with my EMCS (overdid it, painkillers for weeks, felt shit and miserable), planned CS (slobbed out for 2 weeks, took it easy for at least a month) and hysterectomy (bed rest for a week, barely did a thing for 8 weeks and didn't even need paracetamol after day 4 post op).

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 21:32:25

Still sore sad Helped a bit that parents were visiting and lifted the baby a lot / let me get some extra sleep but they are away now. Most maddening thing is the burning sensation above the incision, it's a band about 3inches wide now from above incision to level with tummy button. Feels like it's really just the skin and fat beneath skin that is irritated, like it's nerve pain. Did anyone else get this and how long did it last?

I'm 4 weeks 2 days post-CS and really thought I'd be a bit better than this - can't imagine how I'll be able to drive / lift things in another week and a half confused sad

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 21:41:04

Yes. I had alot of pain above my scar for a long time . ( sorry) no infection but the pain went on for months . My ds was prem and breech , I have a theory he was high up and therefore they had to stretch the hole alot to get to him . It will get better i promise . Just try and be patient . smile

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:16:07

Thanks Bishbosch. Read back and you said it took 6 months to get better - can't imagine going that long with all this sad Did it ease off sooner than that and just kind of niggle or did it stay pretty sore / burny for the full 6 months?

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:16:54

And also did you start driving etc at the 6 weeks? And walking / exercising etc?

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:48

It eased off , definitely getting better day by day but slowly and surely . I have a flat stomach again now and the scar is almost invisible and pain free 16 months on . I had a huge tummy for ages too !!

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:30:41

I drove at 3 weeks as ds was in scbu . It was a mistake . It put me back a week or so . When I was in scbu a girl next to me had no pain 2 weeks after her cs . She couldn't understand why I couldn't get up from the chair holding ds. Have you for co codomol ? I couldn't have managed without it . If it wore off I was I'm so much pain. If like to think I'm not a wimp either .

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:31:52

Exercising was more like 6 months but from 7 days I was walking ( albeit very slowly ) to get dd from school . It's a long walk .

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:33:11

Thanks smile I think I overdid things last week when feeling better, then set myself back and have kind of stopped even going for little walks - think I need to start again as sitting (esp at computer ironically blush) seems to make pain worse. Think I also need to admit defeat and take some painkillers again sad Might try another session of acupuncture as it helped a couple of weeks ago.

Really appreciate you posting Bish - Dr Google seems to throw up either superhumans who leapt tall buildings after 3 days OR people who have been permanently maimed confused Good to know there is something 'normal' in between! smile

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:35:24

Thanks also meglet and others! And Bish I have exactly 7 co-codamol which is all the bastards would give me because of BFing and was terrified of taking it, even though friend was given armfuls after her CS. MWs made me feel like some junkie for considering taking it when BFing - they are still in the drawer...

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Thu 25-Oct-12 22:39:50

Hi, thought I would post as I'm in your position, 5 weeks post section now. Felt amazing after section, only had paracetamol as pain relief but stopped it after 4 days when I started doing the school run driving 5 miles to school with baby and 16 month old in tow. Did my supermarket shop with all kids after a week or so when my partner returned to work. Now I'm paying the price! I have an infection behind my wound which is quite localised to one part of my scar but only showed itself at week 4. It's painful but luckily we have school holidays this week. I am able to do less now than I could on leaving the hospital. When school starts next week I will need help doing school run so I feel really silly for overdoing it, if only I had taken it easier at the start, just the first 2 weeks, I believe I would have been perfectly fine by now. I'm no longer smug and feeling like superwoman. If your wound starts weeping pus and blood maybe ask them to swab it for infection but be warned - it stings like a bitch. I started gushing blood also so they did an ultrasound to check for internal infection but as I had no other signs of infection they reckon its a period. My post has been really self pitying but no one in real life has given me any pity, only "I told you so"s. Feel better soon.

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 23:38:35

I did start driving at 6 weeks both times. But the first drive was a short drive around the block without the baby in the car, just in case!

Gym at 12 weeks both times, but TBH the grannies were working harder than me. I was just glad of the peace and pottered about doing easy things for the first few visits. As I was able to lift a baby then lifting a few easy weights wasn't a problem.

I do remember that I was 'training' for Race for Life 5 months after my EMCS (ie; 15 min jog around the park) and the scar hurt like hell for the first run so I took it very easy again for a bit. I'm sure I wouldn't have had pain for such a long time after my EMCS if I had stayed on the sofa for a fortnight after the op.

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 23:40:53

angelico you need to go back to your GP and insist they give you some better pain relief advice. The more pain you are in the more you will tense up which makes you feel even worse.

bishboschone Fri 26-Oct-12 07:35:40

Yes I agree, I had pre eclampsia and was given co codomol while pregnant so it can't be that bad . The first few nights I literally couldn't sleep for the pain and they have me morphine on the post natal ward. Again the girl next to me refused when the drugs lady came round . We are all different . Go back to docs and ask for something you can have if you are worried . My gp prescribed me boxes of co codomol , literally boxes !

RosannaBanana Fri 26-Oct-12 08:39:23

Hi, just wanted to say that I felt like I had a pretty slow recovery too, but 9 weeks on am feeling so much better- I really felt like I turned a corner at about 6 weeks. In my case I had an undiagnosed infection - even though my incision didn't really look dodgy at all. Might be worth going to get checked out- and do ask for more Painkillers if you need.
Oh, I also bled on and off for 7 weeks. I felt like I would never feel better but I have pretty much no pain at all there now- just a little bit of itching.

Angelico Fri 26-Oct-12 11:33:54

Thanks ladies. Can you buy co-codamol over the counter? I feel fine in the mornings if I've had enough time lying down overnight but it's usually by evening I am getting sore after a day of lifting baby.

Rosanna thanks for that, it's reassuring. How did you know you had an infection? What were the symptoms? Everyone keeps admiring my incision which is apparently beautifully cut and healed and GP didn't swab me the other day internally as everything looked so good on the outside and she was able to press my tummy without pain - apparently no blood trapped beneath surface and temperature was normal. I don't think I have an infection, just think the internal stitches are taking longer to heal and nerves are growing back - alas I seem to get the burning sensation rather than numbness! smile

Floralnomad Fri 26-Oct-12 11:42:54

Hi I think I must be a freak as well , I had an elective section and was driving after a couple of weeks ( as soon as allowed ) , waddled in the mums race at my DS sports day at about 2 weeks and was completely back to doing what I would normally do . I had one dose of paracetamol post op and no more pain killers after that . Having said all that I do have a high pain threshold and I also think a lot of it is how you approach it . I approached it as I've had a baby ( which is a normal thing to do ) rather than approaching it from the I've had major surgery points of view. But everyone is different and obviously some people have complications. I had lots of problems with my scar / incision but I just don't let health things worry me . Good luck with your baby .

Angelico Fri 26-Oct-12 13:02:49

You're lucky Floral! I've had lots of surgery before and seemed to have a high pain threshold (recovered from apparently painful ops v quickly and pain relief free, thought I was some kind of medical freak grin) which is why this one has taken me by surprise confused

At least the bleeding and cramping has stopped again...

RosannaBanana Sat 27-Oct-12 10:38:19

Hi, the symptoms of my infection were some soreness and lack of healing in one area. Also had a stitch that didn't dissolve there. The MW and HV kept saying it didn't look infected but the doc said it smelt dodgy- yuck! Then she swabbed it and it came back with a mega infection.
Hope this isn't the case for you.

blonderthanred Sat 27-Oct-12 12:08:25

Hello, this is interesting to read as I had a CS yesterday after failed induction (hello Angelico). Surprised to hear I will be going home tomorrow. Was given oral morphine yesterday which was good and today co-dydramol which has made me very sleepy.

My friend was an up-and-about in town a week later type and now has a hernia. So I am going to be taking it easy. Lucky to have lots of support from DH.

Angelico Sun 28-Oct-12 20:43:55

Thanks Rosanna. And hello to Blonder congrats on your baby and glad they are giving you proper painkillers post-CS! Hope the GD has gone too? Come over to the Oct PN thread smile thanks

elizaregina Tue 30-Oct-12 20:49:53

Hi Angelico, i have had my section now and have been really taken aback by extraordinary pain in one side.

I was fine until later on in the evening after the op - a MW came along and said I should be turning from side to side and that they got ladies on thier feet six hours after op now.

I then made a really really clumsy turn and have suffered flare up burning pain ever since, i am furious with her - since then I was on ward and all ladies round me had been left alone - and not moved much until the catheta came out. They all had really nasty emergency sections and were all walking better than me!

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