What actually happens before/during an elective ceserean section?

(12 Posts)
ItsSpringBaby Thu 06-Mar-14 16:09:40

I'm due to have one for medical reasons, the date will be booked in about 4 weeks, at which time I'll have another 4 weeks or so to go. There are loads of good hints and tips for the aftermath, I'm just wondering what actually happens before this.

I have loads of questions...far too impatient to wait till my next appointment ( grin ), so to anyone who can answer, thanks in advance!

Do they let you chose between a few dates, or is one given to you? And can you ask for it to be 38 weeks rather than 39/40? I say this because my last baby shot out in the space of 30 mins - from water breaking to appearance, so I'm terrified of not making it to the hospital on time.

Do you arrive on the day, or a day before? I'm wondering because I will be alone, and need to arrange childcare with someone else if I want my mother to be with me.

The actual operation itself, how many people are usually in the room? And what are you aware of such as sensations etc? How long does the op itself take? I've read that you have to ask beforehand to see the baby? I'm also wondering whether it would be worth asking anyone if they could take a few pictures for me, if I do end up being alone.

This is also a rather silly question, but do they cover you lower half up? Or is it just all out there for everyone to see? Hehe

And finally when they take you back to the ward, do they place the baby beside you and go off as they usually would? I'm not sure whether I will be with my baby in my case, as they have some potential health issues that may need to be dealt with immediately. But I've read some women have trouble moving for a day or two afterwards. So I'm guessing you need extra help?!

I know some of these are a bit silly, wrote a bit more than I thought!

mummaxmas Thu 06-Mar-14 16:18:58

I've had two Emergancy and one elective c section. They generally give you a date to come in and 39 weeks plus as anything under is considered pre term.

There are lots of people in the room ! One is your midwife who will look after you, hold your hand and talk to you about what's happening. The anethatist is generally lovely too.

My husband tells me it's all out !! I didn't look, but apparently there's lots going on and your all on show !!

You will feel tugging and movement but no pain, it a strange sensation to feel nothing below your armpits and I found it quite emotional

mummaxmas Thu 06-Mar-14 16:22:17

You will be looked after in a special ward for a few hours where they will help you with the baby, feeding etc. then when your stable and able to move a bit your put on a general ward with a midwife always there to help, by the evening I was in my own room and had to call the buzzer if I needed someone to change the baby or pass him toe for feeding. But by no 3 I kept him in bed with me and just did what I had too, the numbness wears of in a few hours and you will be up by the next day, but it will be hard to walk and move around

TheAuthoress Thu 06-Mar-14 16:30:52

In my hospital I was allowed to choose any date I wanted between 39 and 40 weeks, I wanted it at 39 weeks which was a Friday but unfortunately the two elective section slots for that day were already taken so I had dd on the Monday.

I arrived that morning at about 7.30 and was the first there so was taken immediately to have my pre op talk with the anaesthetist and check list that I wasn't wearing makeup, jewellery etc.

I was then taken to theatre at about 8.15am, my dh wasn't allowed in while I had the spinal put in but came in straight after - there was two surgeons, anaesthetist, midwife and a couple of other people, I think they were nurses. They were all very friendly and explained everything they were doing.

They then got to work and my little girl was born at 8.50am, so very quick!! She was out straight into my arms and the midwife took photos etc, it was really lovely and calm and relaxing.

I was then taken to recovery for 30mins or so and then straight to the ward.

TheAuthoress Thu 06-Mar-14 16:37:27

Also wanted to add that I didn't feel a thing, though I've heard it's common to feel "rummaging" but no pain. They have a screen thing up so you can't see them perform the surgery, and a surgical sheet thing with a gap for the section so you won't be exposed to all and sundry!!

I had my husband with me and he stayed until about 5pm so I'm unsure what will happen if you are on your own. You'll have a buzzer to press to call a midwife if you need help, you'll not be able to feel your lower half for a few hours afterwards so you'll definitely need help.

I found my elective section recovery much much easier than my emergency section recovery and was able to move about within a few hours of the section and had a bath that evening, though it was a very slow and careful process!

TheAuthoress Thu 06-Mar-14 16:41:08

I'm now going to have to check with dh if I was covered up or if the surgical sheet thing was in my imagination! Hope not!

Meglet Thu 06-Mar-14 21:50:27

I haven't read all the other replies, so I might be repeating things. I've had an EMCS and ELCS so my memories may be a muddle of the two.

AFAIK they prefer them to be at 39 weeks because it drastically reduces the chance of a baby needing to go to SCBU. Although if you previously had a fast labour you need to speak to them about it they might need to make contingency plans.

Do you arrive on the day? 8am in the morning.

How many people are usually in the room? I'd guess around 8.

And what are you aware of such as sensations etc? Stomach being pushed and pulled. Slightly uncomfortable pressure when they're wriggling the baby out.

How long does the op itself take? 10 mins to open up. 30 mins to sew up.They'll show you the baby as soon as it's out, they might even lower the screen. I wanted mine weighed and checked before I cuddled them, I'm too anxious to trust everything is ok. The anaesthetist insisted she would take the photos. I think it's to stop over enthusiastic DH's snapping everything in sight. The theatre staff were great both times, very friendly, happy to explain what they were doing step by step and a couple of of "aawws" smile when the baby was born. Even in my EMCS they were chatty and calm.

I think they left my lower half 'exposed'. Apart from my fetching DVT socks. They will quite possibly give you a morphine suppository after the op for heavy duty, localised pain relief.

I was pretty wiped out after the ops so mainly I just wanted to collapse back on the pillow, (X)P held the baby or they were in the little fish tank cot. I was also sick after both ops, approx 6rs afterwards. I think they said it was either something to do with the anaesthetic wearing off or the morphine drip kicking in (can't remember). I did have them in with me once I'd perked up around tea-time. The first 36hrs were hard for me, I was quite shaky and felt vulnerable. You might be able to manage on your own if the midwives are helpful, but if it looks like they're rushed off their feet then it's a good idea to get a friend / relative in.

Tea1Sugar Thu 06-Mar-14 22:36:45

My ELCS has been booked today, it'll be at 39+1. My hospital do electives Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and book up to 5 women for each day.
Bang on 39 weeks for me is a Tuesday and they flatly turned down a Monday even though it'd be only one day "early", they're very strict on the 39+ Weeks rule hence I've got 39+1. Already petrified!

Dancingdreamer Thu 06-Mar-14 22:51:16

Please don't be petrified. I actually loved my caesarean. There was no pain (unlike natural childbirth). Everything was calm. We had music on the radio playing in the operating theatre. The anaethetist talked to me throughout telling me what was happening. My baby was born within 30 mins.

Things you need to know:

You will be fitted with a catheter for the first night. This is not painful but feels a bit strange.

I had one morphine shot after the op and then just paracetemol. If it is your first c-section this may be the only pain control you need. However, if not, ask for more pain relief.

They will try to get you up the following day and have a shower. They will also change your dressings. This was the worst part! You really don't feel like this at all!

However, on the plus side you generally get min 4 nights in hospital so plenty of time to rest and get help with BF, nappy changing etc.

Enjoy! I wouldn't worry at all.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 06-Mar-14 22:57:43

Its a sterile proceedure so you're covered with sterile drapes which have a cut out square to allow access to your abdomen. So you're not on show during the op. there will be times such as when you're catheterised that you will be exposed but these times are done as quick as possible and you're covered up again.

bewleysisters Thu 06-Mar-14 23:09:12

Two sections. Second was elective and mostly relaxed. Walked to theatre (took CD to play). Sitting still for spinal was the really tense bit. Lovely anaesthetist looked after me, chatting away. 10 mins of rummaging and tugging and baby out, but whisked off to SCBU: photo was taken by midwife on our camera, before he left as we weren't then expected to see him again till the following day. Luckily for us SCBU only kept him 20 mins then sent him straight back to us - v.v. lucky.

Takes much longer than you expect to get stitched up: be prepared for this. Both times I got a bit shaky at this stage. Once out of theatre into high dependency where had skin to skin contact and baby trying to latch on within an hour or so of delivery. Onto ward within four hours or so I think. Pain control was very effective but expect to feel utterly wiped out. It is a bit of shock the first night to be pretty much immobile, in sole charge of new infant, on a busy ward and deprived of sleep just when you really, really need a rest. Was a bit worried about my baby waking up everyone else because it took ages to lever myself out of bed to pick him up. Pretty much expected to self-care from following day which was pretty tough given some complications. Good to have people coming in Think about a stash of nice foods, including good sources of iron (rich fruit cake!). Recovery once out of hospital quicker than expected both times. Very best wishes!

ItsSpringBaby Fri 07-Mar-14 00:25:18

Thank you for all the very helpful replies. It makes it much easier to know what I'm expecting! I will most likely be on my own until I'm back on the ward and am allowed visitors - which I don't mind - just trying to get myself prepped for what's to come!

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