section in four weeks, shitting myself (not literally)

(63 Posts)
bleurghblah Wed 16-Jul-14 20:48:00

Help! I know this has been done to death but I don't know anyone in real life who has had a planned section.

How much does the spinal actually hurt? Will I not be able to move at all for the first day? How much does it hurt when the painkillers wear off?

what should I take with me that I might have forgotten.

basically looking for some reassurance :-(

ReluctantCamper Wed 16-Jul-14 20:54:53

I had a 'sort of' planned section. Spinal didn't hurt at all. Knowing I had to keep still was tricky. When I'm at the dentist I imagine I'm on a beach in Antigua to stop myself from running out of the chair, and I used the same technique.

My section was around 13.00. I couldn't really move properly until they removed the catheter at 6.00 the following day.

It didn't hurt that much. I got given loads of voltarol and paracetamol. They kept offering liquid morphine(!), but I just wasn't in enough pain to need it.

Get big pants that won't sit on your scar.

Not related to the section, but I am packing my hospital bag for baby 2 at the moment, and have put in baby blankets as none were available at the hospital first time round, and DS1 had to sleep under a hand towel on his first night!

It will be fine, really. Best of luck!

bleurghblah Wed 16-Jul-14 21:05:05

6am or 6pm?

ooh I like on the beach idea. I will start imagining what cocktail.

ceara Thu 17-Jul-14 11:49:08

I had a planned section. I found the spinal utterly nerve-wracking but in the event not painful. Afterwards was a bit sore but nothing like as much as I expected. I too was fine with paracetamol but the important thing is to stay on top of your pain relief and not let it wear off! I had my cs at 10 am and was able to stand and walk by that evening, and travel in a car reasonably comfortably the next day. The hard thing was actually not thinking I was better than I was, and overdoing it. You must must must listen to the doc's advice on this.

Definitely big pants. I also found over the bump PJ trousers were brilliant, both for comfort and to slob round in so as to remind myself and visitors that I had just had major abdominal surgery and needed to take it very easy for a while.

I second the advice for visualisations to keep calm for the spinal. Worth asking if you can take a CD of your own music into theatre as this also distracts and calms.

7Days Thu 17-Jul-14 11:53:01

I had one two months ago and came on to offer my wisdom but it's all been said smile

i found the midwives great support when getting the spinal. Tell them if you are nervous and they will help. Mine was practically doing unicycle fire juggling to distract me! She was well used to nervous patients and they know how do deal with that.

bleurghblah Thu 17-Jul-14 13:12:24

will I be in agonising pain when the spinal wears off? I was in so much pain after my first birth with an infected episiotomy that going to and from the toilet had me in floods of tears where the stitches were pulling. I was as miserable as I have ever ever been and am so frightened of being in as much pain again

Hippopotamousse Thu 17-Jul-14 13:39:49

I had a planned section and much of what I would say has also been covered in earlier replies.

I dreaded the spinal and was a nervous wreck when I was taken off to theatre. They gave me a local anaesthetic before the spinal (which I think is standard practice) so it didn't hurt it just felt a bit odd when it started working. I had a really good midwife distracting me and I too imagined I was on a beach - it was good to get some use out of the hypnobirthing classes! Once the doctors started the section it was all very calm and they bring your baby out early on which is a great distraction while everyone finishes up.

I wasn't able to get out of bed until the next morning when my catheter was removed. I was ok on ibuprofen and paracetamol and didn't feel I needed any morphine. I think I was given a couple of stronger painkillers before I left theatre. I did hurt afterwards but the pain wasn't as bad as I imagined. Make sure you relax ass much as you can and keep up the pain relief. Big pants are a must.

I had an emcs 2.5 weeks ago after a 20 hours of labour and honestly I can't believe how easy the recovery has been. When the spinal wore off I was given cocodamol and diclofenac for pain relief and the pain was never worse than a nagging twinge, only on movement. The midwives had me up walking around the bed 6 hours later and i felt fine, just a little wobbly. After a day I asked for a reduced dose of the cocodamol. Sitting up in bed is difficult as you have to be wary of straining yourself but the reclining bed in hospital helped a lot. I had no problems picking up or caring for my (11 pound 9 ounce!) baby.

The wound has healed really well. For a week it was protected by a dressing a bit like sticky tape. When that came off it just looked like a thin red scratch. Physically I have felt completely back to my old self for a good few days.

The worst side effects for me were the horrendous constipation and swollen feet. Drink loads of water, take lactulose and prune juice. The swollen feet got back to normal about day 10.

Maybe I have just been lucky but the recovery for me has been a doddle. I would have 10 more sections rather than another hour of back to back induced labour with a massive baby!

Downtonflabby Thu 17-Jul-14 14:00:54

OMG don't go there with the swollen feet!!! Mine looked like I had fake UGGS on!!

Try and get as much home help as you can, I did far too much and was in agony (carrying a bath of water)

REST
REST
REST

Good luck!!

ismarah Thu 17-Jul-14 15:23:58

I had a scheduled C section 2 weeks ago. Most things have been said already but this was my experience:

Local didn't quite work for the spinal block and so the spinal was actually a bit painful but very effective once it was in. Everybody in the room was very friendly and came over first to introduce themselves and then to congratulate us.
We had our own music which led to conversations about music with the anaesthesiologist and surgeon.
I had worse problems with blistering from the antiseptic wash meeting the pressure bandage than with the incision itself.
Make sure you use your arms to raise yourself up and get out of bed and NOT your stomach muscles - although that's a mistake you only make once...
I was first up on the list and my spinal started wearing off around noon / midafternoon, but it's a gradual process and it didn't hurt.
Make sure you have pain relief your stomach can tolerate - I didn't and vomiting is not nice after abdominal surgery.
I was prescribed anti-clotting injections called Fragmentin which I turned out to be intolerant to, which I understand to be rare, but didn't help.
Bring headphones, eye mask and ear plugs in order to be able to sleep - very little rest to be had in hospital and EMCSs will be arriving at all hours.
Two weeks in I have been for a walk with bean in pushchair and done all usual housey things. I haven't taken any paracetamol since Monday - when I had a headache.
My trick is to remember to pace myself and not overdo it - remember that the external stitches are only the visible ones - there's loads more inside you and those need babying too.
Also, scar tissue massage and exercise after your 6week checkup will help the healing process.

bleurghblah Thu 17-Jul-14 18:45:51

Thank you so much! Feeling a bit better about it now you have shared your experiences xxx

Toottootoffwego Thu 17-Jul-14 22:45:38

I've had 2 planned sections. Both uncomplicated and pain free. Had spinal for first and epidural for second. Both were no more than a scratch really. Had lots of meds for afterwards which I kept on top off, rather than waiting for the drugs to wear off.
Had staples first time and stitches second. I was allergic to the staples which was itchy but tiny scar. Second scar cut out the first so I've only got one incision mark. (Nifty surgeon!)

I took it easy for a month or so, and I only felt funny if I was standing up for too long. Enjoy the birth - it goes very very fast!

bleurghblah Fri 18-Jul-14 08:52:46

Does anyone have the time of the inclination to explain in what order they do things?

Toottootoffwego Fri 18-Jul-14 09:37:52

For me: into gown and stockings, canula in, beg for something for my nerves, head down to theatre.
Lean forward whilst anaesthetist does local anaesthetic, then stay leaned forward for epidural insertion (or spinal block).
Lie back, drape curtain put in position.
Spray cold stuff to see has anaesthetic took. Chat to husband. Couple of minutes of furtling, baby removed, rubbed a bit and wrapped, and put on chest.
More furtling, stitched up, catheter put in (not aware of that) and then wheeled to recovery.
Job done! It's a REALLY happy memory for me. All 3 of my children were planned sections.

ismarah Fri 18-Jul-14 09:48:36

You have a preoperative appointment a few days before where you will see a MW and an anaesthesiologist. They will weigh you, do a blood test plus the usual checks and they will explain what to expect and answer any questions.

The night before you will probably not be allowed to eat anything after midnight and might be given some pills to take beforehand. If we assume that your hospital runs morning slots, you will probably be told to be at the hospital quite early, like 6am or so for prep. You'll probably be allowed to drink water until about 3hrs before your op - going first (my hospital ran 3 per morning) is no bad thing.

In the hospital you'll be assigned a bed and given gowns to change into and sexy pressure stockings to wear and your DH will be given surgical scrubs and clogs. You'll be told what to bring with you to theatre (in my case a hat and a nappy) and then people will start to arrive. You'll probably see a midwife who will be your midwife that day, the anaesthesiologist on duty that day and the surgeon. They'll ask you questions but might be quite brief as they've got a schedule to keep.

Once it's your turn you'll be taken to theatre - we specifically walked there. In theatre people will introduce themselves and run around you but in a purposeful way, not randomly. All those people are there for you and your baby and I found that comforting, rather than scary. The anesthesiologist is actually the person you will speak to the most as they will be by your head monitoring you.

You will be asked to climb on top of the surgical table and lean over, probably into your DPs arms while they do the local and attach BP cuffs and monitors to your chest, as well as a cannula in your hand. Once the local is in, the spinal / epidural goes in too. It works very quickly and they'll ask you to lie down. Then they'll adjust the table height and tilt it slightly. At this point they'll put the screen in place and get busy. You'll have an antiseptic swab done, a catheter placed and if needed, a quick trim on your abdomen. After that they'll test your sedation level with a cold spray before starting.

It is a very quick process once they get cracking but as itms quite routine, they aren't stressed, just businesslike. Which is oddly comforting - if you're weird like me.

Once baby is out they will give you the placenta drug which name I never remember which may make you feel like there's an elephant on your chest, in which case you tell your tame anaesthetist and they will give you oxygen and get you sorted. At this point you're probably already cuddling your baby and so will miss most of the tidying uo bits...

Your DP might be asked to cut the cord, same as in a VB but they show them the baby end...not the business end.

ismarah Fri 18-Jul-14 09:50:32

'Furtling' is an excellent word Toottoot!

I've had ELCS. Very similar experience to everyone here. Catheter is inserted immediately after the spinal though, to move the bladder from in front of the womb

Has anyone explained that the furtling in your tummy is a little peculiar? For me it felt like someone was washing up in my tummy.

also, unless you can do it yourself, they will want to shave just below your knicker line, so they aren't stitching hair into the wound. You'll be given a suppository painkiller in theatre, if you're not offered any more, don't be afraid to ask

a physiotherapist should come and see you after the surgery to show you how to get out of bed without hurting yourself, and some exercises to reduce fluid

just remember its an operation that's performed hundreds of times a week, and you'll soon have tour lovely newborn DC to distract you

A couple of other things that might be useful to know:

From the start to when baby comes out is very quick. 5 mins or less for me. Most of the time is spent stitching you up, but baby is a great distraction and the time went pretty fast.

As my spinal wore off I started shaking quite a lot. It's quite a common reaction to the anaesthetic.

Oh I forgot, when they have me the jab for the placenta I vomited, so watch for that

Petallic Fri 18-Jul-14 10:51:15

If you feel anything at all during the cs, I don't mean pain but if you feel anxious, sick, dizzy - mention it to the anesthetist (who will be keeping a close eye on you anyway and I've had lovely chatty ones too both times) and they will adjust the drugs accordingly.

Also pack some straws for drinks (can drink still practically lieing down then) and make full use of the electronically adjustable bed in hospital to get you sitting up and down the following day, even when you are able to manage without as it's best to take it easy and rest as much as possible.

Hedgehogging Fri 18-Jul-14 10:54:17

One thing to add for the recovery- and apologies if TMI- is that I found the first poop afterwards was terrifying! Scared to push blush

My advice there is plenty of lactulose if needed and hold a maternity pad against your scar (for purely psychological benefit I'm sure as stiches were iron clad!).

Best of luck- it's absolutely not as bad as you think it'll be thanks

ohdearitshappeningtome Fri 18-Jul-14 10:56:12

I was out to sleep for my section, had mine at 10am and was up catheter out and out of bed mobilising at6pm

Another who votes to keep on top of pain relief move little and often!!

Good luck and enjoy your new born squidyness thanksthanksthanks

I had a planned section which turned into an emergency section as he started coming a couple of weeks too early! It was absolutely fine, not scary or unpleasant in any way, the only part that was even slightly unpleasant was the "washing-up" feeling in the abdomen when they were rooting about (and that wasn't painful or anything, I just didn't like it much. It only went on for a few moments though). The scar healed perfectly and the so-called pain after the surgery was really not all that bad, I have had worse from migraines. The spinal felt like an injection pinprick, nothing more. Overall, very unremarkable from a stress or suffering point of view, but very remarkable from the "oh my God it's a baby" point of view (which was what I said when I first saw him!).

DeadCert Fri 18-Jul-14 11:02:14

Oooh, good luck OP, I've got my section in four days if I can make it! Really feel calmed by this thread, had an EMCS last time and was off my face by the time DS was born.

I'm going to gloss over the 11 pound baby...holy macaroni. looks accusingly at bump

fatbottomgirl67 Fri 18-Jul-14 11:08:22

Try not to worry. It was a really positive experience for me after a terrible vb .Everything was so calm . Spinal was no big deal and you get talked through it all at the time which is so reassuring. My best advice is don't get out of bed too soon on the day those who did on my ward were wrecked the following day. Give your body a chance.
Other than that was up next day, driving 10 days later with a happy DD!

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