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How to prepare for an emergency c-section?

(18 Posts)
MyEternalSunshine Wed 16-Nov-16 19:03:34

The place I'm at is because I have a low lying placenta and have suffered from several bleeds I'm one of those who may not have any further issues and go on to labour naturally, OR I could bleed severely at any time and be rushed in for an emergency c-section. My question is aside from trying not to panic (unlikely but I can try) what are any tips you guys have for surviving an ECS? From what I gather the worst part (aside from the fact you're having brutal abdominal surgery) is the spontaneous nature of it- eg being completely unprepared! Please any tips to ready myself will be gratefully recieved! Or just share some experiences I'd love to hear from you smile

JohnLapsleyParlabane Wed 16-Nov-16 19:06:58

Express some colostrum and freeze if you're planning to breastfeed. I had an EMCS under general and having that backup meant that I was more relaxed.
Also make sure any clothes and pants in your hospital bag will come high up over your incision, I bought some cheapie granny pants!

PragmaticWench Wed 16-Nov-16 19:11:42

Well you're in a slightly different position to lots of ECS as you know it's a fair possibility, so you can prepare yourself emotionally, but it does leave you open to being panicked! smile

I had an emergency section with less than three minutes between DDs heart crashing and them running me into theatre and doing a general anaesthetic. It was less traumatic for me than DH as I knew I'd be looked after, whereas DH was just abandoned back in the delivery room.

From a practical point, recovery was harder from the ECS than my planned one, so don't push yourself too hard afterwards.

Herschellmum Wed 16-Nov-16 19:12:44

I've only had seceduled sections which apparently are much better recovery wise.

In what way prepare? As in what to take to hospital? You will still bleed, you will need more analgesic afterwards, I found having a band type things (if you look on amazon for c section they will suggests them), it seemed counterintuitive to have something against the scar but it actually helped loads. Also granny knickers, like massive ones, lol, they helped loads for me.

As for what to expect? You will feel things but it won't hurt, it's fairly quick once they start, you will be in more time and you will have a catheter. It will feel like it's impossible to stand up straight, but you can and the more you move the easier it will get and the better it will get.

Hugs. I desperately didn't want a section, my first was natural but my twins were breach, and it wasn't horrible, obviously recovery wise natural is easier (although my natural was fairly horrendous and I had a long recovery with infections and compliacations)

A section is much more clinical, the room is full of people and you just lay there, so it feels a bit weird, but just remember it's over quick and you will have your baby so it's all worth it!

Bagina Wed 16-Nov-16 19:13:24

It's still better than labour!!! Seriously! Big pants, the biggest you can find in asda. Say yes to all drugs even if you feel ok. You'll be walking round the next day, having to get your own meals, in sole charge of a baby!! It's pretty hardcore! It will be fine and you'll be fine. Good luck!

Mermaid36 Wed 16-Nov-16 19:21:56

I had an EMCS with my twins. I had a spinal (as opposed to a GA), and the worst bit was getting the spinal in and I think that would be the case in an ELCS.

I honestly didn't feel a thing and I think spent about an hour in theatre altogether. I was encouraged to start walking/get up 12hrs later. I had dissolvable stitches and a honeycomb wound dressing and by day 5 was on paracetamol and ibuprofen.

You'll need huge granny knickers, slippers you can put on without bending down, and loose clothes.

The worst thing was my first poo afterwards! shock

DesignedForLife Wed 16-Nov-16 20:19:45

Big pants, and keep hold of your maternity jeans! I lived in dresses for weeks as couldn't stand anything touching the scar.

If you're struggling to poo afterwards ask for stool softener!

Heirhelp Wed 16-Nov-16 20:23:49

The biggest thing for me was lack of pain killers, if you can't manage the pain ask for more (I had massive complications) and if you are unhappy with your care ask for supervisors of midwives. Think carefully how you are going to manage at home after c section.

TiggeryBear Wed 16-Nov-16 20:56:18

Thinking ahead for after a c-section, the best bit of advice I was given was to have a basket / box downstairs (assuming you don't live in a flat) with nappies, wipes, bibs, muslins, spare vests etc so you don't have to struggle with stairs & keep it replenished. (I found putting a carrier bag at the top of the stairs each morning for OH to carry down on his way to work made it easier for me as I wasn't worried I'd drop DD as I was still nervous / wobbly on the stairs)

user1471950254 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:31:44

I needed an emergency section. My tips would be
1. Big pants - you'll need lots of them as I was only comfortable wearing those for about 7 weeks! Although my scar healed very well it was uncomfortable to have underwear around it so needed to wear big pants
2. Loose fitting clothes - as above around your scar so suggest nightdresses/loose high up PJs, soft leggings of yoga pants when you need to be dressed. Comfort is vital.
3. Take all pain relief on time as directed. By the time it starts to feel sore it's too late!
4. Follow the instructions for exercises/movement as directed so you are looking after yourself and also sitting up/lifting etc without pulling muscles. I had a physio visit the day after my surgery and was given a leaflet with hints and tips.
5. Accept your physical limitations and plan to minimise how annoying this is! I found not being able to hoover for 6 weeks great! However not being able to drive for 6 weeks was a pain.... my husband would call me daily to check if he needed to pop to shops to pick anything up and I asked lots of favours of our parents to pick my up things on way to visit etc i.e. When our kettle broke right before I had visitors coming to see the baby! shock. I also found it hard not being able to lift anything heavier than the baby, this does get easier as baby gets heavier as I could at least put a small washing load on without multiple trips to the washing machine!

Remember you'll have a huge team or people looking after you and the baby smile Good luck

MyEternalSunshine Thu 17-Nov-16 11:39:23

Wow thanks for all the responses! Very helpful I'll be glad to get through it tbh blush the thought of it is terrifying but many women have done it before and have gotten through it in the end so I'm clinging on to that. Also the fact that I'm so scared at any moment I could lose her- so a massive part of me just wants her out now! I'm 31weeks so lord knows it's too soon just yet but I feel like atleast I could SEE she's ok- I have zero faith in my body keeping her safe sad

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Thu 17-Nov-16 11:42:38

Do you wear glasses? If so you won't be allowed to wear them during the operation, so make sure your partner has a case for them and keeps them handy so you can get them back quickly afterwards. This hadn't occurred to me but was mentioned at my NCT class. Good job too, as I ended up with an emcs.

MyEternalSunshine Thu 17-Nov-16 11:51:46

No I don't but still a good point! I bet most people don't think of that smile how many weeks were you when you had your emcs? How did you find it blush

chloechloe Thu 17-Nov-16 12:32:35

OP it's good that the complications are already known, so they will be on guard and ready to act at the slightest sign of a problem.

I had an EMCS as the placenta failed and the baby got distressed after induction but before I went into labour. The hardest thing for me was the shock factor (I never thought it would happen to me hmm) and the speed at which everything happened. At least if you know in advance that a CS is a good possibility, you can ready yourself for it mentally.

I would recommend practicing relaxation / hypnobirthing exercises beforehand which are helpful regardless of how you give birth. They really helped to calm me down to a certain extent. Maybe also talk through what is likely to happen with the hospital beforehand. E.g. if there is a risk that they have to move so quickly that a GA is likely, perhaps you could consider having an early epidural when you go into labour.

Also prepare yourself for an army descending from nowhere if an EMCS is needed: gynaes, midwives, paedatricians, surgical assistants etc etc. The big shock for me was the realization that the 3 Dr's standing in the corner of the theatre were the paedatricians waiting for the baby with an incubator. A lot of these things are purely done due to overcaution but it's hard to think that at the time!

I actually found the recovery from a CS fine, although I was lucky in that I hadn't been in labour beforehand. I'm hoping for a VBAC this time but have no worries about the surgery itself if another CS is on the cards.

MyEternalSunshine Thu 17-Nov-16 12:54:56

Chloe- placenta issues are exactly what I'm having too sad had three big bleeds from a low lying placenta and a couple weeks hospital stay already, I also had two early losses before this pregnancy so I'm feeling really vulnerable atm. Struggling to even come to terms with the fact I'll get to have another baby- keep feeling like something terrible will happen and we'll get the rug pulled out from under us! I'm so glad to hear everything worked out for you though, yes when the room fills up its easy to start really panicking!! Just want her here already so I know she's safe x

Bluntness100 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:05:21

I was also an emergency c section, but i was already in hospital and they were trying to induce me. However it was a risk that was clear and the only thing I can say differently from the above is they starved me, so I got the pessary the night before, then they gave me an emergency c section about 8pm the next day, and I wasn't allowed to eat anything all day, I think they were concerned about vomiting during the surgery?

I was given a spinal. Which is no fun, you sit still, then they lay you down, erect the sheet and your baby is delivered very quickly. The time is after when they sew you up, I think it's on average about 40 mins all in, and I think there is nine layers of stitching. You really only feel some pulling sensation. Nothing more and uou can't see anything. Your husband can come in with you and he can hold your hand and talk to uou. You do get some lovely compression stockings to prevent clots.

Big pants, loose night shirt, comfy slippers, and also stuff for uour baby. Make sure the clothes you want to leave in are also loose and high waisted.

chloechloe Thu 17-Nov-16 13:55:31

Eternal No wonder you're so worried after everything you've been through! How would you feel about having a planned section? Maybe you could discuss it with the hospital to see if if would be an option?

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Thu 17-Nov-16 22:01:34

I was 39 weeks. I was induced because my waters went and labour didn't start, and I also had gestational diabetes. The induction was a bit of a shitshow and failed in the end because I've got a duff cervix. The EMCS was really OK - even having the spinal block put in wasn't too bad!

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