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Talk to me about your cesarean....

(39 Posts)
StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 19:35:35

I'm pregnant with my 2nd child - 14 yrs after my first and I've just found out that I might need a cesarean due to low lieing placenta. I know theres time for it to move but its not something I had even thought about and to be honest it terrifies me.
How was yours? Would I HAVE to be awake? How much could you feel? How long did it take to recover? Did you have stitches or staples - how/when were they removed? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
Sorry for the question-overload sad

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Sep-13 19:38:57

I've had two, one EMCS one ELCS. Both fine. You want to be awake for the birth of your baby! It feels weird, you can feel tugging and pulling, but no pain. I had dissolvable stitches so they didn't need removing.
You get given strong painkillers so the pain on recovery isn't too bad, in fact with my ELCS I didn't take any after the first couple of days.

anchovies Mon 09-Sep-13 19:40:02

I was awake for all three and they were fine. Skin to skin in theatre straight after delivery, up and walking about the next morning. You can choose to be asleep if you really want but they prefer you to be awake if possible. It felt weird but not too bad, the spinal was the worst bit and the best bit was knowing in literally a couple of minutes I would be holding my baby! I had stitches and they were removed a few weeks later at home by the midwife (can't really remember which muct be a good sign!)

I was always desperate for a natural delivery until I was with my sister for her labour and birth. After watching that I literally skipped in to theatre to have dc3!

Good luck smile

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 19:43:05

Thanks ladies.
Another stupid question... How long does it take?

cathpip Mon 09-Sep-13 19:47:24

Once the surgeon starts about 10 mins, then you have your baby. I think it's about 45 mins in total.

knittedslippersx3 Mon 09-Sep-13 19:52:46

I had an EMCS. I didn't feel anything, had dissolvable stitches. Recovery - needed to hold on to something when I sat down or got up. Laughing was a bit painful. Was told not to lift anything heavier than the baby. Had painkillers for a couple of days.

Antidote Mon 09-Sep-13 19:56:04

I had an emsc which was a bit of a nightmare done at 3am for foetal distress, but we were both fine. Felt pretty wiped out for a couple of days and rhen started to heal and made a good recovery. Driving and fully mobile within 4 weeks.

I an an elective section this time last week. It did feel very medical and rather detached at the time, right up until dd arrived over the screen and was squealing. I had skin to skin in theatre, fed in recovery, and she basically stayed glued to me like a little naked limpet from 10am to about midnight when I tried to put her in the cot!

I was in theatre from about 9am till 10.30, the actual op took about 45 mins, most of that is after the delivery.
I was home for tea the next day, although getting in and out was bed was very sore!

I am still a bit tender, but really, it was amazing and I wouldn't change a thing

ShowOfHands Mon 09-Sep-13 19:58:00

It's extremely likely that your placenta will move and if it doesn't, I'm happy to give a full and frank description of both of my CS but suffice to say, both were fine. It doesn't hurt, you can feel what is happening though. Once the op is started, the baby is out in a few minutes at most, stitching up takes about half an hour but this flies by as generally, you're having skin to skin, smiling, laughing, cuddling etc.

I had two easy ops, easy recoveries, no painkillers needed. Honestly, an elective cs isn't as frightening as you're imagining right now. In fact, it can be a very positive and lovely experience. I won't give you the boring details now as chances are you won't even need them.

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:01:04

You all seem so chilled about it! haha. The thought of lieing there awake while they're slicing and stiching makes me go all sweaty. I know I'll get the gift of my baby during it all but I just think I'll be too freaked out by whats going on that I'll be distracted from her and not enjoy her enough - iykwim

I've had 3 ELCS and they were all fab. I dont think my DH would agree, he said itlooked awful and he was really on edge The staff were all so friendly and cheerful and all in all it took about 50 minutes.

I was BFing in the recover room - pulled my self up on a rope ladder thing.

Make sure everyone helps for a good few days after so you get real rest, that really helped me and I was up and moving as soon as allowed in hosp, I think that really helped.

Good luck smile

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:08:51

Aw you're all so reassuring. Thank you flowers x

There is a barrier up so you can't see anything and you have your partner and midwife up your end to hold your hand. Lots of surgeons let you bring your own music too. You won't be aware of any slicing or stitching. I have had two wih no problems.

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:27:18

I know I wont be able to see anything but I'm edgy about how much I could feel - and I think the cringe factor lol

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:30:46

Another really stupid question..... will I need a catheter!?

Meglet Mon 09-Sep-13 20:40:31

In both my EMCS and ELCS the theatre staff were lovely. They answered all my questions about what would happen next / what that tube was / what that machine was for etc etc. They lowered the screen in my EMCS and let me see the placenta after my ELCS. Even though the staff in that room must have had hundreds of c-sections behind them they didn't make me feel like I was on a production line and there were many 'aaaaaws' when each baby was whipped out smile.

What I wish I knew then that I know now is to stay in your pj's and do not move from the sofa for a couple of weeks. No visitors either. It's a time for takeaway pizza, ready meals, box sets and sleb magazines.

Recovery was hard after my EMCS as I didn't rest. But I rested for at least 2 weeks after my ELCS, and didn't bother really doing much until after 6 weeks.

Jojo3973 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:41:37

Hi, I have had 2 sections, both were fine. You will have a catheter but you won't notice them putting it in as they do it when you're numb and the cover thing is up. First I knew of it really was when the nurse took it out in the morning. Not the nicest thing but really not as bad as I expected.

Meglet Mon 09-Sep-13 20:42:55

Yes, catheter for up to 24hrs afterwards (I've known other mums have them in for only a few hours). I bloody loved not having to get up to wee after weeing constantly in pregnancy.

Jojo3973 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:43:30

Also, I made the mistake of only taking pyjamas to wear after, not good with a catheter, I had to sleep in just my pyjama top the first night. Not great!!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 09-Sep-13 20:44:18

I was so fed up with constantly getting up for a wee every two seconds that I didn't want them to take the catheter out

I was nervous before my planned section but I remember it really happily as a lovely experience.

I am doing it again in four weeks and can't wait.

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:49:03

I'm stunned at all your positivity! You're all bloody amazing!

Good luck HumphreyCobbler I hope your next experience is a good as the last one smile x

Teabird Mon 09-Sep-13 20:52:53

I had an emcs due to dropping heart rate of dd and can honestly say I didn't feel a thing, a combination of epidural and spinal block. I was awake the whole time and saw her immediately. My dh took her and dressed her and also had to do the first dirty nappy! !! I had lovely skin to skin and breastfeed her quite easily. The main thing is to take your painkillers regularly snd remember not to do too much too quickly. Just cuddle on the sofa and let people look after you x good luck x

Excited2meetmyprincess Mon 09-Sep-13 20:53:48

I am so glad you posted this. I am having a section due to health issues and you have asked all the questions I have been thinking about! I am so nervous about what I will be able to feel so totally understand were you are coming from but after reading this it doesn't seem as bad as I am expecting. Xx

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 09-Sep-13 20:55:51

I desperately didn't want a section but needed one and actually didn't find it that bad at all. Staff are very reassuring and distracting and it is over fairly quickly. You have your baby when they are sewing you p so have something lovely to think about. I was surprised about the catheter as no one had mentioned it. Take any painkillers offered. I found full recovery difficult and had VBAC second time round.

AFishWithoutABicycle Mon 09-Sep-13 20:58:03

I too had a really good experience. I was completely pain free. My patrner was really good at taking my mind off what was happening by talking to me about stuff, can't remember what probably baby names. It's not what I would have wanted but it was totally fine. Also the baby doesnt get all squishy headed.

weebarra Mon 09-Sep-13 21:01:08

I've had 3 EMCS, the most recent 3 weeks ago (was schedulwd for an ELCS but DD decided to come early).
Didn't really feel any pulling or pushing with either DD or DS1, did with DS2. Worst bit was definitely getting the spinal but the theatre staff were just lovely and talked me through everything.
Spent a couple of hours in recovery then up to post-natal, catheter in overnight, got in the way a bit when showering, but not too bad!
Had stitches, removed painlessly by mw when home.
Scar a wee bit sore if I do too much (lifting the 3 yr old today was a bad idea) but ok doing school run etc.

StillPukin Mon 09-Sep-13 21:02:28

Hope it goes well for you Exited2meetmyprincess and that you arent too worried about it (ha, says me!). Make sure you update us on here how it goes flowers.

ohmeohmy I'm glad the staff think to distract you!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 09-Sep-13 21:06:52

there is a lot to be said for morphine, frankly grin

Thanks for your good wishes, best of luck StillPukin

Blurry29 Mon 09-Sep-13 22:04:39

Can you decline a catheter??

I had a CS in 2006 with my son for various reasons. I am pregnant again now smile and will be having another CS after Xmas, do I have to have a catheter? Can I "opt" out of it? X

CrispyFB Mon 09-Sep-13 22:04:50

I've had two - EMCS (although it was about as un-emergency as you could get) and ELCS. Both were absolutely fine.

I'm a big fan of natural birth and had a natural birth with DC1, but was honestly left with no medical choice after that due to cervix issues.. even me, the big fan of "natural birth whatever" knew it was a no-go.

You feel really oddly detached from what they're doing down there, and anything you do feel is not pain, just "something". It's not freaky at all.

The only bit I didn't like is when I try and move my legs and they don't move, and then of course I try again and end up in a vicious spiral of "argh, legs!" but if you tell someone they can distract you easily enough! Baby is a pretty good distraction and as mentioned shows up very early in the proceedings! And the numb legs thing applies to epidurals during a vaginal birth anyhow. And also seemingly I'm the only person who has this issue with numb legs anyhow as nobody else ever reports it..

It's all so relaxed and chilled and everyone is always super friendly and cheerful. Most of the time you can get skin to skin afterwards too, especially if you put your gown on the wrong way.

The recovery is not great obviously, but often vaginal births can be horrendous to recover from as well. And you get better drugs with a c-section.

This one has to be ELCS again.. kind of looking forward to it!

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Sep-13 22:11:39

I wouldn't have thought you could decline a catheter as you are numb from the waist down so would have no control over your bladder and probably just wee everywhere. Plus you wouldn't be able to get out of bed to have a wee anyway!

Andanotherthing123 Mon 09-Sep-13 22:17:42

Just on the catheter, you'll have to have one for the reason noble mentions but having had them done for two CS and twice (without anaesthetic) for another hospital stay, they really don't hurt at all. I was so surprised that even sans anaesthetic, there was no pain at all!

Oh I did decline with my third.

I wasn't offered one with my first at all and had no problems

I had one with my second and it stopped me being able to go home as early as I could have because I couldn't pass urine after it was taken out and had to be re inserted etc bloody nightmare thing after such an easy experience.

Baby number 3 and I said no, told them I would make sure to fill and empty my bladder and all went fine.

That was 6 years ago though.

mrsvilliers Mon 09-Sep-13 22:33:21

CrispyFB I had the numb legs! In fact I had two epidurals so ended up with a dead leg for two weeks after.

OP the only thing I would say is to ask for a pin test if you are not 100% sure that you are numb. They spray you with a very cold water spray and you have to say if you can feel it. If you are not sure ask for them to do a pin prick test. I wasn't sure and ended up feeling more 'tugging' than I would have liked!

Excited2meetmyprincess Mon 09-Sep-13 22:44:08

Thanx still got a while to go yet as I'm 30 weeks in a couple of days but can't wait to have her here just nervous about the section xx

10oclocknews Mon 09-Sep-13 22:51:13

I've had 2 sections. First emergency and second elective. .... both were fine. ... elective was much better. ...I was more nervous about the spinal block when I had my elective but it was fine can't remember any pain. .. It was a little uncomfortable but didn't hurt. .... during the section you can feel the sensation of pulling and pushing but not any pain. .... I'd liken it to when you get a dead arm and you can feel sensation but not touch iyswim....... recovery is a little slower with a section but a good excuse to rest and enjoy newborn cuddles whilst everyone else looks after you. The first few days are the hardest with a section but keep on top of the pain relief and light mobility and you'll soon be feeling great again. ..... hopefully your placenta will move but if it doesn't a section can still be very positive. .... you can be a little more organised and you will at least know your baby's birth date. ... and you won't go overdue x x

CrispyFB Mon 09-Sep-13 23:51:43

mrsvilliers - ouch! (or rather not ouch, I guess!) Mine have always cleared up just fine after it wears off.. I've not had them numb for longer than they're supposed to be. How horrible, I think I would go completely batty!

It is indeed like a dead arm after you've been sleeping on it. If only I could sit up and have a good old curious prod of my dead leg I would (back in recovery obviously, not during the operation!!) but circumstances of nasty incision and baby on you tend to prevent that. The pins and needles when the feeling comes back are quite nice though, or perhaps I'm a bit weird!

Never minded the catheter, although make sure they don't let it get full up because that does hurt. This has happened twice on separate occasions to me, and each time they've told me "oh, it's the incision, have some more morphine.." (oh, okay then..) despite me saying "NO, IT'S ME BLADDER" and it takes them some convincing to check the bag. They look sheepish then. And I got extra morphine.

Meglet Tue 10-Sep-13 07:29:15

stillpukin I've just remembered that after both cs's (both around 10am) I experienced sickness + trembling around 3pm in the afternoon. That bit really was grim, it lasted around 20 mins or so. IIRC it was a combination of the epidural + aneasthetic wearing off and the painkillers kicking it. I also reacted badly to intravenous morphine and had to stick to the tablets. But it might just be I'm a lightweight grin.

Felt more human by tea time and had toast and tea.

noblegiraffe Tue 10-Sep-13 09:54:42

I had a really weird sensation with the epidural that it felt like my legs were actually bent at the knee (I guess a phantom sensation from when the needle went in?) but they were actually lying flat on the trolley. It was so bizarre, like I was looking at someone else's legs. It went away when the epidural wore off, thankfully!

tinkerbell666 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:17:23

I had 4 'normal' births and one section due to placenta previa, and i must say the section was bloody awful ! the spinal numbed up to my neck ! I felt awful afterwards, really drugged and yuck, then started throwing up. I was on my feet using the loo 6 hours after, and could walk, pick up baby etc, but would never ever choose to go through that again sad

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