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An idiots guide to ELCS :)

(54 Posts)
ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 20:41:45

I am 37+4 and will most likely be having an ELCS due to polyhydramnios and breech baby. (the CS isn't booked yet but that's an entirely different thread!)

Anyway, I am looking for information of what happens before, during and after a CS (first birth was natural).

Is it scary? I'm not fearful of it, perhaps a tad anxious but nothing that you wouldn't expect me to be.

Someone told me today that for 6 whole weeks after you can literally do nothing and for the first two weeks it is impossible to lift your own baby. That the MWs shower you because you are so incapacitated? Were they just scaremongering and exaggerating or does it sound like she was giving an honest/accurate description?

I want to be prepared mentally for what to expect, what the spinal is like, how it feels to feel them rummaging inside you grin and mostly about the recovery procedure so if anyone would like to share their experiences I'd be very grateful smile

HumphreyCobbler Wed 14-Sep-11 20:45:53

they were scaremongering and exaggerating. After my EMCS I was able to shower myself and lift my baby as soon as the spinal wore off, after my planned section I felt pretty much ok fairly soon afterwards.

It is strange having them tug around inside you but it doesn't registers that much, you are too focused on seeing your baby.

My planned c section was lovely actually, a very very positive experience smile

WhereDidAllThePuffinsGo Wed 14-Sep-11 20:48:46

You rock up at hospital on the morning of the op. (Or sometimes they like you to stay in the night before). You sit around waiting while all the emergencies queue-jump you. Eventually you get called. They make you go to the op theatre in a wheelchair. They sit you on a bed and give you a spinal (you bend forward, they numb the area and stick needle in - you have to keep still but you can't feel it). Meanwhile your dh is washing and getting dressed in a silly gown and hat. They lie you down, check you properly anaethetised, and wheel you into theatre.

They stick a cloth screen up so you can't see anything and get on with it. Anaesthetist stands behind your head and chats to you (but really is checking you're ok, not discussing the weather). Baby arrives in about 5 min. Mine was handed to dh to cuddle cos I was feeling wobbly. Then they take half-an-hour to sew you up. I couldn't feel them doing any of it.

They wheel you out to recovery room, where you can prob bf baby lieing on your side.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 20:51:06

Ah Humphrey thank you. I was convinced she was exaggerating quite a bit and I think I had a hmm face on most of the time she was babbling.

She said that it was impossible to climb stairs for weeks after wards too. I live in a first floor flat so not sure what she would expect me to do apart from sleep in the foyer grin

I imagine the rummaging around doesn't feel that much different from having a live person float and kick around in there.

Is it recommended to get up and about as soon as possible? Or rest for as long as possible? I don't want to google these things, sometimes Dr Google can be as bad as the woman earlier! grin

mosschops30 Wed 14-Sep-11 20:52:26

The cs itself was fine. Didnt feel anything, its like someone doing the washing up in your stomach.
The recovery for me was very hard, but my cs had gobe horribly wrong, so had it been ok, maybe it wouldnt have been such a painful recovery.

The only advice i can give ia, take all the painkillers you need, dont rush to start doing stuff its not a competition and you wont get a medal, take help where you can.
Enjoy yoyr new arrival smile good luck

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 20:52:56

Xposts puffins. Thanks, that sounds alright and simple really smile

really trying not to panic about this. Have spent my whole pregnancy panicking about one thing or another so now I want to embrace my baby's entry to the world, instead of worrying.

WhereDidAllThePuffinsGo Wed 14-Sep-11 20:53:28

Oh, afterwards. Yeah, they were scaremongering. I had a crash cs involving a 12-hour general anaesthetic, a 16-pint transfusion, a hysterectomy and a stay in intensive care and I was walking and lifting my baby four days later.

Lol at the MWs showering you. If you can't do yourself you stay dirty!

First baby was a nice calm elcs like you're going to have and I was standing and lifting her in a couple of hours. Probably 4 weeks before you should drive - it's when you feel able to do an emergency stop again. I was told if I could stamp on a matchbox and squash it without flinching then I was ready!

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 20:56:54

Sorry to hear your CS went wrong mosschops.

What is the general length of hospital stay these days for a CS?

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 20:58:56

Puffins, your experience sounds terrible, but glad even after all that, that you recovered relatively well smile

And I don't drive anyway so that isn't a concern. It was just mainly the climbing stairs thing.

Will I be allowed to push the buggy?

5inthebed Wed 14-Sep-11 21:00:36

Ive had an EMCS and two ELCS. ELCS is so much more relaxed.

You will get some tablets to take the day before and the morning of, this are antacid type tablets.

Morning of, you will be asked if you want a gown or your own clothes, chose the gown as they put iodine all over you to sterilise the area.

You may have to walk to theatre and climb onto the operating table, this was one of the most scary parts for me.

You'll get preped, heart monitor stuck on, drip needle thing stuck in and then they will do epidural/spinal block. The little needle that numbs hurts, the epi needle does not. Once the spinal block starts to kick in, you feel a warmth spreading down your legs, as if you are peeing yourself, you are not.

You'll be helped to lie down, the anaesthnetist (so) will make sure the spinal block has worked and once they are confident it has, the doc will start with the inscision. Takes a few minutes, ones your waters are broke, its a matter of seconds for the baby to be born.

Baby will be shown over the screen quickly before taken to be checked out and wrapped up, then handed back to dad/birth partner while you are getting stitched up, which takes longer than the actual operation.

Doc will then dress wound and usually you get a pain relieving supposetry as well.

Once you are all done, you get moved onto a hospital bed and wheeled into recovery. Once revoery are pleased the spinal block has worn off, you get to go on a ward.

Bit of advice, if offered the anti nausea injection, tke it, even if you feel ok. And don;t try to go home the next day, wit at least two nights to get the pain relief and after care.

Think I've covered everything, sorry for the spelling, have had wine.

And good luck!

WhereDidAllThePuffinsGo Wed 14-Sep-11 21:05:02

3 days maybe? I ended up staying longer but for my baby's health not mine. You'll probably get disolving stitches so no need to worry about having them out.

I've never had a natural birth but I do look back on dc1's birth (the elcs) as the best - nice, calm, no panicing, got to cuddle and feed baby afterwards. And it is rather nice greeting your baby for the first time when you're not exhausted, too!

SkiBumMum Wed 14-Sep-11 21:06:31

Writing from hosp bed one handed so excuse typos.

Elective c section was on Monday lunchtime. I had a horrible experience with DD1. This time was way preferable.

The op:
Spinal - quite weird - like having a tooth numbed! They test reactions with a water spray so you feel satisfied it's working.

The table is really narrow and they tilt it at quite a severe angle to the left. This is a bit odd. They move back as soon as baby out.

TBH the tugging sensation etc was no worse than baby kicking hard when inside. The consultant anaesthetist who was standing by at the point of birth lowered screen so I could see Baby being lifted out Amazing!

They put baby against my face so we had skin to akin while they finished off. DH was outside with his head Btwn knees for a while!

Recovery room - was there for 3 hrs as I lost a lot of blood - I am a bleeder. It was lovely, skin to skin, feeding came totally naturally (so different to number 1)

Catheter was out at 6 next morn so had to walk to loo about 9. This was too soon. Should have used bed pan! It was so painful. I hadn't had morning drugs at that point.... Mistake!!!

Next walk was better and it's got successfully easier each time. Had a shower today no probs

Feeding isn't too easy as can't quite get comfy but hoping will be better at home tmw.

On pain Meds every 4 hours and can tell when late but by they work otherwise and pain generally is fine now. Much less than episiotomy / third deg tear.

Early days - but I'd recommend. I have a chilled out baby too which is fab!!

rempy Wed 14-Sep-11 21:08:54

Average stay 3 days in our unit, so there's plenty of women going at 2 to make up for the few who stay 10.

We have an elective section theatre in our unit, so you'll know you're morning or afternoon if thats the arrangement.

You should be seen pre-operatively by MW and anaesthetist day or two before section, who will talk though pretty much everything thats been discussed here, with a few extras, like the risks/complications of spinal, blood thinning injections etc.

It is very, very, very mundane in electives, and usually quite joyful.

mosschops30 Wed 14-Sep-11 21:09:22

I was sent home the following day (had ds2 at 3.22am, home at 8pm next day).
Back in on day 5 though

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 14-Sep-11 21:12:05

Thanks for all the repsonses smile Really helpful.

Skibummum - Congrats on your new arrival smile

glad to hear not as bad as episiotomy. I was cut and stitched with DD and couldn't sit down for a fortnight so I suppose if I can manage that then I'll manage this ok.

And also reassuring about soluble stitches, that's something I hadn't thought of.

Do you know, I'm so looking forward to this. I need this baby out. just got to get my consultant to pull his finger out and book the date!

Meglet Wed 14-Sep-11 21:18:49

They were scaremongering! Although IMO there are no medals for getting moving too soon. I did bugger all for 2 weeks following my ELCS apart from feed & change DD, I think we had a little wander to a nearby cafe but I certainly didn't push the pushchair.

In my reasonable experience of major abominal surgery (Emergency CS, ELCS and a hysterectomy) I've learnt that the more you rest and look after yourself the faster and less painful recovery will be. I was on pain relief for weeks after my EMCS as I didn't rest enough. Was off it after 10 days following my ELCS and 4 days after my hysterectomy (I was in bed / pottering about the house / on MN all the time for 3 weeks though).

Make sure you take the pain relief at the correct time intervals, get the hospital to write down the schedule. BF was fine after my ELCS.

Do not make visitors cups of tea, even better (IMHO) don't have any visitors for a while, concentrate on resting and recovering.

I was in for 3 days after both my cs's. I didn't push a buggy for 2 weeks each time.

I did have bed-baths each time, probably 8 hours after each op. I think it was to change my pads and get any last specks of blood off and put me in my pj's.

Just buzz the midwifes when you need help, even for nappies in the first day or so. If they suggest you can do it, tell them that they can do it. I was a real diva after my ELCS but I was happier and recovered faster because of it grin. I wasn't likely to see those midwives again anyway.

blackteaplease Wed 14-Sep-11 21:27:01

Definitely scaremongering. I was given a stripwash by a lady whilst in recovery after my emcs but I was too knackered to care, plus I was still numb from the spinal so couldn't move to clean myself. I had cs at midnight on a Friday and was home by Sunday teatime, having had a shower myself that morning.

acatcalledfelix Wed 14-Sep-11 21:31:19

meglet I was told to change my DS's nappy the morning after my EMCS, they were such a bunch of unsympathetic bitches!

The other issue I had was no pain relief when they took out my drain. DO NOT LET THEM TRY THIS!!!!!!!!

Once I was home, I recoved fairly well, and probably did more than I should have done far too soon. I'd realise that I was really tired and realise I'd been up on my feet / putting out washing wtc, silly really. But, I suppose it'll be good practise for my upcoming ELCS with a two year old to look after grin.

Listening to my friends who'd had natural deliveries with tears, epesiotomomies etc, I defenitely felt that the csection was the more comfortable option....

Meglet Wed 14-Sep-11 21:51:50

felix They got me to do loads after my EMCS, so I swore never to do it again. Oh, they, hated me second time round. Like I care wink.

I did have back up that time as I'd complained after my EMCS and the head midwife and birth reflections midwife told me to make sure the MW's helped if I wasn't feeling up to it. I was self caring within 48 hours though, a private room helped a lot.

Agree that you might need a lungful of G&A when they take the drain out, although mine only hurt after my hysterectomy, I thought my eyeballs were about to pop out. It was ok after my cs's for some reason.

acatcalledfelix Wed 14-Sep-11 22:39:06

Oh and they'll hate me this time too! I am sooooooooo much more clued up this time (and yes Ive got my fingers crossed for a private room).

SkiBumMum Thu 15-Sep-11 02:59:30

I didn't have a drain in btw.

Fucking woman in bed opp is for the second night on the phone to India. She's had half the dept in all night helping her feed. I accept that will happen. There's no need for this.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Thu 15-Sep-11 10:14:06

I think i might be one of those people who try to do too much too soon. how does it work when you have other children that need taking to school?

And a drain? As in a tube hanging out of the wound? Eek.

5inthebed Thu 15-Sep-11 13:16:22

You might not have a drain, I only had one with my third.

And yes, dont let them take it out without gas and air. Worse pain I have ever felt in my life. Poor woman in bed next to me had to wadle out of the room as I was screaming in pain.

Definitely get the midwives to do everything for you in the first 24 hours, that is what they are there for.

Mummawummadooda Thu 15-Sep-11 13:46:14

I was a cs after an induction didn't work. I frankly thought it excellent. I had it at 11pm and was up myself for the loo at 7am next morning. Gingerly mind you, but up. I felt like Id been punched in the lower belly but otherwise was OK. It kind of felt like the worse dose of flu Id ever had but no worse than that generally. For 2wks it was the hardest in terms of gingerly negotiating the house holding on to things or moving slowly. I could pick up baby of 7lb 5oz no problem though. It was harder to get out of chairs or the bed to be honest. Sitting on the loo also tough but it was do able. Just take it slowly. To be honest you won't be able to take it much faster!

I felt good - fair at 3wks. Nearly better by 8wk check up. However I did notice that I truly felt well and myself again at about 12-16wks. I was able at 8wks to go for walks around the town, Id say a 30min walk now took me an hour as I was slow you see but at least you are moving. I felt perfectly well though by 16wks when we went on a short stay-cation.

Id definitely have it again. Do plan to have lots of spare cushions handy on coming home from hospital as I had to bolster myself up quite a lot in bed and on chairs. You don't have mobility and I couldn't straighten out in bed for about 4wks. I had to lie curled on one side and sort of roll out of bed.

Still, do it again though.

Mummawummadooda Thu 15-Sep-11 13:47:13

I didn't have a drain.

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