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ELCS experiences please....

(21 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:04:40

I'm after hearing some experiences of ELCS - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Can I ask how long you had to wait for it to be done after you arrived on the ward, how you felt afterwards, were you bleeding and oozing? In lots of pain? How dependent were you on your DP/DH and most importantly, how soon did you feel up to having visitors???

Thanking you in advance - I have an ELCS in 8 weeks and me and my DH are not quite seeing eye to eye as to what the reality might be like - hence why I'm interested in hearing other people's tales smile

Meglet Wed 29-Jan-14 09:16:02

Am on my way to work so I'll be brief;

Got to the hospital at 8am. I deliberately rushed getting into my gown so I was ready before the other ELCS lady, so the nurse put me on the list first. I was in theatre just before 9am and DD out by 9:30. Obviously these things go wrong if a pesky EMCS mum needs to be done first (that was my first pregnancy).

Yes, it hurts afterwards. But they should be giving you morphine and voltarol that first day at least. They usually pop in a morphine suppository after the cs too. Sitting up is hard and you might feel sick a few hours later. Just concentrate on resting and feeding the baby, let your DH do all the nappies and pester the nurses to help too. Try and get a private room as you will probably sleep better.

After both my cs's I was fragile for a couple of weeks. Better recovery from my ELCS though because I banned visitors. I have dreadful flashbacks of being invaded after my EMCS. Just stay in your pj's and do nothing for at least a week.

It seems my idea of a brief post is still quite long hmm.

Anyway, planned sections are fine as long as you take care of yourself afterwards.

hedgehogy Wed 29-Jan-14 09:22:57

I had a great experience and would opt for an ELCS again.

I was due to have the section in the morning but it ended up being in the afternoon due to emergency c-sections. We'd taken books with us so had a relaxed morning of reading.

I felt great afterwards; I ate a three course meal in recovery! I didn't have any pain whatsoever and no bleeding or oozing.

I was discharged after a day and a half and went out for a short walk the day I was discharged! I didn't have any visitors for a week due to our location; I would have felt up to having them. Having said that, it was nice for the three of us to have that time together without having to worry about anyone else.

My husband took over a month off work after the consultant advised him to and he did everything around the house. I probably could have helped out as I felt fine but I didn't want to risk slowing down my recovery so I took it really easy (my husband was happy to do everything).

Best wishes.

fertilityFTW Wed 29-Jan-14 09:26:22

Hiya! I had an ELCS for breech bubba in May last year. They had us come in around 8am, we waited around for about a half hour, got scanned to see if still breech and then ushered into the theatre right after and DD1 was born at 9:56! Super quick I thought. Got stitched up and wheeled into recovery room where DH brought me the baby and she and I snuggled and the nurses gave me sips of water and DH stood around looking pleased, haha. My mum was in the waiting area and DH brought her up to see us when we were placed in the ward area, about an hour or so after. There's not much room around the bed and lots of people would have been annoying I expect, to me anyway, but mum and DH were perfect, cuddled baby, plumped my pillows, made sure I had snacks and water within reach, etc. Then nurses came and showed me how to get baby to latch on - cue more cuddling. Some ladies had more family come by and kids as well, really depends on your comfort level with them I expect, you're in no state to stand on ceremony but people you love and are comfy with are good to have around. I was also reeeeeeeaally high on morphine so it was all a bit surreal, again I wouldn't want people I wasn't very comfortable with around at that point. Couldn't feel pain as such just woozy and couldn't move for a while so needed things passed to me. That night was uncomfortable as I HATED the catheter! Got it out and got up to walk to loo next morning, that was painful but do-able...and moved to a private room for that night, much nicer for visitors (though I didn't have any and quite enjoyed the bubble!).
The wound is bandaged up and no trouble. I peeled off the bandage in the shower on Day2 before I went home.
To be honest I was moderately up and about then, to kitchen and bathroom etc. and back to cooking etc in 2/3days. You have to take it easy, overdoing things means painful payback later. Take all the meds they give you and rest as much as possible. But you're not totally bed-ridden or anything.
Sorry that's so long and rambling, hope some of it helps!

PrebendsBridge Wed 29-Jan-14 09:51:42

I had an ELCS following induction - I was in pain, my epidural had been badly sited twice, and I just plain refused to do anything other than have a CS.

So no experience of the pre-wait...

But afterwards..The first day was fine. I couldn't feel a thing (lovely, lovely spinal block). The problem came when DP went home and I had to get up to change the baby, go to the bathroom etc. I had a lovely nurse who helped me get up (it was ouchy), and then helped me to the bathroom for a shower. That really helps. Really recommend it. It hurts getting up and around, but once you're moving the circulation going and the warm water helps to make you feel human again.

Had forgotten about the catheter - yes, they're not pleasant. And that first wee when they take it out, you're praying that you're insides aren't going to fall out.

That's the worst of it.

When I first got home, I found it really difficult getting in and out of bed. Also couldn't really lie down due to fluid build up in my lungs from the operation. But I wasn't really getting much sleep anyway with a newborn.

Things that made everything so much easier - buying a supportive nursing chair with a c shaped support pillow (feeding on the bed/sofa was killing my back and not comfortable sitting down with CS scar), being active from day 1. I was out of hospital two days after the operation, and I was out shopping walking around department stores from day four. I was constantly up and down stairs with the moses basket. I had the washing on the morning after coming home. It is uncomfortable (keep taking those painkillers), but you recover in amazing leaps - two days afterwards you feel so much better, by four days you're astounded by how quickly your body heals.

I had visitors when DS was six days old, and then I travelled four hours to see relatives when he was eight days old.

I was really lucky. But I do put a lot of it down to keeping moving. That first week was uncomfortable, but it really helped my recovery.

Best of luck with it. Hope it all goes great for you.

MolotovCocktail Wed 29-Jan-14 12:16:45

I had an ELCS in April 2012. We had to be at the hospital at 7:30. Once we were booked in, I had my blood pressure checked, baby's movements were felt, etc (usual ante-natal stuff).

I was 2nd or 3rd on the list and taken to theatre at 10:30. I felt very nervous, especially as they went to do the spinal block. It stung when it went in, but to pain smile My legs and lower back went numb and I could feel absolutely nothing. Once the operation started, I asked 'are you doing it now?' and dd was born at 10:50.

I echo the statement madr earlier that you should have as few as possible visitors in recovery. It's fine; you'll be monitored, will get to snuggle and bf your beautiful newborn but you are on a shitload of medication, wired up to lots of machines (for some reason, THAT was what surprised me) and I would advise nearest and dearest only.

I had no probs on the day of the birth. Ate really well and felt good. I was ADAMANT that I would get up and take a shower the next morning. A well-meaning midwife took out my catheter (no pain, no big deal) and helped me into the shower ... unfortunately, I fainted. Lucky that 2 midwives heard me call out and they got there to ease me into a chair in the shower room.

That was at abouy 6:30am. I hadn't eaten that morning and hadnt slept particularly well. So, get up and gently walk about the next day, but make aure you've rested ans eaten before doing so.

Now, the sensation around the incision is weird. Not painful, but definitely weird - I was like 'woaaaaah' when I tried to stand first time. Its like a tugging sensation that burns. Listen to that feeling and go with it. Don't push against it. Mine lasted about a week and got better each day.

Be prepared to sweat a lot at night time (or was that just me?!) The surgical stockings that need to be worn make you sweat, plus, your body rids itself of excess fluid post-birth: more so after a section (though I dont know why).

It was an amazing, very peaceful birth experience. In a normal recovery, expect discomfort for a week or so. Gently move around, don't pick up anything heavier than your baby, DO NOT VACUUM, and accept help smile Good luck and enjoy your baby!! grin

MolotovCocktail Wed 29-Jan-14 12:20:11

Take all medicine that is offered and keep up with it. I carried on taking paracetamol and codeine for 3w - I don't know if I needed it after the first week, but as I had a 3yo and newborn at the time, wasn't gonna take the chance of pain kicking in!

MyDarlingClementine Wed 29-Jan-14 13:26:47

This cot was instrinsic to my recovery as you wont want to be twisting or sitting up in days and weeks after op.

not only did it help physically it also helped me get sleep. and baby was very very happy right next to me, and also easy for my Dh to reach over me to put baby back in it...

We were third in queue and we were seen on time.

Lochia was far less than with vag delivery, far less ( had huge clots with that) and no oozing from the wound at all.

( first period on the other hand was awful)

Other ladies on my ward had emergency sections after long and gruelling labours, they were on their feet quicker than me...I did a nasty twist in the bed which didn't help me...

It was apart from that painless, I did shuffle round and so on.

HOWEVER, my DH was off work for two weeks, then back for one day, then off on hols to stay with me for another two weeks.

He did all household washing, lifting and shifting and so on...I took it really really easy.

I could have managed on my own just about, but my DH was do have a wound, it does need to heal, and you need to give it that chance...

also he came into hospital with m and s ready meals for me, as food was so awful, once in hospital he took over and helped me walk to bathroom, he helped me with the first shower and so on, and back at home helped me get in and out shower.....your partner will really need to support you as much as he can., its major surgery and for two weeks at least, even if you feel like running a marathon, just relax and let wound heal.

a year on and i am in better shape than after first vag delivery and can not really see scar. good luck, its a wonderful experience!

MyDarlingClementine Wed 29-Jan-14 13:31:13

up to visitors, i only had my siblings....after first time round with difficult parents and in laws, we didnt let them know so this time, vistors were few....and that was fine by me as I did get tired in the first two weeks very quickly, also i was BF and whilst am happy doing it in front of people, with wound, balancing baby and so was just easier to be in peace and quiet....

if youhave any demanding people or those that make you feel un comfortble. BAN THEM for at least two weeks.

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 13:38:51

Writer....I went in at 7am but due to emergencies didn't go down until about 12.00.
The worst part next....spinal but needs must.
Dd delivered about 13.30
Spent a wonderful hour just me dd and dp in recovery.
Went up to room....all quite civilised ....cuppa....toast....
Dp pointed out catheter bag full confused
Next day wanted shower didn't realise just how much blood there would be. Almost passed out on dp in shower.
Stayed in for 3 nights.

When Dh not there make sure you press the buzzer as no bending down/reaching at that critical time.

First period following birth was HORRIFIC hadn't realised that's normal.

Good luck....(hope the Ilaws sorted) wink

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 13:58:14

.... Very dependant on dp whilst in hospital was given strong pain killers so don't remember much actual pain other than area being tende.
Awkward thing is baby in goldfish bowl crib next to you and really difficult to get to as you can't lift baby up.
As for visitors personally I'd wait until next day, as first day so special just becoming three. You will be tired and need a little time to yourselves.

Velve Wed 29-Jan-14 14:14:52

I had an ELCS in 2012. Got to hospital at 8am, took a good while for them to get me forms to sign and to get the right people to come and talk me through it, must've had an emergency. There were only two of us down for ELCS that day and I was chosen to go first at 10:00 am and at 10:45 am my son was born. 15 minutes later we were wheeled into recovery and I had my son on the boob.

I knew beforehand that the spinal would make me sick, so I was prepared for it mentally. However, I did puke a lot and must've pulled a few things on the inside as my wound seeped a lot that day. The anti-emetics took ages to work but they did eventually and I was fine.

I was up the next morning, catheter out and had a wee and poo so they were happy. I also made it to the shower by myself but did have to call a nurse/midwife to help me take my sexy compression socks off as I was so weak from all the vomiting.

I went home the next day with lots of painkillers, but I didn't feel I needed them all that much. I took some for the next 3 days at home and then went without. I was tender but not hurting, and I felt that taking the painkillers I would mask any pain if I was overdoing it. So I felt that as long as I could cope without the medication, I was more likely to take it easy.

I had staples which came out on day 7 and my scar was perfectly healed, so I feel I was lucky there.

Took me a week and a half (from being in theatre) to walking without any tenderness. Took me 3-4 weeks to be able to walk a mile without discomfort.

My OH was key, though, as he took two weeks off work and did everything except feeding the baby, giving me the chance to heal and get breastfeeding off to a flying start. He was essential to my fast recovery.
I also had a bedside cot which was amazing!

All in all I was incredibly surprised by my recovery. I had a horrible time of my vaginal birth which took 12 weeks to recover from physically, and even still I thought a csection recovery would be worse as I have a low pain threshold. But it wasn't so, go figure.

Good luck with yours, and congratulations!

Millionprammiles Wed 29-Jan-14 14:29:33

I was in at 7.30am and the ELCS around 9am.

I was dreading the spinal injection but honestly only felt a tiny scratch, just like a normal injection.

The whole surgical team were friendly and supportive, anaesthatist kept chatting to me and checking I was ok. Very relaxed environment.
Didn’t feel anything really while the C-section was being done. Dp gave a running commentary otherwise I’d have had no idea what stage it was at. Dd was put on my chest within a minute or two of being out, noone took her away from me unless I asked them to.

You won’t be able to feel your lower half for 12-24 hours or so which can feel a bit wierd but I can’t say I felt any pain really. The worst part was I felt very nauseous and couldn’t eat/drink - make sure you tell the nurses, they’ll give you anti-sickness drugs which helped me immediately. You’ll obviously be bleeding menstrually but I wasn’t bleeding noticeably from the wound.

By the next morning they took the catheter out and I could get up and have a shower. As long as I moved slowly I was fine, they offered to help but I didn’t need it. Dd was in bed with me but the midwives were happy to put her in the cot and pass her to me, change her nappy etc. They told me not to pick her up unaided but I did and was fine.

The aftercare was great actually, they have to do regular checks on blood pressure after a c-section so theres always a midwife coming in regularly, I was given lots of help with bf.

Personally I wouldn’t have minded having visitors once I’d had a shower, I wasn’t really in pain, just tired. I was home the following day (so two nights in hospital) and could climb the stairs (slowly), shower, hold dd etc fine. 5 days later we went for a walk in the park (I didn’t push the buggy though). The wound itself was a bit painful to the touch (like it was bruised) for a few weeks but only hurt if pressed hard. The area around the wound stayed numb for quite a few months. I had stress fractures from running a few years ago that were more painful to be honest.

NB you’ll have to inject yourself with drugs to prevent blood clotting after you come home, for 5 days I think.

Some of my friends who have had VBs have had worse recoveries. There’s no guaranteed easy option really (though I do feel I had it pretty easy).

oscarwilde Wed 29-Jan-14 15:08:07

I booked an ELCS after a previous EMCS. Baby was 3 weeks early, and 2 weeks earlier than my booked ELCS so I ended up with an unplanned VBAC.
If you are having an ELCS through choice rather than medical necessity (as I was - it was the devil I knew and I also know lots who have had traumatic VB's) I would recommend reading up on the birth process again. I hadn't a clue and had forgotten everything I had read 3 years earlier.

MolotovCocktail Wed 29-Jan-14 17:03:34

My first menstrual period post-CS was heavy and lasted for 6 weeks! Is this similar to what everyone else had?

FWIW, I think you only bwed injectons if you're at a higher risk of DVT. They discovered in theatre that my blood is very runny (took longer than expected to clot), so blood-thinning drugs would be harmful to me, for example.

MolotovCocktail Wed 29-Jan-14 17:03:59

*need, not bwed blush

MolotovCocktail Wed 29-Jan-14 17:08:40

And, does anyone know why the first post-CS menses is horrendous for some women?

Sorry for slight diversion, OP. I was concerned when I just kept bleeding, but had stopped bleeding by the time an appointment for a scan came through. That first period has been a mystery to me for 21 months!

elliejjtiny Thu 30-Jan-14 10:33:55

My C-section was technically an emergency but it was fairly similar to an elective as I wasn't in labour and I got bumped a few times for "proper" emergencies.

I'd been on the antenatal ward since the Saturday morning when my waters broke. I knew I'd be having a c-section but not when. Sunday morning the dr announced that the C-section would be done that day so I was nil by mouth, in a gown and DH came. We waited all day but there were other emergencies. We phoned both our parents so they were pestering us for news too. At 11pm I was told it was off until the next day so DH went home, I got back into my pyjamas and ate all I could until midnight. The next day there was one lady booked in for ELCS and I got to push in front of her (she had hers at 1pm). I went down to labour ward at 8am, got my gown on and phoned DH to remind him that C-section at 9am means he should be here now, not strolling in at 9am. We walked into theatre at 9am and DS4 was born at 9:47am

DS4 went off to NICU and I was wheeled back to labour ward. I felt shaky and a bit sick but no pain. Not being able to feel anything below my boobs was really weird and a bit scary but the feeling came back quite quickly. I had an electric bed so I could use the controls to sit up and lie down. At 1pm I was moved to the ward but before that the midwife helped me get my theatre gown off and put my nightie on so at least my top half looked ok. At 2pm the drugs trolley came round and as I could feel my legs I was advised to have codeine, paracetamol and morphine. I felt quite drunk after that lot smile. The wound was fine but I was leaking blood from my fanjo and had a catheter in. No pain until I tried moving.

I was hardly dependant on DH at all which was quite handy as he wasn't there much but I didn't have my baby with me so it was a bit different. He helped me get out of bed and back in again when we went to see DS4 but most importantly he was my advocate. I was so out of it, it was good when he could be in NICU to talk to the drs and ask questions when I didn't understand. He also kicked the inlaws out when I was about to get out of bed the first time. I wouldn't have thought to do that, I would have just got out, showing my bits, complete with catheter to everyone.

I was ok with visitors who had come to look after me, like DH from the beginning but I couldn't talk coherently until I was off the morphine (day 3) and by then the exhaustion and crying had kicked in. Some of the ladies on the ward seemed to be coping a lot better than me and were busy telling their hordes of visitors how wonderful everything was. When I wasn't in NICU, eating or expressing I wanted to either be asleep or having a shower. I didn't want to see anyone apart from DH and the DC's (and PIL for short visits) until DS4 came home at 4 weeks old but I would have probably felt differently if he'd not been in NICU. Everyone is different and you won't know how you'll feel until the day.

Sneezy86 Thu 30-Jan-14 17:59:22

Haven't had time to read all the other responses but am currently 13 days post ELCS.

Arrived at hospital at 10am Friday 17th. Baby was born at 1.39 and they apologised for the delay all morning (I wasn't expecting her to be born before then anyway).

Ended up on post-natal ward at about 4pm. Up and showered the next day then transferred to local hospital which involved quite a long walk from car park to ward. Walk was manageable but not fun.

Gradually regained normal mobility over the following week. Now (after 13 days) I am feeling pretty fine. Been able to walk around shops, do laundry etc last couple of days. Only time I feel the stitches now is when I roll over at night and they pull slightly.


herethereandeverywhere Thu 30-Jan-14 18:36:14

I was asked to get to the hospital for 7am - I think, 7 or 8am anyway. I knew I wouldn't be 1st down as there was a lady at pre-op whose baby had known problems (spina bifida) so she was being delivered 1st. you might get an idea of order of priority at your pre-op.

On the day I think there must have been emergencies as I didn't go down until about 10.30am. I was so relaxed I had a snooze on the ward where I was waiting! Then had another wait as they were short of a midwife to accompany me. DD2 ended up being born at 12.02 I think. I felt absolutely fine - elated in fact. spent longer than usual in post-op/recovery due to low blood pressure but was on the ward by about 2pm from memory. DH got me some M&S food (yum!) then home to see DD1.

I was well enough to have my parents and 2 year old DD visit at 4pm that day (although catheter wasn't yet removed and I hadn't got up) mentally I felt wonderful and my pain was non existent as so well controlled.

The following day my catheter was out first thing and a HCA assisted me in getting a shower. I had DH in the morning, my parents and DD in the afternoon and DH's brother visiting in the evening. I was curious to try morphine (just for the experience really, I could feel pain but it wasn't bad, I've had worse period pain) but was told it would make me drowsy so I skipped that.

To my knowledge there was no oozing/bleeding of the wound. My dressing was changed a couple of times in hospital and it just looked like a red line with stitches across it.

Visitors just came to the house whenever. I felt so much better then my 1st birth (VB) I was desperate to see people, I even went to a party with the kids and DH 6 days after the birth.

I did have a cleaner and my parents to help once DH was back at work - doing the washing and cleaning/vacuuming are a no no because of the use of your core muscles so I didn't do any for the first 4 weeks then a gradual build up to the 6 week check and sign off.

Good luck, I have blissful memories of my ELCS.

Sneezy86 Thu 30-Jan-14 18:45:16

Oh and to add- I stopped taking the painkillers 6 days after ELCS and have been fine to lift a kettle since returning home and even did the dusting today. (Was always told you couldn't even lift a kettle for 6 weeks after op!!- complete rubbish)

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