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C-section next week...TERRIFED

(39 Posts)
HelKat207 Mon 26-Jan-15 09:24:38

hello! Having a section a week Thursday and I'm so scared it's unreal! It'll be my second set of twins (first set was natural birth). I really don't know what to expect I'm such a wimp when it comes to any kind of pain, I'd really appreciate some advice/stories/tips to settle my nerves.
TIA smile

CeartGoLeor Mon 26-Jan-15 13:51:07

I've only given birth via CS, so no vaginal birth to compare it with, but it was absolutely fine. Quiet, calm, and very quick for the birth itself - no pain, and the epidural was painless and uncomplicated - and my recovery was straightforward and only uncomfortable if I didn't take my pain killers regularly. The first few days of getting up from a low seat were easily the worst part. I, too, am a pain wimp, and nothing in any part of the CS and recovery was anywhere near as painful as labour pains (my labour didn't progress, hence CS). Good luck!

SandStorm Mon 26-Jan-15 13:55:54

I've had two - never had a contraction so have nothing at all to compare it to. You'll feel some 'tugging' but that's it. It feels weird but not painful and I think you'll find the thought of it is going to be worse than the actual procedure. And at the end of it you'll have two beautiful little additions to your family.

MouseInTheSkirting Mon 26-Jan-15 14:00:39

I had a section 11 days ago and it was lovely. And I've got the most beautiful little baby to show for it. I'm a total wimp but there was no pain greater than an injection. The pain afterwards was pretty sore for several days but now I'm up and about with barely a twinge. I'd go through it every day if I got to see my newborn at the end of it each time. Please don't worry at all - I've had more stressful fillings.

FaFoutis Mon 26-Jan-15 14:07:27

I have had 3 CS, all lovely and pain-free experiences. I'm a terrible coward too.

Watch out for gas pains afterwards, they were the worst bit for me. Find out how to manage your diet to avoid these. I worked it out by CS number 3, but can't remember now.

Good luck.

WinterBabyof89 Mon 26-Jan-15 14:09:41

The only advice I could give you is to invest in some mothercare c-section knickers.. They're expensive but bloody amazing!
All the best xx

SandStorm Mon 26-Jan-15 14:10:02

I was recommended peppermint tea for trapped wind by the nurses after dd2. It wasn't an issue first time round.

Showy Mon 26-Jan-15 14:11:38

I posted a really long reply about my cs experiences once and I hope you don't mind but I'll copy and paste it here instead of rehashing it:

"A cs is nothing to worry about. Really, it's not scary. More than anything it's just weird. You'll have brilliant staff around you who do this many times a day. Their priorities are you and your baby and keeping you safe and healthy. A cs is not the poor cousin of a vaginal birth. You have choices within what's happening and it can be as positive and life-affirming as a vaginal delivery. You can choose your music, you can have the screens lowered at the point of delivery, you can have skin to skin straightaway. My DH even watched my second cs from beginning to end. It was a quiet, calm and very positive experience.

Everything will be explained to you first, you'll meet the surgeon and the anaesthetist well beforehand and they'll let you ask any questions but a quick run through...

Like I said, it's more weird than anything else. You'll be trussed up in support stockings, cannula in place and then you'll have the spinal put in. You sit on the side of the bed, hunched over a pillow, sort of pushing out your lower back. They'll give you some local anaesthetic which is like little bee stings and then they'll do the spinal. You can feel some pushing and pressure and the actual spinal taking effect feels like somebody pouring water down your legs. You'll then have time to lie back on the bed before the numbness sets in and you won't be able to move from about your chest down. You can still move your arms though, but they'll tuck them in under a sheet to keep you still and warm. Your anaesthetist from this point stays above your head, will talk throughout and will generally, ime, be lovely.

You'll be wheeled through to theatre where they'll check you're totally numb and do a little bit of prep. They will talk to you and tell you what happens next and then they'll start. They'll put in a catheter too but you won't feel that. There is no pain whatsoever but you can feel what is happening during the actual removal of the baby. Somebody once told me it feels like you're a handbag and somebody is rummaging in you for some keys. This is SO true. You do feel pressure and pushing, right inside you and up into your chest. From incision to the baby being out takes a couple of minutes. Really, it's very quick indeed and soon that baby is appearing over the top of the screen. You'll be so preoccupied with the new baby, you can have cuddles and skin to skin, you won't really be aware of the rest of it. It takes about half an hour to finish stitching all the layers but it whizzes by. You might feel odd, intermittent pressure on your legs. They put these self inflating boots on them and they encourage blood flow and circulation. It just feels like somebody squeezing your lower legs a bit. Apart from that, you'll feel v little during the stitch up.

Then you'll be wheeled into recovery and you will be looked after by a member of recovery staff but your anaesthetist will stay for a while too, just to check you're okay. You'll have the baby tucked in with you at this point and you can bfeed if you want. They'll give you some water too. You'll have a drip up rehydrating you (you'll have been nil by mouth for a while) but that first drink is lovely. You'll find too that you can move around by now. You can wriggle your feet and bend your knees and normal sensation returns really, really quickly. No pain though. They usually give you some morphine into your cannula and a suppository once you're stitched so you're painfree once feeling returns. Of course, if you have any discomfort, ask and they'll sort you out. I found I was quite chilly in recovery and also the spinal/morphine can make you a bit shaky. Plus all the adrenalin is rushing through you. Don't be scared if you feel shaky at all. It will pass and the anaesthetist can give you something to stabilise your blood pressure then too. You may be fine but it's worth knowing that you can feel a bit wobbly.

Once they're satisfied you're okay, they'll wheel you back to the ward. All this time your baby won't have left your side and it whizzes by so, so quickly.

They will encourage you to get up fairly quickly. Few hours post op if you can. I had ds at 3.30 and was up and sitting in a chair for dinner. It is best to get up and move around a bit as soon as you feel able.

What else?

You might have to self inject blood thinners for 7 days as a precaution. They're rolling this out in all hospitals but it isn't everywhere yet. It's fine, they'll show you how.

If you need pain meds (I never did), take them on time and don't let yourself get uncomfortable first. They'll probably give them to you and you can administer them yourself instead of having to call for them.

If you get pain in your shoulder, like you've slept oddly, it's trapped air from the op. It's common and your bowel will be a tad sluggish at first so you won't pass wind normally on day one. Peppermint capsules in water will remove the discomfort SO quickly. Just ask the staff.

They will monitor urine output before you can be discharged. You'll have to do your first 3 wees post catheter removal in a jug and record the amounts (you don't have to show anybody).

Catheter was in for about 6hrs post op for me both times. Soon as you can get up and use the loo, they take it out. Totally painless.

The earliest they tend to discharge is day 2, with day 1 being the day of the op but most places keep you in 2 nights as routine.

When you stand up at first, it'll feel like you're going to tear. It's just an odd sensation, not painful. Do stand up straight though and try not to hunch and shuffle. The feeling will pass.

Wear big cotton knickers which don't sit on your knicker line and sometimes a sanitary towel in your knickers against the wound can help you feel more comfortable.

Type of stitches depend on the surgeons preference. I had one long stitch with a bead at each end, removed at home on day 5 by the midwife. Again, this just feels weird.

Careful coughing and sneezing. They physio will show you how to brace yourself so you don't strain your incision. Physio will come and see you the day after the op to talk about recovery.

You will be advised to not do any exercise until 6 weeks and then only v gentle stuff. Proper cardio stuff will have to wait until 12 weeks. When you sit up too, use your arms, not your stomach muscles. Roll onto your side and push up on your arms and swing your legs off the bed. It just avoids you straining the muscles too soon.

Lots of fruit afterwards. Bowels will be a bit sluggish at first, so encourage everything to be soft and mobile as much as possible. Don't be afraid to poo though!

Nothing in the bath at first. No bubble bath. Bit of tea tree or salt fine though. Let your wound air dry or v gently pat.

I think I'll shut up now. If I think of anything else, I'll post again.

It's really not frightening at all"

Zahrah5 Mon 26-Jan-15 14:50:44


that is amazing description.

I would like to know how do women deal with anxiousness about the fact that you are being cut and your insides moved while conscious.
Normally this type of operation would not be performed while patient is conscious. Why is it OK to do C-sections like this?

I understand you dont feel pain, but you KNOW what is happening and feel the pressure, tugging. Did this bother anyone?

When I went to dental surgery besides local anethetic for pain they gave me also something for not being anxious causing me not to remember anything.

I just find the fact of them cutting deep into you while you know it nighmarish. Perhaps if someone entertains you while it is happening it might help little bit.

I have feeling that I will scream if I have to go for emergency section.

GertrudeBell Mon 26-Jan-15 14:55:01

A frivolous ps to all the good advice above - I took my peppermint oil in the form of a whole box of After Eights and had zero trouble with trapped wind. wink

skitter Mon 26-Jan-15 15:30:46

I'm currently in hospital recovering from an elective csection (due to previous third degree tear). It really was fine. I was very nervous beforehand and even cried a little while dh and I were changing into our gown and scrubs but the staff did a great job of making it an exciting and even fun experience. The procedure itself was just a bit strange - lots of pulling and pushing button pain. I also found the part between the anaesthetic going in and the surgery beginning a bit weird, as I knew I was naked from the waist down and was being prepped for the surgery but couldn't really feel much. The most painful part was the local anaesthetic before they put the spinal block in! Nothing else hurt. I got the shakes at one point because of the anaesthetic and felt a bit odd. I was given an antiemetic before the surgery so didn't feel sick at all, though I have heard some people do. Dh and I were chatting to the anaesthetist throughout most of the operation and that helped distract me when I wanted to be distracted. They dropped the curtain so we could see ds2 being delivered, which was AMAZING - I'd have thought it'd be gross to see but it was just incredible (they did ask if we wanted to watch - it was up to us). I got to hold him after a very quick check by a paediatrician (I had gestational diabetes so they had the paed there as a precaution) and he stayed with me from then on, through into recovery and on to the postnatal ward.

The first day of recovery was the most difficult. I couldn't really move so still had the catheter in and had to ask the midwives to do pretty much everything for ds and me, which they were fine with and expected. On day 2 I had the catheter removed and managed to shower and use the toilet (a midwife came with me to make sure I didn't fall or hurt myself). I had some pain but the midwives sorted out more pain relief straight away when I told them. On day 3 I was able to walk around the ward slowly. Today was day 4 (I'm in Australia and at a big public hospital where they encourage you to stay in for up to five days after a section and give you a private room so your partner can stay to help you, which may be a bit different to what happens at your hospital). The incision gets a little sore if I accidentally pull it or cough. Walking is still a bit uncomfortable but gets easier each time. I feel like I'll be really ready to go home and start to get back to normal tomorrow (day 5). The key for me so far has been making sure I have enough pain relief - I'm on paracetamol, and anti-inflamatory and endone at varying intervals. It's really not been too bad. I do feel like I've had surgery and it has been a little more difficult to move about than after my traumatic natural birth, but the pain has been manageable and the surgery itself was a calm and happy event. Good luck!

skitter Mon 26-Jan-15 15:33:58

Should say 'but no pain', not button pain!

HelKat207 Mon 26-Jan-15 15:37:45

Thanks everyone for your replies and luck! showy wow what a fab description thank you! Just excited for it to be over and having cuddles!!!

HelKat207 Mon 26-Jan-15 15:46:57

And skitter thank you! Congrats! Very lucky to get a room and for your partner to stay, it's not like that here in Wales sadly

Haggisfish Mon 26-Jan-15 15:56:36

I was worried about the whole consciousness in an operation thing but it wasn't as bad as I feared. It did feel like a sack if potatoes was removed from me but my lungs could expand and I could breathe deeply again!!! I dealt with it by talking to my husband constantly about our new baby and all the lovely things we could do whole looking in his eyes and clutching his hand and then repeating all of this to my baby when it was out!!

Tftpoo Mon 26-Jan-15 16:01:53

I had an elective c-section with twins. I was planning a vaginal birth but decided at 2am on Thurs that enough was enough (waters went on Monday) and I was having an ELCS. Had them at 11am on Friday. It was absolutely fine, as others have said, not scary, very calm, relaxed and I felt in control. The anaesthetist was lovely and the surgeons were both great too, talked to me throughout. Twin one came out and twin two followed less than a minute later. There was some tugging and pulling but no pain. Unfortunately twin 1 was quite poorly (TTTS donor twin) and had to be rushed straight off to an incubator but they showed me twin 2 and I saw his face and heard him cry. The recovery was amazingly ok too - this was what I'd been most worried about before, but they keep you topped up with painkillers (just paracetamol and ibuprofen but they work fine if you keep to the schedule of taking them before you feel pain). I was up and about that evening (had to go to NICU to visit the twins) and had a shower the next morning. The best thing is being allowed to eat again after nil by mouth! My tip for afterwards is to wear boxer shorts - theses were the only thing I could wear over the wound for the first 48 hrs. Good luck and congratulations on your twins!

ArcheryAnnie Mon 26-Jan-15 16:12:05

Thirding the need to buy absolutely massive knickers so that the elastic doesn't sit on your scar, but otherwise it'll be fine!

Tftpoo Mon 26-Jan-15 17:33:35

I don't know what it's like in Wales but my DH was able to stay over on a camp bed in my room once the twins were out of NICU (NHS hospital in England). We didn't have to pay for the private room, apparently they offer them to twin/triplet parents if there's one available as there's not really enough space in a ward cubicle for two cribs. Depending on availability you might be able to get a private room and your DP might be able to stay, especially if you're in for a few days (I was in 12 days total but some of that was before they were born). It's worth asking if there's a room available.

Haggisfish Mon 26-Jan-15 18:02:42

I wore Tena lady pants!! Massive and absorbent-winner.

Showy Mon 26-Jan-15 20:30:57

I didn't really worry about the consciousness thing. I think the fact that it was birth, not just an operation meant that I positively wanted to be awake throughout. I would have been upset to be asleep. It's still that moment of my child becoming a separate being and I think I wanted to be aware of when that happened. It can be quite magical.

My Mum was awake for her hysterectomy a few years ago and said when else do you get the opportunity to actually experience what happens in theatre as both a patient and a bystander. She was fascinated.

I felt all sorts of things. Strange and odd and fascinated and overwhelmed and overjoyed and in awe and so privileged to be alive in a time when they can deliver a baby so safely when years ago, we'd be part of a very sad statistic. I almost had no room left for fear.

I wish you the absolute best of luck. The surgery is mere moments. The baby's forever.

EmmaJan2015 Tue 27-Jan-15 02:19:12

I agree totally with everything Showy said. I had my elcs on Thursday just gone and im currently sat typing this one handed, whilst holding my beautiful 5 day old daughter with my other :-)

I was terrified about the surgery aspect and being awake throughout and I was shaking beforehand. It turned out to be an amazing experience!!! Totally positive from start to finish... calm, completely pain free (apart from a very brief sting from canular/injection) and just generally wonderful. One of the midwives acted as photographer with our camera and took some amazing photos for us throughout. The whole thing felt like it took 5 minutes (she was out in 2) but in reality it was probably about 20 minutes in total with 15 minutes in recovery after cuddling my gorgeous baby girl. I was relaxing on the ward with tea & toast shortly after. It actually makes me feel quite emotional just thinking back on it now.

I have had virtually no pain (apart from wind pain the following day - no one warned me about that!!). I stayed in hospital 2 nights but 1 would have been fine. I've been carrying on as usual at home and today we managed a trip to the supermarket and out for a coffee. Tomorrow we're out for lunch. Keep taking the paracetamol and anti inflammatory tablets and you shouldnt have any pain at all. I didnt bother with the morphine tablets as I didnt feel like i needed them.

Just go easy the first time you get out of bed in the hospital. I felt a bit odd at first, kind of woozy for a moment or two, but OH walked me to the shower and I was fine after a few minutes.

Please dont worry about it at all!!! It was such a positive experience for me.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Tue 27-Jan-15 14:56:01

I understand you dont feel pain, but you KNOW what is happening and feel the pressure, tugging. Did this bother anyone?

Your concentrating on your baby, it all happens so quickly. Yes it does seem nightmarish esp when you walk into the theatre...however it really does fly by. and the quickest part is getting the baby out, so when they take the longest part, sewing you up your just looking at baby.

Op I have had baby both ways, elc was much better in every single way.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Tue 27-Jan-15 14:56:52

Physio will come and see you the day after the op to talk about recovery

no one came to see me, and I did myself an injury twisting so make sure you move every gently in bed. .

GaryShitpeas Tue 27-Jan-15 15:00:18

Aw don't be scared!!

I loved all my 3 sections ...all my dc were born that way and wouldn't change a thing. They were brilliant experiences.

You won't feel any pain during and all the staff make you feel really at ease. it's an everyday procedure for them. I won't lie it does hurt after but you can have all the pain relief you want. Take it all!!

Feel free to pm if you'd like to talk more or ask me anything x

freneticfox Tue 27-Jan-15 17:10:21

This thread is very reassuring - I've just been given an ELCS date for two weeks time and while I'm relieved (it's been granted due to health problems), I am obviously now anxious about the procedure itself.

I'm generally ok with most things, my only concern is I'm emetophobic (fear of vomiting). Despite surviving hyperemesis - I STILL feel worried about being sick during birth!

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