C Section with general anesthetic - experiences please?(19 Posts)
Due to health issues and being predicted a large baby, I've been warned that I may end up needing a c section if things don't go to plan. Due to my health issues, I can't have an epidural, so if I needed a c section I'd have to be put to sleep.
I feel quite nervous about this as I have no idea what to expect, so wondered if others could share their experiences please?
I feel upset that dh and I would miss out on the birth, but I obviously understand if it's the safest way to get baby out then needs must. But would they then take the baby to dh and he would meet it without me? Whilst I'm still being operated on and in recovery etc...what happens with regards to feeding the baby? Would they wait for me to breast feed or give it a bottle if it's hungry? Can I still have skin to skin as soon as it's possible?
Sorry - so many questions! Really appreciate any replies, thank you.
My DD was born by EMCS under a GA. I was groggy and in discomfort when I woke up but was very well looked after, and recovered quickly and easily (no difference to my subsequent ELCS).
Everyone is different but mine was overall a very good experience despite not being what I had wanted.
Oh - DD was next to me when I woke up. She waited for a feed. Also for a cuddle as DH didn't want to 'steal' the first cuddle. This was because it was unplanned and we didn't get any chance to discuss - had I known I would have suggested he did skin tto skin.
My DS was born by EMCS under a GA. I felt like I had been hit by a bus when I woke up, but I'm not sure whether that was related to the GA.
I recovered well and didn't have any problems.
Unfortunately there wasn't time to wait for DH to arrive at the hospital, so I'm not sure who got the first cuddle. DS had to go straight to SCBU too, so DH headed there when he arrived. It meant that the baby wasn't there when I woke up, but it was necessary so I won't complain.
I can't comment on breastfeeding as we weren't able to try for five days (unrelated to the GA). We were successful in the end though.
Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought about dh having skin to skin whilst I'm not there, so I think I'll put this in my birth plan, thank you.
DH wasn't allowed in the operating room, he had to wait outside. As soon as he was born my baby was given to my DH who held him skin to skin while I was taken to a recovery room. I was unconscious for quite a long time so my baby was given a small amount of formula by my DH. Dh & baby stayed in the room with me all the time.
When I woke up I started breastfeeding without any problems. I was fine and recovered well.
I have only good memories of waking up and seeing my baby's legs kicking under my DH's shirt. DH & baby had a nice bond too.
Hope that helps.
I had an emergency section with GA. They gave DS to DP straight away and I remember vaguely, feeding him on the way up to the ward.
I had emcs under ga with my first.
Its like having a ga for any other procedure.
It was a very swift situation for me.They took me through,put in a catheter,then off I went to sleep.
My dh had a lovely cuddle with baby while I woke from the anaesthetic.
I was very sleepy from the ga and morphine the first night and tbh it was best they took her -I suspect she was given formula,but I didn't ask.
I got plenty of help with breastfeeding.
I was kind of upset I 'missed' so much until I heard of so many women,even having vaginal births,having little recall of the events.
I had EMCS under GA. The docs gave me something pre natally which was meant to help my baby with Pre Eclampsia but things got more serious and because of this drug had to put me under.
I was very scared beforehand because it was an emergency, but when I came round I felt uncomfortable. After a day or so I was forced to get out of bed. They gave me oral morphine for a few days then it was good old paracetamol after a week. After 10 days I was fed up of hospital and asked the midwives to discharge me. (My daughter was in special care) the stitches remained till it healed then the hospital took them out.
I had an EMCS under GA and it was completely unexpected. DH was not allowed in the room, but they took the baby out to him once that had checked he was ok. I followed about 20 mins later and I was already awake on my way back from theatre, though groggy.
I fed the baby about an hour later - I was pretty out of it but the staff held him in position while I just lay there! In the end I BFed very successfully, though pain in the scar made it hard at first. Lots of pillows helps.
I don't think babies need to feed straight away and anyway your milk doesn't come in for about 2 days - so I don't understand why some hospitals give formula while the mum is coming round? You could ask your hospital.
At first I was very upset that I had missed the birth and was worried that I would not bond with my son properly. But over time I realised it was the best thing for my son and how the birth happens really doesn't matter that much. The important thing is that he was delivered safely.
Another emergency section under GA here (no time to site epidural). Baby DS was taken out to DH about 15-20 min after birth (he was absolutely fine as soon as he was out although the section and GA was for serious foetal distress, if the baby needed more help this might not be so quick or the baby might have to go to NICU). DH had some skin to skin with DS while they waited for me in recovery. I came round from the anaesthetic about 50 min after I was first put under.
I was very dopey (kept going in and out of consciousness for the next 8 hours or so) but judging by the reaction of the staff this is not really normal, probably to do with the fact I'd had no sleep for 48 hours and lost quite a lot of blood during the CS. Despite this I was able to try breastfeeding DS as soon as I came round, and there was no suggestion of formula (at least not until day 3 when they got concerned about DS' weight loss, but I did OK with expressing and topped DS up a couple of times with expressed milk, and we established BFing successfully).
I felt absolutely horrendous for several days, I think mostly because of lack of sleep (was on postnatal ward for 5 days averaging about 2 hours sleep a night...) and the blood loss. I also got a terrible headache which lasted for 2 weeks, not sure if this was a reaction to the anaesthetic or just the lack of sleep and blood loss. The section wound itself hurt quite a lot for about 2 days and after that really wasn't too bad.
I do feel some regret that I wasn't awake for DS' birth but not in an all-consuming or really upsetting way. I remember just before they put me under saying to myself 'I can cope with this for myself so long as DS is OK'. Clearly it helped a lot that DS was OK and entirely healthy immediately he was out. DH and I also spent a lot of time going over it all in the hours and days following the birth so we kind of talked through all our emotion about it and I'd more or less put the experience to bed by the time DS was 4 weeks old.
The chances are if you do have to have a section it won't be as much of an emergency as mine was - they're relatively uncommon - so hopefully it would be a much calmer experience even if technically an 'EMCS'.
I think they gave my baby formula while I was still unconscious because he was tiny, only 4lb. From the other posts on here it looks like this isn't what usually happens.
I printed out the template birth plan for planned CS the other day (from the NCT website) and I noticed that on there it said 'I would like my baby to be put to my breast whilst the operation is in progress. If a GA is used my husband/partner would like to put the baby to my breast as soon as possible.'
So I suspect it's possible to have the baby placed on your chest, even when you're still out cold. DH would have to help of course - you don't want the baby to roll off! :-)
I had a GA last time round. It was an EMCS, in the morning. My husband was allowed to stay, he heard her first cry.
I was OK during the day, but did feel quite sleepy, probably the morphine. I was well enough to get in to a wheel chair to see my baby later that evening. I can't remember whether I had a shower that same day or the next morning. So all in all I recovered quite well I guess. (I remember when I woke up the recovery nurse fed me carrot cake to strengthen me up! Hehe.)
I had no head aches or blood loss and I didn't feel horrendous either. I mean, I walked like an old lady, but that's normal for a CS. And I felt horrible because of the whole experience/situation, but it had nothing to do with the GA.
I gave birth on a Monday and we left on a Thursday. We could have left a lot earlier but they were happy for us to stay on as long as we wanted because our baby was in NNU.
Oh, and in case you worry about bonding. You will bond fine. I bonded marvelously with a child that was in an incubator for weeks!
Thanks for all the replies everyone. It's really helpful to know what happens so I feel a bit more prepared now should it happen, thank you.
Dildals' experience sounds lovely but is definitely not the norm. Everywhere I have worked, fathers/other birth partners are not allowed in for GA CS, elective or emergency. It would not be safe to try to get your baby to breastfeed whilst asleep in theatre, but in recovery once you are starting to wake up then it's usually ok to give it a go (assuming baby not needing SCBU or anything).
Have you seen an anaesthetist at all? If you have health problems that mean an epidural or spinal are totally out of the question then it would probably be a good idea to ask to see one as part of your antenatal care, so they can explain things to you and make a plan for pain relief during labour and if a CS is needed.
They probably didn't have any time to shoo him out of the room!
I had this OP and it was all fine I woke up groggy but calm, with DP smiling down at me with tears in his eyes after meeting our baby, showing me pics on his phone. It was late so I didn't meet him until the next morning, but never felt I lost out on skin to skin. When I have the next one I would rather have GA again.. Go to sleep, wake up with a baby! Good luck
Not a CS here, but came v close (forceps assisted, in theatre and haemorrhage, so I was out of it). OH was able to take baby quite soon afterwards and did skin to skin, first nappy and bsby grow. As soon as I felt able, DD was put on my chest for her first feed. I was v v groggy, but she knew what to do
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