Having an unexpected ELCS... birth plan/hospital bag advice?(32 Posts)
I'm having an ELCS in 2 weeks. I'd already written my birth plan for a natural birth but after a scan, it's been decided that it would be best for me to have a c-section. I'm okay with this but I don't really know what to pack now, aside from giant pants, and I have no idea what to put in my birth plan now. Also, how to I explain to my 19mo that I can't pick him up? He won't understand and the thought of not picking him up while he cries is breaking my heart! Possibly overreacting but I'm scared and hormonal.
There are loads of helpful posts on here so just do a search.
You'll be fine. My ELCS turned into an emcs and I still didn't find it very stressful and no labour pains
We told DD mummy had a sore tummy and therefore couldn't do much and everyone needed to be very gentle etc. I showed her the scar as well, to prove it!
She still wanders about now muttering "mummy is poorly" so it clearly sunk in. She's able to climb on the settee so could come to me for a cuddle. You should be able to give him a helping hand to get up without giving yourself a hernia, unless your furniture is really high!
I didn't bother doing a birth plan but you can ask them to lower the screen to see the baby come out, you don't see any insides because your bump is in the way.
Don't worry about your 19mo. You will have to sit down and get him to climb up next to you for a cuddle that way whilst you have your "sore tummy". Perhaps you could even make it sound completely normal by telling him you had a "sore tummy" after he was born too?
My elcs was only planned the day before.
That said, I've had three kids and never written a birth plan, so I'm not sure if I can help you with that. I would just make sure they know what you want to happen afterwards (ie skin to skin, some places will let you feed immediately etc)
I've never actually packed a hospital bag either, but really you need the same stuff. Just make sure you have loose waisted track pants or similar - no low waisted anything - nice high simon cowell pants and trousers
Your toddler will get the idea pretty quickly that he needs to climb up for a cuddle, and you will be adept at hanging on to flailing arms and legs so you don't get elbows or knees/ feet in the abdomen lol. It only lasts a short period anyway. You don't have to explain anything to him, and he can still have a cuddle - you just say 'hang on a sec' and then rearrange yourself so he can climb up. It will be fine.
You'll be spending most of the day sitting down and feeding during the weeks that you won't be picking him up, so he'll just clamber around on the sofa next to you
It will be fine! Really.
1.Not just granny pants but also mesh ones. Look on JoJo Maman Bebe they do a washable pack.
2. Put a pad over your C section scar (alongside the one you need for your lochia). Really helps with movement in the early days.
3. Take the painkillers. No prizes for martyrdom after major surgery! And ask for painkillers if you need it. Don't suffer in silence.
4. Take it easy. Easier said than done post surgery but I was fully 100% healed without a twinge in 20 days. And quite mobile long before.
5. Some people experience trapped wind after surgery. Peppermint helps.
6. I would also pack a Ziplock bag with the words 'first outfit' so that your husband knows what to put on. Because you may be slightly out of it afterwards.
7. And when they tell you to get up and shower they are not being mean. Take some nice toiletries. Just pat the wound dry.
8. I did skin to skin in theatre and breastfed soon after.
So in terms of things to pack not a huge amount of difference. For scheduled surgery you will be nil by mouth for a few hours beforehand. Take magazines and books because you will be giving precedence to EMCS cases so it might all take a while.
And enjoy it! My C section was loads of fun and I would do it again. Chatted with the surgeons. And everyone was lovely.
You don't really need a birth plan for a c-section. Not sure you can have much of a say on how it's conducted.
You'll need lots of sanitary pads and comfortable clothing for after. Rest a lot beforehand and have lots of cuddles with your new baby!
My birth plan said:
1. Please give the baby the Vitamin K injection.
(My son was placed on my chest and the injection given).
2. Please clean the baby after birth (unusual one).
3. I would like skin to skin in theatre.
4. I would like to breastfeed.
5. I do not want the screen lowered.
6. If the baby needs to go to SCBU after birth then my husband will go with the baby.
You can I think within reason ask for music or even for people to be silent as the baby is brought out and placed on you. Google 'natural C-section'. I wasn't worried about the process. DH is a medic and got special permission from the consultant to watch the procedure. So I was chatting with the anaesthetist. I was mostly fussed about the skin to skin bit and the feeding.
Please be aware that the epidural can make your hands shake. The anaesthetist told me this was very very normal and would wear off. But while doing skin to skin I felt a little nervous in theatre while my hands shook so much.
You will have a catheter. Also keep a look out for a possible UTI in the days after a C section.
The midwife told me that the wound would heal from the bottom up (hard to explain really- the deepest layers heal first) and that's what happened.
Dh was in with me as well and he's no medic. It's pretty standard for spinal isn't it? They just stick them in scrubs and they are fine to be there?
Oh, and even with a c-section, you wake up with someone else's legs the next day...
Sorry yes. Under GA your partner won't be allowed in but for a standard spinal that's fine. My DH was on the other side of the surgical sterile screen is what I meant. Partners are welcome in theatre.
Also what happens in surgery is that usually everyone will introduce themselves to you. You will be given your anaesthesia. Then some prodding and poking follows to make sure it is working. When they bring the baby out it feels like someone is rummaging inside you a bit- weird but not scary. Takes a while to stitch you up. I was chatting about restaurants with the surgeon while that happened. With my CS they were trying to break the hospital record for the quickest CS performed and we missed it by 40 seconds! Once the surgeons left, the midwives put on a pad for me, cleaned the sheets etc because I was immobile and then wheeled me out to the HDU.
Post surgery you will be taken to this High Dependency Unit where your blood pressure etc will be observed for a few hours. For my CS they had no postnatal beds for a while so I stayed in HDU for nearly 12 hours. Had toast and tea etc. Once you are on the normal ward they will ask you to walk a bit. I tried to walk down the corridor from the HDU to the ward 12 hours after surgery and it wasn't a great idea so they wheeled me down there. You will have those long glamorous DVT socks as well. Once the catheter is out they will ask you to pee in a paper bowl of some sort. I THINK that is all the indignity I can remember for now!
This is all really reassuring, thank you. I shook badly when the epidural I had with my son wore off, totally forgot about that until now. I also had a catheter then so I'm not worried about that. Would I be allowed to see the actual operation? I'd totally love to. And how long does it take for my bump to go down? I've heard it's longer after a section. Is it not really painful trying to walk so soon after having it? If I'm able to breastfeed while they're stitching me up, who'll position the baby? I'm assuming I won't be able to move my arms. So many questions, sorry!
You will be able to move your arms. The spinal is further down.
I barfed. Apparently it's a really common response to the fundal pressure required to pop the baby out... And had the same shaking response afterwards too. All so very glamorous...
It's a bit hard to breastfeed in theatre but it takes 20 mins to stitch I think or maybe a bit longer. You should be able to feed soon afterwards when you are in HDU. I suppose theoretically you could feed while lying flat but I wouldn't have managed it with shaking hands. Skin to skin is entirely possible.
You will be on heavy duty painkillers so it hurts less than you might imagine. Hence my request/order that you keep on top of your painkillers. Hospital beds are easy to get in and out of. When you get home you will for a week or so inelegantly slide out of bed clutching the wound.
For reasons of sterility you can't watch the operation but you can ask the screen to be lowered when they bring the baby out. I watched some CS videos on YouTube and while I am not squeamish I decided it wasn't for me.
I tried to walk about 12 hours later and failed. They thought I was bonkers for trying it. You can get out of bed and shuffle around. I had a shower 24 hours after surgery. The pad across the wound really helps psychologically especially for that all important first postnatal poo. The nurses will make you walk around a bit. You can expect to stay in 2nights. DS was small and had low blood sugar so we stayed in for 3 nights.
Take one bottle only into the shower and don't let go of it! It's so easy to drop things onto the shower tray-& once it's gone below waist height...it's gone!!! For the same.reason pack your.locker with the things you need at the top. The bottom shelf will be tricky to get to! And enjoy it! I loved my elcs! It was brilliant! (And another one to echo-take the drugs! It's not the Olympics! If they offer-ACCEPT! It's not rude to say "yes please"-it's not another cupcake.being offered at a tea party! And make sure that you get some to start you off with at home too!)
C section fab. You don't need a birth plan beyond that. You can move your arms. They will make you get up sooner than you think you can. Request own room.
Hi it's been exactly a week since my 3rd section. Best advice I can give is take those pain killers also I would disagree with getting your own room. It's much better to be on the ward where you can be seen and not forgotten about! I was home the day after the op. Just take it easy but try to move about as soon as you can. Also this time I had a pico dressing on my wound aa my last section got infected. The pico dressing stays on for a week and sucks the air and fluid out of the wound. It was fabulous and looks like this wound has healed 100% better this time with the dressing on. Good luck
Here are my thoughts on my birth plan for ELCS (following ELCS for breech twisn last time round)
- if I have to wait more than 4 hours, I would like to be put on a drip (waited 10 hours nil by mouth last time and was practically in hysterics by the time they took me in for my section. I hope that the fact this is a singleton will mean that the physical impact on my body will be a bit less but I'm not allowing them to leave me like that again)
- skin to skin asap after birth plus assistance with breasfeeding
- allow cord to finish pulsing naturally - do people do this? It wasn't really doable with twins as they have so many babies and placentas going on! But I have heard it's a good thing to aim for if possible
- fine for vit K injection to be given
Oh and although it's a bit wanky, do get a music playlist together. Mine were born to some random Madonna number on capital FM... Had I realized I would be subjected to that trash, I defo would have created my own playlist ;-)
Both of my dc were born by ELCS and I found both procedures to be fine. Although I originally wanted natural birth, I really liked the fact that everything was planned out and that there were no surprises. It's also an incredibly quick process. The only thing I found a bit scary was when they initially take you in and put in the spinal block. It wasn't painful but it was a bit scary but after that I was just excited to meet my babies! I also found the recovery to be much better than I expected. You will need someone to help with your toddler 24 hours a day for the 6 weeks afterwards though! My dd was already 3 so I could explain to her that mommy has a big cut and so couldn't hold her but as the others on here have said you will be sitting on the sofa or in bed and so your little one can cuddle up to you! My dad didn't complain once about the fact t that I couldn't pick her up. Best of luck and enjoy meeting your second little one!
Lots of good advice above. Only thing I would add is to start training your toddler now to do more climbing so you have to do less lifting. Mine is older but he can get in and out of his car seat and high chair, up and down stairs and furniture. He also helps me hang washing by passing me stuff so I don't have to bend down then straighten again. Keep frequently used stuff at home where you can reach it easily: waist height. Have changing stuff upstairs and down, ditto spare pads and pants for you, so you are not running up and down stairs all day.
Big black pants. Try not to hunch up even though you are sore. Take the drugs and the laxatives. Feeding pillow whether BF or FF.
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