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Is recovery from a second c-section harder than the first?

(24 Posts)
BettyBi0 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:43:39

I think I may have got off very lightly with my first c-section and I'm worried that if I opt for a second one this time around it'll be pay back time.

Last time I had 48 hours almost compete bed rest with little walks but my pain was really well controlled and as long as I paced myself, the first week was pretty much fine. By day 6 or so I was pretty much back to normal. Can I hope for similar the second time around or is it likely to be harder physically?

I've heard that the scar tissue can make second sections more complicated. I think I must have had a freakishly easy first time around after hearing some friends recovery stories.

BettyBi0 Sun 29-Nov-15 20:48:22

Anyone? Surely someone out there has had 2 c-sections?

ApocalypseNowt Sun 29-Nov-15 20:50:46

My second one was easier by miles.

My first was EMCS though and I felt like i'd been hit by a truck. Didn't feel remotely back to normal for more than 8 weeks.

My second was ELCS and the recovery was so much quicker. Pottering around after a week. Got rapidly better after that.

The only thing with a second Csection is that you've haven't just got the baby to look after. There are 2 years between my dc so i had a toddler to deal with too. Do make sure you have help on hand because to start with i couldn't lift DC1 at all.

trilbydoll Sun 29-Nov-15 20:53:25

I had an emcs then an elcs 2y later.

My first recovery was very good, I was walking the 1.5 miles or so into town at 4 weeks. I thought an elcs would be even easier, I think my expectations were a bit high!

In hindsight, it was another good recovery, I walked to a toddler group with the double buggy at 4 weeks. But the first 2 weeks were awful, I was out of breath from having a shower. It really stung where the scar tissue had been opened up. Then it just suddenly got a lot better, I recovered in steps rather than a gradual slope.

megletthesecond Sun 29-Nov-15 20:53:50

My second was easier because I refused to do anything bar look after the baby and keep dc1 amused for 2 weeks, other people took him out to play and did the lifting. I learnt my lesson after not resting enough after my first section.

poocatcherchampion Sun 29-Nov-15 20:54:24

I was:
First the worst
Second the best
Third the one with the hairy chest middlest

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sun 29-Nov-15 20:54:35

My 2nd c-section was fine. The scar is a bit larger though and as pp have said, its awkward caring for the older child during recovery. That's about all though.

Chrysanthemum5 Sun 29-Nov-15 20:56:46

I'd agree with apocalypse my second section was much easier. The first was a emergency section, the second one I had two days notice so I had some time to mentally prepare. Also as it wasn't an emergency the surgeon had more time to do things so he removed lots of scar tissue from the first section. I was out shopping 6 days after my second section.

Best wishes for you

BettyBi0 Mon 30-Nov-15 13:55:11

This is good to hear! Juggling a toddler and a newborn sound quite daunting. Gosh I still pick DD1 up all the time and I doubt we'll have her potty trained by then so I'll be changing her bum on the floor. Ugh!

FreeButtonBee Mon 30-Nov-15 14:02:45

Second was less good. First time I had ELCS for breech twins and think I was just so deliriously happy not to be pregnant any more than the recovery just took care of itself.

Second times, despite lots of help with older pair, I did find it more painful and got an infection at 3 weeks. Dose of antibs and VERY strict bed rest rules helped. Was fine by 6 weeks but it really did take that long. Tips:

Take the painkillers
Do not under any circumstances lift your older one until 4 weeks at the earliest.
Don't get the bus to baby clinic at 13 days post cs with heavy buggy because midwife can't be arsed to fit you in hmm
I actually found a sling was easier than pushing the buggy for short bursts - had a close caboo.

trilbydoll Mon 30-Nov-15 14:27:35

How old is your toddler? I tried to make sure I had someone here for lunch so they could change her, if I had to she scrambled up on the sofa for me.

She understood that mummy was poorly, I didn't lift her a huge amount when pregnant anyway, I got too big! So it was ok. She would walk upstairs with me holding her hands to support her rather than me carry her for example.

LetsSplashMummy Mon 30-Nov-15 14:43:30

Both fine, I was in hospital a week both times (complications from my medical history, nothing to do with the cs) but I basically didn't give it a second thought either time. I'd gradually stopped picking up the toddler when pregnant so she wasn't expecting to be carried, so that might have helped.

It really is a small operation compared to what is going on in the rest of the hospital, I think you are in the quieter majority in being pleasantly surprised at it being a non-event and weren't just freakishly lucky. People who have a hard time tend to talk the most about it, whereas find something easy and you keep quiet in case you sound smug. If someone has had an EMCS, the CS part is often blamed for their recovery when it was really the circumstances that led to it that left them so battered and bruised. It isn't really relevant to an ELCS, totally different.

It might be a little bit more complicated the second time for the surgeon, but that is their problem to deal with. My body has had three major abdominal surgeries pre-c-sections and has really unusual internal plumbing, loads of scarred tissue and body parts missing and even then they knew what they were doing. They deal, every day, with complicated patients, so a previous c-section isn't going to flummox them - honestly. Best of luck!

RueDeWakening Mon 30-Nov-15 14:48:53

My first was fine, second was easiest (even though that one was emcs of triplets at 31 weeks), third was fine again.

CS 1 I was in hospital for 5 days, but probably more careful than I needed to be so was quite stiff.

CS 2 I was fairly motivated as I didn't see our single survivor as he'd been rushed off to NICU, I first saw him after 24 hours when I made my own way there. Recovery was fine/unremarkable as I was concentrating on other things.

CS 3 was possibly the best - I was only in hospital for 2 nights, and enjoyed the peace and quiet with only a newborn to look after grin again recovery was fine although the op itself took longer due to adhesions.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Mon 30-Nov-15 14:58:11

Was your first one elective? My first was emergency and I was very poorly and my second was elective so much easier - I was in theatre about 2pm and out of bed that night.
Dealing with a toddler though is hard as mine was 13 months, not walking and I couldn't lift him.
Scar was bigger the second time but they tidied the messy previous one! Healed well but again I think because I was prepared for the elective. I'd forgotten how much it hurt though

LonelySatsuma Mon 30-Nov-15 14:59:08

Both of my c-sections were fine, but I found recovery from my second easier, actually.

I think it was knowing what to expect and how to look after myself properly.
I didn't have any pain at all (take your painkillers religiously!) and by my 6 week check I was absolutely raring to go grin.

Raxacoricofallapatorius Mon 30-Nov-15 15:01:45

I have had two emcs and the second was even easier than the first. The first was pretty easy (discharged after 12 hours, no painkillers, bounced back).

My eldest started school when her little brother was 4 days old so I had a school run (walking, I had not passed my driving test at that point) and a 4 year old to care for too. Again, no painkillers required, back to normal very quickly and was back running at 9 weeks.

RueDeWakening Mon 30-Nov-15 15:13:26

Mine, Abbey? Yes, they went elective, emergency, elective - for complicated medical reasons of my own, nothing to do with pregnancy as such other than the 2nd becoming emergency after my waters broke.

elliejjtiny Mon 30-Nov-15 19:08:30

I had 3 vb's, an elcs, then an attempted vbac that ended in a crash emcs. I think it depends on lots of things. My 2nd C-section was hardest to start with as I had sepsis and had laboured most of the night before my cs. But then my baby came out of nicu after 5 days and I was able to rest more without having to shuffle down to nicu, express milk etc. With my first C-section I started off well rested but my baby was in nicu/scbu for 4 weeks so I had to spend a lot of time going back and forth, expressing etc.

elliejjtiny Mon 30-Nov-15 19:09:45

rue so sorry about the loss of 2 of your triplets. I hope your survivor is doing ok now.

RueDeWakening Mon 30-Nov-15 19:34:32

Thanks ellie he's doing fine and is nearly 6 now smile hard to believe he was so tiny and poorly at birth when you see him!

AbbeyRoadCrossing Mon 30-Nov-15 21:04:34

Rue sorry about the loss of your two babies, I embarrassingly skim read and didn't notice about that flowers
I'm glad your survivor is doing well

cookiefiend Mon 30-Nov-15 21:20:15

I had an EMCS first time and was soo flat from it, the failed three day induction and insanely high blood pressure. I wasn't right for weeks although the cs wasn't too bad in itself. I am about 10 days post my second section- elective this time. It is so much better. I was out the next day. A little pain still, but not enough to bother with painkillers and would be better if I could remember not to lift my toddler. I feel great- worlds apart from last time and people keep telling me how much better I seem.

Obs2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:35:09

My second was a lot harder. By reading all the above accounts, I had it quite bad. With the first, not being able to drive or walk far wasn't an issue because I just looked after ds1. Lovely.
With ds2, the not being able to drive or walk, to get ds1 to school, and the just general looking after 2, I found very tough.
Maybe more planning? Getting more help? From your mum, Dh, anyone!! Someone to take dc1 more for you?

NanoNinja Mon 30-Nov-15 21:59:18

Two elective sections, with better recovery from the second. I think largely because I struggled for ages to establish feeding with the first which caused all kinds of physical and emotional stress. Second baby just glugged away from day one.

I think, though, it is really important to get as much rest as possible in the early stages. I had a week in hospital with both (not in the uk), which helped a lot in getting recovery on track.

Obviously, as pp have said, having a toddler to manage does make things more difficult. I would do whatever you can to get help in the first couple of weeks.

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