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ELCS experiences, procedure, recovery stories please!

(17 Posts)
100thousandreasons Tue 26-Jun-18 13:41:42


I'm having my first ELCS in eight weeks time. Medically required due to a terrible first v birth which ended up being a three day induction finishing with high rotational forceps, episiotomy, severe shoulder dystocia, tears, PPH and surgery for a retained placenta. Baby basically got dragged out by hand in the end and we're both lucky to be here and (in the end) unscathed. My recovery was slow and painful. Probably took 2 months for me to start to feel really normal again. It was very traumatic.

So. ELCS coming up, which I'm ok with. I'm not expecting the recovery to be a walk in the park, especially with a toddler in tow now but I have super support at home. DH can take 3/4 weeks off work fully paid (his work are fab) and both sets of grandparents will be on hand to help out too if needed.

I know it'll hurt but all I keep hearing from people is 'ooh it's surgery, it's going to be agony recovering - so much better to have a natural birth'. I'm sure if you have a straightforward natural birth that's absolutely right but as I didn't I don't really have a bar to measure against!

Can you talk me through what happens on the day, and your recoveries please? I know everyone is different will just be helpful to hear from those who've been through it!

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Icklepickle101 Tue 26-Jun-18 13:43:44

Honestly? Mine was amazing. I was walking to the shower after 12 hours, home on day 2 and a full weekly shop around Tesco on the way home! I only took paracetamol after we were discharged and drive after 2 weeks. I really couldn’t believe it. A few friends also had planned sections and most would say the same apart from a few who were more sore for the first week or 2 but all of us felt pretty good by week 3!

GaryBarlowsTaxReturn Tue 26-Jun-18 13:46:31

Mine was great. Really lovely relaxed experience. I was discharged 26 hours after the birth with just ibuprofen and paracetamol. Had quite minimal pain and was able to pick my baby up etc. It's all healed really well too. Good luck with yours.

Icklepickle101 Tue 26-Jun-18 13:48:13

Oh and on the day:

Our hospital has a theatre just for electives and there were 4 scheduled per day. We all arrived at 7 and were told the order so knew roughly what time we’d be going down. About half an hour before we went down we were given gowns and scrubs for DP and final blood pressure etc checked before walking down to theatre. Sit on the bed, have the spinal, check all numb and then they begin. Baby was out very quick, maybe 10 mins? Then we had cuddles while they stitched me up which took a bit longer. Wheeled to recovery where we stayed for about 2 hours and I fed DS and FaceTimed family and then moved to the ward where we had visitors straight away.

100thousandreasons Tue 26-Jun-18 13:53:54

That's great to hear, thank you both! Does the spinal really hurt? I had an epidural last time which wasn't overly pleasant going in but as I was in absolute agony from the synto drip to be honest they could have asked cut my leg off and I'd have let them if it would have made those god awful contractions every two minutes for hours and hours stop!

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Icklepickle101 Tue 26-Jun-18 15:52:29

I don’t remember it hurting. I think the local anaesthetic stung a little bit and then was numb. It took longer than I expected though

SharkSave Tue 26-Jun-18 19:33:51

I'm 2 weeks post ELCS. Tbh it took me a week to be pain free, it was definitely harder than I was expecting. However, much much better than my recovery first time round.
The spinal I did find unpleasant but apparently I have small spacing in my spine so they had to have a few goes at getting it in.

Zombiefy Tue 26-Jun-18 19:43:07

I am 13 days post section with DS2. My section was great- home in 24 hours this time. I still have to take it easy and not lift heavy things but I’m feeling pretty normal. My scar has sealed and only tugs if I overdo it. I came off painkillers at 4 days post and didn’t need them again. It’s major surgery but if it goes well it’s very calm and the recovery is more than manageable. I also have a toddler but my only support has been DH and it’s been fine. Good luck OP.

100thousandreasons Tue 26-Jun-18 20:06:12

This is all good to hear, thank you! I would love to be home in 24 hours I hated being in hospital last time (though I was in for a week) . My consultant said it'd most likely be a 2 night stay but occasionally they do let you home after 1 if all is well so fingers crossed.

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Dinosauratemydaffodils Tue 26-Jun-18 20:19:29

Dd is 19 days old. I feel absolutely fine, pushed the pram to pick ds up from preschool yesterday which is roughly a 1.5 mile walk along the sea shore up a small hill and then did it reverse with ds in tow. Dh is back at work and has been since day 14, I have no family close at hand and have been managing fine by myself (ds is 3).

The mess they made of the cannula in my hand hurt more than the actual wound from the section. I was discharged the following day and still have all the paracetamol they sent me home with as I just haven't needed. Ds was an emcs after failed mid forceps and the bruising from the forceps (no cuts or tears just bruising) hurt so much more than the section so you might find it considerably easier than last time.

MrsH193 Tue 26-Jun-18 20:23:11

I had a semi-ELCS after 2 failed inductions and wasn't prepared to have a third round having already spent 4 days in hospital. I was so worried about the op and the recovery as I really wanted a natural delivery but I needn't have worried at all.

They took me down, gave me the spinal which didn't hurt at all, checked I was numb and then DS was swiftly delivered. I was in recovery for just over 5 hours before they took me up to the ward and I was up and walking to the shower straight away. The key is to get moving ASAP. I had some pretty amazing morphine and was sent home the next day with ibuprofen and paracetamol. I healed so well and wasn't in much pain at all, not taking it especially easy and was driving after 3 weeks.
Nowhere near as bad as I was expecting it to be!

TingleTots Tue 26-Jun-18 21:16:35

Only positive things to say from me OP, home the day after, stopped taking pain relief the day after that too.

The procedure was perfect, only thing I would change if I could would be my nerves, there was no need for them!

100thousandreasons Tue 26-Jun-18 21:42:46

I'm feeling much more relaxed about it now! Have been doing lots of research and have bought some massive high waisted knickers and peppermint tea in case of bad trapped wind (apparently this is a CS thing?) Anything else you'd recommend?

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Zombiefy Tue 26-Jun-18 21:51:01

Yes to the peppermint tea and if you haven’t had any movement by day 4 invest in some lactulose. Always have a cushion to hand to press on your scar when you cough or sneeze in the early days- it saves you from feeling like you might unzip! Rest up as much as you can at the start.

BELLAARA Tue 26-Jun-18 22:03:24

Yes yes yes to getting moving asap, and the pillow to press against scar when coughing. First straightening up feels like your innards are going to fall out, but once up right, it's fine. Do be concious of not hunching over when up and about for first few days. It can cause back pain, which you don't need.
I didn't have trapped wind, more amazingly gurgly escapey wind. No pain at all but felt and sounded horrid. Soon passes. Your midwife can give some peppermint concoction that helps.
Finally, keep up with your medication routine, don't be tempted to skip what you can have because you feel ok. You will be given a level of pain relief in theatre, and you really want to keep that topped up. You can't OD in the hospital, and will be in the routine when you get home.

Have a lovely baby and don't fear the section or the recovery.

Notlostjustexploring Tue 26-Jun-18 22:24:03

Pack a straw. Means when you're lying down you don't have to either sit up or manoeuvre the bed to drink. And your own pillow.
I had an emcs and I recovered from the op well (dancing at a wedding 3 weeks later), it was the long labour and induction that knocked me for 6. Do take the time to rest and recuperate as well, very important. And do keep taking medication. The pain wasn't anything significant after day 4, more achy, but if I forgot and started aching, I got very tired very quickly.

Although don't drop anything for the first couple of days. I dropped my pants on the floor during my first shower afterwards and I think I stood there for a full five minutes contemplating whether or not i really needed pants, or could I just leave them as I really didn't want to bend to get them!!

I'm having an elcs this time round and rather looking forward to it. Even the post natal ward was pretty good, it felt more set up for post op than maternity, which is really what you want. They took very good care of me.

100thousandreasons Tue 26-Jun-18 23:01:54

Ah, yes lactulose my old friend. That's on my 'to buy' list too. Last time I had to take iron tablets for three weeks as I lost over 2l of blood and my iron was so low. Those tablets are awful! So I'll grab some for my bag just in case. Good shout on the straw and pillow too. I want to be as prepared as possible, it seems a pipe dream that I might be able to enjoy the first week after my last experience but I have my fingers crossed!

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