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What is a c/s really like

(17 Posts)
memoo Sun 09-Aug-09 11:55:50

I'm faced with the possibility of having a C/S after 2 vaginal deliveries.

tbh I am really scared but think if I am prepared with the facts I will feel more in control.

Can anybody tell me exactly what happens, how long does it take, is the pain really bad afterwards?

pofacedandproud Sun 09-Aug-09 12:08:09

I've had one emergency c/s and one elective. Emergency was a bit scary as was exhausted after 35 hours of labour and unprepared, but elective was very nice. Relaxed, enough sleep, mentally prepared, and in in the morning [rather than at midnight]
Ask for baby to go straight to skin to skin, and if you want to breastfeed try to do it within half an hour. With my elective the pain was moderately bad for a couple of days then gradually better,and I came off all painkillers within two days. Really not unmanageable pain though. You'll be stiff for a couple of weeks.

But my elective was a really positive experience! HTH.

franklymydear Sun 09-Aug-09 12:09:40

For an elective you're given a time to turn up at hospital normally between 7.30 and 9am. Do not hang around at home, get there at the time they state because it's first come first served.

Also you could be waiting all day for your section as emergencies take priority - so for one of my children I waited until 5pm (from 8am)

You have a spinal block - your partner may or may not be with you for this. It's a series of pin-pricks and you have to hunch over and stick your back out but you don't feel anything but pressure.

You then lie down and your partner comes in. They catheterise you (you don't know) and within 5 minutes your baby is out and your partner is holding it so you don't notice the next 30 whilst they're stitching you up

They wheel you out, hand you the baby, help you breastfeed.

They keep you dosed up for a day or two then you move on to easier painkillers like paracetomal.

You hold your scar if you cough or laugh or sneeze.

You'll be on your feet within 24 hours and walking normally within 2 or 3 - you can leave by 5 days

pofacedandproud Sun 09-Aug-09 12:11:02

The op itself very quick, about half an hour. Baby comes out very quick, takes a bit longer to sew you back up. But you can listen to music and have a cuddle with baby.

pofacedandproud Sun 09-Aug-09 12:12:20

I was out of hospital in 3 days with my elective.

MrsMattie Sun 09-Aug-09 12:12:51

I've also had an emergency and an elective.

Both were fine, if surreal, experiences. The scariest bit for me was the feeling of going completely numb from the spinal. First time around I found that totally bizarre.

Recovery was OK. I rested more the second time, as I knew what to expect, and that meant I actually healed more quickly, I think.

I loved my elective. It was euphoric. I can't actually imagine a better birth experience - so beautiful and emotional. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

olivo Sun 09-Aug-09 12:13:21

memoo, i had an em cs with my dd. to be honst, after a long time and some problems, the cs was a total relief, especially from the pain! unfortunately dd was poorly so i couldnt see her for quite some time.

the spinal was fine, baby out in minutes, dh with me all the time until they'd finished stitching me up.pain wise, i didnt have any, but had pain killers for about 5 days. i got nasty trapped wind which showed itself by a sharp pain in the shoulder but they gave me something for it.

the hardest part was taking the dressing off the next day - the lovely auxiliary lady came into the shower with me and did it for me!

my scar healed beautifully and i'd forgotten about it until i became pg again! good luck, i'm sure it'll be fine.

elvislives Sun 09-Aug-09 12:44:39

After 4 normal deliveries my 5th was breech and I had an elective CS. I was really scare because I'm needle phobic but I had a chat to the anaethetist and he was lovely.

My experience was the same as frankly, except I left hospital after 3 days IIRC.

The only bad pain was the first time they asked me to sit up and I tried to a bit fast. After that it was fine. I had stitches with the other 4 so it was heaven being able to sit down without wincing grin

Meglet Sun 09-Aug-09 13:58:10

I've had an em cs and an el cs.

Get to the hospital early, the last thing you want is to be second or third in the queue and have some emergencies rushed in before you. You'll be famished by midday.

Both times I thought the theatre staff were wonderful. Very chatty, explained what they were doing most of the time and happily told me what something was if I asked (there is a lot of equipment in there to look after mum + baby) they were also very good humoured (even during my em cs). Remember that between them they have done hundreds of cs's so compared to a crash or em cs a planned cs will be lovely and straightforward.

A midwife held my hand when they were putting spinal block in during my el cs as I had got myself into a nervous tizz about it all.

Baby is out fairly fast, probably no more than 10 mins from the spinal block working to it appearing over the screen. They will check it over for a minute then either your DH or you can hold the baby while they get the placenta out and stitched up again. TBH I found it really hard to hold my dc's afterwards as I was lying down with various tubes and monitors on my arm so I was happy for dp to do it.

They may well give you a morphine suppository to give strong local pain relief.

With a recovery try and move around after 24 hours, get the midwife or your dh to help you in the shower as you will feel a bit wobbly. But don't think you have to rush about and try and be supermum. I was a bit of a diva after my planned cs and was off paracetamol by day 10 as I hadn't overdone it.

memoo Mon 10-Aug-09 12:26:30

Thanks everyone, Sorry it has taken me so long to get back, mad day yesterday!

I feel very reassured reading your messages as you all mostly seem to have found an elective cs a positive experience.

Its still not what I want but if thats what has to happen then I don't think I'll feel so upset.

Can I ask how you all found it looking after a newborn for those first few days having had a CS. Is it hard to pick them up, feed etc? Were the midwives good at helping?

Meglet Mon 10-Aug-09 12:41:44

It's hard to sit up after the op, you will need to use your arms to push yourself up. It's not much fun the first few times you do it but it gets easier. After my el cs I got the midwives / DP to do nearly all the changing and lifting so I could rest and save my energy for gentle walks to the toilet and kitchen to stop myself getting stiff. Once I was home I was able to do all the baby care myself. DP and my family took care of 2yo DS for the first couple of weeks and when DP was back at work I was lucky enough for someone in my family to pop round during the day to help for another couple of weeks. I was back at the gym at week 12 smile.

Do you have a change table or cot top changer? I found it hard to get onto the floor to change nappies after my em cs so second time around I splashed out on a cot top changer and it was bliss being able to change dd at my height.

Ladyem Mon 10-Aug-09 12:48:54

Memoo, I'm so glad you put this thread up as I am probably going to have to have a c-section (DD suffered a shoulder dystocia at birth) and have been a bit worried about it! It's so lovely to hear that they can be calm and enjoyable experiences as I've heard some horror stories which have scared me.

I feel much more reassured thanks to all the posts on here!

MIAonline Mon 10-Aug-09 13:11:59

I had an Ecs and in the early hours of the morning and was able to change nappies, feed without help, pick DS up and walk later that day. Didn't actually feel the CS at all and was pretty normal by the next day. I was out of hospital after 2 nights.

I agree with meglet about changing nappies on a changing unit or cot top changer, so much easier.

memoo Mon 10-Aug-09 16:55:16

Good idea about the changing unit as in the past have always just done nappy changes on the floor.

Its so good to hear people saying you were back on your feet so soon. DP is going to take 2 weeks off but after that I will be on my own.

My other children are older though so I don't have a toddler running around that will also need looking after.

It is very reasuring ladyem, I'm a lot less anxious about it now

Babymakes4 Tue 11-Aug-09 22:34:23

Just to add my el cs was also a really positive experience (after at em cs which was fine but unexpected and a bit alarming at the time). Recovery was fine after the el cs - was out of hospital 48 hours after the op and (despite an awful cold and hacking cough - very painful!) healed very quickly. Changing high up is a good point and also I found lots of cushions behind you when sitting on sofas etc as it is amazing how many sore tummy muscles seem to be involved in sitting and standing up smile

littlemisslozza Wed 12-Aug-09 21:39:38

Just want to echo the positive comments here. I had an elective cs last Friday (previous shoulder dystocia like LadyEm) and it was such a lovely birth experience. We had the pre-op on Thursday evening, then we went out for dinner and home. Nil by mouth from midnight and a couple of antacid tablets to take.
Arrived at the hospital 8am and was second on the list (our hospital decides order in advance with most complicated first). Went in to theatre at about 10.45am. I was nervous about the spinal, but my husband was with me for everything throughout and the lovely midwife chatted to me non-stop while they did it. I don't know why I was nervous about it - it didn't hurt, just felt odd pressure.
For the actual cs, once they'd established that my spinal had worked, it took 3 minutes from the cut until my gorgeous DS2 was born - at 11.09am. If you want to see (not very clearly though) you can look in the overhead lights!!! It feels a bit like you've been winded as they push the baby out but again, not painful. They showed baby to us, he cried immediately, then they quickly wrapped him and did 1minute apgar score (as with previous vb) then DH cuddled him as I was stitched up. There would not have been room for me to cuddle him and he was right next to me anyway.
Once I was stitched up (about 20mins), we went through to recovery for about 1 hour. Weighed baby quickly, right next to me, then did skin to skin and within about 10minutes he was breastfeeding. This was something I'd been concerned about but again, no need!
In fact, feeding has been an absolute doddle this time, baby hasn't had a traumatic delivery (failed ventouse and forceps last time) so he has had no problems. It took 5 days to get DS1 to bf, it was awful, the poor baby must have had an awful headache.
They gave me a voltarol suppository for pain that lasts about 16 hours, and for the next 3 days they brought me regular painkillers throughout the day. Peppermint water with dissolvable paracetamol (apparently called a 'gynae cocktail' was great with the, ahem,wind blush I had over the next few days.... It was never particularly painful wind, just embarrassing and uncomfortable.
They got me up to sit in a chair at 9pm that evening. It was fine! The following morning I had my catheter taken out and walked to the shower, very slowly. It didn't hurt, just a bit sore and stiff. Sat on a chair inthe shower, had a bit of a moment where I thought I would faint, probably a combination of getting up out of bed and the warm shower. Fine after that though, no other 'episodes'!
Was able to pick baby up after the first 24 hours, in fact they encourage you to do so, but very slow to move around the bed as wary of doing myself harm and a little sore.
Came home yesterday, all fine. Hardest bit is not being able to pick DS1 up, he's almost 2 and just doesn't understand. Thankfully have plenty of help though, but he wants ME to pick him sometimes which is hard.
Midwife came earlier today and removed dressing (new fangled type that is waterproof and stays on for 5 days). Didn't know what kind of stitches would be underneath as it depends on the surgeon. It turns out that I had a dissolvable stitch and my wound is hardly visible. I'm amazed to be honest!!!
Anyway, I had a great, straightforward experience and would do it again should we have another baby. Hope this helps.

memoo Fri 14-Aug-09 09:14:22

Wow littlemiss and babymakes4, your births sound lovely, and glad you had such a positive experiences.

I can't tell you how much it has helped to hear such positive experiences. I'm feeling so much more relaxed about the idea of having a CS.

hope you and your new bundle are doing well littlemiss

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