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As much info on C-sections as poss please!

(42 Posts)
lynneevans51 Sun 02-Aug-09 08:36:01

It has just been suggested to me that I might have to have a caesarean for my 3rd, due January due to a fairly major health problem I had back end of last year. Won't go into too much detail but basically major artery in neck/head split, so its thought that the pushing element might put too much strain on neck, veins etc. This possibility has only just reared its ugly head and I had not thought about it at all. I have a consultant appt on Tuesday and know v v little about C-sections as had two v normal Vaginal deliveries. So - can people tell me the pros/cons and any particular questions I should be asking the consultant please? How long for example would I be in hospital, what is convalescence period, how does feeding work, other kids, making a cup of tea (!!) etc...

Meglet Sun 02-Aug-09 08:54:07

I've had an em cs and a planned cs. Just getting this on my threads and I'll type some useful stuff up in a while. Don't panic smile.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 02-Aug-09 09:06:39

I had an emergency section.

I had a spinal block inserted and then DH was allowed to come in.

I had cold water sprayed on me to see if I could feel anything.

When they were taking the baby out it felt like someone washing up in my stomach.

I tried to move my legs and couldn't but had recently read that would happen so wasn't too worried and tbh the baby was priority.

When I asked for my baby he was laid across my neck so I would make sure that would happen. I couldn't see him properly or hold him and could barely breathe.

The following year I had it resutured and realised I could have looked in the lights above to see him born so would have liked to have known that.

I had my baby Monday night and went home Saturday lunch time but I think people go sooner now.

I wouldn't let the midwife c all you stupid when you tell her your scar has come open nor take a telling off for having tshirts on the floor of your bed area.

Don't do anything once you are home apart from sleep, eat and feed the baby and take it very steady.

Good luck.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 02-Aug-09 09:07:25

....make sure that wouldn't happen (baby laid across your neck)

lynneevans51 Sun 02-Aug-09 10:17:02

Thanks FabBakerGirl - v useful info!!

olivo Sun 02-Aug-09 11:40:14

lynn, i had an em cs last time - dh was with me all the time. unfortuanetly i didnt get to hold dd as she was very poorly and had to be resuscitated and whisked off to scbu, but if s/he is ok, no reason you shouoldnt be able to. i would have stayed in hospital for 4 days ( longer due to dd's condition) - had to wear surgical socks and have an injection every day to prevent clotting. i think 3-5 days is about normal.

catheter and dressing came off next day, i had no scar problems fortunately although i had numbness in one area for a couple of years after.

again, wasnt able to feed straight away because of dd's condition but ewxpressed from day 2 and was feeding by day 5, no probs. just used a v pillow under her and propped myself up quite well.

i drove after 4 weeks or so, just had to get my dr to ok it and phone the car insurance people. i took it as easy as i could but was able to gently push the pram etc after a week or so.

this time will be interesting with a 3 year old to look after!!

good luck!

HeadFairy Sun 02-Aug-09 11:52:44

I had a planned cs in Sept 07 and it was very straight forward.

I had a spinal block and they also sprayed water at me to see if I could feel anything. I was totally numb from mid chest down. An odd sensation but not horrendous at all. I didn't have any of the washing up in the tummy feeling, in fact I felt absolutely nothing.

DS was out in about 5 mins, I didn't have the screen dropped for this bit, something I really regret. There was no way I would have seen anything, the incision is really low and I had a big bump in the way, but for some reason I thought I'd be squeamish.

Anyway, ds was quickly checked and handed to me, I was able to hold him while they stitched me up (about 25 mins). I was then wheeled to recovery while I held him (they put the sides of the bed up to help me) and then I fed ds while I was in recovery.

After about 30 mins I was back on the ward. I fed ds again, and was given a clip on cot thing for the side of my bed so I wouldn't have to reach too far to get him, but to be honest he spent the first 12 hours or so asleep on my chest with the occasional feed.

He was born at 11.30am, and the next morning at about 9am they took the catheter out. I'd had sensation back in my legs the previous night but by the morning it was fully back. After they'd taken the catheter out, I was helped to my feet. I was a little shakey, but after a while I could walk perfectly well unaided. I did take the pain killers they gave me, but to be honest when they were late I didn't notice much pain. The heparin injections they'd given me while I was still unable to walk were more painful... really stingy!

I had a shower that evening (I felt more comfortable standing up really than getting in to a bath) and though I felt like I'd done a billion sit ups, no real pain.

DS was born on the Thursday and I was discharged on the Sunday morning. As a first time mum I was quite appreciative of the extra couple of days in to be honest. It meant I could ask the mw a couple of times about bfing. On the Friday night I was a bit panicky about bfing, I was convinced I was doing it wrong, and it was so nice to have a chat with the mw on duty overnight for about half an hour, who totally reassured me I was doing it right.

When I went home I didn't really notice not being able to do much. I got dh to do things like bend down to pick things up for me, but I think really I could have managed it myself, I just liked ordering him around

On the Monday after I got home we took ds out for his first walk. At first I strode off at my usual manic pace, but quickly I realised you can't walk that fast, no pain if I did, but my stomach muscles were sore, again like I'd done hundreds of situps, so I just had to stroll (think Spaniards-on-holiday-speed )

I was able to do most things, pick ds up, get dressed easily. After a couple of weeks I was able to drive (got GP to give me the go ahead first) and my scar healed pretty well. The stitches dissolved on their own, apart from the little knot bit, which needed the gp just to give it a little encouragement to come out. But apart from that it healed rather well. It's now just a silvery line.

Good luck with whatever happens. HTH

Haribosmummy Sun 02-Aug-09 12:03:05

I've had two El CSs.

First was with a spinal block, the second with a partial block and an epidural.

personally (if you have the choice) I'd go for the partial and epidural... I felt far more 'with it', less drugged up and the feeling returned much faster (plus pain relief is admistered directly to the area, so you aren't drugged up time and time again)

My first CS, I loved - I stayed in hospital for 5 days, having a bit of a babymoon with DS. This time around (had DD five days ago), I ddin't feel as happy in hospital and as desperate to get home to be with DD AND DS, IYSWIM.

I'm also much more aware this time around of not being able to do much with DS. He's only 13 months old so doesn't understand why I can't pick him up and cuddle him sad. My DH is being a star, but it's still something to be aware of.

From what you said in the OP, the El CS is probably the way to go, but that doesn't mean you don't have some control over what happens. You can stil choose music, your DH / birth partner can cut the cord if they wish to, you can see the baby immediately or when the baby has been checked (I'm a safety freak, so both times wanted the baby checked beforehand, but both times I got skin contact in the theatre.

My first CS, I was driving in less than a week, felt absolutely fine. Same this time, but I'm more aware of taking things slowly IYSWIM... I'd rather take a little longer now than do something silly and risk a longer recovery.

Good luck!

Shooflypie Sun 02-Aug-09 12:05:37

I had an el cs with DS.
BF him in theatre while they were stitching me up.
Felt v rough for the first 2 hours after the op but fine thereafter.
Was out in 48 hours.
Co-sleeping made night feeding much easier.
Felt so good on Day 5, I started leaping around hoovering etc and started bleeding again - don't do it!
They out a big piece of waterproof plaster over your scar. I took mine off 36 hours later but wish I had done so earlier (like the other women on my ward)as it was making me walk hunched over.
My tummy felt numb/tingly around the scar for quite a while afterwards but it goes eventually.
Felt 100% strong and back to normal by Week 5.

mummy2be3 Sun 02-Aug-09 14:17:51

I had an elective cs with my DD.
I had a spinal block which failed so i felt the doctor cutting me, then she said wait a little longer to see if it worked and was pinching my stomache with tweezers which i still felt so i had to be sedated. My BF had to be taken out and was handed our baby about twenty minutes later to feed while they were stiching me up and was in recovery.
It took me ages to recover and up until late last year i still had pain near my scar (felt like it was going to open when i coughed) I am currently 27wks pg and i have asked for VBAC but still not sure if the consultant will agree (previous stillbirth at 37wks) I really dont want another cs but if the consultant says that me or my baby are at risk then i will agree to have it done. I wish i was like one of the lucky ladies who felt good soon after but i just must of been unlucky.

lynneevans51 Sun 02-Aug-09 17:16:56

Thanks everyone for your input - this has certainly helped - oooh catheters, see I didn't know about that and don't like that idea at all sad. So as a general guideline, how long should I get my DH to stay off work, if we have to go down the CS route?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 02-Aug-09 17:50:03

At least 2 weeks.

HeadFairy Sun 02-Aug-09 17:52:38

You won't feel the catheter going in, they usually do it after you've had the spinal. You can't feel it at all when it's in but it's not that pleasant having it out, it takes a second though. Give a big cough as they take it out and it makes it easier. One stingy second and it's out and you're back to normal.

SweetEm Sun 02-Aug-09 18:25:25

Just make sure they don't put the catheter in until after the spinal block!

Not much to add really (had 2 sections one em and one elec). They try and discharge you from hospital 48 hours after the c-section where I live. I think it is too soon, so don't be forced to go if you think it is too soon.

The scar feels much better after the stitches are taken out on around day 5 despite you thinking it can't possibly have healed enough after such a short time!

I think you shouldn't try to do much for the first two weeks after a section - rest as much as possible. Don't do any vacuuming or heavy lifting for 6 weeks if you can get away with it.

If you want to breast feed having a c-section does not interfere with it.

Harimosmummy Sun 02-Aug-09 18:25:28

Headfairy is right - only uncomfortable bit is the second it's removed.

My DH didn't take any time off for my first CS, but if you have other kids to look after, then I think you will need to consider help (your DH or family / friends) for 2-4 weeks.

MrsMattie Sun 02-Aug-09 18:40:11

I've had an emergency and an elective.

Recovery was fine both times, although quicker with my second. I was up and walking about within 24 hours both times. Out and about as normal within 5 days. Only thing I couldn't do was heavy lifting, so no lugging buggy in and out of car boot or lifting 3 yr old for a bit.

No problems feeding (at least, none related to having a section). Fed in recovery straight after birth both times, and had skin to skin in theatre with my second baby.

I did have lots more help with my second, as I knew what to expect, and I'm sure this meant I recovered quickly. I don't think I lifted a finger for a month, which was fab. We sorted a cleaner, my Dh took a fortnight off work and my mum and sister helped out a lot. The more help, the better.

MrsMattie Sun 02-Aug-09 18:41:38

Oh, and had no pain at all with either section. The worst pain of the whole thing was the trapped wind I got after my second, which I felt in my shoulder. Nobody told me to expect that, so thought I was having a heart attack!

RubyBlueberry Sun 02-Aug-09 18:46:24

Agree with the shoulder pain, thought I was dying, all they have to do is raise the level of the bed and it goes away!
You can choose your music too - I didn't, but Rule Th World by Take That was playin on the radio when DS was born and it was magical, still makes me cry now!

lynneevans51 Sun 02-Aug-09 19:32:19

Ha - shoulder pain, I remember that from laparoscopy and other investigative treatment "down there" a few years ago - urgh....

smackapacka Sun 02-Aug-09 19:55:42

I haven't read all these, but as a member of the club thought I'd add my 2pence worth!

I had planned for a home birth for my first baby. At 38 weeks I hadn't felt any foetal movement all day so went to be checked out in hospital. They did 3 lots of 20 mins monitoring and the heartbeat was fine but the staff were concerned that she wasn't moving so decided on a C-section. So although technically an emergency there was no drama whatsoever. I wasn't in labour.

It was really calm. I was told what was happening. DH went and made phonecalls before getting gowned up. Went into theatre and had spinal block sitting on edge of bed looking straight at DH holding my hands. Then lay down and it all began. It felt like when you have a cat walk around and sit on your stomach if you're lying down. Not uncomfortable, just aware of it. DD taken out, no problems handed to DH wrapped in a towel and he held her really close to me. Takes 5 mins to get baby out and then 45 mins to deal with patching you back up! Had a go at BF in recovery area. Had half hourly observations to check I didn't have an infection. As I regained feeling I was very shaky but not in pain.

Had DD very early Wednesday then went home Thursday lunchtime (I don't recommmend this - I self discharged as I was knackered and wanted to go home). At home I had to self inject anti-coalgulant - no big deal. Plenty of flab to stick that needle in! I drove again after 3 weeks. I have a tiny scar now but it looked massive at the time.

Planning another C-section Nov this year for baby no 2!

HTH!

smackapacka Sun 02-Aug-09 20:02:31

Oh and something I've never admitted to anyone else... I think that something happens with your bowel with the anaesthetic... I had massive-toilet-blocking-poos for a few days after. I am actually blushing as I type this.

blush blush blush

lynneevans51 Sun 02-Aug-09 20:06:42

Smackapacka - that's hilarious. Would be a change for me as takes me hours to do rabbit droppings!!! Oooh, that could be more difficult thought couldnt it - all that palava straining for v little. Eeek - oh well, I guess I'm just going to have to wait until Tuesday now to see if this route is recommended. If so, at least I'm a lot better informed than I was yesterday - many many thanks to all - but happy to keep receiving info and stories smile

HeadFairy Sun 02-Aug-09 20:54:10

smacka! I think any anaesthetic does wierd things to bowels... after a GA I always do toilet blockers for days afterwards

smackapacka Mon 03-Aug-09 19:35:49

Thank-goodness I'm not alone.

<my name is smackapacka and I block toilets>

bevlin Mon 03-Aug-09 21:59:44

I don't know about toilet blockers but boy did I fart loud in recovery! I nearly died of embarresment. Imagine the scene, beautiful moment, me and DH proundly holding and cuddling our son and the midwive standing at the bottom of the bed, quietly observing, writing notes then..........
it was the loudest, longest comedy style fart ever followed by the worst smell.
I was so annoyed with DH, I just stared at him bewildered as to why he would be so rude at a time like this - I couldn't feel a thing from the waste down so was sure it wasn't me blush.
Mine was emergency, no pain, no panic, very quick. I don't actually know what I was injected with in the spine but I felt nothing at all - even the fart!
6 days in hospital on account of him being a first and struggling to feed. Didn't think anything was painful, aftermath was fine, scar is tiny. Only thing that was sore was peeing after the catheter comes out - oooh. Fades after second or third Pee though!
It's weird in the way that I feel like I have no experience of birth. For all I know my son could have been produced from a box under the bed! Im 18 weeks with second and hope I can give birth this time, just so I know. We don't get ante-natel classes for seconds here and Im like a first timer, I can't remember anything Im supposed to do.

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