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  1. #1
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Default What are c-sections really like?

    Now that I know I'm definitely having a c/s I'm really scared. I had visions of another quick, drug free, happy labour and delivery, so I need to start wrapping my head around the reality of this now.

    What is the procedure like? Does your SO get to be there with you? How long does the whole thing take? And for those whose babies were taken to the NICU afterward, did they let you hold him/her after birth, or did they just take them? When did you first get to bf, if you did get to? Do they set you up with a pump? Are they good about not supplementing without your permission? How long do you stay in the hospital and what is recovery like for you?

    I think I'm having him at St.Joe's, but they talked about follow up at LHSC. Maybe his surgery is there? It's a bit of a blur.

    I just have sooooo many questions and I have no idea when the referrals for whatever we agreed to yesterday go through and I'll hear from someone.

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    No experience with c-section, but some with the NICU. It really depends on how the baby is doing. With DS he was whisked right away. They brought him back and let me hold him for about 2 seconds, but he was having trouble breathing and needed to be taken away and put on a machine. At 38 weeks, hopefully his lungs, etc. will be developed enough to allow you to spend a bit of time with him after the birth. Yes, they may have to take him away, but as long as you know that going in and realize it is for his health, then you can (maybe) mentally prepare yourself.

    It will be extremely hard for the first few days to not have your baby by your side (not to mention worrying about surgery) but your family and the nurses will be there to help support you. (This is all just from my experience.) Hugs.

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    My SIL was provided with a pump when her boys were born by C Section and in the nicu. She started pumping within hours of the birth.

    I'm sorry I don't have any more answers. Is your Midwife still going to be taking a part in your care?

  4. #4
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    What is the procedure like? Does your SO get to be there with you? How long does the whole thing take? And for those whose babies were taken to the NICU afterward, did they let you hold him/her after birth, or did they just take them? When did you first get to bf, if you did get to? Do they set you up with a pump? Are they good about not supplementing without your permission? How long do you stay in the hospital and what is recovery like for you?
    You have a lot of time to prepare and I think that can make a c-section much easier. There are ways to get what you want in a c-section just as there is in a vaginal birth. You don't have to let go of everything you hoped for. Definitely it will be a different experience but it can be positive. Having had both a vaginal homebirth and a c-section I can say that having the time to prepare for the c-section and how different it was from my original plan, was part of what made it a good experience. But I know that for me I definitely had to spend some time processing the loss of that.

    The surgery takes approx. 1 hour. About 1-15 minutes until the baby is born and then about 40 mins or so to repair the incision. Your SO will be there for the surgery and recovery. They won't bring him in until you are set to go though. He will be getting into scrubs, while you get prepped.

    You may also want to talk to an LC about breastfeeding. They will be able to advise you on how you can set up the situation to ensure the best outcomes for breastfeeding knowing your baby will be in the NICU.

    If you want to chat about c-sections and the LC stuff let me know. I am still open to having coffee with you and just talking about this stuff. And that offer is open at anytime as I am sure you have alot you are trying to process right now and it maybe later that you want to talk.
    Mom of 2 girls, unschooler, feminist, runner and just general lover of life.

    Need a doula or prenatal classes? www.babeezeinarms.com

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  5. #5
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    hugs

    Set up some more help at home when you're recovering. Some people bounce back quick after a C, but I had a long recovery. I would suggest a cleaning lady and perhaps daycare/family help for your other kids. You will not be able to lift anything other than the baby for weeks.

    The internal healing will take longer than the outside.

    My uterus took longer to shrink, but my BM arrived at about the same time.

    On the plus side, I had the best looking anaestethologist ever. And, after months of peeing all.the.time I LOVED the cathedar! Didn't have to get out of bed to pee. They let me keep it for an extra 12 hours...
    Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

    ~ Breastfed for 7 months, 2 weeks and 3 days ~

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    I only know about the NICU bit as I had a vaginal birth with Ryan. As soon as he was born they took him in to another room, had him all cleaned up, checked him out etc. They brought him back to me in a transport isolate and I was able to hold his hand for about a minute. Then they took him away again, I went into recovery and was able to go to the NICU about an hour and half after he was born to see him. I found that the NICU is very pro breastfeeding. I was given a pump to use in my room. Before Ryan was born while I was in antenatal I was able to go for a tour of the NICU, and see everything. I would suggest that maybe you inquire about being able to go and have a look. I know that some mothers that had c-sections were wheeled right in the NICU, in their beds. The staff at the NICU at St. Joe's are amazing, don't be afraid to ask questions, they are very helpful and patient.

    Ryan was born 15 weeks early and that's why I didn't get to see him very long after birth, he needed to be hooked up to a ventilator. You may get to see and hold your little guy longer. Good Luck with everything, try not to worry too much you are in great hands



  7. #7
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    I've had 3 Turtle, and found recovery to be OK, with as many drugs as they would let me take home with me for the first little while! The only part I didn't like about the surgery (felt nothing except tugging) was not feeling my legs, but you start to be able to move within half an hour of surgery, so it was ok. At home, getting up from sitting was hard for a couple weeks, going up stairs, and from laying flat on your back (have to kind of roll). It wasn't unbearable pain with any of these things though, just a twinge, so you know to back off whatever you are trying to do. I'd say in about a month, the only thing I had to worry too much about was keeping the insicion area clean and dry, a hair dryer on cool setting works great I found!! I should also add, going #2 sucks the first few times, take whatever pills they give to help!!

    At LHSC dh was with dd in another room while they stitched me up....at St. Joe's he and the baby stayed with me.

    Whoever the guy is that stands near your head and moniters everything....maybe the anasthetic guy...at both hospitals they have been really nice, and funny, and chit chat while it's going on. The doctor's chit chat too, it's almost like Grey's Anatomy lol, made me less anxious and way more relaxed!

  8. #8
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    I had a c-section with DS. His dad was in the room for the surgery, sat up by my head but he could look over the sheet to see what was happening. The actually delivery only takes about 10-15 minutes, but there is another 30-45 minutes to put you back together. You'll have a catheter in for a day or two after I think. I was in the hospital for three days after DS was born and could not get out of bed for the first two. They told me on the third day that if I didn't get up and start trying to move around that I would get blood clots in my legs I remember trying to use the bathroom on the third day and needing to ask the nurse to help because I couldn't bend.
    After I went home they gave me T3s for a couple of days which did absoluntely nothing for the pain. I think it took me about 6 weeks before I felt somewhat normal again in terms of being able to move around without it hurting. But I didn't have the option of taking it easy after the surgery either. They say if you rest and don't do to much work/lifting for the first week, your recovery will be better. Unfortunately DS's father was working a lot and I didn't have anyone else to help, so my recovery took longer.
    I got to breastfeed as soon as they brought me back from the recovery room--an hour or so after the birth.
    Oh yeah, and it took a long time before I got have a bm, I think at least a week, and the first time it was so hard to do it and took so long, I had to get DS's dad to bring him in the bathroom so I could breastfeed him!
    And it took a while, about 24 hours, for me to get the feeling back in my legs.
    Last edited by Thistle; 09-16-2009 at 10:25 AM.

  9. #9
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    I had both an emergency c-section with my first and a scheduled c-section with my second. I honestly thought that the recovery was pretty easy and quick (I didn't have a vaginal delivery to compare it to though). I was walking around the same day both times, and I think it's important to get up right away. With my second, I went grocery shopping 6 days later and was at the gym working out 4 weeks later. I successfully breastfed both my babies for over a year with no problems. They had no problems with latching at all.
    The actual procedure made me feel sick to my stomach. I have no idea why? Maybe nerves, maybe the drugs? When it was all over I felt fine though. It was pretty quick... about 45 minutes from start to finish. DH was in the room with me. I felt all the pressure, but no pain at all. I took tylenol and motrin for about a week to help with the discomfort and swelling. I never got an infection, and my scar healed nicely both times. I hear I'm very lucky.
    Good-Luck!

  10. #10
    Expert Forum User MrsKK's Avatar
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    I don't really know how long the whole process took, but I know once they actually started, DD was out in a couple minutes. They took her over and cleaned her up and all that (DH went with her), and then he carried her around After surgery was finished she was in the room with me, and rode upstairs with me on my bed to move me to my private room.

    They knew that I wanted to BF ASAP afterwards so when I got to my room I got right down to it and gave it a try I didn't have to wait at all. She was a big girl too, at 8 lbs. 11 oz., and they didn't push formula on me. They asked if I would like to give it to her so I could rest for a longer period, but they never snuck it to her or got pushy about it.

    We left the hospital on the 4th day, we could have left on the 3rd (but no one told me that LOL) because I was doing so well. The recovery was crap. I did WAY too much afterwards, and climbed up and down the stairs too many times. The tylenol they gave me didn't do anything for the pain.

    One huge thing I learned...is while in recovery, stay away from the pillow-top mattress. It was so hard for me to move or roll over on our bed, most of the time when I tried I would be in so much pain that I just stayed where I was. A firm mattress is your friend!

  11. #11
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    Had a c-section with DD. It was an emergancy so DH wasn't in the room, he did make it in by the time they were sewing me up. For planned c-sections your DH/SO could be there. DD was able to go with me into recovery, but did need to go into the step down nursary for 1-2 days. We were at St. Joe's. I pumped while she was in the step down. The problem is they only have 2 or 3 pumps (or did 2 years ago). Whenever I needed to pump I'd need to go and seach for one and roll it back to the room.

    Recovery was fine, pain was very manageable. Obviously with other kiddos at home you'd need help. I was fine just having regular tylenol and advil by day 3.

    I had DD at 7:50pm, had my cath. out and was walking around by 6am.
    I didn't have problems in stairs, but riding in a car (with the seat belt) was killer. Getting in and out of bed and sitting up was hard as well. Recliners are nice, make sure you sit in chairs with arms if possible.

  12. #12
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    I totally get how you are feeling. I was planning on having another natural birth with my son, but since he was breech and measuring large I had a c-section at 38 weeks. I had him in St. Thomas.

    The only part that hurt me was when the dr. was finding the spot for the epidural, it was extreme pressure on my back, but as soon as they gave me the medicine I got all warm and there was no pain! I went into surgery at 8:30am, my son was born at 8:40am and I was in the recovery room by 8:55am. very quick. My son had his own nurse in the delivery room that was strictly for him, when he was born she showed me him, let me kiss him and then took him upstairs to my room. I had to stay in the recovery room until I was unfrozen, took me about 2 hrs. Then they took me up to see him.

    I had him Friday morning and they did not let me change him at all. If I wanted to hold him I had to push the button and the nurse would hand him to me (when hubby wasn't there) I was not allowed to move from my bed at all that day. The next morning they had me up and out of bed, removed the cathder and I was allowed to move around.

    I rented a pump - cost me $20 for the bottle and tubing, but I was able to take it home with me. They did not give him any formula as I was insistent that he was not to get any.

    My recovery was awsome - I had my son on Friday morning and was at home by Sunday at lunch. I went grocery shopping as soon as I left the hospital, I was a bit sore for about a week, but I was out shopping and enjoying everything. My dr. gave me a prescription for T3's but I didn't even fill it. Only needed T1's. I found a c-section had a quicker recovery time then natural.

    TMI -they most likly will also give you a stool suppliment and make sure you take it.

    Good luck and just relax!!





  13. #13
    Expert Forum User Hame's Avatar
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    R was planned C and A wasn't. He was a spur of the moment thing when I failed to progress. Dh was there both times. They do not allow him in when they are giving you the spinal block, or prepping you, but he can be there for when they bring your LO out. They have the NICU team there for the majority of C births anyway. They will access your LO and depending on him they may let you spend a few minutes with him before taking him to the NICU if he's going there. My SIL had c with her twins and she was too sick to hold them (she was early as well because she had high blood pressure). THe NICU team was good with her. I am not sure how the whole BF thing goes.
    You will be in the hospital for recovery for 3 days. Its a good thing to recover and let your body repair. You will need that. I went down for a C with A just after midnight and he was born at 12:5ish...So its not a long time once they get you all set up with the meds and such.

    Good Luck Zoo..It may be scary to you right now. I was told by the OB that the most important thing was that my boy was born and he was born safe (via C section) that it was best for him!.


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    I had 2 natural drug free vaginal deliveries and 2 scheduled c-sections.

    The c-section itself I didn't find too bad. It is a very strange feeling not to feel your lower half though.

    My recoveries were different. I had several complications after my 1st but much easier time after my 2nd. I was in the hospital 6 days with the 1st and 5 days with the 2nd. I could have gone home earlier with the 2nd but my milk wasn't in so I was nervous.

    They may have you try to stand up within the first 24 hours and by day 2 you can start to slowly walk around. Go easy but it really does help to get up and have a shower. You can shower with the staples on. They are usually taken out around day 5 to 7. Once they're out I always felt better.

    Things like pushing a grocery cart, carrying a full laundry basket, vacuming, washing a floor and cleaning the bathtub you may not be able to do for 4 - 6 weeks. Even if you are feeling good, use caution with anything requiring stomach muscles (like the things I listed) because you may do damage. (as I did after section #1)

    Your milk may come in later. After my sections, milk came in on day 5/6 but my vaginals were day 2/3.

    This may vary with hospitals - but I was in a recovery room away from baby for 2 hours. DH was with the baby during that time having him weighed and measured.

    Careful of constipation due to the pain killers.

    Get some loose but high fitting underwear so it's not rubbing against your incision site for the first few weeks. Bleeding will be lighter and shorter than with your vaginal birth. And it may stop and start again several times for the first 3 weeks.

    Overall, it was “okay“ to have a c-section. I didn't care for the IV line or the catheter but I didn't miss those labour pains one bit!!

    Good luck!!

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    Expert Forum User Tannaleigh's Avatar
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    Yale was born in MSH so I don't know if everything will be the same...but.. I will tell you how ours went.. Yale's delivry was quite eventful (was going to be emerge c-section because they couldn't find his heart beat, but his head was already presenting so it was emergency pushing with aid of the vaccuum. When he was born he was immediately taken from the room to where the team from sick kids was waiting for him. I knew that I may not get to hold him at all, but had hoped... turns out I didn't. I heard his cry from the other room and the nurse took our camera and took a tonne of pictures so I could see them while they were stitching me up. When I was ready they wheeled my bed into the room so I could see him before they took him over to sick kids. He already had two iv's in plus all the leads. but I only remember seeing him... We took our first family pictures there like that and then I was taken away. and Yale was taken to sickkids. I was given a pump to use while in the hospital... for three days. Yale wasn't fed anything until the next day...and it was NG (a tube in his nose) and tiny TINY amounts.
    I know you may be worried about developing a bond, and getting the best start with breastfeeding.... but if you are prepared for what its going to be like, I don't think it will have any effect... I got to hold Yale for the first time when he was 8 days old (his due date) and it was just as emotional and intense as it would have been had it been a normal healthy delivery.
    I wish you lots of luck...and you have a lot of time to prepare for what its going to be like, to research the surgeries, and read blogs from others who have gone through it... but I truely believe it will go how you let it. with Yale...I always saw him through the wires, and even though he was sedated and muscle relaxed for those first few days...I made sure I never cried at his bedside, that I never once thought that everything wasn't going to be absolutely fine.... I never went to that place (and trust me I visited it a few times while he was in the OR) but when I was around him I made sure I was aware of my energy, and then I only ever gave him comforting, healthy vibes....
    I was very lucky and had a great nurse for his first few days who really explained everything.... I can't really offer any knowledge for you about c-sections... but I can assure you this is going to be scary and hard, but how you go into it will have a huge affect on how much so....Good luck...

    ETA: I want to add that i had a 3rd degree tear through the anal muscle.... so I recovery was similar to that of Csection. I was to remain in the hospital for three days, but I was allowed at Yale's bedside but had to remain seated. At sick kids they have a pumping room and store the breastmilk for you... however if you get your own pump you could pump at the bedside..i don't know how it is at LHSC. and I know they always tell you but I really think that looking at the pictures ofYale helped to bring in my milk quicker.....
    Last edited by Tannaleigh; 09-16-2009 at 12:18 PM.
    Yale 4yr old
    Kane 1yr old
    and baby makes 3!!! Errr... 4!


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