1) How soon before I can hold my baby?
This will depend on a few different things;
*how you are doing after the procedure
*how baby is doing
*the protocol for the OR
Basically it's as soon as mom and baby are both stable, and at the discretion of the specific hospital/OR/anesthesiologist.
I've seen some hospitals - in cases where both mom and baby are doing fine - allow mom to have baby places skin to skin over her chest while she's being sewn back up. This would require someone to support baby you won't be able to yet. A doula can assist with this and can even help establish breast contact at this time. This would be at the discretion of the anesthesiologist, as THEY are the one in charge of the OR.
You'll want to ask your provider about your baby's condition and what you might be able to expect immediately after delivery. You can share your preferences with them and discuss their policies and find out when they will bring you and baby together.
2) How does the csxn affect breastfeeding? How soon can I breastfeed? I've dealt with oversupply with my other two, but I've heard planned csxns often struggle with supply?
The specifics of this would be a good question for your an IBCLC lactation consultant. They can help you craft a plan for establishing breastfeeding. Some moms experience a slight delay in their milk coming in when they have a CS. You can establish BF by getting baby to the breast as soon as you and baby are both stable. The football hold and side lying hold are good bc they keep baby off you incision. If you and baby need to be separated for care, request a pump and pump for 10 minutes on each side every two hours until baby is returned to you and is successfully latching and suckling. You can feed baby the colostrum that you pump.
3)With my vaginal births I never took anything other than motrin...obviously I'll likely be needing something stronger this time around. How has this affected your LOs when breastfeeding?
My LO did seen markedly sleepier when I was on the painkillers. BUT, I came off of them around the time he would have been becoming more alert anyway, so it's really difficult to tell. :-/ Every baby is different. Some moms report their babies being difficult to wake for feedings. If this happens you can strip baby down to skin to skin to stimulate their rooting reflexes, do what you can to wake them, pump if they're just too tired and feed them with a syringe to help them get energy/calories. Everually they'll come out of that fog and in the meantime you can pump to stimulate your supply and get them colostrum, and give them lots of time at the breast even if they're just licking or sleeping, bc that helps stimulate your milk production.
4)How soon before usually before you're in a postpartum room typically?
It depends on how you do after the procedure. Once baby is born they can take about an hour to close you up, and then they'll either move you directly to a PP room to monitor you or they'll have you in a recovery room for another hour to ensure you're stable. Other moms may chime in on this with their experiences as well as I'm sure it differs from hospital to hospital.
5)I desperately want to be able to see my other 2 girls that afternoon/evening. They are 4 and DD2 will be 21 months when I have this LO...I don't want to traumatize them either...will it be appropriate for them to visit?
Once you're in your PP room it should be fine. You and your DH can gauge how you're feeling and you can cover up your catheter and stuff. Also, when you talk to the OB beforehand, talk to him about your desire to see your kids soon after the delivery and ask which pain relief options will keep you the most lucid so you can be mentally present for them. :-). There are certain pain relief options that can impair your cognitive function and make you feel loopy/sleepy and that might be a little scary for your girls as kids are very perceptive to mom and dad being "off" like that.
6)I'm assuming I'll need someone with me the first night especially if I want to keep baby with me, but I prefer DH to go home with the others kiddos to try and keep things as normal as possible. Will I need someone after the first night with minimal help from the nurses or would I even be able to keep baby with me?
It depends on the hospital. Call them and ask or ask your doctor what their policy is. Another family member - or even better! - a doula would be awesome for this. Nurses can be somewhat helpful but they usually have several mama/baby pairs to care for and are pretty non-exist at night unless you're in dire need. That was my experience at least.
7)How awful is it going home...especially with older kiddos (DD1 is 4 and fairly independent, but super active...and sassy. DD2 again will be 21 mos., and she's super attached to me now). I've told DH that he needs to take at least 2 weeks off of work. Will that be enough? Getting others to help is kind of a pain b/c my MIL is super sweet, but drives me nuts so she's only helpful in small doses, my mom usually watches my sister's kids (and not really well) so I end up with 4 kids tearing my house apart instead of just my own 2, and most of my close friends also have kids so I really don't want to burden them...plus again some of them it ends up being more like a circus than any help with the addition of their kids.
2 weeks should be an ok start as long as your DH is serious about taking really good care of you and making sure to let you rest and just BE. You'll need about six weeks for your body to be back to pre-surgery condition and ready to return to normal routines. A good gauge is to watch your lochia or postpartum bleeding. It starts out heavy and slowly tapers off. If you start doing too much too soon it will get/stay heavy as a sign that you need to chill out and rest. You can read about cesarean recovery and I'm sure someone will chime in with some good books (if not ill grab a title for you).
Make a list of things that would stress you out as "to do's" when you should be resting. Things like dinner and laundry and housework. Etc. And talk to your DH, MIL and mom about how you'll be needing some help during those first six weeks. Things like freezing meals ahead of time, arrangin to have church family do a meal train (if you do that), plan on disposable utensils for the first two weeks, rent some super fun kids movies for your oldest kids, recruit your helpful friends with kids to have play dates with your kids and plan on I being crazy so the kids can just get their crazy out. See if you can enroll your older kids in an indoor sport with the parks and Rec or something So they'll have a physical outlet.
Lastly, what kind of things will I need/make thigns easier in the hospital and at home. Can anyone reccomend an abdominal binder? If you've used one did it seem to help?
Hmm... Not sure I can help on the abdominal binder. Hopefully someone else though!
Ughh thinking about this is giving me anxiety.[/QUOTE]