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Old 07-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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My first c-section - so many questions!

This is my 5th baby and my first c-section. Baby is breech and while I'm still hoping she'll turn I know that there is a very good chance she won't. My section is scheduled for August 3rd and I am terrified. I have no idea what to expect. They keep telling me my stay will be 2 days but that just doesn't seem like enough time to recover!?
I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer.

My OB said she usually uses staples but she will use sutures if that's what her patients want. Which is better? I'm not a skinny girl but I've lost alot of weight and have some extra skin that hangs down from where I lost. I'm thinking sutures would be better for me but I just don't know.

I am an avid breastfeeder and I'm so worried that this will jepordize a breastfeeding relationship. How did it work for you? Are you so doped up you just don't care? I really don't want that.

How long before they take the cath out and you can walk around? I know that walking can help and I want to be up and around as soon as I can.

Anything else you think you can tell me would be great. I'm just devastated right now and I just want to know that it's going to be ok.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

I'm having my third c-section the same day! My doctor says 2-3 day stay, he recommends three days. I'm having my surgery first thing Friday morning, and plan on heading home Monday.
Here is what I can recall from my last one - I just had an epidural (or spinal?) and you're awake and very much aware of the whole thing. No pain, but you'll feel pushing and pulling, it's pretty weird. Once baby is out they do the normal checks and weight, then they give baby to hubby and the two sit beside my head while they finish up. Baby goes to recovery with me for about an hour, we nurse and have skin to skin time. Then they take baby to do all the newborn heel pricks and whatever it is they do!
After that, they bring baby back to me in my room and it's whatever I want as far as how much she'll be in there with me.
I'll have massage boot things on my lower legs keeping the circulation going until the epidural wears off. Once the epidural is gone, the cath is out and the nurses come in and fuss every 30 minutes or so for me to get up and walk. I'm able to nurse as much as I want, and have the baby with me.
The biggest challenge and I'm assuming difference between natural and c-section is having your abdominal muscles cut through, it's a little harder to get up and down. I've only had c-sections, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I've always had a great experience with my hospital, and I have a pretty easy recovery. They won't let you eat until you at least pass gas, to make sure everything is moving the way it should. And during the c-section they use air to inflate you a bit so they can see things more easily; this air comes out naturally; and I usually have pain in my shoulders from the air bubbles. Not everyone has this; but if you get a sharp pain in your shoulder, it's probably that.

Hope this helps put your mind to ease some! I'll have my laptop with me in the hospital if you want to message me
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

It is going to be OK!!! I have had two c-sections. The first was unexpected and the second was planned. I also breastfeed both babies.
First I want to tell you something that no one told me before having my second. Everything went great with my c-sections but with my second I did not go through labor at all and so I had emotions that I did not expect about being pregnant at one minute and then not pregnant the next. This was unexpected for me.

For the planned c-section I was able to start breastfeeding my baby in the recovery room. I would estimate that it was with in 30 minutes of his birth. He was born at 1:54pm and they removed my cathator the next morning then I was able to get up and walk around. My husband was a great help that evening with changing the babies diaper and bringing him to me when I needed to feed him.

I had him on a Friday and we went home Monday before noon. I would recommend that you have some help at home especially with the other children. I was very slow in moving around for at least the first week or so.

I had staples both times and did not have a probablem with them at all.

If you have other questions or just want someone to listen feel free to pm me.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Can't offer any insight, but just wanted to say I am in a similar situation. Not due to baby being breech but issues with ds2's delivery. I am so scared and did a birth plan to address some concerns I had heard of. One of the biggest being having my arms restrained. I do not know if this is common or not but I do know it would elevate me anxiety, so I am requesting that not be done. I also am opting for stitches, just don't like the idea of staples. I imagine the scaring would be less with stitches, but that is just a guess. Best of luck!
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

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Originally Posted by Done at 3 View Post
Can't offer any insight, but just wanted to say I am in a similar situation. Not due to baby being breech but issues with ds2's delivery. I am so scared and did a birth plan to address some concerns I had heard of. One of the biggest being having my arms restrained. I do not know if this is common or not but I do know it would elevate me anxiety, so I am requesting that not be done. I also am opting for stitches, just don't like the idea of staples. I imagine the scaring would be less with stitches, but that is just a guess. Best of luck!
Wow, having my hands restrained would be scary. My c-section was an emergency, but my hands were not restrained. They had me lay my hands out from my body on a board, but not restrained. DH held one hand.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

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Originally Posted by Done at 3 View Post
Can't offer any insight, but just wanted to say I am in a similar situation. Not due to baby being breech but issues with ds2's delivery. I am so scared and did a birth plan to address some concerns I had heard of. One of the biggest being having my arms restrained. I do not know if this is common or not but I do know it would elevate me anxiety, so I am requesting that not be done. I also am opting for stitches, just don't like the idea of staples. I imagine the scaring would be less with stitches, but that is just a guess. Best of luck!
I have had 3 c/s and staples are easier! Easier to remove. It really doesn't hurt unless they get some redness around them, even then no worse than having your eyebrows waxed.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

Mama, you'll be just fine. Just remember, this is what's best for baby.

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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
My section is scheduled for August 3rd and I am terrified. I have no idea what to expect. They keep telling me my stay will be 2 days but that just doesn't seem like enough time to recover!?
I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer.
3- 4 days in the hospital is average. You won't want any more time than that in hospital. It's boring and you'll want to go home. Besides, most of the recover takes place at home.

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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
I am an avid breastfeeder and I'm so worried that this will jepordize a breastfeeding relationship. How did it work for you? Are you so doped up you just don't care? I really don't want that.
A c-section can delay your milk a day or two, but it shouldn't interfere with breastfeeding otherwise. I'm not sure how it could? You'll receive a spinal block, which does not interfere with your mental capabilities. In other words, you'll be completely alert and won't feel doped up. The oral pain meds for after surgery may affect you differently, but you can choose what kind of pain meds to take after surgery.

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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
How long before they take the cath out and you can walk around? I know that walking can help and I want to be up and around as soon as I can.
You'll be up and walking (although slowly) the day after surgery. The catheter usually comes out within 12 hours.

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Anything else you think you can tell me would be great. I'm just devastated right now and I just want to know that it's going to be ok.
Your usual life will be much slower for 6 weeks after surgery. It's going to make taking care of your other kids a lot more difficult. For instance, you won't be able to lift anything over 15 pounds or drive a car for 6 weeks. Have DH take time off work or a family member help out for that recovery time.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

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Your usual life will be much slower for 6 weeks after surgery. It's going to make taking care of your other kids a lot more difficult. For instance, you won't be able to lift anything over 15 pounds or drive a car for 6 weeks. Have DH take time off work or a family member help out for that recovery time.
I was cleared for driving at my two-week appointment, but the lifting, not until six weeks.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

All five of my kiddos were delivered via c/s and honestly the recovery was not that bad. I've had so many of my vaginal delivery friends have waaaaaay worse recovery than I have for any of them. My average hospital stay was two or three nights. With one I went home in 48 hours after the birth. My DH is great about helping and he is off for two weeks (his work gives him paternity pay) with each child....ends up being a week and a half by the time I am out of the hospital.

You've gotten a ton of great advice, but honestly some of the things are dependent on hospital policy. All of my babies were allowed with me in recovery (except my first due to breathing difficulties) and nursed within 30-45 minutes of being born. I was also encourage to sit up (reclined) in recovery. And walking/catheter removal happened within 12 hours of the c/s.

As for driving...I was driving within a week of the c/s. The biggest reason for the driving limitation is the narcotics that are prescribed as pain relief. If you are able to be off the meds, you can drive. I took myself to my follow-up appointments with my OB and the baby to his ped appt this time by myself.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions....my c/s were not scary, awful experiences and I wish the same for you. Ask all you can about hospital policy to help you get a better feel for what your hospital will/will not allow for. That should give you a clearer picture. My last delivery was at the same hospital most of my others were delivered at and they had just started the process to become "baby friendly" and it was fabulous! I hope you are able to get the same support!!
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: My first c-section - so many questions!

Christina, I had a c-section with our first. I had her at 11:19 pm Wednesday night, and went home Friday at 11:30 in the morning. (I was sick of the hospital and WANTED to be home... we went in Monday night for observation/induction)

They took my catheter out at 1pm the following day. I think they would have done it sooner, but the doctor wasn't there to sign off on it. I was able to move my legs with no issues right away.

Pain meds - they gave me morphine or demerol out in recovery (I honestly can't remember which) and then a few minutes later I had gravol to deal with the nausea that the shot caused. I really wasn't in any pain at that point. My back hurt more than anything from laying on the uncomfy beds.

I was in recovery for a little over two hours.. again not medically required, but they didn't have a bed for me yet. DD went to the nursery with DH where she had her vit K etc. I swung by the nursery on the way to my room in the ward. Thankfully DH didn't let them feed her anything and nobody else held her but him.

I nursed right away when I was in my room. She took with no issues at all. I was tired and my arms were weak. Since I'm also not a small girl and have a rather large chest and had the c-section I could only do the football hold for a while. It worked out best for us pretty well the entire time I nursed anyhow. My midwife helped position her and get her to latch because I was still a little hazy. It was still my top priority, and since I made it clear from the beginning, everyone knew that was important to me that she nurse as soon as possible.

For pain meds after recovery I was given suppositories. Not sure what they were, but since they were inserted down there, they said they would act on the pain faster than if they were injected or taken orally. I went home on Darvon, which has since been recalled but was supposed to be safe for breastfeeding mothers. It was a narcotic, but it apparently didn't pass through to breastmilk? I didn't like the way it made me feel if I went too long without having it. I guess it could be habit forming. So I stopped taking it after a week and just took extra strength tylenol.

I had stitches for my incision, it looks like it wasn't even there. A few pieces of stitch where they tied it off that didn't dissolve all the way and I ended up with a little bit of a bump that felt like an ingrown hair and was itchy/slower to heal. It eventually just popped up and I pulled out a surprisingly long piece of suture. It stopped itching and healed perfectly.My midwives are still asking about my natural delivery even though they see the scar when they check my belly. My SIL had staples (different OB) and hers looks great too. She said that they would catch on her clothes sometimes though, and that they got itchy.

Once I was up and moving after the catheter, I had a shower and felt like a new person. This time if we end up with another section I am going to insist on keeping her with me at all times. I don't see why I can't nurse her in recovery and be with her for all procedures.
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