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Old 09-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #1
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Best way to prepare for a c/s?

Mentally and physically? I'm pretty sure we're going with a scheduled c/s this time around. When I had DS he got stuck (just like his daddy did) for over two hours of hardcore pushing, resulting in my having bladder, rectal, and slight uterine prolapses. I really don't think I can push a baby out without further worsening my prolapse and risking full prolapse. (just pushing from constipation makes it worse) That of course could result in bladder, rectal, and vaginal reconstruction as well as hysterectomy at 23. :/ This will be our last baby for the same reasons.

So what's the best ways I can prepare for what I'll go through? I had a epi with DS and besides shivering had no ill effects if that matters. I'm really just worried I'll freak out and have a panic attack. Will the epi help calm me down? What's it feel like? Pain? What about coming home or moving around?

Also what's the best ways for me to recover my core strength? Your abdominals are tied into your pelvic floor so recovering and strengthening those muscles will be really important for me.

Thanks so much for any advice! I'm nervous and want to be prepared, but I have a feeling Googling will freak me out with horror stories so I think I'd prefer personal stories.

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Old 09-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

I had my 3rd c-section in July.

Make sure you have everything on one floor at home when you come home (diapers, a bed, bottles if you need them, pump, snacks). You can't go up and down stairs that much for 10 days!

I would also make sure you have plenty of prepared meals because with older children, even the best behaved child can be trying with your dh when you are focused on the newbie.

As far as the actual procedure there is little you can do. Just write down what you don't want to happen and give it to the doctors so they can help you. Be sure to bullet point it as that way they will likely remember it.

Recovery is different for everyone and every c-section is different. I thought I would be down for 2 weeks this time and I was only down for about a week. Last time it was 1.5 weeks (first one was about 1 week). I don't focus on my abs that much but I have never had pelvic floor issues as I have never really been in labor. This last C-section I had about 3 contractions in the 6 hour wait for the c-section!

Oh and I had a spinal with all of my c-sections. This last time though they added the Epi as they thought it could go long with my history. Turns out they were right, but not for the reason they thought. My c-section was 1.5 hours long. The Epi actually made me more anxious and they had to give me benadryl to get through the c-section. This can happen so ask for a spinal if at all possible.

To me the pain isn't that bad, but that is me. I have a high threshold for pain.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

Breathing exercises will help you remain calm before and during. Deep slow breaths.

If you really have a lot of anxiety, tell the anesthesiologist. Ask him for something for your nerves. If you're feeling nauseated, ask him for something. They have lots of magical drugs to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

After?

Stay on top of your pain meds. Don't chase the pain, prevent it.

Take stool softeners. Don't strain.

Don't try to lift yourself up from laying down. Either sleep in a recliner, or tie a rope to the end of your bed so you can pull yourself up with your arms.

Don't overdo it! Sit. Let your kids watch too much tv. Order pizza. The easier you take it, the faster you'll bounce back.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
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Is there different reasons between an epi and a spinal? What about stitches or staples? Stomach wraps?

How long do they take in all and until baby is out? How long in recovery?

Thanks for all the tips. Hearing others experiences definitely calms the nerves.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

The Epi can last longer then the spinal. The spinal is one shot then it wears off. The epi is continuous.

I have had dissolving stitches and staples. Neither are "bad". I think I like the dissolving stitches better because it is less to worry about but that is all.

From the time the spinal/Epi is done and your laying there, to baby out is about 15 minutes I would say. Normal C-section lasts about 30 minutes or so. Recovery is 2 hours unless you have issues.

Never did stomach wraps. My "pouch" is my pride and joy. I spent a lot of money to get a body out of shape! Far more then it costs for lipo suction or anything cosmetic like that. * My children were IVF and we are out about $25 - 30 thousand all told.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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Oh I'm not worried about pooch I got that with #1 haha I just need the best help my abs can get because it effects my prolapse.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

With my dd I asked as many questions as I could about the procedure of things. She was my first scheduled c-section but my third section altogether. I was also delivering at a different hospital from the other two. My current hospital - the one I had DD at last time - is AMAZING! My Ob has very patiently described the procedure to me several times this go around even though I clearly just did this three years ago. A few things have changed in that time - like the skin to skin. I didn't get that with DD last time so I'm excited about that this time. I asked the other day if I could listen to music in the OR and she said absolutely no reason I couldn't. I was a LOT more apprehensive about my last c-section. This time I'm pretty at peace with it. From start to finish the c-section takes about an hour from what I can tell/have been told. At my hospital there is no recover room - not for anyone. We would labor/deliver/recover all in one room. So I'll be prepped in a room, go to the OR, have the baby, and we'll go back to the same room where I was prepped and that will be our room for the whole stay. They take me straight back to that room from the OR. Baby will be in the OR with me until about ten or so minutes before they're going to take me back to my room, then DH and the baby nurse will take her on ahead to our room to wait for me. They won't weigh or bathe or anything until I'm in my room and ready to be a participant (as much as one can with numb legs and being stuck in bed lol).

My biggest advice it to ask questions, research your various options, things other people have asked for in their c-sections and ask about what you want to have in the OR. I get to do skin to skin and keep the placenta but I can't have delayed cord clamping. Etc. If I was interested in the possibility I asked about. Don't be too shy to ask your dr to go over the steps that will happen with you. I actually did pretty well with my last c-section and anticipate having a mostly positive/pleasant experience this go around too.

The actual physical recovery from the surgery could be several weeks. Really if you take it easy it will go faster IME. Also IME I healed up WAY faster with my no labor c-section than with the two I had labored for 36hrs prior to. I anticipate another quick healing this time but I'm still not making any plans/scheduling anything for 4 to 6 weeks.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

I tend to this that DS is a bit of a fear-mongering board in regards to C/S. It's not bad at all.

If you'd like, I will give you a detailed rundown, but here's the gist - you hit the OR and the anesthesiologist will ask about allergies and other pertinent info. I had a spinal block and then they will do some shaving and cath you. They will be chatting with you the whole time, it's not nerve-wracking at all. My nurse was telling me about flaxseed granola bars The baby comes out really fast and it took around 20 mins to stitch me up. I think I will in the room for a grand total of 50 mins including going over all my med allergies THREE times with the doctors. They are very thorough. In recovery they will give you these massaging leg cuff things that compress in and out in order to promote proper blood flow. They are divine. Seriously, I was all loopy and asking where I could buy them.

As PP said, do not deny pain meds. I thought I wanted to be present and enjoy my baby more and declined the first two rounds. Most stupid decision of all time, I was in SO much pain and couldn't enjoy my baby because of my decision, not because of the surgery. I will be on top of it this time around!

For a planned C/S they will give antibiotics beforehand. I will be asking to take probiotics and eat yogurt as soon as I can eat because we got a nasty case of thrush.

Staples or stitches is generally under the decision of the doctor. Mine uses staples and they felt just fine, came out fine, and my scar is nearly invisible. I literally had someone wax me once and had no idea it was there.

If you have a My Brest Friend pillow, it's too structured and tight to use the first two weeks. A boppy is better. You won't want any pants that fit under the belly or panties that hit there either, so buy a pack of granny panties that go practically to the belly button. You will be happy to have them. If you need to cough or sneeze or anything, use a pillow to press into the incision point. It makes it more comfortable.

The biggest thing IMO is the pain meds. Take them. They are carefully meted out in order to keep you off the pain yet alert and present and totally there for your baby. I am so regretful I didn't take them as prescribed.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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For abdominal recovery I am a big fan of the Tupler method. There's a local place in my area called The Tummy Team that teaches it but I think you can find DVDs and other teachers by googling Tupler method core recovery.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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Re: Best way to prepare for a c/s?

I do not fully agree about the pain meds. With my first I took as prescribed and found that Percocet and I don't mix well. I have giant periods of no memories of my days in the hospital. Not good when you roomed in with your infant 90 percent of your stay but it wasn't until I went home and quit taking them that I realized they were the issue. With my second c-section I needed to be present as my son was in the nicu. I took one dose a night to get a solid stretch of sleep and that was it, took the Motrin of course but that barely touched the pain. With my daughter a nurse was nice enough to tell me that I could take half a dose. Duh. Never occurred to me, felt it was all out nothing. The half a dose worked great for me coupled with the Motrin. So find what works for you. definitely you'll want/need pain meds but if you feel to groggy or something don't hesitate to ask about other options.
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