Things I wish I’d known before my C-section
I always said that my birth plan was to go with the flo (we decided to name our baby girl Florence very early in the pregnancy) and to have “a healthy mom and a healthy baby plan."
I didn't want to get my heart set on certain things happening, because knowing my personality, it would be harder for me to accept when things didn't go as planned that way. I didn't know what to expect because I had never been in labor before. So I planned to just play things by ear and see how they went. We did a hypnobirth course with lovely Claire from Tutum Birthing which was absolutely amazing and we had our mind set on using it on the big day, but at 37 weeks all things turned upside down, or actually.. DIDN'T as my baby was breech as I have to have an elective c-section scheduled!
People have c-sections all the time and everyone knows someone who had one. But here are some things that you might not know about the recovery process!
1. The c-section will make you nauseous
You won't feel pain as such during the surgery, but you will definitely feel pulling and tugging. I was struggling to keep an eye contact with my partner as I was being moved around so much! They start pushing your baby out manually by pressing very high up on your belly and chest. The anaesthesia made me nauseated as well so after the combo of both on the way back to my room I projectile vomited all over.
2. First steps will be very very hard!
They will make you try and walk as soon as possible after the surgery! And you might not even stand up the first time. Well I couldn't for two days! It will be very hard, you might feel faint and you won't be able to straighten up immediately due to the scar so you will feel like you are 100 years old!
3. You may have gas pains - in your shoulders.
Yep, you read that right. You may get some wicked gas pain in your shoulders after delivery. When your bowels become sluggish after surgery, the resulting gas pain can press on the diaphragm, and that pain can extend to the shoulders. To combat this, your nurse will probably offer you anti-gas meds and encourage you to walk around as soon as possible.
4. You will bleed and have clotting the same as you would with vaginal birth.
It last between 2 to 6 weeks after giving birth. The best advice I got from my midwife is to buy some adult diapers at least for the hospital bag and few days after the surgery. Trust me, the bleeding is not your usual period kinda bleeding. It will be lots.. Slip on adult diaper underwear will be very convenient and will not rub on your scar!
5. It will hurt to cough, laugh or sneeze.
Holding a pillow against your incision, or pressing on it with your hands might help a little bit. But in those early days, it's going to hurt, period. I tried my hardest not to do any of these three at first.
6. Numbness around the incision. You will likely feel numbness and tingling in your lower abdomen around the incision area. This is a normal result of the surgery because of the affected nerves. It should get better with time, sometimes a lot of time..! Some women don't get the sensation back for many years to come, sometimes never. When damaged nerves are healing you might get the weirdest nerve pain ever: It won't hurt when you press on it but it will hurt as hell when you brush on it or slightly touch it! Very hard to comprehend but it is quite common, I am trying to get used to it as its a definite romance killer!
Even though I lost a lot of blood, my c-section went smoothly and the scar is healing beautifully. All of the above are temporary and will pass soon, but it is just good to know and prepare for it. I will repeat what everyone else is saying: take your time and get any help you can around the house and with your baby. I hope your birth will go as planned!
Lots of love,