Saturday, May 25, 2013
What I Wish I Knew Before My C-Section
With that being said, I'm scheduled to have my second c-section at the end of June and I am scared. I'm worried that the same thing will happen again or worse. I'm sure everything will go fine, but it's hard not to think about it. I know more about what to expect this time and can be better prepared. So to remind myself of all the things I learned last time, I made this list. Maybe it will be helpful for someone else who is facing a c-section as well.
The surgery itself was fine. I didn't feel any pain, just a lot of tugging and pulling on my insides.
You will have an IV in your arm, a catheter and I had oxygen, I'm not sure if everyone does or not.
The epidural caused me to have uncontrollable shaking, which was the worst part about the actual surgery. My muscles in my shoulders hurt so bad, I thought they would be sore for days, but they weren't.
Your arms will most likely be strapped down. I actually don't even remember that part and had to ask my husband if mine were or not.
C-section recovery is going to be much harder and longer than for a vaginal birth. Remember, a c-section is major abdominal surgery. Your intestines were pulled out and after everything is put back inside and you are stitched up, your insides will be full of gas. Getting rid of that gas can be painful.
Get up and move as soon as they let you. They will probably make you get up anyways even if you don't feel like it. Moving around and walking will help get your insides back to normal.
Getting up out of bed is the hardest part. You won't be able to use your stomach muscles, just your arms and legs. It's harder than you think it will be.
Don't eat for at least 24 hours afterwards. Make sure your intestines are working again before attempting to eat real food. They will probably make you wait until you have passed gas to make sure they are working. I'm not sure if they will make you wait 24 hours at the hospital, this is just what I plan on doing this time.
Start taking stool softeners a few days before your surgery and keep taking them in the hospital and a few days afterwards. It will help. Also, take Gas X pills to help get rid of that awful gas.
If you have to cough or sneeze afterwards, hold a pillow to your stomach to help with the pain. Try not to laugh at first, it will be painful.
Make sure you use a belly binder. It helps a lot with the pain and with getting everything back into place. The hospital I was at provided one for me, if yours doesn't you probably want to bring one with you.
Bring pants or underwear that are high-waisted, you don't want it to be resting right on top of your incision. Last time I just wore hospital gowns the entire time, but this time I plan on wearing regular clothes as soon as possible.
Stay on top of your pain meds. Don't try to be a hero. It's better to keep taking them regularly than to fall behind and have to catch up while being in pain.
Even if you feel like you are back to your normal self in the first couple of weeks, don't overdo it. Your incision will hurt later on that evening.
Even now, one year after my surgery, I still have some numbness around my scar sometimes.
Delivery guilt. I know I shouldn't feel guilty, but sometimes I do. I feel like I missed out on part of having a baby. I have to remind myself that it was the best thing for my son and that all that matters is that he arrived safely with no complications.
No matter how scary it sounds, in the end it will all be worth it. That's what I will be telling myself for the next month or so!
(Linking to some of these lovely parties)