When I was pregnant with Hudson and found out I was having a c-section I heard all sorts of horror stories. I also Googled (don’t do it). There were tales of staples, huge scars, excutiating pain, infections and awful recoveries. It was very hard to find anything that sounded like a standard straight forward story. I have since had two c-section’s (one emergency and one elective) and I wanted to share what happened to hopefully put some people’s mind at ease and share something positive to cut through all the negative horror stories.
Firstly, I want to say that I complely understand that everyone has different birth stories, this is my experience only. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else.
The process of c-section for me was just fine. Here is my experience:
▫ As with any operation the nerves kick in just before you go in. I felt so much better once I saw my Ob/Gyn, the familiar face really helped calm my nerves.
Waiting to go in for my c-section with Hudson
▫The spinal block – this worried me. In reality this is over super quick and both of my anesthetists were great and talked me through the whole process.
▫ Catheter – I have never had an operation before and the thought of a catheter really worried me. I didn’t even notice it. It’s inserted after the spinal and they take it out the next day. You are so happy to have your baby you really pay no attention to the catheter.
▫It’s quick – from the spinal to meeting your little one is a really quick process (probably 15 minutes). Before you know it you will be stitched up and in recovery. For me, the whole process took about 45 minutes both times.
▫ Stitches and scar – Both times I had internal stitches and one large stitch closing the wound. No staples. I paid special attention to the wound care and now my scar is minimal. It’s very low (just above my pubic bone). I can still wear a bikini if I want to and it’s really no big deal. Contrary to some Google stories, my scar is horizontal, not vertical and is not across my whole stomach. My stitch was removed before I left the hospital.
▫Pain management – the hospital I was at were amazing with pain management. Pain meds were given before I felt pain and I left the hospital taking only Voltaren and Panadol. Ensure you ask for pain meds, there is no need to be a hero. Take them before you are in pain. It makes recovery a lot easier.
Me and Scarlett – one day old
▫ Bleeding – you bleed after any birth and c-sections are no different. From what I hear it’s not as heavy as after a vaginal birth but yes, you still require the surfboard maxi pads.
▫ Driving – with my doctors approval I was able to drive two weeks after both my c-sections. I read a lot of information about not driving for 6 weeks, this wasn’t the case for me.
▫ Breastfeeding – I had no trouble with milk supply or breastfeeding. The c-section didn’t affect this for me.
▫ Physical activity – I was up and walking the next day. I was restricted with certain activities for 6 weeks (vacuuming etc) but hey, who wants to vacuum anyway. I was able to go for walks as soon as I got home and could commence normal exercise after my 6 week check up.
Overall, I had two positive experiences. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone. In a world of negative stories, it’s sometimes nice to hear everything is going to be ok. I now have two beautiful healthy babies and that’s what really counts.