My C-section Diary: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
As we anticipate the arrival of baby Olive I start to get more and more anxious about having my third C-section.
You would think by the third C-section I would be a pro at it, but I’m not even close.
C-sections absolutely should not be taken lightly. A C-section is major abdominal surgery. I feel like sometimes C-section mommas are looked at a little differently. Almost as though I didn’t work as hard for my babies to be here. Yes, I was able to schedule the surgery and walk in with fixed hair and makeup (don’t judge, I’m meeting someone very important), but let me tell you C-sections are HARD. The anxiety towards the surgery is unbearable and the recovery after is not easy and hinders your bonding time with your new addition.
All C-section mommas have different reasons for needing a C-section, and those reasons should never be questioned. I hear so many people inquiring on why I don’t try to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). First off, it’s really no one’s business and lastly because of the risk. My doctor said I only have a 20% chance of being successful at a VBAC. I have multiple risks factors, such as two previous C-sections, my last one only being 3 years ago and I have a curved pelvic bone, aka the reason we were put in this position in the first place. I labored with Ryder for 25 hours before my doctor gave me the “it’s just not going to happen” face.
Before the Surgery
You will get to schedule your C-section for 39 weeks and not a day sooner. I originally thought about waiting to go into labor naturally. But after a lot of thought and talking out the risks of an emergency C-section we will go on and schedule it right at 39 weeks. Depending on how your hospital’s scheduling works and your OB’s schedule you will probably get to schedule the big day around 34-35 weeks! Be sure to schedule it for the morning since you will not be allowed to eat the night before.
The Big Day
You will probably be full of jitters and on the edge of crying all morning if you are like me! The morning of Jett’s C-section I went into surgery actually having contractions. Needless to say, that was added fun. Be sure to leave your wedding rings and metal jewelry at home They will not allow you to have any metal on in the operating room, not even a bobby pin!
You will be placed in a pre op room for about 45 minutes where they will monitor the baby and ask you millions of questions. The anesthesiologist will come in and briefly talk to you and answer any questions, your doctor will also come in to check on you.
Your partner will be given their surgery gear. As they are rolling you off to the OR, your partner will get changed. Sadly, most hospitals will not allow your partner to be in the room while they are giving you the spinal block. For me the spinal is the roughest part of the surgery. I always get really nauseous immediately after the spinal. Communicate what you are feeling the anesthesiologist. He can work his magic to get you comfortable. Oxygen also helps a lot. Before they cut, they will catheterize you and shave you (one less thing to worry about).
Once the surgery begins, talk to your partner. If you are quiet that’s when you will hear things, which aren’t the most pleasant of sounds. They will cut right above your pubic bone. You will not really feel anything, maybe a little pressure and light pushing here and there but nothing major. The surgery itself takes about 15 minutes and then another 30 minutes to stitch you up.
You will get to see your precious bundle right away. Once the baby is out and the cord is cut they will be cleaned up and swaddled, then immediately handed to you and your partner for the rest of the surgery, which will make the rest of the surgery go much faster.
Once the surgery is over you will be moved into a post operation room where you will be monitored as the spinal wears off. The nurse will continually check to see if you are regaining feeling in your legs. They will also place circulation cuffs on your caves. The time you have in post op is crucial bonding time. It is a great time to breast feed and do skin to skin. This will be some of the most peaceful time you will have with your new baby. I was in post op for about 2 hours with each baby
Once you get to your room you will still be hooked up to your IV. It will probably come out the next day since they will use it to administer medicine. The circulation cuffs will also remain on and you will still be catheterized. I know, doesn’t this all sound fun!
YOU’VE GOT TO GET UP! So many people will be coming in asking you if you are ready to stand up. You will probably want to punch them all (just being honest) but you’ve got to do it. The faster you walk the sooner everything can be removed. With that being said, do it on your time. Night-time strolls in the hospital are the best because it’s quiet and all visitors have left.
I’m a big fan of changing out of the hospital gown. I have always been able to change pretty soon after surgery, for sure by the next morning. I recommend buying 2-3 soft night gowns, preferably with buttons on the chest for comfortable breast-feeding. This time I am also bringing a robe I bought from Pink Blush.
The nurses will come check on you often. They will lift up any extra skin over the incision to make sure things are good and massage your stomach, I suppose to make sure everything is moving right.
My biggest mistake during both hospital stays has been not eating enough fiber and consuming too much rich and heavy foods. My philosophy has been that I deserve it since I just had major surgery. Well, that philosophy is way wrong. Be sure to keep up your fiber intake or your first bowel movement will be more painful than the surgery itself.
The thing I find most unfair about C-Sections is that you still bleed, what’s up with that? Didn’t I just bleed enough during surgery? Thankfully the nurses will supply you with feminine pads, mesh underwear, and a squirt bottle to clean yourself. Be sure to ask for extra undies and bottles before you head home.
Once You’re Home
Recovery once you’re home is pretty easy if you follow the rules. Don’t MOVE. Just take it easy, I know easier said than done, especially when you have people coming over. The most challenging part for me will not be picking up my two toddlers and going up and down stairs. As for maintaining your incision wear loose clothing and just keep it dry and clean, which is easier said than done for plus sized ladies.