My c-section experience.

It’s been 5 weeks since I had a c-section so I thought while it’s still pretty fresh in my mind I would do a blog to tell you about my experience etc, I’m neither going to say whether I preferred a natural birth or a c section nor am I going to say that your experience if your going to have a c section will be the same.

Let’s start with the basics, I pretty much decided I wanted a c section to begin with as I had such a horrific natural birth with my biggest baby. It was then decided I HAD to have a c section as I had full placenta prévia. (Placenta is completely blocking the exit for baby) basically my baby was using my placenta as a pillow. There is no reason for this to happen but sometimes the placenta just goes on abit of a mad one and decides to place its self in the wrong position. In all this means you have to have a c section as it’s too risky to attempt a natural labour due to blood loss etc.

Throughout my pregnancy I had the usual 2 scans. 1 at 12 weeks and another at 20. But then I also had one at 27 weeks and 31. The extra scans are to confirm your placenta has:hasn’t moved because in most cases of tour placenta is pretty low at your 12 week scan the odds are it’ll move by the time it comes to baby coming out! Mine didn’t. Which is fine. They booked my c section for 39 weeks. Hospitals don’t like doing c sections before 39 weeks as it can effect the respiration system in later life..

They booked my c section for bang on 39 weeks. Which happened to be the 20th December, people said to me when they found out I was having a c-section “is it really nice knowing exactly when your baby will be born” answer. No. Because it may not be that date. It’s possible to go into labour early Ofcourse but also if they can’t fit you in that particular day then you have to go home and come back another day. There was around 10 ladies waiting for c sections the same day as me and atleast 3 got sent home as surgery was running behind. They make a list based on medical needs coming first and then so on. Little did I know I was second on the list!!

First of all. I had to attend a pre-op appointment the day before my planned c section of which they went through the process and also prescribed rantidine which reduced the stomach acid (reflux acid) as the day of the c section you have to fast. You take a rantadine late at night and first thing of the morning of your surgery.. note: rantadine doesn’t always work.

Come the day of the operation.. we had to be in hospital for 7:30am! They measure you for pressure socks and give you all the information and bits and pieces you will need! At around 8:30 the consultants will make the list.. diabetics first.. then other medical needs and then everyone else.

When they were finishing up the c section before me they came in told me I was next assisted me to get changed into a hospital gown, gave my husband scrubs to change into and then we were taken down to theatre. Which was one of the most daunting experiences of my entire life. Not only do I not like not being in control but I’m very shy and you have to meet around 10-11 people all at once.

They sat me down on the operating table where you lean right forward so your body is in the shape of a C and they give you the spinal. Honestly.. not painful at all. About as painful as a blood test. There was two anaesthetic people the one I had met the day before at my pre op.. one is telling you what the other is doing and keeping you calm and in position as soon as they finish the spinal I had to swing my legs up on to the table where they put me on a slight slant and then wait for the spinal to take effect. Mean while they are checking, double checking and triple checking your name and what you are there for.

Next they use this really cold spray to find out where the spinal has worked too they start from your ankle all the way up to just under your armpit. Once they are happy with the effects of the spinal they put the curtain up, it goes up from your chest and your partner is in position with there back to the curtain so you or your partner can’t see anything.

I remember thinking that i still had feeling in my stomach and I said “have they started?” And the nurse said yes they have which then put me at ease as I didn’t know they had started which clearly meant the spinal had worked! They then tell me “you’ll feel a pushing on your chest when there trying to get baby out” FYI the worst part of the whole surgery. It genuinely felt like someone was jumping on my chest. It made me cry! Within about 15 minutes they was saying “the baby is out” I said “why isn’t he crying” I then heard a voice I hadn’t heard before. The surgeon. She said “don’t panic he’s not crying because his cord is wrapped round his neck, twice” they unwrapped him and then he began crying. They handed him to the midwife who wrapped him up and asked if I wanted him on my chest. I agreed. It’s not the best experience for tour first skin to skin because the whole time you can’t move your body and your worried that baby is going to fall off your chest. But anyway. I was loving looking at my gorgeous new addition but within 5 minutes it began. I said to my husband “you need to have him” he couldn’t have him off me as he wasn’t allowed to stand, I said “someone needs to have him I’m going to be sick” the anaesthetic lady pulled him off my chest handed him to my husband and started putting anti-sickness into my cannula, unfortunately sometimes the first anti sickness they use does the opposite of what it should do. That was me. It made me worse.. they then started to give me another type. Meanwhile the surgery has to stop as your stomach muscles are tensing up. They then took my baby and husband to recovery while I was finished being sowed up.

When people advise you to NEVER look into the light above the operating table you should listen. I didn’t. You see everything. I mean everything. The whole surgery took around 45 mins. I lost approximately 1.5 litres of blood of which was expected as they already had transfusion blood waiting. I didn’t need a transfusion though luckily. I was then wheeled down to recovery where my new baby and husband was waiting for me.

Usually your in recovery for around 2 hours. I had to stay for 4 as I had lost so much blood. I was then take. To a ward at around 7 pm. Where the day staff was ready to finish so when I asked if they could stand me up I was given a useless excuse of “it’s probably best you didn’t get up yet” come 8:30pm the night staff was on, I asked again they came straight to me took out my catheter and helped me up. It was such a relief. You have to pass 200ml of urine within 3 hours or they have to re Catheterise you. 200ml isn’t much at all! First standing up I was so worried as I had read so many stories about how it feels to stand up first time. It was fine. My stomach was tender (to be expected after major surgery) but it was fine. I then spent the night awake wondering round in the new baby bubble! I was breast feeding too breast fed babies want feeding ALL THE TIME. I didn’t mind though. In actual fact I loved it. Come 6am id been awake all night I went and had a shower got dressed applied my make up and sat waiting for visiting hours. I hate the re occurring word they used for me this time and last “eager” I was first to the clinic so they could make sure he was fine and I was first for the doctors rounds to say I could go home. Waiting for the discharge notes took the longest. I was in for 1 night after my c section. I wanted to be at home. I wanted to recover in comfort.

When I returned home I stayed on top of my paracetamol and ibroprofin and within a week I wasn’t taking anything they gave me 10 days of claxine I think it’s called which is an injection in your stomach to stop blood clots and you have to wear your pressure socks for a couple of weeks after.. I recovered VERY quickly. I read so many stories online saying “don’t expect to do any house work for 6 weeks” after 1 week I was back cleaning my home, putting the washing on and cooking!

I’m not saying everyone is going to have the same experience as me. Nor am I saying anyone will be as lucky as me with how quickly I recovered but I’m just telling you about MY experience. Now 5 weeks later. My scar is just a pink line. I had dissolvable stitches which meant I didn’t need to have any stitches removed luckily. I am completely back to normal. Thankfully. I couldn’t watch my husband put another load of washing on without me doing it.

I hope if your having a c section this sheds a little light on what to expect.

Thank you for reading.

Emily H xx

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