February 2018 Moms

C-Sections

Is everyone okay if we start a thread for mamas having c-sections? I looked back and saw a thread for VBACs, but not one for those who are scheduling c-sections. I have started to see people posting that they're getting ready to schedule c-sections so I thought this would be helpful to get going now. Just a general place for us to ask questions, share experience and advice for recovery, express general concerns, etc.
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eggplantfacerainafire77

Re: C-Sections

  • This is a good idea!  I haven't scheduled mine yet, I hope to this Monday at my next appointment. I've already had two (damn breech babies!) and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions. 
  • I was cleared to have a vbac but the baby is smaller than they would like and showing some concerns with the amniotic fluid so they said they will most likely need to deliver him early. ::sigh:: I’m not sad about the c section because of course a healthy baby is the goal but I’m just in denial about giving birth in general. I don’t like that I won’t be going into labor naturally. Like it’s surreal to think I’ll just be waking up one morning and having a baby. I labored my first and I was in denial I was in early labor all day until my water broke later that night. Maybe Im just crazy lol
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  • I had a C section with my first and VBACed my second...really struggling with what to do this time. Way faster recovery with VBAC and I would rather do that again, but I now have two small kids and live across the country from any help, so being able to schedule a date has huge appeal in terms of having help planned. And then I could get my tubal at the same time...
  • @SunflowerMama428 you're not crazy for being disappointed that you may not get what you were hoping for! It is weird to know when the baby is coming. I was too excited/nervous to sleep the night before!

    Id been a big fan of the idea of a VBAC but I'm probably just going the RCS route. 
  • I wanted a vbac with DS2 and almost got it but since he was breech for so long (38 weeks) my OB wanted to play it safe and do the RCS. My recovery wasn't too bad but I  never labored with either kid so I can't really compare. 
  • I am leaning toward scheduling a repeat c-section with this pregnancy. I really don't have a huge desire to try for the vbac and I think it's probably anxiety leading me down this road. We live over an hour away from the hospital I am planning to deliver at. My doctor is affiliated with a hospital that is considered one of the highest rated neonatal centers in all of New England. I kept my doctor in MA when I moved and I didn't want to give her up because the closest hospital to us has a terrible reputation (they have mostly shared maternity rooms so you're in with another mother/baby most typically and in the last two years there have been more outbreaks of infectious diseases at this hospital than I'd prefer if I were to deliver a baby there). The few people I know who've delivered at the much more reputable hospital that is also close by, have had nightmare experiences. So I think that one, if it's an emergency is my go to but I won't be thrilled. 

    My DS was a scheduled c-section due to breech position at 39 weeks 1 day. When I went in for the scheduled procedure, they told me that my bp was much higher than it had been the whole pregnancy, tested me for preeclampsia but it was neg. and then told me, based on monitoring, that I was already having contractions 2 mins which might have contributed to the bp issue. I have a very high pain tolerance and felt absolutely NOTHING. This kind of freaked DH out...so he really is pushing for the RCS. I think he's secretly afraid we won't make it to the hospital and he'll have to deliver a car baby. The doctor seems pretty agreeable to his wishes to schedule because at my last appointment, she was like ya know...it'll be the middle of winter... presently, you have a low lying placenta...your last baby was breech...but it's up to you! I don't know if she thought I needed convincing? I really don't haha so for everyone's peace of mind, I'll schedule it when I go in for my glucose tolerance test in a few weeks. I suspect based on the ever changing/moved up due date, this will probably happen in January. 
  • I've had two open fibroid removals, so a similar surgery minus the baby at the end and am mildly prepared for what to expect but not completely. In another group I'm in we had a c-section thread that was super helpful so I'm happy to see this thread and would love to hear from previous c-section mamas!

    Things I know so far: Get a belly binder to keep my stomach contained because ab muscles will not work. Get high-waisted panties that won't irritate the incision. Remember to use your arms to push up from a lying-down position because, again, ab muscles will not work (although, I'm already starting to do that because my abs have decided to quit on me early).

    My concerns are things like holding the baby without irritating the incision (picking him up, putting him down, holding him for breast feeding) and how long it will be until I'll be comfortable enough to wear a baby carrier without pain. After my surgeries it took me about two weeks to feel like I could stand up straight and walk somewhat normally again (as opposed to my crouched shuffle), but I've heard c-sections are easier to recover from than myomectomies so I really, really hope that's true and I'll feel normal faster.
    Me: late 30s | H: early 30s
    TTC #1 since April 2015
    RE Dx: Fibroids, surgery Jan 2016
    IUI #1 and #2, Nov/Dec 2016, BFN
    IVF March 2017: ER - 5R/3M/3F, 1 PGS normal
    Polyp removed May 2017
    FET May 2017 - BFP!
    Baby boy born 2/2/18

  • @eggplantfaceMy sister had a repeat c section and she said it was much easier to recover than her first because she didn’t labor. She wasn’t exhausted and in pain before the c section so she said she had more energy to deal with recovery. Hopefully It won’t be so bad 
    eggplantface
  • I had a vaginal delivery with DD. But it was a degree four tear and she blew out the right side of my vaginal wall. I had internal and external stitches. The recovery was God awful. My OB recommended a c-section for future deliveries. But then when I went into pre-term labor last week, my MFM strongly encouraged me to do a vaginal because of how the twins are positioned. Apparently they would have to do a classic cut incision (up and down right in the middle of my stomach) and they only recommend those for emergency situations. So now I’m confused as to what to do. I think I will try for a vaginal if I go early. But if I go term, maybe a c section. 
  • I've had two open fibroid removals, so a similar surgery minus the baby at the end and am mildly prepared for what to expect but not completely. In another group I'm in we had a c-section thread that was super helpful so I'm happy to see this thread and would love to hear from previous c-section mamas!

    Things I know so far: Get a belly binder to keep my stomach contained because ab muscles will not work. Get high-waisted panties that won't irritate the incision. Remember to use your arms to push up from a lying-down position because, again, ab muscles will not work (although, I'm already starting to do that because my abs have decided to quit on me early).

    My concerns are things like holding the baby without irritating the incision (picking him up, putting him down, holding him for breast feeding) and how long it will be until I'll be comfortable enough to wear a baby carrier without pain. After my surgeries it took me about two weeks to feel like I could stand up straight and walk somewhat normally again (as opposed to my crouched shuffle), but I've heard c-sections are easier to recover from than myomectomies so I really, really hope that's true and I'll feel normal faster.
    My experience with having a c-section was very positive.  I was basically "in labor" when I entered the hospital but it I wasn't feeling the contractions so it didn't really affect anything they were doing/going to do. I know some people likely have horror story c-section stories but I want to respond to hopefully ease your fears cause for me, it really was no big deal. 

    You mentioned having fibroid surgery twice before. Last pregnancy, I had to have my gallbladder removed at 18 weeks. As a result of that procedure I have four laproscoptic scars that SHOULD be really really tiny but two of them are almost as large as my c-section scar due to all the stretching. I found the gallbladder procedure recovery to be way more uncomfortable than the c-section recovery. Because of that previous surgery, you might feel that same way post c-section. My main advice is probably what they'll tell you in the hospital...for about two weeks or so, try to stay ahead of the pain/manage it with the meds as best you can. I was off the heavy duty painkillers after about a week or so but still taking IB Profen and Tylenol on an alternating basis and if I missed a dose I knew it. As far as holding baby for breastfeeding, I didn't have too much difficulty there. I would invest in a boppy pillow and bring that to the hospital with you. The lactation consultant will help you to figure out what positions are most comfortable for you and how to position the pillow to block your scar etc. My baby was 7 lbs 11 oz so the holding him bit didn't really bother me cause he wasn't very heavy etc. but again, if I needed to kind of rest him somewhere as I was holding him, I would hold him on the boppy to distribute the weight better.
    I also used an Infantino carrier. I wouldn't recommend that one...but I might go with another brand like an Ergo or some kind of a cloth wrap carrier this time around. My son was 20.5 inches at birth and 22+ inches by 3 weeks old but I'm only 5'4ish so the way our carrier is, he was kicking me in the c-section scar when I would wear him. 
    The belly binder was awesome for the first few days/a week or so..something to prepare for and maybe it's TMI but...when you have a c-section (or abdominal surgery) you might end up really really gassy in the aftermath. I had trouble with the belly binder for the first few days post procedure because I was so gassy. They gave me meds to help with this and it eventually resolved. Once I was less bloated, the belly binder was great. I think I wore it under a dress to a wedding a few weeks post surgery and I felt much more comfortable with things moving around. 
    The one suggestion I would also make... if you're getting high waisted pants...and I would recommend that OR just wear yoga pants or leggings etc. I would also invest in high waisted underwear... like hardcore granny panties...cause where bikini underwear cuts...is right where the scar is. I wore granny panties until my son was like 18 months old haha SO sexy, I know. haha 
    Okay...last bit of advice... I found it super difficult to drive post procedure. My doctor explained that where they are cutting based can impact your reaction time to press on the break. It took the full 6 weeks of recovery plus two more for me to get behind the wheel of a car. Even at 8 weeks post-op, I found it uncomfortable/painful to press the gas/break pedal. I don't know if it was just me or if there is something to this whole thing with driving but...my advice...I would try driving around your neighborhood if you live in a quiet one or maybe side-roads/parking lots a few times before you get on the highway etc. just so you know if pressing the break pedal is going to cause you pain. Especially in February if you live in a snowy area, its good to use extra caution when you start driving again. 

    Okay that's my two cents on c-section recovery. Hope it was helpful! 
    eggplantface
  • @amb929 The braking thing makes total sense though, because you use your lower abs in addition to leg muscles to lift your legs, so if your muscle has been cut it won't work as well and can hurt. Even now I feel pain in my lower abs when I lift my legs from a seated position because of the scar tissue and muscle stretching.

    For my first surgery the hospital gave me a large belly binder (like a velcro corset all around my torso under my boobs) and I asked my surgeon what it was for and she said "it just makes you feel safe." Well, after my second surgery I didn't have a binder and learned that it did a lot more than make me feel safe! It really helped me feel less like my stomach was flopping forward and I had less pain/discomfort standing up straight.

    Thanks for the advice on the boppy! I'll be sure to bring it with me.
    Me: late 30s | H: early 30s
    TTC #1 since April 2015
    RE Dx: Fibroids, surgery Jan 2016
    IUI #1 and #2, Nov/Dec 2016, BFN
    IVF March 2017: ER - 5R/3M/3F, 1 PGS normal
    Polyp removed May 2017
    FET May 2017 - BFP!
    Baby boy born 2/2/18

  • I have had multiple hip surgeries and due to those issues am electing to have a scheduled c-section. I’m scheduled for February 20th. FTM so no idea what to expect either way. 
  • Already have my date scheduled for 39 weeks so February 15th which is a Thursday. This will mean I'll be in the hospital over the weekend though which I guess will be ok. Had an emergency c-section due to breech after 9 hours of pure back labor and the scar tissue is pretty extensive. We're also over an hour from our hospital so it will be safer than attempting a VBAC as I'm apparently at higher risk of uterine rupture. Kind of glad we're planning instead of trying & then doing another emergency C-section.

    ****TW Signature****
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DD born 04/28/2002
    Married DH 03/25/2017
    1st MMC 08/13/2016 2nd MMC 02/14/2017
    BFP 06/16/17 Rainbow DS Born 02/05/2018


    chucksmom15
  • @rainafire77 DD was born via planned c section on a Thursday and they actually let us go home around lunch time on Saturday instead of keeping us! Maybe you'll get lucky 
    rainafire77
  • +1 for yoga pants. I lived in them after having my c-section with DD... even after I was "recovered," because things are still loose and jiggly down there for a while and they are so dang comfy. For underwear, I those mesh panties they give you at the hospital, they were amazing and lasted me like a week after I got home. Then I used depends because it was more convenient for me than pads. (grossness warning) Something I didn't realize until I had a c-section is how much you still bleed down there afterwards. I knew I would bleed, just didn't appreciate how much it was going to be.

    Also +1 for a boppy pillow (or other positioning pillow for nursing). I tried using regular pillows because I hate spending money but it was so difficult for me to position DD. Thankfully my mom bought me a boppy pillow when DD was like a week old and it was SO much easier to position DD in ways that did not put pressure on my incision.

    Definitely going for a RCS. I was in back labor for 18 hours with DD, 4 of them active pushing, and the epidural did not work at all for me. I'm actually relieved to have an excuse to be able to skip the entire labor process this time. The surgery and recovery for me did not even touch what an awful experience labor was.

    Which means I'll be recovering from a c-section with a 23 month old at home. My MIL is coming down for 6 weeks to help out, but does anyone with experience caring for a toddler while recovering from a C/S have any advice?
    BabyFruit Ticker
    rainafire77
  • I had a c section with my DD. 
    ***trigger***
    my 1st child my DS died when my labor started due to a cord accident. He was delivered all naturally. So I elected for c section with DD just wanted to limit possible emergencies.
    ***End trigger***
    c section recovery takes longer and you'll need to modify your movements because every time you stretch your torso - sit to stand... the incision can pull in those early days. Log rolling in bed and keeping your shoulder, hips and knees moving in the same direction in and out of bed and pushing with your arms will limit the pulling pain. Wearing the abdominal binder helps too and using hoppy for feeding all helps. 
     I'll be doing a scheduled c section with this LO. 
     Basically for a scheduled csection there are a few different options - mine was a spinal block so I was awake,  received a needle in my back, could smell them cutting and felt the pulling, but no pain and before I knew it DD was out and perfect and they did skin to skin right away. It was a few hours ( I think about 12) before I was allowed to stand and it was with help from nursing. I stayed ahead of the pain while at the hospital taking meds when they were due and at home was fine with just Tylenol. But everyone's body can respond differently. I'd say speak to your doctor to get an idea as to what you can expect the day of so you can mentally prep yourself if this is your 1st c section. I had a friend who was a part of the same OB/GYN practice who let me know her experience.
  • I still have not seen my OB. My appointment is for Nov 16th so I'm sure we will discuss our options then. 
    I laboured with DS for 18 hours, dilated to 10 and his head was tilted and he was 9 pounds so ended with a csection when he wouldn't come out. 
    I also don't have any family around me so it would be nice to know ahead of time when I will be having the baby. But I also don't have family to help with DS and the new baby! I'm very undecided right now! 
    Maybe I'll see what the OB says when I see them in a couple of weeks!
  • Abdominal binder will be your new BFF. I think that is why I recovered so smoothly with DD. Plus my OB did an amazingly small incision (IMO). Right now I can schedule as early as Feb 13th. I delivered DD at 37+4 after laboring all day long (with an epidural) and failing to progress. I know not being able to pick up DD will suck (she’s a total momma’s girl), but it will all work out. 
  • @msunshine123 That is heartbreaking about your DS, I'm so sorry for your loss :'(
    BabyFruit Ticker
    msunshine123
  • I am still torn on what to do... my recovery was pretty rough with DD although I made the dumb mistake of not taking stronger pain killers at first in the hospital and going for ibuprofen because I don't normally have pain management issues... I learned my lesson and trying to catch up to get the pain under control is the worst.  I am terrified of going through the sleeplessness in recovery with a 2.5 year old and a newborn.  DD had reflux so I couldn't lay her down for 20 mins after every feeding and pain meds every couple hours that I couldn't skip even throughout the night made for a rough time for me... I didn't labor though as DD was breech and although I had some early contractions after my water broke some of the vaginal delivery horror stories terrify me too!  Ugh... what a decision lol.
  • I am still torn on what to do... my recovery was pretty rough with DD although I made the dumb mistake of not taking stronger pain killers at first in the hospital and going for ibuprofen because I don't normally have pain management issues... I learned my lesson and trying to catch up to get the pain under control is the worst.  I am terrified of going through the sleeplessness in recovery with a 2.5 year old and a newborn.  DD had reflux so I couldn't lay her down for 20 mins after every feeding and pain meds every couple hours that I couldn't skip even throughout the night made for a rough time for me... I didn't labor though as DD was breech and although I had some early contractions after my water broke some of the vaginal delivery horror stories terrify me too!  Ugh... what a decision lol.
    Everyone take @ahoneycutt12 ‘s advice and stay on top of pain management!!!! You do not want to regret it thinking Ibprofen will be enough! 
    rainafire77ahoneycutt12
  • With my son, I was induced. I stayed overnight with Cervadil to soften the cervix and pitocin all the next day. I never really progressed past a 2. I had 2 LEEPs when I was younger and my Ob said the scar tissue probably made the cervix less flexible/able to dilate normally. So I ended up with an emergency CS when DS's heart rate started to decelerate. When I met with my OB this time, they said we could "have a conversation about VBAC," but since there was no reason to think the scar tissue situation changed, that they would recommend a RCS. I will say that it was awful to be on all that pitocin and being so uncomfortable and exhausted to then have surgery. I got like no sleep the night DS was born and was so deliriously tired the next day to the point where I was just crying from exhaustion. I don't want that experience again where I have a failed labor and then end up with CS anyways. I want to come in, have my baby and be present and not painfully exhausted. My office said they won't schedule a CS until a week before my due date. I'm curious if other offices are the same? I had a friend schedule hers halfway through the pregnancy. 

    Recommendations: stay on top of your pain med schedule. I assumed (incorrectly) nurses would come every 4 or 6 hours or whatever the time frame between doses for pain meds was. No. They wait for you to ASK for it. So I would wait and wait thinking they were coming and I would start being in severe pain and then I would ask and then it would still take 20-30 minutes for them to show up with it. So preemptively ask for it a little bit before the next dose cuz they don't come with the meds the second you ask. Fill the prescription when you go home, even if you don't think you will take it.  

    Use the girdle they provide. It helps!

    Laughing and sneezing will make you scared afterwards. It hurts. 

    The recommendation is to no hold/lift anything heavier than your baby. I've been weaning DS off being carried and encouraging him to be gentle with me. Be prepared to be pretty sedentary afterwards and prepare an area where you can relax and hang with the baby. You're not gonna be wanting to go up and down stairs 16 times to change the babies diaper. So if the nursery is upstairs but you'll be in the rec room all day, create a changing station in the rec room with diapers/wipes/changing pad/outfit changes. 
    Me: 33 DH: 31
    DS: 5 years old
    TTC #2 since August 2015
    July 2016: Testing cycle with 100 mg Clomid = BFN
    August 2016: 50 mg Clomid + IUI = BFN
    October 2016: IVF#1 - 13 retrieved / 12 mature /  9 fertilized / 2 blasts
    November 2016: FET#1 = chemical
    January 2017: FET#2 = chemical
    March 2017: IVF#2 - 18 retrieved / 18 mature / 16 fertilized / 5 blasts
    April 24, 2017: FET#3 - BFN
    May 24, 2017: FET#4 - BFP! - Beta #1 151 - Beta #2 503 - Due date 2/9/18
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    BrittaniLC
  • @Megzb510 I know we have some ladies who have theirs scheduled already. My OB personally waits until 28 weeks to put it on the books. 


    My CS with DD was scheduled. We made that decision for the same reasons you mentioned-not wanting to labor and be exhausted/end up in an emergency situation. I was too nervous/excited/uncomfortable to sleep the night before so I was still pretty tired but my recovery went well. Pretty much everyone I've ever heard of says a scheduled one is way better than an emergency. Your concerns are totally justified! Gotta do what's best for you. 
    rainafire77
  • @Megzb510 I'll schedule my c-section at my appointment next week. Maybe they have a more flexible OR schedule at your hospital so they don't need as much notice?
    Me: late 30s | H: early 30s
    TTC #1 since April 2015
    RE Dx: Fibroids, surgery Jan 2016
    IUI #1 and #2, Nov/Dec 2016, BFN
    IVF March 2017: ER - 5R/3M/3F, 1 PGS normal
    Polyp removed May 2017
    FET May 2017 - BFP!
    Baby boy born 2/2/18

  • *lurking from March*

    I've had 3 c-sections and this one has been scheduled for March 7th.  I completely agree 100% about staying on top of pain meds.  With my first, I made the mistake of waiting too long to take something the night I came home from the hospital and when I went to pick the baby up, I literally thought I would die from the burning pain across my incision site.  Ibuprofen IS NOT ENOUGH - at least in the very beginning.  I needed Percocet and Vicodin for about a week or so after each surgery. 

    Personally, recovery has been faster and easier with each child.  My 3rd was born at 2pm on a  Friday afternoon and I was up and walking around (carefully and slowly) by 7-8pm that night.  The nurses had to keep checking the chart to see when I'd actually delivered because, to them, I didn't look like I had just had a c-section.

    I say, trust your doctor and accept all the help you can.  There's no need to try to do everything on your own when there's someone nearby who can bend and reach for things and get the baby for you, etc.  Be careful when coughing or sneezing or laughing because that will hurt for a little while afterwards, too.

    Good luck, ladies!
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
    ahoneycutt12
  • No one has mentioned yet... take those stool softeners! I was so tired afterwards I kept forgetting about them. That first bowel movement after the c/s might have been worse than anything else.

    Hunching over a pillow and hugging it helps when coughing/sneezing. It is still not pleasant, but it helps.

    Get up and walk around the second the hospital staff will let you, for as long as they say you can (but not more than they say you can, don't overdo it). The faster you get up and move, the easier recovery will be. I had really amazing nurses who would set a goal for me for a number of laps to do around the hall, and how often to do the laps, each day I was in the hospital.

    If the hospital allows it, send baby to the nursery at night so you can sleep, with the nurses just bringing baby to you when it's time to b/f. I didn't do this our first night and deeply regretted it. I was so exhausted. My nurses talked me into doing it the second night and it made such a huge difference.

    Use a blow dryer on your incision on low and cool after showers or when you're sweaty to keep it dry to help avoid infection.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    rainafire77
  • I found the ibuprofen was enough to keep the pain away; after my second surgery I was taking 4 Motrin at a time (recommended by my doc) because I hate the constipation and out-of-it feeling of narcotic painkillers. After my first surgery I had percocet, I think, and it made me nauseated and tired, and wreaked havoc on my digestive system. I really hope Motrin will be enough this time too because I'm so afraid of pooping problems. Double yes to stool softeners! Miralax is my jam.

    And YES to the pillow hugging @precious88! I would hold in my stomach every time I sneezed/coughed/laughed (and oh, I hated to sneeze!) because OUCH.
    Me: late 30s | H: early 30s
    TTC #1 since April 2015
    RE Dx: Fibroids, surgery Jan 2016
    IUI #1 and #2, Nov/Dec 2016, BFN
    IVF March 2017: ER - 5R/3M/3F, 1 PGS normal
    Polyp removed May 2017
    FET May 2017 - BFP!
    Baby boy born 2/2/18

    rainafire77
  • I will be having a repeat c-section with this one due to the complications we have had. I am hoping my recovery will be as easy this time around as it was with my first c-section.  
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