Advice from vets — The Bump
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Advice from vets

Hello ladies,

I posted this in the 3rd trimester board as well, but I'm interested in advice from those that have already had C-sections.  We found out this morning we're going that route on Wednesday of next week.  Anything come to mind that you wish you'd known beforehand?  Anything I should know before, during, after?  Any tips on recovery?  I'm all ears!  TIA :)

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Re: Advice from vets

  • If you don't mind, why are they scheduling? It makes a difference to recovery.
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  • I'd talk to your doctor about hospital policy with c/s - if you'll be able to hold baby before baby goes off to the nursery (although if there are medical issues, obviously some of this will not be possible), if that isn't routine if it can be done anyway, if dad can stay with baby, how quickly you will be able to BF, etc.  I have parts of that that I really want to change if I have another c/s.

    My recovery was fairly easy.  I'd recommend staying on top of the pain medication at first.  DH got me up and walking a bit each night in the hospital and I really think that helped get me able to do more (again, my recovery wasn't too bad).  By the time I went home, I was able to just take ibuprofen for the pain (but do take the good stuff if you need it!!).  Make sure you have stuff to come home in that won't have a waist band on the scar - and be warned, car rides are rather uncomfy at first - maybe bring a pillow.  Get help from lactation consultants (if your hospital has them and if you plan on BFing) with breast feeding as soon as possible (DS & I had some early issues in part because of the delay in starting and the LC's at the hospital were invaluable). 

    There can be a lot of emotional issues (at least for me and many here) with a c/s, so be prepared that that is a possibility, and it isn't at all uncommon or wrong.  It really helped for me to tell DH how I was feeling, and he had the fabulous sense to just listen - it was exactly what I needed.  You're always welcome to vent here if you want as well.  :)

    Good luck - I hope you have a fabulous c/s and a beautiful, healthy baby.  

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  • Bring nightgowns in addition to pants (if you prefer pants).  I was unable to bear the waistbands. Also, grab a pack of granny panties.  The hospital disposables are great in the beginning but when you get home, you'll want something larger than bikini underwear to hold up those pads)

    Ask for adhesive removal wipes if they want you to keep bandaging your incision.  The tape leaves goo that is a painful *** to get off around the incision.  The wipes get it right off.  (May not be applicable unless you have post partum issues.  Mine had to be bandaged for weeks and getting the glue off was miserable.  I finally asked one of my home health nurse what the heck to do and she gave me some of those life savers)

    Take your meds on schedule!  The pain can catch up fast if you go too long between doses.

    Don't try to be a hero when you get home.  The pain meds may make you think you can clean up the house, do dishes, laundry, and cook, but the reality is that you need to heal.  Take it easy - sit and relax with your new baby.  When people come over the "help" let them do the dirty work and you take time with baby.

    If you think something is wrong with your incision post partum - get it checked out STAT.  Don't wait until you know something is wrong.  You don't want to be in the ER with a newborn (especially during cold/flu season).

    Definitely get the lactation consultants to help you for your first feedings.  They will teach you ways to hold the baby and prop the pillows so you don't bother the incision.

    That's all I can think of right now.  

     

  • I completely agree with PP but want to add a couple of random things - one that I was warned about and one that I was not.

    A friend warned me that during the c-section I might feel like I can't breathe because the anesthesia is so high up that it almost feels like it's affecting your lungs. For the first 3-4 minutes of my surgery I totally felt like I couldn't breathe (even though I had an oxygen mask on), and had she not warned me about that I probably would have panicked.

    Second, I wish someone would have told me that it's completely normal to have shoulder pain after a c-section. I think it has something to do with the gas buildup in your muscles. I thought that I must have slept weird and blamed in on that, but the pain would get so bad that I was in tears a couple of times. That was also due to the fact that I wasn't taking meds often enough (because nobody told me how often I could take them).

    Also, after they remove your catheter and make you get up to go to the bathroom, be prepared for how painful it is. Sitting down that low was excruciating, and I was cursing whoever didn't think to put a handicap height toilet in the bathroom.

    And enjoy your last meal because you won't get to eat real food for a couple of days.

    Good luck with everything! 

  • Take your stool softeners!!!  I can't stress this enough.

    Good luck :) 

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  • i can't agree more with the PP. Stool softeners, cherries and apples at least 2 days BEFORE you go in for surgery.
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  • Thank you ladies!  These tips are much appreciated. For the person who wondered why a C-section, I have severe carpal tunnel (pregnancy-related) that makes it impossible for me to grip anything or bear weight on my hands.  It's so painful I've had to do cortisone shots in my wrists, go on prescription diuretics for the swelling and take Ambien for the past 2 months to get any sleep.  A normal labor is almost impossible without using your hands and she's breech.  So...there you go! 

    Thank you all again!

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  • I wish that I had some big ole granny panties for after I got home.  I had to go out and buy some panties at K-mart that no joke went over my belly button because anything below that would kill my incision.

    Also, I bought some cheap night gowns.  After spending about two days in the hospital laboring then three days recovering, I was completely sick of those stupid hospital gowns.

    As far as recovery goes, try to get up and get moving as soon as possible.  I was sitting up (with help) and walking around my room hours after surgery.  I really think it helped me recover quickly.

    The emotional recovery took me much longer.  I felt like a failure for needing the c/s, like I was just some awful statistic making Ricky Lake sad. 

    Hope all goes well for you  :) 

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  • I"m sorry that your hands are causing you to have to have major surgery. Please don't let this come across as mean, but honestly, I don't get it. I have CTS, as does my mom, and I know how bad it can get. But how come, at the very least, won't they let you go into labor and then do it. It seems so early to be cutting - even a week from now.

    Also, after a CS you will be recovering from MAJOR surgery PLUS your hands won't be working so well for you b/c they load you with fluids, and that just increases CTS. Just something to think about. I was swollen for almost 2 weeks....really really bad. No one tells you that part.

    If you have come to peace with your decision, that's good. But I urge you to reconsider that you are offering yourself up for major, unecessary, surgery for something that can be overcome with some creativity. You are probably not the first person to have a baby who couldn't use their hands.

    Sorry if that came off mean, my heart is just breaking for you because I don't want you to become one of us - hurting on the other side (well, not all of us, but a LOT of us). 

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  • And as for breech, there is still time to try to turn baby.
    The Knot won't share my Bump Siggy, so here's the low-down: 4/27/07 - Got engaged! 8/31/08 - Got married (to my best friend)! 12/30/08 - Got Pregnant! 9/3/09 - Welcome to the world, Elias Solomon! 8/16/10 - Got Pregnant, again! 5/14/11 - Welcome to the world, Talia Hadassah! 1/14/12 - Ready or not, here comes #3 (EDD 9/27/12)
  • Something I wasn't expecting was the painful amount of gas I had following the surgery.  It hurt to even take a sip of water, there was so much air in my system.  Definitly ask for the GasX medication if you are having issues.  Plus, don't be shy about getting it out of your body.  The relief is worth more than avoiding any embarassment.
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  • One thing I would stress if I have to have a repeat c/s is how important skin to skin and attempted bf in recovery. With DD I couldn't because of her issues (born at 36 weeks so a few hiccups - nothing too serious). With all the emotions and meds I was def not myself so I would talk to your dh (or whoever will be there with you) and make sure they know what you want and will (if necessary) be your advocate. Like all the other girls said - get up asap, stay ahead of the pain, and also don't wait for the nurses to tell you it's ok to get up, change into "real" clothes, shower, etc. Def ask them if it's ok before you do it but I was in a hospital gown for 2 days before I thought to ask if I could wear my own pjs. The nurses may not think to tell you. Good luck!!
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  • image alswitch:

    Thank you ladies!  These tips are much appreciated. For the person who wondered why a C-section, I have severe carpal tunnel (pregnancy-related) that makes it impossible for me to grip anything or bear weight on my hands.  It's so painful I've had to do cortisone shots in my wrists, go on prescription diuretics for the swelling and take Ambien for the past 2 months to get any sleep.  A normal labor is almost impossible without using your hands and she's breech.  So...there you go! 

    Thank you all again!

    image

    The reason I wanted to know is because emotional recovery can be a real pain when there aren't "good" reasons for the c/s. "Good" is determined by each individual momma. For me, had there been a real medical reason, I could have been okay. Use a pillow to sneeze afterward. I actually got really good at not sneezing. I would feel it coming on and just blow air out of my nose over and over until it went away. Sneezing hurt me for a month or more.

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