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Share your ideas on how to make a Cesarean Birth a positive experience - Page 3

post #41 of 56

Good Low Tech Stuff

  • Abdominal binder (I loved that thing)
  • Breathing apparatus to help prevent pneumonia (don't know if this is common, but I got this plastic thing-like a peak flow meter-to breathe into to help clear out my lungs)

Information

  • All C/S patients should know that everyone reacts to pain meds differently and if a med isn't working for you, they should try something else (never having had surgery before I had no idea, now I know that I am in the minority that does great on morphine).

 

For High Risk/Mag Sulfate deliveries

  • Hospitals should do everything they can to get mom up to the NICU.  I was taken up about 8 hours after I got out of surgery, still on mag and with a catheter.  I've since heard tons of stories of women who didn't get to see their babies for 48 hours because hospital policy didn't allow them out of bed on mag.

The Good of my experience

  • smart hospital staff who respect naturally minded women
  • a doctor who saw me as a person and came up to my room to hang out with me and just chat a couple times after the birth
  • Hospital staff who explained everything and were clear about evidence, and were honest when they were just trying stuff because they didn't know what the hell else to do.

The Bad

  • An OR that was like a war zone with people screaming and cursing-note to health care workers, if the patient is conscious save your freaking out for later.
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post


The other sensation thing that surprised me is how your tummy (around the external incision and where they did the internal suturing too) stays numb for sooooooo long!  I've heard it can be tingly or numb for up to a YEAR after! 


It can be longer than that. I never got full sensation back after ds2, and he's almost 6.5. My scar line, extending both up and down, slightly, is also still completely numb from dd2, and she's almost 2.5 I think a year is actually quite common. I've had the sunburn-y feeling a couple of times, and it lasted several months each time...over six once, but I can't remember which child that was, anymore.

 

post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



It can be longer than that. I never got full sensation back after ds2, and he's almost 6.5. My scar line, extending both up and down, slightly, is also still completely numb from dd2, and she's almost 2.5 I think a year is actually quite common. I've had the sunburn-y feeling a couple of times, and it lasted several months each time...over six once, but I can't remember which child that was, anymore.

I don't have tingling, but 5.5 years out, I still have a loss of sensation. I can feel pressure, but light touching I can't feel. It bothered me for a long time to wear pants with a regular waist, like jeans. It took a long time for it to get a little bit better, and I had to deal with it emotionally. My sister, on the other hand, regained all sensation after her 3 c-sections at about a year out. I just wish that the doctor would have mentioned the possibility of nerve damage. I've had several other surgeries, and the possibility of nerve damage was always discussed. It didn't happen with my c-section, and it was planned.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post


I don't have tingling, but 5.5 years out, I still have a loss of sensation. I can feel pressure, but light touching I can't feel. It bothered me for a long time to wear pants with a regular waist, like jeans. It took a long time for it to get a little bit better, and I had to deal with it emotionally. My sister, on the other hand, regained all sensation after her 3 c-sections at about a year out. I just wish that the doctor would have mentioned the possibility of nerve damage. I've had several other surgeries, and the possibility of nerve damage was always discussed. It didn't happen with my c-section, and it was planned.


I was having gas and bladder issues, both related to the lack of sensation in the area, after I had ds2. When I talked to my GP (assisted in the surgery, and was my primary prenatal provider) about it, she told me it "couldn't" have anything to do with the c-section. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I've never been warned about nerve damage, either. For some reason, it doesn't seem to be on the medical radar.

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



I was having gas and bladder issues, both related to the lack of sensation in the area, after I had ds2. When I talked to my GP (assisted in the surgery, and was my primary prenatal provider) about it, she told me it "couldn't" have anything to do with the c-section. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I've never been warned about nerve damage, either. For some reason, it doesn't seem to be on the medical radar.

This isn't a c-section issue, but my mom had similar issues from fertility surgeries that she had. One to clean out her tubes after she got an infection from birthing my sister, and another to reposition her retroverted uterus. After the second surgery, she had issues with frequent urination and gas. The doctors swore up and down that it had nothing to do with the surgery. (BTW, they made a low bikini-line cut just like a c-section.) This year, she had laproscopic surgery to fuse two vertebrae in her spine. The surgery took much longer than we had expected. Why? The orthopedic surgeon realized that when they did the fertility surgery, they actually relocated her ureters, bladder, and some of her intestines. Because the orthopedic surgeon had to be so careful to navigate around the displaced organs, they're going to have to go back in to relocate the organs and do more work on her spine. It just boggles my mind that doctors can be so adamant that they "couldn't have" caused issues like this. I've read the studies, and they're a lot less likely to have pissed off patients sue if they're honest about the risks and any screw-ups. I am glad that I found a new OB, and she's known for being gentle AND honest.
post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post


It just boggles my mind that doctors can be so adamant that they "couldn't have" caused issues like this. I've read the studies, and they're a lot less likely to have pissed off patients sue if they're honest about the risks and any screw-ups. I am glad that I found a new OB, and she's known for being gentle AND honest.


 

This. I have a deeply rooted distrust of doctors now, and it's almost entirely based around the crap that went on around my c-sections. I really wish they'd just be honest.

post #47 of 56
Back to the subject at hand, I highly recommend taking the hospital tour, even IF you have a scheduled c-section. That's your chance to ask questions about policies, see the rooms, find out their prep procedures before the c-section, how they handle recovery, etc.

The hospital I had DD at was older, and handles a big portion of the high risk cases for Nor. Cal. They prepped me in a shared room, but luckily I had it to myself. The hospital had two dedicated operating rooms, and access to several others if needed. I was allowed to bring two support people. DD was whisked off to the NICU because she was snorting a little, and I didn't see her for over an hour. I found out later that the neonatologist said she didn't even need to be there. She likely would have regulated her breathing just fine if she was placed on my chest. I was able to nurse in recovery after she was allowed back. I was a little out of it because I was itching and shaking, and got a lot of meds to stop the side effects. I think I was in recovery for about two hours before getting a room.

I had a HORRIBLE roommate. She didn't speak English, she had no support, wouldn't breastfeed because of cultural reasons, and the nurses were in there with her around the clock. I don't fault her for those things, but it made sleeping impossible. The first day we were allowed only clear liquids like broth, jello, etc. The second day we were allowed food, but it was bland at first. She had her family visit, and they brought the most horrible smelling ethnic food. It wasn't a good choice for her to eat...she ended up with severe diarrhea and I couldn't get up to pee. I got chastised by the nurses for it. Eventually I broke down crying, and told them I needed my own room. I hadn't slept in two days because of the nurses coming in and turning on lights every 20 minutes for her. I got the first available room, and things were fine after that.

What I learned:

- Opt for a hospital that has private rooms if possible.
- I'll ask for different pain control if I end up with an RCS. Norco was not sufficient, but the OB would only give me Norco or Vicodin.
- I did my research, and a better OB. One that doesn't push c-sections, one that is evidence based, and one that supports natural birth. (Even with twins!)
- I'll bring magnesium or vitamin C with me to the hospital, in case I get constipated again. I tried walking, prune juice (GROSS!), lots of that sweet cranberry juice, colace, etc. Nothing helped. I've since discovered that a little magnesium or C help, and it is much quicker than the other methods.
- I picked a different hospital that is more family-friendly. (Actually, baby-friendly as they say.)
- I'll probably bring my own snacks this time. The hospital food wasn't bad, but I would have been hungry in between meals.

The hospital I chose this time also has two dedicated operating rooms, with others available but not normally used. Prep and recovery happen in a regular L&D room as long as they aren't incredibly busy. If they are, moms can recover in the 3 bed triage room. (I've already had to go their twice...triage isn't so bad there. At the old place it was ratty and small.)
post #48 of 56

Definitely food! I went into the OR around 8am and was eating in the afternoon. My hospital treats all patients like they're 60 a d in for a bypass. Lowfat everything, yuck.

 

With my first the bed could only be adjusted by the midwives. I was so much happier with the electric one you get in US hospitals (and the private room).  Also, if you really feel out of it the first night, don't feel bad if you think about sending the baby to the nursery. If your partner can stay that's even better, but mine couldn't and it really was better for baby to be looked after properly which I wasn't fit to do. 

post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

Oh! How could I forget jammies. I do NOT like the hospital gowns.


Additional note on JAMMIES. My c/s was un-planned and I had brought yoga pants and t-shirt to wear in the hospital, I could not handle the little pressure the pants put on my incision while it was healing. I was stuck wearing the hospital gowns for 4 days. irked.gif  If we have another, I will investing in a few nightgowns.

 

Also consider what you bring to wear home. I think I brought my normal capris and top, again I couldn't wear the bottoms. DH brought me a pair of his basketball shorts to wear home. I felt silly in them, but I didn't have alot of options. I wish I had had some kind of loose dress to wear home.


Edited by MsDolphin - 11/21/11 at 11:28am
post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsDolphin View Post



Additional note on JAMMIES. My c/s was un-planned and I had brought yoga pants and t-shirt to wear in the hospital, I could not handle the little pressure the pants put on my incision while it was healing. I was stuck wearing the hospital gowns for 4 days. irked.gif  If we have another, I will investing in a few nightgowns.



I'd actually meant to mention this, with respect to underwear. I'm overweight, which means that if I wear things (underwear, in particular) that don't sit on the incision, they tend to push my belly down onto the incision, instead. I find that horribly uncomfortable, so I actually prefer to have my underwear sit on the incision line...over a dressing, obviously! Most women I've talked to are the opposite, so they recommend "granny panties" (my preference, anyway - I just push them down at the top), so that the waistband isn't on the incision. I think this one is probably obvious to most women who have already had a c-section, but it's worth mentioning, just in case!

post #51 of 56
Our hospital stocks one-size-fits-all (kind of fits all) mesh undies. You can order plus sized panties online ahead of time if you need them. They were more comfortable. When I covered up the incision with a bandage, I ended up with a yeast infection in the incision. The mesh undies helped the area breath when I was treating the yeast.
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

Our hospital stocks one-size-fits-all (kind of fits all) mesh undies. You can order plus sized panties online ahead of time if you need them. They were more comfortable. When I covered up the incision with a bandage, I ended up with a yeast infection in the incision. The mesh undies helped the area breath when I was treating the yeast.


I use those in the hospital, too - but I can't let the area breathe most of the time, because my stomach sits on the incision. I need to have a wound dressing between my flabby abdomen and the incision...and I prefer to also have my waistband there (even on the mesh ones), because it's more comfortable than having my tummy sitting on it. When I had a fresh incision, I'd try to remember to lie on my back and hold my tummy up sometimes, but I didn't do it as often as I probably should have.

 

Actually, looking back, this is another area I could have used information. My notes from two of my c-sections are full of comments about how I'd been informed of the necessity to keep the area dry and aired out, but was not doing so. But, nobody ever gave me any suggestions on how to do that, and the only thing that worked was physically holding my abdomen off the incisions...not something I could reasonably do all day (between eating, feeding baby, etc.). Does anyone have any solid tips on that? (I don't need them, anymore, but I'm sure others do!)

post #53 of 56
Aside from binding the flabby parts (I have those too - it is a shelf of flab after the section), I'm not sure. I've seen them tape up HUGE bellies before surgery for women that are really big, but that isn't exactly feasible once you're moving around. My nurse told me to use a maxi pad to cover the wound, and that is what caused my problems. God bless my husband for going down to the pharmacy, only to have to ask where the Monistat cream was. It was bad enough having to call the OB to ask why my wound was oozing something that smelled like beer.
post #54 of 56

To cover the incision, you need something clean and absorbent.  I don't like maxis because they are full of crap I don't want on me and don't use them for my periods.  I used some rolled up undies for coming home and am using sterile surgical wound covers right now. I used gauze pads last time,but didn't start until I'd healed a bit.  M belly rearranged itself oddly while pregnant this time, so I'm pretty focused on keeping things dry.

post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z View Post



I gotta agree with you here, how on earth is that even an issue?!?  I suspect it isn't the standard of care as much as the occasional stupidity of humans not paying attention to what is going on.  I think they usually pull the catheter out before the spinal has worn off, and I can't even imagine the scream that would issue from me if they tried to cath me BEFORE the spinal.  maybe if I was already in labor, because I didn't even feel the needle at my first, emergency c-section (so it was a bit of a shock when I had it done without laboring...wish I would have known that because I think I accidentally hit the nurse in shock).



Or if you have to have a catheter before the spinal for whatever reason, ask for a nurse who does NOT have fingernails to put it in.  I've had three or four caths in the last two weeks and was fully conscious and feeling for all of them. 

post #56 of 56

And one more quick post to adjust my subscription option.

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