What a great thread. My emergency c-section was 6 years ago and I will share what I remember -
My c-section was on a Wednesday in the late afternoon and I was home by 11am Friday. I remember showering Friday morning but needed the nurse to help me get dressed, which was mentally hard for me. I wished my mom or aunt would have been there to help. I was so glad to leave the hospital, I needed to get out of there as I could not sleep at all, it was torture.
Looking back on it, I needed a lot of help in the hospital, far more than at home and if we would have had a second child, I would have arranged for 24 hour companionship the entire time I was in the hospital. DH stayed the first night and my mom stayed the second but having someone during the day would have been very welcome.
How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean - none but my DH worked only a few blocks from our house and came home in the morning and at lunch to check on us, bring me food, etc. He was the absolute best.
How long did you have help from someone else? My mom stayed over the first night and all I remember her doing was bring DS to me during the night so I didn't have to get out of bed. DH could have handled this but we were thankful for her help. After that first night my mom and my aunt stopped in every other day for an hour or two at a time. I don't remember them doing anything besides cuddling DS. Not that I am complaining, I didn't need household help. My aunt wanted to stay with us 24/7 for the first couple of nights but we felt we didn't need her and prefered to be alone.
Was it enough time? Yes
Did you have older children to care for as well? No. I am sure my experience would have been completely different!
How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc? I had a rather easy time of it. I was doing the stairs (our bedrooms are on the second floor) the day I came home. Actually, I don't remember having any mobility issues at all except getting out of bed, see below.
I remember doing laundry that weekend. Friends came to dinner that Sunday (they brought the food) and I know I was dressed and showered. A friend came to visit a week after DS was born and I made lunch that day. (Friend has a fit, she was expecting me to be in bed)
ETA - while I was able to do many things right away, I did them slowly and carefully, I don't want to give the impression I was skipping around the house. It felt good to more around but I did get tired quickly. For example, I would do one load of laundry a day, not four. I would fold the towels and put them in the basket but DH would put them away. I would start dinner but DH would serve and do the dishes. I could do enough to feel pleasantly tired but not exhausted to the point of misery.
How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities? By the end of week 3, I felt almost completely normal. I remember going to an outdoor fall festival at week 2 that required walking so I must have felt good enough to go on that adventure.
One thing that is burned into my memory is how hard it was to get up from a laying position, that was so incredible painful. That pain lasted at least a week.
How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for? Maybe a week.
See katelove's first paragraph. I am in the US but remember the doctor would did my discharge STRONGLY encouraging me to follow a similar regime. I don't know if it has anything to do with it but this doctor was Middle Eastern and a woman. (I gave birth at a teaching hospital) We had a long discussion about my negative feelings about painkillers and her strong opinion that being pain-free making a huge difference in recovery. Looking back on it, I believe it made a difference. I am glad I kept up with the recommended course.
Originally Posted by katelove
In Australia it is standard practice to offer regular (every 6 hours) NSAIDs and paracetamol starting as soon as the woman is able to eat and drink. The first dose is usually given PR in Theatre. Women who have this regime tend to have much better pain control and need significantly fewer narcotics. It varies from person to person but 5-7 days is pretty common for the regular 6 hourly doses. After that most women seem to be able to start reducing the frequency and/or stop the NSAID.
Another thing I found really useful was a bolster. It's something else we use really commonly for all types of abdominal surgery. Get a bath towel (a fairly thin one is best). FOld it in half longways. Then fold it into thirds or quarters (depending how long the towel is) in the other direction. You should have a square-ish shape. Using two long strips of masking tape, secure the towel without squashing it out of shape. Whenever you move, hold the bolster firmly against your incision with one (or both) hands. I used one for the first few days whenever I got out of bed, or stood up fro ma chair, even for walking for the first day or so. When I was in bed I just left it sitting on my tummy and it protected it a bit from little feet as well.
Yes a 1,000x over about the bolster. After the second day, I was on the phone with a friend and she asked "have you pooped yet?" When I reply "hell no, I feel like I will split open" She told me about the bolster thing, made a HUGE difference in terms of comfort.
I am 100% for natural births and had every intention of going that route. While I would never chose a second c-section, it wasn't as horrible as I expected. I think I was lucky enough to be in the small minority that recovered quickly and without complications. I had several friends who had natural births that were absolutely plowed under for 2+ weeks. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I recovered. Oh, I was 34 yo at the time, overweight by at least 40 pounds (pre-pregnancy) and in ok physical shape, we walked a lot and I worked full-time prior to birth.