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Planned/ elective C-section. Different recovery than emergency?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I will have to have a planned/ elective section. I have thought long and hard about this and it was a very difficult decision to make as my first birth was natural and wonderful. It lasted two days which suited me just fine as the slow approach made it all bearable. The hospital I gave birth in had a holistic approach and was brand new. There was a birthing pool, a labour gym, privacy, my husband was allowed to stay with me for the three nights after the birth. There were family beds for co-sleeping, a brilliant lactation consultant, aromatherapy, herbal teas, doulas... It was a wonderful experience that I will cherish forever.


But the birth also had serious impact on my already weak bladder and pelvic floor, it took three years of daily physio and medication to get some semblance of continence back and I have been told that I can never give birth naturally again unless I want to be in nappies for the rest of my life. So, of course I changed my urologist to get a second opinion on that. Did urodynamics in the hospital. Had all testing done available Got a third opinion in the UK where we live now. They all have the same opinion, so I am respecting that and had to come to terms with having to have en elective section.


No judgement, please, I KNOW natural birth is best, I KNOW the recovery is faster, I KNOW it is better for baby. Baby is due on Hogmanay, but C-section might be as early as 38 weeks due to it being Christmas...


My question now is... is the elective section recovery easier than emergency section? If it is done on the 18th or 20th of December (will get my booking date next week) will I be able to do anything at Christmas or will I be in bed? 


Does anyone have a good section birth story that made it a positive experience? 

post #2 of 11

I have no experience with an emergency section, but I did have a vaginal birth and then a planned cesarean per my request two years later. The cesarean recovery was incredibly easy compared to recovering from 50+ hours of labor and three hours of pushing. I don't know what common protocols are where you live, but I received adequate pain medication after my section. Had I receive something more than over-the-counter meds after a grueling vaginal delivery, I may have a different opinion of the experiences. I also had much more support in the hospital with the cesarean, and I wore the biggest, happiest grin on my face when I got to sit down without wincing unlike the other moms in the mother/baby unit.


And the baby I had via cesarean was born in much better shape than the one I vaginally delivered. My first baby had terribly wet lungs, could not cry, and developed jaundice from the trauma of the experience. Number 2 was just pink and happy.

post #3 of 11

And we (me, husband, toddler, newborn, betta fish, and two cats) moved to another city a week after my section.

post #4 of 11
Recovery is generally faster with a planned section rather than an emergency one. That being said, if I were you I would definitely plan on taking it very easy for Christmas. You will be recovering from surgery and won't be able to do much. The more you try and push it, the longer recovery will take.

I think you are making a very reasonable decision. There are reasons for having c-sections and avoiding being in diapers for the rest of your life is definitely one of them!! You sound very well informed.
post #5 of 11

I had one emergency c/s and one planned (I was trying for a VBAC, but never went into labor and they wouldn't induce b/c of the previous c/s). I honestly remember the first one being pretty difficult, but I had to do a lot b/c there was a death in the family. I don't remember the second much. They were 7.5 and 9 years ago though.


I'm having another one with #3. I feel uncomfortable telling people about it in my area since many people have home births, etc. I just can't imagine that I'd be better of with a VBAC after two c/s, but I still feel judgement. 


You are making the choice that is best for you. If you suffer all your life with that issue it will impact your kids much more than the c/s. I would expect to be pretty tired and immobile for Christmas, but you could still hang out on the couch. 

post #6 of 11

I had a very easy recovery from my planned c-section.  The recovery from my first wasn't terrible, but I think the stress of laboring, the shock of the demanding newborn, moving, death in family was a bit much for me.   I'm not sure how long they keep you in the hospital in the UK.  In the US the stay is usually 3 to 4 days.   I was up and walking around the next day after my c-section.  I never had any trouble caring for my babies, nursing, etc after my c-sections.  That said I was not trying to be super woman either and I had lots of help!


I don't think if you have a c-section on the 20th, you'll not be wanting to travel or anything...but I don't see you see stuck in bed all Christmas either.  


I would say that natural birth is not always best for mom and it's not always best for baby either...What's best depends on the outcome.  I would say an intact pelvic floor is always best for mom. In my case a live undamaged baby is best of all!!! 


And recovery is not always faster.  I had my c-section on a Monday and was in Church the following Sunday.  Two moms that had natural births around the same time I had my c-section didn't feel like coming to church for two weeks.   


I would take a c-section any day over having to wear nappies the rest of my life.  


I would recommend that you get some advice on recovery from your c-section from Mom's that have been there done that.  My advice is to 1. Get moving as soon as they will let you.  2. Take your pain medicine...it's better to not let the pain start.  3.  Don't do too much to fast.  4. Be aware of the constipation that comes from the abdominal surgery or the pain meds and take steps to prevent it (honestly that's the worst part for me.)


Best of luck and congratulations on the coming baby!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing! Yes, I get the "feeling uncomfortable", too. That I have to explain and excuse my decision and I am not really one who wants to tell everyone in the village the reason for my decision, lol. 


I just want it to be positive, I want to bf, I want to be involved in his "firsts". Want DH to give the first bath, put on his first clothes, etc. Section will be right after Christmas instead of right before, so I will hopefully still be able to do things at Christmas. Not too much. 

post #8 of 11

EineMutti - I don't see any reason your c-section can't be a positive experience.  A lot of it will have to to with your attitude and expectations.  Be sure you talk to the doctors about what to expect and tell them what you would like to happen. 


You will want to find out if the baby can be in recovery with you and if not where do they take the baby?  In the US it depends on the hospital.  My DH was able to bath and cuddle withe baby while I was in recovery. Having a c-sections doesn't mean you are doomed at breastfeeding.  It can be more difficult, but I think that is because sometimes Mom's are sore and have trouble lifting the baby.  With my first we had latch problems and I got tired of latching and unlatching....and I wasn't used to carrying around a baby!  2nd baby none of those problems. I would recommend getting a very nice nursing pillow or making sure you have plenty of nice pillows to help support the baby in the first few weeks.  


I'm sorry people make you feel uncomfortable.  It's unfortunate that people are so ignorant about why c-sections are often very needed...not to mention it's none of their business anyway. 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

It was amazing! Baby Joey was born on the 27th of December, via planned section. We got the skin-to-skin, he breastfed straight away and so far, we have no trouble feeding at all, he regained birthweight by day 7 and has already put on more than 2 pounds, jumping up on his centiles. 


I was up and walking five hours later and had very little discomfort through the first night and the next day. By day 2, pain was gone, just a little discomfort, like a bruise inside me. After five days, I felt literally NOTHING. The sar is shorter than I thought and very neat, never even bled. Hardly visible now, just a dark red line. 

post #10 of 11

Congratulations!  I'm so happy everything went well and you've have had such a wonderful recovery!

post #11 of 11
Wow!!! Congratulations!!
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