I wanted to add somethings to the thread.
As far as pain relief. If you are really concerned about pain you can get an epidural vs the spinal. Some obs prefer the spinals, but most will operate with an epidural for a planned csection if you ask. What you can do is get the epidural and then they can leave it in, through the cath they can administer meds. The meds are delivered by a timed dose, or you can dose yourself through a patient controled pump. It will work like a walking epidural. You should be able to move and feel your legs, sit up, etc without pain. The meds will also not go to your head, so you can go longer without having to have something like demeral or morphine. Right before mine was removed, I was given a good dose and was pain free for several more hours. I was up within 20 minutes of having the epi cath and the other cath removed, pain free. I went to the bathroom and took a shower, and walk around the room a little bit. This helped to relieve the stiffness. If your doctor is adament about not operating with an epidural, you can get duramorph in your spinal. It may cause itchiness and you may have to take benadryl for that. It varies if this will happen from patient to patient. I have read studies showing 20% get it to some that say 40% get this side effect.
Some things about surgery: Plan your csection for the middle of the week if possible. Most people like morning surgeries, I prefer midday. Try to go and meet the L&D staff if possible the week before hand. Ask questions about good anest. and request the best one. Ask about what to expect in the OR. If they have a recovery room, try to book your csection on a slow day of the week and request to recover in a L&D room. This way you can have your baby immediately and have "guests" if you want. If you are prone to getting sick in the OR from anest. request Zofran. Phenegran will make you sleepy and feel like you are in the twilight zone. If you want, have a CD of music playing. You usually can have at least two people in the OR with you. Ask if you can take photos and/or pictures. They can lower the drape for you to show you the birth and baby immediately or place a mirror above you. You don't have to be strapped down like you are Jesus Christ, you can request to have one or both your arms free. Get a post partum doula if you do not have family to help you out -- they will be invaluable. I have a sister who is an RN who literally is a life safer. Ask for sutures, double layer and on the outside, vs staples. It will make your scar prettier and give you the feeling that you are put together better. If you are allergic to adhesive, be sure to tell them, they can use paper tape on your "wound".
Before Surgery: Several days before surgery, I cut red meat out of my diet and eat six small meals a deal. What you eat a few days before, you will be passing later if you get my drift. Drink plenty of fluids and try to go to the bathroom as much as possible. Keep things moving. Trust me, this is important. LOL
Talk to your doctor about eating after surgery and fluid intake. Pack socks, a boppy, a pillow from home, lotion -- comfort items for your recovery. Chapstick is a must! (or some lip balm) The night or morning of your surgery, bathe with antibacterial soap. Trim things up because you will get shaved. (I suggest doing this a few weeks before
) I actually put on makeup and fixed my hair but to each their own!
After Surgery: As soon as you can get up and move. Walk. Go to the bathroom. Drink, increase your diet from soft foods to solid foods. For gas, and you probably will have it, ask for a rocking chair from the nursery if one isnt in your room and rock in it. This will get the gas moving in your body. The rocking motion will help prevent getting pains in your upper shoulders and back. GasX is your friend.
Nurse often. Get help getting comfortable to nurse. The football position is best or laying side to side. Use the boppy to help support the baby. Cough. You don't want to get pnemonia. Another reason to get up and move (and to prevent clots) Also they now have those massage booties for surgery patients, your hospital may or may not have them, but it never hurts to ask. Ask for pain meds as often as you need them.