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Cesarean Section Support Only Thread June 2005 - Page 9

post #161 of 339
Thread Starter 

Cesarean Birth Story of Katie Rose

I'm hoping I will not be interrupted.
I have lots to share with all of you.

The Birth

On Friday the 24th I arrived at the hospital around 10am, and might I add that I had my hair fixed and full makeup on. I was a little nervous but was set at ease with Katie's constant movements. She was very active and my husband kept telling her she was about to be evicted. I walked to Labor & Delivery and they told my husband they would come and get him shortly and asked him to go to the waiting room. This is now a hospital policy so that they can ask patients questions without family or husbands present. At first I was a little aggravated but after I was in there I was glad he wasn't there.

I had a wonderful L&D nurse named Heather. She was really sweet and funny but was a little taken a back by some of my requests, even mentioning that some of them could not be done. I told her that I had already discussed them with my OB and the Anest. Dept and that they would be honored. She was surprised that they all were. Anyway the most difficult part of my whole cesarean birth was the placement of the IV. I have really small veins, and it took three people over thirty minutes to finally get one in with a pediatric needle. It was in a really painful spot in my wrist along the bone. Katie was really active, her heart rate sometimes going as high as 174, I was having some contractions, and my blood pressure was doing very well. Shortly after the IV was in, my husband came back to the L&D room. Now we just waited.

A little after 12pm my sister and Steve, the anest. assist. came in. Steve is actually my neighbor, and he was able to get the anest. from his group that I wanted. I was THRILLED about that. A little before 12:30 I got the epidural. It was a breeze, I felt only pressure and it only took a few minutes. Everyone was really surprised how relax and easy going I was. All i could think about was how in just a few minutes I was going to meet my daughter. The epidural block took more on my right side, so I was redosed before going to the OR to get it more even. I was still able to move my body and feet with concentration but had a very good block by the time I went to the OR. Everyone in the OR was really jovial and funny, setting me at ease. They kept asking me how I felt, and I told them fine.

Once I was on the operating table, I almost felt relief. I could still feel Katie moving. My sister and my husband were there talking to me. I went in to the OR at 12:40, at 12:46 Katie Rose was born. While they were getting her out I had no pain at all, I could feel them pushing her out and as soon as they pulled her head out I felt relief. They held her up over the sterile field and showed her to me. She was covered with vernix and very little blood and she was crying. The first thing everyone in the room said was how much smaller she was than we thought she was going to be. My husband did not get to cut the cord like we had wanted him too, but that seemed to be the last of our concerns. Our pediatrician checked out the baby and declared her perfect. Her apgars were 9 and 9. My husband announce from across the room that she was very little and had lots of brownish black hair. He brought her to me and I looked at how small she was. She had lots of hair and had very small features. Her skin was a very rosey pink and she had lots of vernix all over her body and it was really thick in the creases of her skin. After a few minutes my husband walked her to the nursery to get weighed and measured and to get a diaper for her.

After Katie was taken to the nursery, Steve kept asking me if I was feeling okay. They were asking me all kinds of questions, and must have asked me half a dozen times if I had any pain. My pain was a Zero. None at all. In fact I had no oxygen, surprising since my blood pressure was running very low during the entire surgery. My Ob told me that I had very little adhesions and that my uterus and ovaries looked remarkably well for having had now three csections. My septum was still intact but flattened, and my placenta was very healthy looking. At 1:05 they were wheeling me out of the OR to my L&D room to recover. Twenty minutes from start to finish! I was pleasantly surprised.

As soon as I was in recovery I began asking for ice chips. I had really bad dry mouth and I also wanted to sit up in the bed. Steve came to monitor me and to redose my epidural and set up the PCAP. While he was in there, my blood pressure dropped to 88/33. They kept asking me how I felt, and if I was light headed. At this point I was feeling fine and did not know my blood pressure was so low. They brought the baby to me and told me that she weighed 6lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long. (she isn't 20 inches long tho) I unwrapped her from her blankets and took a look at all her little features. She was really small, and about that time my OB stepped in to check on me. She commented that she was small and maybe a little earlier than we thought but that everything looked great and I was doing well. I started to feel a little light headed and I was given ephedrine. My blood pressure was not recovering, and didn't for several hours. Instead of staying for 1.5hrs in recovery, I stayed four hours, though I don't think I minded because I didn't complain. I did have bouts of sleepiness, and disoriented for a good bit of my recovery from the low BP, however I was allowed to keep the baby with me the entire time. The only time my BP recovered to anything normal was when my dad and MIL visisted me in recovery, which my L&D nurse commented on jokingly.

Overall I would rate my birth experience as absolutely wonderful. This cesarean was easier than the last, and I had no pain during or in recovery. Baby wasn't really interested in nursing right away but did nurse three hours after birth for nearly an hour on both breasts. We did have some trouble nursing, but not for her lack of trying or interest. Her mouth is very small and my nipples are really large, so it took her awhile to get it into her small little mouth. The staff was absolutely wonderful and the baby nurse we had was very respectful of all our wishes. I absolutely got the best experience someone could dream of and everyone worked really hard to make it special.

I will post more about my actual recovery since it has been very different than my last planned cesarean. I am doing well and have been home since Sunday. I have so much to tell all of you and to talk about!

post #162 of 339
OTF-- SOunds perfect I'm so glad everything went well.
post #163 of 339
Congratulations, Kim! It sounds as though all your planning really paid off. Best wishes for the next few weeks of getting to know Katie.
post #164 of 339
Oh Kim
Many many for you! It sounds like it was a great experience overall. I am so happy for you!

post #165 of 339
Yay Kim
I'm so, so glad to hear things went so well. I just stopped in to ask if anyone had heard how you were and was so happy to see your post. Enjoy your babymoon!!!

post #166 of 339
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for the congrats!

Things are going really well. I am so glad to be home from the hospital. I left Sunday around noon time. My recovery this time was different than my last one. While I had excellend day time nursing care, at night it was horrible. I actually had nurses forget about me, and I was not given my medication on time. Whenever I did need something from them I had to pester or walk to the nurses station. It was quite aggravating. My pain level was very low, and mostly had very little to do with my cesarean. Afterbirth pains are terrible this time and continue to be. I am told this gets worse with each child. One side of my incision has a burning sensation, this same sensation I felt for the majority of my pregnancy, so I believe it has something to do with the nerve endings in that area. I also was a lot more stiff and had more muscle problems after having my epidural removed.

I did have some side effects from the epidural that I did not have from my previous one. I have a numb spot on my back where it was inserted. I also have muscle cramps and numbness in my left leg that I am still having. They say this should go away within the week.

Overall I feel a lot better than I did at the end of my pregnancy. I can easily move around and do not have the pain that I had due to her being head down. No more running to the bathroom every 30 minutes either. I am hardly bleeding. I am down to using pantyliners 5 days out.

I will tell more about our adventure later. I think I hear Katie stirring.

post #167 of 339
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
. I am hardly bleeding. I am down to using pantyliners 5 days out.

I will tell more about our adventure later. I think I hear Katie stirring.

I am sorry that your night nurses were not good

You are lucky that your bleeding is light..I was told that it can get worse with each child.. and it was true for me..

post #168 of 339
Thread Starter 

Something to Be Aware of If you are planning or may have a cesarean

During this past hospital stay I spent a good bit of time in the nursery just talking with the nursery workers. I have to say, that while the nursery nurses were wonderful, I was very depressed and upset by new policies that have been adopted since having Jack.

One is one I wanted to share with all of you because this seems to be a policy that is being adopted at other hospitals all over. If your baby is bathed after a cesarean birth they must put the baby under the warmer for at least one hour, preventing mom from having baby in recovery. I chose not to have our baby bathed before even knowing this new policy, but while visiting the nursery, I heard them telling the student nurses that all csection babies that had baths had to be put under warmers because they tend to have more problems maintaining their temperature than vaginal birthed babies. So if you want your baby in recovery, you may want to think of at least delaying any bath until later and nursing is established.

Another thing, about dropping temps in newborns born by cesarean. Katie did have trouble keeping her temp above 97 in recovery. I luckily had a great nurse who knew me, and helped me keep her in recovery. We placed Katie on my chest skin to skin and then wrapped her with warming blankets from the nursery. She then got a warm blanket from a warmer from L&D and laid it on top of both of us, within ten minutes Katie's temp was high enough to stay with me for the duration. If they say your baby is having trouble maintaining their temps try those things to bring it back up and have them check it again.

One thing I found disturbing about the nursery setting now is the lack of skin to skin contact. The nurses have to wear gloves whenever they touch a baby now. This is a fairly new rule I was told. They are also not allowed to hold babies anymore, unless to feed them or bathe them. While I was in the nursery watching Katie on her bililight (she is Coombs Positive) on Sunday morning, there was a baby in the far part of the nursery crying. It was totally depressing to me! Anyway, Katie's nurse told me the baby had been crying on and off for nearly two hours and they had called the mother several times to take the baby to her but the mother said she didn't want her and wanted her left in the nursery. Because of the new policy, they can't just sit and hold the babies while they work. It was so sad!!! I wanted to go and pick that baby up. This is one of the few hospitals that encourages rooming in, but it was sad that so many parents didn't do this. I was thinking that if more parents knew that the nursery workers cant hold the babies and have to wear gloves just to put a pacifier in their mouths, they might would rething rooming in. We were so glad to have rooming in and be able to have the bililights in the room with us so we could continue to room in. Our baby was the only baby of 20 who did total rooming in while we were there.

post #169 of 339
I tried rooming in with ds, and I simply couldn't manage it by myself. With dh there, I was able to have dd in the room the entire hospital visit.

What on earth has caused this change in policy???? This was the sort of thing that went on when my dad was a baby (he was in an orphanage, and never ever picked up except to feed, change and bathe him), and I believe it did a lot of psychological damage to babies. I can't believe this has been reversed! I'll have to find out if that's the policy at our hospital...

Poor babies.
post #170 of 339
When I had Tracy the policy was liekt his. Where I had Bryce the policy was different. When you walked on the floor the nurses were all holding babies. Bryce was in NICU for 30 hours and then he was with me. But he did so well sleeping and the nurses were great he went to the nursery the last night. The nurses held him as he slept.

Concerning bathing, Bryce wasn't bathed till he got out of NICU, my request since he didn't go to NICU till he was several hours old. Until he had a bath anyone handling him had to wear gloves. If he had been bathed they could have skin to skin contact.
post #171 of 339
Ok, so I lost the thread this month!! Kim, big congrats on Katie, I'm so happy to hear she's here, happy and healthy!
That's terrible the nurses aren't allowed to hold babies, my hospital has no nursery so rooming is mandatory but if you need a break--the nurses just take baby to the desk with them--one downfall--if they are all busy, they can't take the baby. The only time we left Molly was when we went to get a coffee.
I gotta tell you all, reading these stories of new babies is getting me to wanting one again! I had a bit of a pregnancy "scare" (read-not the right time,but so sorry to see AF) and now I'm thinking of trying next month--I'm probably nuts with a 5 mos old :LOL
post #172 of 339
post #173 of 339
That is terrible.. The nurses at our birth center hold the babies and rock them all the time....

What is Coombs Positive?

post #174 of 339
Thread Starter 
Coombs Positive is when there are blood incompatibility issues between you and your partner and the baby you carry has your partners blood type. This has happened with two of our three biological children. Our oldest and youngest. What happens is that it can cause severe jaundice and even require a blood transfussion. I am O+ and my husband is A+, and Katie is A+.

If there is a problem, one way to help is to cut the umbilical cord immediately after birth. The thing is you don't know until after baby is born unless there was an amnio before hand. Our daughter was put on a bilibed when she was six hours old, which I think has helped tremendously not to mention my milk came in very quickly. We have home health care right now. She gets her blood drawn two days, then they skip a day, and then do it again. When her bilirueben level drops below 10 we can take her off the lights. Her level is dropping but still at a 14. While not a problem for other infants, we have to continue to watch hers to make sure it doesnt rise.
post #175 of 339
Thread Starter 
Hi Shannon!

Wow, already thinking of another one. What does your OB think? Or have you even discussed it with her yet. The reason I ask is that my OB likes to see at least 18 months to two years between csections. Not sure if you would do a repeat of not.

post #176 of 339
Nah, I haven't talked to her about it--actually, I'm still attempting to get to the bottom of the pain I've been having since 3 weeks PP. I had a colonoscopy last week and apparently I have a lovely colon, so that's not it (but funny thing--the doc who did it came back after talking to dh to let me know that his wife's name was Shannon and his daughter's name was Molly!)
Anyway, ideally he wants to repeat the cat scan, but without the dye it's not much good and since I was covered in hives just from drinking the initial dye before even getting the injectable one--he says he'd rather open me up and take a quick look than risk my dying in the scanner (which almost happened once when I had the dye for a renal study) I really need to get all this taken care of first--but yeah, I have some pretty major baby fever going on
post #177 of 339

planned CS 12/05

we are having a planned csection in december with my 3d child. both of my sons were born via csection, although with both of them i attempted natural childbirth. i was in labor with the first child for over 36 hours before he went into distress and they had to perform an emergency csection. almost the same situation with my second son, although they performed an emergency csection after about 20 hours. both kids were almost 9 lbs. i dont understand why i wasn't able to deliver them naturally though. i am 5'9 and not petite at all. for whatever reason, though, we will be having a planned csection and i am a little worried about it. its not like i haven't been through the procedure before, but its never been the case that i have planned it. its just happened. this one i am getting nervous about though.
anyone in the same situation?
can you share your experiences with me about what to expect when a csection is planned?
post #178 of 339
Thread Starter 

At the beginning of this thread there is a birthing plan for a planned elective csection. Above is my birth story of that csection. I am sure some other moms can give you some advice too!

I've had two really good experiences with planned cesareans. So you can have a good and wonderful birth.

Welcome to our little thread on MDC!

post #179 of 339
Hello everybody,
I'm new here but am very happy to have found this thread. I just want to say that I really appreciate everyone's sharing their experiences.

I'm still struggling with my own birth experience but for a different reason than others on this thread. I had a very difficult vaginal birth which ended up in an emergency forceps delivery. My son still has scars on his head albeit small ones, and I will be dealing with the effects of my 4th degree laceration (no episiotomy) from the forceps for the rest of my life. (Sex problems, incontinence, etc.) I had to have reconstructive surgery because of the laceration and it's helped but I'm just accepting that I'll never be the same down there, that's been very hard.
I'm actually bitter that I WASN'T given a C-section. I was 10cm and pushing for 4 hours, totally exhausted before my son got into trouble and my doctor just yanked him out with the forceps. Words can't possibly describe the pain and the terror. Thank god my son was alright except for a couple of scars on his head from the forceps. My husband was totally traumatized. I believe the entire floor of the hospital heard my screams when she pulled him out. My husband was unable to speak for an entire day afterwards. We didn't even call his parents to tell them until the next day. I was too weak, in shock and terrible pain to hold my son for a couple hours. I think I must have lost a lot of blood because I was also unable to stand or walk on my own for 2 or 3 days afterwards.
I really don't understand how it could have happened. A forceps delivery was my biggest fear. I had a long conversation with my doctor about it after seeing them in the childbirth class. She assured me that she very rarely used forceps...only in an absolute emergency to save the life of the child. So, you can imagine how I felt when things went really south. It got really chaotic and everyone started screaming at me to push (hello, what had I been doing for 4 hours) and she yelled for the forceps. I vaguely remember my husband screaming at her as well (only time I've EVER heard him yell). We had asked for a C-section after I became exhausted after pushing for 2+ hours but they just ignored us. I believe that was because there was no doctor around. My doctor had come in after I'd been pushing for an hour and announced she was off to do a twin delivery so I'd have to use the MW on call, someone I'd never met, knew nothing about. The MW came in, introduced herself and left. That was the last we saw of her. After 3+ hours of pushing, after repeated requests for a c-section, my doctor came back from her twin delivery and I was STILL pushing. She tried to get him out with the vacuum extractor and that's when things got really bad.
I felt like such a failure afterwards. Why hadn't I been able to push him out? I'm very fit. I had just ran a marathon the year before getting pregnant. He was a fairly big baby but not giant (8lbs, 6 oz). I later went to a different OB/GYN who measured my hips(the bottom section) and told me they are unusually narrow. Now, why didn't my birth OB do that? My new OB/GYN seemed surprised she hadn't. I think my son's head just got stuck and couldn't get past. I really makes me VERY angry when I hear people criticizing women/doctors about C-sections and/or pain relief. In my case there would very likely have been a better outcome for all. I don't understand why people are so judgemental about the experiences and choices of others.
I also believe that the forceps delivery was at least a partial cause of the BF problems we had. He was unable to latch because he couldn't open his mouth very wide. I was told that the forceps can cause the plates in the head to misalign and that can cause problems in the beginning. We didn't get very good support from the lactation person in the hospital before going home and we had an awful few days at home where we thought he was getting milk but he wasn't. That turned into an emergency and it was only through the intervention of a wonderful lactation person at a different hospital that we were able to get things turned around. It took 2 months of pumping and persisting with trying to get him (and me) to learn to latch before it finally worked out. He nursed for 14 months before weaning himself and in the end I was happy we had stuck with it but it sure was hard in the beginning.

After that experience my husband and I were pretty sure we weren't going to have any more kids. My son is now 2 yrs and 3 months and we've moved from pretty certain we're done to considering the possibility but still leaning to no. The ONLY way I would do it is if I could have a planned C-section. I've talked to my NEW OB/GYN about it and he said after what I've been through he doesn't know of a doctor who would advise a Vbirth so that's not an issue. I've talked to him about the surgical risks and feel ok about that but I have some questions I'm hoping some of you who've been through it could help me with.

From what I understand, there are two types of pain medications. One is a spinal and the other an epidural. Is that correct? What are the pros and cons of each? (I had an epidural with my vaginal birth but it didn't work and I know a woman who had an emergency c-section with one that didn't work so I'm a little worried about those.)

What impact does it have on your stomach muscles and/or shape? After they heal are they different?

How bad does the scar look? Does it depend on your skin type/healing ability? How they sew you up? I seem to have been blessed with the kind of skin which is resistant to strech marks. Does that mean the scar would be less? What are the pros and cons of sutures vs. staples vs. glue?

I know a lot of you were not happy to have a c-section and didn't have good experiences, but is there anything that would have made it go better for you? (Other than having a V-birth.)

I would want to have my baby with me immediately. How common is that? I read OTF's post about the bath and that's great info, thanks.

What could I do prior to the c-section to prepare?

Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience.
post #180 of 339
I can't say much about the anesthetics. I've had a general and an epidural - they both worked, and I hated them both. However, my mom had a true spinal when she had me...and developed what's called a spinal headache. She says it was the worst headache she's ever had, and this is from a woman who used to have to crawl to the bathroom at least one day a month from the severity of her migraines. I'd be inclined to try to the epidural - if it's a planned section, not an emergency, they'll know it's not working before they try the surgery.

I hated everything about both of my c-sections, but I can certainly understand your point of view. I will mention that, in my case at least, some of the judgmental attitude stems from the feeling that women who treat c-sections as the "easy" option make it that much harder for women like me to get medical professionals to treat our emotional reactions seriously.

As for the scar...if I'm at all typical, it's not really anything to worry about. After two sections, I have a very thin white scar at the bikini line. It's almost invisible. It occasionally itches a little, and there's a very narrow area that's never quite regained full feeling. (After each section, especially my first, there was a numb area...if I ran my fingers down my stomach, they'd hit a part that felt like it had been frozen at the dentist. Over time, that faded.)

I was overweight even when I had my first baby, so I can't really see my abs. But, as far as strength, function, etc. - everything's normal now (well, except that I'm 39+ weeks pregnant :LOL ). Since my sections, I've done months and months - even years - of crunches, leg lifts, various yoga positions, etc. Once I got past the recuperative period (about 6-8 weeks with my emergency section - 6 months or so with my planned one), everything's been normal in that regard.
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