Originally Posted by scoobers
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.
Welcome! First let me say how sorry I am that you had such a traumatic delivery. I think some people don't believe that a vaginal birth can turn so sour and leave a woman just as traumatized as an unplanned or an unnecessary cesarean. My SIL had a similar experience to yours and elected to have a csection with her second child -- she had no problem getting an OB to do this. Forcep delivery is very scary, I know my OB told us she rarely does them anymore for the very reasons you listed. I know two children who have long term damage due to forceps -- sad indeed.
As for your questions, I will try to answer a few of them.
1) The two most common anest. methods used for cesarean births are spinals and epidurals. Both have various risks, its a matter of choosing what you are most comfortable with. Spinals are preferred by most OBs because they are quick acting and wear off in about 45-60 minutes from onset -- they also provide a denser block. However, once you have a spinal it cannot be redoses, meaning that if the block does not go well, they cannot redo it and put more anest. in. This is what happened to me in 1997. I had a spinal that did not do right, instead of going down into my pelvis and legs, it went in my chest, shoulders and neck. I felt an entire csection that lasted nearly 75 minutes. They were unable to knock me out due to how the block took. With a spinal you can have a long acting anest put in called duramorph this helps with pain after the csection.
An epidural is done just like one for a L&D patient seeking a vaginal birth. A cath is left in your back so that you can be redosed should your block not work or only effect one side. The block is not as dense as a spinal, you can often still move your legs and can feel pushing and pulling, but you should not feel pain. Also with an epidural you can leave the cath in after the csection and have a continuous dose of medication administered into your spinal column for continous relief after your csection, this can also be hooked to a PCAP for you to administer pain medication should you need this.
Both carry risks, like BP problems, continued numbness, back pain, paralysis, and the list goes on and on -- however the risks are fairly small and much less than have GA.
2) Your stomach muscles and shape will be effected. However if you are fit, like say Madonna, you are more likely to be able to tone your body and get your shape back more quickly. You may have some shelf there, of stretching that may not go back. I am a fat chick, and my body is all out of whack as it is, so I probably am never going to get my girlish figure back unless I have plastic surgery.
3) Scars vary person to person. I've seen some people who barely have a visible scar. I think this has to do with skin type and the surgeon doing it. There is arguement to what is best, staples or sutures for the outside closure. I can tell you that I've had both, and both times that I've gotten sutures the scar/incision site looks 100% better than the staples. Most Drs when given the choice for themselves will choose sutures, for one it is less likely to open and it does close the flesh better. Many surgeons do not like to do them though because it takes longer to do them. I am not an advocate of glue after doing more research into how the glue is used. What I have been reading on OB-GYN forums and heard from three OBs, including my own, is that the glue does not give a substantial closure and that it is superficial. That underneath the glue the layers have to be sewn just right up and under the skin -- unfortunately most surgeons do not take the time to perform this type of closure (the closure is like lacing from what I understand). With glue you are more likely to get infection, a bigger increase than sutures, and the glue less likely to hold than staples. Also some patients are finding it to be an irritant, more so than the adhesive from the steri strips.
4) I have had one bad experience and two planned wonderful cesarean births. I would not hesitate to have another planned cesarean. However at this time, I believe this is my last babe.
5) It is becoming more and more common for cesarean birth mothers to have their babies in recovery. I think the key is to ask about it and plan before hand, and go to a family friendly hospital. I had all my babies with me in recovery, and the last two I had with me immediately after entering recovery. My daughter was born at 12:46, my csection ended at 1:05 and by 1:15 she wsa in my arms. I also had her held up to me on the OR table and was able to touch and look at her, and look at her brown hair.
6) What I have done to prepare is to surround myself with supportive medical professionals that are willing to work with me, be my partner not a dictator. I also have an advocate for myself for the surgery and discuss things with them before I have a cesarean. (this is my sister) Mentally I prepare by meditating and thinking through the different scenarios in my head. I also talk to myself about the feelings and sensations I will have in the OR, so not to freak out before hand. I talk about things openly too with my husband, friends, support person and doctor -- whether it be something good or anxiety.
Hope this helps!