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Cesarean Section Support Only Thread June 2005 - Page 10

post #181 of 339
I just noticed a couple of other questions in your post.

I don't know what you can do to prepare, other than general prenatal fitness. Make sure you get your exercise so that you're as fit as possible before the surgery - I think recovery tends to be quicker that way. You're emotionally okay with the idea, so I can't really think of anything else, except to research the procedures (as you're doing right now).

My babies weren't with me afterwards for either surgery. Apparently, dd would have been, except that there was no room for me on the L&D ward, so I had to go to the general post-op recovery...no babies allowed there. IF I have to have another section, that probably (hopefully) won't happen again. Check with your hospital, because it really depends on them.

I can't think of anything that would make a c-section better for me, except for lots of mental/emotional preparation. I'll never be happy about having a section, but that's me - you sound like you're in a psychologically much better place for one.
post #182 of 339
Hello All

Scoobers: I am so very very sorry that you had such a traumatic delivery. for you. Have you been able to talk to someone about your experiences? Healing emotionally from a traumatic delivery can be a long process. I hope you are able to find the support you need.
I am also sorry that your Dr did not act in a respectful way of you, your body and your wishes.. Are you still seeing her? It makes me so mad to hear of Drs who do things like this.. Some of them have this godlike complex that is sickening...

I don't hate my c sections.. they make me feel sad and sometimes less of a woman..But my second section was a much better experience than the first. I am waffling between how I would like our next child to be born...

Many s for you and I hope that you can start on the road to healing.

Here is a White Paper that might help.. It is a little long so, PM me if you want it. I have permission from the author to pass it along. It is called

Plannning a Family-Centered Cesarean by Michelle Smilowitz,

post #183 of 339
on the fence,
thanks for much for pointing that out to me. there is so much to read here, you cant possibly read it all. i have a birthing plan that contains alot of what you have listed, but yours is much more comprehensive and i hope you dont mind if i copyright infringe upon you.
As for talk about scars earlier, i have had 2 csections and an ectopic pregnancy, and they have used the same scar each time. although i guess it gets a little wider each time, the scar is below my bikini line and cant be seen unless im wearing a very skimpy bikini (which i dont really do).
it has gotten much more sensitive with time (no pain, but i dont like it to be touched) and my internal scar tissue has given me a lot of problems.
when i had my first son, i was in college and had no medical insurance (i was an idiot and took the money my parents gave me and spent it). we made a deal with the drs. and paid upfront for a "normal" birth. i sold my car in order to pay for it. the dr. and the hospital signed an agreement that the payment was in full. as you all know, i didnt have a "normal" pregnancy and ended up in the hospital for over 3 weeks...totaling in excess of 15,000 (remember, this nearly 15 years ago). I was 22, in good health, etc. so the dr. and hospital didnt think it would really be a risk. they were wrong and i paid $1,500 for that birth. i know if the dr. and hospital could have prevented the csection then, they would have b/c it was in my situation in their economic interest. as for the 2nd one, i think i just had the same problem (whatever it is).

can you guys tell me what the difference/cos/prons of staples and sutures are. ive always had staples and never had problems. i have very slight hole scars above and below the scar, but its almost invisible. i never had a problem with them but dont know anything and the differences.

glad i found you guys!
post #184 of 339
Hi Rach
I had staples the first time and sutures the second.. Neither gave me any issues..so I can't say which is better.

post #185 of 339
Thread Starter 
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!
post #186 of 339
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
Our baby was the only baby of 20 who did total rooming in while we were there.

This is sooooo sad - I can barely stand to think about it!

Here's hoping your recovery goes well. I have now reached the 4th-week mark and counting.
post #187 of 339
Can I join in? Our little one is scheduled to arrive in 5 weeks, 8/8 at 1pm.

We had a shoulder dystocia birth with our DD which resulted in her having a brachial plexus injury to her arm. While I had the option, it was STRONGLY recommended to me that we do the c/s as its the only way to assure a safe outcome for this little one.

I'm having a hard time dealing with it all. Im sad about not getting to birth vag again. Sad about recovering from surgery when I should just be enjoying my babe. Terrified about the surgery.

I'm glad I found you all.
post #188 of 339
Kim ... I've been MIA so congrats on the birth of Katie Rose!
post #189 of 339
Solson: Welcome.. I am sorry your DD was injured... You have to make the choices for yourself and your baby that you feel are best.

Recovering from a c/s with an older child was a challenge for me Here is one suggestion .. line up help now.. and try to take it easy!

post #190 of 339
Well....getting closer to an attempted VBA2C. I'm not in labour yet, but hoping it will start soon, as I don't need to deal with stressed out care providers over me being "overdue".

I'm finding the more I talk to the doctors about my VBA2C, the more I find that I have a lot of anger over my primary section that's never been resolved. The staff wheeled me into OR over my protests, cut my son from me, kept him in the nursery for five nights (I couldn't care for him anyway), loaded me with sleeping pills and painkillers when I was in no state to protest (ie. still woozy from anesthetic...didn't even know I'd had a baby!!). The nursing staff treated me like a lazy cow because I couldn't even roll myself onto my side. And, I'd never consented to the surgery in the first place!!

Now, I have to fight over every little thing and turn trying to have a vaginal birth into a warzone. Their determination to have a "happy healthy" mom and baby has left me feeling like a defective machine - I'm "healthy" except that God forbid I try to have a vaginal birth....they obviously don't think I'm so healthy, but they just keep spinning the same old tired story. I'm almost ready to scream....

As you can probably tell, I had an appointment with my doctor today, and it was all about her philosophy on managing my labour with this baby. My family physician is on holiday, so it's her relief who'll be attending, and...well, let's just say that after she talked to me today, my blood pressure was actually high for the first time ever in any of my pregnancies....
post #191 of 339
Hello again everybody,
Thanks so much for everyone's replies and for your kind words and concern.

While I still have feelings of anger and bitterness about how things went at the birth I've finally come to a place where I'm feeling more at peace about it. My husband really wanted to sue our doctor but I didn't feel that would be something that would help me emotionally. A couple months after the birth I tried to talk to my old OB GYN about it but found that I was just too fragile at the time to confront her. I'm still considering writing her a letter to let her know what a bad experience I had and possibly get some questions answered. I struggled w/PPD for about the first 6 months but I'm feeling much better.

I would love a copy of that white paper but I'm not sure how to PM (is that Private Message?)

On the Fence,
Thanks so much for your very helpful info. I have a couple of follow up questions if you don't mind. Was the bad spinal experience due to the fact that it was an emergency c-section? I.E.if it had been a non-emergency situation would they have been able to redose? It sounds like you had epidurals with the other two?

I also read a bit of your blog, congratulations on the birth of your daughter! Hope your recovery continues as well as it seems to be going now.

Storm Bride,
I'm really sorry you had such a bad c-section experience. Thanks for all your helpful replies. I'm pulling for you to be able to get the V-birth you want.

Thanks again to all!
post #192 of 339
I also had a spinal that didn't take and it was a planned c-section. If I do this again I will get an epidural for sure.
post #193 of 339
Today's my due date per ultrasound...another week based on LMP (my family doctor is using one, and my OB the other one). I don't care about post-dates, but I'm hoping this baby comes soon, so my doctors will chill out.

Sometimes I feel like fighting the anesthetic...they can't pretend the whole experience is benign if I'm screaming and thrashing like a crazy woman... (Obviously I'm not serious, but I do feel that way sometimes. I hate anesthetic in the first place, and surgeons can pretend they're not injuring you, because you can't feel it.)
post #194 of 339
Thread Starter 
If you have a spinal with a planned csection or non emergency it CANNOT be redosed. You can either suffer through it drugged out of your mind or they can knock you out. I did not have the latter option because it went to high into my chest.
The main reason I chose an epidural was the sense of control I would have and the fact that it could be redosed. I could still move my legs, etc with the epidural and could feel pressure. Some people do not want to feel pushing or pressure, but I did.

post #195 of 339
Thread Starter 


Wanted to give all of you a brief update on me and Katie since I have been MIA.

Things are going well as far as recovery from the cesarean. I have my follow up OB appointment this afternoon. I am however sick as a dog. This is my fourth day of really suffering through it. I have a terrible ear ache and throat ache. I cough like I am about to puke up a lung.

I havent had any post partum bleeding since Saturday. My incision looks good too. I do have some burning sensation on one end of it, but this is normal for me. I've lost a considerable amount of weight. I can't wait to find out how much today. My appetite varies from hungry to not wanting to eat at all and I am drinking lots of water and the occassional juice.

My two main questions for my appt today are:
When can I have sex? (yes my drive is already back)
When can I take a bath? (I hate showers)

Hopefully she will give me meds for my throat and ear!
post #196 of 339
Hi sorry to jump in. Here's my post from the VBAC board. Opinions?

I am 8 weeks pregnant and I cannot find a caregiver. I have had two c-sections. The first was without any labour for severe pre-eclampsia and breech and the second was after an attempted home VBAC, baby went into distress. The midwives that are 3.5 hours from me are not going to work out. The Ottawa midwives have still not contacted me. If I have to go with an OB I almost feel like I should just schedule a c-section because there is such a high chance I would end up with one anyways. That's if I can even find an OB who will take me. My chances of success are what - 60-70%? So I have a 30-40% of needing a c-section anyways. I would rather have a scheduled one than one after labour because I have done both ways and even with the pre-e the one without labour was a much easier recovery. I was so wiped after 25 hours of labour with my daughter and I had set myself up to believe I was going to VBAC and the devastation caused by failing sent me into PPD that last until she was over a year old. At least if I planned a c-section I would know in advance instead of focusing on a vaginal birth and then having the devastating failure again. And no, I can't change my mindset to not think of it as a failure - it is a failed vaginal birth and the expectations and then the letdown was just horrible. I just don't know anymore. I am not a healthy person at all. I have many medical conditions, one of which is chronic fatigue syndrome and I am very weak. I don't mean mentally, I mean that my physical body is very weak. I cannot stand or walk for too long even when not pregnant as I get tired very easily. I have many digestive problems and also a congenital bladder defect. What are my chances at a successful VBAC really? At least with a planned c-section my inlaws could arrange to be here to watch the kids (they are the only people I really trust my kids with - they live 5 hours away) and I could take a sleeping pill and get a good nights sleep beforehand. My husband will be taking 2 weeks off and by the end of that I would probably be pretty good in the recovery process. I am lucky in one things which is that I seem to recover from c-sections easily. I mean, yeah it hurts, but by 1 week I was shopping, by 2 weeks I was going out with the kids and by 4 weeks I felt pretty much back to normal. This is my last bio child so the idea of never having a vaginal birth is sad to me. Its almost like a rite of passage that I will never get to experience. But then again maybe it is an empowered birth experience I am seeking not just the vaginal aspect. In that respect a planned, controlled c-section IMO could be pretty empowering. I would be able to know how things were going to go and make my wishes known. I want my placenta so hopefully they wouldn't have a problem with that. I don't see why they would. I just don't know what to do.
post #197 of 339
Hi Ladies
Kim: how is it going?

Lisa: Any baby yet? Be strong and trust yourself!!!

Hi Heavenly!
I have had two c/s.. both were unplanned.. the first was not an emergency.. the second was nearly an emergency.. I went into my second pregnancy and labor convinced that a c/s would devastate me. I would not allow myself to "fail" yet again (yes.. I think of them as failures too) and it happened... But I have found some peace with my second c/s.. it was a beautiful labor and everyone respected the natural process.. appropriate medical intervention was used when needed.. and I do believe, deep in my heart, that it saved both my daughter's life and mine..

I have the same mixed feelings about baby #3.. when we are ready to have it.. OBs who support VBACS here are hard to come by and those who support VBA2C are nearly impossible to find.. If I wanted a VBA2c, I would need to have the baby at home.. Part of me wants to so badly.. and part of me cannot bare the thought of failure again... So..I have no answers for you.. but wanted to offer my support and understanding..

post #198 of 339
No baby yet - no sign of labour. My ultrasound due date was yesterday...my due date by LMP is next Thursday...

This baby is feeling really big - but it's head is down where it's supposed to be (for once!) and I'm hoping things will go well. I'm reaching the point where every little twinge of pelvic pain (like a full bladder) or small bout of the runs is being received with "maybe it's starting!" in my head. But, I really don't think anything's happening yet. I kept getting this weird feeling it would be either Wednesday (the 6th) or tomorrow...but I don't know why.

I think dd is keeping me too busy and too stressed to go into labour! She's been NUTSO the last little while...too many changes, I think. But...she kissed my belly at bedtime last night, and said "night, night, baby".
post #199 of 339
Storm Bride-- Good luck! Youa re at the en and sound so patient. I don't know if you feel that way though

Happy birthing! I hope all goes well!
post #200 of 339
Lisa, trust your dd she probably knows exactly what is happening and that's probably why she's acting up--I know on my due date board, there were tons of mamas with toddlers who's toddlers started acting up and mom went into labor shortly after.
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