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Cesarean Birth Support Thread November & December 2005 - Page 6

post #101 of 150
Sorry it's so rough right now. I think by 4 weeks I could do most things without getting so terribly tired....I totally know what you mean by that. And now, 8 weeks out, I feel pretty great, aside from usual newborn tiredness.

I noticed that on days that I felt just awful, I had gotten dehydrated without knowing it. Sounds weird but I have been trying to just pound the water and I think it helps a ton with recovery

I'm assuming you've gotten your incision checked? Mine was pretty much "dry" by four weeks too.

Try to be easy on yourself. My dh kept saying, when I complained about being so worn out and sore, well, you did have major surgery a few weeks ago. Duh, but it's easy to forget how hard it is on your body.

By the way, I live north of Atlanta too. Lots of us around all of a sudden!
post #102 of 150
Quote:
I am almost 3 weeks post-op, and I still feel like crap!
I was nowhere near back to normal at 3 weeks! In fact, I think it wasn't till 8 or 9 weeks that I started moving and feeling more like myself (going up and down the stairs with ease, walking across campus without getting winded, etc), and probably month 4 or 5 before I REALLY felt like I was "back".

Actually, today I noticed that I climbed the hill near where I work without getting winded and realized it was possibly the first time since my c/s 8 months ago that I wasn't winded by the top of the hill.

So try to go easy on yourself! I know it's hard when there are other little ones around but it's easy to do too much and to cause problems for yourself as a result. If your incision is still draining and you FEEL like you're doing too much, you probably are!

Hope you feel better soon!
post #103 of 150
Funnily enough, I only ever felt like I had to defend my c-section here at MDC. People who know me IRL and who remember anything about the whole drama of BeanBean's (vaginal) birth were just happy to see me smiling after BooBah was born, able to converse normally and not looking like something a zombie had rejected as "too far gone." They were happy to see me looking so good after having a baby.

I will say, though, that I recovered quickly and easily, that my c-section recovery was a zillion times easier than my vaginal recovery (physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally) and that given the choice between repeating my first birth or my second I'd take the second every bloody time. Sure, it had it's issues, but it was soooo much easier than the first time.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Ironically, my c-section showed me that having a baby doesn't have to be pure hell. I didn't get everything that I wanted, but I know that there's a reason for all of it... I'm not sure what, but it's there.
post #104 of 150
BensMom: Three weeks is nothing. I've had three sections, and they've been all over the map in terms of recovery.

1st: Emergency under general. The first five days were grotesque. I started to wonder if I'd ever be able to walk again. I didn't make it any farther than the bathroom in my room until day 5, when I forced myself into an exhausting walk around the ward, because I was going home. At 1 week pp, I got stuck on my couch, unable to get up...the muscles wouldn't respond. However, by 6 weeks pp, I walked home my OB checkup - 15 blocks, uphill...a little slow, but no problems.

2nd: Scheduled, spinal, no labour. Slow, gradual curve. It took me about two days to become mobile, and I gradually got better and better. By three months pp, dh and I were hiking, with dd in the Snugli. Great recovery...but I had noticeable pain in the incision for 7-8 months.

3rd: Scheduled, spinal, labour. This one was great. I was out of bed the next morning, and walking the ward. By 2 days pp, I was pushing ds2 in the bassinet around the ward, going to get food, etc. However...my incision got infected, and at 6 weeks pp, I felt like 2 weeks pp...I just wasn't healing. Once the infection cleared up, it was like the few really bad weeks hadn't even happened. But...I'm 4.5 months pp, and still not back up to speed. My whole pelvic regions feels...off. I'm still numb for several inches over my lower belly - I still don't have anything like full bladder sensation. Everything's just off. I'm also still really out of shape, but I think that has more to do with trying to find time to exercise with the two little ones, and a preteen than with the surgery itself.

Hang in there...you really will start to feel better soon. Walk a little - get that bit of exercise...but do your best to get enough rest, too....it's SO important.
post #105 of 150
Yes, I should have also said that with my 1st c-sec I had a lot harder recovery and I remember making it to La Leche league at 4 weeks, then almost passing out from exhaustion when I got home. Who knows what it depends on.
post #106 of 150
Gosh Jenn... I'm trying to think of my recovery timeline...
Hrm, yes 3 weeks is still in the "recovering from major abdominal surgery" time.
In fact, I think at 3 weeks my mom was still making regular visits to come clean the house for me. Definitely still sore at that point, but not the slow shuffling soreness of the 1st week.
My recovery timeline usually is like this: first 3 days can barely move an inch without terrible pain... so I am pretty much bed ridden although I will force myself to get up and go to the bathroom... but it feels like things are ripping.
After that a slow advance in mobility... but it prob. takes a good month (or more!) before I can sit up w/o pain... I do know that about 2 months out I was hiking, so its not like an excruciatingly slow recovery, but 3 weeks is still "fresh out"
Yup. Sucks doesn't it?

take care
post #107 of 150
All righty, I haven't seen this concern addressed yet, so here goes..........

Has anyone else worried about dying as a result of their c-section? Yes, I know that sounds melodramatic, but honestly, am I the only one who has thought about it?

With my first c-section (babies #4 and #5), I was drugged out on mag sulfate and don't remember much. My twins were taken to NICU right away and it was a pretty blech experience.

With my second c-section (baby #6), I had the spinal (how I HATE getting those things) and then my blood pressure dropped (typical), so the anesthesiologist gave me something to bring my b.p. back up. Unfortunately, I reacted badly to the meds and my b.p. shot up super-high, resulting in horrible pain shooting through my head. I honestly thought a blood vessel was going to burst since the pressure and pain were so intense. It didn't help that I heard my dh ask, "what's going on?" and the anesthesiologist responded, "I'm not sure." Great; how reassuring (NOT). Anyhow, the anesthesiologist told my ob to "get him out, now!" while he was still working to get my blood pressure back to normal, so I totally missed the birth ('cuz I couldn't concentrate on anything but how much my head hurt). Finally, while the doctor was closing my incision, the pain/pressure dissipated and I felt better. But overall, it was a very scary experience.

So here I now am, almost 27 weeks along, and facing c-section #3. The baby has a blood incompatibility which is causing anemia and a 2-vessel umbilical cord and will need medical attention immediately at birth, so I lost out on my plans to homebirth. I'm *mostly* okay with that, seeing as how I really need to do what's best for the baby, but I am so NOT looking forward to the spinal, catheter, surgery and recovery. I am also terrified that I'll have another reaction to some medication or that I'll have an embolism or some other bizarre complication and I'll end up dying or having a stroke or something horrible like that. Again, yes, I realize it sounds melodramatic.....but it is how I'm feeling inside and I don't know how to shake off the concern. Coupled with those concerns are my fears that I'll have another hemorrhage (I've had 2 that resulted in D&C's and blood transfusions) and I just don't want to have to deal with that again.

Has anyone else struggled with these types of worries? What can I do to stop stressing out about having another c-section? I know I have to have one and I'd *like* to get to the point where I'm feeling at peace with it. Preferably before I actually have it done! Anyone else btdt???
post #108 of 150
Given the option, would you have a spinal or an epidural for anesthesia and why would you make that choice? I've only had spinal anesthesia for my 2 previous c-sections, but this time I *think* I have the option of choosing which I'd prefer. So....does anyone have any thoughts on epidurals and why they might be a better choice than spinal anesthesia? Or would you go with the spinal?

Thanks!
post #109 of 150
Hi Kate!

I am sorry that your c-section birth experiences were hard. My first section was for birth and i was planning a HBAC with my second when we found out that we had blood incompatibility issues (he carried the kell antigen). Blessedly, he wasn't affected by the blood, but i ended up having another section because of very low amniotic fluid. I felt very traumatized when they told me that he needed to be born soon and i knew that it meant a section. I wouldn't let myself think of the particulars, but certainly one of my fears was that i would die. I will pray for your peace of mind. I hope that your little one is born safely and that you have a better c-section experience this time.

I, personally, preferred the spinal to the epidural. It didn't take as long to do, took effect quicker, and made me more densely numb. It also wore off slower, which was a really really good thing. But that is my personal experience. If i have to have another section, i will request a spinal again.

Hugs to you, Mama.
post #110 of 150
The hospital I used gives spinals for unplanned c/s and epidurals for planned c/s since the spinals are faster. I've only had the one c/s (with a spinal) and I had no problems with the spinal...it was fast, the pain relief was total from within about 15 minutes of the spinal insertion till about 2 hours after the operation, and I didn't have any odd side effects. A close friend had a spinal with her first c/s (at this same hospital) and an epidural with her second c/s (two months ago).

She found that she had more side effects with the epidural (shaking, feeling like she couldn't breath, etc) and it wore off in a kind of "patchy" manner (parts of her legs had sensation while other bits didn't) that kind of worried her.

I'd imagine a lot depends on how you react to the medication and how exactly the drugs are administered (some anethesiologists are great, others less so), but I do know she prefered the spinal, and if I ever had to choose I'd go with a repeat spinal as well.
post #111 of 150
I've never had a spinal, but have had 4 epidurals.

I think the biggest advantage of an epidural is that they can keep it in for 24 hours after for post op pain (which is said to be the most painful part of any post op recovery). For my 2 c-sections, this is what they did. And I never did experience any excruciating pain. After they removed the epi, percoset, etc, usually did the trick well enough.
post #112 of 150
I had a spinal with my c/s (emergency) and an epidural with my vaginal. I definately preferred the spinal, but it might have had more to do with the other parts of the experiences than the anesthesia, you know? At any rate, I wasn't "tethered" with the spinal; I had the heplock in my hand and that was it, and it came out after 24 hours (when I refused the IV morphine they offered me in favor of oral painkillers). With the epidural, I couldn't even try to walk until it was pulled out.. I couldn't visit my BeanBean, either.
post #113 of 150
momto3g3b: I've had infrequent spells of being afraid I'd die as the result of a section. But, the fear that really gets into my head and completely freaks me is paralysis. I'm terrified of anesthetics...I'm afraid I'll never wake up if they use a general, and I'm afraid they'll wreck my back and leave me paralyzed with a spinal. I've had one general, two spinals, and no problems (as far as I know...I do have backaches this time, and I'm not sure what's causing them). But, the fear doesn't go away. It's scary...both spinals have left me wondering if I'd ever feel my lower body again.

You're not alone - surgery is scary. Anesthetic is scary. I wish I had something helpful to say.
post #114 of 150
Thank you! Actually, I find it reassuring/comforting that I'm not totally crazy to have the weird thoughts/fears regarding the c-section. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lisa. I appreciate it. And to everyone else, thanks for the input about spinal versus epidurals. I think having a catheter left in my back for up to 24 hours would totally bother me (I can barely tolerate the catheter in my bladder), so another spinal is probably my best bet, I think.

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I REALLY appreciate them!!!
post #115 of 150
Hello...I'm new here. I had my first section 5 days ago after a vaginal birth 2 years ago, and I am really struggling, emotionally more than physically. The emotions are still too raw to tell the story, but I was hoping you mamas could direct me to websites or books that might help me recover physically and emotionally. I am also interested in information about any long term health problems that can result because of c-sections to either me or baby. Any suggestions you can offer would be appreciated. What helped you?
post #116 of 150
Hi Nosy,

Believe it or not, you will eventually feel better, although it's almost funny how a doctor's description of your progress differs from how you feel. I'm still searching for information too, I found this and similar threads realy helpfull, there are a lot of quirky/annoying little side effects that can happen and it's nice to hear you're not the only mother experiencing them. There are loads of homepages (examples: http://www.caesarean.org.uk/ http://www.ican-online.org/ ) and check your library for books too. In case you haven't noticed, one of the common side effects of c-section is depression, so if you're depressed about what happened to you and your baby, you're not alone. If you're angry you're not alone either.
post #117 of 150
Hi Nosy,
I had my first c-section 6 years ago and I think at the time my husband was more upset about it then I was. He was so disappointed that all the work I had done, during the labor and studying up on a good labor and labor techniques. He thought all that work was wasted. He was furious at the Doctors for giving up so easily. I think he still holds it against them a little. Me on the other hand was so greatful for the c-section by the time they did it! You can only be at 10 cm and push for hours on end for so long after a few days of labor. I was exhausted and just wanted the baby out. Luckily everything went beautifully!! The baby and I both recovered with absolutely no ill effects!! Infact we went on a day trip and visited another country 5 weeks after the operation and we were both great!! I know c-sections are not always the ideal way to have your baby but I am glad they are there for those that need them. My second baby was a c-section too after a failed VBAC attempt. I just make them too big for me to push out! I am about to have my 3rd c-section in little over 5 weeks and this time it is totally elective as I know my body can't handle the stresses of labor.

I am sorry I have no websites to offer you for more info or support. But as a Mommy that has had almost 3 c-sections I understand some of what you might be feeling.
post #118 of 150

Second c-section and not excited about it...

Hi Everyone,

New to the thread, but not MDC. I am currently pregnant with monoamniotic twin girls, and will have either a planned or emergency c-section depending on how the girls fare inside.

I had about 20 hours of natural labor with my first daughter, 9 hours with an epidural, and an eventual c-section. She was posterior and almost ten pounds. I healed fast - I was up 6-7 hours after surgery, and in the shower and (slowly) moving around the following morning. No infection, no issues with my staples, and I took minimal amounts of painkillers. The worst things to me were the urinary catheter (it was very uncomfortable and not cleaned the 48ish hours it was inserted leading to a UTI), and the total loss of control of my body. After surgery, I also felt so doped up that seeing, holding, and nursing Rachel for the first time feels like an Alice in Wonderland dream.

I was deadset on a vbac for this birth, and then we found out about the girls' condition. Basically, they are in the same sac of amniotic fluid and their cords are in constant danger of tangling and compressing. Around 26 weeks, I will be admitted to the hospital for constant monitoring and they will be taken if they show severe distress, and I will not go past 34 weeks before a delivery will be scheduled.

What are some of the best things that I can do to prepare myself for an emergency or a planned c-section? A true emergency will likely lead to general anasthetic, but I may be able to choose a spinal or epidural if we see the compression happening in advance. Which would be preferable? Is it feasible to refuse the urinary catheter this time? Likely the girls will go to the NICU, so I want to be moving around as fast as possible again.

Any thoughts or opinions would greatly help ease my mind. I am really happy to have found this thread at MDC. I am honestly without a choice for the safety of my twins.
post #119 of 150
i'm 5 months post-op and don't have pulling but one side feels thicker than the other. i'm not sure if it's indicative of lots of scar tissue or what. part wants to ignore it and part of me wants to have it checked out before there's a problem.

i also have some numbing although it's gotten much better. i had a totally unrelated surgery (on both feet) over 4 years ago and still have a numb spot.

i admire women who can write birth stories about their unplanned c-sections. i was so disappointed -- especially after 82 hours of labor -- that i was never able to bring myself to write about my experience.

my feelings about the experience have smoothed out over the last 5 months, but i'll always be sad that i'll never push out a baby. the most important thing for me is that i come to terms enough with my beautiful son's birth that i can talk to him about it without regret, sadness, or any expression that makes him feel bad about it.

glad you're all here.
post #120 of 150
Just wanted to weigh in on the spinal v. epidural issue. I had epidurals for my first 2 and will request one for the 3rd. I did not have the experience of having the epidural left in after the delivery. It was removed after in the OR before I went to recovery. It took a while to wear off. I definitely would not want anything that lasted longer! Also, I understand that there is more chance of a headache after a spinal. Has this been anyone's experience? It did take a while to take effect, but they put it in before I went to the OR.

Just my thoughts.
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