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Cesarean Birth Support Thread January & February 2006

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Cesarean Birth Support Thread January & February 2006


Heyla all!

Since we seem to be picking back up after the holidays I thought it might be nice to update the thread!

As always, this thread is for support only and is for all who want to give support to women who have had cesarean births or planning cesarean births for whatever reason. This is not a thread on whether or not cesareans are necessary, etc.

That said...it's been 9.5 months since my c/s and I've still got some aches and pains. Anyone know of some gentle yoga or general stretching moves that could help? I'm thinking I've probably got some adhesions on the right side of the incision (the left feels fine and you can hardly see the scar, the right side though is tight and a bit painful and the scar is very "ropy").

Also...any ideas about herbal supplements to try that might aid healing? My dh and I are starting to think about ttc and I'm hoping for a VBAC when the time comes so I'm looking for good uterine healing ideas!

good luck and swift healing to us all!
post #2 of 56
Originally Posted by wombatclay
That said...it's been 9.5 months since my c/s and I've still got some aches and pains. Anyone know of some gentle yoga or general stretching moves that could help? I'm thinking I've probably got some adhesions on the right side of the incision (the left feels fine and you can hardly see the scar, the right side though is tight and a bit painful and the scar is very "ropy").
Isn't it weird how the left & right sides can be so different? I still very occasionally feel a twinge from the left end of my scar, but never from any other part...anyhoo...

The two books I have* make the following recommendations for general abdomenal health and healing:
-seated forward-bend poses are a good start, especially the bound-angle pose with a forward bend (the "woman's pose"), child's pose, and wide-leg stretch with forward bend (which can be done while resting your folded arms on the seat of a chair, if you wish)
-gentle seated twisting poses
-abdomen-strengthening poses like the bridge or any curl-ups
-standing poses like side-angle, triangle, half-moon, and tree pose (which can be done against the wall)
-lying poses with your legs up a wall, like reclining wide-leg and reclining bound angle
-inverted and shoulder-stand poses like the plough and shoulder-stand (with legs to wall)
-and of course downward-facing dog is just one of those great, do-it-all kind of poses that help with everything.

Look for pictures of these poses here, if any of my terminology is confusing! These can actually be started (gently) as early as six-weeks post-surgery, so long as one's doctor okays it. And of course, don't do anything that hurts or seems too difficult. It is certainly possible to do "partial" poses until you increase flexibility--you should work toward not only more flexibility but holding the poses for longer periods of time.

*The books I have are Yoga for Pregnancy by Sandra Jordan and The Woman's Book of Yoga & Health by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden. It is, of course, best to do these things in a class setting with a good teacher, but since that isn't always possible...thank goodness for books!
post #3 of 56
Hi there, glad to see a new thread!

I'm a little over 3 mos pp with c/s #2 and feeling good. I get some twinges when I'm running, but nothing serious. I am wondering about diastasis though..are they worse with c/s? Mine is terrible this time around.

no idea on the herbs...let me know though!

thanks...hope all of you are well.
post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
I am wondering about diastasis though..are they worse with c/s?
I don't know, but I'd imagine the additional trauma to the ab muscles from the c/s probably can't help. I've just started doing the exercises in the (really awfully named) "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" which are aimed at closing the diastasis and they seem to be helping. I'm not sure though, and I'm not sure if the exercises are contributing to my incision pain.

Isn't it weird how the left & right sides can be so different?
It is soooooo odd. I mean, the left side of my incision is practically invisible and when I rub my fingers over it there's nothing out of the ordinary. On the right side however I have a large-ish numb spot (perhaps an inch "tall" by three inches "wide"), the scar is raised and "ropy", and there is a very obvious lump under the skin that follows the incision line for a few inches. And I really only get the twinges, aches, and odd sensations along that portion of the scar. Why oh why couldn't it be like the left side!

I've been doing scar massage off and on...I guess I need to be more serious about it and do it every day like they recommend.

Thanks for the stretches btw...I'll give them a try!
post #5 of 56

I'm 2-1/2 mo post c/s and I feel pretty good. I don't know about any specific herbs but I rub aloe vera gel into the incision every day. Back at my two week check-up, the nurse said my incision looks fantastic and she'll have to start recommending the aloe.

What bothers me is the lack of sensation in the skin around it. Some people say it returns in a year or so, but both my sisters say theirs never has. Grrrr.
post #6 of 56
Hi. I had an emergency c-section last month. Physically, my body is nearly healed. Emotionally, I am having a hard time. I had gen. anesth., so I was unconscious for the birth of my son. This has been very hard on me. I don't know what Michael looked like when he wasborn, whether he cried or not. I don't even know hat his apgars were (not really good, since he was taken to NICU). Neither my husband nor my doula were allowed in the OR, so noone an give me this info. I feel guilty sometimes that I "wasn't there" for Michael's birth. He is a very beautiful boy, and brings me joy daily; we just had a rough start that I am still recovering from.
post #7 of 56
Thread Starter 
to you ozzyemm...I'm so sorry you had such a rough time. Sometimes it's just so hard to make the doctor's involved in a c/s realize that they're dealing with someone's birth, rather than just another procedure to do before they go home.

Although they probably wont tell you anything "personal" about your son's birth, ask your doctor (or your son's ped) to help you get your hospital records. That way you'll at least know his apgars and have an idea of what he did/how he looked (though it will obviously be a more "clinical" story than your dh or doula might have told). Sometimes your records can help emotionally as well since if your c/s really was medically necessary it can be reassuring to know that (for some women, at least).

I'm glad you're recovering physically, but give yourself time to grieve for the birth you didn't have and to come to terms with the birth you did have. It can take a while...I know I'm still upset by my c/s.

Congrats on your little one though...it sounds like both of you are real fighters.
post #8 of 56
Originally Posted by alisaterry

What bothers me is the lack of sensation in the skin around it. Some people say it returns in a year or so, but both my sisters say theirs never has. Grrrr.
I have recovered the sensation around the incision - I realized it sometime over the past several months so I am not sure exactly when it happened. I know that when we were TTC earlier in 2005 I still had numbness, and that was around the one year mark after my c/s. I will have to ask my sister who has had 2 c/s how she feels now - her youngest kids, twins, are now almost 7.

The wierd thing I get sometimes is odd prickly heat feelings there, kind of irritating. But then I dust the area with cornstarch and it takes care of it. Also don't much like bikini underwear anymore, prefer not have anything rubbing the scar area.

Mine healed very nicely tho; it's a small, very even scar. My dad is a surgeon and gave it the thumbs up too! I hope if end up in another c/s that part is as good. I guess maybe that is one of the benefits of having my first c/s in the hospital here with the highest c/s rate... I will now be at the place with the lowest so it will be interesting to compare if it comes to that.
post #9 of 56
Everyone I asked told me that I might be numb around my incision forever, but I recovered all sensation in about 6 months, iirc. It's different for everyone.

I've been doing some of the spinningbabies things (holy moly, that's hard!) and I think ( that BellyBean turned last night. I felt her go transverse before I went to sleep, and did my best to keep my butt in the air as I fell asleep, but I was too tired to do much more. Anyway, this morning I'm pretty sure that I'm only feeling hands at the bottom. She hasn't kicked yet, but she will soon since she's awake and I'll know for sure then (I can't lean back and feel around, because the kids will pounce on me ). Anyway, this is a good thing. I'm excited!
post #10 of 56
I had my section 2 years ago in feb and still do not have any feeling around my incision. i also had a horrible experience but my daughter was well worth it. I am new are you pregnant now or just delivered.
post #11 of 56
How do you all deal with insensitive things that people say? I got a card from my Mom's best friend (I don't particularily like this woman, although she is fond of me). The card was for DD and had some money, but she put in a sticky note that said something along the lines of "I am glad you had a c-section for your large baby because I had a large baby 40+ years ago and I still feel the effects. My daughter had two c-sections." I know that my mom recently saw this woman because my mom had told me not to feel bad about my c-section because her daughter had two and I am no longer discussing my feelings with my mom (but am going to find a professional for help and am attending ICAN meetings). Oddly enough, the friend has a PhD in psychology, apparently she doesn't specialize in post partum issues though.
So do I ignore or confront or write her a letter expressing my feelings and toss/burn it?

Elionwy - I hope bellybean keeps her head down!

Oh another thing, I am either coming down with the flu or mastitis, and the incision (almost 4 months old) really aches today, do people find that it hurts more when you are sick?
post #12 of 56
Turtlewomyn, I'd suggest the toss & burn approach. People like that won't change their views even if you do speak your mind to them. Just let it roll off--her uninformed opinion does not matter, and if you don't feel close to her, her "support" should not matter either. Hugs to you.
post #13 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'd do the "write and toss" approach too. It's really important for you to get out everything you need to say, and how this sort of comment makes you feel, but it probably wouldn't educate this friend or change her mind about c/s. Maybe, since she has a degree in psych, at some point you could casually mention to her some of the studies available through ICAN or Mothering about the emotional/psychological damage of a c/s? Sort of say..."gee, I read this on ICAN and wondered what you think about it?". Just to help educate her about the situation.

It might help to remember that 40 years ago the birth environment/culture was A LOT different than it is now and her remembrances of her birth are probably playing a big role in how she sees birth now. (my mom had a hysterecomy five years ago as a result of a "bungled" delivery with my 10+ pound brother 24 years ago that damaged her uterus and one of her first comments about my c/s was "thank god"... so I totally understand how hurtful this sort of comment can be!)

Not that that excuses how she made you feel! But she probably saw her comment as supportive...and perhaps it's a comment that her own daughter responded well to after her own c/s. I dunno...c/s seems to be one of those topics where no one knows what to say and where the stock responses (like "at least you have a healthy baby!") just aren't terribly helpful to an nfl/ap mama.

I'm so sorry this woman brought you down like this! Hope the flu bug passes you by...but yeah, my incision hurts a bit when I'm really tired (I think the muscles in that area are a bit weaker now and tire more rapidly) so a cold could certainly have a similar affect.
post #14 of 56
Hi! just listening in...I found out @ my 20 week ultrasound that I may have vasa previa (and I do have a bilobed placenta) so I will most likely have a c-section @35 - 36 weeks. I don't know much about c-sections or how the recovery will differ from my vaginal birth so... :

post #15 of 56
yes, mine aches when I have the beginnings of an mastitis or an infection too, or when I'm just really run down.

aren't those comments the worst? that's why I hate having to say I had a c/s, and now two . most people just don't get it, and won't. and that's okay...that's what MDC is for and friends IRL who know what you went through. anyway, I've so been there and I'm sorry.
post #16 of 56
Hello, I am almost one year post c-section and now ttc #2. I will try for a VBAC. I never thought I'd need a section and i did all the "thinking woman's stuff' to avoid it, but it still happened. I think even if I'd gone off alone in the woods to birth I would still have found my way into the OR! On the bright side, physically, the recovery from my section was easy. Dealing with the crappy comments is hard. I've had people tell me how lucky i am, how they wished they had a section, how now I will ALWAYS need a section, TRIAL of labor pisses me off too
If I get pregnant again I will do all the thinking woman's stuff again and plan what I'll do if I am back in the OR....
post #17 of 56
turtlewomyn--I remembered something that might be helpful or not...but my stepdad's mom and I (she is 88) were talking about birth and she had 2 ten-pounders vaginally and is still traumatized (her "kids" are 57 and 55). Apparently they could not repair tears very well and of course she birthed laying down in stirrups . She has said that she would have been glad for surgery because it was so horrible what she went through. Okay, that's *totally* not to say that c-sections are great or even would have been justified, but I can see her point...maybe your mom's friend went through something similar and was remembering it. Maybe not but it really helped me to know that older people who say stuff like that are just mourning their traumatic births too sometimes.
post #18 of 56

I'm about 1 1/2 weeks post c-section now (for my breech baby). We tried and external version but it was unsuccessful. DS' heart rate remained good but I told the OB's to stop after a few tries- I decided it wasn't worth the risk if he wasn't going to flip fairly easily.

I'm disappointed because I know that frank breech deliveries are possible, but knowing that my OB had never done one herself, I knew that c-section was probably much a safer option in my case. I never had considered that when I chose a doctor... My first delivery was fairly uneventful and I thought this one would be even easier...

Anyways, there were no complications and I'm doing pretty well. Anyone else less than a month or so post c-section? I"m wondering when I can start tightening my abs a bit and when these stubborn steri-strips will start to come off! They are taped on pretty strongly over my sutures and I don't want to pull on them. My OB said to look for changes in the stitches/redness, but I can't see anything under all that tape.

I'm getting stronger every day but still really tired... I am so lucky to have the in-laws here for a few weeks helping out with the house and my toddler for now... And nursing is going really well. It's still hard to believe that I had a c-section though. I had never envisioned that. Having DS here and healthy has really helped me not to dwell on it too much though. I was really upset when I found out I was going to need one if he remained breech and really scared about complications. It's so good to have that behind me and begin healing...

post #19 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry your little one didn't flip, but glad your sugery went so well! I feel like I've been recommending these two books a lot recently, but Bounce Back after the Baby and Lose Your Mummy Tummy both have sections on c/s recovery, exercises that are designed for the c/s mama, and directions on scar massage after c/s (to prevent adhesions or break them up if formed).

I know what you mean about the steri strips though! My doctor told me to "just pull them off when you're ready" and I couldn't believe it! After a few weeks I decided to bite the bullet and started easing them off in the shower (I put a little olive oil on them and then started geeeeeeeennnnnnnntly rubbing at the corners). I found that sort of rolling them off sideways instead of pulling them off from the bottom up (or the top down) was the way to go. That said, I almost passed out...it didn't hurt but I was so psyched up the adrenaline was really flowing and I got completely woozy and dizzy. So if you're like me and something of a wuss when it comes to potential pain (actual pain doesn't bug me...it's the "maybe" pains that get me) you might want to inform someone that your'e about to remove the steri strips.

But it really didn't hurt!

You said the steri strips are over your sutures? I had staples that were removed before I left the hospital so they put the steri strips over the incision to help prevent adhesions. If you do have sutures that need to be removed by the doc then they could probably remove the strips for you then. If the sutures are the kind that break off on their own though I recommend a glass of something soothing (with the promise of chocolate after), a hot shower, and a little olive oil.

Congratulations on your brand new little one!
post #20 of 56
I'm starting to get worried. BellyBean has turned several times, but she seems to be spending most of her time breech/transverse. : Is it ever, in any way, possible to deliver a baby vaginally when they're transverse at the onset of labor?
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