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Which is easier? - Page 2

post #21 of 141
Quote:
I honestly have rarely heard of a woman having a scheduled section that she felt MENTALLY ok with having such a horrific time recovering

I hear and read a lot that moms believe a scheduled c/s is going to be so much better to recover from than an unplanned one. It's just not always so.

My unplanned c/s came after many hours of labor and the recovery was a breeze.

My scheduled c/s I felt confident that I knew the drill, and was anticipating a few weeks of taking it easy and then jumping back into family life with our new baby, like the first time. I was definitely ok with the idea of surgery again. Reality disillusioned me, and fast. In spite of the fact that there were no specific complications, the pain was horrific and carried on and on, far longer than I ever expected. My doctor had no explanation, and could only offer painkillers. It took well over a year to get back to what I could even tentatively call normal.

I've had two atypical recoveries that according to generalizations about c/s, were unlikely to have occurred the way they did. You just never know.
post #22 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom
Usually when I hear of a woman IRL who had a terrible c-section experience, it's one of two things, or a combination of the two. First is after a hard labor that didn't result in vaginal delivery for whatever reason. It only makes sense that to have major surgery after a day or more of hard labor, your body isn't going to recover as quickly or easily. For these women, if they go on to have an ERCS, I've never heard of a single one that didn't go on to have a MUCH better experience the second time around, and this was verified by all of my peris during my twin pg (who were all very much anti-c/s).
For what it's worth...while I wasn't exactly "mentally okay" with my second c-section, I did go to the hospital as per instructions from my OB and FP. I fully expected to have an easier physical recovery than I did with my first...after all - no labour, which everyone told me was easier, plus I had waited ten years for dd. I had the surgery, and did okay getting back on my feet...but I had pain in my incision for 7-8 months.

With my first - an "emergency" after 20+ hours of labour, my initial recovery was wretched...I was so wrecked from exhaustion, drugs and lack of food that it took me four days before I could even walk around the maternity ward. But, at the end of the initial six weeks, I didn't have any pain left at all.

With my last one - a scheduled section, but I was in labour first, my initial recovery was great. I was mobile quickly and felt okay about things. I was mentally okay, as I'd at least put the surgery off until I went into labour (they'd wanted to cut him out three weeks earlier). I developed an incision in the infection, so it didn't heal up properly, but it wasn't a huge problem (except that I couldn't go swimming at our complex). The pain was gone within 2-3 months...except for the area below my navel, which still feels bruised (nerve damage, I guess).

So...I hated all my recoveries, but in terms of how long the actual pain lasted...my scheduled labour-free section, which is touted by everyone as being soooo much easier, was by far the worst. There's nothing on this earth that could make me go through that again...I honestly believe I'd rather die.


I do have to ask, though - how on earth do you have a pain-free c-section recovery? I've herad quite a few women online say this, but I don't know anybody IRL who has had one...even my SIL, who was doing crunches 4 weeks post-partum said the pain was brutal. Is there a trick to this?
post #23 of 141
Well I had a vaginal birth, and had absolutely no pain, except for a bit of stinging a couple times when I peed, which the peri-bottle took away.

I had a bm a couple hours after birth with no problems. My bleeding stopped in less than 2 weeks, and before that I was only using panty liners. I started having sex again at 2 weeks.

I know I am an extremely easy case, but everyboody I know had tougher times recovering from c/s.
post #24 of 141
I think one of the things to keep in mind about c/s vs. vaginal recovery is that after a normal vaginal birth you'll be hard-pressed to find a woman who is knocking back narcotic pain medication for the next two weeks so she can "feel great"... but after a c-section? It's necessary. No one "just takes a Tylenol on the first day" and feels fine for the next six weeks.

Lots of women feel great all drugged up after major abdominal surgery! So long as I was very, very, very vigilant about taking my meds I felt alright. I had resumed sex in under two weeks, my scar never oozed or looked funny, and apparently I had a "Very fast" and miraculously easy recovery by most standards. But the fact that I *had to* take medications for two solid weeks told me otherwise.
After my vaginal I took a Tylenol on the first day and never needed anything else. I could walk around just fine. Sure, peeing stung a little bit (yay peri bottles!) but geez, at least I didn't REQUIRE morphine for the first 24 hours after because shot after shot after shot of whateverthehell they gave me when I woke up completely unanesthestized in recovery never took.
post #25 of 141
LTP- I took pain medicine in the hospital, & the first day I was home- Darvocet, I think it was... then that was it. I can't even remember if I needed Tylenol.

I realize that is rare, but it does happen.
post #26 of 141
I take very minimal pain meds post-section. If I get cut again, I won't take any. I twisted one of my staples last section, because I'd used drugs to short-circuit my body's warning system, and didn't realize I was overdoing it physically. That's how I ended up with an infection. If I end up cut again, I'm going to be able to listen to the messages my pain is giving me, because I'm going to be able to "hear" my pain.
post #27 of 141
I had two unplanned cesareans after a lot of pushing, and the first was absolutely a breeze to recover from physically. I recovered faster than my friends who had birthed vaginally (and naturally) at around the same time! (They both had a lot of tearing.) However, that does not seem to be the norm by any means, and I don't want anyone to think it is! I was lucky, plain and simple...I've met plenty of women who weren't.

My second c-section was more conventionally difficult to recover from--no serious complications or problems, but just the usual UGH stuff. The first time I took pain meds for 36 hours...the second time, two weeks. Go figure.
post #28 of 141
I had 2 natural vag births and one unplanned, but necessary csection. Physically and emotionally, the vag births were easier. I wasn't traumitized emotionally by the cbirth, but it was something I had to accept as it wasn't in my plan and ds2 is my last baby.

It sounds like one person had easy-peasy recovery from surgical birth. I just don't see how that's possible, but if that happened, that's great and I wish everyone had the same experience. It hurt when I laughed, coughed or sneezed for a couple of weeks. I didn't have any complications (except vomiting as the spinal wore off).

With my vag births, I had one w/episiotomy and one w/out. The one w/out was much easier to recover from.

No matter how ready you are for it, it's surgery. My sister had surgery on her knee. She was prepared for it, it still hurt.
post #29 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride


I do have to ask, though - how on earth do you have a pain-free c-section recovery? I've herad quite a few women online say this, but I don't know anybody IRL who has had one...even my SIL, who was doing crunches 4 weeks post-partum said the pain was brutal. Is there a trick to this?
Shoot, I wish I knew why it was so easy, then I could sell my secrets.

With my first section (full term twins), I *fully* anticipated agony. They told me over and over again how AWFUL it was going to be the first time I stood up and it would 'feel like your guts are falling out'. Needless to say, when that nurse came in my room a mere THREE HOURS after surgery wanting me to get up....I almost had a panic attack. Thought 'Oh Lord, I *asked* for this, and now I've got to suck it up and get moving.'

I was TERRIFIED to stand up that first time. I sat on the side of the bed and braced myself. I stood up slowly and thought 'Is this all there is to it? Surely not.' So I asked if I was supposed to walk or something. The nurse said I didn't have to, but I could try. So I walked to the bathroom. Still no pain. By now I'm wondering what all the hullabaloo was about. But certainly not brave enough to voice this thought at that point.

One thing that probably made a difference for me is that the last 10 days of my pg were SO MISERABLE. I literally felt like my pelvis was being pried apart with a crow bar every time I stood up or shifted positions. I cried every day for those last 10 days from the pain. Just having the babies OUT of me was such a huge relief physically.

The post-op pain just never materialized, and it was the same a year later with my second section.

As far as actual pain relief, I had Duramorph in my spinal both times. If you have to have a section and aren't allergic to morphine, Duramorph is the way to go. It provides up to 24 hours of pain relief and you don't have to do a thing, unlike the PCA pumps where you have to push the button every so many minutes. Obviously if you doze off and 'miss' several doses with the PCA, you're much more likely to wake up in agony.

From 24 to 48 hours post-op, I took Percocet (first section) or Roxicet (second section). I pretty much took it as directed, meaning 1-2 every 4-6 hours, as I've always heard that staying ahead of any pain the first 48-72 hours is key to an easier recovery.

I also took something for gas (like Gas X) from just a few hours post-op cause I'd heard that gas can be terrible after abdominal surgery. And I took colace til my first BM to prevent trouble from that end. I figured I'd rather prevent rather than wait til I was in agony, kwim?

Overall, I figure I got VERY lucky to have three healthy children and never had one iota of pain as a result of birthing them. I am hoping to get lucky again with this fourth baby, but the reality is it could be horrible and more than make up for my two easy experiences previously. I don't see how it could possibly be easier than either of my two prior deliveries, but only time will tell.
post #30 of 141
Sounds like wifeanemom is a great c/s birther. I'm happy for you I'm glad you have had good experiences and everything. You just dont'appear to be the norm. Most women have a much tougher physical recovery than you did, and I do see that you mentioned all the drugs you took. That's not really a pain-free recovery so much as it is a medically-induced pain-free state. To me, that's not the same thing. I too hope your future deliveries will be as positive of an experience for you. You sound like you are at peace with how you bring your babies into the world, and that's what really matters.

I've onlygiven birth vaginally so I don't really have a good answer beyond myskewed version of one So i won't answerthe question.

Namaste,Tara
post #31 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaTaraX
Sounds like wifeanemom is a great c/s birther. I'm happy for you I'm glad you have had good experiences and everything. You just dont'appear to be the norm. Most women have a much tougher physical recovery than you did, and I do see that you mentioned all the drugs you took. That's not really a pain-free recovery so much as it is a medically-induced pain-free state. To me, that's not the same thing. I too hope your future deliveries will be as positive of an experience for you. You sound like you are at peace with how you bring your babies into the world, and that's what really matters.



Namaste,Tara
You know, you are SO right in that women have to be at peace with how their births go. I can't imagine having my heart set on one thing and having that crushed, often for no valid medical reason. Birth itself was simply a way to get a baby out of me alive. How that happened truly didn't matter, I just wanted LIVE babies.

I'll also add that every woman I knew who gave birth in the same time frame I did (most of which were vaginal deliveries, but hospital births virtually all with epis and most with Pit) came home with the same number of narcotic pain pills I was given after my c/s.

*I* was the only one who had any left over though. So from my experience, the need for narcotics regardless of delivery method is pretty common with hospital birthers, or at least that's how it has played out IRL with my friends. Heck, the only girl I knew who actually had to have REFILLS on her narcotics delivered vaginally. She was on that stuff for over a MONTH. Of course, if I'd come out of there with the damage she did, I'd probably STILL be on narcotics 5 years later.
post #32 of 141
I had a difficult vaginal delivery with a very painful recovery. I had pubis synthesis ( pubic bone separated ) and some torn ligaments. Sometimes I wonder if recovering from a section would have been less painful! But there are pros and cons to everything- and when it comes down to it, you still couldn't talk me into going under the knife.
post #33 of 141
I don't think a major abdominal surgery can be compared to a natural vaginal delivery. We were designed to birth babies vaginally and recover quickly. We weren't designed to be cut open. It hurts really bad to be cut open. Especially after a long and exhausting labor. It takes a long time to heal all those layers that have been cut/ripped open.
And the biggest factor, for me: take heavy duty painkillers that would go straight to ds, or go without to spare him from more exposure to drugs. He had nursing issues so I felt like I had to choose to go without. It SUCKED! So if that's the "secret" to painless recovery, don't count on being able to use it.
Oh yeah, I also have pubic synthesis and didn't even notice compared to the wrenching pain in my abdomen every time I tried to move, cough, laugh, hold ds on my tummy, etc. I never realized how much we depend on those muscles until I couldn't use them.
post #34 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebsMama05
well except that my episiotomy scar itches sometimes. not sure if its psychological or not. weird feeling that.
'S okay. My section scar has been itching like crazy during this pregnancy . Easier to scratch in public than the epis scar, though.
post #35 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom
One thing that probably made a difference for me is that the last 10 days of my pg were SO MISERABLE. I literally felt like my pelvis was being pried apart with a crow bar every time I stood up or shifted positions. I cried every day for those last 10 days from the pain. Just having the babies OUT of me was such a huge relief physically.
I wasn't quite that bad (not crying every day) with ds2, but I was definitely a lot of pain for the last couple of weeks. He was big, and seemed to be pushing my pelvis apart. I loved every second of the pain, of course - proof that he was my vertex baby who wasn't going to be a c-section. *sigh*

Quote:
As far as actual pain relief, I had Duramorph in my spinal both times. If you have to have a section and aren't allergic to morphine, Duramorph is the way to go. It provides up to 24 hours of pain relief and you don't have to do a thing, unlike the PCA pumps where you have to push the button every so many minutes. Obviously if you doze off and 'miss' several doses with the PCA, you're much more likely to wake up in agony.
Ah - I've never had any kind of spinal catheter, and I'd kill anybody who tried to give me one. I have to put up with the anesthetic during the surgery (which is just one reason I hate having my babies through surgery), but there's no way in hell I'm letting muck with my spine further just so I can stand up without pain. To me, pain isn't that big a deal, compared to having stuff stuck in my spine (I actually considered telling the OB that if he was going to coerce me into a section, he was going to have to do without the evil anesthetic, just so he couldn't pretend he wasn't hurting me.)

I have had Duramorph (I believe - something morphine related). It was given to me last time without the anesthestist telling me he was administering it, which made me furious as I'd already told the doctor I didn't want it. I'm not exactly allergic to it, but it does make me itch...and I'd rather have somebody come into my room every half hour and cut me than have to put up with the itching. As my dh says, I can deal with pain - but not so much with discomfort (the sweat from sitting under a window in the sun was worse than the incision pain, which was bad enough).

Quote:
From 24 to 48 hours post-op, I took Percocet (first section) or Roxicet (second section).
Does everybody in the US get Percocet? I've seen that on here many times, but nobody I know has ever had it post-op.

For the first 24-36 hours with dd and ds2, I had Voltaren and some Tylenol. After that, I took a few Tylenol, but that was it...but not because it didn't hurt. I just don't think really effective pain management is a good idea, honestly.
post #36 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama
'S okay. My section scar has been itching like crazy during this pregnancy . Easier to scratch in public than the epis scar, though.
I watched a cesarean on "The Operation" (morbid fascination) when ds1 was about two years old. My scar hurt for over an hour, and before that, I hadn't had even a tiny twinge since he was 3 months old. The mind-body connection manifests in interesting ways sometimes.
post #37 of 141
I've only had a c/s, but my mom had 3 vag and she was in the room with me watching me struggle to sit up, get up, get to the bathroom and then get back in bed. She said that while vag is uncomfortable, it was not as uncomfortable as I looked. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone choosing to do a c/s because it is "easier". I totally get the medically necessary ones, but the elective ones are beyond me.
post #38 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimid
I totally get the medically necessary ones, but the elective ones are beyond me.
Sadly, the vast majority of c-sections, imo, are neither medically necessary nor elective (at least on the mom's part). For example...none of mine fall into either category...my first was medically...expedient, I guess. My second was coerced by my doctors for a footling breech, and my third was also coerced (as in "be there tomorrow or I'm withdrawing from your case"...no alternative care provider available, and I was 41w,4d and in prodomal labour). The situation's a mess.
post #39 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Sadly, the vast majority of c-sections, imo, are neither medically necessary nor elective (at least on the mom's part).
I gotta agree with this. I see an awful lot of women convincing themselves theirs was needed, and I see an awful lot of the same excuses doctors give women to make them believe it was done for a reason. "Low heart rate" or "cord around the neck" are always good ones, but they always seem to only become a problem when mom's slow progress gets old...

Mine was neither necessary nor elective: it was for a breech that was actually *crowning* at the time of discovering it. With one previous vaginal birth, pushing him out would have been just fine.
post #40 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleteapot
I gotta agree with this. I see an awful lot of women convincing themselves theirs was needed, and I see an awful lot of the same excuses doctors give women to make them believe it was done for a reason. "Low heart rate" or "cord around the neck" are always good ones, but they always seem to only become a problem when mom's slow progress gets old...
There are lots of good ones...even the "slow progress" gets used. I mean - we all know that without the c-section, mom's labour would just stop, and she'd be stuck at that point for years. *sigh*

Quote:
Mine was neither necessary nor elective: it was for a breech that was actually *crowning* at the time of discovering it. With one previous vaginal birth, pushing him out would have been just fine.
That was my first one...baby wasn't crowning, but I was fully dilated, and going into transition labour when they put me on the operating table. I guess they just couldn't hear the "no - I don't want a c-section" over the machine that goes "ping"...
I also didn't have a previous vaginal birth, so I wasn't "proved" as a childbirthing mom. I wonder why "innocent until proven guilty" doesn't apply to pelvises and cervixes?
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