or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › C section question (please don't flame me)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

C section question (please don't flame me)

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if there was someone who could tell me in detail what happens at a c section?

I googled... but I get alot of clinical stuff but no real life what to expect. I would like to know just in case....

I know many mamas who birth twins frank breech and it would be awesome.. but just in case things don't go as planned I would like to know what to expect... Sorry if this is a "dumb" question... I have never had one..and the closest i can think to compair is having my appendix out... but I am sure it must be way different....
post #2 of 56
I don't think its a silly question at all. I had a csection with Cameron. It can be kind of scary but I had been in labor for 20 hours before they considered it. I was given the epidural and once that kicked in, I was wheeled into the OR. Once I was situated and they had put the drape up, they started the operation. It's really weird, you can feel it but it doesn't hurt, at all. I got to see Cameron as soon as he came out. They took him to clean him up and then they stitched me up. That took about 45 minutes. They took me into recovery and I think it was about 4 hours after that, they offered to bring him into the room.

I didn't have any problems with healing and didn't have to deal with hemorroids or an episiotomy.

3 weeks and I was up and about again.
post #3 of 56
There are a few videos of c/s out there in internet land if you google enough. I can't speak for someone who's had a planned c/s, it may be different. I had already had an epidural placed a few hrs before. They added some mega-antibiotics that hurt like hell to my IV, then some anti-nausea meds that made me hyperventilate & feel REALLY cold. We went to the OR (me on a gurney), then they had me help them move me over to the table. The anesth. chatted with me a little bit while he upped the meds then did testing for numbness. I started getting nauseous & he had me turn my head to the side to vomit (oops, I got it in the O2 mask, so it came back to me later :?). DH came in, sat by my head. They had my arms stretched out to the sides, and were velcro'd to the supports, I think, for safety. They had a curtain up around boob-height. Cold, bright, heard nurses & OB talking/chatting about other stuff. Then a feeling of lots of pressure, LOTS of pressure, then heard my babe cry. He held her up over the curtain for a second so I could see her, then she was wrapped up (not cleaned, just swaddled) and brought straight to me to hold. After we'd had our moment DH went with her out of the OR and I went to recovery for 45 min or so. That was absolute hell, being away from the babe. If I was scheduling or writing an in-case-of-c/s plan, I think I would want to specify the babe MUST stay with me, policy be damned. Having had the babe but not being with her ... awful. Back to my room, DH came in with baby. He told me that the nurses didn't touch her while I was away, that they had him in a private room with her so that no relatives/friends would get to spend time with her before me. My hospital is MAJORLY breastfeeding supportive so they helped me learn to side-lie nurse and cosleep. I felt mentally aware about 1-1/2 hrs after surgery, had the catheter out 30 minutes later, the epi line out at the same time. The next morning HURT. I forced myself out of bed & took a shower on my own (OWW). I walked as much as I could, did as much care of DD on my own as I could. TAKE STOOL SOFTENERS AT THIS POINT. We left the hospital as early as allowed & had my mom at home to help for a week. I was in pretty rough incision pain for about a week & 1/2 or so, and stopped trying to 'tough it out' without the big pain meds on day 3 post-birth (dumb, just use them if you need them). B/F was harder b/c of the incision. I was lucky & didn't have an infection or reopening of the wound like some I know. The major negative after-effect for me was a resistant yeast infection that caused us b/f problems and caused me some incredible yoni pain (vestibulodynia) for about 5-6 months. That, and the emotionality of missing that first hour after birth.

As far as pain level of the incision healing, I'm sure it differs. For me, it was quite a bit worse than my appendectomy, esp. because I wanted & needed to be active so soon afterward.

If you're going to be planning for any reason, I'd make a birth plan for the c/s. Keep in mind the pain level, your plans for b/f, who will be with you, etc. I appreciate that my hospital kept DH & baby away from prying eyes early on, I needed to feel like she was mine-first since I missed the first hour. And absolutely, positively plan to have help at home afterward.
post #4 of 56
I had a c-section and it wasn't bad.

They wheeled me into the OR. I had already had an epidural so they increased the meds and I couldn't feel anything from the shoulders down. Right before they were ready to start they brought DH in. Then the doc said she was starting. I didn't feel tugging/pushing or anything. DS didn't wasn't breathing very well so he had to go to special care right away. I just got to look at him for a minute. Normally, they give the baby to you as soon as you are stitched up and baby says with you the whole time. Dad holds babe until then.

I had a horrible reaction to the anesthsia (sp?) and itched really bad for 24 hrs. Otherwise, my recovery was pretty easy. I left the hospital less than 48 hrs later. I couldn't do any heavy lifting/picking up or driving for a few weeks but other wise I felt pretty good. I made myself get up and move around. I think it helped my recovery.
post #5 of 56
Here is a medical response for you. For a planned c-section, they usually use spinal anesthesia (which is similair to an epidural but slightly different). Some laboring patients already have an epidural so they use it with a stronger dose of medication. The mom lays on the OR table and the anesthesia person will monitor your heart rate, resp rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level. They made need to give you oxygen via a loose mask but that is infrequent. They will place a drape over you so you can't see and everything stays sterile. Once you are sufficeiently numb, they will begin by making an incision just across the top of your pubic hair line. Then they continue through the differnet layers and separate your abdominal muscles untill they get to the uterus. Once at the uterus, they make a small incision at the base of the uterus. They will then find the baby's presenting part and apply pressure to the top of the uterus to help expell the baby out. (This is usually the most uncomfortable part because you can feel the pressure). Once the baby is out, they will clamp the cord and cut it and hand the baby over to someone else. Then they will remove the placenta and close everything up.

Hope this helps



Beverly
post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much!!!

I was wondering if they talk during? Since my hubby will be with me.... wondering if we can talk during?

One of the babies fathers will be there... the other one has no desire to see any of my insides... or outsides for that matter lol

So I am not too concerned about holding the babies right away.. thats there parents job.
post #7 of 56
I was able to walk into the operating room and climb onto the bed myself. I had a spinal which was the bit I was really dreading. Had to sit on the edge of the bed and hunch forward, not to easy with a pregnant belly but really it wasn't to bad. It also took effect faster than I had expected. I couldn't even get myself back onto the bed. Someone else had to lift my legs up.

I had a drape in front of me so I couldn't see anything but I didn't have my arms straped down or anything. I did have a drip in each hand but one of those I had before I went in. DH was sat on a chair by my head and we were able to hold hands, talk etc. We even chose a CD to play. (be warned though what was a relaxing CD is now rather less relaxing ) We were told if we were squeemish to avoid looking up at the lights as they are mirrored. DH decided to watch but I didn't.

While it wasn't painfull I could feel a certain ammount of pulling and pressing on my belly and certainly felt a lot lighter when they lifted DD out.

I'm a little hazy about what happened after that, I know HD got to hold DD very briefly before she was taken up to NICU.

I was wheeled through to the recovery room to wait for the anathetic to wear off. Looking back I think that must have taken quite a while as it was 2.05pm when DD was born and after 8pm when I made it down to the ward. I was allowed to drink in recovery but I didn't eat anything till the next morning. (not sure if they would have allowed it but I didn't want anything). The catheter was taken out the next mornign and I was then able to get out of bed and walk round.
post #8 of 56
I only wish I had asked the same question before the birth of my daughter!!! I had an unplanned c/s and I was totally uninformed. Apparently I thought if I avoided reading or talking about it than it would certainly never happen to me. You know, I thought if I read all the right books, loaded myself with knowledge, trusted my body, etc. etc. and yet it still can happen. If I had been prepared for what a c-birth would be like, I think the emotional recovery might have been easier. I'm planning for a VBAC this time around and I still think about the details of my c-birth.

I guess what I would add to the PP's is just how blurry the whole experince was for me afterwards. For months i kept asking my partner to help me piece together the sequence of events. It also seemed VERY cold and VERY bright in the OR. I asked that they not secure my arms to the table/arm boards and they were fine with that. People did talk during the birth, and the anesthesia folks want you talking from time to time and will be asking you quesitons. I believe they limit how many non surgical team people can be present, but that I am sure is hospital policy.

For the first 24 hours or so, I had these inflatable boots on my calves, which would inflate on a predertmined schedule to move the blood and help in the prevention of blood clots. I had a weird itching reaction post-op and the boots inflating over my needed-to-be-shaved-legs made me feel like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. ( I WILL shave my legs next time I give birth!!!!! ) I needed a lot of help in the first couple of days post partum. I had a hard time standing, sitting, walking.

During my recovery, I thought I was doing great. Once it was really behind me, it looked a little different. Also remember that your body heals on the outside first. My incision looked great a couple weeks later.... I zipped up a pair of jeans and then thought I was going to pass out.:

Good luck with whatever route this baby comes!! And again, kudos to asking this quesiton!!
post #9 of 56
I can't add a whole lot to what PPs have said, but I just wanted to jump in.

I just found out that I am pg with #2 after two cycles of IVF. DS will be 7 next week, so it's all a bit of a blur. I was induced (and will tell anyone who will listen to not do that!), but never progressed beyond 4cm and DS was in distress. He was stuck headfirst in my pelvis, and the Dr had to pull on him so hard, DH said the doc's hands were shaking. He was a good size, but not overly large at 8# 10 oz. Despite my big hips, I am very, very narrow inside. My aunt had both of her children c/s for the same reason.

So I know I will be having a c/s this time too, and I'm okay with that. It was so scary last time that we don't want to risk a terrible outcome. For one, we know my insides and, two, this is a premium pregnancy. I can't just DTD and make another. (DH had a vasectomy when DS was 5 months, so we had to have sperm aspirated for the IVF.)

Anyway, there are two things I want to do differently than last time. I do not want my arms strapped down and I want to watch. I am not the least bit squeamish and I want to see my baby come out the way vaginal birthing mothers do.

I was lucky last time that we knew one of the L&D nurses, and she brought DS to me to nurse right away. We are in a different state now, so I won't be at the same hospital. I'm hoping there won't be a problem with this.

I am 37, will be 38 by the time baby is here. I am nervous about my recovery. It was hard before, but not terrible. I didn't have any infection or anything, but I had some lingering pain from a bent staple that was poking into me. At least this is time, we are close to family and friends. I had no help last time with DS.

Good luck to you!!!
post #10 of 56
I'll ditto what a lot of others have said and give my thoughts...

DS was planned (my malformed uterus makes version especially risky so I wasn't willing to try). So, my water broke at home, I got to the hospital at 3am. I walked into the OR, jumped up on the table and got a spinal. This is when my husband walked in and he sat at my head and chit chatted all the while it was going on. I asked for the drape to be dropped when they pulled him out because I wanted to see. They held him up so I could see and then took him right over to be cleaned up. He was born at 4:49am. After he was cleaned, they handed him to DH and finished sewing me up. I was then transported to recovery and carried him on my chest the whole way. As soon as we hit recovery, the nurses checked my vitals and got him to my breast. By 7am he had already had his first nursing and we had called our families. Despite being born at 36 weeks, he never left my sight.

My recovery was nearly painless. I got my catheter out that evening and was up and showering the next day. I did take the pain meds for a few days once I got home and just getting up out of chairs was touchy for a bit. By 3 weeks post-p, I had felt like I was never even pg (well, except for all that extra belly flab! ) The really nice thing about not having labored was that I felt really great and rested so I am sure that no labor contributed to my speedy recovery.

I can honestly say that I did not have a single complaint about our birth experience.

Good luck!
post #11 of 56
I had a c-sec with DD and feel you have gotten some useful info so far. Howver, I must tell you that I did not have a spinal for the surgery, I had an epidural because I already had the epidural in. Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones who had an epidural window (this means that I could feel when they were cutting me on one side). I screamed from the pain of the cutting and was put out immediately with general anesthesia. I didn't get to see my baby for approximately 5 hours after her birth. These aren't super common, but they are common enough that if I were to have to have another c-sec I would definately want a spinal.
post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
Can I ask the difference between a spinal and epidural?
post #13 of 56
A spinal anesthetic involves the insertion of a needle, usually in the lumbar (low back) region, followed by the injection of a local anesthetic solution. The needle is then withdrawn, and the anesthetic effect occurs quite rapidly. Spinal anesthesia has been around for a long time, and is recognized as a safe and effective means of providing anesthesia for cesarean section. Because the onset of anesthesia is very rapid and reliable, some centers use spinal anesthesia routinely for elective c-sections. The alternative method, epidural anesthesia, tends to be a bit slower in onset, and may result in a slightly less “dense” block (that is, sensation is at the surgical site is not eliminated as completely as with a spinal anesthetic. During the performance of an epidural anesthetic, the needle tip is placed in the epidural space, which lies just outside the membrane covering the spinal fluid. From my understanding there is no risk of an epidural window with a spinal block.
post #14 of 56
Thread Starter 
WOW thank you so much for taking the time to write all that!!! I feel smarter now lol thanks!!!!
post #15 of 56
Hey mama, I didn't have time to read all of the replies, as I am nak my little ones, but I had to reply here.

I had a planned c/s 7 wks ago at 37.4 wks for my twins (twin A was sitting firmly on my cervix) due to a medical condition. I was informed and aware of all that it would entail, but things still did not work out the way I planned (within the c/s itself). IF you want to read my take on my birth, you can read it here. Please be aware it was not easy peasy.

Anywho . . . for me, the thought of a c/s was the scariest thought EVER. I was petrified. I mean truly shaking in my boots PETRIFIED. I came here and asked questions. I went to the ICAN list and asked questions. I asked people IRL questions. I asked questions about pain, about meds, about the actual procedure . . . tons of questions. And while I wanted, NEEDED to know what to expect and to arm myself with information, overall what I wanted the most was assurance that it was goingto be OK and that I would be fine. Sure I knew this was a procedure that occurs a million times a year and that many women do multiple times and they all survive, but this was MY first time (after 4 vag births with no drugs, etc) and I needed others who had btdt to tell me it was all goingto be ok. I really got that support here, along with information that was useful without being too graphic. And while there were A LOT of mamas who shared intimate details of their births with me on the ICAN list, I found it too negative. Honestly it scared the bejesus out of me and made me more worried. But that is just MHO.

Now, I am SURE mamas here gave you tons of info on what procedures and steps would be taken, but I wanted to give you a slightly different view of how I approached it. Be sure to take care to arm yourself with emotional support, not just knowledgw of procedures and physical support. Anywho, I hope you find all of the information you want as well as all of the supprt you need. BEst of luck!
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2
I had a c-sec with DD and feel you have gotten some useful info so far. Howver, I must tell you that I did not have a spinal for the surgery, I had an epidural because I already had the epidural in. Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones who had an epidural window (this means that I could feel when they were cutting me on one side). I screamed from the pain of the cutting and was put out immediately with general anesthesia. I didn't get to see my baby for approximately 5 hours after her birth. These aren't super common, but they are common enough that if I were to have to have another c-sec I would definately want a spinal.
Oh, my goodness, you poor thing! That is good to know! I had an epidural, too, because I already had one in due to the excruciating pain I was in from that horrible, nasty Pitocin. Since we will be scheduling the next one, I imagine I'll probably just have a spinal.
post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 
Yikes.... ummm can I tell them that I want the spinal then? would they even listen or do what they wanna do anyway?
post #18 of 56
I think the preference of what they use varies from doc to doc. I know my obgyn prefers the spinal to the epi and both to general. In the end though it is usually the anesthesiologist who make the decision based on your input, your body and his medical knowledge. When I saw mine the day before the surgery, he was unsure (due to my history of panic attacks in the OR and a bad reaction [severe vomiting] to a spinal in the past) of what he was going to do. He kicked around the idea of an epi (which I would have prefered, but did not push really), but in the end he settled for a spinal. Voice your concerns and opinions. Ask what questions you want re: their procedures, their usual tact, etc. And be sure to voice your fears. GL!
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2toomany
Thank you all so much!!!

I was wondering if they talk during? Since my hubby will be with me.... wondering if we can talk during?

One of the babies fathers will be there... the other one has no desire to see any of my insides... or outsides for that matter lol

So I am not too concerned about holding the babies right away.. thats there parents job.
Of course you can talk. Most ORs have CD players too (the scrub techs use them while they're setting up), so we had Bob Marley playing. The staff will be talking.

Ask for antiemetics (Anzemet or Zofran, accept no substitutes) prophylactically. You don't want to barf. And you want Duramorph in your block. It gives excellent pain control without making you sleepy.
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2
From my understanding there is no risk of an epidural window with a spinal block.
Eh, not IME. It's possible to have a crappy spinal block too, and need a general. While spinals usually work better, and definitely set up faster, they're not re-dosable, and so if they don't work during surgery you will have a general. Also, they last a finite amount of time, and so if surgery is very slow (which it can be), you may need a general at the end because the block is wearing off.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › C section question (please don't flame me)