Support For C/S Recovery - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ALl.

I am going into the hospital today for some tests, and I have been told there is a good chance I may have to stay. My BP is slightly elevated and my kidney function is off. I am 36+3 and the boys are practice breathing enough for them to be confident that delivery would be a better choice, if necessary than drug therapy. Since the boys are still not head down despite a month of Moxa, Webster, Inversions, and homeopathy, it will very probably be a c/s. Any tips for c/s recovery with twins?

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#2 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Best wishes!!! and make sure you take it easy so you can fully recover. Big hugs. So sorry, no tips for you, but I am lurking for the answers. My baby A won't flip either. Paige
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#3 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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get as much help at home as you can from anybody who is willing! recovering from a c/s after twins sucks- i'm not going to lie. i needed help even just sitting up during my first week home. i had friends and famiy come to help and they took care of everything except nursing and snuggling for me. they cooked, cleaned, played with my older DD, changed diapers and outfits, burped, etc. that way i could focus on resting and nursing the twins.

locate some expert breasfeeding help in case you need it. sometimes a c/s can cause a delay in your mature milk coming in as late as 7-10 days after birth. don't panic about this-- just keep nursing. if the babies seem really hungry and your colostrum doesn't seem to satisfy them (this may not happen at all)- you can use a supplemental tube feeding system so that they are still stimulating your breasts, but also getting a little something extra in their stomachs. then as soon as your milk comes in, you can ditch that and just nurse. pumping at the hospital helps speed up the process, but can be grueling because it cuts into your rest time.

you can do this, mama!! be gentle with yourself and remember your body is not only recovering from a c/s but also twin pregnancy so give it time!

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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#4 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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Just sending happy thoughts

Good luck Jody!
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#5 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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My twins were born by C/S a year ago, and the best advise I received was dont lift anything heavier than your heaviest baby. For me that was 5.7#. Less than a gallon of milk. Fortunatley, I recovered very quickly and very nicely - but lots of help is required, and lots of rest.
best of luck to you -
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#6 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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Mine didn't flip either - despite everything - so's here's my advice:

Line up lots of helping hands and get people to bring you FOOD. I was starving from nursing those babes and when I would ask for a snack, someone would bring me a piece of toast when what I really needed was a porterhouse steak. Seriously, I remember being hungry a lot b/c there was no time to prepare food.

Get an area set up that can be your "command center" so you don't have to move a lot. I wasn't allowed to do stairs more than once a day, so that meant I had to basically remain on the second floor of our house for a couple of weeks.

Take your meds as needed and don't try and be tough about the pain. If you keep the pain constantly under control, you will rest better and recover better.

Consider getting help at night if your dh has to go back to work soon. Mine was only home for another week after we brought the babies home and I wouldn't have made it without our night doula during the week (so he could sleep and function at work).

Good luck!
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#7 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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Yep, what they said.

The first few days are rough. Stay in bed as much as you can for the first week or 2. It should get steadily better, if it doesn't, or the pain or bleeding get worse, see your doc!!

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#8 of 31 Old 09-25-2006, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I was released today so no c/s for at least a week unless something else goes down. I have been collecting c/s survival tips all day today, so tell me how I am doing so far.

I have set up a sleeping/changing area on the first floor only a few steps from the couch which is set up for sleeping. I figure I will only go upstairs to shower anyway.

I am going to request Valium before they begin so I don't freak out when they do the epidural.

I am going to request an epidural rather than a spinal necause they hurt less.

I am going to ask that they place the catheter AFTER they do the epidural.

I am requesting 2 support people in the OR, my DH and mother. Mom used to be an LPN at this hospital, and she knows her way around an OR. I want her to stay with me and DH to follow the babies.

I am requesting the babies be brought to me in the recovery room.

I will take the percoset when offered because I need to keep the pain away to function.

I will not lift anything heavier than the babies for at least a week.

I will do nothing but rest, eat, and nurse for at least 2 weeks.

Any other words of wisdom?

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#9 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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I would make sure they give you enough pain medication to last you a day when they discharge you! I had to go 12 hours with no pain medication because the pharmacy had a huge wait time and they didn't give me anything when I discharged.

Honestly, if I had already had a vag birth -- I would demand to deliver breech...I would never wish a c-section on anyone for the babies' and mom's sake. It is not a good thing. JMO -- but and quick recovery for you in whatever happens!
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#10 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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A note about taking percocet when offered... my hospital was not allowed to out right offer pain medication. I (or my husband) had to keep track of time and page them to request it be delivered to the room. Some hospitals (I had my children at different ones, so two in my experience) aren't great about aftercare. You tend to get left alone since you're "just healing" - what a joke right!?

Ask in the recovery room if the nurses will bathe you off from surgery. It was such a nice thing after I had twins that the other hospital did not do for me. I didn't feel so yucky the next day.

Request your catheter be removed as soon as you have the ability to stand and walk. This forces you to get up for the bathroom. Although this hurts like heck, it's a good thing to move around as much as you can. Don't let people help you out of bed / to the restroom - you need to do it yourself so you learn your limitations.

Shower the morning after if you can - it did WONDERS to be clean and have hot water running over my body.

I used disposable pads with my first pregnancy and switched to cloth for my PP bleeding after the twins. SO much nicer. If you have time to order anything, I used plain preemie prefolds with a layer of fleece from the fabric store on top. Very cushy. I also kept one tucked between my waistband and my incision.

Here's hoping they turn, but if not I'm sending you lots of wonderul healing vibes.
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#11 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's official. Unless I go into labor before then, these babies are scheduled to arrive on Friday 10/6. about noon. They thought I would appreciate having the holiday weekend. The good news is I get the Doc I like. The bad news is I am having a section. As of Friday the babies are in a double double footling breeach presentation, and everything I have read about cord prolapse and placenta issues (I have a fused placenta now) leads to me to believe that this is the right choice. I hate the idea, and I have done everything to turn these babies that 2 chiro.'s, an acupunturist, a doula, a midwife, anyone here at MDC that would reply, spinningbabies, my OBs and the nurses could think of to try. I have been working to turn them since 30 weeeks, and it is just not happening. However, I have 2 more scans to go, and if they by some miracle turn, I will be induced instead.

I am absolutely dreading this. I have never had surgery before except on my mouth. I have never allowed any pain medication stronger than novocaine despite Dr. reccommendations, and I have only even had codeine once. It made me vomit and pass out. I am afraid of the epidural, the surgery, the pain, and the limitations of recovery. I was prepared for coping with twins (as much as any new twin mom can be) after a vaginal delivery, but now I feel totally unequal to the task. I am so discouraged. Not because I feel like I failed, no way, I tried EVERYTHING. It's just this isn't what I wanted and now I am dealing with 2 really scary things all at once.

Not to mention I now have a week to dwell on it. And how am I going to deal with the twins at home and my 3 year old? Sure I am going to have help, but I don't want to let go of the image I had of my babymoon. Instead of learning to cope with the twins and bonding with them while my parents happily entertained my DD, I am going to be in a pain filled drug haze. I won't be able to do ANYTHING for myself, and I won't be able to focus all my attention on my boys. I tear up just thinking about whats coming next week. Am I a candidate for PPD or what?

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#12 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 09:29 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're feeling so discouraged. Here's to hoping they turn before the 6th!

I just wanted to add that I had a c/s with my twins too. I had a very easy and quick recovery. I understand all your hesitations and concerns and worries. I did take the percocet for several days and that helped manage the pain for me. But really I had an easy time and was surprised at how good I felt and how easily I moved around and lived life. Just go easy on yourself and listen to your body.

Best wishes to you!
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#13 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 10:41 PM
 
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Jody, I am so sorry. You worked so hard to keep those babies in But 37 weeks is full term, so that is nothing to sneeze at!

I can't remember how much I told you about Ben's birth story. Ben was born without drugs or any intervention. But my tearing was so bad I needed a spinal for the repairs. (One nurse refered to my birth canal as shredded. nice. They are so encouraging.) I was terrified about the spinal and the recovery. The spinal was so easy. It did cause me to shake, but I had no other side effects. It was also my first surgery and my first time taking pain killers. It was not nearly as bad as I feared.

I have no idea how my surgery would compare to a c section (I had lots of discomfort walking and sitting, but obviously no incision to heal), but I do know that doctors and nurses really painted me a doom and gloom picture. My recovery was so much easier than they predicted. So take it easy, follow their instructions, but know that medical predictions are often worst case scenarios.

We are all sending our happy thoughts

Beth
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#14 of 31 Old 09-27-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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Deep breath . . . you are going to meet your babies soon

I had a very un-wanted c-section with my twins (same thing as you, both breech, risk of cord prolapse, etc.) Theres no nice way to say it; not getting what you dream of regarding a birth really sucks.

But, it sounds like you have all your "ducks in a row" so to speak, so you have thought through a lot of the contingencies, which is great!

Just so you know, I had a spinal, and it really didnt hurt. Honest. It was like getting a blood draw or something, nothing more. I think getting pain relief before your catheter is a great idea. That DID hurt. And two support people is a nice idea too. I only had my dh, and I think he was a little overwhelmed by it all. (HE could have used a support person )

Also, I dont remember what drugs I had in the hospital, but they only released me with extra strength ibuprofen (I think?). It wasnt anything super strong like percostat (to make me hazy or nauseaus), but as long as I took it every 4-6 hours, it was enough.

It sounds like you have great support, sharing some of your fears with your dh or mom might really help you work through some of your concerns before the babies arrive. And since you mentioned it, take your concerns about ppd seriously too, and dont be hesitant to talk about it with your doctor.

Good luck! Im thinking good thoughts for you and your twins!
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#15 of 31 Old 09-28-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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I'm sorry you're looking at the section, but it does sound like the safest option for you and your babies. And of course that is the most important thing.

I had a vaginal birth for Lilly and then Kate had to be a c-section (they started out vertex-vertex but Kate curled up in a ball and with 29-weekers they weren't willing to mess around too much at that point). The section itself was a piece of cake, honestly. The recovery did suck, but they say it's worse if you push first, so that's on your side.

As awful as it is, walking as much as you can helps. I had to walk a lot because my girls were in the NICU, so I was on my feet pretty quickly. In pain, but you do what you have to. Definitely line up some help for when you get home - make other people feed you and do the housework, so you can feed those babies!

Good luck and I will think "flippy" thoughts to your babies in hopes that this whole post is moot.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#16 of 31 Old 09-28-2006, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all. I really appreciate your support. At least i am going to have Mr. Nice Doc. He has a tatoo, a goatee, and wears a hemp necklace under his scrubs with a celtic knot bead on it. He has been very supportive of every decision I have made since I started seeing him exclusively within the practice. Truthfully, I think the scheduling nurse knows how much I like him, and made sure I got him. I know it's not very medical, but this is what he said to me earlier, " I am not going to tell you that this doesn't suck. It does. But since these boys continue to move so much and still refuse to turn head down, I think it is the only safe course of action. Even if one made it head down we know they have an unstable lie and the second baby could go transverse again in a second. Then you might end up with a compund delivery, and that would suck more than having the section to begin with." Too right. I have already recovered from a long vaginal labor with tearing, stitches that wouldn't heal, and hemorrhoids the size of a lemon. I guess it will be nice being able to sit down sooner than 8 weeks post partum. I can't imagine having to cope with all of it at once.

Oh yeah, and then there's the babies! Lest I forget the whole point of this torture....Frankly I am so used to being pregnant that I forget it has to end at some point. I guess I'm still not ready yet, and I am almost 37 weeks.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#17 of 31 Old 09-28-2006, 02:28 AM
 
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mamajody - I had a c-section w/ my first (most likely unwarranted but that's another story). I was terrified to eat and poop and did the dumb clear diet for too many days.

I had a c-sec with my twins at 37 weeks because of cholestasis. I treated that one differently - as soon as I could stomach food I ate it - lots of salads and fruit, whole grains. The second night some friends snuck in Thai food and beer. I believe the food gave me energy and got my intestines moving. I was pooping fine by the 3rd day, feeling great on day 4 when my milk came in and we went home. On day 7, I was at the farmer's market (for about 30 mins!) with one of my babes in a sling! My recovery was really amazing!

I just wanted you to know that recovery isn't always horrible.

*I can't remember but there is homeopathic remedy to take right before & after surgery - maybe arnica? Also, extra Vit C before and after*

I also had a 3.5 year old when I had the twins. When dh left for work he would load the table full of food my boy could help himself too, and set me up on the couch with the nursing pillows, a pitcher of water, a phone with headset and the remote control! Oh those first few weeks alone were memorable!

good luck to you in the next few weeks!
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#18 of 31 Old 09-28-2006, 03:29 AM
 
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mamajody - Would there be any danger in waiting until you actually went into labor to do the c-section? I honestly don't know, which is why I ask. I know it would be better for the babies to stay put a bit longer if they could (mine were born at 37 weeks & 4 days and it was clear to me that they still needed some more time, and although they ended up being okay, more time would have been better).

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#19 of 31 Old 09-28-2006, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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2+twins,

I will be fully 38 weeks, and these guys are looking VERY good in terms of breathing and weight. I will have a better idea tomorrow after my u/s. My doc is more than willing to push the c/s back for the sake of the twins, but the reason for scheduling it 2 weeks early is that I may develop placenta issues due to my gestational diabetes. I fired 4 out of the 5 docs. two weeks ago, so I am taking the latest surgery date available to me within the window of opportunity that I have for best outcome. Since my placentas are now fused any damage from the diabetes could potentially affect both twins. I am not willing to wait until it becomes an emergency situation.

Note: I was supposed to deliver my DD 2 weeks early for the same reason. At the time I had a different doc in the practice (now gone) and she pushed my induction back to 40.5 weeks because my placenta was fine at 38 weeks. This time it is too risky to go the extra 2 weeks.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#20 of 31 Old 09-29-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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My only hospital recommmendation is to insist on the epidural. I asked for one and was told I HAD to have a spinal, then when my babies (37w4d) needed to go to the NICU they told me I had to lay on my back and couldn't sit up to go see them for 12 hours. This was incredibly traumatic for me, and still is.

As for home - like everyone else said - HELP and FOOD. And you'll still get your babymoon.

Christine, mama to Daniel & Abby, 9 and Patrick, 4. Wife to a rockin' train engineer. Gluten and nightshade-free. Multiple kiddie food sensitivities.

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#21 of 31 Old 09-29-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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I haven't had twins, but I have had four c-sections.

I'm actually surprised at some of the comments concerning spinals. I had spinals with 3 of my deliveries and not one hurt a single bit. Nor was I made to lie flat afterward. I was able to nurse in recovery as well.

I had a long term analgesic added to the spinal....duramorph, I think? Despite it causing itching, it was a true godsend for me because I didn't require any pain meds at all for 24 hours and then was able to move on to just ibuprofen.

Good luck and congratulations on growing your boys for so long and so well!!
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#22 of 31 Old 09-29-2006, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had the scan today and the boys look good. Baby A is back to frank breech and weighs in at about 7lbs. 5oz. Baby B has now turned and is vertex, thanks to some Reiki done by my mom yesterday, and he weighs in at about 6lbs. 13 oz. They did tell me these were conservative guesstimates on weight as each baby was so large they found it hard to visualize the whole head or whole belly at one time. Everything looked great and I had more Reiki after the scan. Mom is going to keep up the Reiki until Friday. If Baby A turns I will request an induction as I need to deliver before 38 1/2 weeks anyway. I have one last NST on Wednesday and then a presurgical u/s on Friday, so the doc will know if I get the green light for induction. The way I see it is it ain't over until they make that first cut!

I have to say, I never thought Reiki would actually turn the babies, but the results were spectacular. You could feel the baby following my mom's hand downward. She had to move A aside to turn B. He finally flipped after dinner last night. As for A, she worked to turn him today, but he is bigger and needs to make the move in small steps. He is moving well tonight, so I am hoping for vertex tomorrow.

Thank You all for sharing your stories and your advice. I feel much more prepared for surgery now. I am not happy about it, but I really don't want an emergency situation where everything is totally rushed or I end up having a terrible birth experience with an long recovery. I really appreciate all of your support.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#23 of 31 Old 09-29-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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Well, it also helps in general the planned C-sections have easier recoveries than emergency ones. Mine was after a failed induction (3 days), and I had a bunch of complications. yours should be much better.
Keep us posted!

Christine, mama to Daniel & Abby, 9 and Patrick, 4. Wife to a rockin' train engineer. Gluten and nightshade-free. Multiple kiddie food sensitivities.

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#24 of 31 Old 09-29-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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Wow . . . Reiki! I wish I had thought of that! Continuing good luck to you
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#25 of 31 Old 10-01-2006, 02:50 AM
 
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Hey you,

I know, I don't belong here because I have ONE kid. But you are my friend, hon, and I wanted to wish you the BEST!
I can come help you out a bit whenever you need, just call me this week and let me know!
Recovering from a c/s wasn't as horrible as I thought, the experience was tough but part of that (a BIG part) was having it be unexpected. It is scheduled in your case and that gives you a chance to think about it, to prepare (as much as you can) and to ask for what you need in terms of recovery. Sounds like you have TONS of support and advice. I will offer you a shoulder and a local (ish) source of unjudgemental help and support.
Your babies are going to be here soon! How exciting!

I will give you a call soon.

Much and warm thoughts and best wishes to you ALL.
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#26 of 31 Old 10-01-2006, 03:56 AM
 
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Keep heart, Mamajody! Your babies are strong and healthy, and you will be, too. You'll be able to care for and bond with them just fine. Like a lot of other mamas supporting you here, I had a c-section after fighting tooth and nail to avoid one. Now, if I have more children, I'm requesting a c-section!

I was scared of the surgery, too. And, it was frusterating not being able to participate in my twins' delivery the way I had hoped to. But, I was still there-- 100% focused and present. The worst part for me was the nausea during surgery, and the shaking that started about half-way through. (Apparently, it's a normal effect of the epidural, but it felt like my teeth were gong to shake right out of my head). It was the strangest feeling as they reached in and pulled my babies out. I couldn't feel it directly, but I could feel my body being jostled about... like they were digging around in a piece of luggage

Try not to worry if things don't go exactly as planned once you're home. They won't, and you'll still do fine.

As far as recovery goes, I'm a single mama so I was moving a lot right after surgery. In fact, to keep from going stir crazy, I was out walking my babies a couple hours a day two weeks after my c-section. (Not exactly doctor's orders, but we mamas gotta do what works, right?) I was sore, and I probably overdid it at times-- (Ya gotta love that Oxycodone!) but, I sure healed quickly!

My words of wisdom for post-surgery: If you plan to breastfeed, request that the nurses keep your twins in the nursury and not wake you for two or three feedings for at least one night. (Or, have hubby step in and bottle feed... but not in your room). Request a sleep-aid if you think you might be too worried to sleep, and take advantage of that chunk of time you've carved out for youself to sleep. You've earned it! You're going to be sooo tired, and with new twins and a three year old waiting for her mommy at home, you might not get another chance to catch some sleep for a while.

Just listen to your body... and have fun with those babies!

Best of luck!
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#27 of 31 Old 10-01-2006, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's another question for you mamas:

For those that have had both a vaginal delivery and a c/s, what was the difference in your post partum bleeding? Also the "jelly belly" feeling. My mom has said it is, "different" with c/s, but she never had a vaginal birth. Thanks!

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#28 of 31 Old 10-01-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajody View Post
Here's another question for you mamas:

For those that have had both a vaginal delivery and a c/s, what was the difference in your post partum bleeding? Also the "jelly belly" feeling. My mom has said it is, "different" with c/s, but she never had a vaginal birth. Thanks!
ive had two regular births and a csection. I feel like i bled less with the csection. It was by far the worst healing experiences than with my boys. With my singleton boys my stomach went back and i didnt feel like i had jelly belly. and with my twins definately some extra skin that i feel like its more form the c/s. because my stomach didnt have the opportunity to go back to normal because it was cut. another reason i feel it was from the c/s is because i am smaller now after the twins than i was after my boys. and i do feel like my stomach was more jelly belly after the twins.
but in the end having twins is worth all of it. take care.
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#29 of 31 Old 10-01-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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I was SOOOOO afraid to of everything-IV, epidural, surgery, recovery. Let me tell you IV-didn't hurt AT ALL, epidural-a slight bit uncomfortable, but I wouldn't even say that hurt, surgery-didn't feel ANYTHING, and then there's recovery. You are going to hurt for a couple of days-Day 3 seemed like a miracle day, although I was still hurting it was so much better. Use your PCA as much as you can after surgery and ASK for your pain medications-ALL of them. You are going to be tired from recovering from surgery anyway and you really need your medication. The hospital will not send you home with meds for a day, so take a dose before you leave and pick some up on the way home. I was so tired, but even 10 months later I remember EVERYTHING, nothing is a blurr. Your body goes in overdrive trying to feed two babies, pump, sleep 1 hour, feed two babies, pump, sleep 1 hours, on and on and on and on. Ha. Just remember all of this is the easy part!!
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#30 of 31 Old 10-02-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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Just thought I would toss in my two cents.

1. Along with other posters, line up as much help as you can.

2. The best advice was when friends and relatives went on 'Ziti Patrol' and stocked my freezer with food for the first couple of months. A major relief!

3. Line up a lactation consultant who has expertise in nursing twins/multiples. That was my biggest mistake since I was concerned that we could not afford one and the La Leche league meetings was only once a month. Turns out we did have the funds.

4. I found that getting up and moving about a day or two after delivery, despite the pain was the best thing that happened to me. Otherwise it would have taken weeks to get me out of bed.

5. Finally, despite the fact that the thought of having a c-section sucks (it does), try your best in rethinking it as a c-BIRTH. You have done a MAGNIFICENT job carrying your little babies, and consider your BIRTH a great joy!

Sending wonderful birthing thoughts out your way :

Waldorf mama to 5yo b/g twins
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