What to expect in terms of recovery after cesarean - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 50 Old 11-23-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm wondering.... How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean or how long did you have help from someone else?  Was it enough time?  Did you have older children to care for as well?

answer:  My DH was (kind of fortunately) laid off for about two months post-partum.  He was there for everything I needed and we were lucky financially that I had a ton of sick days built up.  I did not need help from anyone else, which is good because I don't have family beyond his.  I do have another child, but he was 14 when I had the baby.  The main thing he needed was rides to school, and DH took care of that, too.  I was extremely lucky to have his support, especially since I had PPD.

 

How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?

answer:  Honestly, I can't remember.  I had a harder recovery than some moms, but I am also older than most.  The hardest thing for me was getting out of the house...it seemed impossible and overwhelming to get ready, get the baby ready, get dressed, etc.  I don't remember bending over to be a big deal, though.  Dishes were hard because the countertop was right there to bang into my mid-section.

 

How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?

answer:  I still don't feel totally back to normal at almost 20 months post!  My stomach still feels weird and I still am nervous to do some activities.  I probably resumed all activities several months out, but would still get (and still do get) twinges and pains and the like.  It is absolutely manageable and has been for some time, though.  I just wouldn't say I was "normal" (of course, I wasn't beforehand...) ROTFLMAO.gif

 

How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for? 

answer:  I took the narcotics for almost two weeks and then took Advil/Tylenol (generics) afterwards.

 

TIA :) 


Good luck, APToddlerMama!  I am sorry I have forgotten the answers to some of what you asked, but hope this helps.

 

I will also say not to take my LONG recovery as any kind of deterrent.  Most moms I know bounced back much more quickly (or, at least they said they did).

 


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#32 of 50 Old 11-24-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Also though this is an attachment parenting board I would encourage you to use whatever services the hospital can offer that get you as much rest as you can. With my first I roomed in and went home less than optimally rested. With the second I sent baby to the nursery at night and they brought her to me as needed. I got a lot more rest and had a much better recover, therefore was able to heal a lot quicker at home. I know many on this board are not comfortable with baby out of their site, but it is something to consider.

I would really question this advice given all the research about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and early and often feeding to get breastfeeding established. Are there even hospitals willing to do this? It was never even an option after either of my hospital births,the latter a C-section.


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#33 of 50 Old 11-24-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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I would really question this advice given all the research about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and early and often feeding to get breastfeeding established. Are there even hospitals willing to do this? It was never even an option after either of my hospital births,the latter a C-section.

 

Yes, my hospital did this, and they were very pushy about it, with the nurses barging in my room every hour or so to make sure I was breastfeeding and a lactation consultant hovering over me much of the time to make sure my latch was right. Since DH was staying with me he would take the baby for a couple of hours at a time to allow me to get some real rest, which was wonderful. I think if I were alone at night I would probably send the baby to the nursery between nursings. Many hospitals are very sensitive to breastfeeding now, so they put a sign on the bassinet that said, "I'm a breastfed baby, no formula please." And this was a mainstream hospital (they have a vbac ban in fact) in a conservative town.
 

 


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#34 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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Yes, my hospital did this, and they were very pushy about it, with the nurses barging in my room every hour or so to make sure I was breastfeeding and a lactation consultant hovering over me much of the time to make sure my latch was right. Since DH was staying with me he would take the baby for a couple of hours at a time to allow me to get some real rest, which was wonderful. I think if I were alone at night I would probably send the baby to the nursery between nursings. Many hospitals are very sensitive to breastfeeding now, so they put a sign on the bassinet that said, "I'm a breastfed baby, no formula please." And this was a mainstream hospital (they have a vbac ban in fact) in a conservative town.

What I meant was, are there really hospitals that still have a "nursery" for healthy, term babies? I thought it was a thing of the past but clearly not.

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#35 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Most of the hospitals here have small nurseries, mostly used for eye and ear testing, and first baths. They don't normally keep babies in the nursery unless mom really needs to rest and requests it. The smaller hospitals don't have them at all. The hospital I'm birthing at is newer and for some reason has a huge nursery, but they really only use it for testing, as well. I was told that they'll likely be doing away with the nursery, or will downsize to a very small nursery soon.

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#36 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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In the USA, yes. It varies from full time to night only, but few hospitals have no nursery. Optional night nursery seems to be the most popular option (they also use it for first exam/ear testing/baths in many hospitals; mine did). Apparently, survey scores plummet when the nursery is completely abolished, according to an RN I know. It seems patients like the option of rooming in but do not like to be forced. Also, some parts of the country (notably NYC) are still largely semiprivates, which mean that in some hospitals your roommate's consent is needed to room in at night and also that your partner cannot stay overnight.

 

I've done it both ways. With my first, I got the worst scenario imaginable: Mandatory rooming in, ward, partners kicked out at 8pm, and inadequate nursing/midwifery care. End result: Left alone holding baby with no one available to help me put her down. It was brutal. With #2, I had a private room and 24hr visitation for partners but my DH could not stay overnight (he had to go to work the next day as we wanted to save his leave for when I got home). My hospital was optional night nursery, 10pm-6am. They asked if I wanted it (I did not feel pressured) and when I said yes, because I really felt awful, they asked if I wanted him to be brought to me for feeding or if I wanted to give formula. The first night I said to give formula if they had to, but on the 2nd I said to bring him in, and they did. The third night it wasn't up to me as he was on bili lights by that point, but again, they brought him in regularly.

 

I would say that if your partner cannot stay, you should be flexible about using the nursery. You may not need to, but there's a good chance you will need extra help. there are hospitals where they are old fashioned about the nursery and breastfeeding unfriendly, but if your hospital is with the times, you can use it safely.


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#37 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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What I meant was, are there really hospitals that still have a "nursery" for healthy, term babies? I thought it was a thing of the past but clearly not.


My hospital didn't, but they took ds1 into the special care nursery (NICU, I guess). That was a long time ago, but it was their routine procedure for c/s babies, especially if the mom had had general anesthesia.


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#38 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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I believe the hospital I delivered at would not let your infant room in the first night after your delivery unless your partner or helper was staying with you if you had a c-section - which makes sense as I wasn't able to get out of bed for 12 + hours after the spinal (plus I had a catheter in etc).  Babies roomed in with me my first night as my husband stayed with me.  Unfortunately they were in the Nicu for the rest of my hospitalization (though I was allowed to go up to the NICU at anytime - the nurses were very accommodating with wheelchairs etc).


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#39 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 11:21 PM
 
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Wow! This is such a great thread! I hope it becomes a sticky for other mamas!

There is a HUGE variation in cesarean after affects. This was my experience...




How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean or how long did you have help from someone else?  Was it enough time?  Did you have older children to care for as well?

DH took 2 weeks off. It was just enough time. After that my MIL would come over to help with house cleaning stuff, appreciated as I needed the help but I think I would have wanted the help even if I had a vaginal birth. 

 

How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?

I was up out of bed and standing 2 hours after my cesarean and then walking within 2 hours of that. I didn't do housework for a few weeks....4-5? I could bend over, gently, before I left the hospital at 4 days postpartum. I remember feeling like I could do stuff, but that it took longer and my body was screaming 'be careful!' as I did it. 

 

How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?

I could do everything at about 6 weeks. But carefully. I had weird twinges around my entire belly for what seemed like ages. Maybe 6 months. Then one day they were gone. I remember driving and thinking "Oh my gosh! I feel 100% back to normal" I don't have any lingering cesarean related things. No numbness, pain, etc. 

 

How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for? 

I made a point to not take much of the pain meds. In recovery, about an hour after surgery, as I was getting ready to be moved to my postpartum room, the nurse offered me my perscribed perocet (darvicet?) I told told her that I would like to have 1/2 - 1/4 of the dose and then reevaluate in an hour's time. She was surprised and kinda' broke the rules by giving me a 1/2 tab and handing DH the other pill (or half pill, I don't remember) for later if I needed it. I kept at the 1/2 dosage but every 6 hours not 4 the first 12 hours then went to 1/4 dosage. By discharge I was not taking anything. I wasn't on any IV meds post-op. I remember taking 1/2 - 1/4 of a pill at home at times. Generally upon waking as I would get into weird sleeping positions and wake up sore. By a weeks time at home I wasn't taking anything. I used the soreness as a reminder to stop what I was doing and lay down with DS. I was sore but not in pain. 

Some other stuff...

I had a planned cesarean (breech presentation) at 39+ weeks. The night before my cesarean I went into labor. Knowing how good labor was for both me and the baby I stayed home for a few hours...I think it was 6 hours from the first labor-like contraction to when we got to the hospital. DS was born breathing great and I think the birth hormones really helped us/me get into that babymoon head space that seems to be a little harder for some cesarean mamas to get into post birth. Should I ever be in the position to need a cesarean I'd do the same thing again and labor a while beforehand. But then, would I have an 'elective' cesarean for breech presentation again? Not sure...leaning towards no. 

DS slept in a cradle that was basically a co-sleeper his first 8 weeks. Looking back, I think this was about half because I was tender and the position for keeping him close but having a room to lay as I needed to and half us not knowing our sleep parenting style yet. At 8 weeks DS moved into our bed with us. At the hospital DS slept in bed with me, in my crooked arm with pillow between my arm and the bedrail. No one commented on us bedsharing at the hospital. 

In the OR, during the repairing of my uterus, I was in really bad pain. I think my body was also understanding the trauma taking place. I asked the anesthesiologist for help and he gave me a small dose of Valium to get me through those minutes. I've spoken to other women who experienced the same thing and we were all taken back by it because there was no warning and none of us understood the mechanics of uterine repair. While the hospital I birthed at didn't allow for DS to remain in the OR with me for closure, i wouldn't have mattered as I was not at all able to see anything beyond the pain at that time. 

Always, always, always ask for a double closure and for anything but staples to close the skin repair!

 



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#40 of 50 Old 11-25-2011, 11:26 PM
 
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Oh, and in my hospital the babe went with DH/DP...or whomever..to the special care nursery for observation as mom was repaired. Then they were reunited in recovery, in my case, about 30 minutes later. After that it was expected baby would stay with mom.. DH/DP...or whomever..was invited to spend the night. Babies not with their moms were kept at the nurses station in their buckets. 


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#41 of 50 Old 11-27-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean or how long did you have help from someone else?  Was it enough time?  Did you have older children to care for as well?

 

DH took about 2 weeks off and I really needed him there that time to help. DD is our only child. I would have loved to have him home for longer. My mum came to stay for the first week after he went back to work and then it was summer so he could work shorter days and be home more. I'm not sure whether I needed a lot of help because of the cesarean or because DD was really high needs and wouldn't be put down but I really needed the help at first.

 

How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?

 

I don't think I did any household tasks for the first 2-3 months! DH did it all. Again, I think this was mainly a combination of some PPD and a high needs non-napping newborn... physically the recovery from the cesarean wasn't too bad for me. If DD had been a more relaxed newborn, I probably could have started doing things like dishes, dinner prep pretty early on. We didn't have a car then so no driving. Bending over was challenging for the first couple weeks. I didn't really lift anything heavy at all. DH did all the laundry (including all our cloth diapers!)

 

How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?

 

The biggest thing that I remember having trouble with for quite a few weeks after was lying down on my side for any length of time and getting up from a lying down position. I couldn't do any side-lying nursing for probably 6 weeks because of a very painful pulling sensation in around my incision. This didn't help with sleep deprivation. I remember at night having to slowly get myself into a sitting position and then have DH hand DD to me to nurse and then reverse when she was done. I still don't feel like my body is totally "normal"! My scar was itching forever and now it just feels weird when I touch it. Plus my tummy fat is just in weird spots. But I could do normal activities by I'd say 6 weeks or so.

 

How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for? 

 

After the epidural, I didn't get any narcotics. The nurses gave me indocid round the clock. When I was at home I took indocid and Tylenol extra strength. I don't remember the pain being that bad, just when I was lying on my side so I didn't lie like that.

 

TIA :) 


 

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#42 of 50 Old 11-28-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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I would really question this advice given all the research about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and early and often feeding to get breastfeeding established. Are there even hospitals willing to do this? It was never even an option after either of my hospital births,the latter a C-section.

 

I think the advice to take advantage of the nursery in order to get sleep is good advice for mamas who have been through long, exhausting, depleting labors and who are facing situations of limited support when they get home. Yes, skin-to-skin and frequent breastfeeding are the best...but it takes energy to do those things, and mamas need to replenish that energy if it has been totally used up in labor.

 

The last night in the hospital, I had them take DD to the nursery so that I could get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I am not sorry that I did it. In fact, I wish I had been able to get 4 hours of consecutive sleep for many nights after I went home. That would have really helped my recovery! Instead, I was getting 2-3 hours at best.


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#43 of 50 Old 11-30-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I had to send my baby to the nursery at night so I could rest. I was in very bad shape after my c section due to days of sleep deprivation from the induction, and honestly, I don't think the baby was safe with me given my state of mind. I was pretty delirious with the sleep deprivation and pain meds.

 

They would take her for a specified amount of time, three hours after a feeding, so I could get a little sleep, and would hold and rock her if she would not sleep in her bassinet. We breastfed. I was very resistant to doing this but I think it was a great choice for me in my situation and I encourage mothers to keep an open mind about accepting help when they need it.

 

It's is hard to make a direct comparison of every experience. Some mothers handle the surgery better, some are more rested, for me, it was something I really needed and I think it actually helped my breastfeeding relationship to be able to get a small amount of sleep while she was in the nursery, because I could not sleep with her in my room crying to be held and it was not safe to sleep with her at that time from the sleep deprivation and pain meds.

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#44 of 50 Old 12-06-2011, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Op here.  Thank you so much everyone.  I ended up not having a cesarean as scheduled only because I had a very fast labor and baby arrived before

anesthesiologist did.  Regardless I felt more prepared and less anxious knowing what to expect and I think this will be a great thread for other mamas who may be having a first cesarean. 

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#45 of 50 Old 12-07-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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Congrats on your baby, APToddlerMama!


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#46 of 50 Old 12-12-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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I am really grateful this forum is up and running!  I've been waiting anxiously since I will be having a cesarean in the next few days.  I'm wondering if those of you who have had a cesarean can share your experiences with recovery?  My first was a vaginal delivery and this time I'll also have my three year old to take care of and a hubby who travels half the time for work so I'm really nervous.

 

I'm wondering.... How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean or how long did you have help from someone else?  Was it enough time?  Did you have older children to care for as well?

 

How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?

 

How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?

 

How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for? 

 

TIA :) 



I had a c-section on a Sunday and was discharged that Wednesday.  My mom came down on Monday (the day after my surgery) and stayed through Saturday (then she took the kids back to her house and is keeping them for a whole month).  DH had to work.  The time Mom spent with me was VERY helpful with regard to food, laundry, and just being able to rest while she took care of the kids. 

 

I am two weeks post-surgery now.  I was able to very lightly do dishes, laundry, and cooking after about a week or so.  I couldn't empty a whole dishwasher, fill it back up, and handwash the few delicate items all in one fell swoop like I used to be able to, but I could take my own dishes and rinse them out and stick them in the dishwasher.  I also couldn't do as much laundry as I used to.  I could load the washer, but then let DH put it in the dryer when he got home (because it was heavier).  Also keep in mind, I was on hospital bedrest for 2.5 weeks prior to surgery, so I may be a little weaker than someone who had only surgery, and not the preceding bedrest as well. 

 

Bending over?  I could do that when I came home from the hospital, but VERY slowly, holding onto something, and I had to do a full bend.  I could NOT squat at all. 

 

Totally back to normal and resuming all activities?  I think after another week or so I'll be there. 

 

I took my painkillers day and night for about 6 days, then just did the ibuprofen during the day and the narcotic/Tylenol at night (because it made me super sleepy).  Today, I don't feel like I need the painkillers.  I'm still very slightly sore and still have to walk at slightly less than maximum speed, but I don't NEED the painkillers anymore like I did those first several days. 

 

I'm glad you didn't have to have a c-section, but what a great idea to start this thread.  :)


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#47 of 50 Old 12-12-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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What a great thread.  My emergency c-section was 6 years ago and I will share what I remember -
 

My c-section was on a Wednesday in the late afternoon and I was home by 11am Friday.  I remember showering Friday morning but needed the nurse to help me get dressed, which was mentally hard for me.  I wished my mom or aunt would have been there to help.  I was so glad to leave the hospital, I needed to get out of there as I could not sleep at all, it was torture.  

 

Looking back on it, I needed a lot of help in the hospital, far more than at home and if we would have had a second child, I would have arranged for 24 hour companionship the entire time I was in the hospital.  DH stayed the first night and my mom stayed the second but having someone during the day would have been very welcome.

 

How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean -  none but my DH worked only a few blocks from our house and came home in the morning and at lunch to check on us, bring me food, etc.  He was the absolute best.

 

How long did you have help from someone else?  My mom stayed over the first night and all I remember her doing was bring DS to me during the night so I didn't have to get out of bed.  DH could have handled this but we were thankful for her help.  After that first night my mom and my aunt stopped in every other day for an hour or two at a time.  I don't remember them doing anything besides cuddling DS.  Not that I am complaining, I didn't need household help.  My aunt wanted to stay with us 24/7 for the first couple of nights but we felt we didn't need her and prefered to be alone. 

 

Was it enough time? Yes

 

Did you have older children to care for as well? No.  I am sure my experience would have been completely different!

 

How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?  I had a rather easy time of it.  I was doing the stairs (our bedrooms are on the second floor) the day I came home. Actually, I don't remember having any mobility issues at all except getting out of bed, see below. 

 

I remember doing laundry that weekend.  Friends came to dinner that Sunday (they brought the food) and I know I was dressed and showered.  A friend came to visit a week after DS was born and I made lunch that day.  (Friend has a fit, she was expecting me to be in bed)

 

ETA - while I was able to do many things right away, I did them slowly and carefully, I don't want to give the impression I was skipping around the house.  It felt good to more around but I did get tired quickly.  For example, I would do one load of laundry a day, not four.  I would fold the towels and put them in the basket but DH would put them away.  I would start dinner but DH would serve and do the dishes.  I could do enough to feel pleasantly tired but not exhausted to the point of misery. 

 

How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?  By the end of week 3, I felt almost completely normal.  I remember going to an outdoor fall festival at week 2 that required walking so I must have felt good enough to go on that adventure. 

 

One thing that is burned into my memory is how hard it was to get up from a laying position, that was so incredible painful.  That pain lasted at least a week.

 

How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for?  Maybe a week. 

 

See katelove's first paragraph.  I am in the US but remember the doctor would did my discharge STRONGLY encouraging me to follow a similar regime.  I don't know if it has anything to do with it but this doctor was Middle Eastern and a woman.  (I gave birth at a teaching hospital)  We had a long discussion about my negative feelings about painkillers and her strong opinion that being pain-free making a huge difference in recovery.  Looking back on it, I believe it made a difference.  I am glad I kept up with the recommended course.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove 

In Australia it is standard practice to offer regular (every 6 hours) NSAIDs and paracetamol starting as soon as the woman is able to eat and drink. The first dose is usually given PR in Theatre. Women who have this regime tend to have much better pain control and need significantly fewer narcotics. It varies from person to person but 5-7 days is pretty common for the regular 6 hourly doses. After that most women seem to be able to start reducing the frequency and/or stop the NSAID.

 

Another thing I found really useful was a bolster. It's something else we use really commonly for all types of abdominal surgery. Get a bath towel (a fairly thin one is best). FOld it in half longways. Then fold it into thirds or quarters (depending how long the towel is) in the other direction. You should have a square-ish shape. Using two long strips of masking tape, secure the towel without squashing it out of shape. Whenever you move, hold the bolster firmly against your incision with one (or both) hands. I used one for the first few days whenever I got out of bed, or stood up fro ma chair, even for walking for the first day or so. When I was in bed I just left it sitting on my tummy and it protected it a bit from little feet as well.


 

Yes a 1,000x over about the bolster.  After the second day, I was on the phone with a friend and she asked "have you pooped yet?"  When I reply "hell no, I feel like I will split open" She told me about the bolster thing, made a HUGE difference in terms of comfort.
 

I am 100% for natural births and had every intention of going that route. While I would never chose a second c-section, it wasn't as horrible as I expected.  I think I was lucky enough to be in the small minority that recovered quickly and without complications.  I had several friends who had natural births that were absolutely plowed under for 2+ weeks.   I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I recovered.  Oh, I was 34 yo at the time, overweight by at least 40 pounds (pre-pregnancy) and in ok physical shape, we walked a lot and I worked full-time prior to birth.

 


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#48 of 50 Old 12-14-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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They would take her for a specified amount of time, three hours after a feeding, so I could get a little sleep, and would hold and rock her if she would not sleep in her bassinet. We breastfed. I was very resistant to doing this but I think it was a great choice for me in my situation and I encourage mothers to keep an open mind about accepting help when they need it.

I'm glad it worked out for you.
I've battled low supply and everything I've read says that newborns really should eat more than every three hours and be skin-to-skin as much as possible to ensure that mom develops a good supply. Obviously if mom is incapable of caring for her baby and her partner isn't available, there may be no option other than the nursery but I preferred to have DH help me care for DS2 so he was never out of one of our arms. I'd encourage mothers to accept help caring for older kids at home (we were lucky enough to have grandma staying with DS1) so that both parents can be with the newborn around-the-clock after a cesarean.


Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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#49 of 50 Old 12-14-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Op here.  Thank you so much everyone.  I ended up not having a cesarean as scheduled only because I had a very fast labor and baby arrived before
anesthesiologist did.  Regardless I felt more prepared and less anxious knowing what to expect and I think this will be a great thread for other mamas who may be having a first cesarean. 

Sorry I missed your update. What great news. Congratulations on your new baby!

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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#50 of 50 Old 04-02-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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Deleting my question about hospital bags as I found this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1338397/c-section-hospital-bag


I sell handknit baby sweaters: www.prairiegirlknits.etsy.com

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