Planned repeat "easier" than emergency c? - Mothering Forums
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C-section Birth > Planned repeat "easier" than emergency c?
happyblessedmama's Avatar happyblessedmama 08:53 AM 11-20-2011

I know none of it is 'easy'. That said, I've heard from several people the recovery from a planned c is much easier than an emergency one. Is this the experience of the ladies here? I didn't have an easy recovery, mostly in terms of pain, from my emergency c. For a variety of reasons I'm not interested in VBAC so I'm planning a c this time and wondering if I can hope for a bit easier recovery.



txtarheel's Avatar txtarheel 09:12 AM 11-20-2011

I'll let you know in a few days  :)

 

I've had one emergent one, one unplanned, but relaxed one and will have a planned sometime in the next 24 hours.


Jennifer Z's Avatar Jennifer Z 09:12 AM 11-20-2011

It was better for me.  My first was done in a hurry and rather sloppily.  With my second one I know the doctors (I had two attending my surgery, plus the peds team, due to complications) I know they had to spend a lot of time after the baby was born cleaning up the massive scar tissue and I heard them talking about what a horrible job the first doctor had done, because it was a mess.  They took much longer getting to the baby because the scar tissue was so wonky.  

 

In general, my planned c-section, was much calmer and better, and it also gave them a chance to "look around" a bit more to see if other parts of me were doing ok, but some of that was because one of the doctors working on my had been my doctor since I was 13 and I have a significant history of endometriosis, adhesions, and scarring, so he made sure there wasn't other stuff going on that would interfere with my recovery.

 

It still took me about 6 months to feel like myself, but it took about a year with my first, so it was an improvement, and I was older and out of shape, and I was incredibly sick going into the c-section (pre-e, and likely borderline blood sugar issues) and I was also chasing after a 4yo with autism on top of a preterm newborn during that recovery, so I had a lot stacked against a fast recovery.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 01:37 PM 11-20-2011

I don't think there are any absolutes about recoveries (my worst one, long term, was with a planned section), but I do think that planned are generally easier to recover from than emergency/emergent ones. I've had one emergency, one emergent (treated as an emergency, but it wasn't) and three planned. The three planned were the easiest short term recoveries. But, I also had the most long-term complications from two of them.

 

The biggest advantage, imo, is that you're not going into OR in an already exhausted state. And, as much as I hate the spinal, it doesn't take it out of you the same way general anesthesia does (I still prefer the general). In most cases, it's going to be a lot easier to get back on your feet (literally and figuratively) with a planned c/s than with an emergency one.


starling&diesel's Avatar starling&diesel 01:42 PM 11-20-2011

I've only had an emergency c-section, but from talking to other mamas who've had both, they say the planned one is much easier to recover from because - if nothing else - they are mentally prepared and rested up for it. 

Having laboured at home for 36 hours beforehand, I was exhausted, and not having anticipated a c-section, I was devastated and an emotional mess, so it wasn't the best way to go into surgery. 


Buzzer Beater's Avatar Buzzer Beater 04:34 PM 11-20-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by txtarheel View Post

I'll let you know in a few days  :)

 

I've had one emergent one, one unplanned, but relaxed one and will have a planned sometime in the next 24 hours.



 

Take care, hope it all goes well!


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 07:02 PM 11-20-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by txtarheel View Post

I'll let you know in a few days  :)

 

I've had one emergent one, one unplanned, but relaxed one and will have a planned sometime in the next 24 hours.


Best of luck! We will be thinking of you. Let us know how it goes.

 


Lisa1970's Avatar Lisa1970 07:17 PM 11-20-2011

Not for me, it is not easier. At least with the emergency c-sect, I know my child was not born early. I know he was born on his/her due date. I can feel good about that. I also feel good that I tried.

 

If you want a repeat csect, I would not fault anyone for that. It is your body and your choice and I seriously do believe that (unless you want an abortion, I am prochoice for our bodies, not baby's bodies, but that is for another post). Anyway, if YOU want a planned c-sect, then go for it. You should do things how you feel comfy. But don't do it because it is easier.

 

I know I have to have a c-sect next time, if I ever have another. But, I really want to go in to labor naturally. My dh says he cannot handle that and no OB would take me on if they knew I was going to try to vbac (I have had 5 csects, none of them neccesary, except the last one, which was caused by scarring from the previous c-sect).


AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT 07:33 PM 11-20-2011

I would expect (and the data supports this) that a planned CS is easier than going through labor and then winding up with a C. Everyone I know who's been through the latter said it was brutal. It's a physical double whammy. The only thing worse is vaginal twin A with a section for B. 

 

My first was emergent, no labor; my second was planned. The recovery was slightly better with #2 but I believe this may be partly due to everyone taking more care. My recovery with #1 was decent. Psychologically, the second was much, much easier. I could have envisioned going into labor and needing a section, but getting one without a sinle contraction was a shock. I wasn't prepared at all. 


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 09:15 PM 11-20-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

Not for me, it is not easier. At least with the emergency c-sect, I know my child was not born early. I know he was born on his/her due date. I can feel good about that. I also feel good that I tried.

 

If you want a repeat csect, I would not fault anyone for that. It is your body and your choice and I seriously do believe that (unless you want an abortion, I am prochoice for our bodies, not baby's bodies, but that is for another post). Anyway, if YOU want a planned c-sect, then go for it. You should do things how you feel comfy. But don't do it because it is easier.

 

I know I have to have a c-sect next time, if I ever have another. But, I really want to go in to labor naturally. My dh says he cannot handle that and no OB would take me on if they knew I was going to try to vbac (I have had 5 csects, none of them neccesary, except the last one, which was caused by scarring from the previous c-sect).


*hugs*

 

I had a tubal with my fifth, but I totally hear you. Honestly, I've found the physical recovery easier, in many ways. But, the psychological side has been much, much harder with the planned ones. Oddly, of my planned c/s, the initial physical recovery was hardest for me in the one case where I had no labour at all. (With both ds2 and dd2, I went into labour before the surgery...by about 8 hours with ds2, but only about an hour before I got to the hospital with dd.) It was still an easier physical recovery than with the two emergent/emergency ones, though. I don't know how much of that is labour fatigue, and how much may be sloppier surgery, because they're in a hurry.


Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 11:32 PM 11-20-2011
I've had two planned and two unplanned c-sections and the planned or scheduled sections were easier to recover from, for the most part. I think the fact that they are subsequent abdominal surgeries, though, makes them harder sometimes. It may be more of a toll on your body to have a 2nd, 3rd, etc., c-section more so than a primary cesarean, but of course long labors and other factors come into play, too. The other part is that if your first was an emergency or unexpected c-section, then you schedule your next one, you likely have a toddler or small child at home to keep up with. I know I did more no-no lifting and driving and such for numbers 2, 3, and 4 just b/c or circumstance. On the flip-side, with a planned c-section it might be easier to line up help for those early weeks.
happyblessedmama's Avatar happyblessedmama 04:46 PM 11-21-2011

HI Lisa,

 

I didn't plan to get into this in this thread but I'm not choosing a cesarean period because it's "easy"... I'm well aware it isn't! I'm not comfortable with the risks of vbac, small as they are, with my history FOR ME. Caps for emphasis, not yelling. I think I have a fairly substantial chance of things going wrong and am aware that a c after labor commences has more risks than a planned c prior to labor.

 

I was charting so I'm very confident of my edd. I've had a baby have major complications from going overdue, I've never had labor happen prior to 40 weeks, my docs will not induce a vbac, I've had precipitous labors, large babies, and shoulder dystocias. I'm just not really wanting to play around with it for the sake of not having surgery.

 

I was asking solely for a comparison since my first/only c/s was an emergency one and the recovery was harder than what others I know who had c/s experienced. Was wondering what I could expect from a planned one.


Realrellim's Avatar Realrellim 02:02 AM 11-22-2011
My second wasn't exactly planned, but at least it wasn't an emergency like my first one was. I appreciated that we weren't hurried and the atmosphere was more relaxed. DD2 was early so I was a little concerned about how she'd do once she was out (my water broke at 36-1/2 weeks, and after 30 hours of VBAC labor with NO dilation whatsoever--not even a fingertip despite walking constantly, nipple stimulation and 16 hours on pitocin, I opted for a repeat section). As it turned out, she was just fine. They brought her over to me just after they pulled her out, and I was able to see her on the little table as they got her cleaned up and all. It was just so much better than the emergency one with my first.

Recovery was mostly better the second time around too. I was standing and moving around sooner. The only real glitch was that I'd forgotten what drug they'd given me that made me so sick after surgery the first time, and they ended up giving it to me again which led to 12 hours of nausea and throwing up (no kidding, I was throwing up as they were pulling her out of me...good times, that! at least my stomach was empty and it was just bile). Also, part of my incision refused to close right away, so we had to do some wound care for a few weeks. That was unpleasant but it didn't interfere with getting around or anything. Mostly it was just an infection risk and my husband ended up playing nurse and wet-packing it twice a day (which hurt a great deal, but only lasted a week or two). I was running again at 6 weeks pp, so all in all, I thought things went well.
JollyGG's Avatar JollyGG 05:25 AM 11-22-2011

Oh goodness, the difference between my planned and unplanned c-section were night and day. My planned recover was so so much easier.

 

I had 24 hours of labor with the first, delivered late at night and so didn't get out of be till morning when I had had a chance to get really stiff. Even walking to the bathroom was excruciating for the first couple of days.

 

With my second, I asked to shower as soon as I could feel my feet. I was up walking the halls and doing fantastic.

 

Some of it was that I knew what to expect, but I think a lot of it was that I didn't go through labor.

 

They really were very different. The planned c-section was a breeze compared to the unplanned.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 12:48 PM 11-22-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post

HI Lisa,

 

I didn't plan to get into this in this thread but I'm not choosing a cesarean period because it's "easy"... I'm well aware it isn't! I'm not comfortable with the risks of vbac, small as they are, with my history FOR ME. Caps for emphasis, not yelling. I think I have a fairly substantial chance of things going wrong and am aware that a c after labor commences has more risks than a planned c prior to labor.

 

I was charting so I'm very confident of my edd. I've had a baby have major complications from going overdue, I've never had labor happen prior to 40 weeks, my docs will not induce a vbac, I've had precipitous labors, large babies, and shoulder dystocias. I'm just not really wanting to play around with it for the sake of not having surgery.

 

I was asking solely for a comparison since my first/only c/s was an emergency one and the recovery was harder than what others I know who had c/s experienced. Was wondering what I could expect from a planned one.


After all my c-sections, I'd say the very best were the two where the section was scheduled, and I ended up going into labour beforehand. I'd strongly recommend it...except that you say you've had a history of precipitous labour. As much as I prefer labour to kick in first (this, of course, also plays havoc with hospital schedules), I can certainly understand not wanting to try to make that work in your situation.

 

But, yeah - there are no guarantees about recoveries, but I really don't think there's any doubt that planned ones are generally easier to recover from than emergent ones are.

 


FuzzyOne's Avatar FuzzyOne 10:07 PM 11-24-2011
My first was planned and my second an emergency (not in the sense that I had to be knock out but that she needed to come out immediately when she was not dealing well with contractions). My emergency one was much easier to recover from. I think that was for a few reasons - I knew what to expect, I started on stool softeners ASAP, and I managed my pain on a schedule instead of waiting until I was already hurting to take meds.
chaimom's Avatar chaimom 09:21 AM 11-27-2011

The recovery from each of mine was very different.  The second was much, much easier and more pain free.  But I think a lot of that was because my first csection was a complicated twins delivery, terrible nurses who didn't help with pain management and lots of hormones.  In the second one, it was a different hospital, I knew how I reacted to medications (which helped ensure I got the right pain meds), and I was dealing with only one baby instead of two.  I can't even compare the two experiences, really, because the second one was so much easier.

 


Harmony96's Avatar Harmony96 05:53 PM 11-29-2011

I've heard that the recovery for a general anesthesia C-section is longer than one with an epidural.  My emergency C-section was done under general anesthesia, in a HUGE hurry.  (Time from wheeling me out of L&D to the time baby was out of my tummy was three minutes.)  Then in recovery, all I had was a morphine pump for pain relief, and I was pretty miserable.  An epidural, I think, would help with pain for those first several hours of recovery afterwards.


batlvr's Avatar batlvr 10:13 AM 12-01-2011

I have to say that recovery for me the second time was far easier.  My DS was a c-sec after 12 hours of labor and I was exhausted.  It took weeks (maybe 8) before I stopped having a lot of pain at the incision.  With DD, a planned c/s, I found that I was more rested going into the OR and It was easier physically to recover.  About 2 weeks post op I actually had little to no pain at the incision site (I also had tubal done follwing c/s).  I will agree that every recovery period will be different but for me it was much easier and the down time was much less.


cameragirl's Avatar cameragirl 06:56 PM 12-01-2011
I haven't had an RCS so I can't speak from experience, but the RCS's my sister had were easier. Everything about it was easier. She chose a different hospital, the nurses were better about pain control, and she was more comfortable.
baglady's Avatar baglady 10:13 PM 12-04-2011
It was definitely easier emotionally. I wasn't in pain. I was mentally present for the birth. The nurses even placed a mirror so I could see the birth. (without seeing the wound).

I told the nurse in the pre op area about how nervous I was because of my last experience. When she brought me into the OR, she introduced me to the other nurses and told them how scared I was because of my previous birth. They were really wonderful. It was a very healing experience, for me at least.

Physically, I felt great. I was eating a sandwich later that night, and my doctor released me a day early.

I actually ended up getting some fluid behind my stitches and needed to have the incision re-opened and packed daily for a month, and I still felt physically and emotionally better than the first time. (my body reacts weirdly to stitches. It wasn't related to the surgeon.)
nicoleinseattle's Avatar nicoleinseattle 12:09 AM 12-13-2011

You generally get a spinal instead of an epidural if you have a planned c-section. It wears off after a few hours and then you're on a morphine pump.


AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT 08:56 AM 12-13-2011

Not necessarily. Spinal yes, but many anesthesiologists put Duramorph or another long lasting narcotic in the spinal, no PCA. There are anesthesiologists who prefer epidural or CSE, which would allow PCEA, but even though I had an epi for my first (attempted CSE) they did not use a pump. I got diamorphine. Second was a spinal with Duramorph and then IV Toradol.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 11:01 AM 12-13-2011

Yes. I got a pump with dd2, because I requested it. (I HATE duramorph.) The nurses on the maternity ward were all boggled by it, and obviously hadn't seen one in a while. I don't think they're standard of care these days.


JollyGG's Avatar JollyGG 11:47 AM 12-13-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Yes. I got a pump with dd2, because I requested it. (I HATE duramorph.) The nurses on the maternity ward were all boggled by it, and obviously hadn't seen one in a while. I don't think they're standard of care these days.


Duramorph makes me itch so bad I'm completely miserable. It's horrible.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post

Not necessarily. Spinal yes, but many anesthesiologists put Duramorph or another long lasting narcotic in the spinal, no PCA. There are anesthesiologists who prefer epidural or CSE, which would allow PCEA, but even though I had an epi for my first (attempted CSE) they did not use a pump. I got diamorphine. Second was a spinal with Duramorph and then IV Toradol.


I got a choice between a spinal or an epidural. I had an epidural with my first and chose a spinal with the second. I actually prefer the epidural. If I had another that is what I would request. Just personal preference. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

 


AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT 11:26 AM 12-14-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Yes. I got a pump with dd2, because I requested it. (I HATE duramorph.) The nurses on the maternity ward were all boggled by it, and obviously hadn't seen one in a while. I don't think they're standard of care these days.



IIRC there was a study showing that using a long-acting narcotic in the spinal offered better pain relief with a lower dose than IV PCA, so it's preferred by many anesthesiologists. I do know hospitals where they use IV PCA or PCEA. When I went for my pre-op, they mentioned IV PCA, but the anesthesiologist I got on the day preferred Duramorph. I am one of the poster cases for long acting narcotics (even with getting it in my epi, which has a higher rate of side effects, I was just fine) so I was okay with that, but (speaking in general, not to you SB) if you've reacted to Duramorph in the past, tell the anesthesiologist. The itching and nausea is usually a side effect or pseudoallergy, not a true allergy, and this effect varies depending on the specific opioid given.


JollyGG's Avatar JollyGG 11:29 AM 12-14-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post



IIRC there was a study showing that using a long-acting narcotic in the spinal offered better pain relief with a lower dose than IV PCA, so it's preferred by many anesthesiologists. I do know hospitals where they use IV PCA or PCEA. When I went for my pre-op, they mentioned IV PCA, but the anesthesiologist I got on the day preferred Duramorph. I am one of the poster cases for long acting narcotics (even with getting it in my epi, which has a higher rate of side effects, I was just fine) so I was okay with that, but (speaking in general, not to you SB) if you've reacted to Duramorph in the past, tell the anesthesiologist. The itching and nausea is usually a side effect or pseudoallergy, not a true allergy, and this effect varies depending on the specific opioid given.



I did forget to mention that dispute the itching side effect, the pain relief of the long acting narcotic in my spinal was amazing. It really did a very good job with the pain.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 11:49 AM 12-14-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post



IIRC there was a study showing that using a long-acting narcotic in the spinal offered better pain relief with a lower dose than IV PCA, so it's preferred by many anesthesiologists. I do know hospitals where they use IV PCA or PCEA. When I went for my pre-op, they mentioned IV PCA, but the anesthesiologist I got on the day preferred Duramorph. I am one of the poster cases for long acting narcotics (even with getting it in my epi, which has a higher rate of side effects, I was just fine) so I was okay with that, but (speaking in general, not to you SB) if you've reacted to Duramorph in the past, tell the anesthesiologist. The itching and nausea is usually a side effect or pseudoallergy, not a true allergy, and this effect varies depending on the specific opioid given.



It's not just the itching (which did almost drive me crazy). I hate the duramorph, because of the level of pain management. I haven't found anything that completely kills the pain, but the way duramorph works is counterproductive for me. I actually tore out a staple after my third c-section, which prevented my incision from closing/healing promptly, which resulted in an infection. It happened mostly because the oh-so-effective pain management caused me to misjudge what I was capable of, until I'd already pushed past the safe point (climbing into bed). I just can't stand the stuff. I don't really want a lot of pain management post-op, though. I want the minimum I need to be able to sleep, and a bit of a boost when I first get out of bed, and that's about it.


SageR's Avatar SageR 09:06 AM 12-22-2011

My second c/s was much easier than my first. I wasn't exhausted by labor, I was emotionally prepared, and I knew what to expect.  I had an appropriate birth plan in place (this was a big one - with my first I only had a plan for a successful unmedicated water birth.  I had no idea what to ask for in the event of surgery and my subsequent infection and prolonged hospital stay.) The delivery itself was much more calm and peaceful and I had my baby in my arms within minutes instead of hours.  Nursing went smoothly, we managed my pain well so I was never uncomfortable, I got a decent amount of rest. I felt pretty good almost immediately and "normal" within a couple of weeks.

 

I do think not having gone through a very long and traumatic labor had to have contributed to my good recovery but I think the emotional component was also very important.  My first c/s was like getting hit by a Mac truck emotionally. I felt like a terrible failure as a woman and a mother.  The second c/s wasn't what I would have choosen in a perfect world but I did feel a lot more in control.  Despite being a surgery in an OR it was joyful occasion.  The hospital staff were very respectful and followed my plan to the letter.  I was able to mother my baby exactly as I would have chosen and that really helped with the healing.


Kkrpata's Avatar Kkrpata 01:26 PM 12-23-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

Oh goodness, the difference between my planned and unplanned c-section were night and day. My planned recover was so so much easier.

 

I had 24 hours of labor with the first, delivered late at night and so didn't get out of be till morning when I had had a chance to get really stiff. Even walking to the bathroom was excruciating for the first couple of days.

 

With my second, I asked to shower as soon as I could feel my feet. I was up walking the halls and doing fantastic.

 

Some of it was that I knew what to expect, but I think a lot of it was that I didn't go through labor.

 

They really were very different. The planned c-section was a breeze compared to the unplanned.


THIS.  This was my experience exactly as well.  I'll be having another planned section in 6 weeks, I expect recovery to be much easier than with my first, emergency section.

 


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