What do I need to know to prepare for c-section? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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OMG yes. Catheter after the spinal. Being "raped" by a catheter is a special feeling I could have lived my whole life not experiencing, and been just fine.
Just wanted to add that I've been catheterized probably 50 times in my life, b/c I have interstitial cystitis and one of the most effective treatments for me are instillations of meds directly into my bladder. Being catheterized should NOT hurt--it shouldn't feel anything more than vaguely uncomfortable for just a second. If it hurts, someone's doing a crappy job or not using a decent sized catheter (many times, a pediatric or extra small size is perfectly fine!). They should numb the opening first w/a swab w/a numbing gel and insert the catheter a minute or two later. Shouldn't be a problem at all. Also, it certainly can be done after the spinal/epidural. The ONLY time I've ever reacted to the catheter and had trouble was w/my last c-section, probably b/c she just didn't do that good of a job...it came out pretty early after my section.

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#32 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Just wanted to add that I've been catheterized probably 50 times in my life, b/c I have interstitial cystitis and one of the most effective treatments for me are instillations of meds directly into my bladder. Being catheterized should NOT hurt--it shouldn't feel anything more than vaguely uncomfortable for just a second. If it hurts, someone's doing a crappy job or not using a decent sized catheter (many times, a pediatric or extra small size is perfectly fine!). They should numb the opening first w/a swab w/a numbing gel and insert the catheter a minute or two later. Shouldn't be a problem at all. Also, it certainly can be done after the spinal/epidural. The ONLY time I've ever reacted to the catheter and had trouble was w/my last c-section, probably b/c she just didn't do that good of a job...it came out pretty early after my section.

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I think just like anything there are those who do it right and those who don't. My friend got a bladder infection because the nurse did such a bad job, she said it hurt worse than anything else-I told her to do it after, but obviously like with most things I tell her she didn't even listen. It caused her a lot of problems.

For me getting an IV is a bitch, I have the crappiest-rolly veins, people have the worst time trying to get blood out of me or a needle into me, I get all bruised up.

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#33 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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Oh yeah, I forgot about the one layer, two layer thing...My ob (I had a last minute C-section) told me at my 3 wk appointment I could consider VBAC someday because he made sure to do it two layer.

I really didn't notice it in the hospital, but when I got home from the hospital it hurt so bad to urinate I figured I had gotten an infection from the catheterization. I was trying to avoid urinating....I think I called and they had called in a script. I think it still hurt. I think I had my urine tested and they said there was no infection. Those early days were a blur so it's only 10 months later but I really don't remember if I ever found out if I actually had an infection or if my urethra and bladder just hurt bad from the catheter But just giving a head's up either way...Maybe getting the antibiotics during the section through IV help prevent an infection, but you still may be sore...

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#34 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies for all the wonderful info. I actually have only had a catheter once (with my first ds born in a hospital) and I ended up getting the worst bladder infection ever. Felt like I was peeing needles, sorry TMI. So I'm a little nervous about that. Honestly I'm nervous about pretty much everything,LOL. I talked to my doctor today and he said he would do stitches no problem. We are done having kids but I'll ask if he does one or two layer closures. I tend to have slow bowels after deliveries anyway so I expect this will be no different. It usually takes me 3-4 days to have a BM after birth.

Has anyone had problems with pain during the surgery itself? I'm so scared that I'm going to feel them cutting me open or something crazy. I have had an epidural in the past and the darn thing didn't work right so now I'm terrified of them. Going to try for the spinal anyway though I think.

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#35 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Has anyone had problems with pain during the surgery itself? I'm so scared that I'm going to feel them cutting me open or something crazy. I have had an epidural in the past and the darn thing didn't work right so now I'm terrified of them. Going to try for the spinal anyway though I think.
I never had pain during the procedure. I got the spinal in, and every few minutes while they were waiting for the numbing to get everywhere they wanted it to, they poked my stomach - checking to see if I could feel what they were doing. They checked again when they were ready to start.

If you feel ANYTHING you don't think you should be feeling, speak up. If they don't listen the first time, get louder. They will listen.

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#36 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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Has anyone had problems with pain during the surgery itself? I'm so scared that I'm going to feel them cutting me open or something crazy. I have had an epidural in the past and the darn thing didn't work right so now I'm terrified of them. Going to try for the spinal anyway though I think.
They'll probably poke your belly/sides with a small needle. Not enough to draw blood, just to make sure you don't feel it. Or they may use an alcohol swab to see if you feel the cold. Either way, they'll do what is called an Allis Test, which is where they pinch your skin with a clamp--an Allis--(kind of like what they use when you get a tongue or belly button pierced) to make sure you don't feel it.

Usually for a scheduled csection they do a spinal anyway since it works almost immediately and they can add a pain medication called duramorph that lasts 24 hours to help with your recovery. (An epidural can take a good 15 minutes + to be fully effective, and you can't add in the duramorph) Plus it's a one shot deal, no catheters taped to your back.

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#37 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Since I had a C-section after and while being in hard labor for more than a day, that spinal was complete relief for me. It worked really well! And Just an hour or two before the section, they had tried an epidural on me and it did not work. The spinal started to work and I could feel them wiping my abdomen down with alcohol and I yelled, "I can still feel things!" But they weren't concerned and just kept working and a couple seconds later my body went completely numb and I never felt a thing. The anaestesiologist was like, "You may feel some pressure..." blah, blah, I actually didn't feel anything at all. It worked well. After seeing baby boy, my husband went with him and I fell asleep I guess, that's what they told me later. That I was snoring. But one more thing, I started shaking bad during the section before they got baby out. I figured it was my nerves and then the anaesthesiologist told me that's a side effect from the spinal. This may not happen to you, as I hadn't slept in 2 days, had hard labor for more than a whole day, it was almost 4 am, I had had a failed homebirth, I had been screaming, crying, pleading, had a failed epi and also Stadol and was completely exhausted, and my nerves were shot, so like I said this may not happen to you but wanted to give a heads up about the shaking. You really only feel the shaking in your arms and upper body obviously since that's not numb, but they told my husband to just try and talk to me about things to take my mind off of it, because if you focus on it, you may shake more. I told hub to talk to me and he was just kind of like, "uuummmm, I don't know...." haha.

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#38 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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my planning-for-csec-advice would be to let the nurses know ahead of time that you would like colace ASAP to help with pooping. also something to help relieve gas, JIC.

if there is even the slightest chance that you may have to be knocked out, make sure you have a bag of lozenges. apparently, having a tube down your throat will irritate it and make you cough after, and the sugar coating on your throat is helpful.

i was able to eat as soon as i left recovery both times. and i never took post-op pain meds with ds1, and only one dose of rx tylenol with ds2, which did abolutely nothing. i've been told that i probably had a shot of something in the OR, though. anyway, if you think you are one who will need pain meds, dont be afraid to ask. a friend of mine who had 4 spontaneous unmedicated vag births had a csec for #5 and loaded up on whatever she could get. LOL

make sure whoever removes your dressign is GENTLE. i still have a scar from where the OB ripped open my skin by pulling the tape too hard.

take home a supply of the hospital panties and pads. they are the bomb, no matter how you birth.

have a supply of cloth dipes on hand to stuff under the flap of skin for the first few weeks. any moisture will for sure bring on yeast. i didnt know this with ds1, but figured it out by ds2. (i guess 7 yrs of living with a fat flap teaches you a few things.) i changed my flap-dipe every time i changed my pad.

and since your milk may take a wee bit longer to come in, you will want to nurse LO right away, maybe even on the table. if not, being sking to skin at least will get your boobs going. so limit separation pp and nurse ASAP.

my hospital (same for both) discouraged co-sleeping. with ds2, i held him every moment i was awake, but it didnt know abot co-sleeping for a few more months yet, but with ds2 i planned to co=sleep from the start. (was also planning a HBAC). well, the nurses were constantly trying to pry ds2 from my sleeping arms and put him in the plastic box on wheels. a few times they managed to get him in there b4 i roused. they also wanted my bed all the way down in case i fell out of it. but with my bed at its lowest level i couldnt reach up into the box to get him out without causing my self excruciating pain. so it was a 4 day fight with me raising the bed up to its hgihest level to reach ds and a nurse coming in and seeing us sleeping like that and either lowering my bed or daring to take ds away from me. maybe you could address that b4 birth?

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#39 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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.... Honestly I'm nervous about pretty much everything,LOL. I talked to my doctor today and he said he would do stitches no problem. We are done having kids but I'll ask if he does one or two layer closures.

Has anyone had problems with pain during the surgery itself? I'm so scared that I'm going to feel them cutting me open or something crazy. I have had an epidural in the past and the darn thing didn't work right so now I'm terrified of them. Going to try for the spinal anyway though I think.
They'll repeatedly check you to see if you are numb, the anesthesiologist told me to expect feeling some tugging, but there isn't pain. When the surgery is nearing completion they put duramorph and also pitocin to contract your uterus. You may shake like a PP said due to the anesthesia, I did with DD's c/s, but not with DS's-honestly my body had been through so much with DD's it was pretty rough(I never knew this until DS's though, her recovery was pretty easy, but his was a cakewalk considering). In recovery they cover you with warm blankets and monitor you very closely, check you bp, if your feeling is coming back, temp, etc......

I was pretty nervous having a scheduled c/s, even after an emergency c/s. With DD it was sooooooo apparent something was seriously wrong, my uterus had stopped contracting my stomach went completely soft and DD's heartrate was crashing with each push, the look on my DH and mom's face, plus the entire nursing staff told me something was seriously not right. Her's was a medically necessary situation, I was told the next day due to her low positioning that they had the T because with her bikini incision would not get her out, so the additional cut was done. My Dr explained the next day the fact that while most women can and should have a VBAC, my T scar was just too dangerous. So I knew any subsequent children would be c/s birth.

I think the worst part was the anticipation of the c/s, knowing that I was to have surgery. The nerves are to be expected. For myself talking with the anesthesiologist put a lot of my fears aside, I mean of course I was still nervous, but I felt very comfortable in the hands of my team. It was such a different experience from DDs. I was also done having kids(2 is my mental max, lol). I actually had my tubes tied too, it added a few minutes to the whole surgery.

Considering that it was surgery mine was pretty zen. I have zero qualms with my c/s experiences, with DD I did labor for a long time, the only part I even remotely regret is that I didn't get my waterbirth with her. I never felt coerced, or violated-her's was a serious situation that evolved from a very long arduous labor-in which after 18 hours I finally took an epi,and at 30hrs things went from bad to worse very fast. DS's planned c/s was a relaxing, joyous experience. IDK-it's hard to explain, I was scared and excited, just like with labor.

Good luck-if you have any other questions ask them, people are here to help.

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#40 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Right, C-sections can be very good birth experiences. I was so happy they were able to get my son out safely, at the time and am grateful now...my staff was great at the hospital and the anesthesiologist was great and funny and making comments as the baby came out like, "Whoa! He's huge! Look at the size of that head!"...I may have a VBAC someday, but if I don't, then I know it will be okay. I read, but can't remember where, that planned C-sections are safer than unplanned C-sections, and I had a good outcome on my unplanned C-section.

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#41 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Thanks ladies for all the wonderful info. I actually have only had a catheter once (with my first ds born in a hospital) and I ended up getting the worst bladder infection ever. Felt like I was peeing needles, sorry TMI. So I'm a little nervous about that. Honestly I'm nervous about pretty much everything,LOL. I talked to my doctor today and he said he would do stitches no problem. We are done having kids but I'll ask if he does one or two layer closures. I tend to have slow bowels after deliveries anyway so I expect this will be no different. It usually takes me 3-4 days to have a BM after birth.
I've actually read a lot of stuff about the one vs. two layer closure, and I think it's a lot more complicated than accepted wisdom. Suturing material makes a difference, too...but I don't know if it's on most doctor's radar.

I didn't even think of the catheter, because mine's been done after anesthesia every time. (Actually, I think they might have done it during prep, before anesthesia with Aaron, but I was honestly too far gone with...everything to have noticed more pain.) I honestly can't imagine why they wouldn't wait until after you were under to do that, unless it was a seriously panic-stricken emergency.

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Has anyone had problems with pain during the surgery itself? I'm so scared that I'm going to feel them cutting me open or something crazy. I have had an epidural in the past and the darn thing didn't work right so now I'm terrified of them. Going to try for the spinal anyway though I think.
I've known women who have had c-sections with failed anesthesia. They were all under epidural. I don't know of anyone who has had that happen with a spinal. I'm not saying it's never happened, because I don't know everybody, but I've never heard of it.

I don't know if you've read up on it or not, but you will probably feel something. I always have. It's not pain. They usually describe it as "pressure or tugging sensations", which is fairly accurate. I have a lot of trouble with it, and it makes me want to puke - not so much physically, although that's part of it, as knowing what's going on, and not being able to tune it out very well, because of the "pressure and tugging". I don't even really like to talk about it, but I think it's better to be prepared for it. I wasn't, when I had dd1, and it really wigged me out.

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#42 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Just caught up on the posts. I forgot about the shaking. I've had it with all of mine, although not really badly. I didn't know until recently that it was the anesthesia. I always get it accompanied by chills, and a nurse after dd1 told me it was shock.


Norasmom: I just saw that you talked with an anesthesiologist ahead of time. Was it the one that was actually in OR with you? I wanted an anesthesiology consultation, and I got one - and it was a total and utter waste of time, because the one thing I really wanted was to have dh with me, and she couldn't say one way or the other, because she wasn't my anesthesiologist! I'd heard people talk about consultations and thought it would be useful, but I wouldn't do it again. I went through a fairly negative emotional experience (they had this whole "what to expect from your surgery" video I had to watch before the consult, and it brought back a lot of bad memories) for absolutely no reason. Fortunately, I did get to have dh with me, but I didn't know one way or the other until I was standing outside the OR.

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#43 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Just caught up on the posts. I forgot about the shaking. I've had it with all of mine, although not really badly. I didn't know until recently that it was the anesthesia. I always get it accompanied by chills, and a nurse after dd1 told me it was shock.


Norasmom: I just saw that you talked with an anesthesiologist ahead of time. Was it the one that was actually in OR with you? I wanted an anesthesiology consultation, and I got one - and it was a total and utter waste of time, because the one thing I really wanted was to have dh with me, and she couldn't say one way or the other, because she wasn't my anesthesiologist! I'd heard people talk about consultations and thought it would be useful, but I wouldn't do it again. I went through a fairly negative emotional experience (they had this whole "what to expect from your surgery" video I had to watch before the consult, and it brought back a lot of bad memories) for absolutely no reason. Fortunately, I did get to have dh with me, but I didn't know one way or the other until I was standing outside the OR.
Yes he was, his name was Dave. I live in a pretty rural area and every time these threads come up I realize our little hospital is awesome. He came to my dr's office, met with me explained about spinal vs. epidural, talked about going hiking, what to expect, etc....I didn't watch some freaky video. My DH was totally allowed(both times) and I made sure he was allowed to stand up and watch the surgery. With DD's the dr realized DH was craning his neck to see and they told him he could stand up and watch. I wanted him to be able to do that because he desired that. He told us when to take pictures, he told me what was happening, he gave DH the assurance he'd take care of me, so DH could go with our son-he was amazing and wonderful. Like I said before it was the first time in a loooooong time they were doing a c/s in which the gender was an unknown, he asked if the baby was a boy or girl and when I said "we don't know" the whole team got excited. Plus we knew our L&D nurse personally, all those factors made DS's so enjoyable-at least in terms of a c/s.

Our hospital ROCKS in terms of hospitals, at least for having babies. They room in, no procedures w/out parents, nurse on demand, breastfeed only(unless there is a problem of course), waterbirth friendly-they are wonderful.

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#44 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Yes he was, his name was Dave. I live in a pretty rural area and every time these threads come up I realize our little hospital is awesome. He came to my dr's office, met with me explained about spinal vs. epidural, talked about going hiking, what to expect, etc....I didn't watch some freaky video. My DH was totally allowed(both times) and I made sure he was allowed to stand up and watch the surgery. With DD's the dr realized DH was craning his neck to see and they told him he could stand up and watch. I wanted him to be able to do that because he desired that.
Oh, no - dh was allowed in for the c-section. That's SOP at our hospital. I also wanted him there for the spinal, which was where I ran into the difficulties. My OB booked the consultation, and I don't think she realized how pointless it was going to be. It might have been useful if it were my first time doing a c-section under spinal, but everything the doctor talked about were things I already knew.

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Our hospital ROCKS in terms of hospitals, at least for having babies. They room in, no procedures w/out parents, nurse on demand, breastfeed only(unless there is a problem of course), waterbirth friendly-they are wonderful.
Ours is good in those ways - well, I don't know about waterbirth. I haven't gone in there for anything except scheduled c/s in 17 years. They're very breastfeeding friendly (the way they're breastfeeding friendly hasn't been good for me and my kids, but at least they don't shove formula at people). Rooming in is standard, and dh coudl spend the night in my room, as well.

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#45 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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Oh, no - dh was allowed in for the c-section. That's SOP at our hospital. I also wanted him there for the spinal, which was where I ran into the difficulties. My OB booked the consultation, and I don't think she realized how pointless it was going to be. It might have been useful if it were my first time doing a c-section under spinal, but everything the doctor talked about were things I already knew.
Oh I thought you meant in the OR, that's what you made it sound like.

I don't think ANY hospital allows them there for the spinal. I know that mine didn't, the anesthesiologist said DH was allowed in immediately after mine was administered. I'm pretty sure that is just the way it is, due to the sterile environment and the fragility of the procedure, IDK if I'd want DH there. Oh well I guess for me it doesn't matter because I won't be doing that again.

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#46 of 51 Old 04-08-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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Oh I thought you meant in the OR, that's what you made it sound like.
I probably said "OR", because I was in the OR, but I meant before the surgery.

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I don't think ANY hospital allows them there for the spinal. I know that mine didn't, the anesthesiologist said DH was allowed in immediately after mine was administered. I'm pretty sure that is just the way it is, due to the sterile environment and the fragility of the procedure, IDK if I'd want DH there. Oh well I guess for me it doesn't matter because I won't be doing that again.
Most places don't allow anyone to be there, but it's an anesthesiology call, not the hospital's call. I don't know how much it matters to most women. It was a huge deal to me, though. I'm so glad she let him come in.

She had me sit facing the opposite way from the first two times, so that dh wasn't between me and the sterile instruments (this was explained to me as the concern), and then just went ahead. So, I got to hold his hands instead of a stranger, while they were doing the spinal.

I prefer general anesthesia by a long shot, though. Numbness freaks me out, and for any normal level of pain (ie. not surgery), I'd rather just feel the pain.

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#47 of 51 Old 04-09-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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When I had my first DD, I had a general anesthetic - it was the most horrible experience I've ever had.

I was catheterized before I was put under, which also wasn't pleasant - it definitely hurt. I was told I was cath'd before it because they want to get the baby out ASAP without having the effects of the general anesthetic, meaning they wanted me to be under for as little time as possible before DD was pulled out, so the cath was done first.

My second was done with a spinal anesthetic. Loved it. I did vomit afterwards but it was mostly because of the drink they give you just before you go into the O.R. (sodium citrate - not entirely sure if that's it). It's disgusting with a horrific bitter aftertaste.

You have a lot of great tips here, I don't have anything else to add, other than good luck.
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#48 of 51 Old 04-12-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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I don't think ANY hospital allows them there for the spinal.
Just curious about this... does anyone know why? If partners/support people can be there when they administer an epidural for a vaginal birth (and both of the hospitals I have delivered in did) then why not in the OR? I understand the OR is a different environment from a sterility standpoint but the procedure has to be done in a sterile field either way and if they can come in after it's in why not before? Is it a spinal vs epidural difference?

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Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#49 of 51 Old 04-12-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Just curious about this... does anyone know why? If partners/support people can be there when they administer an epidural for a vaginal birth (and both of the hospitals I have delivered in did) then why not in the OR? I understand the OR is a different environment from a sterility standpoint but the procedure has to be done in a sterile field either way and if they can come in after it's in why not before? Is it a spinal vs epidural difference?
I believe it's an OR vs. L&D difference.

The way it was explained to me was this:

When the doctor is doing the spinal, you're sitting on the bed, with your knees over one side. The doctor is behind you. There's nurse standing in front of you, holding your hands (at least they always have with me). Behind the nurse, another nurse is laying out the surgical instruments on a tray, and there's a sterile field. If the spouse/support person (our hospital allows one support person - it can be a spouse, doula, friend, whatever) is beside the nurse, there's a concern that they'll invade the sterile field. They don't want them behind the patient, because then they're watching the needle.

I was also told they didn't want to be "responsible" for another person, in case he fainted or something. I explained that dh A) is extremely short-sighted (legally blind - his corrected vision is about 20/220) and wouldn't be able to see the needle, and B) had absolutely no interest in watching it, anyway. He only wanted to be there, because he knew I wanted him there. I don't know if any of that factored into the doctor's decision to allow him in or not. I suspect it was mostly the "this woman has a previous loss, so she gets treated better than other moms do" syndrome.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#50 of 51 Old 04-12-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Make appts with your pcp for a full physical including a thyroid check, within a couple months after the surgury. Also take a test for hormone imbalance. My NP gave me a saliva test kit that I mailed in.

My C/S caused a severe hormonal imbalance which caused my hashimoto's hypo-thyroiditus.

I just happened to have a full physical 3 mo pp, and discovered the thryoid issues. I just now discovered the hormone imbalance... and am still trying to get everything taken care of!

Good luck mama! Congrats on your pregnancy and twins!!
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#51 of 51 Old 05-03-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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I had a ROCK STAR team for my c-sec. I'm so thankful to this day for them.

My only problem at the hospital was that they ignored my DECLINE for heb-B and eye goop - and DH didn't know to stop them on that or on washing baby. Oh well - this happens in an emergency.

I had a HORRIBLE time with constipation afterward. I mean, the worst of my life. I did not know that I needed to keep taking stool softeners with the narcotic. Last time I will ever make that mistake. I won't even tell you what I ended up doing to have a BM.
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