Which is easier? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
allycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Which is easier to recover from -physically - C section or vaginal birth?

What about mentally?

A.
allycat is offline  
#2 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 04:50 AM
 
littleteapot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mystery Island
Posts: 3,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Natural vaginal delivery to both. Just saying "Vaginal delivery" is too iffy; it's harder to recover from one that you've been exhausted from alt he interventions and stuff.
I've had a c-section and a natural birth and I'd go through the 44 hours hard labour ANY TIME to avoid that c-section pain.

photosmile2.gifBabs + trekkie.gifCurtis - Parents of Tempest blahblah.gif(08/07/03 autismribbon.gif), Jericho angel2.gif(11/01/05 ribboncesarean.gif), Xan moon.gif(10/03/06 uc.jpghbac.gif), Zephyra baby.gif(06/02/11 hbac.gif). mdcblog5.gif @ babyslime.livejournal.com

littleteapot is offline  
#3 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 05:15 AM
 
wifeandmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never delivered vaginally, so I can't say for sure which is easier, although I will say I can't imagine recovery being any easier that it was.

Both of my sections were scheduled, and that apparently makes a TREMENDOUS difference in recovery. I also didn't care one way or the other about delivering vaginally vs. having a c-section, so there were no emotional issues for me to deal with.

First c-section was for full term twins, born just before noon on a Monday morning. I was up walking by 2pm and was never in any pain whatsoever. We went home with both babies the following day, approximately 30 hours after surgery began.

The only thing I *couldn't* do was lie flat on my back in bed and get up again without help. I propped a few pillows and that solved that problem. I did not bleed post-partum AT ALL, I had no pain, my milk supply was enough for the entire neighborhood...I really thought 'How can this be any easier?'

Resumed sex (per my insistance...I was very amorous post-partum) at 12 days post op. Pooped and peed with no problems or pain.

Fast forward 13 months to c-section number two. Again, scheduled procedure, although we did stay 48 hours since I was GBS+ and my membranes ruptured prior to surgery.

I could feel them cutting into me at first, and while it wasn't painful, it was startling. When I told them I could feel what they were doing, they fiddled around a bit and fixed things before they continued. So, while it didn't hurt at all, it was freaky to say the least.

Again, no pain whatsoever afterwards. I could sit down on the floor and get back up again without help from day 2 post-op, I spotted enough for a pantiliner for abou 3 days, and could pick up my twins (they were each right around 18-20 pounds) by 5 days post-op. Up til then, I would pull them into my lap on the couch, but full lifting (like picking them up from the floor) took 5 days.

Resumed sex at 6 days post-op, again at my insistance. Let's see...milk supply that go round was even more ridiculous than the first time. I pumped on day 4 post op cause I was so engorged and got 10 ounces of milk in one sitting. Pooped and peed with no issues this time as well.

Now, don't get me wrong here. While I was truly never in what I would call pain, I was tired and had a lower backache for a few weeks. I attributed the backache more to my entire center of gravity being shifted suddenly and the fact that I was using other muscles to compensate for my stomach being cut open than anything else. And it didn't really HURT, more of an annoying ache.

I can only hope and pray that my third c-section is as pleasant and easy to recover from as the first two were. Like anything, there are no guarantees, but the trend I've noticed with women IRL is that each subsequent section got easier and easier unless there were complications.

I really can't imagine delivering two almost 7 pound babies vaginally in the same day or an almost 9 pound baby the following year would have been any easier, but I never thought my sections would be that easy either.
wifeandmom is offline  
#4 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 09:33 AM
 
mary3mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Middle Indiana
Posts: 2,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first child was a c/s, my second was a medicalized VBAC -- by my insistence.

I'd prefer to give birth by even a medicalized VBAC any day over going the c/s route again. I'm glad that PP had so little discomfort or difficulty following her c/s deliveries, but I'm afraid that's something I've rarely heard about c/s's.

It took me 2 weeks after my c/s to be able to walk across the floor without constant pain. It took 3 months to be even slightly interested in sex again, and even then, it hurt. It was a year before the numbness and weird feeling around my surgical scar started to disapate. Then there was the 'fun' of trying to take only tylenol for the pain so as not to put narcotics into my newborn's body via breastmilk.

Following ds #2's birth, I was up, walking around within 2 hours of birth and talking about going home. By the time he was 24 hours old, I felt better than I did 6 weeks after my c/s. We were able to resume our sex life, tentatively at least, at about 8 weeks PP -- that late only because I remembered the pain from the first time after the c/s.

I felt 'normal' (if a little sleep deprived) by the time DS #2 was 3 days old.

No comparison at all.

Mentally it was as clear as a distinction, too. After my c/s I spent many days crying because I had this cloud over me and I could only express it as, "they reached in and took my baby from me." Whereas because I actively birthed my second son, I didn't feel 'robbed', I felt empowered and connected.

If I have to have a c/s for some medical emergency this time, well, then so be it...but I'll not go that route unless it is a serious situation. That's one of the reasons we're working with midwives and planning a homebirth. As the are 'low-profile' (sometimes called hands-off) oriented, I know that if they see a reason for a hospital transfer, then it would be serious...as opposed to a practitioner that operates under the assumption that all pregnancies are a crisis waiting to happen.

I don't believe it is more 'honorable' to birth naturally, meaning that I don't think that c/s is a failure. But, I do think that given my own experiences, I'd never suggest that c/s is the 'easy way out'. I'd rather have another 2 1/2 hour pushing marathon than go through another c/s.

Maryhippie.gif

mary3mama is offline  
#5 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 11:04 AM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What is prettier, a sunrise or a sunset?

Your question is unanswerable, because it varies from women to woman and birth to birth. There will be people, who through their experience, felt vaginal was 1000% bettter than cesarean (probably a lot on this forum). Other people will feel exactly the other way around.

I think regardless, what is easiest to recover from is the birth with the least trauma. A long, difficult vaginal delivery can be good, if the mother feels empowered afterwards. A cesarean can be good, if the mother feels there was a good reason for the cesarean.

If you have shock after whatever type of birth you have, the stress and tension will build in your muscles. Whatever vaginal or abdominal pain you already have will only intensify because of this. Your stress my prolong your exhaustion or intensify your already rampant hormonal changes.

No matter what happens, may you have peace. (I'm looking for it myself.) Kind regards,
Allison R
AllisonR is offline  
#6 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 11:10 AM
 
kalisis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: somewhere between here and there
Posts: 4,824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR
What is prettier, a sunrise or a sunset?

Your question is unanswerable, because it varies from women to woman and birth to birth. There will be people, who through their experience, felt vaginal was 1000% bettter than cesarean (probably a lot on this forum). Other people will feel exactly the other way around.

I think regardless, what is easiest to recover from is the birth with the least trauma. A long, difficult vaginal delivery can be good, if the mother feels empowered afterwards. A cesarean can be good, if the mother feels there was a good reason for the cesarean.

If you have shock after whatever type of birth you have, the stress and tension will build in your muscles. Whatever vaginal or abdominal pain you already have will only intensify because of this. Your stress my prolong your exhaustion or intensify your already rampant hormonal changes.

No matter what happens, may you have peace. (I'm looking for it myself.) Kind regards,
Allison R
:

*~* A * Mama to C and A * *~* I blog - PM me for the URL
kalisis is offline  
#7 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 12:42 PM
 
cottonwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never had a c-section. But I can say that my immediate postpartum after my uninterfered-with births was wonderful, I felt great. I was tired, sure, but there was little actual stress on my body, so really very little to recover from. Also, with an undisturbed birth process I had the benefit of normal hormone release, which was good for me physically and emotionally.

Even the most successful surgery -- which is inherently an injury to the body -- could not possibly be easier or better for me, unless it was a matter of life and death. I also really hate the feeling of being drugged when I am vulnerable, and would feel very badly about narcotics in my baby's system as well.

If we're comparing it to the trauma and invasiveness of the typical managed vaginal birth, maybe it's not so clear-cut. Hearing of my friend's (highly unusual) planned c-section with soft music, low lights, and immediate contact with the baby, I think I'd rather do that -- even given the damage to my body and risk to the baby -- than many of the violating managed vaginal births I hear about, which carry increased risk to the body and baby anyway. Thankfully, though, I don't live in a world where those are the only two choices available.

Psychologically speaking, I love the idea of my body functioning as it was made to. That feels to me very good and right. In contrast, for my body to be cut open unnecessarily would be a violation to my spirit. Hospitals make me feel queasy and nervous too. Who really enjoys those places?
cottonwood is offline  
#8 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 01:26 PM
 
wifeandmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama
I'm glad that PP had so little discomfort or difficulty following her c/s deliveries, but I'm afraid that's something I've rarely heard about c/s's.
Couple of thoughts on this comment.

You have to keep in mind that my sections were scheduled with no labor prior to delivery (2nd one was after 6 hours of ruptured membranes, contractions every 3 minutes that did exactly NOTHING to my cervix, nor did they hurt, so I don't really count that as 'labor' like if I'd labored hard for 30 hours THEN been sectioned, kwim?).

Usually when I hear of a woman IRL who had a terrible c-section experience, it's one of two things, or a combination of the two. First is after a hard labor that didn't result in vaginal delivery for whatever reason. It only makes sense that to have major surgery after a day or more of hard labor, your body isn't going to recover as quickly or easily. For these women, if they go on to have an ERCS, I've never heard of a single one that didn't go on to have a MUCH better experience the second time around, and this was verified by all of my peris during my twin pg (who were all very much anti-c/s).

Second is the woman who desperately wanted to deliver vaginally and wasn't able to for whatever reason. It seems to me from reading stories online and listening to women IRL that if a woman was crushed MENTALLY by the thought that she'd had to have a c/s, her PHYSICAL recovery is severely impacted as well.

I honestly have rarely heard of a woman having a scheduled section that she felt MENTALLY ok with having such a horrific time recovering unless there were specific medical complications above and beyond what is normally expected.
wifeandmom is offline  
#9 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 01:33 PM
 
wifeandmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another example I thought of is a friend of ours who now has three children with a fourth on the way.

Her first was a c/s after 3+ hours of pushing with absolutely no progress whatsoever. Apparently the baby's head was tilted to the side just enough to make vaginal delivery impossible considering the circumstances (hospital with epi, not a huge surprise that baby wasn't able to self-correct her position). She had a HORRIBLE recovery according to her. Hated every minute of it and desperately wanted to VBAC.

Second was a successful VBAC, but with LOTS of internal tearing, so much so that she came very close to needing a blood transfusion. They were concerned that she'd actually ruptured, but it turns out her cervix was torn pretty significantly which was causing all the bleeding. This was 4+ years ago and sex is STILL painful according to her.

Third was an ERCS. She made it VERY clear after her VBAC experience that she was not interested in EVER doing that again. With the ERCS, she recovered beautifully, BUT again....it was planned and it was her choice to do so, both of which make a huge, huge, huge difference in physical recovery from what I've seen.
wifeandmom is offline  
#10 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 02:48 PM
 
kawa kamuri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My children have only been born vaginally so I don't know. I do know this - I will continue to do everything in my power to avoid a cesarean because elective and/or unnecessary invasive abdominal surgery is not my idea of pleasure.

Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12 2ndtri.gif

 
       

kawa kamuri is offline  
#11 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 02:52 PM
 
Autumn_Breeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think a vaginal birth would be easier to recover from both mentally and physically. A c-section is major surgery, that usually requires one to take it more slowly otherwise. I suppose if you look at it from both sides, neither idea is loads of fun, lol.

I prefer a vaginal delivery to a c-ssection simply because I think I would feel better sooner rather than later. Add to the fact you have a crying baby, and you're battling the after c-section pain, and it looks pretty grim. The most important thing though, whatever way your babe came out, do not baby your body, iot slows the progress of healing.
Autumn_Breeze is offline  
#12 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 03:08 PM
 
alegna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44,408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I trust evolution to have created the best and most healthy way for things to happen. Last I checked no one has birthed a baby out their abdomen without someone slicing it open first, so obviously the way that nature designed is best.

-Angela
alegna is offline  
#13 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 03:28 PM
 
huggerwocky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did not recover from my managed vaginal birth for years, mentally it took even longer but a single incidence does not make a statistic. So this one will be a homebirth where I doubt I'll end up feeling abused and traumatized.
huggerwocky is offline  
#14 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 03:33 PM
 
JayGee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southwest Illinois
Posts: 4,545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For me, the vaginal birth was by far easier to recover from, both physically and emotionally. My c-section took a long time to heal and I had fairly severe PPD for a full year after DS's birth. After my first VBAC (hospital), I felt really good physically and emotionally, although I did take Zoloft as a precaution against PPD starting at 36 weeks. I tore pretty badly though (3rd degree), so that took a while to heal from. Still, I was up and around the day DD was born. My second VBAC (homebirth) recovery was amazing! No tearing and I felt physcially great the same day. I swear, it was like nothing happened down there ! Emotionally, I'm still on a birthing high and don't see any signs of PPD so far, even without antidepressants.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
JayGee is offline  
#15 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 03:33 PM
 
joesmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wherever Joe is!
Posts: 3,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by allycat
Which is easier to recover from -physically - C section or vaginal birth?

What about mentally?

A.
In general, I would say drug free vaginal, on both counts- BUT- I had an unexpected, completely anesthetized csection after laboring for a good while, plus I was sick with a bad sinus cold : : ... I had about 24 hours of bad pain, but I recovered SO fast, NO problems nursing... no regrets about how it turned out, although I would not have CHOSEN that path...

I had less recovery problems than my sister who had her boys vaginally, one with & one without an epidural. I had no breastfeeding supply issues, & was up & around much sooner than I anticipated.

The anesthesia gave me weird visions & made me unable to eat anything but cling peaches, apricot nectar & scrambled eggs for days, but that was the anesthesia & not the csection itself- & really, scrambled eggs are darn tasty!
joesmom is offline  
#16 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 06:32 PM
 
Sijae's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom
I honestly have rarely heard of a woman having a scheduled section that she felt MENTALLY ok with having such a horrific time recovering unless there were specific medical complications above and beyond what is normally expected.
One of the objections going around in my head is this idea that you have put forth that "complications" in c-sections are rare. They aren't. I'm glad you had experiences that pleased you. But having surgery (any surgery) these days is a crap-shoot in terms of complications and infection.

For ME I can't imagine surgical delivery EVER being preferable to natural birth. My first was a fast birth that left me bruised with skid marks that had me pretty uncomfortable for a few weeks. My second was as if I'd not even had a baby the "recovery" was so nonexistent and my third was a few days of recovery from substantial blood loss but my "parts" were just as fine as after the second birth.

Laura

mom to 3 home-born children, wife to a great guy joy.gif

Sijae is offline  
#17 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 06:45 PM
 
CalebsMama05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 3,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i had a 9lbs 10oz baby on my back in the hospital...he tore me inside and then I had an episiotomy.

I was completely back to normal at 2wks except I was anemic. and on the iron pills i was fine. sex hurt at first (attempted at 12wks pp) but after a couple of months it was fine.

well except that my episiotomy scar itches sometimes. not sure if its psychological or not. weird feeling that.

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
CalebsMama05 is offline  
#18 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 06:55 PM
 
wifeandmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sijae
One of the objections going around in my head is this idea that you have put forth that "complications" in c-sections are rare. They aren't. I'm glad you had experiences that pleased you. But having surgery (any surgery) these days is a crap-shoot in terms of complications and infection.


Laura
I think what I said were 'complications above and beyond what is normally expected', thus indicating that some minor complications ARE fairly normal and to be expected.


For example, it's not unusual for mom to get a post-partum infection of some sort. These numbers range from 6-8% for an elective section with no prior labor to 25-33% for an emergeny section. However, in the grand scheme of things, if the only real consequence of such an infection is getting an addtional dose of antibiotic via the IV, I just don't see that as MAJOR.

I guess maybe our definitions of major and minor complications might be different, and that's ok. I personally find it fascinating the different ways women can look at a situation and either totally dismiss certain issues or totally blow them out of proportion depending on how they FEEL about the issue in the first place.

For example, I have a friend that had a section after external version failed to turn her son. He was knicked (not even enough to require a band-aid) on his bottom during delivery. Cuts to baby, esp breech baby, during section are fairly common, somewhere around 5% or so IIRC.

My point is he was knicked, again no band aid required, and she was DISTRAUGHT over this MAJOR complication. That's just how she saw things. I personally didn't get it, but I never said as much to her.

Then there are the women who go through a terrible vaginal birth complete with extensive vaginal tearing that makes sex painful for a year or more, yet they brush this off and consider it part of the deal, so it's acceptable and not a big deal to them.

It really does have a lot to do with how you look at it, and I will agree that it's a crapshoot as to which complications you suffer from, if any, although that goes for BOTH vaginal delivery AND c-section. While you can certainly decrease your chances of suffering from all sorts of complications during vaginal delivery, a certain amount of risk exists no matter what you do or don't do. The exact same thing is true of c-sections.
wifeandmom is offline  
#19 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 07:04 PM
Banned
 
~member~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: on a lily pad
Posts: 13,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom
Second is the woman who desperately wanted to deliver vaginally and wasn't able to for whatever reason. It seems to me from reading stories online and listening to women IRL that if a woman was crushed MENTALLY by the thought that she'd had to have a c/s, her PHYSICAL recovery is severely impacted as well.

I honestly have rarely heard of a woman having a scheduled section that she felt MENTALLY ok with having such a horrific time recovering unless there were specific medical complications above and beyond what is normally expected.
That makes sense, as our mental state is very much connected to our physical state of being. My recovery also hinged on how I was treated by the hospital staff. They took my baby and were downright evil to me and my family.
In 2005, I wanted to breastfeed my baby, but they gave her an IV without my consent and told me there was no need to breastfeed and I would only harmher because of the narcotic painkillers they had given me.
~member~ is offline  
#20 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 07:14 PM
Banned
 
~member~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: on a lily pad
Posts: 13,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
I've never had a c-section. But I can say that my immediate postpartum after my uninterfered-with births was wonderful, I felt great. I was tired, sure, but there was little actual stress on my body, so really very little to recover from. Also, with an undisturbed birth process I had the benefit of normal hormone release, which was good for me physically and emotionally.
Thank you! I think since Birth has become medicalized, women no longer even 'hear' about how it should be. I have attended many such births and the mothers never looked like the mothers in the hospital. They were radiant and many were up and eating a meal with everyone and nursing their newborn at the same time. Something you NEVER see in a hospital setting. Most hospitals will not even bring a meal to the mother.
Thank you for sharing your story!
~member~ is offline  
#21 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 07:23 PM
 
velcromom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: N. Ca Sierra Nevada
Posts: 5,022
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I honestly have rarely heard of a woman having a scheduled section that she felt MENTALLY ok with having such a horrific time recovering

I hear and read a lot that moms believe a scheduled c/s is going to be so much better to recover from than an unplanned one. It's just not always so.

My unplanned c/s came after many hours of labor and the recovery was a breeze.

My scheduled c/s I felt confident that I knew the drill, and was anticipating a few weeks of taking it easy and then jumping back into family life with our new baby, like the first time. I was definitely ok with the idea of surgery again. Reality disillusioned me, and fast. In spite of the fact that there were no specific complications, the pain was horrific and carried on and on, far longer than I ever expected. My doctor had no explanation, and could only offer painkillers. It took well over a year to get back to what I could even tentatively call normal.

I've had two atypical recoveries that according to generalizations about c/s, were unlikely to have occurred the way they did. You just never know.
velcromom is offline  
#22 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 08:07 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom
Usually when I hear of a woman IRL who had a terrible c-section experience, it's one of two things, or a combination of the two. First is after a hard labor that didn't result in vaginal delivery for whatever reason. It only makes sense that to have major surgery after a day or more of hard labor, your body isn't going to recover as quickly or easily. For these women, if they go on to have an ERCS, I've never heard of a single one that didn't go on to have a MUCH better experience the second time around, and this was verified by all of my peris during my twin pg (who were all very much anti-c/s).
For what it's worth...while I wasn't exactly "mentally okay" with my second c-section, I did go to the hospital as per instructions from my OB and FP. I fully expected to have an easier physical recovery than I did with my first...after all - no labour, which everyone told me was easier, plus I had waited ten years for dd. I had the surgery, and did okay getting back on my feet...but I had pain in my incision for 7-8 months.

With my first - an "emergency" after 20+ hours of labour, my initial recovery was wretched...I was so wrecked from exhaustion, drugs and lack of food that it took me four days before I could even walk around the maternity ward. But, at the end of the initial six weeks, I didn't have any pain left at all.

With my last one - a scheduled section, but I was in labour first, my initial recovery was great. I was mobile quickly and felt okay about things. I was mentally okay, as I'd at least put the surgery off until I went into labour (they'd wanted to cut him out three weeks earlier). I developed an incision in the infection, so it didn't heal up properly, but it wasn't a huge problem (except that I couldn't go swimming at our complex). The pain was gone within 2-3 months...except for the area below my navel, which still feels bruised (nerve damage, I guess).

So...I hated all my recoveries, but in terms of how long the actual pain lasted...my scheduled labour-free section, which is touted by everyone as being soooo much easier, was by far the worst. There's nothing on this earth that could make me go through that again...I honestly believe I'd rather die.


I do have to ask, though - how on earth do you have a pain-free c-section recovery? I've herad quite a few women online say this, but I don't know anybody IRL who has had one...even my SIL, who was doing crunches 4 weeks post-partum said the pain was brutal. Is there a trick to this?

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

Storm Bride is offline  
#23 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 08:13 PM
 
the_lissa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 13,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I had a vaginal birth, and had absolutely no pain, except for a bit of stinging a couple times when I peed, which the peri-bottle took away.

I had a bm a couple hours after birth with no problems. My bleeding stopped in less than 2 weeks, and before that I was only using panty liners. I started having sex again at 2 weeks.

I know I am an extremely easy case, but everyboody I know had tougher times recovering from c/s.

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

the_lissa is offline  
#24 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 08:39 PM
 
littleteapot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mystery Island
Posts: 3,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think one of the things to keep in mind about c/s vs. vaginal recovery is that after a normal vaginal birth you'll be hard-pressed to find a woman who is knocking back narcotic pain medication for the next two weeks so she can "feel great"... but after a c-section? It's necessary. No one "just takes a Tylenol on the first day" and feels fine for the next six weeks.

Lots of women feel great all drugged up after major abdominal surgery! So long as I was very, very, very vigilant about taking my meds I felt alright. I had resumed sex in under two weeks, my scar never oozed or looked funny, and apparently I had a "Very fast" and miraculously easy recovery by most standards. But the fact that I *had to* take medications for two solid weeks told me otherwise.
After my vaginal I took a Tylenol on the first day and never needed anything else. I could walk around just fine. Sure, peeing stung a little bit (yay peri bottles!) but geez, at least I didn't REQUIRE morphine for the first 24 hours after because shot after shot after shot of whateverthehell they gave me when I woke up completely unanesthestized in recovery never took.

photosmile2.gifBabs + trekkie.gifCurtis - Parents of Tempest blahblah.gif(08/07/03 autismribbon.gif), Jericho angel2.gif(11/01/05 ribboncesarean.gif), Xan moon.gif(10/03/06 uc.jpghbac.gif), Zephyra baby.gif(06/02/11 hbac.gif). mdcblog5.gif @ babyslime.livejournal.com

littleteapot is offline  
#25 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 09:28 PM
 
joesmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wherever Joe is!
Posts: 3,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LTP- I took pain medicine in the hospital, & the first day I was home- Darvocet, I think it was... then that was it. I can't even remember if I needed Tylenol.

I realize that is rare, but it does happen.
joesmom is offline  
#26 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 10:40 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I take very minimal pain meds post-section. If I get cut again, I won't take any. I twisted one of my staples last section, because I'd used drugs to short-circuit my body's warning system, and didn't realize I was overdoing it physically. That's how I ended up with an infection. If I end up cut again, I'm going to be able to listen to the messages my pain is giving me, because I'm going to be able to "hear" my pain.

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

Storm Bride is offline  
#27 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 10:49 PM
 
AnditheBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had two unplanned cesareans after a lot of pushing, and the first was absolutely a breeze to recover from physically. I recovered faster than my friends who had birthed vaginally (and naturally) at around the same time! (They both had a lot of tearing.) However, that does not seem to be the norm by any means, and I don't want anyone to think it is! I was lucky, plain and simple...I've met plenty of women who weren't.

My second c-section was more conventionally difficult to recover from--no serious complications or problems, but just the usual UGH stuff. The first time I took pain meds for 36 hours...the second time, two weeks. Go figure.
AnditheBee is offline  
#28 of 141 Old 06-13-2006, 11:04 PM
 
shelbean91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 9,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had 2 natural vag births and one unplanned, but necessary csection. Physically and emotionally, the vag births were easier. I wasn't traumitized emotionally by the cbirth, but it was something I had to accept as it wasn't in my plan and ds2 is my last baby.

It sounds like one person had easy-peasy recovery from surgical birth. I just don't see how that's possible, but if that happened, that's great and I wish everyone had the same experience. It hurt when I laughed, coughed or sneezed for a couple of weeks. I didn't have any complications (except vomiting as the spinal wore off).

With my vag births, I had one w/episiotomy and one w/out. The one w/out was much easier to recover from.

No matter how ready you are for it, it's surgery. My sister had surgery on her knee. She was prepared for it, it still hurt.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
shelbean91 is offline  
#29 of 141 Old 06-14-2006, 12:48 AM
 
wifeandmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride


I do have to ask, though - how on earth do you have a pain-free c-section recovery? I've herad quite a few women online say this, but I don't know anybody IRL who has had one...even my SIL, who was doing crunches 4 weeks post-partum said the pain was brutal. Is there a trick to this?
Shoot, I wish I knew why it was so easy, then I could sell my secrets.

With my first section (full term twins), I *fully* anticipated agony. They told me over and over again how AWFUL it was going to be the first time I stood up and it would 'feel like your guts are falling out'. Needless to say, when that nurse came in my room a mere THREE HOURS after surgery wanting me to get up....I almost had a panic attack. Thought 'Oh Lord, I *asked* for this, and now I've got to suck it up and get moving.'

I was TERRIFIED to stand up that first time. I sat on the side of the bed and braced myself. I stood up slowly and thought 'Is this all there is to it? Surely not.' So I asked if I was supposed to walk or something. The nurse said I didn't have to, but I could try. So I walked to the bathroom. Still no pain. By now I'm wondering what all the hullabaloo was about. But certainly not brave enough to voice this thought at that point.

One thing that probably made a difference for me is that the last 10 days of my pg were SO MISERABLE. I literally felt like my pelvis was being pried apart with a crow bar every time I stood up or shifted positions. I cried every day for those last 10 days from the pain. Just having the babies OUT of me was such a huge relief physically.

The post-op pain just never materialized, and it was the same a year later with my second section.

As far as actual pain relief, I had Duramorph in my spinal both times. If you have to have a section and aren't allergic to morphine, Duramorph is the way to go. It provides up to 24 hours of pain relief and you don't have to do a thing, unlike the PCA pumps where you have to push the button every so many minutes. Obviously if you doze off and 'miss' several doses with the PCA, you're much more likely to wake up in agony.

From 24 to 48 hours post-op, I took Percocet (first section) or Roxicet (second section). I pretty much took it as directed, meaning 1-2 every 4-6 hours, as I've always heard that staying ahead of any pain the first 48-72 hours is key to an easier recovery.

I also took something for gas (like Gas X) from just a few hours post-op cause I'd heard that gas can be terrible after abdominal surgery. And I took colace til my first BM to prevent trouble from that end. I figured I'd rather prevent rather than wait til I was in agony, kwim?

Overall, I figure I got VERY lucky to have three healthy children and never had one iota of pain as a result of birthing them. I am hoping to get lucky again with this fourth baby, but the reality is it could be horrible and more than make up for my two easy experiences previously. I don't see how it could possibly be easier than either of my two prior deliveries, but only time will tell.
wifeandmom is offline  
#30 of 141 Old 06-14-2006, 01:39 AM
 
MamaTaraX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds like wifeanemom is a great c/s birther. I'm happy for you I'm glad you have had good experiences and everything. You just dont'appear to be the norm. Most women have a much tougher physical recovery than you did, and I do see that you mentioned all the drugs you took. That's not really a pain-free recovery so much as it is a medically-induced pain-free state. To me, that's not the same thing. I too hope your future deliveries will be as positive of an experience for you. You sound like you are at peace with how you bring your babies into the world, and that's what really matters.

I've onlygiven birth vaginally so I don't really have a good answer beyond myskewed version of one So i won't answerthe question.

Namaste,Tara
MamaTaraX is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off