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#1 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, all~
This is sort of an odd question, but the knowledge and kindness on the board is so wonderful, I figured I'd just ask!

Our little one is breech at 36 weeks. We aren't giving up and are hoping he turns so that we can go ahead with the natural (Bradley) birth we want and have planned. However, if he doesn't turn I was wondering: For those of you who have had a C/S, what do you recommend we pack for the hospital? I've been reading up on how to make the C/S experience as positive as possible on several threads here, but so far as comfort, etc., I'm just wondering what types of pj's to bring (if it makes any difference?), what other comfort items people brought that they found especially helpful, etc. Or did most of you pretty much find that the same stuff you would bring for a vaginal delivery was sufficient? If it matters, I am planning to BF and we are going to a birth centre that is in a hospital but is supposed to be very supportive of allowing families to have as close to their "ideal birth" as possible.
Thank you all so much!
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#2 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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I don't think your question is silly at all. There seems to be a dearth of information for those of us who have had or will have a c-section. For me, a short sleeved cotton knit gown with buttons down the front was most comfortable. I don't like pjs and they have to check the incision and all that jazz so it was simply easier to pull up the gown. This was my second uterine surgery, I'd previously had a myomectomy so I knew the importance of bringing a small pillow. You can press that against your tummy when you need to cough or move around. It helps somewhat with the pain. The most important thing I can tell you is get up as soon as possible and walk around. That'll help keep you from getting the horrible gas.

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#3 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Rosyln, that helps! I hadn't even thought of them needing to check the incision site (duh!). I'd been planning on getting pj's since it seemed like they'd be a tad warmer (we're due in November), but I can see that a button-front gown would be much more practical. The pillow suggestion is also great, we have a few small pillows around that we haven't used in ages - finally a use for one of them!
Thank you again, your advice is very helpful for a first-timer like me!
All the best to you!
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#4 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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Hi, all~
This is sort of an odd question, but the knowledge and kindness on the board is so wonderful, I figured I'd just ask!

Our little one is breech at 36 weeks. We aren't giving up and are hoping he turns so that we can go ahead with the natural (Bradley) birth we want and have planned. However, if he doesn't turn I was wondering: For those of you who have had a C/S, what do you recommend we pack for the hospital? I've been reading up on how to make the C/S experience as positive as possible on several threads here, but so far as comfort, etc., I'm just wondering what types of pj's to bring (if it makes any difference?), what other comfort items people brought that they found especially helpful, etc. Or did most of you pretty much find that the same stuff you would bring for a vaginal delivery was sufficient? If it matters, I am planning to BF and we are going to a birth centre that is in a hospital but is supposed to be very supportive of allowing families to have as close to their "ideal birth" as possible.
Thank you all so much!
Okay here is a great tip, buy some really cheap tight underwear -- the granny panty kind. You can get them at the evil Walmart or Target and they have a spandex in them or some type of support. I didn't get this tip until last time from a mom on here. What a difference it made! It really seemed to support my incision site better, made me feel more comfortable, and they stayed in place. I am also a plus size girl so they made me feel slimmer too. Have a really good, easy to use, comfortable nursing bra. As for clothing. I love yoga pants with spandex and often wore these witha loose maternity top or nursing shirt during the day I had visitors and at home. For PJs, I bought some really comfortable knit PJs at a department store that were easy to pull up and pull down. With my first csection I was scared to stand upright and get up off the toilet to pull up my pants, with the next one, I just got easier pants with a drawstring (if needed) and just straightened my body out.

After surgery you can get either hot or cold. So I buy short sleeve PJs but have a robe or something to wear with it. I normally have people bring my comfort food, like chocolate! And if you like to drink tea, have some of your favorite tea bags on hand. Because I have an epidural, I sometimes get a tingly feeling in my feet and often some nice person will massage them. I also have gotten dry skin after surgery. Even with IV I feel like my skin is really dry so I have a nice lotion on hand. However, my face always feels greasy. I think that is hormones though. So I have a good foam cleanser or those cleansing pads to use while I am still in the bed. Bring your own pillows from home, the beds are murder! I also have my Boppy, which can be a life saver when you are trying to get comfortable to nurse.
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#5 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 05:17 PM
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flip flops/shower shoes... you are likely going to be there a few days and want to shower... just helps keep you from slipping
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#6 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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oops double post
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#7 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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Hmm. I was in no shape to worry about wearing anything other than the hospital gown until it was almost time to check out. I would not count on being able to put clothes on and off for a day or more after surgery; I also wouldn't count on being able to keep things clean. Surgical wounds can get messy, as can lochia (I don't know if you get lochia with a planned c/s but I had gone into labor so I had plenty of it). I really liked the mesh underwear they provide. I absolutely would not recommend putting tight synthetic underwear over a fresh incision, for reasons of both comfort and hygiene. The gowns at the hospital where I was had nursing openings, in fact they opened down all the way from the shoulder so I kept it that way most of the time which was especially helpful before I was able to sit up on my own, for sidelying nursing. I just wore two gowns, one on the front and one on the back, when it was time to get up and walk around the hall. I know a lot of people think it is degrading or something to wear the hospital's stuff, but like I said, I wasn't in a position to worry about it, and that stuff is designed to be easy on a person having mobility issues (which I very much did after my surgery). If you are going to bring something it should mimic those qualities, like a top or nightgown that you can just leave unbuttoned. Not the kind of nursing clothing that has specific little "openings" you have to mess with.

As far as keeping warm my main concern would be the legs and feet. Slippers, socks, long ones so you don't have to worry about pants, maybe legwarmers if there still is such a thing. Of course they do have blankets for when you are in bed. Once you are out of bed you may be able to put on pants, so in that case use the comfiest, loosest, easiest-on-the-waistline pants you have, be they pj/sweats/whatever. You may want a shawl for your shoulders - much easier to manuever in than a sweater or robe.

Another thing about having a c/s - this goes for every birth to an extent, but double for c/s. Plan for maximum privacy. Relatives can visit once you are home and well. Certainly noone should visit that you would not feel comfortable completely baring your breast in front of, because you do not want to have to worry about that when your ability to maneuver your body is already compromised. I'm not trying to scare you, but even if you have an easy section your ability to keep up your demeanor/appearance will be more affected than with a vaginal birth. The only people who should be given the expectation that they can visit are those you feel comfortable letting see you at your most tired and disheveled. For me that meant DH only.

I should also note that I checked into the hospital with nothing because it was an emergency transfer, stayed for 3 days, and I didn't really miss having my personal stuff until DH went home to retrieve it sometime late on day 2. In that situation it just wasn't a priority.
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#8 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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Surgical wounds can get messy, as can lochia (I don't know if you get lochia with a planned c/s but I had gone into labor so I had plenty of it).

Another thing about having a c/s - this goes for every birth to an extent, but double for c/s. Plan for maximum privacy. Relatives can visit once you are home and well. Certainly noone should visit that you would not feel comfortable completely baring your breast in front of, because you do not want to have to worry about that when your ability to maneuver your body is already compromised. I'm not trying to scare you, but even if you have an easy section your ability to keep up your demeanor/appearance will be more affected than with a vaginal birth. The only people who should be given the expectation that they can visit are those you feel comfortable letting see you at your most tired and disheveled. For me that meant DH only.
I wanted to comment on a few things, because an emergent situation or unplanned surgical birth is often much different than one that is planned, or anticipated ahead of time.

1) I hardly bled with any of my csections. I bled the longest with Katie, but there was no gushing blood at all. It was more like a lite to moderate period. Most of my bleeding occurred while breastfeeding, this tends to get worse the more children you have (my vaginal birthing friends have told me this too). As for the incision site, it shouldn't be too bad if you have been enclosed properly. I will highly recommend sutures, while there is a slight (and it is slight) increase with infection, there is less pain than with staples (i have had both), there seems to be less oozing, you will have a nicer looking incision site (this may or may not matter to you). Your nurses should check your incision and make sure it is not weeping badly or bleeding.

2) I have done the visitor thing both ways, extreme privacy with no visitors and open door policy. For my emergency csection I had no choice (long story) but for the other two I did. I really found it to be depressing to not have visitors. With my last birth I pretty much let it known that I wanted visitors (but no children unless they asked first) but that they should know I was breastfeeding and would be whipping my breasts out when needed.

3) I felt better wearing my own clothes, fixing my hair and making myself presentable. I didnt want to feel grimey or gross and wanted to "recover" and part of that recovery from surgery is to be able to get up and move and do things for yourself (slowly of course and sometimes with help). I usually do this within 17-18 hours of the birth.

I am sure some people do just want to be left alone, I sure did after my emergency csection, and I also stayed in hospital attire the entire time. Some folks do need a long time to process, grieve, deal with, and learn how to breastfeed unincumbered by outsiders. However the second time, I felt a lot more in control, doing things normally, wearing my normal clothes, and not being a "patient" perse. A lot of things will be based on your situation and your personality.
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#9 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Well, I'm not sure how I was supposed to make myself presentable when I couldn't even sit up. But just because I had a hard time physically doesn't mean I was grieving - I had a beautiful new baby!
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#10 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:32 PM
 
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A lot of things will be based on your situation and your personality.
I totally agree with this, particularly wiht respect to visitors. I've had one emergent and two scheduled sections. With all three, I hated the times I was alone in hospital. I find the hospital incredibly depressing, and I really needed company to distract me. I'm not even a person who likes having a lot of people around, but it was important to me after my sections. Once I was home, I could take or leave visitors (I refused the visit from the community health nurse last time) - but in hospital, I didn't want to be left alone at all.

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#11 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:37 PM
 
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For me, what I used after my c/sections were a night shirt (sometimes not possible with any iv) - a pair of boxer shorts - I hated not wearing anythign down there, but something that I didn't care really if I bled all over. Actually I had red ones. Socks. Hair ties. Boppy. Extra pillows from home (really comfy ones), a warm blanket (hospital blankets are always so thin)

I don't remember using anything else really.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#12 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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Well, I'm not sure how I was supposed to make myself presentable when I couldn't even sit up. But just because I had a hard time physically doesn't mean I was grieving - I had a beautiful new baby!
O, I wasnt refering to you, but felt I needed to say it since everyone thinks I am like yeehaw for csections and dont recognize that some folks grieve
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#13 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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a warm blanket (hospital blankets are always so thin)
Damn aint that the truth! I also had a blanket from home.
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#14 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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After my c/s the incision site would get irritated by underwear. I cannot explain why since the incision site was numb for months but during the week or so after the c/s there was some irritation or annoyance. I found using the hospital's sanitary pads inside my underwear along the incision site kept my underwear away from the incision. This made me much more comfortable. Actually when the OBs checked me they thought it was a pretty cool idea too.

But I am also glad you are not giving up hope that your little one could turn! My little guy was breech too. It's great you are preparing for any scenario you could face in the next few weeks!
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#15 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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I found using the hospital's sanitary pads inside my underwear along the incision site kept my underwear away from the incision. This made me much more comfortable.
I did this, too. It kept the area dry, which prevented anything from going on. I had a good friend whose wound dehisced (opened up), so I was very careful to make sure the area wasn't irritated, didn't stay wet (and thus get yeasty or anything), and I took it very easy for about a week.

I also agree about the visitors. Everyone stayed away to give me time to heal, and I was so lonely!! I definitely wanted people there.

I wore hospital clothes, even though I showered and got presentable. I was up in the shower at around 14 hours postpartum. I am naturally messy. Very messy. And, I didn't want any extra laundry to do when I got home.

We went home at 36 hours, which was a little early for my hospital. But, I was happy to get out of there. I wore a favorite skirt home, which was so easy to put on. That was nice.
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#16 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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I would second the suggestion for granny panties. I had a vertical skin incision so it always felt like my insides were going to spill out everywhere whenever I sat up. I wished that I had something like this to make the post-op period helpful.

I would also suggest that you not be afraid to tell anyone and everyone who is annoying the bejeebers out of you to please exit your room - either that or if you feel comfortable check out asap. The number one factor that undermined my ability to breastfeed were the 10,000 opinions I got on breastfeeding, it's benefits, and it's many drawbacks from the oodles of nurses that were in and out of my room on a semi-regular basis. My son's nurses were the WORST!

Sorry...I know that last one's not something you can pack in your hospital bag, but something you should keep in mind. Have you considered looking up a c/s birthplan online as well?
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#17 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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I would say Arnica homeopathic for you and baby! A abdomen wrap for when you are up to help keep the tummy in. you can use a wide 12inch piece of fabric that you can wrap around you 2X's. This will ensure the uterus has support while it is still enlarged adn takes pressure off the incission.
I would also bring a lactation herb tea because after a cesarean your milk can take up to 5 days to come in. Best wishes!

Kiya- Mama to 3 growing Son's. Waldorf joy.gifDoula  hug.gif  Making Recycled Woolens and Trainers every spare moment.
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#18 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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I second the granny panties they were most comfortable for me.

Also I really enjoyed having my body pillow. It made laying on my side alot easier specially if I had to cough.

Definitly get up and walk as soon as you can....you will feel much better...dont be afraid to ask for a stool softener either....I kept turning it down and when I finally couldnt stand the pain anymore I asked for it and within 12 hours I was feeling so much better...the less pressure on the incision the better.

If you dont already have a belly support band, you can ask them for a tummy binder if you find that moving around really hurts....it puts a grip of pressure on your stomach and keeps the are from moving and jiggling around.
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#19 of 61 Old 10-12-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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a warm blanket (hospital blankets are always so thin)
Oh, gosh - I'd have killed to need a warm blanket! I was stuck in a window in 30+ degree heat (that's Celsius), and sweated basically non-stop for three days straight. I only had the sheet pulled up to my pelvis, so the random parade of people weren't peering at me, and even that was too warm.

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#20 of 61 Old 10-13-2006, 12:18 AM
 
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in hospital, I didn't want to be left alone at all.
If you have a surgical birth or a complicated vaginal birth I dont think it is a good idea to be left alone. If you are left alone, some nurse could slip you drugs in your IV (like my aunt), intimidate you while you are tired, refuse to bring the baby to you if you are bound to bed due to surgery, and the list goes on. You should always have a strong advocate there for yourself if at all possible, one that is rejuvinated and can manage to let you rest and help you use your voice.

Kim
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#21 of 61 Old 10-13-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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I brought a package of Hanes Her Way cotton undies in one size larger than my prepregnancy size (the BEST for postpartum!), two thick fuzzy men's sweatsuits in my normal size (cause they are pretty stretchy) and a few pairs of warm socks (I had my baby in January 2004 and it was COLD that month!). I wasn't planning on having a C/S but everything I brought worked out perfectly! The sweatsuit allowed me to move freely without worrying about exposing by bits and pieces and the waistband was stretchy enough that the nurses were able to check my incision with no problem! It made me feel so much more normal to be in my own clothes - wearing a hospital gown made me feel too much like a patient!
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#22 of 61 Old 10-13-2006, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much!! Wonderful, wonderful advice - I truly appreciate it. I'm still hoping he turns so that I can go ahead with the unmedicated birth I'd hoped for, but if he doesn't, it's great to have so much helpful info to go into a C/S with. Hubby and I are making 2 birth plans - one for a C/S and one for a VB.

Your posts gave me some great things to think about - great b/c I'd much rather think about them now then once I'm in hospital. The visitors vs. no visitors one is a good example - I'm no good with hospitals, so I will definitely want visitors(!), and thinking about this now is great b/c I can be sure to tell everyone that I WANT them to come see me, even if I am recovering from a C/S.

Will wait till we know which we're doing, but I'm starting a list of things I may need...granny underwear will be at the top!
Again, thank you all so much, straight from my heart. Your wisdom is so appreciated!!
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#23 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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I am in the hospital right now recovering from my C-section the 12th.

After day one, and I had my IV and catheter out, I've been in regular clothes. To me it makes me feel SO much better. I don't have any trouble with excessive bleeding, but that can vary. My bleeding now 2 days out is about like that of a regular period. Also, my baby is in the NICU, so I need to get out of the room and walk around a lot, so having normal clothes was important to me.

I use the mesh panties from the hospital.

I tell my nurse to bring me my pain meds at night at the scheduled times. That way I don't sleep through a dose.

I bring my own toiletries because my hospital only provides toothpaste and a bar of soap.

I bring two pillows from home for me DH has one for him too.

New WOHM to DD8 and DD3
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#24 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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Beth I congratulated you on another thread, but wanted to say it here too. I am so happy for you and your family! What a blessing. I am sure Amy will be out of the NICU soon and you will all be home, as a family.
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#25 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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If you have a surgical birth or a complicated vaginal birth I dont think it is a good idea to be left alone. If you are left alone, some nurse could slip you drugs in your IV (like my aunt), intimidate you while you are tired, refuse to bring the baby to you if you are bound to bed due to surgery, and the list goes on. You should always have a strong advocate there for yourself if at all possible, one that is rejuvinated and can manage to let you rest and help you use your voice.

Kim
God forbid. Not some NURSE!

I am SO tired of the eternal assumption that the nurses in the hospital are there solely to sabotage birth plans, make breastfeeding difficult, cause pain, yada yada yada. Guess what? I just spent three days sitting on a very uncomfortable chair, 39+ weeks pregnant, to attend a conference in order to update my knowledge of lactation research -- you know, so I could BETTER support breastfeeding. Nurses are not the enemy here. There are systems in place that make it very difficult for nurses to practice our profession rather than protect hospitals from litigation. That's different.

I absolutely disagree with tight/synthetic panties over an incision. As a PP noted, air flow is extremely important to healing, because it keeps the area from becoming damp (sweat, serosanguinous discharge, any bleeding) and then macerated, which will delay healing and promote infection. Incisions need air. Wound healing research has repeatedly validated this.

I strongly suggest considering scheduling your meds through the night, so you don't wake up in pain. Also, request duramorph in your spinal or epidural -- good long-lasting pain control. And WALK! It will feel hideous. You need to do it. Really.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#26 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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I am SO tired of the eternal assumption that the nurses in the hospital are there solely to sabotage birth plans, make breastfeeding difficult, cause pain, yada yada yada. Guess what? I just spent three days sitting on a very uncomfortable chair, 39+ weeks pregnant, to attend a conference in order to update my knowledge of lactation research -- you know, so I could BETTER support breastfeeding. Nurses are not the enemy here. There are systems in place that make it very difficult for nurses to practice our profession rather than protect hospitals from litigation. That's different.
Nurses may not be the enemy, but the biggest favour they could do me while in hospital is go away. They don't listen to anything I say, and they drive me nuts. I hate having people hanging around and trying to "help" when I've already told them that I don't want or need their assistance (like the nurse who shoved a pillow under ds2 while he was nursing, causing him to break and re-latch badly when he had a perfect latch before-hand).

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I strongly suggest considering scheduling your meds through the night, so you don't wake up in pain. Also, request duramorph in your spinal or epidural -- good long-lasting pain control. And WALK! It will feel hideous. You need to do it. Really.
Think twice about duramorph. I hate that stuff. I'd rather be in a thousand times worse pain that itch like that. Unfortunately, with my third incision, the anesthetist put it in my IV without telling me - I'd told my OB that I didn't want it, but I expected to be told before it was administered (my previous anesthetist had warned me, but I didn't know at that time that it made me itch). I also don't like a lot of pain control - that's how I ended up twisting a staple last time, which resulted in poor healing and an infection.

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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#27 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Think twice about duramorph. I hate that stuff. I'd rather be in a thousand times worse pain that itch like that. Unfortunately, with my third incision, the anesthetist put it in my IV without telling me - I'd told my OB that I didn't want it, but I expected to be told before it was administered (my previous anesthetist had warned me, but I didn't know at that time that it made me itch). I also don't like a lot of pain control - that's how I ended up twisting a staple last time, which resulted in poor healing and an infection.
Duramorph doesn't go in the IV. That's part of the point.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#28 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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Stuff that's good for any hospital birth:

-socks
-comfy pillows
-loose pants or skirt to go home in
- your own soap/shampoo/toothpaste, the hospital stuff sucks
-underwear that you don't mind ruining if you don't like the mesh hospital panties, one size bigger than your pre-pregnancy size.
- your own pads, either cloth or disposable, once again, the hospital ones suck.

Specifically for a c/s:
-make those underwear granny panties. You don't want bikinis rubbing on your incision site!
-a Boppy or something similar. Makes just even holding the baby much easier
-if you want your own pjs, go with a gown, or something with a very loose waistband. (though personally, I prefer the hospital gowns. Easy to get in and out of, and I don't have to wash it when I go home! )
-something to read or work on-- crosswords, easy knitting, whatever, since you're likely to be there longer than with a vaginal birth and you probably will get bored at some point.

And I'm in total agreement with getting up to walk ASAP. It will not feel good at all in the moment, but definitely helps with recovery! Even if you just get up and walk over to a chair, sit down for a few minutes, then walk back to bed. Or walk to the bathroom. And take the pain meds (insist on ones that are safe for bf)! You don't want to be totally zonked out, but stressing over how much pain you are in isn't good for your recovery either.
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#29 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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My sister is a nurse, she is a former L&D nurse. I often have her with me for my hospital stays because she readily admits that if a doctor writes on a patients form that they can have XYZ, that the nurses will do it so they will have compliant patients and they will sleep at night so not to be bothered. So if you have an IV, and fall asleep and they see you are able to get X med, they can go and put in your IV without you even saying yay or nay -- because it was ordered. I can't count the number of times a nurse has brought me the wrong medication or tried to dose me based on something written on my chart. I have the right to deny or accept VERBALLY any medication on there.
I have been treated badly by nursing staff. With Katie I had a nurse try to intimidate me and tried to take my baby to the nursery without my consent for a sugar test. Finally my sister stoof up for me, indicated that she too was a nurse and that I was within my legal rights not to have the test performed on my child. (Because my babies have to have blood draws, I requested that if a sugar test needed to be done it could wait until the next draw, they just were not going to randomly stick my kid for blood) This so called "nice nurse" never came and checked on me or my baby again for the rest of the night, even though I had been having problems with my anest. from my SURGICAL birth. My sister was the one who checked my foley, emptied it, changed the pads on my bed, and even checked my blood pressure.
I love nurses! But they are trained to go with the grain of the hospital and follow the proceedures. The status quo so to speak.
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#30 of 61 Old 10-14-2006, 08:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Duramorph doesn't go in the IV. That's part of the point.
I actually knew that, but I forgot. I certainly couldn't tell at the time, because I didn't even know he'd put it in. So - he put it in my spinal without telling me - it doesn't really matter whether it went through my bloodstream or my spine.

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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