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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-02-2012 11:45 AM
prairie girl

Deleting my question about hospital bags as I found this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1338397/c-section-hospital-bag

12-14-2011 11:15 AM
Megan73
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Op here.  Thank you so much everyone.  I ended up not having a cesarean as scheduled only because I had a very fast labor and baby arrived before
anesthesiologist did.  Regardless I felt more prepared and less anxious knowing what to expect and I think this will be a great thread for other mamas who may be having a first cesarean. 

Sorry I missed your update. What great news. Congratulations on your new baby!
12-14-2011 11:13 AM
Megan73
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmulberry View Post

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

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

12-12-2011 07:21 AM
Caneel


What a great thread.  My emergency c-section was 6 years ago and I will share what I remember -
 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Was it enough time? Yes

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove 

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

 

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


 

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

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

 

12-12-2011 06:12 AM
Harmony96

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TIA :) 



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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

12-07-2011 03:30 PM
parsley

Congrats on your baby, APToddlerMama!

12-06-2011 08:58 PM
APToddlerMama

Op here.  Thank you so much everyone.  I ended up not having a cesarean as scheduled only because I had a very fast labor and baby arrived before

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

11-30-2011 07:01 AM
greenmulberry


I had to send my baby to the nursery at night so I could rest. I was in very bad shape after my c section due to days of sleep deprivation from the induction, and honestly, I don't think the baby was safe with me given my state of mind. I was pretty delirious with the sleep deprivation and pain meds.

 

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

 

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

11-28-2011 08:55 AM
CI Mama

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post


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

 

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

 

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

11-27-2011 02:56 PM
mamacolleen

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TIA :) 


 

11-25-2011 11:26 PM
WaitingForKiddos

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

11-25-2011 11:21 PM
WaitingForKiddos

Wow! This is such a great thread! I hope it becomes a sticky for other mamas!

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




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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Some other stuff...

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

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

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

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

 


11-25-2011 07:14 PM
dsb76

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

11-25-2011 12:39 PM
Storm Bride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post


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


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

11-25-2011 09:34 AM
AlexisT

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

 

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

 

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

11-25-2011 09:09 AM
cameragirl Most of the hospitals here have small nurseries, mostly used for eye and ear testing, and first baths. They don't normally keep babies in the nursery unless mom really needs to rest and requests it. The smaller hospitals don't have them at all. The hospital I'm birthing at is newer and for some reason has a huge nursery, but they really only use it for testing, as well. I was told that they'll likely be doing away with the nursery, or will downsize to a very small nursery soon.
11-25-2011 07:39 AM
Megan73
Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post


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

What I meant was, are there really hospitals that still have a "nursery" for healthy, term babies? I thought it was a thing of the past but clearly not.
11-24-2011 03:56 PM
alittlesandy


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post
I would really question this advice given all the research about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and early and often feeding to get breastfeeding established. Are there even hospitals willing to do this? It was never even an option after either of my hospital births,the latter a C-section.

 

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

 

11-24-2011 12:26 PM
Megan73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

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

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

11-23-2011 07:22 PM
McGucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

TIA :) 


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

 

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

 

11-22-2011 09:44 PM
A_Random_Phrase

Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

Night time parenting was the worst, so if you plan to do anything other than co-sleep plan on having someone there to get baby for you at night. I couldn't easily get out of bed, I was too stiff to move easily if I'd been sleeping, and reaching into the crib to get baby was hard.


My baby was in a bassinet next to my bed. The lady I was staying with disapproved of mothers sleeping with their babies, so I'd wait until she went to bed, then I'd take my baby out of the bassinet and sleep with her. A crib would have been a nightmare to get her out of.

 

11-22-2011 09:42 PM
A_Random_Phrase

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TIA :) 


My partner didn't take time off work. I stayed at a friend's house in town for a couple of weeks. She was not a close friend, but offered her place because I lived in the country on a rough road that I was afraid to travel on (because of pain-potential). A best friend came and stayed for several days, helping me. She even went to bat for me when I ran out of pain pills and they resisted giving me another bottle (I didn't like the way they made me feel so I was lackadaisical about making sure I had another bottle, but I didn't like the pain either. I ended up taking only one or two of the pills she got for me because of the way they made me feel). I didn't take them for longer than three days.

 

I only had the one child. It was probably 4-6 weeks before I felt normal. By two weeks, I was well enough to travel the rough road to home.

 

In the hospital, I didn't want to bother anyone, so I waited until I began to feel pain before I asked for a pain reliever. By then it was "the changing of the guard" and I had to wait another half hour or more. I was in agony by the time I got the meds. I would recommend that you ask for it as soon as you feel the slightest twinge, if you are not on a schedule.

11-22-2011 04:17 AM
JollyGG

I haven't read all the responses, but I would plan on having help right after birth. Night time parenting was the worst, so if you plan to do anything other than co-sleep plan on having someone there to get baby for you at night. I couldn't easily get out of bed, I was too stiff to move easily if I'd been sleeping, and reaching into the crib to get baby was hard.

 

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

11-22-2011 01:17 AM
Realrellim I had two and each was a little different in terms of recovery.
Quote:
How much time did your partner take off of work after your cesarean or how long did you have help from someone else? Was it enough time? Did you have older children to care for as well?
The first time he took off four weeks. He'd planned to regardless of the type of birth though, and had sick time and all saved up for it. My oldest spent a week in the NICU after she was born, and I spent most of the week in the hospital myself (emergency c-sec due to severe and sudden pre-e). We didn't have any other kids at the time.

For my second, he was off five or six weeks, again all planned, this time with an older child to care for too. It was enough time (maybe a little too much). lol.gif:

Seriously though, I would have wanted help during the day of some kind for at least the first two weeks.
Quote:
How long did it take before you were able to do dishes, laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, bend over, etc?
I could bend over fairly soon both times--maybe after a week or so? Laundry was fine so long as I didn't have to actually carry the basket. DH would bring the clothes to me, I'd sort them into piles while sitting on the floor, he'd carry them downstairs and either I'd actually go down and dump the detergent in or else he'd start it. I could fold all the stuff into the baskets afterward, but I left them for him to carry up until I was at least 5-6 weeks pp. I didn't bother cooking at all either time (ditto for dishes). I think I might have been vacuuming around 4 weeks pp or maybe sooner both times, but I don't remember.
Quote:
How long did it take until you felt totally back to normal and could resume all activities?
That depends. I felt normal enough around 4-6 weeks pp, and I started running again at 6 weeks pp the second time around. The first time I started walking at 6 weeks and running at 8 weeks. Mostly, I felt pretty comfortable by 4 weeks in, but if I pushed too hard I'd find myself bleeding red which is supposed to be a sign that you're overdoing it. I'm not sure I bought it because I felt fine, but I went with the advice to back off a bit. I think I felt completely and totally normal 6 months later or so (i.e., my scar no longer had little numb spots and I didn't feel weird twinges down there--though I have no idea whether people who have vaginal births sometimes feel like their bodies are resettling themselves into place afterward), but the difference between then and 6 weeks was pretty minor.
Quote:
How long were you in pain for and how long did you need to take painkillers for?
The first time I took painkillers for about a week. I'd forget sometimes, and I was basically taking a combination of a stronger tylenol (percoset maybe?) plus regular advil. The stronger meds made me sick and seeing as I'd spent 9 months throwing up, I found throwing up to be much worse than any pain.

The second time I had a similar med combo and I think I took pain meds for a good month. A lot of this was because my incision didn't close properly the second time, so I had a spot in the middle that needed to be wet-packed twice a day for a couple of weeks. That hurt. If not for that, I probably would have not bothered with pain meds as long.

BTW, the worst of the pain is in the first few days. The first day of my first c-section, I felt fine as long as I stayed perfectly still. Moving hurt considerably. This was mostly true the second time around, though I was more comfortable and managed to walk into the bathroom about 10 hours after the operation itself. Days 2 and 3 are pretty uncomfortable, and after that things start to improve. Walking helps recovery, but go easy and don't try to push yourself too much.
11-21-2011 07:46 PM
CatsCradle

Hi OP.  I think it is going to vary widely depending on a lot of different factors.  For me, there were a few factors that I think allowed me to recover quickly.  The following is strictly based on what I think allowed my own quick recovery, but I don't think it is the norm based on what I've heard of others' experiences.  I went into labor six weeks early and DD was breech and I think too that my OB/GYN was a little concerned about my advanced maternal age (I was 42 at the time), all of which led to the cesarean.  I went through some other types of surgeries in my youth, so I wasn't particularly nervous about the cesarean, although the whole situation did take me by surprise.  My own OB/GYN did the procedure and I remember it happening fairly quickly and then crying when he handed DD to DH and then me.  The hospital that I was in was super pro-breastfeeding and within hours there were lactation specialists helping me out with DD.   DD was so tiny that it was difficult for her to latch at first, but they kept me at it and it turned out to be a successful venture!   That aside, I was walking around the next day and released after three days, but DD had to stay an additional night because of jaundice.  DH and I were both devastated about leaving her for a  night and we stayed as long as we could and then came back early the next day.

 

Regarding physical recovery:  I don't know why it was so quick and easy for me.  I was a long distance runner for years prior and perhaps part of it was good overall physical shape.  Part of it may be that my OB/GYN was/is good at what he does.  Part of it may be that me and my kin can recover fairly quickly from trauma (my dad for instance, recently almost completely severed his thumb in an accident and to the surprise of all, he is recovered and has full use of his hand).  Sometimes I think it was because I experienced very little stress from not being full term or going into excessive labor.  There are just so many reasons that could have possibly contributed to quick recovery that I don't really want to pinpoint one.  I was on codene (sp?) for about three days post-op, and then did tylenol after that for a week or so.  It probably took me about two weeks to feel my former strength (although I tended to be a little more cautious when lifting).  I would say that after a month I was exercising again regularly and I was working full time by six weeks.  The only lingering effects are problems with incontinence (which may or may not be related to the cesarean) and some fairly painful cycles since then (which may be related to perimenopause or scarring of the uterus, I don't know).  

11-21-2011 06:09 PM
Storm Bride

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

I was 17 when ds1 was born.  He came 14 days after his due date.  I was induced and in labor for 44 hours when the OB called time and wheeled me to the OR.  It was quite unhurried and not at all medically indicated.  I had an epidural from labor and they just upped it and cut ds out.  It was a Friday afternoon and I was home Sunday morning.  I was caring for my dying mother and two little sisters and by Wednesday afternoon I was back on full duty.  I took no pain killers after leaving the OR.

 

I was 25 when I had ds2.  He came 17 days after his due date.  Labor started naturally and I went 5 hours (before the on-call OB decided I was nutso for trying to VBAC and called CPS.  My choice was have another section or birth vaginally and have my baby sent to a foster home.)  This surgery was also unhurried.  I was not given a choice for an epidural, so I had general anesthesia.  After leaving the OR, I had one dose of extra-strength Tylenol, which I only took because after-pains while nursing were pretty bad.  The delivery was in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning.  I was home on Saturday, early afternoon.  The next day I drove my 7yo ds and the new baby to the grocery store, shopped for a full weeks' worth of food, bagged it, and loaded it into the trunk of car, took it home, unloaded it, and cooked dinner.

 

Both times, I took no narcotics and was back on full duty in under a week.  Not necessarily by choice, but a mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do, yk?



Editing, because I realized I was projecting, because of things other people have said to me, and I took the above post completely the wrong way.

 

I will say that, after several of my sections (probably not all of them), I wouldn't have been capable of loading groceries,etc...even if I'd been capable of waking around the grocery store in the first place, which I wouldn't put money on. Recoveries vary wildly.

11-21-2011 05:31 PM
blessedwithboys

I was 17 when ds1 was born.  He came 14 days after his due date.  I was induced and in labor for 44 hours when the OB called time and wheeled me to the OR.  It was quite unhurried and not at all medically indicated.  I had an epidural from labor and they just upped it and cut ds out.  It was a Friday afternoon and I was home Sunday morning.  I was caring for my dying mother and two little sisters and by Wednesday afternoon I was back on full duty.  I took no pain killers after leaving the OR.

 

I was 25 when I had ds2.  He came 17 days after his due date.  Labor started naturally and I went 5 hours (before the on-call OB decided I was nutso for trying to VBAC and called CPS.  My choice was have another section or birth vaginally and have my baby sent to a foster home.)  This surgery was also unhurried.  I was not given a choice for an epidural, so I had general anesthesia.  After leaving the OR, I had one dose of extra-strength Tylenol, which I only took because after-pains while nursing were pretty bad.  The delivery was in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning.  I was home on Saturday, early afternoon.  The next day I drove my 7yo ds and the new baby to the grocery store, shopped for a full weeks' worth of food, bagged it, and loaded it into the trunk of car, took it home, unloaded it, and cooked dinner.

 

Both times, I took no narcotics and was back on full duty in under a week.  Not by choice, by circumstance.

11-21-2011 10:24 AM
APToddlerMama

What a great thread!  Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences.  It is good to know what to expect and that there is a huge range of possible experiences. 

11-21-2011 08:14 AM
alittlesandy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsb76 View Post


I had a C-S about a week and a half ago so it is all fresh in my mind.  While I was in the hospital I was given Toradol (like IV motrin) every 6hours - that worked the best for my pain and small doses of dilaudid and then percocet for breakthrough pain.  I really try not to take pain medication but I found it really important to stay ahead of the pain (otherwise I couldn't move out of bed).  It was also really important that I emptied my bladder really frequently or the pain was unbearable - oh and the stool softeners were very important as well - I was famished after the surgery and by day 2 I felt like I could barely breath because I hadn't gone to the bathroom in 3 days.  I had my husband or my mother stay overnight with me during my entire hospitalization to help out (and the other would watch my 2 year old at home) and I wasn't even rooming with my babies (they were in the NICU).  I was still in a fair amt of pain when I was discharged after 4 days but was able to stop the percocet after about 7 days post op.  Most pain was when trying to get up out of bed, out of a chair, out of the car.  I used a belly binder starting about 3 days post op and that helped a lot with my mobility.  I did have staples which didn't start bothering me until day 4 (pulling pinching sensation) but I had them out day 6 so it doesn't bother me now.  So far no separation.

 

My husband went back to work yesterday (10 days post-op) and I am able to do most things on my own (dishes, laundry) though I have enlisted the help of my mother for help with dd1.  My babies are still in the NICU and she plans to spend a lot more time at my house when they come home (hopefully in the next 2-3 days).


I am in this stage right now - I am almost 2 weeks out and I physically feel able to do basic things like chores etc.  It is really hard for me not to pick up my 2 year old (though I know I shouldn't), I've resumed driving, I am occasionally take a motrin but off of percocet.  I do feel a lot more physically drained/tired by the early afternoon/evening.  While I wake up every 3-4 hours to pump I am able to get some quality rest time which will likely end once my babies are home.

 

I have never had any major surgery so I had no idea what to expect.  I still don't know what to expect as far as the rest of my recovery and I am still mentally trying to come to terms with some of the issues I had with this pregnancy (also probably not the best mind set for recovery) so I am also really glad for this forum.

 

Congratulations on your twins! Hope they get to be home with you soon. Glad to hear you have help.

 

11-20-2011 07:29 PM
dsb76


I had a C-S about a week and a half ago so it is all fresh in my mind.  While I was in the hospital I was given Toradol (like IV motrin) every 6hours - that worked the best for my pain and small doses of dilaudid and then percocet for breakthrough pain.  I really try not to take pain medication but I found it really important to stay ahead of the pain (otherwise I couldn't move out of bed).  It was also really important that I emptied my bladder really frequently or the pain was unbearable - oh and the stool softeners were very important as well - I was famished after the surgery and by day 2 I felt like I could barely breath because I hadn't gone to the bathroom in 3 days.  I had my husband or my mother stay overnight with me during my entire hospitalization to help out (and the other would watch my 2 year old at home) and I wasn't even rooming with my babies (they were in the NICU).  I was still in a fair amt of pain when I was discharged after 4 days but was able to stop the percocet after about 7 days post op.  Most pain was when trying to get up out of bed, out of a chair, out of the car.  I used a belly binder starting about 3 days post op and that helped a lot with my mobility.  I did have staples which didn't start bothering me until day 4 (pulling pinching sensation) but I had them out day 6 so it doesn't bother me now.  So far no separation.

 

My husband went back to work yesterday (10 days post-op) and I am able to do most things on my own (dishes, laundry) though I have enlisted the help of my mother for help with dd1.  My babies are still in the NICU and she plans to spend a lot more time at my house when they come home (hopefully in the next 2-3 days).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

The next four weeks (from 2 weeks to 6 weeks) are the danger period. You're quite likely to feel as though you're basically back to normal...but you aren't. I've hurt myself at least once in that period after every c-section, because I feel as though I'm more or less back to normal, but I'm still physically recovering. It's also really, really, really easy to misjudge my stamina, so i'll go to pick up a couple things at the grocery store, and then end up doing a biggish shopping trip, and be completely and utterly exhausted by the time I'm done. Try hard not to push too hard in that time, as it's very easy to get impatient, and you really will bounce back better if you don't overdo it.

 


I am in this stage right now - I am almost 2 weeks out and I physically feel able to do basic things like chores etc.  It is really hard for me not to pick up my 2 year old (though I know I shouldn't), I've resumed driving, I am occasionally take a motrin but off of percocet.  I do feel a lot more physically drained/tired by the early afternoon/evening.  While I wake up every 3-4 hours to pump I am able to get some quality rest time which will likely end once my babies are home.

 

I have never had any major surgery so I had no idea what to expect.  I still don't know what to expect as far as the rest of my recovery and I am still mentally trying to come to terms with some of the issues I had with this pregnancy (also probably not the best mind set for recovery) so I am also really glad for this forum.

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