Thursday, December 1, 2011

the nitty gritty of my c-section

Having a c-section was not in my plan book. I am not sure what exactly I thought my plan book for having a baby was, but hearing that I would be having a scheduled surgery upset me, scared me and honestly kind of pissed me off.

I think the pissing off part was when I had to tell people when I was due in that last few weeks that I knew he would be coming on the 16th, oh scratch that, 19th when the doctors put me on the schedule. I felt like I had to clarify that he was breech and I wasn’t some vagina birth wimp. Most likely people weren’t even thinking about that when they asked my due date, but I tend to overshare.

But I was disappointed all the same. I wanted the baby to come when he was ready. HA HA how little I knew at that point. I started frantically looking into c-sections and breech babies once I found out my little guy would be making his entrance via knife instead of private lady parts. I had people tell me about c-section births by choice (baby was late) and not by choice (mama pushed and tried but no baby) or the old giant baby c-section. Some people thought a c-section was awful and others acted like it was no big deal. Perhaps I fall somewhere in between. I have nothing to compare it to and imaging stitches in my lady parts sounds much much worse than stitches at the top of my pubic area.

My sister laughed at my husband and told him that he would appreciate a c-section if he ever wanted to have another child or the act that created the first child. She had a baby both ways and kept telling me that it would be okay and I would be fine with the c-section after it happened. I tried not to doubt the older sister wisdom but it was hard to accept. I knew since he was breech that there wasn’t any choice but that didn’t keep me from wishing for something else.

All of that being said, my c-section didn’t exactly happen how it was planned out to happen and I pretty much got my natural birth (minus the whole pushing out the baby and getting stitches deal) on the baby’s timeline that I wanted.

When given the spinal tap, you are numb from the waist down. I could feel some sensation but not pain. Supposedly they stick you with a pin in the foot but they stuck me in the stomach area and honestly less than two minutes after the spinal was started I felt a little twinge but nothing else. I felt the pulling and tugging that they talking about but it was in a third person sense. The pulling and tugging I felt was not where they actually were pulling and tugging but I suppose where the baby was being moved around and pulled out.

After the baby was out, they started stitching me up and again I was so numb that we all just chit chatted while they did it. Kind of odd I suppose but I would rather that then just silence. I think at this point is when they put the catheter in since I don’t remember them doing it after surgery. The catheter was one thing I was nervous about.

Once taken back to the regular room they started removing and adding iv fluids and medicines. Then I was outfitted with battery powered leg compression things. Yes, it was as beautiful as it sounds. Also, noisy. By this time it was early morning and the spinal was still in full force. I was moved to a mother and baby room within a few hours which they would have taken me to right after surgery but they were completely full until around lunch time.

The nurses told me that I could feel itching as the spinal wore off but they had medicine they could give me. I didn’t start itching until late afternoon and it was minor, just a little here and there on my face. It was very similar to the itching that I feel after numbing from dental procedures.

The compression stockings were more annoying than anything simply because they were noisy and my legs got hot in them. I had to leave them on overnite and the battery of course started beeping in the middle of the nite right after we had fallen back asleep. They came off after twenty four hours.

I had the catheter in until the middle of the nite/early morning, so perhaps 18 to 24 hours. I was afraid that it would hurt but it was just one of those weird sensations that you go through in life like getting stitches out. Not painful just odd. An hour or so after the catheter was out, they removed the IV. Having the IV in my arm instead of the hand was so much better. I didn’t hit it on things like I had with a previous IV. It was a pain to hold L with it just because of the length of it and it seemed to get twisted all around me and him.

Once the catheter was removed it was a short amount of time until I needed to go to the bathroom. And wow. No one had mentioned to me that initial rising and how awful it would be. My nurse, who had the personality of a turnip, suggested that I hold a pillow against myself. When I stood up I thought I was going to fall over. There was such a burning sensation and intense pulling that you would think I hadn’t moved in weeks and that my gut was stretched taut instead of having post baby puff.

Later that morning I got a shower and I have to say that between the pain of the water hitting my boobs and the need to stand half bent in the shower, it was not the soothing experience that I thought it would be. I washed my hair and that was it. I remember muffling a wail when I tried to bend over and get something off the floor. I learned quickly that my toes could grab things just fine. Sitting down to go to the bathroom was painful also, so I sat as quickly as possible which could also be known as plopping yourself down without falling into the toilet. I think that was the moment I realized why there is that string to pull for help in the bathrooms at hospitals.

After the shower I put on regular clothes and by regular I mean loose and unattractive. They still hurt. When I came out of the bathroom after it taking longer to get dressed than the actual shower, I felt like I had run a marathon. A really awful – my arms were shaking, legs were queasy- marathon. My sister had warned me to get some big girl panties that were a bit high waisted but at that point I was still wearing those gauzey boy short things they give you. I know lots of people like them and say about stealing as many as possible from the hospital before you leave, but as someone who hates full underwear, they weren’t that great. By the time I left the hospital on Monday I was in regular aka big ass granny panties.

They checked the gauze and incision sight at the beginning of each shift, so maybe four times a day? It had a weird numb sensation which I assume is from the nerves being cut. I think that the numbness is pretty much gone now at ten weeks but it felt more normalish at around 8 weeks or so. The first time I put on regular jeans it was a really odd and uncomfortable sensation and I believe I was walking like a hunched up duck.

My sister had suggested getting a stepstool to get in and out of bed, which was a wise idea. Too bad I didn’t get one. It was extremely hard to get into a sitting position and I eventually used my bent leg to pull myself up with. At the beginning I had Brooks help pull me into a sitting position. That discomfort was definitely worse the first week after getting home and after three weeks I would say that I didn’t really notice it at all.

Then there is the broth and food situation. Somehow the movies always glamorize someone eating a big cheeseburger after they give birth. Um, I had beef flavored broth if that counts. The worst part? I had that damn broth for two days. Two days that really was longer since I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Thursday and I finally ate a meal on Saturday after I cried when they brought me broth. Broth for breakfast, broth for lunch and broth for dinner. FUN.

Want to know why I got broth for two days? To help lose the baby weight real quick? No. This girl didn’t fart and apparently there is a strict no farts no food policy.

After the nurse saw me crying to Brooks about no food again Saturday at dinner time I lied and said I farted so that I could get something to eat. Brooks offered to stink up the room with his own brew but I declined his offer. Seriously, when do you ever lie about farting? Word to the wise, I never farted the entire time I was at the hospital. What would they have done if I hadn’t told them I had? Withheld food until Monday when I was discharged?

So that is the nitty gritty of my c-section. Wondering anything else?


  1. I've never heard that about c-sections "no farts, no food"! I'm sure there's a very good medical reason but...really? I mean, what are you supposed to be farting if you haven't eaten in days anyway?

  2. Oh my goodness, what a day! I'm so glad that, in the end you are both home, healthy, recovering nicely, and getting into the new mom groove.