I’ve had two Caesarean Sections in the last seven years, and both were planned. They had a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences. My first caesarean section was at 36+5 weeks due to issues with my blood pressure and spinal pressure. I didn’t know what to expect, no amount of googling prepared me. It all seemed so surreal on the morning waiting to be prepped for theatre. They made me wear some support stockings after I had my hospital gown on. Wow they are awkward to get on! And so unattractive. I was told not to wear nail varnish or makeup, so I made sure I fake tanned the day before! I did also have my nails done and my toes pedicured, but hey, each to their own I guess. I didn’t want to feel totally rank.
I remember walking down to theatre and sitting on a large metal bed. It felt freezing. The anaesthetist explained the procedure of the anaesthetic, and I remember trembling. I have a phobia of needles in my spine after several lumbar punctures in the previous years. After a few attempts they put the spinal block in and lay me down whilst it started working. They then covered me up and fitted a screen, and then let my husband in.
Its all a little blurred to be honest now. I remember looking up at the lights and feeling like I was in a dream. The doctors kept chatting to me and my husband like this was normal. It was so not normal. We were going to be parents! I was petrified. Thy literally told me step by step as they were doing things; the incision, the bursting of my waters. They then said you can expect to feel a tugging sensation shortly. And that I surely did! It was the weirdest experience ever. I felt some tugging inside of me yet couldn’t actually feel it. It didn’t hurt though, not at all. And within minutes they told me my little boy was here and they swaddled him up and checked him over. Thy handed him to my husband who brought him over to me. He was scrumptious.
My little bundle of joy then got whisked away with his daddy whilst I was stitched back up, it was the longest 30 minutes of my life! I remember going back into the recovery room to see my husband and meet our little man properly, and it felt weird, odd, they literally left us to it. What do I do? So, I tried to feed him, unsuccessfully but I tried.
I was then taken back up on the maternity ward and filled with pain relief. They then washed me. I was totally numb, so that was a little weird. Dignity totally gone by now! I actually felt ok, and after 10 hours they got me up out of bed and walking around. I recovered really quickly, and was home 36 hours later, and shopping after being home 48 hours. My c-section healed really nicely and my stitches dissolved quickly. All in all it was ok and not as painful as I had anticipated. Laughing and coughing hurt though, so, so bad, but the more it hurt the more you laugh. And I won’t explain the post-baby poop you do, because my goodness, brace yourselves because it’s like squeezing a melon through a keyhole, that’s all I’m saying! They need to write this in birthing books, it’s quite an horrific part!
My second caesarean section, however, was not a good experience. Not at all. Seven days before my planned section I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle. Baby was fine but my ankle was not. I broke it in a place that wouldn’t heal if weight was put onto it, so I had to not use it at all. Can you imagine being nine months pregnant and trying to hop? It was vile. I couldn’t get up stairs or anything. It was 7 days from hell, and then I went in to have my section. It then got delayed by 2 days. I was an emotional wreck and in so much agony with my ankle it was unreal. Then the C-section happened, the spinal block and then the baby being born. All good. They then stapled me up instead of stitches and fitted a drain to stop infection. A whole new experience for me. What followed was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I think I was so high on the pain meds for my ankle that nothing touched the sides when it came to my caesarean wound. I was totally out of it yet it excruciating agony. I don’t really remember much of the first day or the visitors. I couldn’t get out of bed when I needed to. The drain hurt to be taken out on day 3, and I ended up in hospital for 6 days, and was still in agony. Once I was home I still then had my ankle boot cast on for 4 more weeks, so couldn’t start this new journey as I’d hoped. My staples hurt, even more so when I had to use one leg. And the post-baby poop -jeez! I will say though I was petrified of my midwife coming to my house and removing my staples, but it actually didn’t hurt at all.
With my first caesarean sectionI had never heard of post-contractions. and thankfully I didn’t get any, but with my second C-section I had contractions 7 days after my operation. I’ve never experienced anything like it, the staples did not help. After a few hours and an emergency phone call they settled. I wish somebody had warned me. So, here’s your warning.
So, there you go, two very different caesarean section experiences. The truth, no false bravado etc. A caesarean section is definitely not easy, but sometimes it is easier than other times. But it’s doable. Just talk to people who’ve experienced it and not just written a book about it.
Here’s a few necessities to remember when having a caesarean section (they’ll make you feel slightly less gross):
BIG HUGE comfortable underpants
Hope my truth about my caesarean section helped a little.