Ha!! Elective caesarean!!
I had one of these with my third child and it didn't turn out quite as planned!!
I knew I had to have an elective caesarean as I had already had 2 with my previous children. I went to see my doctor in March and we discussed possible dates etc for me to go in, but we decided to wait a while untill at least the end of the month to have more of a rough idea.
I started having mild contractions and went to the hospital for observation. They gave me the date of the 4th April to go in for my section! woohoo we had a date!! All things going well, baby should be here very soon!! I went home and went on a mad cleaning spree and got everything ready.
4th April ~
I grabbed my bag and me and hubby went to the car, we drove up and I went into the maternity ward, I was to be the first that morning, so they immediatly gowned me up, gave me my meds and started on the paper work!
I was then called down to theatre........
I walked in, around me all I could see were doctors and nurses all dressed in blue, on the table in front of me I could see all the glistening surgical tools.
And I burst into tears and walked out!!
I couldn't, wouldn't go back in!
I should explain, my last section hadn't gone well and I had nearly died in the very same theatre!
Freaked me out a little lol!
I worked myself up into such a state they sent me home!! I was to my doctor the next day.
He gave me 17th April, the surgeons were under strict instructions to hide the tools!!
I had him on the 17th with no problems and the nurses were all cheering lol!!
Never again though!!
It's really not that bad though. You can opt to be awake for the op or asleep with all 3 I have been awake.
I was given an epidural or spinal block which effectivley numbed me from the waist down. They place a big sheet in front of you, to obstruct your view from the yuckiness and then they get on with the job in hand.
Whilst you are laying on the table, they usually make a small inscisson across your bikini line area. The cut is only about 8 inches long and this is sufficient enough to get the baby through!
You will feel a weird sensation, often likened to someone doing the washing up inside your belly! You can feel the rummaging around, moving bit's out of the way etc.. It's not the most pleasant of feelings in the world but it's not the worse either.
There's no pain as you are numb but it feels as though it should hurt if you know what I mean lol!!
After a few minutes (which actually feel like hours) the baby is lifted out, this gives a big tugging sensation and you just know that baby is out!
A midwife will pop around the side of the big green curtain and give you a little grin! The surgeon will shout over 'it's a boy' or 'it's a girl' and all being well the midwife will bring baby over wrapped up in a towel and place them by your head where you have to squint and try to twist to see baby.
Whilst the surgeon get's busy putting you back together lol, the baby will be cleaned up and weighed etc, all to the side of where you are laying.
It's all over so very quickly and then you are taken through to the recovery room, where you are left to recover and spend a bit of time alone with your new baby. Mind you, all you really feel like doing is sleeping!
After a while, you will be wheeled in your bed up to the ward and baby will be brought up alongside you.
When the feeling starts to come back into your body you may experience a hot burning pain, but you are given pain killers to try and help the pain.
I have been told that this mainly happens if you have had more than one section and to be fair it's not something I would argue with!
I felt no after pains with my first, but with the other two I very much did!
I am quite stubborn and feel the need to leave hospital asap! Not that I have any complaints about how I was treated or anything, I just feel so much more comfortable in my own home, as I expect we all do.
After the 3 sections I have had with 24 hours I feel fit and ready to go home, although they like you to stay longer.
With my second son, I had a really bad bleed when the surgeon burst a blood vessel, it was quite scary and I very nearly died, not that I knoew until the surgeon came to see me hours later practically in tears to apologise....... Bless him.
The recovery period is about 6 weeks before you can do any lifting etc or exercise, but generally you start to feel much better within a week.
Be careful laughing/coughing/sneezing at first as it does pull on your scar, hold something against it, it won't feel as bad then!
My intention here is not to write about the actual procedure of the c-section operation but my experience of having gone through both an emergency & elective one. For those wanting to know more about the actual op I'd suggest looking at any good baby birth book or for those wanting specific details consult a medical book. All I'll mention here is scapels, womb, uterus & stitches!
I have 2 beautiful daughters who (thank God ) are healthy, intelligent, kind & I count my blessings everyday that they arrived into the world with the help & intervention of a great medical team.
I was registered as a 'geriatric' mum (over 30 at the time!) & was booked in at St Mary's Hospital which is renowned for it's fantastic pre-natal, post-natal, neo-natal pioneering work & lucky for me was within walking distance from my home.
My first c-section came as a complete & utter shock. I had purposely not read any literature on caesarians never thinking it would apply to me. After having had a lovely, stress-free pregnancy & enjoying every minute I though baby would come out the normal way!
I had a 20 hour labour which I have to say wasn't too bad (until the end) as I'd asked my Mum to be my birthing partner (hubby too squeamish & impatient lol!) & so together we went through half a canister of gas & air & giggled our way through many hours. I didn't feel the need for any other painkiller & met loads of staff I would never have met as they changed shifts.
The further labour went on & when the nurses took away the gas & air (Mum & I got told off for 'being silly!) the pains got worse, I was hardly dilated & finally we were told a c-section had to be carried out as baby (& me) were showing signs of distress.
Next thing I knew I was'out of it' & when I woke up I was in my own room with baby 1 next to me in her hospital cot. I truly couldn't believe how lucky I was - she was perfect in everyway & weighed a good 6lb 12 oz.
I bonded with her straightaway & held her for many hours whilst having various doctors, nurses,anaesthetists & the (dreaded) physio. I had to have a little help feeding her & holding her as I was very sore where the stitches pulled & found I couldn't stand erect for a few days but I didn't heed the pain nor get upset at an infection I got immediately afterwards - all my concentration was on this precious new life her Dad & I had created.
After a week we were both discharged - nearly Christmas & my Mum had decorated the tree to welcome us come - it's made Christmas even more important in my lfe.
In 1990 we found to our delight that I was expecting baby no 2. I'd been told that I'd have to have a section as my pelvis being too small to ever give birth naturally. At about 8 months this baby was said to be placenta previa - this meant she was actually sitting on the placenta which could have come away at any time. I was told to go on bedrest in hospital as (even though I lived 5 minutes away) if the placenta came away I may lose the baby/my life or both.
When gestation was complete the doctor came in with her diary & we arranged the 26th March which happened to be Easter that year. She took me through the procedure & when I asked if I could stay awake for this op it was decided not as there was a chance they may have had to do a hysterectomy depending on the placenta's position.
The next day I was wheeled away to my own room, told not to eat or drink anything after 8pm as I was the 1st on 'the list'. I took a few long baths (woke up at 3am!) popped on the sexy hospital gown & away I went. I couldn't stop laughing as I tried to climb on the operating table & the next thing I remember was waking up a few minutes later looking at my newest daughter. This time I wasn't so groggy & held her almost straightaway & bonded immediately.
In some respects the 2 events were similar but there were fewer physical problems with the elective section - eg the original wound was re-opened so less pain & I wasn't so exhausted as I hadn't gone through any labour.
With support from hospital staff, hubby, family & friends I was soon up & about & for all them who helped me all I can say is I'll eternally grateful.
Although it was a case of having 2 operations (still classed as 'major) I never for one minute regretted not going through full labour & I thank my lucky stars all turned out well in the end.
I have decided to write this after looking at some things in the dooyoo lounge.
I am going to try and give some facts and some personal experience as it is a major operation (which some don't see it as)
---------------------------- what is a Caesarean Section -------------------------
A caesarean section is a procedure in which a baby is delivered by cutting through the front wall of the abdomen to open the womb.
Babies born by caesarean (C-section) come out through incisions in your uterus and abdomen. If you decide to have a caesarean, or, more likely, you're advised to have one in advance of labour, it's called an 'elective' caesarean.
One that takes place after you've already gone into labour is called an emergency caesarean.
Some may have heard of the phrase too posh to push after apparently Victoria Beckham chose to have a C Section. I personally won't comment on things like this because having a C Section is a major operation and I can't understand why anyone would just choose to do this if there were no problems or had been no problems.
I had a C Section with my 2nd and 3rd child because my first child died soon after child birth so I was not going to take any chances; I didn't want to end up having an emergency C Section as there are far more risks if this is to happen to both mother and child.
People seem to think a C Section is an easy choice (I believe this is a minority) well if you have a normal birth you can go home the same day so that is a huge plus for me, if you have a section you are supposed to stay in hospital 4 days (3 nights) although I think if everything is ok they will let you out after 2 nights.
People have sections for different reasons apparently the main ones are
Your baby's head is too large to fit through your pelvis
The shape or size of your pelvis makes a vaginal birth more difficult
The placenta is lying low in the uterus (placenta praevia), blocking your baby's exit
You're expecting twins or triplets (one of whom may be in a difficult position)
Your baby's lying across the uterus, or is breech (bottom or feet first)
Once labour has begun, your baby becomes distressed (suffering from a lack of oxygen) and isn't far enough down the birth canal for forceps or ventouse
You have eclampsia or severe pre-eclampsia
You're ill, have high blood pressure, or become exhausted in labour
The night before my op I had to take some tablets, and couldn't eat from about 10.30 pm, I was told these were to reduce stomach acid and I had to take some more at 6am so I set my alarm took them and went back to sleep.
Before the op you have to make sure you have no jewellery on and no nail polish. I had painted my toe nails the first time and it had to be taken off. (something to do with the nails are the first thing to change colour if things are going wrong like blood pressure dropping etc - I think)
--------------------------------------The Op -------------------------------------------
If possible the anaesthetic you will be given will be an epidural or spinal block so you can stay awake during the procedure. This will be an elective caesarean.
This means the mother will be conscious throughout the procedure and will be able to hold the baby soon after it is born. The partner or someone else can be present if they wish, and will have to wear hospital gowns throughout. Occasionally, a general anaesthetic is used. I read if an epidural doesn't take and it is given 3 times and still doesn't take that you have to be given a general which would mean you wouldn't be awake during the operation.
They used to shave some of the pubic hair before going into theatre, now they don't (or at least the hospital near me doesn't) unless you have had a previous section where they shaved you and the hair has grown back then they will need to as they cut along the scar. Personally I think it is better that they do shave, that way you can not see the scar because it will be covered and if they didn't they would have to cut you further up towards your stomach.
A catheter will be fitted so that the bladder will be empty and not get in the surgeons way. When I had my first section this was done along with the shaving before going to theatre with my second it was done in theatre and I am not sure if it was done once I had had the spinal.
When I was in theatre (I had my partner there who looked quite funny in a gown and hat which he had to wear). I had to sit on the edge of the operating table and lean as far over as I could, this was obviously a bit difficult as I had a big belly which wasn't normally there. With my first section the needle went in no problem, with my second there was some problem and they couldn't get the needle in, they had to change it for a bigger needle twice. On the third attempt all I could think of was if this one doesn't work no way are they putting me to sleep they will have to rebook me in on another day. Luckily it worked.
Once the injection had been given I had to lie down the effects are quite quick but to make sure they pour something cold probably water over your legs and on your belly and ask if you can feel it. They also rub some yellow stuff over your belly, I have been told it is some sort of iodine solution. Once I couldn't feel it and they were sure I was numb from the waist down they could start.
They put a screen up across your waist so you can't see what is happening. They make a cut in the lower abdomen and start cutting through the 6 layers of skin fat and muscle. As this is happening you can feel pulling and tugging and it doesn't feel as though they are being gentle. With my 2nd C Section I was trying to see what was going on as above the bed there was a light in the ceiling that was metal.
My husband also said they were really pulling. They put some clamps or something on the insision to pull back the skin and widen the cut, during the procedure suction and gauze is used to blot the blood and fluid that is building up.
When I had my first section they pulled my daughter out and held her up and all I remember seeing was little purple feet they then whipped her away to check her over wrapped her in a sheet and then I got to hold her. With my second they whipped her away before we even got a glimpse, they brought her back fully dressed (we had had to take some clothes in). Times change.
Although you don't feel any pain you do feel something when they are stitching you back up.
-------------------------------- the recovery ----------------------------------------
The first time I had my own room for the first night which was good. I couldn't get out of bed and had to ask for my daughter to be passed to me. I pressed the buzzer in the morning to tell them I wanted to get up for a shower etc and was told they would come and take the catheter out soon, I wasn't impressed that I missed breakfast as I was starving I hadn't ate for over 24 hours, I had to remind them again and it was getting on for 1pm before they took it out and I was able to go for a shower, I was a bit unsteady on my feet but soon improved. Personally I didn't have much pain relief it was one you were allowed to administer yourself through IV you just pressed the top and it went into you.
With my second when you were in bed they put these electic things on your legs that vibrated every 10 minutes,(this is to reduce the risk of blood clots) so I didn't get much rest and pulled at the wire until the plug came out of the wall a bit but they soon found out and plugged in back in. They took the catheter out at about 5.30 am as I was awake, I wanted to go for a shower but they wouldn't let me until they had brought me some toast to eat. After I had showered they made me put some special socks on which further help to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Although when you first walk it is painful it does become easier each time you walk. Again I didn't have much pain relief this time it was paracetomol and ibrufopen. Some people can suffer quite badly with trapped wind. Around the wound it will be quite sore if anything touches it so you need to wear loose clothing. My stomach was quite bruised around the cut. You can not drive for 6 weeks and shouldn't attempt to pick anything up heavier than your baby as you need to give time for the stomach muscles to heal, even laughing and coughing hurts. I had disolving stitches with both mine but some people have to have their stitches removed, I think the midwife can do this at home after about 5-7 days.
Your stomach will never be the same after having a section the nerves and muscles are damaged.
But hopefully it was worth it, some people get disappointed that they have to have a section personally this annoys me a little bit as they need to think they had the section to make sure them and the baby were ok, so they should be happy if everything went ok.
For me it was the right decision to have both my girls my elective caesareans, it might take a bit longer to recover but I didn't care I was just so happy my girls were ok.
I came home after 3 nights in with the first and after 2 with my second
Having spent months planning my 'perfect' birth, it seemed like a good idea to attend a hypnobirthing course to prepare me for the natural experience I craved.
My relaxation cd got plenty of use and I religously practised my breathing excercises. So as you can imagine the thought of a c section had not exactly entered my childbirth radar. In fact, if Im honest the very idea of a c section had always petrified me so I hadnt even researched it, and was living in blissful ignorance that I would not need one.
To me, c sections equalled the stressful, crash team scenes I had seen on tv!
The pregnancy was a breeze and everything was great, until a routine check at 38 weeks showed my blood pressure had shot up and there were traces of protein in my urine (sorry tmi).
I was kept in hospital for two nights while my blood pressure was monitored, but when it continued to shoot through the roof, the medical experts thought it would be best to induce me.
So that wasn't what I wanted, but I stayed positive imagining I could still have a natural labour and birth. My waters were broken artificially and I was hooked up to a monitor and drip, which is when I realised my chances of things going to plan were diminishing rapidly!
I had imagined candles, music, a birthing ball and dimmed lighting. Yeah right!!!
Anyway after several hours of nothing much happening, my consultant suggested a c section, citing that he thought my baby could be distressed. I resisted for a bit, but I was exhausted due to days of sleep deprivation and had realised by now I would not have the 'perfect' birth, so I consented.
And thats when I had to inform my poor hubby who was at home with no idea that I had even been induced, and suddenly it was all go and he had to be there for the operation in 30 minutes time!
I was shaved and put in a hospital gown, and offered a deliciously disguting saline solution to settle and prep my tummy. I told the midwife it would come straight back up and she told me to just think of it as a alcoholic shot. I tried but immediately threw up the horrible concoction. Apparantly I was the only person she had worked with who couldent keep the stuff down!
Next thing I was waddling to theatre where I was introduced to a team of people including the anaesthesist, his assistant, two midwifes and my surgeon. The anaesthesist in particular was amazing and he had an aura of calm that meant it was impossible for me to feel overly anxious. Of course there was a slight fear of the unknown and unplanned, but for the most part I was calm and relaxed.
Hubby arrived in a flap and we were all set to go. The spinal block was applied and felt like cold water trickling down my back. It was odd but not unpleasant and before long my back just felt tingly. The next stage was to do the ice cube test whereby an ice cube was rubbed across my tummy until I could feel the pressure but not the cold. This is when its time to start the main work.
I lay back and concentrated on my breathing and chatted to hubby about something random, while a screen was put up. Next thing I felt some pulling and tugging and assumed they had just made the incision but that was followed by a high pitched scream and the baby was out!!! I had felt no pain, and was quickly handed this beautiful creature who stopped crying as soon as I held her.
Within seconds they started sewing me back up, and this is when I thrust my new baby to my bewildered hubby as I felt so nauseus that I needed to throw up.
Meanwhile my poor confused other half had handed the midwifes a bag of old towels (meant for the charity shop) which he had mistakenly taken to hospital in his rushed attempt to bring my hospital bag!!!
After being wheeled to the ward I was given painkillers and left alone to enjoy time with my little family. I had a catheter inserted and was unable to move at all. Breastfeeding was difficult as I found it impossible to shuffle up in the bed but it was the next day when the pain set in.
When the meds and anaesthetic wore off I was expected to get up and walk around and this was very sore. My legs felt like jelly and bending down to sit on the loo was awful.
I really dont want to put anyone off but am just reliving my own experience and in all honesty you are so overwhelemed and in love with this new little person that the pain seems pretty insignificant.
After two more nights in hospital I was already feeling much more mobile and was finally let home. Within five weeks I was able to drive again and my very neat scar healed without any problems at all.
In hindsight I feel slightly disapointed that I cant related to peoples accounts of a natural birth, but apart from that I feel my birth was still a very positive experience as the staff were amazing, and both myself and my daughter were safe and well. I used the breathing techniques I learned to stay calm and minimise any discomfort and I healed up brilliantly. An emergency c section dosent have to be like the scenarios shown on ER or Casualty.
The day I took my daughter home the snow was thick on the ground and it was truly magical. Almost a year on and she is the most amazing person Ive ever met!
Ok,Im no health professional, but I have had three children. And all three children have been born by caesarean section. Emergancy ones at that!
Now,I was just 17 when I fell pregnant with my first. I had just left a temp job, and after that struggled to get work because of my pregnancy,and the fact I spent 7 months of it with bad morning sickness - that lasted all day! So, I was left alone a lot at my mother in laws house where we lived while everyone else was at work, with nothing but the Sky remote for company. Which then led to me spending a lot of the day watching baby programs,that followed pregnant women right through to the delivery room. Now, some of these can be quite educational, but I would highly suggest watching these shows when NOT pregnant!! I scared myself something rotten watching some of them, and was so stubbornly against a section, that when I was in labour and struggling a lot, when the doctors started talking about sections I really freaked out.
Now, of course all I can write about here are my own experiances. I have spent a lot of time on parenting forums in the last few years, and have read lots of different stories, and can honestly say that no two sections are the same.
With my first, I was 10 days overdue.I was in labour for 26 hours,and only progressed to 2 centimetres dilated. Then, babys head got stuck, due to my pelvis being too small, so theatre was the only option.
I was horrified at the thought of an epidural, but, my aneasthatist was brilliant. He calmed me down, and with the support of my partner and my mum, I got through it, and can honestly say I didnt feel much more than a tingle. I had to lean forward over the side of me bed, getting my head as far down as I could - no easy feat with a ginaourmous baby bump in the way! Then, in between contractions, the epidural was done.
I was then wheeled down to theatre. I remember being in the corridor waiting for them to take me through. I was bawling my eyes out. I was scared for bubs, I was scared for me. The aneasthatist told me jokes to distract me, and assured me he would look after me. The ice cube test was done, which basicallyentails rubbing an ice cube up your bump and chest until they reach a certain height. Once you can no longer feel the ice cube, the epidural has worked and your ready to go.
Being in theatre was a bit of a blur. I remember the screen being put up, the bright lights above me, the hustle and bustle of so many people, surgeons, midwives, nurses...
After a while, I asked how long before they started.I was adamant in my head that the epidural wouldnt work and I would be in agony feeling everything. To my surprise, there were a few chuckles and I was told they were already cutting. I couldnt feel a thing!
After a minute or so, I felt a tugging feeling. Now, I have heard so many times people say it feels like they are washing up in your tummy. It really does! Its a very strange sensation, you can feel the jiggling about, but its almost like an out of body experiance, because you cant actually feel it.
I remember feeling that way fora few minutes, then I heard a nurse exclaim'babys here!' which was then promptly followed by the sound all new mothers long to hear - my newborn baby shrieking. I have to say it is a beautiful noise! I then cried, I was so relieved! I was then distracted, everything was still hidden behind a big green screen, and I was shouting questions - is she definately a girl, is she ok, how much does she weigh?
Then there she was, swaddled in a little white blanket. Because I was numb, the nurses propped her next to me while they held her. That feeling of seeing my beautiful daughter for the first time completely overwhelmed me. I forgot I was laid on an operating table with a big hole in my belly!
After a few minutes, they took her away, she was taken back to delivery suite to meet her daddy and my mum. They then stitched my belly up, using dissolvable stitches. Back then, once baby had been delivered she was taken back while mum was stitched up, and sent to recovery ward for an hour.
I will never forget - and mainly because I also did it in theatre with my next 2 deliveries! - when the effects of the drugs hit me, and I was sick. I still feel bad now, because I had no idea it was coming and managed to get the poor nurse stood to my side. Luckily, with the next 2 I was prepared so managed to give them warning!
My time on the recovery ward was difficult, I just wanted my baby with me, but I was also very groggy. Eventually they sorted me out and I was taken back down to the ward.
I spent five days in hospital with my first. Recovery is slow, you have to be careful and remember you have had major surgery. The epidural wears off after about 24 hours, its very surreal having the feeling creeping back through your body. I was given regular pain meds, which I was grateful for because I did feel sore. Mobility is difficult, sitting up in bed was quite a task for the first 30 hours or so, there is a ladder type thing at the bottom of the beds which helps you to pull yourself up with.
When I finally got out of bed and walking, I could only manage a slow shuffle at first, building up to a slow walk.
For a bit of TMI, going to the toilet can be quite sore, but until you can do that the hospital wont consider letting you home.
It wasnt until we got home that I got a look at my wound. It wasnt as bad as I thought, not as long, probably around 6 inches, which to me was tiny, considering my 9lb 3oz baby had just come through there! But the stitching was very neat, and after a few weeks it just dissolved and left me with a neat scar. It took me around 6 weeks of being very careful - no heavy lifting, no over doing it - to feel like I was back to normal, although you do have to still take it easy for longer because you have to remain careful of the internal stitches.
I was going to write about all 3 of my sections, until I realised how much I have already written, so what I will do is write about how a caesarean is done, and the methods of pain relief and stitching I have had.
As I have said already, for my first I had an epidural. This goes through a catheter into a small space in the back, and offers no pain, but you also lose the sensation (explaning the numbness you feel)
With my second and third, I had a spinal block. This is different because there is no catheter, the injection goes straight into your spinal fluid. It works quicker, but it doesnt last as long, which ultimately is a bonous as you are not bed ridden for as long as with an epidural.
A caesarean section is done, by an incision being made, just above the pubic bone. This incision goes through your lower abdomen and uterus,allowing baby to be delivered. Once baby and the placenta are safely delivered, everything is then stitched back up.
When it comes to stitching up, I have had three different methods. The first is as above. The dissolvable stitches. These were comfortable, didnt make movement too restricting, and after a few weeks, dissolved themselves. The only propblem I had, is a knot at the end didnt dissolve, but I actually managed to pull that out myself quite easily.
The second was staples. Now, these were the worst I have had. They made movement uncomfortable, everything felt too tight and they were uncomfortable. And yes, they did indeed look exactly like giant staples. For these to be removed, the midwife came to my house a few weeks after, with a petri dish and some metal contraption that bent the staples and allowed her to pull them out. Before my last section, I did enquire about them as I really didnt want them again, and was happy to be informed the hospital no longer used them.
My third, was a running stitch. This was literally just a long stitch through my scar, secured on the end by a bead. This for me was almost as comfortable as the dissolvables, apart from the fact that the removal was a little less uncomfortable. The midwife just snipped the end with the bead off and pulled it out. Mine needed a short tug as it got caught near the middle, which is what made it uncomfortable to be removed.
All in all, my caesarean section experiances have been as good as having surgey can be. All the worry I caused myself was for nothing. In fact, so much so, we may one day in the future consider going through it all again! Knowing after my second section that natural childbirth would be just about impossible also helped us perpare for more in the future, so we always know roughly what to expect. Just maybe if there ever is another baby, we could try for a calmer elective section rather than the hustle of another emergancy, although that depends on this baby being unlike my youngest who decided she was coming 12 days early - 8 days before my scheduled elective!!
I have got to be one of the most experianced people on c-sections, it has now become a fashion when I have my children.
My first section was with my first child. I was hit by a car when I was 17 and was waiting for an mri scan to see if their was any long term damage but fell pregnant before it came through. When I saw my specialist he advised that I have a section for my own health because it may have parallised me having a natural birth. I was quiet happy about this at first because I was scared of having a natural birth which was a bit silly. I visited the hospital the night before I was due to go in and was given a tablet to take at 10pm and was told not to eat or drink after I had taken it. I was also advised not to smoke after 12pm due to the tablet was to take all the gases out of my stomach. I took the next tablet at 7am just before I left for the hospital. When I got their they made me shave my pubic area low enough because of where they had to make the cut. I was dressed in a gown and paper sterile hat and walked into the theater. I was asked to sit on the end of the bed with my knees up to my chest. They attached a blood pressure machine to my one arm and inserted a drip into my hand. Then the enethatist inserted a long needle into the base of my spine to deaden my body. This was a sharp uncomfortable feeling that I have never forgotton. I got lay down on the bed and they put a screen up infront of me so that I couldn't see what they were doing. This was when they prepped me with the sterile liquid and inserted a cathiter bag. My friend was in with me at the time and was training to be a nurse. When they had opened me up I asked if my friend could have a look and I will never forget her words (god their is alot of water in their) I really wanted to watch them do this but was told that I couldn't. The only way that I can describe the feeling is that it is like someone washing up in your stomach. The problem I had with this procedure was that the anasthetic took over my body quickly so it took the use out of my arms. This meant that I wasn't able to hold my son for at least 20 mins after I came out. When I was being stitched up they bought my son over to me after they had weighed him and cleaned him up so that I could great him into the world. I heard the cry when they took him out and this gave me a tear in my eye. I was worried that because I didn't have a natural birth my son wouldn't be as close to me but he was. The days to follow were hard. I had to try and walk a few hours after the operation and the pain is very intense. You cant lie down properly in bed and it hurts to move. After 24 hours you are able to have the cathiter taken out and you are able to go in the shower. The best part is the shower it feels so good on the aching skin and makes you feel very clean after the surgery. You are not able to have a bath because you wouldn't be able to get out very well and would suggest that this is not tried at all costs. It is very difficult to go to the toilet sitting down so far can really hurt your stomach, make sure their is something for you to hold onto so you can get up. The nurses are always their to help. When I came out the hospital after 3 days I started sleeping on the sofa because getting up the stairs was too difficult, luckly my bathroom was downstairs so I didn't have to go up them. After a week I was much better still slightly sore but able to walk up stairs to my bed and walk to the local shop. Walking long distances were hard and cleaning just went out the window. After 5 days I had my stitches out.
There are 3 different types of stitches you have dissolvable, staples and a thread and bead. At this time I had a thread and bead. This is where there is one thread sewn through the skin with a ball at either end. This leaves a lovely neat scar and would advise this as long as you get a good sergon. This is removed by one end of the stitch being cut and pulled through. This can be done by your midwife after 5 days and is painless and easy to do. This will make your stomach feel alot better. After about a month I was back to normal and had no pain.
When I had my second child I wanted a natural birth but was advised by my specialist that he didn't think it was a good idea because I was so young and it could hold problems with my back which I had suffered from the car accident. I later found out that I could have had a natural birth with no complications. I was half glad that I had this though because my partner was working I managed to get a definate day that I was going in and was able to plan who was looking after my son and he could book the time off work. The procedure was the same as when I had my son but I had different stitches and my blood pressure dropped while I was in so it took me a long time to come back with it to be able to hold my daughter. This took its toll on me and dont feel as if I bonded with my daughter very well after this. Also I hated the dissolvable stitches and was still pulling the stitiches our 9 months after.
When I had my 3rd child I had no choice but to have another c section because of the complications it could cause because of already having 2. I spoke to 3 specialists who all told me the same. This time I decided to be sterilised this was advised too. After being cut so many times in the same place your uterus gets weaker and when you have contractions this can cause you to rupture and loose your life and your childs. I was not willing to risk this happening and another pregancy would cause this so I had to be sure that I was not going to fall pregnant again. This procedure I managed to request that I had the stitch and bead stitches. The procudure was the same as before but took alot longer this time because they had to remove some fat from my bowl. The only problem that I had with this was that they forgot to put the bead on the end of the stitch so it couldnt be removed because it had inbedded under the skin. I had to go back to the hospital and be cut back open to remove it after 5 days and be stitched with dissolvable ones that got infected afterwards. This was very painful and the whole experiance was uncomfortable I was glad that I would not be having anymore after all this.
Overall I would say that it is not a bad experiance and you are able to plan everything before you go. If you are going into hospital try to see how much information you can find out about who is doing the surgery. You can now request someone if you feel more comfortable. Everything is explained to you throughout it which is good. I would say if you can have a natural birth go for it it is alot easier to cope with after. If you havent got a choice it is not that bad but make sure you have alot of help on hand for the first few weeks.
When I gave birth to my daughter nearly three years ago, I ended up having a Caesarean Section at exactly 42 weeks gestation, after a failed hospital induction, where I had not dilated and the medical staff were unable to break my waters. Once the decision had been been made, I was prepared for theatre (being shaved, wearing a gown) and saw the anaesthetist, who explained about the spinal anaesthetic that I was about to receive (procedure and risk of complications and side effects). I had already been kept as Nil By Mouth from midnight the night before, in case the operation happened the next day.
I was then taken to the theatre and had to sit very still on the operating table as the anaesthetist administered the spinal anaesthetic. This didn't take very long, but I felt quite nervous about it. It all went well, though, and the anaesthetic began to take effect quickly, and I felt numb from my chest to my feet. The staff checked that the anaesthetic had taken effect by running an ice cube down my stomach to see if I could feel it or not. I also had a urinary catheter inserted, which would be removed the following morning.
When I was laid down on the table, a screen was put up in front of me, so I couldn't see the operation. I must admit that I did try to see what was going on, probably due to the fact that I am a nurse, and have seen quite a bit of surgery before, including a Caesarean in the same theatre as a Student Nurse. My husband (also a nurse) was by my side throughout, and kept me well informed of the progress, as did the staff. It wasn't long before my daughter was born, weighing 8lb 9oz, and after all the checks (Apgar score, observations,etc) were done, she was handed to my husband to hold, and I got to see her for the first time. I did hold her briefly while my wound was being stitched up, but it felt quite strange and unsafe, as the table was tilted a little to one side, and my arms felt very weak due to the anaesthetic.
After the operation was finished, I was moved back onto the bed using a Pat Slide (to transfer from bed to bed and operating table) which felt very strange, and as though I was going to fall to the ground, even though the staff would not let that happen. It also gave me an insight into how patients that I had looked after as a nurse must have felt being transferred in that way. I had transferred patients using that method and others many times, as well as having done it in training, but as a patient myself, it felt very odd.
In the recovery room, I had my observations (blood pressure and pulse) checked regularly, and the midwife helped me to give my daughter her first breastfeed.
Back on the ward, I was monitored regularly throughout the evening. I did feel that once I was able to walk around and do more for myself, that I was left to get on with things by the staff. This is something that I have heard from other women who have just given birth. The next morning after the operation, I had my catheter removed, which was fine and I managed to pass urine without any problems. I was also advised that the dressing over my scar could be removed in the shower, and left off to let the air get to the wound. I was told that this was the policy of the NHS Trust. I was not happy about this, and said that I would prefer the wound to be redressed and to keep a clean dressing on for upto five days, as this is the usual procedure for surgical wounds, especially a deep wound from major abdominal surgery such as a Caesarean Section. In the end my husband, who was a District Nurse at the time, redressed the wound for me. I would advise anyone who experiences this to insist that the wound is dressed for at least a few days, as if left undressed, the chance of picking up an infection increases. It is also reassuring to have some padding over the wound, as it can feel as though the scar is going to rupture in the early days after the operation.
I found the recovery from the Caesarean extremely painful, and it takes longer to recover compared to a vaginal birth, around ten weeks compared to six weeks, and you can't drive for about six weeks or lift anything heavy. Moving my legs up to the bed from the floor sent shooting pains through my stomach, and trying to open my bowels for the first time was quite scary. It took till about twelve weeks after the birth for me to feel as though I was getting over it. There is also the same vaginal blood loss after a Caesarean as a vaginal birth, and maternity pads will need to be worn for up to six weeks.
Overall, I am pleased with the way my Caesarean went. The care before, during and just after the operation was very good. It was just when I was able to get up and move about that I felt a little neglected, and I was told that I could have been discharged after 24 hours, which seems too soon after major surgery, considering the complications that can occur (infection, blood clots), especially as I had been told to leave my wound uncovered. In the end I stayed in for three nights after giving birth, which was good, as I developed high blood pressure, and had to take medication. This might not have been picked up at home, as the Midwives were only able to visit me three times upto the tenth day after birth.
If I have another baby, I will consider a Caesarean if neccessary, but will be prepared for the longer and more painful recovery compared to a natural birth.
I have had two children delivered using an elective caesarean section, once in 2006 and again in 2008. Both experiences were a bit different, a little uncomfortable but also amazing and exciting at the same time.
My first elective caesarean section was due to a condition called Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. These is a condition which causes your pelvic joint to separate resulting in an unbelievable amount of pain and little or no mobility. The discomfort had began at around 12 weeks and by 32 weeks I was unable to walk without the aid of crutches, I had to wake my husband up to help me turn in bed and it seemed to take a lifetime just trying to get up off the sofa. Therefore, after numerous appointments with my midwife and a physiotherapist, it was decided that a caesarean would probably be the best option for me given the amount of pain I was already in. The procedure was fully explained to me by my consultant, and although I was a little nervous, I was also quite relieved that I was going to be provided with a date where I knew when my baby would arrive and when the pain in my hips and pelvis would stop. We discussed dates and it was just like making an appointment for a hotel stay and we had to go to reception and let them know which date we had chosen. We were advised that it would need to be around the 38-39 week mark so as I wasnt completely sure on my dates, I thought that waiting to 39 weeks would be better for my baby. So off I went to reception and made an appointment for the 30th October which seemed quite surreal and very organised.
A couple of days before the caesarean was due to take place, I had to go into hospital for a 'Pre-Med'. This was where they took my bloods, explained the procedure again and also got me to sign authorisation forms for the procedure to go ahead. I was advised to arrive at 8am, but was told that I could be waiting a few hours depending on if there were any emergencies which would obviously take priority.
On the morning of the 30th October, I was suprisingly quite calm and relaxed, I picked up my hospital bag and set off the hospital. I became inundated with text messages wishing me luck and I became slightly nervous at this point. On arrival at the hospital, I checked in at reception and I was taken to a room in the labour ward where I was assigned a midwife. This midwife then informed me that she would be taking care of me for the day until the baby had been born and I was moved onto the maternity ward. She was lovely and really put me at ease and was more than happy to answer any questions that I had. A short while later the anaethetist came to the room to introduce himself and explain spinal block procedure that he would be carrying out. I have developed a great fear of needles and the spinal block procedure had been worrying me greatly, however he was fantastic and really put my mind at ease. He inserted a canula into my arm, in case any medication needed to be applied during the caesarean, but in all honesty I didnt feel him doing this at all which again therefore put my mind at rest about the Spinal. I blame the internet for my fear of the Spinal block, as I like to be informed and so have a terrible habit of googling everything and anything that I need to find out about. The problem when doing this, is that not only due you get informed about the procedure but you also get pages of pages upon pages of horror stories about the procedure which I couldnt help but read, so this had panicked me.
Anyway, shortly after my discussion with the anaethestist, I was told that they were ready for me and I was wheeled into the operating theatre. Obviously if your mobility is fine then you can just walk in which is probably again slightly more relaxed. On entry to the operating theatre, I was surprised by how many people there were. There was the anaethetist, his assistant, a midwife, the midwifes assistant, the surgical assistant and a paedeatrician. I was told that the surgeons would enter once the aneasthetic had taken hold and I was comfortable. It was all very relaxed and everyone was chatting. I was asked if there was a particular radio station that I wanted on in the background, l this point I had however become too nervous to care about the radio!
I was told to sit and lean forward over a pillow whilst the Spinal block was administered. Firstly I was given an injection of local anaesthetic, which stung slightly, but wasnt too bad. I could then feel a large amount of pressure at the bottom of my back and a trickling sensation as if there was water being poured down my back. It was slightly uncomfortable, but not painful and the whole procedure took approximately ten minutes to complete. It didnt take long for the spinal block to have its affect and I was turned around and positioned flat on the medical trolley. I was then informed that this needed to be tilted and I was convinced that I was going to fall off, but im pleased to say I didnt. They did explain to me as to why this needed to be done, but unfortunately that bit seems to be a bit of a blur and I cant remember why that was necessary. The anaesthetist then checked that I couldnt feel anything from my breast bone downwards and once he was happy, the surgeons walked in.
A screen was positioned up in front of my face so that I was unable to see any of the procedure, which didnt really bother me as I am quite squeamish, but my husband was told that if he wanted to look over at any point then he was welcome to. He did this once, and im guessing he wasnt too keen on the sight as he didnt try to do it again! For the first ten minutes, I wasnt even aware that anything was being done, I couldnt feel a thing, but then I felt tugging. I hated this part and whilst it didnt hurt I found it to be very uncomfortable, it felt like someone was pulling in my chest and of course their was no reason for them to be that far up so I started panicking then. My blood pressure dropped and I started to feel very dizzy and nauseous, I was given a dose of adrenaline and within a couple of minutes I was absolutely fine again, and just in time to greet my baby.
We hadnt found out the sex of my baby as wanted the first to be a surprise, so we were absolutely delighted as the baby was pulled from my uterus and we were informed that it was a baby girl. The midwife immediately wrapped my little girl up in a blanket and took her over to be weighed. She was then brought back over to us to meet us whilst the surgeons then began the procedure of closing the wound opening. Of course I dont actually remember if I could feel any of this as I was so amazed and distracted by my little girl. I did ask however what sutures they would be using as I had built up a fear of being stapled and was informed that it would just be one long stitch with a bead on either end which would be removed in 3 to 4 days.
Soon after, I was wheeled back into my room on the labour room where I was told I would need to stay for a couple of hours so that they could do regular observations to make sure that me and my little girl were fine, before being moved upstairs to the maternity ward. I thanked everyone involved and spent the rest of my time in that room just staring in amazement at my daughter whilst my husband rang nearly everyone in his phonebook to let them know the good news.
The spinal block wore off a few hours later and whilst I wasnt expected to be moving about on the first day, I think that I could have done if I had needed to. I felt in slight discomfort the following day but nothing too bad and I was able to walk to the shower. I was also amazed that the problem with my pelvis had gone immediately. I had been told that this would be the case, but didnt quite believe it. After being stuck in a wheelchair and with crutches for numerous weeks previously, it was such a relief to be able to walk again. The nurses actively encouraged movement the day following the procedure, but I noticed that others who had had an emergency caesarean seemed to be in a lot more discomfort than myself, and my husband actually went and got meals from the eating area for those who did not feel up to walking which was greatly appreciated.
In total I only spent two nights in hospital, which surprised me as I had read somewhere that you could expect to spend upto 5 nights there, so I was very pleased to get home and to start settling my daughter into her new surroundings.
A couple of days later, my local midwife came to remove my stitch, this was a quick and painless procedure and came out in one go. She simply removed the beads at either end which were holding the stitch in place and then the midwife simply just got a pair of tweezers and pulled the stitch through. Now it was just a case of letting the scar heal and the midwife checked it on a daily basis for around a week afterwards.
It had been nowhere near as bad as what I was expecting, and I had never actually been in pain throughout the procedure apart from some discomfort.
Approximately 5 months after my caesarean, I became pregnant again with my son Ben. Again it was agreed that I would have a caesarean due to my pelvic condition and also due to the short gap between my previous surgery. The build up to this caesarean was exactly the same as the first, however inside the theatre it was slightly different. The staff were all female for starters and everything seemed even more relaxed than the first. I didnt feel a thing during the caesarean and it is my belief that this is because the surgeons were a lot more gentle due to being female, the procedure also seemed to be a lot quicker. The lady carrying out the procedure also told me exactly what she was doing throughout the surgery down to every single last cut. I actually found this to be quite interesting. She also explained that my previous scar was a bit of a mess. It wasnt anything major but it was raised and did look quite unsightly. This hadnt really bothered me though, as Ive never had any plans to be a bikini model, but she said that she could cut the old scar out and make it much tidier and neater. The only problem being, that this was be using staples! Uh-oh the dreaded word. She had put me at ease so much though throughout the procedure, I really felt like I could trust her to do it and my instincts werent wrong.
In total, I had 12 staples, these looked exactly like the stationary staples and I will admit that it was more uncomfortable to move after the surgery. However, I felt really really secure. When I had the one stitch, I was always worried that it was going to come out, silly I know. With them being quite tight, the discomfort was only caused if I tried to stretch to reach something because it would pull the surrounding skin making it slightly painful on occasions, but already I could see that the scar was going to be perfect and it was completely straight and relatively small, my stomach also looked much flatter than it did the first time round.
Again, I stayed in for two nights, my little boy was both gorgeous and very well behaved and didnt cause me any problems whilst in hospital, both feeding and sleeping well, giving me plenty of recovery and relaxation time.
There was then the usual procedure of the midwife visiting and the day quickly came around to have the staples removed. Now I was actually quite petrified of this now, and I had also become quite accustomed to them in a strange kind of way. I actually did refuse to have them out on the first attempt as I had worked myself up so much, so after a good nights sleep I felt prepared for it the second day. Now I wont lie to you, this hurt! They are removed with basically what just is a sterile staple remover. I did cry, I did shout and I also made the midwife stop three times so that I could try and compose myself. I do know other people who have said that they didnt feel a thing, but I did and was so relieved when it was over. Once they removed it was the same kind of sensation as having your ears pierced, that kind of stinging burning sensation. This only lasted about an hour though and when I then went to check in the mirror, apart from where the staple marks were, the scar looked fantastic and a hundred times better than the previous scar. Now 16 months on, you cannot even see my scar and she did an absolutely fantastic job. Whilst it did hurt a bit, I would definitely have them again in the future should I have any more children and I would actually recommend them.
Overall, my caesareans were not as scary as I thought they would be. They were both over and done with within an hour and I now have two beautiful children.
It's not as scary as you might think! I had a terrible vaginal birth with my son and suffered from 3rd degree tears and lost a lot of blood resulting in 3 blood transfusions. Recovery was long and it was a good 3 months before I felt back to normal. When I fell pregnant the 2nd time I was after advice on a c-section as I really didn't want to suffer the same way I did last time.
I had a planned c-section and the nervous bit was the run up to it in the week before. I knew when I was going in so could make plans for my 2 year old. I guess it was a bit surreal knowing it was happening .
I went in early in the morning with my husband and mum (in case my husband took cold feet in theatre - which he did). so my mum came in with me. I had the epidural/spinal block inserted which probably took more time than the procedure itself. I then was wheeled into the theatre - the staff were amazing and so friendly. The procedure begun but I had no idea. I was so worried I'd feel it and freak out. I didn't feel much if anything at all. I was suprised that within 10 mins my son was born. He was handed to my mum before being whisked off to be weighed etc. He was then passed back to my mum who was beside me. I spent the rest of the time watching my beautiful son whilst they stitched me up. I came out of theatre and the whole experience was by far better than last time. An hour later I was on the phone to friends and family telling them of the new arrival. They like to get you out of bed about 10 hrs later even if it's to sit on the chair. But they don't expect you to be running about etc. The next day I was up and about - slow but moving. I was still on pain killers and so didn't feel that uncomfortable. For both births I have to say the hospital staff were not brill as they are run-off their feet. So you really want to get out and about to show that you are ready to go home. most people find they have a better support team at home and feel more comfortable. I was home within 48 hours and the hardest part was getting out of bed . The scar is at your bikini line and doesn't look bad at all. I actually think that the recovery is worse than the surgery itself. Don't underestimate the procedure. It is a major operation and for a speedy recovery you must take it easy and not exert yourself to much. I did find that hard and the loss of driving for 6 weeks gave me little independence. Each day you can do that wee bit more and after 8 weeks I felt great and back to normal though I know that I should give myself a bit more time before I ressume badminton and strenous activities.
Because my c-section was elective I can't comment on the emergency c-section. But an elective was chilled and comfortable. I would choose to have one without good reason as the recovery is frustrating but given my previous experience it was neccessary and great.
I don't know what it's like to have an emergency c-section as I've only had one elective c-section. An elective c-section is when you are given a specific date to go in and have your operation to deliver your baby. I was told I had to have an elective c-section as my lower twin was breech.
So this is just my experience of my c-section.
21st November 2007, I was told I had to be in the hospital for half 6 in the morning, they wasn't entirely sure what time I could have the op but the earlier I was there the better and they would try fit me in as soon as possible. I went into a room where I had to take all my clothes off and put a not so attractive gown on with all the back open and I had to take all my jewellery out. I also had to put on stockings, they are apparently very important as they help prevent blood clots etc when you are unable to move for a long period. 20 past 9 in the morning I waited 'til then I was taken to the delivery suite.
I walked into a room with a not so comfortable looking bed and machines and other scary looking things all over the place. By this time I am a nervous wreck, I'm waddling like a duck as I was so big (my twins were 7lb 4oz and 7lb 1oz), my palms were sweaty and I didn't half feel dizzy. I had to sit on the bed while they inserted the epidural and spinal anasthetic, one of them didn't work so I had to have it inserted twice. I sat hunched over my balloon of a belly as far as I could and tried my best not to move whilst squeezing the midwifes hand so tight I'm sure I seen her fingers go blue! Ooops! I then had to lay down whislt I still had feeling in my body. Drips were put into my hand and a blue screen or sheet was put in front of me. They checked all my jewellery was out but idiot here didn't take her nipple bar out did she.
I lay there motionless as my body started to feel like it had pins and needles, it was the strangest feeling. There were doctors moving my legs to see if i could feel them and telling me to move them, well they were funny my legs felt like boulders! They then inserted a catheter which I didn't even know they had done until they told me. The 'feeling' test came next. The Nurse sprayed my body with ice cold water to ensure I had lost feeling where I was supposed to. I couldn't feel anything until she sprayed it on my chest and sent a shiver up my spine, it was freezing! I was ready!
My friend came in with me to support me, she sat down next to my head and I just lay there. My friend rabbited away to me but the last thing I wanted to do was talk. I'd been having nightmares for weeks that I was going to feel myself get cut open and be in severe pain. Which of course wasn't the case, all of a sudden I heard 'air' being sucked. The nurse standing behind my head leant over and said thats your first water bag being sucked away. WHAT!! They've cut me open already ?!?! She told me I would hear this air sound twice as my twins were non identical they were in 2 seperate sacs. All of a sudden I hear this belching cry at 10:22am, and tears just streamed down my face. My friend was still babbling and to be honest I just wanted to be on my own at this point I couldn't control how I was feeling and all she could say to me was "I bet you feel strange don't you" Well Yes course I feel strange one of my babies has just left my body and I havn't seen him yet and now my other one is about to come out too after I've had them beating my insides up for the past 9months, as they were only 9days early. Here it comes, the air sound again, I can feel my heart pumping so fast and my tears of joy were still falling. Another cry at 10:24am! I remember my first words being "They are definitely boys yeah?!" (lol couldn't help myself)
The nurses took my babies away to clean them up, check them over and weigh them. They came back in the room within 5minutes to tell me Twin 1 was 7lb 4oz and Twin 2 was 7lb 1oz, I shouted "My god no wonder I was the size of an Elephant", never even lost my humour on the operating table see. My baby boys were laid on my chest either side so I could hold them for the first time. Their eyes squinting and looking into mine, I could tell instantly they knew I was their Mama! They were Beautiful, all my waddling during the pregnancy was so worth it to see these two little angels in front of me. Already looking at me like I'm their hero. My little boys were taken into the next room to be fed whilst I had to be cleaned up and stitched up. I lay there high as a kite, couldn't see anything that was going on I was just told I was being stitched up. Within half an hour I was done! I was wheeled in my bed in the room where my babies were I had to stay there for half an hour just to make sure I was O.K. So I lay there extremely happy holding my babies, stroking their soft skin and breathing in their beautiful smell.
Overall my experience of a c-section was pretty good, apart from me being nervous and the epidural hurting it really was a lovely experience, although I don't feel I've filled the mother role properly yet. I havn't even experienced going into labour yet alone a natural birth. I know some people say a C-Section is the easy way out and I'm stupid for thinking like it as it's such hardwork to give birth naturally. I'm not arguing that in any way though I just feel I should of gone through it to be a proper mum. As for a C-Section being the easy way out I only feel its the easy way out as you don't (always) get pain during the delivery, but for me personally the recovery was hard. I was on my own with 2 babies, and struggled to walk for weeks as I kept getting infections in my scar which apparently was from doing too much work and straining it. I was told to get more rest, which of course as well all know is a bit hard when you have 1 demanding baby to look after let alone 2, which again I was on my own with.
This is just my experience of having a C-section. Please take it as such and not as advice as to what should or should not be done! (there, disclaimer over - sorry, but childbirth is such a personal thing, that everyone has the right to decide what they do!)
Anyway, my children are now 13 and 14, and when I had them it seemed to be before the days when every pregnant celebrity booked themselves in for a section and were labled "too posh to push". Sections, even just a few years ago, were still considered mainly to be used as an emergency or if there was little likelyhood of a "natural" birth being successful.
My first baby was born, with assistance, via "the normal route". It was a difficult birth but she arrived, eventually, fit and healthy.
My second baby was breech, and at 38 weeks I was advised that I could attempt to have him naturally, but that due to the complications with my first one, the midwife advised me to opt for a section.
My Aunt had had a baby just a couple of months before, and ended up having an emergency section, meaning that she was given a general anaesthetic and sent to sleep, waking up a few hours later to find a baby by her side. At the time I remember thinking that I wonder if she felt at all "robbed" of the childbirth experience, - going to sleep pregnant, and waking up as a Mum, and whether that short time when you are "under" would hinder the bonding process.
So, when a section was advised, all I could think of was that if I went ahead and attempted a natural birth, I might well end up going they way of my Aunt and having an emergency section.
By electing for the section in advance, I could opt for an epidural, meaning that I would be awake for the procedure and would see my baby as soon as he was brought out of my tum.
So, the section was booked, and this in itself was a huge benefit. My husband was a long distance lorry driver, so every time I got a twinge with my first baby, I panicked in case he was the other end of the country (thankfully she arrived on a weekend so he was home!) but by having a date and time allocated, hubby was able to book time off work, and I was able to arrange childcare for my other baby - no ringing around in the middle of the night for grandparents or neighbours to help out! All very civilised!
But, because sections at that time were still associated with emergencies, I had a few days of worry - there was little information around, and no internet at that time to do research with, so other than my aunt and a friend who had both had emergencies, and one of those had disabled twins, so slightly different circumstances, I had no one to ask. I felt a little "lost" although nowadays I would have got onto google and found reviews on dooyoo to give me people's experiences!
Anyway, the big day came, and I arrived at the hospital. It was very strange because I was on the maternity ward, yet I wasn't in labour - I was taken in 24 hours before the section, so had 24 hours of watching other women being wheeled around in labour, and coming back with bundles of joy - and I didn't have so much as a twinge! I felt a bit of a fraud being there - most surreal!
However, it was soon my turn, and I was prepped for theatre and given my epidural. The whole team were very relaxed and welcoming and my fears of "emergency" were soon allayed. My husband could be with me during the birth, although he seemed more fascinated in the procedure than he did with me! Blood and gore....!
My baby boy was delivered safely, and I was stitched up and returned to the ward.
My only negative experience was that my baby had "goo" in his lungs - apparently this is common with babies born by section because they are not "squeezed" through, and so the lungs cannot clear themselves - this meant a few hours in the special care unit in his first day, which was un-nerving for me, because I didn't understand what was going on, but he was soon brought back to me.
So, no bonding issues, no feelings of guilt that I didn't try and have a natural birth, and no hesitation to say "if it is right for you and your baby, then do it".
Afterwards, it is a bit of a pain (literally, obviously as you have a wound that needs to heal) - it is a bigger procedure than I had ever thought, and that means being very careful for 6 weeks. The midwife gives you a list of things you should not do - like lifting your hands above your head - which is fine if all your kitchen cupboards are base units, but not if you need to reach for your Mugs out of a wall cupboard! The other one that was laughable was "try not to go up the stairs more than once a day" - so how are you supposed to go to the loo........
Anyway, these restrictions made things a little difficult - not being able to pick up the car seat, for example, or being able to lift my toddler up for a cuddle - these things were far more frustrating than I could have imagined, and it is this that made my section hard. Not driving for 6 weeks was a mere inconvenience - I could get round that one without emotion.
I have had no long lasting effects of my section - apart from a neat scar (I did ask if the surgeon could do a tummy tuck at the same time, but he was having none of it!), physically and emotionally things settled down nicely.
So I would say to anyone, whatever your reasons for choosing a section - whether your choice, or whether you are advised to have one for either your health or the health of your baby - do what is right for YOU without guilt.
After reading and hearing so many caesarean section stories, I thought I would write about my own experience. I, myself have three beautiful children - all born by caesarean section - and, I have to say, would not change this for the world.
Of course, expecting my first baby, I was all prepared for a natural birth. I had everything prepared, my childbirth plan, breathing techniques etc. However, I was to be very surprised by the end result!
My first baby, unfortunately, could not tolerate labour and was distressed. I had been so hopeful that I would give birth on my own and getting to 7 cm dilated (after almost 23 hours of labour) made me realise I would be giving birth soon!! However, soon afterwards I was rushed into theatre under general anaesthetic and had an emergency caesarean section carried out. On arrival at theatre, I was introduced to the medical and nursing staff (at the time hardly paying much attention as I was in so much pain) whilst a mouth piece was placed on my face with the anaesthesia. Within seconds, I was out for the count. I was not even awake when I gave birth which was disappointing. When I finally woke up my husband was there to tell me about our new baby and asked the midwife to bring him along. The relief I felt that my new baby was well was so overwhelming I have to admit, I burst into tears! He had been looked after in the hospital nursery and checked over since he had been in distress during labour. To our relief, he was fine and well.
Our midwife was very nice and helpful and informed us that our precious baby had been very stressed during labour and that his little heartbeat was slowing down very rapidly with each contraction. My birth was known as a "crash delivery" as staff became increasingly concerned for our little one as my labour progressed. If he had not been delivered so quickly, we were not sure what would have happened.
I have to admit I was not in a lot of pain when I woke. The anaesthesia, however, was starting to lose its effect and my midwife gave me painkillers - two types of painkillers. Paracetamol and Diclofenac. I found the painkillers were effective for the pain. However, I felt quite dizzy taking both painkillers together. I was able to stop the second painkiller and continue with the Paracetamol. I was lucky that the pain was not too bad. My tummy wound had been closed using staples. I was informed that on day five the staples would be removed. During surgery, a catheter had been put in place which would be there for the next 24 hours. The midwife regularly checked the amount of urine produced. I have to say that standing up properly, laughing, coughing and even sneezing was difficult to do. To give extra support if I had to sneeze or cough I had to use a pillow round my tummy which did help!
Surprisingly, only a few hours after surgery, the midwives suggested I go take a shower and get up and about. I was quite scared at first, thinking for some bizarre reason that my tummy wound would open and all my organs would fall out!! In fact, I am glad I did take the step to get up and go for a shower. It certainly made me feel better after several hours lying in the hospital bed. I was also able to tend to my brand new baby and hold him for the first time!
After my shower, I had the amazing experience of breastfeeding my precious. The midwife was very patient with me and my baby and showed me what to do. Of course, it was not easy in the beginning with breastfeeding being new to me but we eventually got the hang of it!
I have to say, that having a caesarean section is major surgery. However, I have to admit I was able to tend to my baby, breastfeed and get up and about a few hours after the caesarean. I know that a caesarean is not the best choice for everyone. However, due to the circumstances that our baby was finding labour difficult it was the best option for us.
I would also say that thanks to the nursing and medical staff in the ward that day, our little baby was born safe and sound. A lot of people have asked me if I was disappointed not having given birth myself. I am certainly not disappointed since by not having the surgery quickly, I'm not sure if my baby would have been brought into the world safely. He had been in so much distress that he would have found labour too much. Throughout my stay in hospital, the midwives regularly checked my wound which was healing nicely and by the time the staples were removed, lovely fresh new skin was actually starting to grow over the wound. This was, as I said earlier, five days post surgery.
I have since had two elective caesarean sections which were planned and performed routinely. I am very lucky I have not experienced any problems with two further elective caesareans. I, personally feel that no matter what kind of birth I endured, whether it be natural or planned surgery, all my concerns where on the health and well-being of my precious new baby, and not the kind of birth I had.
My little girl arrived by Caesarean Section earlier this year. I knew from the day I got the 'pregnant' sign on my Clear Blue test that she would be arriving through the sunroof. My little boy caused me a lot of damage when he arrived two years earlier. I tore to my bottom needing months of physiotherapy to help the incontinence he left me with. He had gotten stuck and after failed vacuum three times he was getting distressed. I was cut and tore but he arrived in the world safely thankfully. It did take him 20 hours, no epidural and a lot of stitches for me, but I am pretty proud I pushed him out in the end. I wouldn't have gotten pregnant ever again if I had to have another natural birth. I received a lot of counselling for Post-Natal Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress after my natural delivery.
So, to begin, I went for my 16 week scan my obstetrician confirmed that I would have a scheduled section at 39 weeks. He mentioned that second babies were often larger than firsts and as I had trouble birthing my son at 8lb 6, it was very unlikely I would birth a bigger child. Also it risked undoing the physiotherapy I had underwent, and if I damaged my perineum again it would not fix as well. I was relieved to have a provisional date and happy that I wouldn't face labour again and then the horror stories started... from mums who should have known better than to scare a pregnant woman. I lost count of the amount of times I heard about how hard a Caesarean Section would be. How I was crazy to go through major surgery, how so-and-sos sister nearly died when they had theirs. Thankfully I met a few women who had had a similar past to me, a hard natural labour followed by an elective section and without them telling me that I would find it easier than natural delivery, and that it really wasn't so bad I think I would have had a breakdown. Best of all, most of the people telling me how bad a section was, were people who had never had a natural delivery to compare it to.
My pregnancy did not go to textbook. My daughter lagged behind in terms of growth every week. As we approached term she was measuring 32 weeks on the scan and so he decision was made to send me in for the next available appointment. My baby was projected to weigh 5lb and they didn't quite know why she was not growing. We were warned that she could need neo-natal care after delivery as they just didn't know why she wasn't growing. Quite frankly we were terrified, and the fear of our daughter being ill, put any fears I had about caesarean into perspective. I just wanted her out safely. I didn't care how I was going to feel, if I was going to hurt or if I was going to have problems with the spinal block. Those horror stories didn't matter. From this point of the story I can share what happened with us in order so that if anyone is expecting an elective Section for whatever reason they can see that it really isn't a horrific experience.
Sent to hospital for Pre-Op the night before
The day I got my final scan in our local hospital my consultant rang the Area hospital to ask when I could be fitted in for an elective, and made sure that a neo-natal bed would be free there should anything happen to the baby in delivery. The hospital said that they were very busy but due to the nature of the pregnancy they would bump me in early next morning. I was told to go up there this evening to get checked over and go through their pre-op procedure. It was both exciting and scary although the consultant did put our minds at rest by saying he didn't think our baby was in danger, but he wasn't going to take the risk and leave her in there any longer.
When I reached the hospital I had to sign in to Labour and Delivery and sit in the waiting room until they could see me. Another couple were waiting with us, but they were Eastern European and didn't have much English so it was a long quiet wait. Twice women came in who were in labour which made the arrival of my baby seem even more real, but a little part of me wished I was in labour too- a bit of nostalgia from starting contractions with my son.
I could hear the nurse at the station ring someone up and cancel their scheduled induction in the morning, and it was at the time I had been given for my section so I got the distinct impression that I had bumped this lady out of her appointment. From what I gathered about the phone call the lady was overdue and fairly irate. I do apologise!
Eventually the nurses brought me into a cubicle and felt my bump for movement. I asked if she thought my baby was small and she was very reassuring and said I certainly wasn't big but the baby was a substantial size and unless there were other difficulties she thought we would be fine. It was good to hear, as the midwives have seen many bumps. She said that babies could be deceptive on scans and that she could be up to a lb bigger than they think.
While there I got measured up for surgical stockings and did a blood test and was given an anti-sickness/ stomach acid tablet to take a 11 that night and one to take at 7 in the morning. I was also given an injection- something to do with clotting. We filed some paperwork and that was everything, we went home to return at 8 next morning.
Arriving for the Caesarean Section
When we arrived at the hospital we were taken in and I was put into a gown very quickly. The nurses the night before had warned me to take loads to read as there could be a lot of waiting around as emergencies would go in front of me and we were 3rd on that mornings list. As it turned out I didn't even get to open my magazine as the couple before us had not organised a translator and so missed their caesarean appointment and we were whisked through to keep things flowing.
More paper work before we went anywhere. There just seemed to be so many forms to fill and permissions to give. I was very calm and very happy to get to meet my little girl. It had been a tough pregnancy and so part of me was relieved to be reaching the end. All I wanted was a cuddle from my bump.
Entering the Theatre
In 2006 I gave birth to my son without an epidural, but I got a Spinal Block after he arrived so that I could go to theatre to be stitched up so the sensation of loosing the feeling in my legs was not new to me- I did know what to expect. After I was hooked up to the monitors the anaesthetist asked me to sit on the edge of the bed and I felt the cool anaesthetic as he prepared to inject me. Im no fool- I wasn't going to look at that needle! He was very patient and the sister held me still as he injected me. Eventually my feet went hot, then cold then numb and the scariest part for me was all over. I was hooked to a drip and helped into a laying position and my husband arrived at my side ready to get things under way. I did not want the screen lowered until baby arrived as I'm a bit squeamish.
When I lay down a feeling of nausea overwhelmed me, and I told them I was going to be sick. They got me a kidney bowl and the feeling of nausea left me as suddenly as it had come. This was apparently a completely normal reaction to the drop in blood pressure.
The first incision was made and although I felt the sensation I really didn't feel any pain or discomfort. A few minutes later after a bit of suctioning (my waters I assume) they told us they were taking her out and that I would feel pressure under my ribs as they squeeze her out though the gap. It was uncomfortable at this stage but entirely bearable.
She arrived screaming and kicking and the words 'you have a great big baby girl' were announced by someone. The screen was lowered and my first words were 'how big is she?' and they said she certainly wasn't a 5lber so relief flooded over me. She had her eyes wide open and the midwife lifted her and said 'hello you!' and they let my husband cut her cord. She was given a quick clean and APGAR test which showed she was doing well and she weighed in at a massive 6lb 4. Nowhere near what we thought. It turns out she's just a dinky little girl who will probably never be big. She wasn't without her problems at birth, but these are fixable and all that matters was that she arrived healthily.
She was given back to my husband and he set her beside me for a few moments. I wasn't in the position for skin to skin at that stage but I was just delighted with her. I certainly didn't feel any less of a mother for having her taken out the way that some see as the easy way. I was just in love. When I gave birth naturally this moment of bonding escaped me as I had been traumatised by what had happened and the caesarean was so calm and beautiful.
My husband and daughter were taken out to the recovery room until I got stitched up. Within half an hour I joined them and breast fed my little girl for the first time. My feet were slowing beginning to regain their feeling.
My own recovery afterwards was very swift. It is important to realise that an elective section is a very different experience from an emergency one. I was brought in relaxed and well-slept with a baby who was not distressed- it would be different if I had gone through a labour and had a distressed baby when I had entered theatre.
By that night I was still hooked up to my catheter but I was able to stand up at the side of my bed to lift the baby out. I was given plenty of codeine and paracetomol to take away the pain although I was very stiff.
The next day I was completely stiff but when the catheter was removed I was glad to go for a slow short walk and a shower. And as the day went on I was getting easier and easier on my feet. I'm not saying it wasn't sore- it certainly was, but it was nothing like the horror stories. I was able to function quite fine. I breastfed my daughter from the start and milk came in just as it would have in a natural delivery.
I was discharged the next day, my little girl had bad jaundice and had been under the lamp overnight but her blood tests said her jaundice levels were ok. So we were allowed to go home although the baby would need follow-up appointments due to a few conditions she had.
For the next three days the home midwives had to visit me to issue the blood clotting injections and I had to keep my surgical stockings on, but recovery went very well. I have a toddler and he had to be reminded not to jump up on mummy but I felt really good and positive about the experience. For me, it was a hundred times easier than natural delivery. My recovery from natural birth had taken over 6 months but I was pretty much back to normal within 3 weeks with the section. I was given permission to drive at three weeks after an appointment with my GP and life was normal again. I felt so good that I forgot I had major surgery. There was one incident 4 weeks post-section when my husbands football team won and he lifted me up and swung me around to celebrate as he had forgotten and I felt a but tender then but everything was fine. It was hard to not be able to lift my toddler in the first 2 weeks but this passed too. I really couldn't sing the praises of this delivery highly enough.
I know recovery from an operation is a personal thing and I was lucky to recover very easily, but since my daughter arrived I've met a lot of people who had good experiences through caesarean and I wish id met them before I had mine.
So, for anyone expecting an elective and having to answer the 'why would you want to do that?' questions, just don't listen to them- an elective doesn't have to be a nightmare. Having a baby by section does not make you less of a mum. And it doesn't always mean a long and slow recovery. I doubt I would have been on my feet any quicker if she had arrived naturally.
I'm not planning any more children but if I were, it would be Caesarean for me again. I have a lovely (still very small!) little girl and a great big bruiser of a little boy and I count my blessings for both of them arriving safely.
An elective provides a calm controlled atmosphere for delivery of a difficult pregnancy
There's a set time- No pushing for hours for no result (my last birth!)
You are alert through the birth and not tired from labour afterwards
In my personal opinion it is much easier than labour
It is major abdominal surgery, people arent lying when they say it hurts
Stuck in bed until the spinal / epidural wears off
Requires an extra day in hospital
Cant lift anything heavier than your baby for a few weeks.
I was hoping for a natural birth but this is what happened...
I was due to have my litlle boy on the 4th of Jun 2008, the day came and went with the signs at all! By this day i just wanted to meet my baby so badly! I had an appointment with my midwife that day and decided if i went back the next day they would do a 'sweep' (where they put their fingers inside you and stretch the membrane that your baby is in separating it from the womb, which can bring on the labour process). I went back the next day but the doctor said to wait another couple of days. So i was booked in for an induction on the 14th of June and a sweep on the 13th (friday).
(From around the 9th of June i was worried as i felt much less movement from my baby inside of me so i went to the hospital
several times to be monitored)
I went to the see my midwife and had a sweep, i felt very achy and lost a little blood after but stil no sign of baby.
On the saturday (14th) at 6pm i went into the hospital to be induced. I was allowed to 'settle in', i couldnt stop crying since i arrived and i was still worried about the lack of movement from my baby. I was given a suppository later that night but no still no signs.
Early sunday morning (15th) i began to experience mild twinges, i was monitored 24/7 for hours and i was told they were waiting for my baby to 'wake up' and start to move before they gave me another suppository. A few hours later i was given another suppository (even though my baby hadnt moved that much and i was having mild contractions) by a really horrible male doctor!!
After about an hour, i was in agony!!! i was having REALLY strong contractions about every 2 minutes and they were lasting around 30 seconds. The graph that the monitor was printing was going mad! I was in such agony but the midwves said it was a good sign so i persisted and ran around the room trying to take my mind of the pains. But somehow i knew something wasnt right, so after nagging the midwives alot i was checked over and they decided to move me to the labour ward and get a doctor to check me over.
I was moved to the labour suite and greeted by a urine specimen tub, i went and filled the tub then a doctor came and checked me out. Straight away he said we are going to perform a caesarean and quickly! I was only 1cm dilated even though i was having such strong contractions... I was so shocked! Everyone suddenly started running around injecting me, changing me into hospital gowns, getting me to sign consent forms and everyone looked so panicked! It was so scary!! i was rushed down to the theatre, given a epidural anaesthetic and covered by a screen. My partner came in dressed in theatre clothes and sat by my head.
The doctor tested that i couldnt feel anything, all i could feel was a warm tingly sensation dwn my legs, and he cut me open. It was such a wierd feeling when he was pulling out my baby, my partner said there was two of them pulling to stretch me open to get the baby out! i could see a reflection on the shiny lampa bove me so i had to close my eyes. I cant explain how starnge it felt when they were tugging me, there was no pain but so much pulling and tugging!!
My baby was pulled out at 17.40 and he began to cry, they quickly took him away and checked him over and wrapped him up. The cord had been wrapped around his neck and his body and thats why he hadnt been moving, i was later told if i had of tried giving birth naturally to my son, the outcome would not have been so good, the doctor didnt believe he would have lived if that was the case, so obviously i was really happy in the end!
My partner and baby were took back to the maternity ward while i was being stitched up.
It seemed to ages because all i wanted was to be with my new little family! I started to feel very faint and the anaesthetic seemed to travel up my chest so they started to get a little worried so i was given extra oxygen and the bed was sat up a little. When the surgeon had finished i was wheeled back to the ward feeling very shaky.
My legs were strapped up with warming pads which moved to help with the circulation, i had a drip with pain killers and had to take an anti blood clot tablet every so often. It was so hard tryin to pick up my baby whilst i was still under anaesthetic and in so much pain so everytime he cried i had to call the midwife to help. The day after the midwives gave me a bed bath early in the morning and later that day i was encouraged to try and get out of bed, which was really difficult.
I was in so much pain for awhile after the operation, i would say about 2 month at least!!! i still get the odd twinge now and then when i have done too much.
A caesarean isn't the 'easy' option as some people think, if anything i would say its harder, not just because i went through it, i havent had a natural birth but comparing the other ladies on the wards the 'natural' ladies all seemed to be up and about practically straight away after having their babies!
I have had a c-section with each of my two children however I had a quite different experience each time!
I had my first daughter in September 2005 after generally quite a healthy pregnancy other than the developing gestational diabetes towards the end. I had been told that with the diabetes they wouldn't allow me to go much beyond my due date as this could pose a risk to both my baby and me. Not really looking forward to an induction I was very relieved when my waters broke at 7.30 on the morning of my due date! However, the lazy little so and so didn't fancy budging to I was monitored for a couple of days then induced anyway - tut!
The induction went on all day with horrible contractions in my back and not a lot of progress at all. By the evening they decided that baby was twisting round the wrong way and I'd have to have a section - eek! Now, I'm not too much of a wimp but the thought of having a needle in my back for the epidural made me feel ill but after pleading to be knocked out with a general anaesthetic they managed to convince me that an epidural was the way to go! The anaesthatist duly arrived and had a good go at getting the needle in but had a hell of a lot of trouble. Apparently I have a slightly curved spine (news to me!) and he ended up phoning for someone to help...this is not what you want to hear at moments like this, especially when the contractions are still coming! Eventually, on attempt number 9 he got it in - hooray! My husband was later able to inform me that the failed needles were coming out bent - eek again!
Once they get the epidural in, everything moves really fast. They get you laid down and you soon lose touch with your legs! They put a cloth screen up in front of you and you can feel them touching you but no pain at all. You feel them yanking you around as they pull baby out and it is truly the most bizarre thing I have ever had done to me!! But soon you hear the best sound ever - your very own baby crying. Now, as she'd been in a bit of distress they only let us see her for a second before she was whisked off to be checked over but she was all good and soon brought back over to say hello properly. This is all a great distraction from the fact that your being sewn up at this point!
The whole process is in fact very quick and it wasn't long before we were whisked off to the recovery ward. Unfortunately is was around 10pm by this point so hubby had to go and it was just me and bubs. The drawback of the section of course is that you can't use your legs for quite some time so it's difficult to get into the swing of looking after baby however, they do sit you up pretty quick so you can have a cuddle and attempt a feed.
My second daughter was born in August 2007 and was also a section but things were a lot different! Again, I developed gestational diabetes which was expected to happen but again, it was easily managed. However, like before, I wasn't allowed past my due date and because I'd previously had a c-section I wasn't allowed to try another induction (although I'm not sure I would have wanted to anyway) so I was booked in for a section on my due date.
Going in for an elective section is a completely different experience. I was booked in the day before for a pre-op assessment where they take down various bits of your medical history, tell you what's going to happen during the operation and measure you for the oh so sexy surgical stockings you wear in hospital after the section - lovely! Then on the day of the section you go in quite calmly like you're going to any other hospital appointment, get changed into a gown and casually walk to theatre!
Again, we had the problems with the epidural not going into my back and had various strange feelings and numbness shooting down my leg but it was more like 6 tries rather than 9 this time - thankfully! Again, it all happened very quickly but was far less rushed/panicky than before as baby wasn't in any stress at all. Unfortunately, this time the epidural made me feel really ill so they kept having to give me shots of something or other into my hand to make the queasiness pass. It worked and was great! Again, all the pulling, pushing and yanking my legs around then soon baby starts yelling :o) All very calm and wonderful to hear! Then quick sew up and off to recovery.
The elective was so calm it was actually almost pleasant and, although the emergency one was fine and went well, it was completely different the second time around!
On both occasions I had very little pain and refused almost all of the painkillers the midwives tried to give me! ...although they did insist on sending me home with boxes of them 'just in case'! But I think they're still in the cupboard. However, I realise that I was probably a bit lucky and, although I was back to normal driving, hoovering, etc after just a few days, a lot of other women are in a great amount of discomfort for a few weeks. The worst I had was a bit of a tight feeling around the scar. The wound also stays numb for around a year after you have the section and I'm not sure that you every get 100% of the feeling back there.
For me I've been left feeling a bit disappointed that, although I have two beautiful girls, I've never actually experienced giving birth properly and we're very unlikely to have any more so that's me missed my chance I suppose! But, having said that, it needed to be done and I didn't exactly chicken out! Both sections went extremely well for me and my children and over all they were very positive experiences.