Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: 13 Things That Nobody Tells You About C-Sections

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

13 Things That Nobody Tells You About C-Sections


I hate the press that c-section deliveries get.

I'd love to know what idiot came up with the "too posh to push" expression and I can absolutely guarantee that whoever it was has NEVER given birth by c-section themselves because let me assure you that there is NOTHING glamorous or "Posh" about c-section births....

With that in mind, I thought I'd give you a little insight into the realities of c-sections...what to expect and what might surprise you....

These are all based on my own personal experiences of two elective c-section births and of course every birth is different...your experience may be totally different to mine!

13 Things That Nobody Tells You About C-Sections

1) There'll be lots of people in the theatre...probably around 10 or so...you'll be wearing nothing but a surgical gown (no underwear) and will have to open your gown for the spinal block to be administered which means you'll basically be mooning all of those people....So don't go thinking that a c section means any less naked-in-front-of-others time - it doesn't!

2) Spinal blocks can have weird effects on people...first time around I was fine, second time I shook violently throughout the operation....Quite unnerving!

3) You'll probably be given a bed bath after the operation by the midwives...you won't be able to move after the spinal block while this is happening, so they'll roll you around a lot and will help themselves to your lady parts..it's quite an odd experience but you will feel much fresher and better afterwards!

4) The blood loss after the birth and the amount of people poking around your bits are just as prevalent as they would be in a vaginal birth...any Tom, Dick or Harry will come along and want to help themselves to your va-jayjay to check the blood loss....just go with it....leave your dignity at the door.

5) The people checking down below may actually BE a Tom, Dick or Harry by the way...mine was  a Ben...Ben saw more of my down below areas in the hours after Tyne's birth than I think any other man ever has...be prepared for the existence of male midwives is all I'm saying...Not that there's anything wrong with them, but I just hadn't quite made myself prepared for the fact that I would be spending the evening showing my blood clots to a man or having him administer tablets up my bum!

6) You'll have a catheter fitted for the first few hours after delivery, but they will want to get you up and walking within a few hours in most cases....you'll be under anesthetic when the catheter is fitted but not when its removed...a nurse (literally) yanked mine out while I was standing up...it feels bizarrely like a balloon popping inside of you.

7) Coughing, sneezing and laughing will be the most PAINFUL things in your universe for the days following a c-section...if your other half fancies himself as a bit of a comedian like mine does, pre-warn him that his jokes need to be benched until you're recovered...NOTHING is worth the pain of laughing with a fresh c-section incision!

8) Be prepared to pee into a jug and deliver your offerings to a midwife to be measured...this needs to be done every time you pee until the midwife is happy with the amount you've provided...it feels ever so strange to ring a bell and ask someone to measure your jug of wee but don't worry, they all act like its the most normal thing in the world!

9) Your first bowel movement post c-section is the single most terrifying experience of your life...but it's rarely AS bad as you expect it will be. Don't get me wrong it might hurt...but the anticipation is worth than the actual event. Also...be aware that the casing of the suppository they give you on the operating table will probably come back out when you go to the loo...it can smell a bit funny and its mind blowingly terrifying to see it sitting in the toilet bowl until you figure out what it is...someone should really warn you about it but they wont!

10) And if you think the first bowel movement is the start of everything returning to working like clockwork down there, think again...everything seems to be on a go-slow after a c-section, especially your bowels, mine seem to be just fine for a few days after and then it all goes wrong on about day 5 when my bowels down tools and refuse to do their job for about the next 4 or 5 days...which is painful. Very painful.

11) The journey home from the hospital will be unpleasant....you will probably cry...and scream at whomever is unfortunate enough to be driving you home as it feels like they're deliberately hitting every bump in the road at great speed. I found clinging on to the hand rail on the passenger side for dear life helped a little.

12) Don't force yourself to look at your scar right away...it's never going to be a pleasant experience, and if you can avoid seeing it for a while...great! Ask your partner to check it and help to clean it if need be...Definitely do NOT do what I did and choose to look at it on the same day the baby blues hit...bad move Hayley....bad move.

13) The area around your scar will be numb for a long time after the operation...possibly even forever...you get used to it, but it can feel pretty strange to begin with.

Have you had a c section? Do you have anything to add to my list?

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13 comments:

  1. This is so informative, really helps with what to expect if I was to have one! I must admit a few of those things are exactly the same if you have a 'natural' birth. Someone measuring your pee is so bloody weird haha xx

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  2. Agree with you on all counts... especially dignity. I vaguely knew my midwife from a baby group but was so happy to have my baby I just let her get on with things down there!
    I can't even see my scar due to the lovely over hang :/ off to docs today as its still red and weepy!

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  3. A great list....
    Around my scar is still a little numb seven years later....It is so strange.

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  4. Great post and all very true!
    I've given birth once and had two c-sections. I would add that one c-section can be so very different to another. With my first I was able to get up fairly quickly - with my second there was no pain like it. I was literally trapped half on/off the bed unable to move as they shot me with mega painkillers...and then threw me in the shower with only a midwife to hold on to!!
    To all those crazy people saying a c-section isn't 'really' giving birth, I would say there is a whole lot of pain either way and no one gives you a medal however you do it...if your lucky you get a beautiful baby!
    Xx

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  5. It's the changing of the pads and inspection of them that threw me. Just had my second section, and it's been a little different in Dubai, my Dr is male so i got used to male looking fown there. Suppositories in general should be discussed. Delightful. X

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  6. OMG reading this brought me right back to my c-section with C. I can relate to them all. I shook throughout mine too and almost punched Chris a few times in the following few days for making me laugh. The bed bath was awful!

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  7. I can relate to every point you've made. I had an emergency section and had no idea at all what it was going to be like.

    I remember lying on the slab in theatre apologising to the staff about the state of my naked body on display and asking them to do a nip tuck whilst they were there! I had the shakes in theatre too but the tea and toast I had in recovery was the best meal I think I've ever had!

    The bed baths were a delight but you're right about dignity, best left at the door and collected as you leave with your baby.

    Great post Hayley xx

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  8. This is a great, honest post Hayley. Loved reading it as I didn't really know much about c-sections beforehand, it's great to hear it from someone who's been there twice first hand xx

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  9. I've been very lucky with my c section recovery, but I'm not loving the numb belly - will definitely take a little getting used too! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. The injections into your stomach surprised me, I didn't realise I would have to do this every day for seven days!! I had my consultant appointment yesterday and they have (already!!!!!) booked me in for my c-section in september. I'm freaking out a little again now lol!!

    Kay xxx

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  11. Oh and another thing.... I was put to sleep!!! They never mentioned that at any antenatal class and it really freaked me out and upset me that I missed everything!! But then mine was a rather "quick" emergency! xxx

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  12. I'm 2 wks post emergency c section,the rummaging around inside by the drs made me sick...which isn't easy led flat on ur back &unable to move! Plus I was rushed by ambulance this Thursday just gone with severely heavy vaginally bleeding.....suspected infection but still awaiting swab culture results to confirm! It's certainly not the 'easy way out' some like to think it is! Scariest time of my life!!

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  13. Ah yes I remember all of these and didn't expect a lot of them so they came as a surprise

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