I may end up having a c-section. Any advice about what it is like?

Melissa - posted on 01/21/2010 ( 128 moms have responded )

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Worried about this. Does it hurt real bad when I wake up? Worried I wont wake up.

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Meghan - posted on 01/21/2010

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well im not going to pull the wool over your eyes, THIS IS MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY. so yes it is going to hurt when everything wears off- however, that being said, you will be on morphine, and some rather strong pain killers to start off with :) they do get you moving as soon as your able to, and it hurts real bad, but in order to get better faster i suggest you do it :) i dont know why you would be put completly under however? i would think a spinal or epi would be used. enjoy your birth as you said "i may end up..." so im also assuming you are trying natural first :). (i had an emergancy c-section with my son)

Amanda - posted on 01/21/2010

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First of all, you're not put to sleep!!!!! You just get the epidural so you don't feel anything!! At least I wasn't put to sleep and nobody I know was, you are awake so you can meet the baby!!!!!! It's just pressure from them pulling the baby out...not bad at all!!! Much easier and less painful than vaginal!!!! The recovery is harder, just take it easy...no lifting for a few weeks, you shouldn't be driving either. Relax and enjoy your newborn!!!!! If it's suggested you have one, be safe and have it done!!!!!!!! Good luck!

Amy - posted on 01/21/2010

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first of all -- attempt to not have to have one. is baby breech? spinningbabies.com helped me out a lot. i didn't have time to worry with my csection. it was emergency and husband and i were both crying. i was struggling to stay awake because i was induced and labor was so exhausting and then staying awake while they got me down the hall and took her out was rough. as soon as i saw her i told my husband how much i loved him when he left with her. i WAS scared i wouldn't wake up. i did, though. it was frightening and i remember asking if it was okay if i slept while they stitched me up and once they said it was okay, i'd be fine, i went to sleep. i remember waking up. still couldn't feel up to my ribs. they wouldnt let me see /hold my baby until i could feel so far down me. it was heartbreaking to not be able to have her. i felt like a part of me was missing. it doesn't hurt right away, but oh, hon. you may not even be able to take yourself to pee for a few days. i had to have help to get up and it hurt so bad - even with meds - that it took me about ten minutes just to get up out of bed. hurts oh so bad to go poo the first time. IT WILL HURT. no doubt about it. luckily, you may have the option of a natural birth next time. i've had c sec and natural and have no idea why people choose c sec on purpose. they will have pain meds for pain control, but if you're nursing, make sure to tell them that so they can adjust things accordingly. gonna hurt bad when they massage your tummy to shrink the uterus. sorry hon. hopefully it will all go well.

Nicole - posted on 01/21/2010

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Well when I had my c-section as most of these other posts say it didnt really hurt until after the meds wore off. I healed really fast where my friend took over 3 months to be able to lift things so it really all depends. And dont be too worried about not waking up, you will as soon as the exhaustion of childbirth passes :)

[deleted account]

most are done while you are awake. which is brill i thought i was going to be put asleep&that was my number one fear i am afraid of any surgery.i would of been put asleep but the got my blood results in time and my levels were okay, so i could stay awake.Believe me i was so terrified but relived my child was going to be safe out.it was at 4.o'clock in the morning i was already in hospital 4days with lack of movement.my partner missed it all but the doctors and midwifes took fantastic care of me and made me feel so at ease. so if you have your partner there it will be even more calming for you.it did not hurt one bit getting the spinal block and i didn't feel any pressure.because it was an emergency i dint get to see much of her.you will be walking slowly for a while but you will recover bit by bit.don't worry even if you are but asleep you will be okay think positive.good luck.

Nicole - posted on 01/21/2010

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They won't put you "to sleep" unless it's an emergency and they have to get the baby out real quick. I ended up having a C-section because I had to be induced and had been in labor and had my water broken for hours so the doctor was like "I can let you push for another hour and try to get him out, or we can just go ahead and do the section now". I knew he wasn't gonna come out so I had the section. I was already numb from the epidural, so they just gave me something else on top of it. My husband was there the whole time. They had a little bit of a hard time trying to get the baby out because he was so big (almost 10lbs!) and his head got stuck from me trying to push so even though I was numb I could still feel all the pushing and tugging and it hurt like hell, I'm not gonna lie to you. But it was over quick and after they got him out I didn't feel anything. I think it would've hurt less if they hadn't had to fight so hard to get him out. I think it hurt more though when I was trying to push and the midwife had her fingers down there, trying to stretch me out, lol! The recovery wasn't bad, my stomach hurt for a few days, it hurt to cough or sneeze, and it was hard to get in and out of bed, but it wasn't like debilatating or anything like that. I just took the motrin they gave me and I was fine. I was out and about 2 days after we left the hospital. We even got discharged early because everything went so smoothly. I compared notes with a friend who had a vaginal delivery and I think I got the better end of the deal. She was sore longer than I was and she bled longer than I did. I didn't have stitches either, they "glued" me back together. Why do you think you might have to have a section? I knew I was gonna end up with one because my mom had to have one with me and my brothers. Her pelvis wasn't wide enough for our big ole heads to pass through, and I'm built the same way and had the same problem. Of course we weren't nearly as big as my son was when we were born!

Kirsten - posted on 01/21/2010

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well for a start you wont be asleep, a section is done without a general anaesthetic though you wont feel anything except some pushing and pulling. I had my son by c section 4 years ago now and i was apprehensive but all the staff were really supportive and my partner was there. you don't see anything either cos they put up a small curtain to block your view. Because of the epidural i had a catheter in for the next day, and i was slightly uncomfortable and a little sore around my surgical site, but nothing that couldn't be controlled with painkillers. Don't worry about it! Its really not as bad as you think its gonna be!!!

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2010

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I was awake the hole time for mine I don't think that they even put you to sleep anymore for that.. but I couldn't feel anything just a little pressure going on down there. your numb from your toes to your boobs pretty much. but that feeling goes away a few hours after the surgery. Its really not that bad. I was up walking around by the next day.

Sara - posted on 01/21/2010

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I had 3 c-sections over the course of 2 years. I too was worried about whether or not I would wake up also. Some women stay awake some choose not to. I asked to be put out because epidurals tend to leave headaches for up to 6 weeks after having the baby. Yes, you will be in pain after the surgery but it is not as bad as some peole put it. The only really hard part is the soreness and not being able to go to the bathroom right away afterwards. A sopository may be needed.

Patricia - posted on 01/21/2010

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All I really felt was pressure during the c-section. Pretty sore that first week after, but not to bad.

Ashley - posted on 01/21/2010

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I'm one of the ones that loved my C-Section. The worst part for me was getting the spinal(but my anesthesiologist did a shot of Morphine too), which apparently feels like a bee sting, but I'd never been stung before so it was a new experience...
You also may get nauseous after your spinal, but just tell your anesthesiologist, and they can make it almost instantly go away. You instantly go numb from the chest down, and if you don't lay down when they tell you to, they'll grab you and lay you down. No matter how hard you try, you cannot wiggle your toes. When they make the first cut, it feels like a finger being lightly dragged across your skin. And when they take the baby out, you feel pressure, like when the wind gets knocked out of you. Within the first 5-10 minutes, you get to hold your baby, and the last 30 minutes they stitch you up. My doctor carterized my incision, so I saw smoke coming up from the other side of the screen, which was a little alarming. And, if you have the option, do not get staples. I got glue, and you can't even see my scar. Staples leave a way bigger scar. My doctor said that male doctors use staples because it is easier. Female ones sometimes use glue to minimize the scar...it's something to ask about.
And as far as pain, I didn't take any pain meds because it transferred through my breastmilk to my daughter and made her very sleepy. So, I toughed my way through it with no meds. The best thing is that it's sharp pain that goes away, not a dull pain that really hurts. Be careful getting up and sitting down(hurts like a b****) And when you have to sneeze or cough, hold a boppy pillow or any pillow against you. It makes it not hurt so much.
Good luck!

Amy - posted on 01/21/2010

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i had to have a c-section. i went all the way through labor and pushed for 3 hours, so i was exhausted. it wasnt physically painful (the actual surgery) but it is extemely unconfortable. u can still feel them pulling the baby and all that. afterward, i was hurting and even after my medicine i still hurt. your stomach will be upset, and exteme bloating and gas pain. they give you medicine for everything though. they will tell you how to take care of your incision and everthing best of luck to you!! my husband was allowed in the room with me, and i was awake for it all.

Lisa - posted on 01/21/2010

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It all depends on you and how you can handle pain. I have had 3 c-sections. I'm not gonna lie, it hurts like hell!! But, you can manage your pain pills and after about a week or two the pain was better for me. It'll hurt really bad to cough and do anything that you use your stomach muscles for. You really don't realize how often you use your stomach muscles til ya can't use them anymore! Just take it slow.

Alexandrea - posted on 01/21/2010

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Hey there both my babies were delivered by c-sections my first i was put to sleep and when i woke up it was a little painful to move around but your body will help you know which way you can move he best for you.. its not scary at all at least to me... And for my second c-section i was wake for that one and its a little scary only because you have a curtain in front of you and you feel alot of pressure.... and again youll know what your can and can not do when your done.. ive hoped ive helped alittle bit good luck.. your gonna be fine and do great!



alex

La - posted on 01/21/2010

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Oh and the morphine they gave me after they cut me made me itch like CRAZY the next day when it wore off! Bring lotion and chapstick.

[deleted account]

After hours in labour my friend was taken for an emergancy c-section. She already had an epidural in place, but she was still put out. Her baby's daddy was not allowed in the operating room, nor was anyone else. I guess it all depends on where you have it done.

Brandie - posted on 01/21/2010

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I had an emergency c-section 2 yrs ago. It wasn't bad at all. I was awake the entire time, the only thing I felt was the pressure. Weird feeling! My husband was there the whole time, they even let him take a few pics. They let me hold her, with the help of my nurse, while I was stitched up. I didn't take any pain meds after wards, but it didn't really hurt either. Congrats on your new arrival when it gets here.

Kaylene - posted on 01/21/2010

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I've had 2. I was alseep for the fist and awake for the second. The pain after is not all that bad. When your Dr. comes in to check on you and pushes on your belly, that's no fun. But it's over in 1 min. Coughing and laughing kinda hurts for several days. Make sure you get up out of bed and walk around as much as possible as soon as possible. No one told me this with my fisrt c-section and the healing process was much easier with my second when I got up the very next day and started walking and getting around. In fact with my second I didn't even go home on any pain meds. Don't do more than your body can handle though. I hope you are able to be awake! When I was asleep for first, everyone got to see my baby before me. I didn't even wake up until he was 3 hours old. :( My husband was very sweet, though and didn't let anyone hold him or touch him until I was able to do so.

La - posted on 01/21/2010

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The gas pain that I had 2 days late in the hospital was worse than the incision pain of the c/section itself! Bring dried fruit or prunes to the hospital in your overnight bag because it was very hard and painful to have a bowel movement afterward...also I have a soft, high bed at home so for the first two weeks after the c/s I had to sleep on the couch because it hurt to get in and out of the bed.

Alicia - posted on 01/21/2010

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Stay awake for it is my first advice! You don't want to wake up and find out you hurt. You are better off being able to judge the pain and take something for it rather than being in a medicated sleep where you don't feel anything until you wake up. And my second piece of advice would be to stay calm. You will probably be shaky with the epidural or whatever you get, but it's okay. And you may feel cold, just try to ask for blankets. They will tie your arms down and tie you to the bed so you cannot fall off.

All in all - it wasn't what my husband and I wanted, but I "failed to progress" never got past 2cm, and got a fever from my water being broke for 24hours. And I was sitting in a chair that same day for dinner. Less than 12 hours later! I'm sure it's all to do with your pain tolerance, but get out of bed asap after your surgery. Our hospital and nurses could not believe I wanted to move and my Dr let me leave the next day :)

[deleted account]

To Analee's comment(some reason I can't reply to it).....they do NOT put you out if it is an emergency unless you do not already have the epidural and even then they may do a spinal block...it really depends on the doctor.....they DO allow another person in the room.....the daddy was in with me and mine was an emergency c-section. I had like 2 minutes if that to prepare for it. Because I already had the epidural the catheter was already in place. They took my daughter back to the room that I was previously in and Daddy actually got to spend a few minutes alone with her while I was getting stitched up and then they took me back to my room and I immediately had her in my arms!

[deleted account]

If you have the epidural they won't have to put you to sleep....you will even get to see your baby minutes after he/she is born! Some people say that it didn't hurt that bad....I think it really depends on your pain tolerancy. I thought it SUCKED.....I'm even considering not having anymore because in the state of Florida once you have one all of your babies have to be born that way. They do give you meds....mine didn't seem to work that well, but Idk if that was because I was given SO much the day before....the morphine just didn't seem to cut it after that. Take it easy too....I think I did too much and caused myself more pain. Just remember that your baby is the end result and is totally worth it!! Goodluck!

[deleted account]

With my c-section I had less than 12 hours to prepare for it, I was so scared so I know what you are going through. I ended up needing a c-section for an undiagnosed breech, so mine was technically planned. With planned c's, you are kept awake and (most places) you are allowed one other person in the room with you. If you need an emergancy c you'll be put out and no one is allowed in the room. My c was in all honesty easy. I hate needles so I was worried about getting a spinal block, but they put on freezing gel, give you the needle and you lose feeling in your legs. I went into the operating room at 1:15 and my son was born at 1:27. The worst "pain" was slight pressure in my ribs because my son was trying to crawl away from the doctors. After he was born, the placed him in my arms for a few minutes and then took him (my husband joined) to get checked out. The hardest thing was being brought to a recovery ward. I wasn't able to see my son for an hour or so, until I was brought to my room. The most frustrating thing after a c is not being able to use your legs for a little while. I felt paralyzed, but was so glad when I finally regained movement. I was able to walk around the hospital wing by about 8pm, so roughly 7 hours after having my son. Another annoying thing is the IV and a cathedar. The IV is put in before the operation and the cathedar is put in during so you don't feel it. My cathedar was removed the next morning, they just needed to be sure I was able to walk the bathroom unassisted before removing it. My hospital stay was 4 full days, then I went home. In all honesty the pain levels after the surgery were very minimal. The scar, now 14 months later, is barely noticable.

Tuesday - posted on 01/21/2010

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dont worry they give u lots of drugs and the nurses are grate with helping u take care of ur child and giving support. I was up walking the very next day i made my husbon a cup of coffey two halls away. the hole exspeants is worth it just look at ur child and u will see

Kirsten - posted on 01/21/2010

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well for a start you wont be asleep, a section is done without a general anaesthetic though you wont feel anything except some pushing and pulling. I had my son by c section 4 years ago now and i was apprehensive but all the staff were really supportive and my partner was there. you don't see anything either cos they put up a small curtain to block your view. Because of the epidural i had a catheter in for the next day, and i was slightly uncomfortable and a little sore around my surgical site, but nothing that couldn't be controlled with painkillers. Don't worry about it! Its really not as bad as you think its gonna be!!!

Jessie - posted on 01/21/2010

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Well normally your not put to sleep with a c-section anymore just get a spinal block. I had one after an attempted induction (only got to 3 and 1/2 cm, and then me and my babies heart rate started dropping from the petocin) and you feel pressure but no pain. You have a lot of soreness when you wake up but they give you pain medication to help this. To me it was manageable pain and as long as you start moving around the next day you should recover fairly quick. I'm sure other mom's have had different experiences with it but don't worry about it because when the time comes and if you do have to have it you will just be wanting to see your sweet baby.

Tiffanie - posted on 01/21/2010

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i did not have a c-section when i had my little girl but my sister had it with her second child she was scared like you but it went ok there was a little bit of complications but in the end nothing really serious ...i hope everything goes fine just pray to god he will help you through this

Kristen - posted on 01/21/2010

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I was awake for mine... and it didn't really start hurting until later when all meds wear off and only really when there was pressure on it and when i coughed it hurt too.... i personally didn't care for it at all i prefer natural... i had a v-back this time and was glad was able to... everyones experiences are different i know some girls who loved their c sections but i didn't like it at all

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