Pro Advice + Stories From C- Section Mamas
c- section advice
I have had 2 healthy, textbook vaginal births for my first 2 babies! I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with #3, as I gather all this information! I was inspired to hear from other women who had c- sections, as I know the value behind other mother’s experiences are a way to connect and understand one another! I was so curious to gain knowledge, and truly dig into the depth of what goes on in a c- section.
I have never experienced one, so I want to hand off this piece to the experienced mamas! You can expect advice, stories, and a way to prepare yourself in case you have a c- section, or are scheduled for one!
Let’s just jump right into this!
Common Repeat Advice:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
”I had 2 vaginal deliveries then number 3 was a c-section. I wish I’d known to ask for help, literally everything was hard to do for weeks, sitting standing everything. I needed so much more help and way more rest than I did with the v deliveries.”
You are undergoing major surgery- give yourself grace.
Make sure to bring your own fruits and vegetables to help things “move along”.
The nerves and anxiety building up to the c-section are normal
Guest in order:
Haley Perry | @ haleyraeperryy
June 25 2019.
6:15 am we walked into the hospital bags in hand as ready as we could be to welcome our little girl into the world, via planned c section. This was due to a very stubborn breech baby girl. The nurses check us into our room and give me my gown and explain that they will do my vitals and once im changed they will take us down to the OR. I change, give them some blood, and have my vitals checked.
7:00 am I am wheeled into the OR and my husband is sent off to get changed. The room is freezing and I can feel the anxiety and panic setting in. The nurses reassure me everything is going to be great, and that Cody (husband) will be in here as soon as my spinal kicks in. Once the spinal is administered and I can feel my legs tingling and falling asleep they lay me down and the curtain goes up.
After what felt like a million years, I hear my husbands voice and he is standing beside me. The doctors and nurses reassure me everything is going to be okay, and we all exchange small talk until I feel a bit if pressure. I ask if they are going to start now.
Cody looked at me and i hear my doctor tell me that they are just about to have the baby out. I had no idea that they had even started and were even close to the finish line!
Next I hear a pop, a gush of fluid, and my doctor says "here comes a bum, wait...thats a head!" My stubborn little girl TURNED DURING THE C SECTION AT 39 WEEKS! This is only the second baby my doctor has seen do this!
7:37 am I hear the sweetest cry I have ever heard in my life, and our precious baby girl was placed on my chest. The immense feeling of love you can feel for a person you have just met is overwhelming in the best way! Especially when you look over at your husband, and you see the same explosion of love coming from his eyes. Even though I was dissapointed at first when I was told I would have to have a c- section, I 100% will opt for one again.
Our doctors were AMAZING! Even though I bled more than normal and needed a little extra attention, they never let on.
My husband still got to watch his little girl enter the world and i still got to do skin to skin immediately after she was born. It was hard not being able to change her first diaper, or put her first outfit on, but my husband got the firsts. In itself, that is amazing. I completely believe their immediate bond has everything to do with me needing him to be there for her, and I when i couldn’t feel my legs and get up to soothe her.
My recovery has been easier than I expected. The first 24 hours were intense and painful but the nurses and my husband were amazing in still making sure I was included and a part of everything. My incision is only 8 cm wide ,and as I heal, it should only be about 5 or 6 cm and way below my bikini line!
Every day gets better, and by day 5, I was able to be alone with her and even minimal pain. Even though her birth didn’t go as i had "planned", it was everything i could have needed and wanted.
June 25 2019 will forever be the greatest day of our lives.
Brooklyn Thomson | @brooke_575
My advice is let people help you! I couldn’t sit up on my own for two weeks. Take all the help you can get in the beginning. You are recovering from a MAJOR surgery. The recovery time is 6 weeks. You seriously need all those weeks to heal!
It’s not easy giving birth in general, but c- section mama’s are looked at like they are weak or “taking the easy way out”, and that’s not that case. Any mom who can undergo a major surgery, and raise a family at the same time is pretty damn incredible. (Natural birth mamas are just as incredible!)
If I couldn’t have a c section, me AND my baby would have died. So my choices were c- section or death. I am not ashamed at all. I wear my scar with pride because without it my baby girl wouldn’t be here today! (And neither would I!)
I could never be ashamed of becoming a mother in one of the hardest ways! ❤️
Courtney | @courtney_96_skoreyko
I’ve had two c sections - my first was an emergency as my little man was stuck and his heart rate had dropped! it was very scary, and very painful, as my epidural wasn’t working.
I had felt the whole surgery unfortunately.
but my second c section was so easy, very calming, no pain, and so quick to see your sweet babies you’ve been waiting to hold and kiss for almost 10 months! I’ve had the worst case scenario happen, and the best case. I wouldn’t have changed it at al!
Recovery was painful and tender as long as you keep up on your pain management getting back into your routine and adjusting with a baby will be no problem! I was in and out of the hospital for two months after my first c- section, so at the time wasn’t so good mentally then, but now I’m good!
Katherine | @katherine_elizabeth_events
I think what has stuck with me the most is how people reacted when I told them I was scheduled for a c- section.
Baby was in the breach position at my 36-week ultrasound, and based on what I was feeling (her head at my rib cage), she’d been that way for weeks, if not months. I wasn’t surprised when they told me!.
At that point they scheduled me for surgery, which would be the week of my due date, if I didn’t go into labor before then.
Sooo many people who I talked to during those last 4 weeks would tell me they were “praying for” baby to turn around, or they’d say it was “too bad” that I was going to have a c-section. They’d say they were sorry for me or treat it like it wasn’t a good or healthy thing. I even had people suggest that I should have the doctor try version, where they manually flip the baby.
Very few people asked me how I felt about it before sharing their opinion...
My response to each and every one of them was “Eh, it’s ok. I trust my doctor, and as long as everything goes smoothly and baby is healthy, I don’t really care how we get there”. When my daughter was born, they pulled her out of my uterus with the umbilical chord wrapped around her neck twice. That was the reason she wasn’t flipping over, and her life would have been at risk if I’d gone into natural labor or if I’d asked for version.
Everything happens for a reason, and this little girl is worth a little scar!
The one thing I would tell anyone going in for a scheduled c-section is to be aware that dad/your partner will be separated from you while you’re prepped for surgery. HE/SHE needs to know that it’ll be about 20 minutes, and that’s normal. This is something a friend of mine told us and my husband was SO happy he knew that. They make it sound like you’re just going down a different hallway and he’ll be in the OR in 3 minutes.
My friend’s husband didn’t know this, and he said it was the longest 20 minutes ever.. he thought something was wrong, or the baby was already born, etc!!
Recovery was actually easier than expected for me. It was about a week until I could get out of a chair on my own, so it was imperative to have someone home with me and my daughter at all times that first week. But after that, it was a steady improvement every week. I started walking every day by week 3, which I think helped.
You know, the build up was the worst part for me. Once it was happening a sense of calm came over me and my mommy zen kicked in. I think that’s the one thing I never knew was in me - the power of mommy zen and the ability to overcome the fear.
I was a naive 23 year old when I went in for induction, only to end up having an emergency C section. This was 36 hours after being admitted. It was so scary, because no one had mentioned that it was even a thing that "could" happen!
I had fluid build up in my lungs, which made me cough, which in turn hurt my incision. I had staples because my incision was wider, so those were horrible to have, and awful to have removed. Some skin had grown over a couple of them - hurt so bad!!
My blood pressure was high for almost 48 hours afterwards... It took me like 3 or 4 days to poop. I was so lucky to go stay my parent's house for a couple weeks after I left hospital! Mom cooked and helped with baby and then sent me home with premade freezer meals... it was wonderful!
My 2nd was a pre-booked c-section and was way less painful and less stress but I still went to my parents' for a week! Had sutures (sp??) which was way less painful, had a better pain medication, & faster healing time.
Walking after both helped so much with gas pressure and healing process...
If you can make some premade freezer meals that are healthy & filling and can have someone helping a bit with laundry & tidying...those are the main things for sure! I was lucky... both my babies were healthy girls who are now smarty pants 17 & 23 year olds. My pregnancies were wonderful, my deliveries were scary and tough, but I was rewarded with 2 wonderfuly intelligent humans!
What I wish I knew/ advice I would give:
The difference between the epidural freezing and a spinal for freezing for c sections if different (even though I’ve only had the spinal) and can make ya feel heavy in the chest like hard to breathe but you are actually fine
Your baby might have a bit more mucous in their lungs after delivery cause they didn’t get the vag-squish to get the extra out
Your baby’s head will be perfectly round cause it didn’t get the vag-squish lol
You may never gain feeling along your incision again
The incision is actually super small and the scar is not terrible at all 💜
A blood pressure drop during the surgery is normal, and will likely make u feel nauseous, so definitely communicate the nausea with the anesthesia dude, & they will fix it right up
Don’t forget your prescription for pain killers (like I did) and don’t get behind on the pain management either, it will compound and make u feel extra poopy with the hormone drop later (also me😅)
I’m sure I can go on and on but... no matter which way your baby comes outta ya it makes u no less of a momma
My nurse was the most amazing human. It was my second child, I had a midwife, and was planning on doing a water birth at the hospital.
Complications led to me getting induced and problems with babies heart rate led to a decision of csection versus vaginal with likely emergency csection.
When it was time to go into the surgery room, the lights are so bright and you have to sit up and get the shot in your back, my nurse held me and we joked about her giving me hugs for moral support.
During the operation, you are lying on the bed with your arms outstretched-it can be frightening.
The anesthesia works but you can still feel pressure which is normal -again frightening and calm breathing is important.
When the anesthesia wears off your entire body may start itching like crazy. My amazing nurse gave me an impromptu sponge bath to ease the itching.
Some additional things I wish I knew:
My (now healthy) baby was in NICU, and before you can visit and hold your baby, you have to stand, walk to the bathroom, sit on toilet, walk back to your bed before you can hold baby. This was heartbreaking, but makes sense as they don’t want you fainting while holding baby in NICU… but heartbreaking.
Your milk takes a few days to come in (for those breastfeeding) so don’t get discouraged. Pumping does help.
The emotional rollercoaster to realize you are no less of a mother just because you didn’t push you baby out. This took me months to get over
C- sections suck but that's all I've had. 3 c-sections, and the last one I got blood clots in my lungs from the surgery. It was by far the worst experience of my life, as I could barely walk without having pain in my chest. Even on blood thinners, and then baby not latching was not helping… I was in too much pain to fight with him.
Thank God He provided so much donations for breast milk for our poor guy who couldn't tolerate formula. But, the C-section I would take it very easy and have alarms for your meds, because the pain is unbearable if you forget to take them.
Also I'd recommend getting someone to bring you a ton of veggies while you heal in the hospital because they don't let you go until you poop ,and that could take 3 days with all the drugs and the spinal tap.
Things are much different from what I heard about a vaginal birth. They will give you a stool softener but I'd prefer veggies, especially with the crappy hospital food. They give you way too many muffins. I think I had 10 muffins by the time I left even after I ate a few. It just seemed like a ton of carbs and no fresh veggies or fruit. It was all canned…