Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So what was the C-section really like?

A couple of you have emailed me to ask me how horrible the C-section was and also what the recovery's been like.

Okay, last year when I had the laparotomy, my doctor told me that when I got pregnant (still love that!) I'd have to have a Caesar as the chance of my uterus rupturing was great because I'd had so many ops in so short a time.

No problem with me. After all, in my opinion, the point was to have a baby, not really how that baby got here.

And I actually really like to be knocked out.

With the first laparotomy, both the gynae and the anaethetist wanted to do a spinal block "you won't feel a thing; but you'll hear everything".

Um, definitely no thanks! I wanted to be completely out of it.

So if I'd had the choice, I'd have preferred to be completely out and wake up to my twins.

Well, that's not how they do things.

As I mentioned in the birth story, much to my surprise, I actually just felt a little prick (not painful even for needle-phobic me) when they put the needle in my back. The worst part was bending over my gigantic belly and keeping still.

Then my legs started going numb. Feels like pins and needles.

They then put up the curtain and put in the catheter.

Then since I couldn't see what they're doing, I didn't really concern myself - I just held D's hand.

I didn't feel any tugging but I did feel the bed move - guess that would imply they were tugging. Incidentally, I had a good look at my scar and I see bruising above and below the cut. Must be from pressure of his hand while he took the babies out. Thank God I couldn't see or feel a thing.

Then the babies were born.

Afterwards I felt NOTHING - they transported me to my actual bed - a couple of people each took the sheet corners and hauled me onto my bed, covered me and wheeled me back to recovery and then to the ward.

I felt no pain, just was very sleepy.

D does his hands exactly like this when he sleeps, and now, so does Connor.

Well, you're going to hate me for saying this but...

I’ve always had excellent recoveries from my 4 prior abdominal surgeries (2 laparoscopies and 2 laparotomies) and I apparently have a high pain threshold… so I hardly needed any painkillers.

I was on a drip so I'm sure there was something in there.... but the drip was out by 3pm that afternoon and so was my catheter.

I'm a bit of a stroppy patient (I know, you'd never guess!) so I told the nurse to go ask the doctor when the soonest was that the catheter could come out. She said 12 hours so at exactly 3pm out it came. And with it the drip (IV).

I had none of the suppositories for pain while hospitalised and I think 3 of the 5 sets of tablets. So was sent home with the 5 pain suppositories and 2 sets of tablets.

The other girls who had their Caesars later that day were getting things in their drips (IVs) (I believe I heard something like Pethidene mentioned) every 6 hours in addition to the suppositories and pain tablets (Synap Forte).

I'm not telling you that to brag, but to give you a broad picture of other normal people.

Now, mobility.

Obviously, once that catheter was removed, it was great because I could get to the bathroom and move around a bit more.

Initially, there was some pain when having a pee but that went away after about the 3rd or 4th time.

We were all given another type of suppository so we could have a poo (sorry, tmi) because this hospital doesn't discharge you until you've done both! It wasn't painful but as you know, I suffer with constipation anyway, so I'm always nervous in case something happens, like stitches coming loose, etc. After that suppository it took me another 5 days to go naturally :)

The mobility? Well, it was difficult getting into a sitting position from sleeping, or getting up from the bed from sitting but once up, I moved easily.

I will say this - I have noticed in the past that if I've been exercising and am fit, I recover much quicker. I even postponed my laparotomy by a month last year so I could go to gym and get fit, because I knew the drill and I prefer a shorter recovery time (am NOT a good patient).

I felt a MILLION times better on Sunday (5 days after surgery) and have been really good since, but if I overdo it, I feel sore by around 6pm.

Now, the shrinking belly - taken on Sunday, 5 days afterward

It would definitely have been more difficult if I’d had to take care of the babies. But then D would have been home on paternity leave hauling them to me in bed :)

I had my stitches out today. Much, much better than the last time. I felt a bit of tugging when he was cutting at the actual stitching but then not much when doing the actual removal.

Wasn't even on that table for 5 minutes :)

Let me know if there are any questions. Don't be shy - as you can see, I'm not!

This is my favourite pic of Kendra so far - "will you two PLEASE stop taking pics?"


  1. Thanks for your comments. I feel a bit better today but it is a moment by moment journey. I am more than thrilled that your babies are doing well. They are gorgeous! Very happy that you are doing well too. It's nice to see a good outcome! When do you think they will come home?

  2. What sweet little babies! Thanks for sharing your helps me prepare for things that may come!

    I hope you and the babies continue to progress!!

  3. I don't anticipate having a C-section, but it's always nice to know what one could expect. Sounds like you are recovering splendidly. Thanks for the updates. Now on to read your next entry...

  4. I'm so glad you're healing well. I wish I could be more at ease, and I suppose this helped, I just really don't want a c-section. I totally understand why you would want to be knocked out. The idea of a catheter, the babies be taken away, and drugs are all scary to me. I hope I can be as strong as you, and practically everyone else in the world is!

  5. I'm so glad you are doing well after the C-section - I was the far other end of the spectrum with mine - and took over 3 months to get back on my feet with normal energy levels. I was so glad she was a very easy baby.

    It is rare to completely knock out the mom anymore - as that often affects the babies breathing when they are born.

    Love the picture of Kendra hiding. What long fingers! They are both so precious.


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