When I was pregnant the first time a c-section wasn’t even a thought for me, I had planned on a natural birth and thought that is how it would pan out. Unfortunately I did end up with a c-section, it was the only way to get my baby out and that is what had to happen, although I have to admit after being in pain for days I was so relieved I didn’t have to push a baby out. As my hips are too small to give birth naturally I had an elective section the second time around – two very different experiences and two very different recoveries.
My First C-Section
You can read about Amelie’s birth here, but I will just fill you in briefly. Amelie was back to back and bobbing up and down, I was in horrendous pain from Saturday morning until my section on the Monday. I had already had an epidural so all that was needed was to top me up with the spinal block, this would numb my body from the waist down to my toes. I remember being sat on the operating table bent over a pillow whilst I was having the spinal block, the relief from the pain in my back was almost instant as everything went numb.
Once this was in I was laid down whilst the theatre team were preparing various bits and bobs, I didn’t have a sheet to shield me from seeing the section which I’m really pleased about as I was able to peek during the process. To check that my body was numb the surgeon would rub ice cubes on my stomach and legs, I couldn’t feel this so I was ready to go.
I could feel my tummy being pulled about and lots of pressure, sometimes this hurt especially when they were pulling Amelie out of me. It literally took about 10 minutes to cut me open and take Amelie out, she was held up for me to see and then checked, cleaned up, weighed and was ready for snuggles. Whilst all that was going on I was being stitched up and put back together, I had to have a catheter inserted as I had no control over my bladder, this remained in for 12 hours.
I was taken to the recovery room, given some tea and toast and Amelie was latching on to feed. I could start to feel my legs tingle about 2 hours after my section and once back in the ward/room that I shared with another lady I was able to have an assisted shower, they like you to have one the same night. It felt a bit degrading really, having someone you didn’t know wash you and hold your bag of wee – cringe!
I was given paracetamol, ibuprofen and diclofenac for pain relief, it seemed to work but I did feel off the planet. I think my dosage was too high for my body as I’m only 5ft and am quite sensitive to medicine, this was reduced at home by the midwife as she also though it was too much for me.
Once at home I was given an injection to administer myself to prevent blood clots, this was horrible to do but was necessary for 5 days after a section. I was covered in bruises and hated having to do it. I was up and about 2 days after my first section, my body seemed to heal pretty quickly and I felt good, I think this has a lot to do with being a first time mum and only had Amelie to look after. I did over do it a few times though as I was hoovering and walking lots so should have rested really. What they don’t tell you about c-sections is you still experience the after birth night sweats – these were horrendous! I would wake up dripping in a pool of my own sweat, disgusting. Also my whole body felt like it was full of fluid, I was puffy and all jiggly literally like a bowl of jelly and I felt really heavy like my body was weighed down.
I was advised not to drive for 6 weeks but I was driving by 3 weeks as I got the all clear from my doctor and insurance company. I didn’t experience too much pain from my first section and bounced back quite quickly. My second c-section however, was a very different story…