Are you going in for a second c-section? Or is this your first? Make no mistake, a cesarian or a c-section is a MAJOR abdominal surgery. And so, a lot of care must be taken for the recovery right after.
I had 2 within 2 years and surprisingly, the experience of both was markedly different.
Yes, just like every human being is different. Every parenting style is different. So is the experience of pregnancy and childbirth.
Reasons for the First C-section
Officially, these are the reasons for any pregnancy to end in a c-section birth:
- Weird position of the baby/babies.
- Placenta refusing to work properly/as expected.
- Medical reasons such as heart disease, Herpes, Hepatitis-C or HIV.
- Labor taking too long/slow.
- Use of forceps or other instruments unsuccessful during a vaginal birth.
- Umbilical Cord comes out first, during a vaginal birth.
- Distressed vaginal labor – this is what happened with me – read the details down under.
My first C-section was unplanned.
I was so determined to have a natural birth with Baby#1 that I never bothered reading up about c-sections.
My water broke at 7.30am – 3cm dilated.
My labor pains started at 11am.
I labored hard until 4pm. 6cm dilated. That’s when I asked for an epidural.
Although the epidural numbed the pain gloriously, it slowed down the dilation process.
So they introduced Pitocin to hurry things up.
7pm. 10cm dilated, but Baby#1 was nowhere near the cervix. The head was never “engaged” it was still floating.
The doctor asked me to push. Once. Just once!
She asked me just one time and I said I was too exhausted from all that labor drama that went on all day.
Maybe if she pushed me into it, I would’ve pushed more. But she didn’t and I didn’t.
7.30pm. It’s now been 12 hours since my water broke and there was a risk of the amniotic fluid running out and suffocating Baby#1.
So sadly, we had to agree for an emergency c-section.
There were tears and terrifying involuntary shaking – an epidural side-effect.
They sent Hubs to sign some “consent forms” and pay the bills while I was wheeled fast into the Operation Theatre.
I didn’t even get a happy-surgery-smooch and that made us both sad.
Sadder than having to go under the knife after preparing for a natural birth for over 9 months!
Yes, did I mention that Baby #1 was 2 days past her due date? That means she completed 10 months in my womb and then some.
Baby#1 was out by 8.30pm – a healthy, 10-pound baby!
She was SO Big that looking back, I was thankful God made me have a c-section.
Getting that 10-pound baby out of my tiny pookie would have destroyed my pookie! Not forever, but at least for a few days and recovering from that would’ve been harder.
God’s plans are always perfect!
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. ~Psalm 18:30
Reasons for a Second C-Section
This was an elective c-section. That means it was planned, scheduled in advance and we got to pick the date!
I wasn’t so excited about picking a date, at first – I’ve chronicled the real reasons for it in another post. See it Here.
Did you see it? Not yet? Well, see it later; it’s a pretty interesting post because God helped us pick the date, not astrologers.
It was the perfect date – especially because as soon as my doc cut me open, she immediately remarked that my last c-section scar had stretched super thin – so thin that had we waited for a few more days, it would have ruptured, endangering Baby#2 and my uterus!
Praise God that His timing and His guidance is always for the good.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Second C-Section Compared To First
- It was better, much better compared to the first c-section.
- It wasn’t as traumatic as the last emergency c-section had been.
- I knew when it would happen and I was mentally and physically prepared for it.
- The recovery time was also shorter, much shorter than my first c-section.
How will I feel After a C-Section Delivery?
Since c-section is a major surgery, they starve you 4 hours before and after the surgery, but fill you up with fluids.
Day 1 After a C-Section Delivery
Although the sugars in your body are more or less regulated with the fluids, your mouth is dry as a bitch.
My first c-section was a night full of acidity terrors. Apparently, they forgot to give me an antacid before the surgery.
With a spinal anesthesia or an epidural (which is also administered in the spine) you must lay down straight for 12 hours, after the surgery. No sitting up. This not-sitting-up or turning sideways is a bit of trouble when it comes to breastfeeding on the first day. Nurses are around to help change the baby’s diapers, so all you have to do is lie down and not move for half a day.
You can successfully breastfeed from DAY 1 even if you if you are bed ridden.
Day 2 After a C-Section Delivery
You may feel a little apprehensive about your stitches bursting open if you moved even a teeny bit – but that’s just all in your head. Depending on the kind of hospital you choose, an upbeat, smiling and encouraging physiotherapist may come in to guide you with –
- How to turn on your side
- Get up off the bed
- Get back on the bed
- Lie down
- Walk a couple of steps
- Exercises for your toes and legs – to do them every hour while you lay on the bed.
If you are able to successfully do all these by yourself by the Day 2, then you can save up on the hospital bills and get yourself discharged – provided your baby is healthy as well!.
How I was Discharged on Day 2!
That is exactly what happened with my second c-section.
Since I knew what to expect, I was mentally prepared to win the battle of DAY 2.
Any normal to be parents who save up for the labor day and delivery, but we didn’t.
Heck, we don’t even have any bank balance left by week 3 of the month.
That’s why I prayed to Jesus that since the insurance allowance of Rupees 80k is all we have, please help us stick to that budget… somehow.
You guide me, Lord and I will follow.
Jesus healed me quickly, made me walk tall and be comfortable in my surgery stitches from Day 2.
I won’t take credit for being discharged on DAY 2 – It was all God’s work.
And do you know what the hospital bill was? It was Rupees 80.004k!
Only Jesus Saves.
What’s C-Section Recovery like during the First Few Days?
- You will need to put both your hands on your c-section scar area – every time you want to laugh or sneeze or walk.
- There will be period-like bleeding, but not as much as someone who goes through a vaginal birth experience.
- Day 1 you are on a liquid diet.
- The next day you progress to semi-solid and then solid food.
- Day 3 time to take the tube out of your pee-pee, walk independently and take your first dump. Oh how glorious that first dump would be!
- Day 4 pack up and leave! … unless advised otherwise.
What’s C-Section Recovery like After I Leave the Hospital?
You will need plenty of rest – that doesn’t necessarily mean sleep all day, but laze around, and don’t get back to doing your daily chores immediately; enjoy your baby while you nurse…
You are called back to the hospital to remove the dressing from your c-section scar within 10 days.
There will be light bleeding for about a month – if it’s heavy bleeding then make inform your doctor and get help.
Mood Swings. You thought PMS or being pregnant gave you terrible mood swings? Wait until after childbirth.
How Active Should I Expect To Be?
Traditionally you won’t be allowed to step out of your home for a month or more. I would say, listen to your body, you feel like going out for a walk, do it. You feel like being alone in your room, do that. Want to see your friends? Call them over or go see them!
If you want to recover soon and get back to normal life, you need to pray that God gives you the strength and the will to do it.
Push yourself but not too hard.
You may feel emotionally overwhelmed to be around many people
With all the hustle and bustle that goes outside – the neighbors, the friends, their kids, their questions, the smiling the nodding, the retelling of your birth story over and over again was overwhelming for me. That’s when I realized there could be some truth to what the elders were saying.
Well, some said not to step out of your home because your body is vulnerable to “evil spirits” Yeah Right. Jesus protects me.
Fuck You, Evil Spirits.
A quiet walk outside to get some fresh air, did me a lot of good just a week or so after I returned home from the hospital.
A quiet walk; make sure the baby and you are dressed right for the weather.
You may feel it physically taxing to be out and about
Breastfeeding can burn about 300-600 calories a day. So couple that with a stroll around the park or the mall, and it can get very tiring for you. So give yourself some space and time to get on your normal life right after childbirth.
C-Section Recovery Tips
Ensure you get an antacid before the surgery – so you don’t get painful acidity after.
Wear a tummy tucking belt from Day 2 and wear it as long as you can (except during meals and bath time). I didn’t bother with one after my first c-section and my belly remained big and flabby throughout the year! My baby belly #2 is going down surprisingly fast with a belt this time. Yay.
Get up and walk with the heads up by your physiotherapist and doctor. You need the movement to help you recover faster, laying there like a dead duck is not going to help you at all.
Drink and sip on warm water. For the simple reason, that warm water never satisfies your thirst (like cold water does!) and you end up drinking more water. Drinking a lot of water is great for c-section recovery, breastfeeding and even otherwise.
Eat 3 full meals and 2 snacks, a day.
Consume hot and soft foods for the first month, at least. It’s comforting and healing.
Take your painkillers on time. I missed mine a few times right after I came home and that was a terrible, terrible mistake.
Take your vitamins – especially calcium and iron. You need them, particularly if you are breastfeeding.
Have soup – at least for the first 21 days. It’s comforting and nutritious as well.
Listen to your body and your intuitions MORE than what your mother or anyone else tells you.
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