Five Things – the C-section Edition

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Five things they didn’t tell me before getting a c-section.

We knew going into the week leading up to my daughters birth that a c-section was a strong possibility, simply because of her being transverse (laying side to side versus head down). Well, I went to the doctor on Monday the 26th and the little stinker was head up! You could almost see her head at the top of my stomach nearly between my breasts. But, in all my research and in talking to a cousin who had one, here are some things I didn’t know written in no particular order.

1. Someone will possibly have to shave you down there. Depending on how they are making your incision, you may have to be shaved. Completely humbling experience to have a nurse you just met with an electric razor having a normal conversation with you while shaving your lady bits. Thanks Erin for making this seem like it was a perfectly normal everyday occurrence for me.

2. The afterpains. Holy crapola are these “fun”. I actually called the nurse line because I felt like it stung but only on one side. I was assured this was normal, as it is the nerve endings coming back together after being severed with the incision.  These afterpains lasted about 3 weeks or so, and luckily have tapered off.

3. Sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose. The first few times this happens in the hours or days after, grab a pillow or your spouses hand, or the cart at Target (latter was me during a sneeze). You feel like you are going to explode your insides.   Apologies again to anyone in Target who heard me say “oh f***” during a sneeze a week after I had Jordan.

4. The catheter – mine was in for almost 24 hours due to me not “giving enough output”. This also delayed me being able to see my daughter in the NICU. I was on my back from roughly 9am on the 27th to about 8am on the 28th, as my spinal wore off. Advice – drink all the water they tell you to!!

5. The tape. So after you are cut open and your baby is out, they sew you up and cover your incision with a bandage. In addition to this stickier than a toddler with a glue stick bandage, I had tape on my leg from the catheter lines and tape on my arm from the IV lines. Nearly two weeks later and some work (and lemon essential oil), I was finally getting off the last of the sticky residue left over from the tape.  The tape covering my incision we were able to take off the day after while I was in the shower.  This took Jake and I about 15 minutes to get off while I was standing in the shower in my hospital room shivering and freezing my butt off.  It was painful too, pulling tape off skin that had been stretched out from pregnancy, as well as freshly shaved the day before.

While the recovery seems easier than my last vaginal delivery, it may be that I have way more help than last time too.    Was there anything that surprised you about your c-section delivery?

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