Thursday, July 1, 2010

31 weeks

Here I am. One week from month 8. One week from my LAST MONTH OF PREGNANCY!!! Holy moly crapoli tamoli. Who'd a thunk it. I'm sort of sad to think that this is it. Growing babies has been a trip (don't jinx yourself women). Yes, I have backache, and headaches and the first trimester was a living hell but compared to many I have had a pretty easy ride so far. I was worried about blowing up like a house but I am the same size as my friend who is carrying a singleton. I may not have the eggs for reproduction but I sure have the pelvic cradle for it!!

And then I think 'pregnancy is cool but motherhood - way cooler'. I see women on the street with their push prams and I get a surge of excitement. I will be a mum soon. I still have a babbling brook of fear that something will go wrong and it'll all be snatched away at the last moment but I use my life long training in denial to push those thoughts away. I had a cuddle with a friends very big baby last weekend and oh it was lovely. Sitting there with this smiley monkey, good friends, lots of laughter and giggling and happiness. I know its hard work but how can that compare to what kids bring into our lives?

So bloggie friends, here's what I need help with. I am scared of the c-section recovery. Not the actual c-section. The recovery. How painful is it? How long till you feel OK? Is it a really big scar? Is it a really icky scar? What is the hospital stay like? What is the first 12 hours like? Any stories or advice more than welcome.


  1. I had a scheduled c-section because of prior fibroid surgery. My c-section recovery was a breeze compared to that. I highly suggest asking your OB about the On-Q pain management pump. It is a little device (a tennis ball sized pump) that delivers local anesthetic to the incision site. I used it with both my myomectomy and c-section and it helped so much (and it reduces the need for oral or IV pain meds which also helps with breast feeding and your overall awareness/comfort).

    My hospital and OB allowed my best friend in the OR along with my husband so that when my husband went to the nursery with our son, my friend was able to stay with me (which I wanted b/c my OB was going to be doing some scar tissue removal from my myomectomy and that ended up taking another HOUR!).

    Ask about whether your hospital/anesthesiologist uses epidurals or spinals for c-sections AND whether if they use epidurals do they leave them in overnight (some hospitals are doing this now).

    My OB left the catheter in overnight which I was leery about but ended up being a good thing. I was up and out of bed the next morning and took my first shower.

    They will likely give you Colace (or some other stool softener). Take it.

    My scar is about 6 inches and barely visible now (it is flesh colored and is only noticeable b/c the hair around it doesn't grow back in).

    One thing rarely mentioned is that during a c-section stay you will likely be given 7 bags of IV fluids (from start to finish). This causes swelling as it can take two weeks for your body to process that much fluid. My feet were terribly (and painfully) swollen even though I had NO swelling during my pregnancy.

    Also, one other thing no one tells you about is lochia. Google it.

    My son was born on a Tuesday and we went home on Friday. By Saturday I began walking (which is THE single most important thing you can do to help with your recovery). First just out the door, then down the block a few houses, then to the corner, then around the block and so on.

    That's it from me :)

  2. I had my c-section on May14th. THe scar is really low and about 7 inches long. Mine has healed to a nice thin line. My dr. stitched me then glued the cut as opposed to staples. I have a friend who got the staples and the incision heals totally different. Her incision did not heal straight and feels thick when you run your finger across it.

    I will suggest "TO TAKE" the pain medication!! I learned the hard way it is easier to stay ahead of the pain than to wait for the pain to kick. You will have pain, just stay ahead of it and you will be able to manage it. I walked to the Nicu the following morning. You just won't have lower ab strength and it will be hard to sit yourself up in the bed. Just roll on your side and use your hands to sit up. I think walking right away is best and helps you heal faster.

    You may want to discuss Kangaroo care (aka skin to skin) which alot of hospitals encourage after birth. My DH went back to the room with the baby and did skin to skin while I was being sewed back up. They say those early minutes of skin to skin are so valuable. He won't want to leave you but if you discuss it ahead of time and agree on it and let the hospital staff know you will be set.

    I am mostly a silent follower but love your blog. I am a 46 year old Mom as a result of DE. My baby girl is now 7 weeks old tomorrow. I wish you much happiness on your next leg of this journey. Those first few months will drive you crazy at times as you and DH adjust. But it is truly wonderful. I will be following along closely to see pictures of your monkeys.

    dawn foust

  3. I've had three C-sections, and thus 3 C-section recoveries. It's good that you're doing a little pre-C research. I didn't expect to have one and therefore had not prepared myself (and had no friends with experience to lean on). My first was my hardest, but I really think that's more because it caught me so offguard that I didn't take it well, and I was a scared (and young) new mom. My subsequent ones were so much smoother because I "knew the drill". My scars were each about 6 inches long - my first was stitched and then stapled (then the staples were removed on Day 4) and then they put steri-strips in place to keep on for another week. I left them there for two weeks because I was afraid to peel them off. Wouldn't recommend that unless you want to become good friends with Goo-Gone. With my second and third, I was stitched internally and glued externally and I much preferred that. With all three, they had me up and walking right at the 24 hour mark. Again, that was most painful the first time, and much easier with subsequent sections (that was also my first surgery and had no point of reference for pain tolerance). But once you get your first shower, and a little sleep, you'll start to feel like yourself, and once a week or so has passed, you should try to get yourself out for a small walk. A little bit of walking and some sunshine do wonders for new moms! Good luck to you - you'll be just fine! -Carrie

  4. I had a c-section with Kara because after 24hrs on pitocin, I wasn't dialating. The recovery was much easier than I thought. The worst part for me, was the morphine. I had a horriffic reaction to it and wanted to peel my skin off my entire body for 48hrs afterwards. I was up and walking within 24 hrs and released on the 4th day. It was impossible to lay flat in bed, so I had tons of pillows to prop up the upper body for about a week. But i was up and around like normal, otherwise. The scar was very small - in fact, I don't know how they got Kara out of a cut that small - she was 8lbs9oz and the incision was only about 6inches. I was knocked out for that procedure because I was mentally unstable at the thought of birthing a dead baby. However, obviously I will be awake this time and I am afraid of knowing what's going on. This freaks me out. But the recovery was pretty easy last time - and I never denied myself pain medication.

  5. Looking back, it's amazing how quickly the pregnancy goes by, isn't it? You've done a fantastic job navigating these past months!

    Ah...the recovery. Nothing to be frightened of. Really. The first 12 hours you will be in bed anyway. The nurses will bring your babies to you. They will bring you pain meds. Yes, you will need pain meds, and I suggest you take what they have as often as they'll give them to you. Not because you'll be in excruciating pain, but so that you WON'T be in pain. Take the pain meds around the clock for the first week or so.

    How long till you feel okay? Well, it's not the incision pain that is the worst. Remember how swollen my ankles and feet were? They'll have given you IV fluids that make you swell and your skin feels tight. Plus, you're bleeding (vag) which will go on for weeks. Plus, your hormones are all wonky, trying to figure out where the babies went and what they are supposed to do now. So you'll have moments of tearfulness (good gawd, remember, I called Wacky P!) and just feelings of trying to get a grip on what's happening. PLUS, there are those two delicious little babies to get to know and smooch on. So, your mind, your body and your heart will feel all over the place for a while. It may last a few days or a few weeks. But pain? Nah.

    My scar is about 6 or 7 inches long and looks like a wry mona lisa smile. It's still pink, but the OB says it will fade.

    I don't think the pain is going to be an issue. But if it is, remember, you can always ask the nurses for pain meds, and they will likely offer it to you anyway.

  6. It has been so long since my csec, but I was so focused on our little guy (he was in NICU for 5 days) my recovery sort of fades. But I did take the drugs - like everyone says stay ON TOP of the pain. There was a lot discharge after - I remember using the giant pads from the hospital which I NEVER needed anything that huge before! But more amazingly was later when my milk came in - you must get breast pads! It is crazy but you'll leak all over the place without them (unless you are way luckier than me!). No one had mentioned this fun fact and I was unprepared.

    The other really terrible thing was when they made me go home on day 3 but kept D in the NICU. I thought I would DIE, cried all the way home. Which was silly, he was really healthy compared to the sick premies in there - he was just a bit early, they only kept him 5 days. But it was a shock, and with twins you may have a similar experience (hopefully you'll all go home together though!)

  7. sweet EB
    most likely I'll have a c-section since I have previa so THANK you for asking this! and what great answers.

    Cannot believe you are in the home stretch and so very happy things are going well for you (I mean, besides the errant BP values yikes)--

    thinking of you