If you are a parent or even if you are not one, I am sure you are aware that as most things in life happen, things can go very different than one may think. When I gave birth to my 1st son it happened so quickly that it was hard to even process how quickly it indeed went. You can read the full details of that in this blog post here. Then when it came time to give birth to my second son, something I thought would be so similar but it wasn’t. I ended up having a C Section. I had never dreamed about having one of those in my entire pregnancy. The thought may have crossed my mind but it never went to what if’s. Just it COULD happen like anything. You can read the full details here about that birth story too. Needless to say I knew so very little about having a C Section that these are the top 5 things that I found out as they happened.
Though I knew this before it happened. During a C Section you are more than likely awake during the whole thing. Mine was not an emergency which was good however it did happen pretty fast. From the time I made a decision to have one to the time that I had it done was all in the span of maybe 45 minutes. I was thankful for this because I didn’t have to sit and dwell on it all day. However being awake I can honestly say I did not feel anything. You do kind of feel the sensations of tugging and pulling but there was no pain so to speak. I also had a bout of nausea which sucked as I dry heaved a bit and was fine after I was given an anti nausea medication. Then I was shivering uncontrollably. This was also an after effect. And the harder you try to stop shivering the worse it got. It did not matter if I was given heated blankets or not I was just shivering. All while awake. Another crazy fact about having a C Section is that you ultimately see your baby within 10 minutes. The other 30-45 minutes is than spent sewing up all the layers of your body again. I always thought it was a while til you see your baby but it really is not. That is one of the first things that you see which does make things a lot easier when you see that little bundle and ignore the fact you just had a major surgery!
This next one may be crazy to hear. You are required to pee. During surgery you are fitted with a catheter for obvious reasons since you are unable to feel your lower body which I assume includes having any feeling or lack there of to prevent peeing. After having a C Section you have the catheter removed after 6 or so hours and you are required to pee. Something along the lines of given 4 hours to pee. Which I did not. Then after you get rechecked to make sure your bladder is in fact empty or not holding urine. Which mine was empty. Then you are given another 4 to 6 hours to see if you pee again. And so on and so forth. This could be due to me not drinking or eating much since the Sunday night before. I drank so much water and was not peeing that I genuinely thought what if they out the stuff back inside me wrong. Which obviously was not rational but still. I drank cup after cup after cup of ice water to try to pee. This is something that is typically normal. I also had my IV taken out which apparently was left in a lot longer to help with things. I just was so dehydrated that I had to keep drinking and drinking and drinking til I was able to actually pee on my own!
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One thing you have to do is walk after 6 hours. By this time you can fully feel your body again and more than likely are on pain medications and no matter how slow moving you are, you are still required to walk. Even a step or two. Just standing. You are expected this. One of the hardest this to remember is that by moving around or walking a few paces you are helping your body heal faster than just sitting down the entire time. You need to be careful. Full steps and really take your time because you are for sure not balanced. I went so slow to the bathroom the 1st time I got up. I went but it was slow. The sensation on my belly and my legs actually working again was very strange. It is also okay to have a nurse or your spouse or someone to help you with this too. I never really felt pain so to speak just some discomfort. The nurses that I had were great with making sure I was getting the proper pain medications on the correct intervals so that I was not going too long without them for pain to set in.
No one also talks about the many restrictions that you have. I was specifically told that I was not allowed to lift anything heavier than my newborn. Which in hindsight is basically nothing. If you have other children especially a toddler like I do, that is extremely challenging. The fact that you can’t even really bend over to pick up a piece of paper off of the floor is incredibly hard to wrap your head around. Now at the time I am writing this 2 weeks after the birth I feel like I COULD lift my 1st son or heavy items I know that is not a great idea as I still will not be fully healed for a while. You also are not allowed to drive. While one nurse said it depends on how you feel. And another said it is pretty standard to be 6 weeks. I think it really is how you heal. The reasoning is more or less how you turn while driving. Or reactions and how you may have to stop rapidly. Not that I really drove around all that much before because I do love being at my own house but now that I technically cant drove I want to go more! I also find myself having to be reminded that I am unable to lift things because as time does progress and I heal a bit better I feel like I am capable of more. While that may be true I also don’t want to push myself to hurt myself again and have a set back in the healing process.
And lastly. A C Section is a major surgery. That is something that I still find so hard to believe was that it is not something to take lightly. I think the fact you are home in 2 nights and are expected to walk or get out of bed simply 6 hours after is mind blowing. I found myself constantly reminding myself that this is not something to be taken lightly and I really need to be careful as to not hurt myself by trying to do too much. If I were to try to push myself and hurt myself or my incision that could have really made recovery so much longer. It already feels like a lifetime. Thankfully I have a partner that so happened to take off vacation and have days off due to the holidays so I am able to have some help in getting things done around here because it would be near impossible if I was home doing this alone.
These are the things that I found particularly challenging when dealing with my C Section. You could say I was very naive when it came to this type of birth method because I guess I never thought I would be needing it. I was wrong.
Is there anything you found out after having a C Section that you had no idea about?
Let me know in the comments below! Maybe there is something you did not know before you or a loved one had a C Section.