I’d have to say that I’m part pro at the whole c-section procedure. I mean I did it three times in less than four years. None of them were really planned per say. I mean they said for sure that I had to have one the third time around, but it ended up happening way sooner than expected. I’m going to go through some of what happens and what to expect. Overall, it really isn’t that bad. I mean, come on, I did it three times and maybe just maybe might do it again.
1. Check-in at hospital. You get to go through the whole question process. Yadda yadda. They might scare you with the whole living will part (get on that if you haven’t).
2. Head back to your room. Everything is very cool, calm and collected if it is planned. You get to chill and if you have a scheduled section and wait until the OR is free. With my third, I had a time, but someone that had an emergency section pushed me back a couple of hours. They take your temperature, monitor the baby, check your blood pressure and urine. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that you get to put on the heinous hospital gown that you have to leave open in the front, all modesty ends here. They also start your IV and take your blood. They also make you take off all jewelry except wedding rings.
3. Meet with anesthesiologist. I haven’t had a bad one yet. They explain the whole process of the anesthesia and the spinal. I told mine this past time that I get really sick and nauseous while it is all happening so he was prepared to put the antinausea medicine in me. We found out this time that I get like that because the spinal causes my blood pressure to drop REAL fast and low. You can ask them anything. They do it a million times a day.
4. Husband gets ready! They give your husband or one person of choice paper scrubs to wear. Your “person” can watch the c-section or do like mine does and stay by your head.
5. Walk back to OR. Yep, you walk back to the operating room. With my second, my water had already broken so they let me walk back and fluid was gushing out and getting all over the floor – definitely do NOT walk around the hallway without shoes.
6. Sit on table and get your spinal. The spinal is basically a more potent epidural. If it isn’t planned, you might have already had an epidural so they can just add the spinal stuff to it. You go completely numb from the middle of your rib cage down. All you do is lean over and they insert it in your back. You feel a sting, but it doesn’t hurt. I promise!
7. Catheter (the pee pee one). I have to say this is my least favorite part. You don’t feel it, but you have to keep it in until you aren’t numb anymore. It’s mandatory whenever you get a spinal or epidural.
8. Get ready for baby. They will strap you down, put heated things on your body and get you all prepped. I honestly don’t know all of what they do because they put up a screen right at my neck, so I can’t see what’s going on.
9. Husband comes in. My husband comes in and sits next to my head. He usually holds my hand until baby is out.
10. Here comes baby! It usually takes 5-10 minutes and baby is out! You will feel pressure, but nothing else. If you feel something, start screaming. They will tell you when he/she is almost out and then you will most likely hear a cry of a baby. It happens SO fast. My husband got to see them and they immediately take them over to the clean-up station and get to work on the baby while you are getting sewn up. This usually takes about 15 or so minutes because they weigh the baby and do the other measurements as well.
11. Mama gets to see baby!
12. Head to recovery. Husband meets you there because he walks with the baby up to the nursery until mama is in recovery. Recovery isn’t that bad and usually goes by fast. You get to have some ice chips (I was SO parched with baby 3). Once they think you’re okay and ready to go to post pardum (usually an hour), then you get to head up there.
13. Enjoy this room for 3 more days. This is your home for the next few days. Each recovery for my girls was a little different. Baby 3, Marin, was the hardest recovery. Baby 2, Anna, was the easiest and baby 1, Ella, was in the middle. I can’t tell you exactly how you will recover, but it really isn’t awful. I mean your stomach just got cut open and it’s considered pretty major surgery so you really need to act like it and take it easy for a couple of weeks. Live it up in the hospital. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PAIN MEDS. Nurses get busy (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one and that they didn’t forget). If it is 15 minutes before your next pain med is due, call them. Do not wait until it’s time. Seriously, listen to me on that one. Call them whenever you need anything, that’s what they are there for. The first night, you won’t get much sleep. They come in so often to check blood pressure, temperature and to see how much your are bleeding down there.
Your spinal will stay in for a good amount of time. They didn’t take mine out until 13 hours later after my 3rd. I kept pumping it as much as I could to keep the pain away. You don’t have to be in pain, so why should you be? It takes a few hours to completely wear off. I believe all three times one side became normal before the other. Don’t freak out, that’s normal apparently. Once you are free of numbness, you get the catheter removed and you get to go pee on your own! Yaya. Take it easy when walking.
During all of this, your baby gets to stay in the room with you. Make sure someone stays with you the whole time. You can’t get up to change the baby or even get the baby so you can feed him or her. My husband stayed with me all three times on a tiny pull out, hard chair. He’s sweet, but I guess it’s the least they can do, right?!?! right?!?!
14. Words of advice. Enjoy your hospital stay. Get all the help you need from the people there, whether it’s your nurse, lactation or even a doctor.
Don’t feel bad telling people to get out of your room. If you’re like me, you need your space while breastfeeding. Tell your husband to tell people that you need a little bit of time. Breastfeeding is SO stressful, especially at first. Also, if a doctor or hearing person or nurse or whoever comes into your room, it’s OKAY to ask people to leave. Some people are CLUELESS and just sit in there.
If you’re stressed (because this is SO stressful, no joke) or tired, it’s okay to tell people not to come visit. They need to understand. I, personally, don’t love a ton of visitors. I look like crap and am overly tired and really don’t feel like entertaining. Most of the time, just my family visits and really close friends (maybe 2 or 3 tops).
Make every single person that touches your baby wash their hands. Once again, people are CLUELESS and don’t understand that they carry germs. I actually make people up to six weeks wash their hands.
You are VERY hormonal. You might cry a lot, like a lot and for no good reason. Let your husband know this ahead of time and make him be your advocate. Tell him how you’re feeling and that you don’t want visitors or make him tell people to wash their hands. They gotta be good for something during this whole thing, you just gave birth.
Hospital food ain’t good. If people offer to pick you up food on their way there, jump on it.
You will bleed for several weeks. You make up for all your missed time the last nine months. I will leave it at that.
Once you’re done bleeding and you lose all your baby weight, you can wear a bikini again. The scar won’t show!
Okay, I guess that’s all for this LONG post. I guess the moral of all this is to not be nervous. Doctors do this SO many times a day and it’s routine for them. You will be fine and so will your precious little baby. See, look at mine!
About Dana Patterson
I'm an energetic SAHM of two fun little girls! It's never a dull moment with kids 21 months apart. I love life and enjoy cooking, working out and just hanging with my family.