Due to the stress that labor would put on my heart and because I had Plascenta Previa, I had to have a scheduled c-section when Luke was delivered. When my doctor told me this I was really nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Since having Luke I’ve had several pregnant friends ask me what it was like. Given this, I’ve decided that this is the perfect topic for a blog post to help moms know what to expect. I’ve tried to include as much accurate detail as possible to provide a true-to-life experience so it’s going to be a longer post than normal. Keep in mind I’m not doctor so I’m sure there are things I’m missing – not to mention it was all so surreal it was kind of a blur. Each experience may vary per hospital.
I had a scheduled c-section so on the day of about two hours beforehand my hubby and I strolled in to Labor & Delivery. Since it was scheduled everything was pretty nice and relaxed. We took pictures in front of the L&D sign, made bets on how much we thought he would weigh and just got excited about what was to come.
The L&D department got us all checked in and I was immediately assigned to an L&D nurse. I have to give a little shout out to my L&D Super Nurse Tannya because she was absolutely amazing and really made my experience fabulous. My L&D nurse was with me the entire time and truly becomes your best friend that day. She helps get you all prepped, answers questions and is just a support system for you. You will then get in your hospital gown, answer a variety of health questions, get an IV as well as meet with your anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist will ask you about your history with anesthesia and talk you through what’s going to take place (I was going to be having a spinal – more details shortly). After this it’s pretty much time to go. I gave my family a couple quick hugs and Daddy Russ went off to put on his scrubs while they took me in to the operating room (and yes, your hubby will join you in the operating room).
In the operating room just the anesthesiologist, L&D and another nurse were in there when you go in at first. First they got me ready for the spinal. Honestly, this is probably the most painful part of the entire thing but don’t worry it’s pretty fast. First they give you small shots in a circle on your back to deaden the area and then they do the big one in the center but you can’t feel that one. The small ones aren’t fun but it could be worse. Super Nurse Tannya held my hands the entire time and it was over fast. Fairly quickly it all begins to work and your body starts feeling heavy. What’s great is you are still completely awake and not woozy so you can enjoy the experience of welcoming your baby. The nurse will then put in your catheter (by then you can’t feel anything – I didn’t even know she’d done it). A screen was put up just below my neck so I couldn’t see what was going on. During all this everyone was talking to me and just making it a nice experience.
My OBGYN and one of her colleagues then came in and pretty much got straight to work. Someone then escorted my hubby in and the “baby nursing team” also came in to get ready. All I could feel was some tugging and pulling but no pain whatsoever. It all went by super fast and before you know it my doctor was telling Daddy Russ to get out the camera because it was time! Note to Dads: Be sure to keep the cameras in your hands!! Daddy Russ had his in his pockets UNDER the scrubs! Next thing I heard was a little cry and everyone started describing him to me since I couldn’t fully see him. They take the baby immediately to the side of the room and the baby team starts working on him to clean him, check vitals, etc (which they do incredibly fast).
Daddy Russ walked back and forth between me and the baby. While the baby is getting cleaned my doctors sewed me back up and within minutes they were bringing Luke over to me so I could hold him (well kind of hold him – they mostly held him up next to me so we could cuddle). The nursing staff was so kind and were happy to take pictures of us all together.
This doesn’t happen to everyone but my blood pressure kept dropping which meant I puked a couple times in the operating room and in recovery. Nothing too concerning but apparently it’s a possibility with anesthesia. It was mostly just annoying.
After all that they took Baby Luke off to the nursery to give him his first bath and Daddy Russ went with him. They then took me into the L&D recovery area and you can start seeing your family as soon as you’d like. Daddy Russ and my family kept running the cameras between the nursery and the recovery room so that I could keep up with what was going on. You’ll be pretty tired but so elated you just can’t close your eyes. During all this time you still won’t be able to feel your body from about the waist down but the feeling will gradually come back. You’ll be sore but just take your meds on time and it will keep everything under control and I could still enjoy the experience (don’t skip your medicine or you’ll regret it). After awhile in recovery you’ll then be able to go to Postpartum and get to spend pretty much as much time with your baby as you like.
By the next morning my catheter was out and I was already walking gently. Right before you go home they will take out your staples (don’t worry it doesn’t hurt). By two days I was just on a heavy dose of Motrin. Within two weeks my incision was pretty much completely healed and my doctor released me to take baths, go swimming, etc. By six weeks I was able to workout! All in all, I thought it was really easy and was amazed at how fast the recovery was for me.
Now I understand that each experience is different for every person but hopefully by my sharing this it gives you a bit of insight. A couple things that I found beneficial:
– Try to get walking as soon as you can. It will hurt at first but will get things healing faster.
– Family and friends will all be wanting to see you and the baby. Be sure that you schedule some time for just you, hubby and baby to enjoy your new family.
– Make sure the camera is charged and ready and that the hubs knows how to use it. Take as many pictures and video as possible. You can never have enough.
– Treat your nurses kindly! They truly run the hospital. I brought bags of homemade cookies and mini champagnes for the nurses.
– Have the hubs or another family member fill your pain medicine prescription before you go home so you don’t have to worry about that.
– I packed light, soft cotton summer dresses for the hospital that were easy to lift up to examine your incision and easy to pull down for breast feeding.