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  1. I just had my 4th baby but 1st c-section last week and this is all so true, every word! It is really nice to see I’m not alone in this.

  2. I had my first c section 8 years ago, now I’m 8 months pregnant and about to have another one. Everything you mentioned was dead on. You brought up stuff I completely forgot about! Now I’m more scared then I was before reading this, but it’s good so I can get myself mentally prepared for this one.

  3. I’ve had two c section. My first one was very similar to what is described here. I was in lots of pain for one month. I also was on pain med for that period. I could hardly walk so I couldn’t hold my baby in my arms. To breastfeed her I had to lay her beside me on two stacked pillows as holding her in my arms was very painful. I gained lots of weight during that pregnancy and I believe that was the main reason of my long and painful recovery from a c section. My second pregnancy I was well prepared. I watched closely how much I gained weight. I asked for a belly wrap at the hospital which was the best thing ever and it was covered by my insurance. I wish Zi had known about it eith my first c section. I could walk right at the hospital with that wrap. A few days later I could walk around holding my baby. I even picked up my 3 year old daughter for a hug. I didn’t have to be on pain meds. I highly recommend getting a belly wrap. But most of all I recommend to be informed about everything. Read a lot about labour, c section, induction and breastfeeding. I did gain weight during first month after my both c sections. I also had swelling, edema on my feet after my first c section. The delivery room was freezing cold at the hospital where I had my second c section but it wasn’t cold with my first one which was at the different hospital.

  4. I had two c- sections. My first one was almost exactly as described here. I wish I read a similar post and prepared myself. For the first 4 weeks walking, moving, laughing, coughing everything was painful. I was on prescription pain medication for one month. I couldn’t sleep well because normally I sleep on my side or tummy but because of the belly pulling and hurting I had to lay on my back only. I couldn’t hold my baby on my arms because of the pain so I had to lay her beside me on top of two stacked pillows to nurse her. I was so sad that I couldn’t take care of my baby girl. Hold her and walk around with her. My feet were so swollen from fluid that I would get imprint from socks. With my second C-section I new what to expect so I was well prepared and had much better experience and fast recovery. Firstly, I watched closely how much weight I gained during my whole pregnancy.( With my first pregnancy I had gained almost double of what was recommended. I was sick if I didn’t eat and I ate day and night. I believe that was one of the main reasons that I had painful and long recovery) Second most thing that helped me to move around and not have pain was a belly wrap (why in the world nobody told me about them with my first one?) I asked for one at the hospital and I was surprised that my insurance paid for it. Thanks to that wrap I was already walking at the hospital. Didn’t need pain med either. I do not remember if the delivery room was cold with my first one but it was definitely freezing cold with my second one. I felt so bad for my newborn baby coming into a freezing room from a warm cozy womb. They took their sweet time, put him on cold metal scalesand etc. He was just screaming the whole time. His lips were so blue. I am guessing that surgery rooms are kept cold to avoid bacteria spread??I did gain weight during first month after both C- sections. I think every woman should read about C- sections before going to the hospital to deliver. I did not and I greatly regret. I didn’t have to have C- section. I wash kind of pushed to have it. It happens a lot more than we think. I was the only person that night at the hospital. I was induced. My doctor clearly wanted to get it done and go home. He kept coming and saying that I can wait for dilation and etc for 10 or more hours but I still will end up with C section. Because my baby was big. My daughter was 9.7 pounds and I am thankful that both of us are healthy but I still feel like I should have given natural birth a try since there are so many people who had bigger babies than mine naturally. Another thing women need to know is once you have C- section you are most likely to have it again with your next pregnancy. Also risks of having placental problems are much greater afterC-sections because of the scar on the uterus. Please, read and inform yourself!

  5. While I recognize that everyone’s experience is different as people heal differently, I had an experience similar to yours. I also took prenatal classes but never imagined I would have a c-section! Thankfully breastfeeding took care of my weight loss for me even when I was in bed but I remember difficulty walking distances even at 6 weeks. Every time I moved it felt my incision was going to rip open, even holding my baby hurt. And it personally feels discouraging when people talk about how “easy” a c-section was. I also had someone say to me that if I had had a doula I could have delivered naturally….what?! No, the baby was ascynclitic and OP and in distress, we both could have died. Even so I still had the “guilt” from a c-section. I can’t believe that people opt for c-sections electively. This post took me back 2 years, but thank you for sharing your experience. Even if we are on the “worse” end of recoveries, I agree that knowing it was a possibility before hand would have been helpful. I am 3 weeks away from attempting a VBAC, wish me luck!!

  6. I’ve had 3 c sections. Actually my 3 girls were borned by c section. First was done after 12 hours of painful labour and when the baby’s heart beat started to drop due to stress they decided to take her out. Second was done four years later as the baby had meconium in the amniotic fluid. So there went my chances of having a natural birth.
    Finally third one was 5 months ago. Was a scheduled one as I had 2 previous c sections before and the risk of ripping the uterus was bigger with natural birth.
    I must say that I did not have a bad experience. They were all different. The first one was scary as I did not know what was going on. Every single time I did shiver throughout the entire operation… but that is a side effect of the medication they give you. I also had nausea. It is true that while it does not hurt, you do feel what is going on. But I did not find that unpleasant at all.
    The post op was never that bad. Guess I was lucky. First time you get up from the bed really feels like your stomach is going to rip open. But it doesn’t! Sitting in the toilet is not great either. Laughing, coughing, sneezing hurts. Lifting your leg to get in the shower hurts. And if you drive a tall SUV, getting in the car also hurts! But I my case the disconfort always went away in a couple of days. I took the pain medication and did not finished them as I felt I did not need them anymore.
    I was walking and taking care of my other girls within a week. Of course being careful not to make many efforts.
    I could not drive for 2 weeks.
    And always returned to my fitness schedule after 30 days. Just modifying the abs routine a bit. I lost the weight while best feeding.
    The only downside that must be an issue with my body as I never read about this is that the 3 times some of the stiches re opened. But like a month after each c section. It were like little lumps over the scar that opened and you could see a hole inside. They gave me antibiotics and creams and i was as good as new in a few days. This happened every time a couple of times during the first 4 to 5 months post op. No big deal.

    I really feel bad for your awful experience. Looks like you suffered a lot but I’m sure it goes away when you see you little girl. And you’ll do it again in a heartbeat.

    Guess I was really lucky! 🙂
    But looking back, as I do fell I missed out the natural birth experience, I have no regrets. Our kids are with us and we must be thankful that they are healthy no matter how they got here.

    So if there are pregnant women reading, don’t be scared. You’ll be fine either way.

  7. Great post!

    I remember feeling them pushing my baby out and being numb from the neck down and wanting to see my baby being born and the doctors not letting me. I believe that the nurse who put the epidural in didn’t do it properly and when I finally got some relief it was too late and ended up causing me to have the surgery.

    I was in so much pain and on so many pain killers that on my way to the post surgery room I vomited and was shaking so badly they asked if I was cold. The pain was so intense that if I missed a dose of meds I could barely move.

    The doctors tell you about nerve damage as theyre cutting into tissue and nerves but they don’t tell you how long these symptoms could potentially last. My belly would become numb at times as well as my right outer thigh two years later. To this day if my son step on ny stomach a certain way it sends pain shooting in all directions.

  8. I have to agree with most of the comments. Everyone deals with things differently. I had two c-sections, one emergency and one plannes for twins.
    I did shake a lot the first time but I was told that it was because of the medication they gave me. I did feel them cut into me. It was the craziest feeling because I knew I should feel pain but it never came.
    As for the pain, it was not so bad for me. There was pain but as long as I (or my husband) kept on top of my pain medicine (2 Advil and 2 Tylenol) I was fine. I was up and walking around the hospital a few hours after the cathader was removed. The second time around was even easier and i bounced back sooner then the first time. I think it all depends on the person, I know people who say the second time was worse and harder to recover.
    I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one to feel the baby blues after the c-section. I felt the same way with guilt that I wasn’t able to push my daughter out and deliver her vaginally. Even though I knew I was being silly and it didn’t matter how she came into the world, as long as she was healthy, I couldn’t help getting hit with waves of guilt. I also felt like less of a mother but thanks to my husband and some time those feelings went away.

  9. I agree with the others that, it seems as though you had a bad experience. From my personal experience and from others I’ve talked to this is not the norm. It does hurt to laugh and bend, sitting up after a c-section you find you use muscles you probably didn’t even know you had. My first was emergency, so I had to be put under for it, and I had more pain with it, probably from laboring beforehand. Still, I didn’t need much pain medication, and only took one or two pills after going home. My second, I knew I would be having a c-section, but went into labor before the day it was scheduled, my healing time was a lot faster and my pain after was significantly less, I suppose do to no pushing. I didn’t have stitches, my doctor used dermabond to seal my incisions, so maybe that helped. I think really following doctors orders and not engaging in a lot of activity, but not lying still all the time is key for faster healing. As for weight gain, I didn’t have any, in fact I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight by four weeks after giving birth both times, but I breastfed and that may have helped that.
    I know there are some women who view a c-section as something terrible, because it’s not what they had invisioned for their birth. The way I see it, the main goal of childbirth is to safely deliver your child, and c-section was how it happened for me. There is a good chance that long ago before c-section my child, and possibly myself would have died during the childbirth, so I am thankful for it even if things didn’t go according to my initial plan.

  10. It sounds like you had a bad experience. I have had 2 c sections. One emergency and one planned. I was not cold for either of them. I did shake during my second but it was from the medication and the nurses used blankets to help with that problem. There is obviously pain and discomfort after a major surgery but in all honesty it really want all that bad. I did take my medications when I needed too but for both c sections I never finished all the meds I had been given. There is pain when you laugh but that’s because you are using muscles that have just been cut into. I lost weight after both c sections never had weight gain but I nursed both my kids. With that being said everyone is different and experiences different things. Looking back at my surgeries and hearing from friends that have had a so called normal birth I don’t regret having c sections one bit. No matter how you give birth it’s special. You are bringing a life into the world.

  11. While I appreciate educating people that c-sections are major surgery, I feel like there should be some sort of disclaimer that not all people experience these things as it seems overly scare-mongering. I feel for the author that she had such a hard recovery period, truly, but I had the complete opposite and I don’t want other mama’s to be terrified going into the OR after reading this. I wanted a natural birth, but my son was transverse at week 38 and I had to have a c-section. While I was shivering in the OR, I felt no pain afterwards and was absolutely fine walking around four days later. Even my visiting nurse afterwards was surprised with how well I was moving around. And I’m far from being in good shape so it’s not like I was a major athlete prior to the surgery. Just like pregnancies, all c-sections are different.

  12. Thank you for this honestly written post. I had a c-section and for me, it was as positive experience as one new mom could hope for. One thing I can add that no one tells you about is post edema swelling. Within 2 days of coming home, I experienced a swelling of my limbs that I could never imagine. It was so bad that whenever I got on my feet, I could FEEL the excess water squish underneath my skin and it was gross. My doctor attributed the swelling to a side effect of all the medication I was given in the hospital. No one mentioned or warned me about this and I never saw a comment about it in any of the pregnancy magazines or blogs I read.

    I also agree with you about the level of pain, as well as the unexpected pain that occurs when you laugh, cough, or sneeze.

    I can not stress enough- do everything you can to have help in those first 3 weeks. You will need someone there to help you get in and out of bed, in and out of the shower safely, and even to help you do basic housework. That help allowed me to recuperate faster, bond with my daughter, and establish a good, ilk supply.

  13. I had to have an emergency C-Section with my son at 32 weeks. Maybe it was the circumstances, but I was grateful for that C-section. My recovery was quick and dare I say easy. It is important to stay on top of the pain meds, and get up and walk as soon as possible. I would do a C-section again in a heart beat.

  14. I have had two, one emergency and one planned. Both times I wasn’t cold atball, and I did lie there cozily. The emergency one was after 25 hours of labor with 2 hours of pushing so not feeling that intense pressure was a relief. I actually only experienced one of these things, and that was the pain from the laughter. Otherwise I quite “enjoyed” my surgeries.

  15. Such an honest account, thank you.
    No one warns you about the shivering. I couldn’t hold my baby for an hour because I was shivering so intensely. At that time I was praying that this wouldn’t negatively impact my milk production – and it didn’t . I was able to completely breast feed my little girl. What was also true for me was the last part of surgery I started getting sensation where they were stitching so could feel the pain.

  16. So glad to read your post. I can really relate. I’ve also had two c-sections. Thanks and from me to you. A virtual high five!

  17. Wow, thanks. I went through something similar with 14 hours of labor (not much hard) and then we found he was breach and I had the c-section. But my recovery was comparatively easy and I did have some pain but nothing like that you’re describing. I do know that I got a a TAP block in addition to the heavy epidural and I’m wondering if that made the difference. Thanks for sharing because you’re right, this isn’t something you’re always prepared for and babies teach us to be flexible! Good luck mama.

  18. An interesting and honest post. It really helps new mums, relatives and husbands to understand what women are actually going through after a c-section. Thank you for sharing.

  19. fantastic post….insightful and very informative….its nice to hear from real experiences instead of reading from a book!

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