Caesarean Recovery and Expectations

I didn’t think it would happen to me, I didn’t think I would be on an operating table having my tummy opened so I could in turn hold my baby.

I was arrogant, I would scroll through birth stories and I would skip all of the ones on c sections, when my pregnancy apps would have articles on caesarean births I would ignore them and look for the natural birth articles.

“Make sure you take all of your jewellery off before you go into labour because if you have a c section birth you wont be able to wear any of your jewellery into the operating theatre” my mum said to me one day. I of course ignored this advice and true to what mum said, when the decision was made by the doctor that Zephaniah was going to arrive via C section they asked I remove all jewellery and piercings. And for those that know me or have seen me out, I wear a lot of jewellery. Therefore removing my mounds of jewellery was no small task and it took the help of my birth partners, my senior midwife freaked out on me when I couldn’t remove a bangle due to swelling. I remember telling her “It wont come off, if you want it off you’ll have to fucking cut it off”, my mum quickly stepped in and advised that the bangle was not going to be cut and they would just have to deal with it and the operating staff did exactly that.

Some of the things that I wasn’t aware of where that you couldn’t eat prior to a c section so my last meal was at 12pm and I wasn’t allowed to eat past this time and I had my c section at 11pm at night, no eating is a killer!

I wasn’t able to have skin to skin with my baby, I didn’t even hold her after she arrived, Aiden was the first to hold her.

You will receive a spinal block to numb you for your c section, if your not sure what this is it is very similar to an epidural.

Your hospital stay will be a minimum of 3 nights and can sometimes be up to 5 nights

I was getting my blood pressure taken and my temperature taken when next to me in her crib Zephaniah starting choking and spewing up black mucus fluid, I panicked, I pulled the thermometer out of my mouth and leaned over the bed so fast to try and grab her and help her. The midwife on duty that was checking my obs told me to calm down as she picked Zephaniah out of her crib and started patting her on her back. She explained to me that this is normal and Zephaniah over the next few days will bring up a lot of mucus as babies that are vaginal birthed normally have their lungs squeezed and the mucus is squeezed out of them when they come through the vagina. However given caesarean babies aren’t able to go through this process they manually have to bring up the mucus themselves and it is totally normal for this to occur. Honestly hearing her choke and gargle was the most frightening thing I have ever heard, it shook me to the core.

The next day after birth I was made to hop up and have a shower, this was a different experience as I was so worried I was going to fall over or tear my scar open just from walking. During the shower I had a nurse help me and I remember removing my underwear and my “Bluey” (a contraption that the nurses make for you, it is like a big pad) and blood just started dripping all over the shower floor, apparently this was normal. I had my catheter removed however in order to keep the catheter out I had to wee 3 times into a bucket and my wee had to be measured, if I wasn’t weeing enough it would go back in. So I was sucking down the water. I had to report each time I passed wind, and each time I did a number two, which took me two days to do.

My recovery was a breeze, I stayed in hospital for 3 nights and was discharged at the earliest as the nurses were amazed at my recovery process. I requested to not have any endo for my pain relief (bad experiences previously) and I was just given a mixture of Panadol and nurofen and this was more then enough for me. When I went home I just took Panadol. I was given strict instructions not to do any house work, driving or training for a minimum of  6 weeks. For me this was the hardest of the recovery, it is amazing how much freedom you gain from driving, there would be days were all I wanted was a coffee or all I needed was some milk or bread and I couldn’t drive anywhere so I had to rely on Aiden to go back and forth for me. When I had apts I had my brothers drive me and Aiden would stay home with Zephaniah and look after her. The restriction on my workouts was also hard as training is my anti depressant so after three weeks I decided to start walking and before I knew it 6 weeks had passed and I was able to train again.

My scar is a decent size, I wouldn’t say it is small however it is hidden under the fold of my tummy so I don’t see it often and it doesn’t bother me at all.

All in all I am happy to go through a c section again and I think it can sometimes get a bad wrap however my experience was fine and I really didn’t mind being looked after in hospital, like who doesn’t like having their sheets changed every day on their bed or eating fresh hot meals for lunch and dinner and being fed dessert at each meal.

I will be at ease when I have my second baby as I will know what I am in for and what to expect.

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