View Full Version : Recovery After a "Caesar" and Looking after a Toddler
Hi. I am looking for people's experiences on having a Caesarean and looking after a toddler. I have a 21 month old (who was born by emergency caesarean) and I have a ceasarean booked for the end of the month for my second baby. I am now starting to have second thoughts as I am concerned about the recovery time that is required plus looking after my daughter as well. My doctor has advised me that I am able to have a VBAC.
I haven't had a Ceaser myself but I have had friends that had or wanted to for all sorts of reasons. It was really important to have a friend who can be at home with you alot or a mum that can stay for the first few weeks. The extra work load of your toddler this time you will easily forget that you have had major surgery and lift. I know there are alot of things like hanging out the washing that you should avoid as well. But even just running to the shops isn't something you should avoid. But you have done it once so you know this. Remember this time you will be tired with a new baby, sore and have a toddler that wants to climb on you. So help is more important this time.
So if you can get the help and the ceaser is what you would rather then it is your choice. If you are considering VB have a look at the VBAC thread there are alot of good experiences there. I have had 3 VB but no C and my births were all fine.
But remember it is your decision.
Hope you are going well and don't worry about it to much you will make the right choice for you and your bub. Let me know how what you decide. I'd be really interested in the choice you made and why. You can email if you rather.
Good luck Emma :)
I had a c section but I didn't have a toddler like you do, my eldest was 4 at the time. But I know I could not have done it without the help from my partner and my mum. Things like hanging washing, bathing baby etc which you would know from your first. I would say to take and seek as much help as comes your way! :D
I'm recovering from having a caesar three weeks ago after no.2 daughter. All i can say is accept any help you get. I have been very lucky as my husband and daughter no.1 (4 years old & delivered by caesar too) have been helpful and done everything they can. However my daughter no.1 did expect things to be back to normal when i first arrived home from hospital :( but now she has accepted that mummy can't do some things for awhile yet but life is just about back to normal now. Anyway good luck!!!!! :)
I have had four children, three normal deliveries and one (the last) an emergency c/section.
PLEASE go with the "normal" vaginal delivery if you can. It is so much easier and less complicated afterwards.
After having three i didn't know what to expect, when they said i was going under and having an emergency c/s. But when i woke up i have never felt so vulnerable and totally "not" in control in all my life. The vulnerability is what scared me the most.
And as a sidenote, because i didnt know that you werent supposed to bleed much after a c/s. I let it go for 3 weeks before realising somthing was very wrong. After a visit to my Dr who rushed me of to hospital, i spent a week in hospital on a drip with anti-biotics. The hospital i had my daughter at "forgot" to remove the placenta. I am very lucky to be alive. I know what your thinking, how could they forget, well thats what i wanted to know aswell. But all doors were shut tight and i still have no answers.
Good Luck with your decision and birth.
I had a caesar with my daughter for a breech presentation (epidural only) then when she was 17 months I had another caesar with my son (full general) for placenta preavia. My recovery was much better the 2nd time around although I had a lot of help from my husband and family. We are currently planning a third pregnancy and although my chances are slim, I would love to try for a VBAC. Personally I struggled more with the emotional recovery than the physical as I felt disappointed and very much out of control of my childrens births. My advice is to take any help offered and dont overdo it even if you feel okay. Thanks
Both mine were c-sections. Don't feel guilty for having a c-section. You probably don't have a choice, just like I didn't. There is far too much opinionated rubbish in some of these threads. Stay positive.
Our little one was born just before her brother's 3rd b-day. We started telling him early that mummy wouldn't be able to pick him up and got him used to the idea that if he wanted a cuddle he would have to wait 'til I sat down. Also got him used to not being carried or picked up. The big sticking point was not being lifted into the seat of a supermarket trolley!! (We taught him to stand on the back for a ride).
We started telling him what help we would need - he was "in charge" of getting nappies out, finding wipes, helping to hang washing on the racks for example. Also, we taught him to have showers so he wouldn't need to be lifted out of a bath.
We showed him photos of me in hospital when he was born so that he wasn't freaked by the drips/catheters etc when he came to visit.
We had him make paintings and pictures for the new baby which I stuck around my hospital room and he picked out a special photo of himself that I stuck to the outside of the babies crib so she could see it. He went shopping with Dad for a special present for the baby. We had a "lucky dip" set up (used an old nappy box) in my hospital room with small things like pencils, colouring books, toy cars etc and every time he came in he was allowed to pick a present "from his baby" out of the box.
Just use common sense and take any offers of help from rellies, friends etc that you can. And if you need a sleep or a rest, then get someone to come and sit with the little ones for an hour or so. No point knocking yourself out. And if you need painkillers then take them.
Just thought I'd let you know of my own experience. I had a normal vaginal delivery with my first child, and when delivering 11and a half months later expected the same. However, she turned breech at 8cm dilated (still that headstrong at 6!)and I went to hospital where they delivered me by ceasar as no one was confident to deliver her vaginally. I had an epidural delivery, got up within 4 hours of her birth, and went home when she was 27 hours old. (I'm not very good in hospitals). My husband had to work, and my family lived some hours away, so a fair bit of juggling was done. My mum came as often as she could, and my lovely neighbour would come and get my 11month old out of his cot if she was home. I found that if I got him to climb onto the bed, I could then carry him. He wasn't walking yet, so I had to. Needless to say I survived the experience, and went on to have 3 more children in 3 years, the last of whom was born on the 6th Jan this year. They were all born at home with no pain relief or augmentation of my labours. Last baby weighed 9'8" and came out without any probs. I found all of my vaginal deliveries easier than the ceasar, in terms of the emotions attatched to the birth for sure. There is a much greater sense of accomplishment after a vaginal delivery than you get after a ceasar, something impossible to explain to someone who has never birthed vaginally. As long as you feel confident in yourself that you can manage you will, for the birthand after. Best wishes.
I had a c-section for my second pregnancy which was a multiple and the best advice I can give anyone planning one is to make sure you get up and moving asap. It will hurt to walk to start with, but the more you walk the better it will be. Not stretching your tummy to stand upright (slowly, of course) will cause the muscles to seize up and create much more pain in the long run.
Obviously if you have the option of a 'natural' birth then that would be the best option as a c-section is major surgery, and can have complications. Also your vehicle insurance will not cover you if you drive within the first five to six weeks after any major surgery (caesareans included).
My first pregnancy I was determined not to have a caesar and had 54 1/2 hours labour before a vacuum extraction. Which I definitely would not recommend. If your option is between a caesar and a vacuum then definitely go with the caesar.
Whatever you choose, make sure you have all the information possible, because if you are in any danger of requiring an emergency caesar then you may be better off having an optional one. Good luck, and enjoy your baby - it will be worth it no matter what kind of delivery you have! :D
To help your toddler adjust, you could buy him/her a baby doll and stroller etc of their own, so that they can look after their 'baby' as mummy looks after hers.
Jake & Sarah's mum
Well...if you weren't too worried to begin with... you will be now!!!
I had a c-section with my second, and yes, if I had a choice I probably would of gone natural like my first, but she was breach and I didn't want to take a chance. It does hurt and its wierd straight after cos you can't feel your legs, and forget wearing a bikini again!!! but.... Rock on Will's mum - you had the right idea - Basically - you're first one will have to deal and like Will's mum did, there are things that can make it run alot smoother - just sit down when you play or cuddle - you've got an excuse now...take it.
but, also, get up and get on with it! the less you sit worrying about it, the quicker you'll recover.
Things have a way of working, and its human nature to cope, so don't worry about it - its gunna happen - enjoy the outcome... it'll be worth it!
good luck :D
hi. I had my first by emergency c section and took ages to recover. a year later i had my second vaginally and it was amazing. I was tender etc but nowhere near as in pain as i was after the the c section. VBAC is the way to go! :)
I had an emergency "C" and then 14 years later had an elective "C".
I have to tell you that for me the first was really awful and recovery time slow ... months infact ..
However the good news ... the 2nd "C" was fantastic ... if that sounds right ...
but it was I recovered fast, within 4 days I felt like I could cope well enough ... I had support, where I didn't so much the 1st "C". However not sure if because it was elective in that I had an epi and was awake for the birth that was the difference I was very scared like you about having the "C" but I can say from my experience that it was better the 2nd time around ...
Hope it goes well for you ... when are you going in ...
Thanks to everyone for their advice, tips and past experiences. Upon further research and talking to my doctor, I have decided try a VBAC if I go into labour early. If not, I will have a c-section towards the end of the month. I recovered very well with the first c-section (although there was no toddler around), but I will have the support of my husband, my parents and parents-in-law. Also, my toddler will be continuing going to daycare 3 days per week. Have already organised the gift from the baby to my daughter and have also stopped picking her up and carrying her around whenever she wants. :)
I have 2 chn both born by c-sections (my first due to fetal distress and my 2nd was a big baby) when I had my 2nd my son was 3 yrs old,
lucky enough my mum was able to help me with my son, as my first c-section was very painful, my 2nd c-section was not as bad , I recovered quickly as I got up on the same day and tried walking . I am now pregnant again and have been told that my i MUST have another c-section. My 2nd (girl) will be just over 2 yrs old when I have the 3rd and I have moved away (1 1/2 hrs) from my relatives so we will see how I go now !!!
Anyway good luck with the birth !!!
I had an emergency caesar with my first, who will be 20 months when my new bub is born. I have opted for a c-section this time around. I was considering VBAC, which my OB was happy to support, however there have recently been two ruptured scars (there is only a 0.5% risk of rupture) in a Brisbane hospital and in both cases the babies died. :( That was enough for me to decide to go the c-section again (last time I had the mid-wife from hell and therefore a hellish labour experience, but my caesarean team was FAB!) All I really want is a healthy baby!
We have no family in QLD (other than BIL 2 hours away) and therefore we have organised for my parents to come and help out for 4 weeks (and mind the little man while I have the op/stay in hospital) and dh's parents to come for 2 weeks. So ds should have plenty of people giving him lots of attention while I am recovering and I should have all the help I need. If this kind of help wasn't available to me I'm not sure what I would do, possibly hire someone to help out :confused: or go the VBAC.
The hardest thing will definitely be not being able to pick ds up!
Hope this helps.
Hi there Sheri. I have an 8mth old daughter who was born by elective cesarean after having an emergency c/s for my son 2 yrs previously. I was worried like you about recovery and caring for my son as well. Given that I knew ahead of time about the c/s I was able to prepare this time around. We're farmers in WA so don't have access to any services which makes it harder. I arranged a cleaner to come once a week as last time I got straight into the washing etc and strained my stitches and had pain for ages as a result. I also spoke with the local roadhouse and cafe about ordering casseroles and meals that could be picked up when we were town if needed and had frozen meals in the freezer ready for when I got home too. I did a big shop up a few days before going down to Perth for my op. I especially stocked up on non perishables, frozen goods, bread, nappies etc. Just gives you longer to not have to worry about these things and you know you're going to need them. My mum brought shopping out for me a couple of times too and cooked for us. We planned so that our baby was born when it wasn't going to be too busy on the farm so my husband could take our son around with him a lot and spend more time with him. When I went into town after a couple of weeks the playgroup mums knew I'd had a c/s so helped me out. I think if you live in the city areas to make the best use of anything home delivery and get a cleaner in if you can just for the first few weeks. It makes all the difference the second time around because you know what you're in for and can make arrangements ahead of time. I was mostly worried about not being able to cuddle or pick up my son or if he hurt my wound when I was cuddling him etc. We told him mummy had a sore tummy and showed him where I'd had the op and he was great about it. This time I also saw a physio in hospital and had some ultrasound on the scar before I left and she also gave me some squishy elastic tube bandaging stuff which I put over my scar which helped support it and held a soft pad over the stitches so my knickers didn't rub on them. Generally felt alot more comforable and supported so I will definitely do that next time again. All the planning made a huge difference to when I had my son even though this time I had two kids I found it much easier. Good luck, I'm sure it will all work out for you.
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