I had a caesarean a couple of weeks ago and it was a much better experience than I was expecting. Mine was 'elective' due to very bad tearing with my previous birth and a caesarean was recommended due to my risk of bowl/bladder incontinence and another very long recovery time.
I definitely made the right choice - a c-section isn't exactly a walk in the park, but I am recovering a lot quicker than after my first labour.
I was given morphine along with my spinal, but I didn't feel drowsy at all. I found the staff to be very relaxed and friendly but also very professional. I really appreciated that each person involved in the delivery (there are a lot of people in the room during a caesarean!) came over to me, introduced themselves and told me what their role would be.
The midwife who was going in with me also explained in detail everything that would happen.
The best thing was being able to hold my little girl very soon after she was born and then breast feeding her while I was still in theatre. It's a little tricky because you don't have much space and you're on you're back, but the midwife was able to position her on me so she could feed. The midwife also brought her back to recovery to I fed her again while I was there. The midwife said if it had been particularly busy, then I probably wouldn't have had the baby in recovery with me, but I was fortunate that it wasn't.
As others have mentioned, the pain when you first get out of bed is pretty agonising, but I was really surprised by how much better I felt the next day - the pain level had reduced significantly and every time I got out of bed it felt a little better. I had to have a drain and once that was removed (also quite painful to remove, but quick) it hurt less again.
In regards to breast-feeding, I was concerned that my milk wouldn't come in as easily, but it came in just as easily as with my previous v labour. The midwife said the main thing that triggers milk is the placenta being removed, so shouldn't make a difference. Also, skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible is helpful and I was able to hold baby as soon as she had been checked.
My advice (for what it's worth)
* talk to midwife/obs about your expectations beforehand i.e. about wanting to hold your baby, feed etc in theatre and recovery
*stay on top of your pain - ask for pain relief before it gets bad (sometimes staff are busy and don't remember that you're due for more)
* full-brief undies are great - I bought 6 black pairs from k-mart
* pack loose clothes - either elastic pants/ pjs that you can hike-up to your waist or a dress/nightie that you can easily breast-feed in
* take a pillow or cushion that is comfy to rest baby on as you feed (I used my longer pregnancy pillow, which was great).
Ideally I would have a V labour without the bad tearing and 6-month recovery I had afterward, but given that I would most likely have experienced a similar recovery, a caesarean was a good choice for me.
Subbing as I'll have a csection again.
My last "natural" delivery was shoulder dystocia followed by elective csection.
I had such a terrible experience & haemorrhaged post op needing blood transfusion.
This will be my last bub so I'm desperate for a better experience
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