Recovering from a C-Section

c section, Mum, Uncategorized

Written by Naomi Doust

After having two natural vaginal births with just gas and air, experiencing a c-section is a whole new ball game, especially under the emergency circumstances. After having a natural delivery the pain almost instantly goes, but then you’ve got the uncomfortableness of not being able to sit down, go to the loo, do the pelvic floor exercises that you lie about doing or even think about doing anything else with that region for a very long time. Also, I don’t know about anyone else but my absolute worst nightmare that I was so conscious about with a natural birth was ‘pooping’ during labour! I’m not proud of it, but I did with both of mine. (Sorry).

I wasn’t allowed an epidural with Rupert because I’d had the blood transfusion, so I remember saying to my midwife when we were having Percy I want everything! I didn’t actually get time to have the epidural with Percy I was pushing when the anaesthetist was trying to get the needle in my back. So when it was Mabel’s turn, again I kept an open mind and hoped the 3rd delivery would be nice and quick, in and out and home for tea!

I never ever even gave a c-section a thought. I had met people that had chosen to have one due to medical reasons or that had already had one previously, but you never think you will be in an emergency situation do you? When we were faced with our emergency we didn’t have time to register our thoughts. It all happened so quickly and all I was worried about was that no one knew what we were doing. No one knew we were about to have our baby girl. It wasn’t until after the whole traumatic experience (that I don’t ever want to go through again) when I had time to gather my thoughts and come to terms with what we just had to go through. Don’t get me wrong, we are all healthy and fine and for that I am eternally grateful, but it could have been a different story, and for a split second I thought It was. When my husband felt me let go of his hand, my eyes roll back and him rushed out of the theatre, he thought that was it. It didn’t help the midwife came to him and told him ‘they’re just resuscitating her’ -What? Who? My wife? No your daughter. He said ‘I don’t care about my daughter, what about my wife!’ She said ‘I can’t tell you’. I will never understand what he went through at the moment, nor will he ever fully understand how I felt when I woke up but we do talk about it still 14 months on and it still is something we won’t ever get over.

When I did wake up I felt a numbness, (not just from the waist down) but a vagueness, I didn’t feel anything, I should be joyous that I’ve just had my baby girl. Instead it was an emptiness, a sort of anger, and shock I suppose, I can’t explain it. She wasn’t with me for over 7 hours from giving birth. I hadn’t been the first person to see her. I hadn’t been the first person to hold her. I won’t ever get over that, you just have to learn to live with it. The midwife asked my sister in law if she wanted to hold her whilst I was still recovering. She said no and I said if she had I hoped they wouldn’t have ever told me. I would have been so desperately upset.

Recovery wise, I struggled with gas. I couldn’t eat or drink for several days afterwards. Even a sip of water was painful. I still had a drain and catheter in until the day I left which was a pain. I couldn’t stand upright. I couldn’t poo but I didn’t have any pains down below like a natural birth so I didn’t feel like I had given birth. When I finally passed wind and had a bowel movement it was amazing. I had a side room and had the windows open and I could hear all of the ladies in labour screaming, yelping, groaning with pain then a cry of a baby and I secretly thought I’m glad I didn’t have to do that.

I had my staples removed on day 5 and had an infection which a course of antibiotics got rid of. The numbness has really only just fully come back in my tummy and my scar is a gooden. I was straight into tidying up putting the washing on when I got home. The grabber came in handy. My husband was a great help especially with the two boys and with each day it did get a little easier coping with three children. I did probably do too much in the first few days, it’s so important to accept any help offered, even if it’s someone taking the kids out for dinner.

My scar does get itchy now and again and they could have done a little tummy tuck but hey ho. So for me I can honestly say a natural birth is my preference. I love my babies with every breath in my body. But I do not want to experience labour in any form ever again. 

You can read more about Naomi’s journey through motherhood over on her blog here or her Instagram here.

Planning for Birth (In Hindsight)

birth, c section, Hypnobirthing, Mum, pregnancy

Written by Laura Grant

While I was pregnant I wrote a mammoth blog post over on life by Laura about why I think it’s important to have a birth plan. I was hoping for a natural, home, water birth in front of the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree. How picturesque! I imagined getting those early contractions and snuggling up to my husband on the sofa, all excited, watching Christmas films … and what did I get? The exact opposite, a stubborn breech baby and an elected c section.

So looking back, do I think researching birth and making a plan was a waste of time? Absolutely not!

I may not have got the birth I’d planned for but I was totally clued up on all styles, my options and was able to make informed decisions. I knew what questions to ask and could better assess the pros and cons of my situation. This was in a large part, down to the hypnobirthing course I did online via the positive birth company and from reading Milli Hills positive birth book (both of which I highly recommend).

My birth plan not only included my #goals scenario but also options for induction, assisted delivery and a c section should these be needed. Personally I think it’s much easier to have thought about this in advance, rather than trying to think about it in the moment when emotions are high and hormones are raging! I mean think about how difficult it is to make decisions when you’re hangry… then multiply that by a million.

A plan is also useful so that your birth partner can be completely informed and take over some of the communication for you, should you not feel up to it. And of course they need to be aware if you would like to be hand fed grapes and fanned with leaves like the absolute queen you are! (No request is too much, be bougie, it’s your last chance to make it all about you before the baby comes!)

We hear of too many women who end up having traumatic birth experiences and feeling out of control, I think this largely down to being uninformed and not knowing what on Earth is going on. Medical professionals asking you questions which you don’t understand, having decisions made for you. I think that if women took the time to do a little research, they would feel more empowered in their experience and have the best birth they can.

A lot of ladies decide to shut out the birth, choosing not to think about it and to just go with the flow and I totally get that! It’s a scary thought, it’s something we’ve never experienced before, whether we’re pushing a watermelon out a much smaller sized hole or having major abdominal surgery. But for me personally hypnobirthing made me feel so at ease and actually excited to have my baby. Knowing exactly what would happen to my body, what options were available to me and when I should ask questions made me feel less helpless. And not going to lie… having a plan laid out made the organisational freak in me extremely happy!

Your plan doesn’t have to be an extensive 5 page essay, in fact I discourage this ( no midwife will have time to read that ) but just a few things jotted down ( or you can use the icons Milli Hill suggests in her book which I absolutely loved! ).

Do you want pain relief? Do you want to be mobile? Would you like a birth pool? Are you happy to be induced? Would you like baby to have the vitamin k injection or oral drops? Would you like to birth the placenta naturally or have the injection to bring it on quicker? Do you want delayed cord clamping? Immediate skin to skin? These are all things to consider and again, it’s easier to do this with a clear fresh mind than a split second decision in the moment. Research what these things are and why they’re done so you will have an informed opinion and won’t feel silly when being asked your preference.

This is the biggest day of your life so far, reclaim some control, feel empowered and have the most amazing experience.

Good luck mumma’s!