5 Tips to Surviving a C-Section

C-Section Blood on Floor

Click this pic to see my incision, thanks to Pete's inquisitive camera. Warning! It is graphic.

My scar, which is incredibly small, yet still a little numb, is a constant reminder, so while I’m thinking about it, I thought I’d share some “lessons learned”.

I went in for a routine ultrasound at 32 weeks and BAM, the next thing I know I was tossed into the Labor & Delivery ward, pumped up with steroids for two days, and gave birth on the third day.  Elsa wasn’t getting her vampire on like she needed to and James, who was to be the first to be evicted, decided he wanted to hit the ground running.  Having the c-section was a no brainer.

Looking back, here are 5 things I’d recommend to help you get through the ordeal should you follow a similar path.

  1. Bring on the chocolate cake!
    The day before my surgery, the nurse told me, “pack it in before midnight,” since food and water were forbidden after that time.  That night for dinner, we opted for Portillo’s cheeseburgers and fries.  My husband played delivery boy and surprised me with a piece of their famed chocolate cake for dessert.  Now, I realize that c-sections aren’t always planned.  In that case, and as soon as you’re up for it, you have got to try it!  It might add a few pounds, but your cares will melt away.  If you aren’t near a Portillo’s, try your most evil favorite.
  2. Bring on the drugs
    When I came out of surgery, I was feeling pretty loopy.  That soon wore off and the minute I started feeling pain, I called for Janice, the attending nurse.  After checking out my belly, which looked like a squishy lump of raw bread dough, she served me up the best cocktail (via IV) that I’d had in a long time!  I will never forget you, Janice.  I love you!!  After being moved back to my room, the nurses told me I could request pain meds every so many hours.  Don’t to it.  Instead, ask the nurses to  put you on a schedule.  You’ll have enough to think about and, due to the meds, when you are thinking, it may not be that clear.  Waiting to request meds until I felt serious pain was a HUGE mistake.
  3. Move around
    It’s not easy, but when the nurses ask you to start moving, do it!  You’ll be up and running in no time.  You probably won’t be running marathons anytime soon (nor will you have time once the kids come home), but you’ll heal like a champ.
  4. Have someone stay with you
    I’m not a dependent person, and tend to be a little over-independent at times, but it was comforting to have my husband staying in my room with me.  The kids were being well taken care of in the ISCU, and having some quiet, alone time was very therapeutic.
  5. Stool softeners
    WARNING: If you have small children in the room, you may wish to remove them as this part contains adult language and humor.  After surgery, in addition to the narcotic pain meds, the nurses also left me some ibuprofen and stool softeners.  Ok, great.  So, I took them as prescribed, and 5 days later (my first day home), I experienced what I can only imagine as the pain of natural childbirth when I finally, after several hours, was able to expel the largest poo I had ever seen.  So, #1) take the stool softeners!  #2) If your c-section is planned, ask about taking them long before your c-section happens.  And, #3) have your camera ready.  You’ll be so proud that you’ll want to share.  Note: I did not take a picture of my poo, but the thought did cross my mind.

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