Prev Next

10 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me About C-Sections

By Amalah

…or just like breastfeeding, I wish somebody had yanked the iPod buds out of my ears and given my shoulders a good hard shake while they told me.

1) You’ll get “the shakes” immediately afterward. The All-Knowing Internet also calls them “the epidural shakes,” but they seem to be MUCH more common after a c-section than a vaginal birth. Possibly because of the extra firepower (morphine) that’s typically added to your spinal before the surgery. After my medicine was turned off post-emergency-cesarean, I started shaking uncontrollably from head to toe. My teeth chattered, my muscles quivered and jumped, and I thought I was going into shock and dying. After (REPEATEDLY) asking about why I couldn’t stop shaking, a nurse curtly assured me that it was normal and epidural-related. As they wheeled me to the recovery room, they put my son in-between my legs because I couldn’t hold him, and oh, I hated that.

2) Your partner might not be allowed cut the cord.. The doctor will usually cut your baby’s umbilical cord, since your body is pretty much wiiiiiiide open at that point. If your baby is in any sort of distress and every second counts, it is VERY unlikely that the doctor will allow anyone else to cut the cord. For an elective section, you’ll need to ask ahead of time (and remind your doctor immediately before) — it’s certainly not unheard of, though still not standard operating procedure. I was dismayed to learn that my husband didn’t get a chance to cut Noah’s cord, but when I asked him about making arrangements for the second time around, he actually admitted that he’d prefer if the doctor did it, rather than waste time fumbling around with it while my abdomen hung around all open and bleeding.

3) You can breastfeed in the recovery room, usually 20 to 30 minutes after the birth. I was terrified that having a c-section would mean a terrible delay on breastfeeding — that they’d whip my baby away somewhere for hours and hours for some strange reason. The breastfeeding thing is so often given as a “con” for cesareans that I guess I was expecting a real worth-getting-worked-up-over waiting period, but basically the timeline goes like this: Baby out, handed to nurse for APGAR checks and weight, doctor starts stitching, baby is swaddled and brought over to you while stitching is completed, you’re wheeled down to the recovery room, baby immediately gets put on your boob while the nurse cleans you up and does…I don’t know…other important medical stuff. I wasn’t really paying attention, what with the amazing new baby and all.

4) You’ll have a catheter for a good 24 hours post-surgery. Yep. Enough said.

5) They won’t let you eat or drink anything. AT ALL. That blasted morphine again — a lot of women will throw up as the spinal wears off. And you know, that’s terrible for them. Some of us do not throw up, but we do not get a gold star and a dinner roll for our intestinal fortitude. I was STARVING after my sections. STARVING. With my emergency section, I’d gone a good 16 hours without food, and over 12 of those hours I’d spent in labor — 10 of them unmedicated, one of them pushing. And then I wasn’t even allowed to have a glass of water. Hell, I had to beg for ice chips (which I then hoarded, allowed to melt, then greedily drank). I didn’t ever really cry about anything regarding the actual surgery, but Lord have mercy, I cried over the food thing.

6) You’ll be quizzed on various embarrassing bodily-function-related milestones. You aren’t allowed to eat solid food until you fart; you’ll have an IV until you pee a certain (rather tremendous) amount; you’re (often) not allowed to go home until you poop. Don’t wait for the nurses to quiz you on these events either — you’ll wait unnecessary hours alternatively starving to death and getting tangled in your IV cord if you do. I cheerfully rang for the night nurse at 3 am one night to report on my gas habits and inquired about my breakfast — could I get pancakes? Extra butter? Coffee? GAH GAH GAH STARVING.

7) Learn the proper way to get out of bed. This was a real problem for me after my second section. I don’t know why. I couldn’t seem to get up without taxing my abdominal muscles and causing myself terrible pain. I think a nurse actually showed me how to get out of bed last time — and the second time they handed me a hospital booklet about mother & baby care and told me to read it. (HINT: I didn’t read it.) (Until weeks later, when I paged through it just before tossing it in the trash, only to discover a step-by-step illustrated guide to getting out of bed post-c-section.) If you want to know how to get out bed without hurting your incision, CLICK HERE.

8) Your incision will be numb for a long time. The skin around my scar never really went back to normal, sensation-wise. Touching it still feels like I’m touching someone else’s body.

9) Completely terrifying-looking things can happen to your incision. A few days after coming from from the hospital, I got up one morning to go to the bathroom and felt a terrible, unmistakable popping sensation around my incision. I whipped my nightgown off to inspect my wound, fully expecting to see broken stitches and gushing blood. But everything looked…just fine. Felt fine too. But several hours later a large angry reddish-purplish spot appeared under my skin. It wasn’t raised, didn’t particularly hurt as much as ache, and completely freaked me out. I called the doctor, convinced that I had done something awful to myself, and found out that I had popped a small blood vessel, resulting in a hematoma. Basically, I had a really bad bruise. Because of the size and placement, mine was nothing to be concerned about and it went away on its own. Do not mess around if you notice something similar — hematomas after c-sections can sometimes signal a more serious hemorrhage going on beneath the surface, and can also get infected. FUN!

10) The 10th rule of c-sections is that THERE ARE NO RULES. Recovering from my emergency c-section was a breeze. I felt great. I was up and out and wearing my cutest (maternity) dresses within a couple days. It was the scheduled one that kicked my ass, the one that was supposed to be “easy” and “stress-free” and “convenient.” Don’t let anyone (including me!) scare you to death with their story of woe and agony and infected incision sites. Alternately, don’t let anyone (me! meeee!) tell you how fantastic it all ways and downplay the fact that it is major abdominal surgery and should be respected as such. And by “respected” I mean “you get waited on hand and foot by the rest of your family and brought a steady supply of Milano cookies.”

If you landed here but are still pregnant, visit Amalah’s Pregnancy Weekly. You won’t regret it.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


  • Jenny

    July 21, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I haven’t had a baby, but I have had a ruptured appendix and that surgery. So I can relate to a lot of the tips, especially the ‘passing gas’ one. If I was asked once, I was asked a thousand times about if I had passed gas, when I had passed gas, etc. I wasn’t really passing gas and finally just started kind of lying about it. When I had been home for a day or two, I finally started passing gas and realized what they had meant. I found the easiest way to get out of bed was to kind of roll out and use a pillow to stabilize my stomach. It was an adventure, for sure to get out of bed. One piece of advice I’d give is to not play the hero in regards to the pain meds. Take the pain meds. They are there for a reason. You’ll walk around more if you take the pain meds and if you walk around more you’ll heal faster.
    I did come out of my surgery with a lot of appreciation for those of you that have had c-sections.

  • rachel

    July 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I would like to admit that I was sad when they took my catheter out. After the last two months of pregnancy where I peed nearly constantly I loved that thing. Sad, I know.
    (I recovered really quickly from the emergency c-section too–sometimes I wonder if it’s because I didn’t have time to read too much and freak myself out.)

  • Claire

    July 21, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Though the shakes directly after giving birth can be epidural or c-section related, don’t expect to not get them if you have a natural birth. I had absolutely no drugs in my system (I did get local anesthetic to my girlie-parts for stitches after tearing, but that isn’t a system-wide thing) and I still shook uncontrollably.
    It kind of makes sense though: you haven’t eaten for hours, you’re fatigued as you’ll ever be, and in my situation you were just in A LOT OF PAIN. Makes sense to shake.

  • Karen

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I thought I was dying after my c-section, too. The shakes so bad it hurt, and so so so so cold. I think my blood pressure went really low? They gave me epinephrine (sp?) and it helped.
    I also cheerfully alerted the staff when I farted. I believe I rang the bell and when the nurse said “Yes?” over the intercom I asked/yelled, “Who do I tell that I farted so I can have breakfast?”
    I had been in labor 30 hours before the section. 24 hours unmedicated. 17 hours of labor in the hospital and not allowed to eat. I snuck a granola bar, though. By the time they let me have a liquid diet I was sucking down the jello and broth like it was going out of style.
    I was so happy that I farted in time to get the hospital’s Thanksgiving dinner because it just wouldn’t be thanksgiving on Jello and broth.
    And ok, this is horrifying, but am I the only person in the world who discovered clots and a looooong piece of membrane hanging out of her vag 11 days post-section?? AGAIN with the thinking I’m dying.

  • Karen

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am

    On the other hand, I did NOT recover extremely quickly from my emergency section, and chalked it up to going through 30 hours of labor, nearly pushing the baby out, and THEN being cut open and having the (very stuck) baby un-stuck from my pelvis by means of a couple of docs practically standing on my chest to unwedge her. I did get out of the hospital early but I was pitifully slow and pained and not at all in any way “cute”.
    I was unable (because of my blood pressure) to be raised up enough to breastfeed for a couple of hours, but nobody whisked the baby away – she was in the room with me, pitifully rooting around on my parents and partner, while I was flat on my back. We’re now 8 months into a veeeery happy and successful nursing relationship. No issues.

  • bessie.viola

    July 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    When the call was made for my emergency c-section, I was pretty well-prepared from Amy’s account on her Amalah blog. I was unprepared for immediately getting sick on entering the OR (from the morphine/epi). If you feel nauseous, just shout it out – someone will be RIGHT there to hold a basin to your head.
    Also, I was unprepared for how quickly I’d be taken back to my room. I still felt wholly unprepared and was panicking a bit. I was bf’ing as well, so I had to unlatch her and then she SCREAMED all the way upstairs. So, word of advice? Speak up. I should have just asked to stay until she was finished as post-op was NOT busy (it was 9pm). Just speak up, the nurses want to help (mostly ;).

  • chiquita

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I had a liquid diet pretty soon after getting out of recovery. Of course it all came back up… so it was a mixed blessing.
    And, someone did tell me this, but it bears repeating: if you wanted a vaginal birth but ended up with a C-section, you are not a failure. Healthy mom and healthy baby= success.

  • Selfish Mom

    July 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I have 3 to add, two good and one not so much. Having been through both a vag and a C-section, I’m honestly not sure which I’d choose if I had another kid. 1) You get really good drugs after a C-section. It helped a lot. 2) I wish I had known that I wouldn’t be able to drive for two weeks after my C-section. 3) I wanted to have sex again waaay quicker after the C-section, since the “relevant area” did not feel like it had rug burn.

  • Angela

    July 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    The thing I wish I’d known… that the extra kick they put in my epidural for that lasting pain relief would not just have the side effect of “making my nose itchy” but would drive me absolutely bananas with the insanely itchy nose, to the point where I had to have them give me something else to reverse it. It was beyond itchy folks. I’m sure not everyone has that reaction, but DAMN! I will not be having that drug next time.

  • annettek

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    #8 – Yes! I didn’t know about the numbness. 6 years later and I still can’t feel the skin between the scar and my belly button!
    As for #10, yeah, I wish I had known that it might not be all that bad. My recovery was soooo much easier than I had expected after hearing lots of c-sec horror stories.

  • Catherine S

    July 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    While I was not prepared for the CS itself, I found that I knew more than I thought that I did about the process. Too much watching baby shows on TLC I guess:) What I was not at all prepared for was the “healing ridge.” Don’t know if any of you had it, but I had this weird largish bump thing above my incision. It totally freaked me out!! At my 4 week appt my OB said it would go away gradually. Holy god am I glad that she was right. It is still there a tiny bit, but if that small bit never goes away, I am fine with it. But I did spend 4 weeks freaking out and doing math trying to figure out how I would pay for the sugery to fix it, ha!

  • CinD

    July 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    A few things I’ve noticed after 2 C’s (1 emerg., 1 planned)
    1. Look UP when getting up — I focused on the corner of the ceiling and it really helped.
    2. If you have the epi w/ the additional kicker that Angela had — take the IV Benedryl the second you get itchy!! It makes a huge difference. I’m still laughing at pictures of me scratching my neck and nose and getting red patches because “no, it’s not that bad yet….” (uhhh….it really is!!!)
    3. Getting one of those compression bands really helps — not only with incision pain (especially while laughing and coughing!), but I also felt it helped my body recover quicker.
    4. TAKE THE STOOL SOFTENER — ASK FOR IT!!! Oh my God!!!!!!!
    And – I was able to have a liquid diet right after (and kept it down) and could breastfeed right away.

  • Olivia

    July 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Oh Angela, the itching drove me batshit insane. I’d also add the extreme swelling and sweating due to all the saline they pumped into me, and my incision started “weeping” a few days after. My midwife said it was normal, but it was damn gross.
    No. 5 made turned me into a whiny baby. I had labored for over 24 hrs, most of it drug free, when it was time to push. I seriously BEGGED for a few crackers so I could have more energy for pushing. I felt fine with the epidural, but the hunger pains were making me sick.
    And, No. 6, I wish I had been asked about pooping. I went home without having done it, and ended up very constipated. When I finally pooped it was almost like giving birth, but without the fun baby in the end.

  • Meredith

    July 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Not sure if this goes under C-section or breastfeeding, but here it goes: your milk is more likely to come in a few days later than the timeframe the nurses give for a vaginal birth. I didn’t know that so freaked out when my milk hadn’t come in by the 4th day. Finally, my SIL who had had 3 C-sections mentioned it to me and all was well with the world. (Came on the 5th day). And thank you for linking to the how to get up guide! I wish I had it 21 months ago….

  • heidi

    July 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    After 4 c-sections I can say that what surprised me most was how difficult it was to get the babies out once I was opened up. They had 2 nurses pushing down on the first, forceps with the 2nd and vacuumed the 3rd out. #4 was the only one who didn’t require serious intervention.

  • wallydraigle

    July 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    You know what else they don’t tell you? The phrase “spinal block” is misleading. “Block” makes you think that it blocks pain, right? WRONG. I’m sure it would have hurt much more without the spinal block, but I felt like I was being eviscerated.
    I felt dramatically better almost right away, just a couple weeks after coming home. I healed pretty fast. But I didn’t realize how long total recovery took until I was looking back on it. My daughter was about 5 or 6 months old before I started feeling like my old self again. And this had nothing to do with sleep deprivation. She’s been a superb sleeper from the start.
    I started labor around 7am on Monday. It was all fine and dandy and okay until about 5 or 6 pm, and that’s when the back labor started. I COULDN’T eat. Just brushing my teeth before leaving for the hospital got me sick. And then I had to brush again. I valiantly kept my gorge down that time. Anyway, I probably stopped eating around 4 pm on Monday and didn’t have the baby until 7 pm the next day. And THEN they wouldn’t let me eat until the next morning. So I went 36 hours with no food. I was ready to start strangling some nurses.
    It’s a good thing they didn’t make me poop before leaving the hospital because I would have stayed an extra day and a half. I can’t believe I’m telling the Internet this, but I FINALLY pooped for the first time almost one whole week after I’d started labor. Colace? COMPLETELY USELESS, TYVM. I would have appreciated some warning about the constipating effects of oxycodone, dear hospital. They didn’t tell me about it until a day before I was discharged, when they started giving me colace with every round of meds. Why they did not start from day one is a mystery to me. The only thing I did not like about my hospital stay.

  • Someone Being Me

    July 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t know which was worse the crazy itching or the shaking post-epidural. I didn’t have either with my first c-section but with that one the medication wore off as soon as I got to recovery and I got to scream for an hour while they tried to get a hold of the doctor. Fun times. Both my recoveries were pretty easy though. I didn’t get to see my son for several hours though post c-section although I was so shaky and itchy I didn’t mind. I was glad they got me all settled in my post-partum room before they brought him to me.

  • Beth

    July 21, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I wish someone had told me how ridiculously, grossly, insanely difficult and weird and embarrassing it would be to poop afterward(immediately and for weeks). I mean, sure, I didn’t know I’d be having a c-section but I had read about them and not once did any source even gloss over that disgusting information.

  • Cheri

    July 22, 2009 at 7:20 am

    I had the uncontrollable shaking BEFORE the epidural was started with the first baby. No c section, but I also was warned about the stool softener, which the hospital gave out each day,and gave me some to take home. With the second baby, I had uncontrollable shakes with each contaction after I had the epidural. which stopped working omg after about 1 1/2 hours I’m not kidding.

  • Cecily T

    July 22, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I had the shakes after a completely IV/med-free birth…same way…could barely hold the new baby, freezing my ass off after sweating over the pushing.

  • -R-

    July 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Just FYI:
    I was allowed to drink clear liquids (water, apple juice, cranberry juice) probably 30 minutes after my c-section.
    And I wasn’t hungry at all even though I hadn’t eaten anything for about 32 hours. I think I was too amped up to be hungry.
    I think this is common practice, but maybe my hospital was weird – I had to wear these weird boots while I was in bed, and they massaged my calves to keep me from getting blood clots. They didn’t bother me except after the catheter came out and I could not get out of bed to go to the bathroom. (Don’t worry; I did make it in time, but it was close.)

  • Marnie

    July 23, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Yes! The pooping! Take the stool softeners and make sure you get some for the road. I took those for a couple weeks before I was comfortable going “au naturel.”
    And, YES! The ITCHING! Didn’t start until recovery, but I kept asking my husband to please get that strand of hair away from my nose and forehead, and he continued to look at me like I was insane until the nurse clued us in that it was a reaction to the meds. I don’t know if that caused it, or if it would have happened anyway, but I am now insanely allergic to narcotics. Can’t even take cough medicine with codeine without scratching myself bloody. I’d make a horrible drug addict.
    And, wallydraigle, I think you might have the same condition my SIL has. It only affects a very small percentage of people, but for those people, the block doesn’t work like it should. When they started cutting her, she nearly sat straight up and was in pain the whole time. Most of us don’t experience it that way. If you ever have surgery again, I would strongly recommend mentioning that to your doc.

  • paranoid

    July 23, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    An aside to #3 — ASK YOUR HOSPITAL about their policies on who can have the baby and when while you’re getting stitched up. At the hospital where my first daughter was born, their policy is that the baby stays in the nursery until Mom is moved to a post-partum room. If it’s a busy night on the L&D ward, that can translate into an hours-long delay until a postpartum room opens up. DH was furious that he had to watch DD lie alone in the nursery for two hours before we were allowed to hold her and I was allowed to nurse. To this day, I’m convinced that’s a large part of why nursing my first daughter was so hard.
    We ended up switching OBs and hospitals at 37.5 weeks, and the new hospital was a lot kinder in its policies. DD2 was nursing within 20 minutes of her birth, and she didn’t leave our sight until she was a full day old. My (wonderful) L&D nurse was horrified to learn that we’d been separated from our first daughter at the other hospital.
    Oh, and if you’re given a choice between a spinal and an epidural — go for the spinal! Mine was lovely, totally effective, I didn’t end up too shaky and neither I nor DD2 were at all groggy after the c-section.

  • wallydraigle

    July 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Marnie, that’s really interesting. It never occurred to me that things weren’t working the way they should. I’d gotten an epidural 13 hours earlier that had worked beautifully, and they just kept that in for the spinal block. I guess I assumed that, since the epidural worked fine, the block was working fine and I was just a baby. 🙂 I’ll mention it to my OB at my next appointment.

  • Michelle Pixie

    July 26, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Oh the shaking! How I hate the shaking, it made me crazy… I thought it would never quit. I’ve had three c-sections. One epidural and two spinals ~ Epidural was the worst and I would rather have the spinal but I shook more with the spinal then the epidural.
    First c-section was an emergency and recovery wasn’t too bad after 24 hours of labor. Second c-section was scheduled and recovery was much easier. My third c-section was scheduled but I went into labor two days early so I had a c-section before I was prepared and recovery from that was the worst! I don’t know if it is from the 12 hours of contractions at home telling myself it would go away because I still had laundry and grocery shopping to do before I brought home a new baby or the spinal headache that lasted for 6 days after delivery but all I know is that I never EVER want to go through that again!
    But then I look at my beautiful little ones and it was worth it. 🙂

  • Heather Lessiter

    July 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Something else they don’t warn you about is putting on your seatbelt when you head home from the hospital. You’ll most likely have to hold the lap part of the belt away from your body for a couple of weeks or so to keep it from pressing against your incision.
    I apologize if anyone has covered this- I didn’t read all of the other comments. :o)

  • Stacie @

    July 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I wish I had seen this list a few years ago. Or, maybe it’s better not to know?
    Out of 4 children, each birth was entirely unique. All recoveries were different from the C-sections, but I will say that the sooner you can stand and begin walking, the quicker the recovery.

  • Stacy

    August 20, 2009 at 5:24 am

    And here’s the difference between Europe and America — they actually bring you herbal tea, boullion, and little bland cookies to eat while you are in labor. When I told them that people have to beg for ice chips in America, the midwife looked at me and was all “huh? why? how would you keep your energy up for pushing?” and I was like – uh yeah. No clue. But keep the tea coming! I did actually puke it all up several times, and I had an IV, but they kept offering it to me anyway. Also! The brought me fully caffiennated coffee and breakfast the next morning without any of this hoo-ha about farting and “caffeine!!! NOOO!!!!” bullshit. I even had two cups people! Of coffee!! And then I nursed my baby. Oh yeah, bring on the haters. I had a c-section after 14 hours of active labor with oxytocin, because my pelvic bones were not opening up and poor little baby was pooping and distressed and seriously cone-headed from being smooshed into my pelvis. I hated the shakes after the surgery. I was so tired and shaky and couldn’t hold the baby, even though they kept laying her on my chest and I kept making my husband to remove her, much to the midwife’s dismay. I’m not sad I had a c-section, that’s what was medically neccessary for me. I have a healthy happy EBF 6 month old and I feel great.

  • Alias Mother

    August 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Oh, this is so fascinating. My C-section was an emergency, and I actually recovered pretty quickly, but there were definitely things that I wish I’d known about. Others have mentioned it but, the itching nearly made me crazy. My entire body felt like it was covered in itching powder. Horrifying. And I also had to wear those stupid massaging boots to prevent blood clots, so I couldn’t move. Between the itching, the massage boots, the noise of the boots, being strapped in so I couldn’t move, and the hormone rush having a baby, I didn’t sleep a single second that first night.
    However, my hospital didn’t make me wait to fart until I ate, though they were very interested in my bodily functions. I also wasn’t expecting every nurse, CNA, and doctor who stopped by to yank up my gown to check my incision. Ah, dignity. You were sadly missed during that experience.

  • mandy

    March 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you
    for sharing
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Juhani

    June 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Going to have a planned c-section later this year. It was interesting to read the article and all the comments. I feel a bit more prepared now, though I’m sure there’s still lots more to read up on. The main thing that scares me (yes, even after all the scary things mentioned here) is the lack of dignity. I’ll handle pain, itchiness, hunger, whatever, as long as people won’t look at me and touch me in weird places. Hopefully the catheter will be the worst? I rly get upset, shaky and nauseous when I imagine nurses/doctors looking at and touching me :S

  • Mercy

    August 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    As a former RN, who took care of an awful lot of abdominal surgery patients, I will say that most of these things(the catheter, no eating until you pass gas) are pretty much normal for major surgery. I had a C-section with my baby, and it was no big deal, because I knew what to expect, more or less. (Seven years of surgical nursing ought to count for something.) But it did surprise me during my RN years how few patients really seemed to know what to expect after having surgery. Maybe hospitals should educate people a little better.

  • Misty

    September 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I had a vaginal birth with my first DD (emergency induction due to pre-e at 36 weeks) my daughter was 7 lbs 7 oz. I was going to be induced with my DS at 38 weeks 6 days because at 33 weeks he showed to be at 6 lbs 15 oz. But after starting induction they did another US and showed he was over 9 lbs. And suggested I have a c-section due to me having GD and the risks of how big he was. He was 9 lbs 10 oz. And he is currently 3 weeks 4 days old. I had such horrible shaking and was freezing right after birth that they had 6 heated blankets on me for about 3-4 hours pp. With my DD I couldn’t get out of my delivery bed besides to go to the little portable potty beside my bed and I was in the delivery room for 24 hours after having her becaise of the meds. I did get to eat immediately which to me was my amazing lol. When they induced me I was in labor for 12 hours after breaking my water when I started active labor. It was a matter of 18 mins and 3 pushes and she made her entrance. I felt very good about that birth lol.. and I much prefer the epidural to the spinal. Because the pain of the epidural going in was very small with DD compared to the spinal with DS, my OB had to stand in front of me letting me hold onto him while I sobbed while they did it. And that damn itch. OMG my nose peeled for the first week after wards. As far as recovery goes, this recovery has been amazing. I even desired sex after only a week pp. Where as with my daughter I ripped and didn’t want to be touched for almost 8 weeks pp. I didn’t have sex at a week as mch as I wanted too lol. Over all I prefer the c-section delivery. But I got my tubes tied this time, so no more babies for me lol..

  • Carol

    December 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for this article and all the additional comments! I had an emergency c-section last year where everything was a bit of a blur, and I am about to go in for a planned c-section in a few weeks. This really helped me remember a lot of the issues that I struggled with and lets me prepare (mentally) for them this time around. I would add onto the comments that while I was having the spinal inserted, the pain of leaning so far over my big belly was surprising. Then, my leg spasmed and jumped and the medical team yelled at me to hold still (I really didnt chose to move my leg and am convinced they struck a nerve in my spine). My blood pressure also dropped pretty seriously as the surgery started.

  • Katty

    December 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I have to say the advice scared the hell out of me before my actual experience. C-section is not after all that scary and that painful. Having read the advice, I was very worried for a few days prior to my scheduled date, and it just only make me feel worse. In fact, I had a good experience with my c-section delivery.

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      December 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that you had a good experience. Thank you for coming back and sharing your personal views.

  • karen

    January 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Omg . I’m really scared because I meant have the C section.

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      January 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      I think you should discuss your concerns with your birth provider.

  • Veronica

    June 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I Han an emergency c section and it was awfull I would much rather have 10 more natural births than another cesarian they took my catheter out only  2 hrs after I got wheeled in my room Andes she was removing it I asked to get a wheel chair to go feed my baby in the nicu (he was very sick) I  was told to walk to the nursery to feed my baby which took me nearly an hr to walk down there and recovery was hell as we got released from the hospital I asked for something for the pain they said take tyllonal yup thanks a lot mch big help u were …I still feel pain from time to time to and it’s been 10 yrs  

  • katie

    July 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Yeah I had the shakes bad towards end of my planned c-section. I was told it was from shock of having abdomen cut into. I was so scared of getting up and the first shower as well but the nurses were great and so was the pain meds they kept me doped up on until I could manage at home.

    I think the most unpleasant for me was the sensations and pressure I felt while they performed the surgery/birth of our son, I found it really gross and my husband said I made the most awful moaning sounds during it as well as face contortions. After that part was done I can ref say the rest was cake walk. I even liked having a catheter as it meant I didn’t have to get up and walk too much in the beginning of recovery lol

  • Mariss

    August 31, 2014 at 12:30 am

    “Apgar,” not “APGAR.” The test is named for Dr. Virginia Apgar, who invented it. Let’s not forget a female pioneer in medicine.

  • angela

    October 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I was past due by a week and was diagnosed with Macrosomia (big baby syndrome) and poly (extra fluid). I was told we need in induce labor. So exactly 41 weeks at 6am my husband and I checked into the L&D at the hospital a hour away from home. After no food or fluids from midnight that night I was ready to get the show on the road. By 8am and several IV attempts later, I had the patoson to start the contractions. By 9pm we were pushing and pushing and pushing. At 11:15pm my not so little guy decided he didn’t want to come out. He was stuck. To the OR for an emergency c-section. 11:36pm our world changed, the most amazing blessing was handed to my husband… not to me, I was hemorrhaging and vomiting… The amazing physicians and nurses worked hard to stop it, and finally they did. My husband carried our baby boy to our recovery room where I hemorrhaged yet again. This time it was very different. I couldn’t really make out my husband’s face, I thought it might be over, repeating the Lord’s prayer in my head, my husband holding my hand, and nurses caring for my new born the staff again got my bleeding under control. I lost over 1750 ml of blood. The staff asked if I would try to breastfeed and they stood there with us and held him on my breast. He had no trouble latching on. All this was Wednesday night. We went home on Saturday. I only took Motrin, within days I felt fine. The scar is ugly but I knew that. The point is nothing goes as planned 100%. But with faith, family and the amazing staff all turned out ok. Three weeks later most people wouldn’t even know I didn’t have a vaginal birth.

  • Jamie

    December 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    My catheter was out within 3 hours and I was eating sooner than that. Your hospital just sounds mean.

  • Em

    February 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I had my catheter out 5 hours after my csection, which was when I was allowed out of bed and allowed to shower. I also didn’t have to wait to fart to eat. They brought me my dinner after I got out of the shower. This was my 2 normal nonemergency csections because labor didn’t progress. With my emergency csection I was monitored for 24 hours afterwards because of pre-e and was on medicine so I wasn’t allowed out of bed. Since I was still high risk I couldn’t get up or eat for those first 24 hours. So it really depends on why you have a csection.

  • Charlie

    February 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Well, everybody’s talking about the shakes, no matter where the morphine gets put, spine, lady parts, ect. The the shakes are because of the heroin withdrawal. Morphine and dilated, is just measured clean cooked heroin, if you’ve ever seen a TV show, about heroin addicts, they will always shake when they’re withdrawaling. During birth, it usually happens after the second dose of morphine or dilated because your body is asking for more dope, when you can’t have more.

  • Cesilia

    May 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I had a c section 3 years ago because of failure to dialate.. and now I’m undecided for a planned c section or to try for a vbac.. my doctor recommends planned c section.. but the choice is hard..

  • Admin of Travesties

    June 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I had my first ever surgery in my life, when I had a c-section on May 1st. It was my first baby and my first operation too! I was terribly scared as I have a low threshhold for pain and had heard such horror stories too! But. . Thanks and all glory to God, I felt no nausea at all after the surgery despite the spinal anaesthetic, was absolutely fine being without a meal and not hungry or thirsty, felt zero discomfort or pain during and after the surgery, had a pleasant experience during the operation, no complications, no infections . . Nothing at all. Praise God!

  • Devon

    July 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    My son’s birth was not as planned, I pushed for 2 1/2 hours, his head was there, you could see it, but he kept sucking back up after every push. I was defeated. I ended with an emergency c section. I was so devastated that it didn’t go as planned. The c section recovery was awful and I have a very high pain threshold, but I am very doomsday, so keep that in mind. I didn’t leave my house for a month. I was in pain, couldn’t lie down in bed for 2 weeks, couldn’t pick up anything without pain, etc…
    So this time, dr said he totally supported a VBAC early on, I was so thankful, I didn’t want to go through another surgery, plus I am a kidney cancer survivor and having my kidney removed was the worst surgery of all. My tummy looks like a map:(.
    I started early, I had interviewed doulas and was so excited for the opportunity to do this again and try my best to avoid a c section.
    I did have one vaginal delivery in 2007, but it was a stillbirth at 22 weeks, the baby was horribly ill.
    I had my doula lined up and I ended up on hospital bed rest at week 31-36. 5 weeks in the hospital alway from my son, who is now 2 1/2, my husband, had to take 40 days sick leave from work, it was truly a test. Some good things and some very frustrating things. You are truly on the sidelines.
    Because I was in bed rest for an incomplete cervix, baby didn’t have a chance for Gravity tk take her head down, she was breech. I was able to be discharged at week 36 and did everything in my power to turn her. No luck. My c section was scheduled for June 29, but I begged for one more week so july 6. I went into labor june 28.
    I drive myself to the hospital and my husband took our son to a friends house. I panicked through the entire surgery. It wasn’t my dr, which bummed me out and I am in more pain at the incision than last time, I hope to go tomorrow. The plus is this time I could pee and I I didn’t have thrombosed hemmroids. I have cried and now have a boob infection.
    Dr had suggested a version to turn her but that just freaked me out that it would hurt her or that my previous c section scar would rupture.
    Don’t know if we would do this again, we are old:) I don’t think my dr would support a VBAC 2, and j don’t know if I could mentally survive another major surgery.
    Blessing a to all of you and quick healing:)

  • katie

    August 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    wow, I had an emergency c-section, baby’s heartbeat went under 60, husband went to put more money on the car parking ticket, missed everything.  I was in the hospital for 20 mins, 4 cm dilated (stay at home as long as possible) they broke my waters full of meconium, pushed onto my left side an the alarm pulled.  Just grateful that I live in the UK and my baby girl was saved.  No matter what happened during or after, our body and mind heals.  Eventually. After a few alarms and requests when I was on ward the registrar came to inspect me and felt my abdominal region,  despite the anaesthesia, I went for her throat with two hands.  Morphine was applied quickly.  Believe in your doctors and their advice.  You are going to be okay, don’t be afraid.

  • Margaret

    September 20, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Getting the shakes after *any* delivery is totally normal and par for the course.  I’ve had them with natural deliveries, epidurals, inductions, and yes, after c-section.  The “morphine” claim above is just silly…

  • Joanie

    November 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

    To Juhani
    I am 74 yrs old, and have had 4 vaginal deliveries with my 5th and last an emerg c-section. Back then, They called it something different than a spinal block, but it is described the same. As for your dignity, and odd people poking around, i felt the same, thinking the janitor was taking a peek at one time… But, after the anesthesia, you will lose your modesty and not care who looks at you as long as it gets all over with soon. I had uncontrollable shakes, and was extremely cold after c sect, and the kind nurse covered me up with several blankets. They had a. IV stuck in my hand and it was getting swollen at the injection spot, told someone, was ignored, then yelled if they didnt get it out of my hand, i was going to remove it myself. Yelling works…they had it removed in seconds saying it was inserted wrongly. Dont be afraid to open your mouth to tell nurse, doc what you are experiencing. And if they dont respond, raise your voice. They will pay attention. Good luck to you and i hope it all goes smoothly for you and your new baby.

  • Melissa

    December 9, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I had an unplanned c-section after being induced for 54 hours with little progress and the baby’s heart rate was climbing.
    I found the surgery itself did not hurt too much. What was horrible was how dry my lips and mouth were, and because my baby was up very high, they had to put a ridiculous amount of pressure on my tummy to get him to move, and this intense pressure caused me to become sick on the table. Best thing I can tell anyone is to be very vocal while on the table. If it hurts, it’s okay to scream. If you’re gonna be sick, tell someone because you can’t move but they can help you.
    Once you are in recovery, start demanding stool softeners as much as possible and as much as you can get. There’s something about c-section that make your first bowel movement hurt tremendously.