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Avatar universal

Share your c-section experiences, please!

I am only 16 weeks pregnant, but due to a dermoid cyst on my ovary, I already know I will be having an elective c-section.  After meeting with a specialist in a bigger hospital and my regular OB, we decided to NOT have surgery during my pregnancy and we're hoping I can make it the entire pregnancy without any complications from the cyst.  My OB has agreed to an elective c-section to deliver the baby and remove the cyst at the same time.  I have never had a c-section before, but it just seems like the logical decision at this point.  Why recover from delivery only to have surgery shortly after and recover from that??

So here are some of the many questions I have:
How long did the entire c-section take? (prep, delivery, etc...)
Are scheduled c-sections usually done in the mornings?
After the baby is born, how long before you are in a normal room able to hold and see your baby?
How bad was the recovery?
Do you REALLY have to wait 6 weeks to drive?
What was the best part?
What was the worst part?
Anything else you want to share?  

I know I'm still quite a ways off from having to worry about this...but I'd still love to hear all of your experiences!  :)
14 Responses
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Avatar universal
When they first pulled her out they gave me a glimpse, then they took her back to cut the cord and clear her lungs.  They brought her back to me in the OR after about 5min so I could look at her for a couple minutes.  Husband held her then but since I was still lying down I could not.  Then dh took her to nursery where they cleaned and weighed her, etc. While he took her there I got stitched and went to recovery room.  dh brought her in after about 15-20 minutes when I could hold and nurse her.

Recovery was very easy for me.  I mostly just took ibuprofen as needed which was not much after the first week or so.  I did laundry the day we came home but had husband carry the big basket.  

I am positive they did not tell me to wait 6 weeks to drive - maybe 2??  I know they said 6 weeks for "relations" with dh.  ALthough I did not drive with dd for about a month by choice since I was so worried about it!  (you feel like you have a bomb in the backseat!! It's very nerve wracking with your first child!!)

Best part is I do not have any bad or negative feelings about the birth - no pain, no long labor, no complications.  Everything was planned and there were no surprises.  (Of course the BEST thing is your new baby)

The worst part was constantly being interuppted by the nursing staff while staying in the hospital.  They check you constantly - RNs, LPNs, aides, etc.  Especially for the first 24h.  I also did not like the IV line and cath after the surgery.  It was annoying to have all these tubes attached to you while trying to learn how to nurse your baby!!  But it all worked out fine and I would not change a thing.

Good luck!  Overall it was a great experience for me!!
Helpful - 0
121828 tn?1333464491
The worst part is that I went in for a vaginal delivery :)  
It was fine, really. Yeah it hurt like heck, I've had 2.  They give you pain meds and you are ok in a few days.
The driving thing pertains a lot to the meds.  You are going to be home for a few days to recover, after that you should be fine to drive. I also think they don't want any sudden jolts to the area.
You are VERY cleaned out and I barely bled both times :)
The pain killers constipated me a lot, EEEK, so going to the bathroom was a nightmare.  Other than that, it's not that bad :)
Oh, took no time at all. I would say 1/2-45 min at the most to prep, get baby out and clean me out. They cleaned the baby up and as soon as I went to delivery I could nurse. Yeah, it's not that bad :)
Helpful - 0
270405 tn?1293035621
It took about 10-15 minutes to get baby out, then another 45 minutes to stitch me back up.  You arrive at the hospital a couple of hours before your scheduled c-section though.  Thats when they start the IV, take your health history, etc.  

I have had 3 c-sections, all a different times of the day.  My first was born at 5:40 pm, my second was at 1:20 pm and my third was at 8:32 am.  If you have a choice about it, I would go for the earliest in the morning they can do it.  You can't eat or drink for like 8 hours before surgery, and for me it is just easier to have that be during the night, when you wouldn't be eating or drinking anyway.

I had my baby with me pretty quickly.  After I was brought to recovery, I had baby with me, and was able to nurse right away.  I guess it depends on the hospital and whatever is policy there.

It takes me about 10 days to 2 weeks to not need pain meds anymore.  I would say the first 3-4 days are the worst, then it starts getting better.

I think you only have to wait about 2 weeks to drive.  Or whenever you stop taking pain pills.  Your not supposed to lift anything heavier than your newborn for 6 weeks, and no sex for 6 weeks.

The best part was having my beautiful girls!  Its not fun having surgery, but I don't think it is horrible either.  Seeing your beautiful baby makes it all worth it!  I did like the fact that they were born about 10 minutes after starting the c-section.  It just made me feel better knowing they were ok and healthy.  It is hard to breastfeed when you are in pain.  I stuck with it though all three times, but sometimes it is hard waking up in the middle of the night, hurting so much and having to deal with a crying baby.  But like I said, after about 2 weeks it gets easier.




Helpful - 0
270405 tn?1293035621
Oh, and as Kellym said, the constipation is a problem!  I finally learned after the first 2 times to just do a suppository after my 3rd was born.  So constipation wasn't a problem this time around!  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
This is great!!  I have enjoyed reading about all of your experiences!  I just hope that I am able to see the baby first and that I am recovered quickly and able to be back in the room so I can be there when my daughter gets to meet the baby for the first time.  :)  Silly I know...but it's important to me.  Your stories do put my mind at ease though.  I hope to hear more of them!  I am wondering (and I'll have to ask my doctor) how much removing the mass will lengthen the surgery and/or cause a longer or more complicated recovery.  Hopefully it won't be any different!

Thanks again and keep em coming!  :)
Helpful - 0
270405 tn?1293035621
I don't know what it is like to get a dermoid cyst removed, but I'm going to guess that it won't add too much to your recovery.  I had a tubal done after my last c-section, and I don't think I hurt more than any of my other c-sections.  I think since you will already be in pain, you won't really notice whether it is because of the c-section or because of the cyst being removed.  That is just my guess though, maybe someone else who has been through that can tell you.
Helpful - 0
285848 tn?1219092313
I had a dermoid cyst removed when I was not pregnant. So you can hear both stories! I remember it like it was yesterday! lol It was actually last August tho. I went in to the hospital at 10 and surgery was at 12. I got there and checked in. About 30 minutes later they took me back to pre-op. I got changed and had the IV administered. It took about 15 to prep but my dr wasnt even there so I had to wait until he arrived. I waited for about 30-45 mins for him. I probably actually went into the OR about 10 after 12. I was in surgery for 90 minutes. This is just to remove a 2cm dermoid from my right ovary. I went back to recovery and sat there for about an hour until I came out of the anestesia and was awake enough to be taken to my room. I remember waking up in recovery and asking the nurse sitting with me some really weird questions lol but that was after she gave me some morphine. I woke up and all i could do was say "ohhhh painnnnn" lol So I went back to my room about 2:30-3pm. I was in quite a bit of pain once the numbness and pain meds wore off the first time. Basically I just asked for more as soon as I felt anything to keep me from hurting too bad.

I laid in bed for quite some time before I was told I needed to try walking around. It hurt so bad to move or stretch that area at all. My incision is maybe 3 inches long and about 3 inches directly below my belly button. Walking BURNED! I felt like i had to lean forward at all times to keep it from stretching the skin at all. My abdomen was on fire! I went back to my room and got some more pain meds and was all better after that! lol I didn't sleep a darn wink that night just because they had those inflatable bags around my legs to keep from getting blood clots. The nurse came in a few hours later to remove my catheter...peed the bed a bit lol Then she asked me to try to go in the toilet. I screamed and cried from trying to have to sit down...the burning sensation was awful. I peed though! Got back in bed and they couldnt give me anymore morphine so they gave me demarol. Lets just say I am allergic to that but didnt know it at the time. I felt better but I looked like someone beat me in the face lol. Fast forward to 2 meals and 2 walks later, I was on my way home! I finally got some sleep and felt much better being at home. I had my prescribed painkillers that i took for 2 weeks. The pain slowly went away over time along with the burning sensation. I had to keep an ice pack around so that i could get rid of the burn. Just when I sat up and tried getting out of bed it hurt. My body let me know when I was doing too much. I tried going to Michaels to get some beads and stuff to help pass the time (No I didn't drive, my mother did) and walking around there for 10 minutes made me have to go home and lay down. Just rest rest rest.

I hope this doesn't scare you lol. If I read it without knowing it would scare me. It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I am not going to tell you that it doesn't hurt, because it does. But hey...at least you get a baby out of it! lol On a scale from 1-10 the pain level was about a 7 at the worst. But its easy to control as long as you rest and keep taking your pain meds. You don't want to get addicted to them, but don't be afraid to take them if you hurt. I drove about 2 weeks after surgery(and stopping my pain meds) and my pain was completely gone after a month...I get a few twinges and tingles and stabs of pain every once in a while but thats normal. I healed great even with my ugly scar (which you may not have).

Congrats on your baby and best of luck!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
OK, wow that does scare me!!!!  But it's what I need to know so I appreciate you sharing your story!  My cyst is 6cm so that makes me nervous if yours was only 2cm and you hurt so much.  Yikes!  I will not be under general anesthesia since I'll already be numb from the c-section.  Do you think your pain was from the incision (all the burning you talked about?) or the removal of the cyst?  (the scraping, cutting, etc...)  How long total were you in the hospital?

I have to do it regardless so it's good for me to know all sides of the spectrum.  Thank you so much for sharing!  I appreciate all of your detail!   :)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was hoping for normal del as my twins were both head down, but one started reducing her heart rate with every push I did, so C-sec it was. Once the decision was made for c-sec, it was very quick, maybe 10mins, both girls were out within the same minute, stitching/finishing up was about 30mins but seemed forever. I was in recovery for longer than usual as I was shaking alot due to meds. At first they said it was normal, but since it was stronger and for long period of time, they gave me meds to calm down. I just saw my babies for seconds, until later when I was in a room.
I was told to walk after 24hrs, took shower after 48hrs.  Had a lot of gas.Recovery was fine, no issues took motrin and iburoprofen.Feet were swolen for about 1wk after del, lot of lower back pain, some shoulder pain, also burning sensation in the back. my mother-in-law was here so had help with everything. Hubby was great. No driving is because of the meds and some women have changes in vision too.
best part was to finally meet my twins and knowing that they are well. I was at my pre pg weight within 8wks. I do not have much of a nipple so I could not breast feed. At hospital, lactation nurse forced me and babies to hold on, but in the end mum and babies were so tired. I tried at home too, but did not work out. I pumped for 3 months untill it started to hurt so stopped.
For a long time tummy felt like jello. My girls are 15months old now but there are times when I still feel some spots around the incision that are numb. Had to take lot of care after del, no lifting, not too much of walking, eating well, most of all had/needed lots of sleep.
rest as much as you can after del. Good luck.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
there is more to experience than the pain and recovery. will you feel robbed of a vaginal birth later on? i did.   will you hate the fact that you might not find a dr or hospital to let you have a vbac later on?  you might.    will you suffer from the actual surgery because what they dont tell you about c sections is pretty scary? you might i do.

there are many other things to think about.  can they do the surgery later by doing it lap?

with my first i had a c after 3.5+ hours of pushing, recovery was a bit rough.  
my second (god i regret it so much) i was forced to be able to do everything the navy called dh back to the boat 2 weeks after i had her.  

i feel as though i missed something so wonderful and so natural by having c's.  maybe you wont, sounds like many arent feeling that way here.  babies need to go through the birth canal.  babies need to come into this world when they are ready, but i know you have health issues.  talk to your dr about ALL pros and cons, ask him to be very honest about the post op problems that can happen. good luck
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Avatar universal
Thank you pertykitty.  I will definitely discuss the pros and cons with my doctor.  I do want to be very well informed of all possible complications.  The cyst may not allow me to delivery vaginally, even if I wanted to...depending on where it gets pushed around to as the baby grows larger and the strain of pushing during labor could cause it to rupture, which they don't want.  I am a teacher and will be using all of my sick days for my maternity leave.  I would not have any days left over to go through a separate surgery and recovery...UNLESS it waited until the following summer...which is 7-8 months after delivery.  That seems like too long to wait to get it out.  I don't know...this is all so much to think about!

I am so sorry that you feel robbed of a natural birth.  :(  I was lucky to deliver naturally with my daughter so I don't feel like I'm missing anything.  My doctor was also concerned about "dooming me to a life of c-sections" from here on out.  DH and I both laughed and told him that our family is complete after this pregnancy so it won't "doom" me to anything.  :)

Again, thanks so much!
Helpful - 0
276983 tn?1308574048
As a few other women have mentioned, one of the negatives of having a c-section is the pain/discomfort you'll have while trying to breastfeed your baby.  If this is your first child, it can be a somewhat difficult task learning how to latch your baby on for the first time... and if you have a c-section done, then you also have to deal with the pain of putting the baby on your belly (they'll teach you the "football hold" so that he/she doesn't rest on your belly, but I'll be darned if I could figure that one out!)... it can be done, it's just awkward.

It's quite amazing how quick the entire process is... the surgery doesn't take long (uncomplicated, that is), they stitch you up within 15-30 minutes, and before you know it, you'll be back in your room waiting for your little one to arrive.  Obviously, it might be slightly different with your added surgery... but I'm hoping you don't have to wait too long before you get to see your baby (again... they'll almost always show you the baby right away).  

Hmm... words of advice?  Well, as someone already mentioned, keep in mind most/all of the pain killers you'll be given to take at home will end up causing constipation.  You do NOT want to be constipated immediately following a c-section.  So use them sparingly.  Take it easy in everything you do, that way you don't have to worry about over-doing this or that.  =)  I would recommend waiting the 6 weeks before driving.  The way my doctor explained it is that you shouldn't be driving until you feel comfortable slamming your foot down on the brake... b/c if you don't think you could do that due to the pain at your incision site, then it's not safe for you to be behind the wheel of a car.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Anyway... good luck and I hope everything goes smoothly for you!



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Avatar universal
1) My first c-section took about a hr. My second one, today took a bit longer cause I had my tubes tied as well.
2) They started to prep me at 11am and she was born at 12:04PM
3) After you have your baby if nothing is wrong you or them will get them back in about 2 hrs.
4) My recovery with my first was really really easy. I wasn't in too much pain. This time around the pain was a bit worse. They had to give me 3 big doses of morphine to calm the pain today and now I can just push the button (morphine pump) and it goes away.
5) With my first I was told I could drive immediately as long as I wasn't on pain medicine.
6) The absolute best part was hearing and seeing my baby cry for the first time and touching her.
7) The worst part of my first c section was the spinal, inexperienced doctor. The second time, which was today, it was right after the spinal, my BP dropped too quickly, not dangerously low, but just quick and it made me sick. I felt  like I couldnt breath and had sort of a panic attack. but it fixed itself and I was fine in a few mins.
Helpful - 0
285848 tn?1219092313
You know I dont know what the burning was from exactly..but I want to say it was more of the cyst removal, not the incision. The incision was sore and stuff but the burning came from right where my ovary was.. Wow yours is a quite bit larger then mine was. I don't know if thatll make a difference though since you'll already be open from the csection and that incisions going to be a lot larger then mine! lol It hurts a lot to sit up..thats one thing hah. It was so hard to do it for the first couple weeks. I was under a general anestetic so our recoveries will be different. It was not a fun experience at all but hey, like I said...at least you get a baby to take home! lol Oh yeah, I got to the hospital at 10 am and left the next day at 1pm. So not too long. Recovery was at home mostly for me! I couldnt wait to leave either!
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