I had planned on a natural birth with no complications. I was prepared for a long birth process but nothing prepared me for this. I went into labor at about 6:00 am one morning. After 9 hours of hard labor, I was getting nowhere and the doctors wanted to do an epidural. There went my natural birth plans. I wasn’t progressing, to make matters worse my bladder was connected to a membrane that could pull my bladder out along with baby. After 36 total hours of labor, it would be via emergency C-section that I gave birth.
Here are five things I wish I had known about C-sections when I had to have my first of five C-sections.
1. It’s very painful to sit up and stand. You’ll be on pain medications but it’s still painful, you’ll want to take it slow and easy. Avoid sudden moves.
2. Keep a small pillow handy. You’ll want to hold a small pillow over your incision whenever you cough, sneeze, or laugh. Press the pillow firmly into your abdominal area while doing any of these three things.
3. Turn the ringer off on your phone and if you can’t mute the doorbell, then put tape over it and a sign asking people not to use it. Sudden sounds can be very jarring and you’ll startle and jump causing you excruciating pain.
4. You’ll want to have “granny panties.” In today’s modern underwear era, the styles that are most common are going to sit right at the incision site. While it may be outdated, “granny panties” will be the most comfortable for you to wear for a few weeks. Invest in at least one package of them and if you want, throw them out after you recover.
5. Don’t be afraid to take your pain medications. I have a high tolerance for pain and avoid medications as much as I can. This was a huge mistake. It actually takes longer to recover when you don’t use pain medications as you are avoiding certain movements that can actually heal the muscles more quickly by forcing them to move and exercise.
Having a C-section is major surgery. Had I known these five tips after my first C-section I think I may have been up and around and recovered more quickly. I followed these tips on all my previous C-sections and was much more comfortable and able to care for baby better.