When I was told at 34 weeks pregnant that I needed a Caesarean I was overwhelmed with all the questions I had. Whilst I felt totally prepared before I went into the operating theatre, but there are some things I hadn't even thought about and wish I had known about them. For the value of others, I share them here.
1. Anaesthetic The anaesthetic can make you feel quite sick. My poor husband had to hold a sick bowl by my head the whole time!
2. Blood pressure Your blood pressure can drop quite low during the procedure which can make you feel light headed and sleepy. It wasn't a totally unpleasant feeling, but I felt out of control, similar to some women's experience of gas and air.
3. Someone needs to push The medical team need to push on your upper abdomen to help get your baby safely out. I could feel the pressure of this and see elbows working the other side of the screen but it didn't hurt.
4. The scar My scar is very neat and has healed well. It's also very low down and not as ugly as I expected it. I have since discovered the term Caesarean pouch though, and this accurately describes the little overhang that is going to need a fair few sit ups to lose!
5. Delayed first cuddle As soon as my son arrived he was held up for me to see and then I got to give him a kiss before he was taken to be cleaned up. It was a while before I got my first cuddle but the wait was worth it.
Bundled up and ready for my first cuddle
6. Moving beds After the surgery you'll have to move beds before going to recovery. The team place a patient slide under you and transfer you. I'd had surgery before but always under general anaesthic so I hadn't really thought about the logistics of moving from operating table to bed.
7. Don't look up... There a lot of lights and shiny medical equipment which can reflect what's going on behind the screen. Don't look up if you're squeamish!
8. Your womb takes longer to contract back I remember my bump disappearing to a deflated balloon right after I'd had my first son but after my c section, I looked heavily pregnant still for a good few weeks. My midwife explained that the hormonal changes in your body during labour are switched on much later after a Caesarean.
A week after section an bump is same size as before birth!
9. Numbness Nearly a year on I still have numbness around the incision. I also still get the odd pain which my doctor reassured me is normal.
10. It can be a positive experience The medical team helped make it very memorable and fun. Meeting your baby is absolutely no less special than after a vaginal birth, I was expecting to feel very detached from everything but meeting my second son was just as amazing as meeting my first.
Thumbs up after delivery
Have you had a C Section? Do you have anything to add that could help our readers?