11 Things Nobody Tells You About Getting a Cesarean

The tugging.

Before they start the procedure, they will most likely explain to you the process and sensations that you will be feeling. As they pull the baby out, they will put an immense amount of pressure right below your ribs and you might just feel as though an elephant is sitting on your chest. When they began tugging, I swear that my entire body was being viciously jerked around, when in all reality – it wasn’t.

The shaking.

One of the side effects of the spinal block is shaking. You might begin shaking while in the OR, or you might be like me and start shaking once you’re in the recovery room. Wherever you end up being when it starts, it is intense. The more you try to make it stop, the worse it gets. And it doesn’t help that the OR is freezing cold. It took two people to hold me down while I was shaking just to get an accurate blood pressure reading.

The kneading.

Women that have normal deliveries often tell about the rigorous kneading that the nurses come and perform every hour after birth to make sure that you’re bleeding properly. Let me tell you that they definitely still do this for c-sections. Only it feels 10 times worse, because not only are they making sure that your uterus is bleeding properly, they want to make sure that your stitches aren’t bleeding and that you aren’t clotting. Putting the band back on also doesn’t feel that great, either.

Sneezing. Coughing. Laughing.

Anything that involves using your abdominal muscles, it is going to hurt. Bad. When I had first heard of this, I thought nothing of it. I thought that the pain would be bearable and I’d be fine. I was wrong. The nurses will tell you to place a pillow over your incision to brace it and make it a little bit easier on you, but I promise you this only helps a very little amount. With my luck, it seemed as though when I shouldn’t be coughing was when I choked the most. Every time I took even a sip of water, I choked on it. You don’t know whether to keep coughing or just hold your breath until it goes away – which makes you want to die.

Getting up for the first time after surgery.

I don’t even want to think about how bad it hurt again. My stomach felt as if I was being stabbed by multiple knifes from the inside. It took 3 people to get me out of my bed and into the bathroom. The minute that I stood up, I was convinced that my insides were going to spill onto the floor. (Obviously this would never happen, so you’re safe.)

The swelling.

Oh my God, the swelling. You will get an awesome leg massage from the time you go into surgery until probably the next day. These devices are called sequential compression devices (SCD’s) and they’re meant to promote blood flow and reduce the risks of clotting. Once the nurses take these off and you see your legs/ankles, you will feel like you’re walking around on water balloons. Worse than when you were pregnant.

The first shower.

You’d think that the first shower after giving birth would feel heavenly, and you’re right – if you didn’t have a c-section. After getting up for the first time after surgery, which was enough pain as it is, you are then put into a standing shower and told to wash yourself off. Of course you want to use hot water, but that ends up burning your fresh stitches. So, you’re forced to use lukewarm water, which still hurts.

The first bathroom trip.

I was told multiple times that once you have a vaginal delivery, pooping for the first time can be very difficult. I thought that since I was having a cesarean, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I was wrong, yet again. Peeing for the first time burns like hell. But pooping? I was in the bathroom for over 45 minutes because all of the medication that they had given me had made me constipated. You also cannot strain yourself, so I’m sure that you can only imagine.

Your newly found numb spot.

Everything from the bottom of your belly button past your scar will be numb/tingly. Touching it will give you a very weird sensation. Weird is the only way to describe it. Its most likely that your feeling there will be affected forever.

How awesome that belly band is.

Seriously. I don’t know how people would get cesareans without this thing. It holds everything securely in place, making getting around less painful. It also can speed up the healing process and help everything move back into it’s place.

The spinal migraine.

If you’re lucky enough, you may have dodged a bullet and never got a spinal migraine. However, if you’re like me, the spinal block caused you the worst constant migraine of your life. To the point where your neck, arms, and back will be stiff and laying flat on your back will be your only relief. Luckily, mine went away within a week, but some women have to get a blood patch in order to close the hole that the needle left. Make sure this is a last resort before you go having blood injected into your spine.


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