1: There are a lot of people in the room
My Caesarean was an emergency so I'm assuming maybe not every C-Section has the volume of people in the room as I experienced. To be honest I had no idea how many there were, but my partner said it must have been close to 15 people. That's pretty crowded for a relatively small operating theatre.
Midwives, obstetrician, obstetrician assistant, anaesthetic, anaesthetic assistant, pediatric doctor, scrub nurse, theatre nurse, people to assist in hauling my huge ass onto the table.. The list goes on I'm sure!
2: It feels like someone is rummaging in your handbag
Everyone's experience is different but I felt absolutely no pain during my C-section. As soon as the Spinal block was in I was instantly calm and pain-free. I could have a conversation with the surgeon, with the nurses and my partner. We spoke about the recent rugby world cup and about ourselves and our plans. It was actually a really nice experience, considering what was going on.
The only sensation I had was the same as if someone goes into your bag whilst it's hanging on your shoulder. You can feel the pressure of them rummaging about and things being moved but it doesn't hurt. It's quite weird!
3: It takes a while to be sewn up, as they have to stitch 7 layers
I always worried that after a C-Section my stitches would rip open and out would flop my bladder. Well during my drug induced chat post surgery I actually asked. The nurse explained that 7 layers of tissue are cut through during a C-section and afterwards each layer is individually stitched back up. Because of this you are looking at a good 30 minutes of the Obstetrician and his team stitching you back up. This time flies by though as you are totally preoccupied with looking at your newborn and just feeling massively relieved that it's all over.
4: You have to learn to sneeze by a physiotherapist
Once you are back on the ward you are visited by various medical staff but I never expected that a physio would come for a chat with me. They teach you what positions you need to adopt if you have to cough or sneeze as well as how to get out of bed or lower yourself down onto a seat.
5: You will feel like you can't stand up straight
I never really felt pain in the first few days after surgery but just a feeling of not being able to stand up straight. If I did attempt to stretch myself straight I felt like the muscles would just ping and snap. I'd say it was a week before I felt like I could comfortably stand straight.
6: You still need to wear sanitary towels, as all that stuff still needs to come out!
Because baby hasn't exited through the standard route I assumed that I wouldn't get any of the gross stuff leaking out. Well you absolutely do still get this. There's a whole lot of stuff up there that is no longer required and will slowly make its way out over the course of the next 2-3 weeks. Stock up on your sanitary bricks!
7: The car journey home will be the worst trip of your life
I know hospitals need to have speed humps to stop idiots running over sick people hobbling along but do they need that many?? You literally need to brace yourself every 5 seconds as your car lumps over them. Not only are you shitting yourself about driving with a newborn but also concerned your abdomen is about to rip open.
8: You will have to inject yourself for a week after
NOBODY told me about this! I was just about to be discharged when the midwife said, "Oh have you been given your needles and sharps box?" Errr NO!!!
Because you have had major surgery and are now going to be laid up in bed for a few days they have to give you anti-coagulant injections which need to be administered by yourself at home. They help prevent blood clots developing. The midwife quickly jabbed one in my stomach to show me what to do then I was off on my own!! It's a really fine needle so no big drama but I did have to psyche myself up to do it every day. I'd lie on the sofa, pinch an inch of skin above my belly button and just jab it in. My partner used to feel sick watching me do it. I had to do this for a week after.
9: You may have to have stitches or a thread removed a week or so later
My stitches were dissolvable thankfully but some ladies will have a long thread weaved through the scar with a bead at either end. This will need to be removed. I believe they do this by unscrewing the beads at the end and quickly whipping the thread out. Sounds bloody horrific but apparently it just feels like a lick of heat! Sod that!
10: You will always feel weird about bashing the scar
Even 17 months later I'm still a little cautious of my scar. It's totally healed with no pain but I tend to treat it very delicately. I don't like being in crowds where I'm likely to get it bashed or if my daughter jumps on me I immediately hold my arm over the area. I think it's just second nature now.It will always be my Achilles heel.
If you're planning a C-Section or concerned you may have one then PLEASE do not worry. They are amazing and nothing to be scared of.
Tou can read more from me over at my blog http://www.beautyandtheminibeasts.com