I had an emergency c-section with my little girl and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and experiences and tips on the whole experience.
What I wish I had packed:
Aloe Vera gel - I had a reaction to the spine block they gave me and it meant I had a itchy rash that pealed the skin off my face and was just so sore. I put Aloe Vera on it everyday and in 3 days my skin healed up so well, even the nurses were impressed how well it worked.
Also I would have loved some kind of support band for my belly in the last few days of my hospital stay, I pictured my stitches popping open when I stood up for long periods of time and it would of helped as a comfort thing to have something over it.
My physical recovery:
I have had surgeries before but this was by far the most painful recovery. I really wish that they let your partner stay with you in the ward over night because this was the hardest time for me.
It took me a good year to feel normal again, I still don't have full feeling in my lower abdomen. It really hurts if it is stretched, like when my partner cuddles me and picks my up of my feet I feel like it's tugging at my scar tissue.
Breastfeeding was really uncomfortable and I'm really glad I brought my breastfeeding pillow as it helped me so much to feed her without discomfort to my scar.
My scar is pretty long and I didn't really put on any lotions or anything to help it heal fast and now nearly 3 years later you can hardly even see it. My stretch marks are much more noticeable than my scar.
My emotional recovery:
This one wasn't as bad as I had expected! of course I felt sad that I didn't get to have the natural birth that I had envisioned and I didn't get to hold my baby straight away, but all that mattered to me was my baby was safe and healthy.
When I was told I needed an emergency c-section (baby was missed breech) I was actually really relieved, I just wanted to meet my little girl and for her to be safe. The c-section went AMAZING! I felt no pain at all. I didn't feel the spinal block at all and I felt no pain during the procedure. You can feel everything they are doing, like when they cut you and when they are inside your belly it literally feels like someone is doing the dishes in your belly, but you feel no pain at all. My operation went straight forward and I knew I had a great medical team looking after me. I experienced most emotions about 2 days after when I felt all of the pain of recovering not being able to pick Bella up and change her, not being able to do all the things I envisioned I would. It made me feel really sad that I couldn't do any of that stuff. I missed out on putting her first little outfit on and changing her first diaper and being able to hold her standing up, but that all quickly disappeared as the week went on. I just always reminded myself that I am so lucky to have been able to get pregnant and have a baby, how the baby comes into the world doesn't really matter in the bigger picture.
I'm so glad I had my mum to help me for 4 weeks after my c-section. She had to help shower me and she even helped to take my plastic bandage of because I literally felt physically sick and would burst into tears trying to take it off. So having some support really helps in the process of recovering.
I had no pain medication to help with the pain other than pamol (infant panadol as I cant swallow panadol) as I was scared it would affect my milk. Next time though I might look into taking some kind of herbal supplement to help with the pain.
I still don't have full feeling in my lower belly and my muscles are definitely weaker than they were but it doesn't feel to much different than it did before the operation.
If I ever do have another baby I will most likely be having an elective c-section and I would be lying if I said I'm not scared to do it again but I had such a great experience with my first c-section and it actually turned out to be a really good experience for me, so I think having another would be a good choice for me but you never know.
I will eventually do a birth story to explain all the details.
Thanks for reading :)