Blaire was a sweet little frank breech baby, which means she was butt down, with her head, hands and feet all up in my rib cage. …This resulted in a scheduled C Section for me. I had several friends who had C Sections, and I did tons of research, so I felt really comfortable with what I should expect from my C Section. Well… Some things I was right about some things and wrong about others.
1. You will probably be freezing before your surgery.
When you arrive for your surgery, they will start your IV and start pumping you full of fluids. The fluids are cold, which makes you cold. But, the good news is, they will probably cover you with warmed towels. Which are amazing and will warm you right up. Seriously
2. Your surgical paperwork might say no makeup or nail polish.
Mind did. And I didn’t read it until the night before so I had no time to clarify with my doctor. Well, after the surgery I clarified with my nurse. She explained by no makeup, they mean no lip color. They need to be able to see the color of your lips to ensure your circulation is okay after surgery. Same thing for the reason they want you to have bare nails. But you’re free to wear any makeup that doesn’t cover the color of your lips.
3. Your husband might not be allowed back with you while you get your spinal.
Different hospitals have different procedures. It just so happens that our hospital doesn’t allow anyone in the operating room during your spinal, except for doctors and nurses. Again, I was really lucky to have a great nurse. She was the one who started my IV and monitored all of my vitals before surgery.
4. Curling into a ball for your spinal block is no easy feat.
Seriously. They wheeled my into the operating room and then helped me climb onto the operating table. Then they had a stool for me to put my legs on and I had to curl into a ball to round my spine. Being giant and pregnant, this is no easy feat. But, by this point I was willing to do anything to meet my baby girl. Even if they had to try 20 times to get that darn spinal in.
5. Your arms will be “tied down.”
The nurse explained ahead of time that it’s for safety. Your arms aren’t numbed by the spinal block, so they don’t want you to start grabbing at things if you start to get nervous or freak out. This was honestly one of the things that freaked me out the most. But it wasn’t so bad! I had a paper blanket over me, from one hand, across my chest, to the other. And they actually pumped warm air through it to keep me warm (since I was so cold from all of the fluids). My arms were “tied” to the bed with little paper ties on the paper blanket. It was no where near as freaky as I thought it would be.
6. You’ll probably feel some pressure.
And by some pressure, I mean I felt my lungs move back into place, and immediately took a long, deep breath! Finally!! It was AMAZING. I honestly did not feel much tugging or pulling. I didn’t even know they had started the surgery until they said they already had her halfway out.
7. You might not get to hold your baby in the operating room.
Since your arms are “tied down” and they are still finishing your surgery, they will most likely wrap your baby in a blanket or towel to let you see them. Then they will take them to your room to wait for you. They can do their weight/length measurements then, too. I have seen stories about hospitals across the country offering “family first” or a “gentle” caesarean which offers skin-to-skin in the operating room. I’m hoping this becomes common practice at all hospitals.
8. Dad might leave the room with your baby for his/her first bath and vitals.
This seemed so scary. Going into the surgery I was so, so nervous for Jason to leave me alone in the operating room. But my doctors and nurses were so great at constantly talking about something else and asking me questions to keep my mind off of what was happening to my body. They were the best! They said it would probably be about 15 minutes for them to finish up the surgery once she out, but it actually seemed to go by way faster than I ever imagined. I was anxious to hold my baby, but it was all so surreal that I kind of couldn’t believe I now had a baby out in this world.
9. You might get a really itchy nose.
Once the baby is out, they may begin morphine via your IV, as your spinal will begin to wear off. And morphine they can give after delivery MIGHT make your nose extremely itchy. Don’t itch it! You will have a giant, red nose. But guess what? I actually knew to expect this before hand and still couldn’t help myself. My nose was just so itchy. This, along with the fact that I thought I couldn’t wear any makeup, (PLUS that hair cap you have to wear) I look like a real beauty in my post labor pics. ;)
10. Your fundal massage might not be as terrible as someone who had a natural labor.
They can typically remove more through your incision, and you’re still very numb for the majority of your nurse’s visits when she will perform your fundal massages. For some of my friends who have had medication free deliveries, they said the fundal massage was worse than the delivery itself. So, this is a real score for the C Section mamas!
Honestly, my C Section itself was not a terrible experience. Recovery? It’s the terrible part. It’s hard. But it goes without saying that it’s so, so worth it. While everyone’s experience is different — this experience is mine. I do feel I was lucky to have a scheduled C Section. It helped me to feel more prepared and comfortable with the surgery and I am so lucky it was such a good experience. I hope your experience is the best it can be! A C Section is major surgery, so please take it easy on yourself. And don’t forget to give your body some grace. It delivered a baby, whether it did it through labor and delivery, a C Section, or both, doesn’t matter. xo
Have you had a C Section? Which of these things did you experience? I’d love to know in a comment below.