It’s ok, remember you have just had major stomach surgery and you are also looking after a newborn…the nurse said with a comforting smile, when I apologised for buzzing in for more pain killers…
Having my 3rd Caesar you would think that I would be all over it? Been there, done that…but no, this time it was the great fear of the KNOWN, instead of the unknown, and this time it was quite different to what I was expecting…3 times, all different. (Emergency, elective and elective). This time my emotions overwhelmed me.
When I had my first 12 weeks appointment, I was told it’s my 3rd, so another scheduled Caesar – which I was fine with, and absolutely expecting, as it was spoken of when I had my second, I was also asked if I wanted anymore, and if not, did I want my tube tied at the same time? Which to be honest it wasn’t anything I had ever thought about! He said if its the slightest bit no, don’t get it done. It was an easy decision for us not to get it done. Never say never (yet) hey!
I know some women feel failed from having a caesar (they shouldn’t), I know some even see it as an easy way for birth (I tell you it’s not! Although I am also very, very glad not to experience my first labour ever again), I have to be honest with you, when I was first pregnant I really really did not want it to end in a caesar, I don’t know why, I was initially terrified, and of course it ended in a caesar ha! I was also very well informed of a caesar to a certain extent, as after all I was caesar baby myself 35 years ago (a breeched bub), my mother always explained exactly what happened, what it ‘felt’ like and I know her scar well, because that is where I came from. But I still have never ever had any negative thoughts or feelings about those who had one, or once having my first – even about myself having one. I just see birth as bringing bub into the world however the safest way possible, not one way is harder or easier (of course there are personal easier/harder births) but everyone has their own birth story and their own pain thresholds.
I do think knowing a bit about the procedure, helped me during my first emergency surgery, I know of some women, who didn’t know you could ‘feel’ what is going on during the surgery (don’t worry its not painful, just a weird sensation), or about the recovery process. Of course there are lots of other things that I did not know – about side effects and recovery, and of course there is no time in an emergency to tell you these things, and every one of my surgeries I’ve come across something new, and especially this 3rd one I’ve come across things that I didn’t have with others!
For some reason inside I had totally and absolutely worked myself up about this one, quietly… I was dreading the cannula being inserted and the spinal block. I was so overwhelmed and nervous, that once I was left alone for the first time just before the surgery when the midwife took the Mister to get his scrubs, I burst into uncontrollable tears quietly, lying there alone on my bed. I was so overwhelmed with emotions, excitement, nerves, fear!? Then everyone came back and turned up all at once. The midwife, my Ob, the Anaesthetists assistant, nurses and of course, my Mister. A nurse spotted me in tears and he ran over with a box of tissues for me, I calmed down once the Mister was back to hold my hand, I think I just needed to let it all out! I really just wanted it all over and done with!
My Anaesthetist was great, asking me to tell her if anything she was about to do, is what I was nervous about and I told her. She explained all the plan B’s if plan A’s failed. I said I put it down to each time I’ve had an epidural or a spinal there has always been a little issue ( I think because I have slight scoliosis ) so I get nervous that something could go wrong as it’s not always an easy find – nothing has ever gone wrong. Of course the cannula is fine being insert as always (although I HATE having one), and once it came to the spinal, I kid you not, it did not hurt me one bit, and the sensation was not nearly as heavy or as warm as I had previously remembered, what was more uncomfortable was that little baby G was moving around with such big movements (I think she knew she was about to be free! I was actually having tiny contractions that morning we discovered while being monitored), and the way you need to sit curled over the edge of the bed was so uncomfortable with my belly in the way. I had great support, the Anaesthetist assistant, the nurse and my Mister all holding me over, and very STILL.
Now what I didn’t get that I had previously with other 2, is that shortness of breath, and the shakes. The Anathestist said it ‘feels’ like you can’t breath because it needs to come up well over your belly, but it is exactly just that, but she is there, and if it happened that I really cant breath, she is there to put a tube down my throat to help me breath. I was expecting this to happen, it always happened as I was cuddling bub, it didnt come, nor did the shakes, my previous two I would shake that my teeth would chatter. I got the shakes for like 30 seconds slightly going to recovery.
I did however get superficial stretch marks on my arm from my blood pressure being taken during surgery, this happened in my last surgery.
I was still exhausted from the surgery, even though I didn’t labour, and all I wanted to do was have a nap…same as my last elective.
I didn’t really feel bub being taken out of my belly, like I did with the other 2.
We did however smell the burning, I guess cutting open my stomach (sorry for the squeamish)
My heart did swell 1000%, and the tears did really flow, once I heard Lil G’s cries as she entered the world, I wait patiently for that sound while lying there, which happened with them all! (Its one of my favourite sound of all! Strange as it is, I love hearing a newborn cry, it must be the fond memories it gives me)
I remember the Mister getting to hold her first and telling me over and over again how gorgeous she was, he.could.not.take.his.eyes.of.her.
I was very very hungry! After fasting since 9.30pm the night before, I just wanted to eat, because of my Gestation Diabetes this time I had to have my blood sugar tested (as well as bub 3 times that day), and of course it was low, and I had to have an apple juice – I had forgotten that I would be on a clear liquid diet for the next 24 hours!!!!!! I almost died inside haha it was agonising the wait – I had pictured myself eating one of my fav Rueben sandwiches our fav cafe down the road for lunch, haha fat chance!…I just kept asking for more chicken broth when the catering ladies came by for morning or afternoon tea, outside of the normal meal deliveries. Chicken broth never tasted so good!
My mouth was exceptionally dry this time, this I didn’t remember from the others, and the recovery nurse, the midwife, and the Mister kept feeding me ice cubes to relieve it.
I hadn’t taken Endone (I had previously take Tramadol) for the pain previously, 2 of them was too much, and it made me feel nauseous and hot and I felt like I need to vomit! We cleared that up quick with some Zofran through my drip, and only a dose of 1 Endone and a Panadol, and the slow release one (sorry forgot the name already).
Same as the other 2 bubs, I utilised the night nursery for my first night as I can’t get up out of bed to pick bub up to feed, settle, or change nappies.
I kept being asked to tell them when I passed wind…. by 10pm that night, yes I was passing wind indeed! hahaha this I also do not remember this from my other surgeries, but I was told by my Ob the next day that it was good and a sign that my gut was working after surgery and that I could move slowly onto solids – Yippeee! I was never more excited to eat a tub of custard and yoghurt and even more excited to eat a small cream of mushroom soup and a ham and cheese, tomato sandwich for dinner!!!
Like the others I had morning surgery and I was up the next morning, I was so happy to have my catheter out, to be up having a shower – that time confined to your bed, without pants and a huge pad sitting between your legs, and having to be cleaned periodically gets old quick – but I admit since the first time it doesn’t phase me at all.
Finally my cannula, (did I mention how much I HATE having a cannula???) could come out after I did 2 wee’s on my own, it had moved a bit and it was just an annoying bit of pain everything I moved that arm!
I did get those ‘baby blues’ on the second night, but this time I knew why… I was tired and sore and it’s really hard to get up to tend to bub after a caesar, I’ve always wondered if it would be easier those nights in hospital, having a non complicated birth would it be any different (of course still hard, a newborn is never easy just after any birth), but its so painful and you can’t move fast, and bub was so unsettled constantly up, and my breasts /nipples they just ache from the new sensations of breast feeding again, and milk starting to come in. I had tried to sleep at around 10ish, but didn’t lay my head down and sleep until 3.30 that night, when I had called the nurse in for some pain killers from getting up so much, and I got teary asking for them, she had told me its the 2nd night baby blues – bub wants more food, and is more unsettled, and that for some reason all the bubs in the ward that night were so unsettled haha, she suggested baby G went into the night nursery so I could get some rest, and I did…. and I slept until 7am when the nursery closed.
Baby G was a fab feeder, just like her siblings though, and she brought in my milk quick! I didn’t get the massive 10 times too big for me plastic looking exploding at any time boobs that I got with the others, but I was told it was because she was feeding so often! But wow over the next few days and weeks (even now going into the 3rd week) they aches and are so tender to touch, that sting when my let down happens (I have a hard/fast let down) I can’t wait for them to regulate!
By the 4th day I was moving much better, feeling much better, and to my excitement on the morning of the 5th day I got asked if I had wanted to go home a day early! YESSSSS! The hospital was fantastic, but I missed my family incredibly, and having 2 at home, the Mister couldn’t be with me all the time, and as mentioned before Im not going to lie it can be challenging trying to recover and look after bub at the same time, rest just doesn’t really happen like you want it to!
My wound was healing great, and I went to see my Ob a few days later to get my staples taken out – as I walked in, he said ‘WOW, you are doing good for a caesar patient’, I thought he was joking as I swear I still slow and crouched over a little, then he said ‘You only had the surgery less than a week ago!’ So he wasn’t joking, I told him that I think it was actually my best Caesar yet as I didn’t get a lot of the side effects as I did with the others in theatre and recovery – he did say that it being my 3rd, some of my nerves may be gone too haha! Ok then!. one got stuck, and he offered to put a local in, and I really was not in the mood for more needles, and eventually out it came! (don’t worry I barely felt them come out last time, and the others this time, it was just one of those things!) and a part of my wound had opened, BUT again nothing scary – he said it was superficial and it will still heal great, be stripped it over, and now in week 3 you wouldn’t even know it happened there.
Feeding one night just on her first week home I got extremely painful lower abdominal pains, that then it shot out through… wait for it…my bottom – sounds bizarre right? It was so painful I was yelping a little every time a wave of it came over me, it felt like contractions. I couldn’t sit up it hurt too much, I thought it was the way I was sitting, that it was a nerve thing, it didn’t really help, I couldn’t hold Little G, I had passed her off to the Mister quick! I had it again through the morning, and off to the GP we went! Turns out it was very normal, it was just those good old bowels trying to get back into order – I just needed to keep on trucking with lots of water and lots of fibre – WOW I didn’t not have this with the others, I seriously thought something was majorly wrong. So of course I severely upped my already good water intake so much more and made a conscious effort to eat more fibre (I admit I spent those days in hospital eating what I call pregnant contraband – all those foods I missed… cured meats, soft cheeses, prawns, oysters, and sweet stuff that I held back on from my diabetes. I didn’t get it again, although it did still hurt a bit to go (and it will for a handful of times at the start) your diet will help get it back on track!
So Im heading into week 3 and my stomach has gone down a lot, still there of course, I have night sweats – again I don’t remember these for the last two, but apparently it is the fluid releasing from your body, each night it is getting less and less – I am regretting my decision to cut my hair too short to put up from my neck, I have been wearing head bands at night to keep it up and off my neck, and I have a beach towel underneath me, and a Ben & Holly towel over my pillow – its very glamourous ;)
I am walking better, still taking it as easy as I can (when you have 2 other kids) and so far, so good. I wish I could drive, but at the same time, I definitely know I am NOT ready to drive and I’ve never felt ready until the 6 weeks anyhow. Each day my wound stings less, and I’m moving / longer (I actually did a big walk with the family along one of the beach tracks following them their scooters yesterday).
So for now, I will wait for my scar to heal, as much as I look after it to make it disappear, I am also absolutely fine if it doesn’t as it is always a lovely reminder of where my babies came from :)