Feb 7, 2012

The recovery in the hospital after a C-Section

I have learned from talking to other mothers that each hospital is different and in some cases vastly different. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor about your hospital’s policies and procedures. I am going to tell you about my experience and then you can at least get a general idea of what to expect…

I am pretty sure all hospitals will allow at least ONE person in delivery with you. After that, this is where hospitals begin to differ. My husband and baby were allowed to stay with my throughout my entire recovery. My friend’s hospital did not let her husband stay in the recovery room with her leaving her all alone, which she said sucked, but it's only for 30 minutes. Also lots of hospitals take the baby to the nursery at this time as well. Mine allowed one person back into recovery at a time and the baby was placed in his own little bed next to me, of course I could have had him taken to the nursery, but no way I needed to stare at him!

After recovery I was wheeled to my room and my husband and Oliver followed close behind. From this point on Oliver was only taken from me when he needed to be weighed, measured, bathed or I requested he go to the nursery. I absolutely was amazed by this and loved it. They would even ask if it was ok if they took him and told me how long it would be. I was allowed to have as many visitors as I wanted, and dad was of course allowed to sleep over.

As for medication, lactation consultants, photographers and food, all were provided without asking and offered 24/7. Pain medication was supposed to be offered only when I requested it, but each nurse knew a c-section needed her meds, so they came on the clock.

Now, for me and what I did….

I of course kept Oliver with me every waking minute but I will admit, and HIGHLY recommend, I sent daddy home at night (11pm) and sent Oliver to the nursery, I had him brought to me in the night for feedings and as soon as I woke up. I desperately needed sleep and the medication was so heavy I was a confused mess anyway. I never made sense when I talked the first 48 hours. I also chose to keep all visitors limited to my family ONLY! Which I HIGHLY recommend. It is kind of chaotic to have a room full of nurses, doctors and family, friends would have done my head in! Also, it is flu season so I didn’t want to have to kill someone for brining in their sickly germs.

The hospital had a no children under 12 policy except for siblings. We decided that in the spring we are going to have a “Welcome Baby” party to introduce Ollie to our friends and family, he will be old enough to tolerate germs and the weather will be nice enough that we can have the party outside. He’s my baby, I will share him when I am damn good and ready!

Now, for some of the ugly bits of recovery… It’s sucks at first but the drugs are really heavy so it’s tolerable. In fact, by 8pm the next day I felt ok, well enough that if they sent me home the next morning I would be fine, thank you hard core drugs. I am actually surprised how quickly I felt normal after this big bad “major abdominal surgery” I kept hearing about. Don’t get me wrong, you will feel very sore around your incision, walking will not be pleasant, but very doable so don’t be scared! When they removed the catheter I thought it would hurt… not even a little and it took 5 seconds! The first pee after the catheter is funny but by no means burns. There is a fair bit of blood over the first few days, but it’s really like a super heavy period. All in all it is not bad at all! So, again, please don’t be scared, it probably is easier than natural labor. Yes, you have an incision in your lower abdomen and that takes a couple of weeks to heal, who’s to say your baby won't rip you open during natural labor?

I know in my heart the C-section was by far the best option, only option, for me and Ollie. He is beautiful and I am doing great! Yes, I am sore, and constipated from the drugs, but other than that I can lift my son, breast feed him and get around really well. If you are facing a c-section please don’t worry, it will be over before you know it, the healing time is really short and your baby will have a beautiful round head!

If you have any fears or questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com