My first child Daniel came into this world via emergency C section, or as a friend stated "he came out through the sun roof!" Here are somethings I wish I had known beforehand........
1. The actual C-section is not that bad!!
With pain relief a-plenty, multiple doctors and nurses fussing over you, no pushing and your little bundle of joy arriving rather quickly, it kind of takes the "labour" out of labour! The thoughts and fears of going in to have a C-section are quite often worse than the reality,
2. The lost hours
Bearing in mind that you have just had major abdominal surgery, you will have to go into solitary recovery for at least two hours after your section. This can mean that you miss out on that special first few hours bonding time with your baby and partner. They also put you on some pretty hardcore painkillers for the first few hours, so when you do get to properly meet your little one, it can all seem a bit surreal and woozy. Don't be too hard on yourself if you can't remember it clearly or if you don't get that movie style burst of love and emotion for your baby, you have just birthed a human, which is pretty overwhelming! You have plenty of time to make up for the first few lost hours.
3. Breast feeding is really hard!
Some mother and babies are a text book example of natures intention for our bosoms and others find it near impossible. Now it is possible to breastfeed after a c-section many mothers do, but it is difficult trying to get your baby to latch on correctly when your attached to a morphine drip and feel more out of it than a student at freshers week! There is no shame in turning to formula. Most of us we reared on bottles and we are all kind of o.k...........right!?!
4. You may become very swollen....
And I don't mean "ooooh I feel a little bloated", we are talking Stay Puft man from "Ghostbusters" here! Because during regular labour a lot of the excess fluid gets pushed out of your body with the force of contractions, this process does not happen with a c-section birth. From the waist down you can become very swollen for approx 10-14 days after. My ankles were pretty much the same width as my thighs for about a week, which meant I couldn't fit into shoes or my lovely new hospital pyjama's, and had to wear very attractive thigh high support bandages for a fortnight.......oh the horror!!
5. The recovery time
Although we may have had a sightly quicker or easier labour than our pushing sisters, the recovery period can be considerably longer. Instead of the regular three day stay in hospital, your stay is extended to 5 days. There is no heavy lifting, driving for six weeks and you may be on strong painkillers for a week or so. You also will have acquired a quite impressive abdominal scar! I personally don't mind the look of mine, and I was lucky enough to have those nifty dissolvable stitches which meant minimal aftercare, although some ladies do have to get metal staples to close their c-section which have to be removed by a doctor at a later date.
6. It is all worth it!
You have a wonderful new little person in your life, what is more special than that! Now just look at that ickle wickle chubby face..............!!