Re: Repeat C-sections
posted at 6/24/2013 3:48 PM EDT
I had a repeat, planned c-section after having an unplanned (but non-emergency) c-section my first time around. Because my first was unplanned and yours was planned, our "first c-section" experiences are different. You know some of the benefits of a planned c-section (much calmer than an unplanned one). It sounds like you are mostly interested in hearing about the surgery and recovery the second time around, as well as how to deal with recovery when you are going home to a demanding toddler.
Short story – my second surgery was much easier (everything happened in a very calm manner, and I was very happy with my doctor, who was different than the one who delivered my DD), but recovery was harder. I’m not sure why, exactly. Not sure if it was because I was older, more out of shape, or simply by nature of it being a second surgery in the exact same spot. There is more scar tissue the second time. The spots at each end of the incision were very hard for several weeks after the surgery which I found unnerving. I had a lot of achiness but no nerve pain. However, my incision was always fine, no infections, and physically the recovery went as planned, just slower than the first time. At least, it felt that way. However the first time I didn’t go home to a toddler who wanted to be picked up!
It was challenging for all of us that I couldn’t lift DD. She was very sad about it, and angry with me, I think. We explained it over and over, and I made sure to carve out 1:1 time with her, and all that stuff they say to do when you bring home baby #2. But having the c-section made it all take much longer and was difficult. I think it took the full 6 weeks or so before I could comfortably lift her up. And that was not because I was nervous about lifting her; for the majority of that time I truly did not think I could.
I think if you do it again after a successful first surgery, you’ll be ok, just be prepared for a longer recovery time (although, who knows, perhaps it won’t be longer for you!). Make sure your husband and other supports are in place and that they understand that you may not bounce back as quickly as you did the first time. Make sure your DS has been told and reminded that you can’t pick him up for a little while. Is he in a bed now? I forget. If so, it will be much easier for you to do bedtime with him. I always had to call DH in to lift DD into her crib, which would disrupt the routine.
Good luck with your decision. I am sure every surgery can be vastly different, but my second one was fine.
ETA: It sounds like my experience not being able to lift DD is atypical, compared to KAM and Stef's responses. So that may have just been my particular case, not due to it being a second surgery.