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Repeat C-sections

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Repeat C-sections

    Hello Ladies,

    I know there are several of you on here who had repeat c-sections - and if you wouldn't mind, could you share your stories?  I am/was 100% certain that I'd be having one with this DS coming in November, but just heard a horror story from my neighbor yesterday that has me re-thinking.  Just a short background, my first ended up being planned.  He was 9 days late, measuring 10lbs on the ultrasound and there was NOTHING going on down below.  He was still in my upper belly, I wasn't dialated a bit.  My doc thought an induction with those stats would mean a ton of exhausting laboring and an emergency c-ser with a failed induction.  So I gladly agreed to a good night's sleep and a nice, calm surgery the next morning.  I don't recall the surgery or the recovery being any kind of challenge.  It was my first, so no toddlers at home.  And scar is fine and basically a good memory of the whole thing.

    I want to get my tubes tied, and just generally feeling like a repeat c-ser is the way to go.  My neighbor said she had bad scar tissue, so not a great surgery experience, bad nerve pains for 6-8 weeks after, and a struggle with her 3 1/2 year old at home for the first month.

    Would love some stories... bad or good.  I do have the option for a VBAC, just not really interested at this time.

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    hey ipw, i had a second c-section in march and hate to say it but also had a bad experience.  that said, if i had to do it over again i wouldn't choose a VBAC b/c who's to say that would be any better.  (and there's still that chance that you'll have a c-section anyway, so why go through that is my attitude.)  and if you want your tubes tied then maybe take the risk on the c-section.  also a planned c-section is very convenient in terms of lining up childcare for your son while you're in the hosp, AND you get to stay at the hosp longer (luxury!).  ;)

    my experience was bad for many reasons.  first of all it was much worse knowing what i was in for - i really dreaded the surgery just b/c it's scary (versus the first time i didn't know any better).  i had a resident give me the spinal and didn't love hearing the doctor correcting his needle placement (i still have ears!).  the baby swallowed fluid somehow (i believe it was doctor error) and ended up in the NICU for a night despite being huge and the result of a completely standard and healthy pregnancy.  didn't get a straight answer on that situation.  then i had horrible headaches that i was convinced were from the spinal (anesthesiologists disagreed though).  and then i left the hospital and about 10ish days later found that i had a really bad infection in my incision (which they say is more likely during a repeat c-section, due to scar tissue).  ended up needing a visiting nurse to come to my house every day for a week to pack the wound with guaze, and i couldn't shower.  gross!  everything is fine now but at the time it was really cr@ppy.  i still have some lack of nerve feeling on the end of the scar that was infected and my skin flops over it funny, but the doctors tell me this is normal and will just take a while to resolve itself.  the recovery wasn't that bad outside of the infection.  you really can lift your toddler up if necessary - that's life and the nurses and doctors will tell you that - and i had no gas pains and no issues going to the bathroom after this c-section, unlike the first one - so there were positives.  move around as quickly as you can after, that's the key!

    (btw the above synopsis is atypical for me - i am generally the type of person who fully understands that we're all human, i don't expect everything to be perfect, and i don't make a big deal when things don't go swimmingly - but it was like one thing after another for me with this birth.  and this was at brigham and women's, which was surprising to me.  anyway, i like to joke that if i wasn't done having kids before that c-section, i sure am now.  ;)  )

    GL with what you decide. 

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    IPW-I had an emergency c-section with DS-and it was horrible! Failed epi, DS swallowed fluid, in the NICU for a week...nerve pain after. Horrible staff at NWH who refused to let me get up and walk around after-my lungs began to fill with fluid from not moving.

    Fast forward to DD's pregnancy and the doctors didn't want me in the same situation so it was a planned c-section. Different hospital, different doctors. The morning of the planned c-section was nice and calm. Care was in place for DS. Family was around and ready to help. DH and I drove to the hospital, calmly checked in. Walked to the OR. Several attempts at the spinal failed (had prior back surgery to complicate everything), went to sleep for the delivery. Woke up to a beautiful healthy baby girl. Recovery was a breeze. No nerve pain, day after surgery I had showered and was in my own clothes. My only limitation was driving, and doing stupid things. My doctor didn't expect me to not pick up DS. Within a week I felt totally normal (took two months with DS). I would definitely do it the same way again!

    With regards to one of Stef's points, residents, that's why I specifically did not go to a big teaching hospital. I wanted my doctor to do the heavy lifting, didn't want a resident for this experience. Normally I'm more than willing to let the new person try and draw blood, take a listen, feel around etc...but not after my first experience with an emergency c-section and the doctor on call who never showed his face to me again.

    As for scar tissue, my doc did say I had a lot of it there, which did slow him down to get the baby out, normally he can get the baby out in 1 min, mine took 2 (the rush due to the general anesthesia). But after he cleaned it all up and put me back together a little better than before. ;)

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections



    Hi IPW,

    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.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    Just wanted to say #2 was a breeze in terms of a repeat section compared to #1.  My first was emergency, after labor and pushing plus some high blood pressure, so my body was exhausted and my original epidural didn't work, so then the spinal block was like super heavy duty for the c-section.  I had a lot of trouble going from sitting to standing, or laying to getting out of bed for at least 2 weeks and had some sort of infection/running temp that required antibiotics.  Plus, I had staples that needed to removed after a like a week, and then steri-strips.  My pain decreased after the staples were removed and I felt a little more mobile.  I could drive after 2 weeks. 

    With #2, it was "scheduled" but I ended up breaking my water early and then had a planned c-section b/c I didn't want to risk anothe emergency.  It was way better the second time, knowing what to expect.  Not going through labor/pushing, I didn't have nearly as much exhaustion, no blood pressure issues.  I was up and showering the next morning (c-section around 6pm).  I didn't have a lot of scar tissue or nerve issues like others write about.  Dissolving sutures were used, which left me feeling more mobile than the staples - getting up/out of bed didnt' bother me at all the second time.  My docs were fine w/ me lifting my 2yo DS, just suggested avoid fully bending over and down to pick him up if possible (have him stand on chair, bed, etc. for me to just grap him rather than bend and lift).  We also happen to have a lot of step stools (i'm on the short side) so DS actually would use those to get up into booster or to somewhere I couldn't lift him... we'd just drag the stool over.  He would climb into his carseat for me to buckle.  Honestly #2 was a breeze and having the longer hospital stay gave me some nice quiet time with DD before going home to reality.

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from BrainySmurfette. Show BrainySmurfette's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    My second c-section was much better than my first. 

    I had severe preeclasmpsia and HELLP syndrome with my first pregnancy, and I had a c-section at 34 weeks for my health.  I don't remember much of it because I was too ill and I was heavily sedated during the surgery.  My incision and such healed well, but the recovery from the pre-e took much longer.  I developed permanently high blood pressure from it.

    The second c-section was calmer and scheduled (despite being on hospital bedrest due a milder pre-e).  I had good anesthesia, I was able to see my daughter right away, and I was able to hold her in recovery.  I had my tubes tied, and I did have a little more pain because of it.  It wasn't terrible, but I needed a bit more pain medicine than I did the first time.  I also lifted my older daughter when I wasn't supposed to be lifting anything, and it did injure me slightly.  It was an extra 2-3 weeks to be healed because of it.  I would have been fine if I had followed my doctor's instructions.  Being home alone with both a new baby and an older child after a c-section is a bit of a challenge, so having someone to help out (particularly with the older child) for a few weeks is a good idea.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    I had two C sections, the first emergency the second planned by necessity, both had very good outcomes.

    I was a bit worried about the second, with a toddler at home, etc, but it was fine.  My pain was managed very well, and really I didn't feel especially inhibited.  I held the baby and climbed stairs with no problems, and I don't feel like it inhibited my bonding or parenting at all.  

    The additional hospital stay, which I had been dreading a bit with my toddler at home, was actually a nice opportunity to rest and enjoy our new addition.

    I moved slowly and carefully (though I think any kind of delivery requires recovery), and I'd recommend extra helping hands at home, to ease the transition.



  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Repeat C-sections

    Thanks everyone for the mostly good stories of C-section #2 (sorry Stef... I remember you posting that when you shared your birth story... ouch!).  I still think the repeat is the way to go for me.  My biggest fear over any kind of painful labor and delivery, is actually an emergency C-section after tons of exhausting laboring or some kind of rupture (which I know is very rare).  Perhaps its my subconscious's memory... my mom had broken her back in college, and apparently this former injury really got in the way; after laboring for almost 36 hours with me, they had to do an emergency C-section (general anesthesia and all).  She said it was so horrible and she got so sick... that is why she only had one child. (got her tubes tied shortly after).  And I just feel like rushed/emergency c-sections are so common.  Perhaps they aren't all real emergencies... but not calm and somewhat enjoyable as I remember mine.  I do have help for my home recovery... my DH may take the full two weeks off and my MIL is very nearby and can take DS to school and drive me anywhere we may need to go.  DS is in a big boy bed now (as of last week!!) so I don't need to worry abotu lifting him from a crib.  I'm feeling much better about my decision now.