This is a topic I haven’t written a whole lot on apart from briefly touching on the topic in Ivy’s birth story. I talked about the actual process of having the cesarean but I haven’t talked about how I coped afterwards. So I thought it was about time!
Why I ended up having a c-section:
At 32 weeks pregnant a growth scan showed that the amniotic fluid surrounding my baby was under the threshold of what is classed as normal.
The baby and I were monitored for several more weeks, during which the waters fluctuated irregularly. At 36 weeks pregnant they were deemed to be the lowest ever and my consultant said he wanted me to be induced asap.
So at 36+3 I started my induction which lasted five days and didn’t work so it was then classed as a “failed induction” and ended in a c-section.
So my c-section wasn’t classed as an emergency cesarean or an elective cesarean it was somewhere in between. An emergency because they wanted Ivy delivered as soon as possible but I wasn’t rushed to theatre either. Trust my child to be the awkward one even in birth!
First few weeks at home:
My time spent in hospital I had had very little pain which was probably due to the fact that I was pumped with so many drugs during the operation that they hadn’t worn off fully. But as soon as I got home the pain started. It wasn’t anything too drastic because they had sent me home with co-codamol so I took that and ibuprofen religiously like clockwork.
It was more of a dull ache which was a whole lot worse at night time because I was breastfeeding, Ivy was on my side of the bed and I was continuously sitting up and down to feed Ivy during the night. My wound was slightly to the right and I was constantly getting out of bed on that side which wasn’t helping matters. So it was inevitable that after a week my wound got infected. This meant I was couch-bound because I could hardly stand up, I was bent double.
I was given antibiotics which cleared it all up within a week. I think during this first week, my partner got sick of me saying “how does it look?” and then a few minutes later “how does it looks now?”.
Having my staples out:
In all honesty I think this was the hardest part. I know I know, you’re probably thinking, are you serious? But yes, yes I am because for the actual operation and afterwards I was pumped with drugs and then swallowing so many drugs that I wasn’t in that much pain at all. When the time came to have my staples out, I wasn’t on anything and popping a few paracetamol beforehand did nothing.
I’d had an operation on my lower back that required staples so I had to have them removed which was so painful because they were left in for too long and my skin had almost healed around them. So I knew the inevitable was coming with my cesarean scar and I didn’t help myself by thinking it was going to be the same because I was so worked up about it! The good thing was that with every staple the midwife was so quick at removing them (unlike the nurse with my back) so the pain didn’t last too long. But on the far left side the scab had grown over a couple of the staples so she had to re-open the wound. Yeah, I’ll just leave you with that one.
A few months on:
Once the wound was healed which didn’t take long at all, the only thing that remained was the pain inside. Obviously they iterate so many times that having a cesarean is major surgery because they don’t just cut you on the outside, they have to cut you inside as well. This seems to be what takes a while to heal because although from the outside I seemed all healed, I could tell psychically that I wasn’t on the inside. It still hurt to bend down, or if I walked too far it would start hurting. Also if my pants were too tight, it would still hurt.
Even now which is a whole 17 months after the operation I have complete numbness. It is completely numb on the actual scar but also about 5cm above that on my right side, it feels numb inside which is quite a strange feeling. And if I bang into something on that side or press too hard then it is still painful.
Let me know if you had any similar experiences to me after your c-section in the comments down below.