View Full Version : what to expect with a "typical", planned c-section?

06-13-2010, 10:18 PM
my last was a semi-emergency after pushing for 3hrs and DD getting stuck.............so I'm not sure if what I went through with my half vagianal birth/half c-section birth was normal for all c-sections.

If you had a planned c-section can you just walk me through your day......from the time you checked in to when you went to your room with your DC.

I'm kinda a control freak and like to know what's going to happen............I know I can take a class, but I'd much rather hear it from real mammas!!

Thanks you!

06-13-2010, 10:37 PM
my first was the same as yours (3 hrs of pushing, emergency section) and my second was scheduled. (and i too am a control freak and like to know what to expect.)

checked in early, IIRC at 6:00 am for a 8:00 scheduled section. went into a small room in the labor delivery area, changed into the gown and they set me up with the wrist bands, iv, and tons of questions (for the records). then i got to rest until they were ready. the anesthesiologist came in to ask me more questions and tell me what i could expect. then they wheeled me into the operating room, the doctor asked me to confirm some info (for the records), got the spinal, then the surgery, and back to my room.
the surgery was a little different because the baby hadn't descended yet (since i hadn't started labor) so the doctors had to push the baby down. that caused some bruising around my rib cage. nothing too bad (especially compared to the incision.)
recovery was easier because i knew what to expect and how to handle it (and i hadn't just gone thru 24 hrs of active labor and 3 hrs of pushing).
my body reacted to the spinal differently the second time. the first time i don't recall any nausea, but my hands were numb for a while after. the second time, i don't recall my hands being numb, but i was nauseas for a while and as a result on a liquid only diet for the first 24 hrs after.

hth and GL!

feel free to ask any other questions, you may help jog my memory in case i forgot something.

06-13-2010, 11:00 PM
Mine was planned, but un-scheduled. I went into labor and then went in for the c-section.

So, I arrived at the hospital about 3am. I went to triage and did the gown, they monitored me, etc. I arrived in the OR at just past 4am and got the spinal and got prepped. I went over my birth plan with the doctors and nurses again. DS2 was born at 4:29.

It wasn't a lot different than the others, other than my birth plan was c-section only and I wanted different things this time.

ETA: The recovery was easier and faster to a large extent. But, I was in labor and managed to get very little sleep the night before, so I still started tired. I did leave the hospital the morning after he was born (maybe 10 am or so).

06-13-2010, 11:46 PM
If you can, I would specifically request suturing instead of staples to close your incision as there is a lower rate of complications with that method (though it takes longer in the OR).

06-14-2010, 12:12 AM
My first delivery was a scheduled c/s due to breech position. I was scheduled for a 10am c/s and got a call early in the morning not to come in just yet because there were a lot of c/s's overnight and the OR's were pretty backed up. I ended up going in around 11am because I wasn't feeling well and they were not calling me back with a scheduled time. I went to the regular triage area for labour and delivery to check-in. My OB came by to explan what was going to happen and my assigned nurse came by as well. I was given the gown to change into and they started the IV. I then spent a little while - can't remember how long, but it could have been over an hour, waiting for my "turn" in the OR.

During that time, a few med students came by to introduce themselves and ask if it was ok with me if they observed the delivery. DS was in a strange position, so apparently this was quite the show to watch. LOL! I was also asked a bunch of questions about any allergies and some medical history, but not a ton of detail.

Eventually I was ready for the OR. I walked into the OR with the nurse. DH was not allowed in yet. She explained exactly what was going to happen. They did the spinal and got me all set up, then they brought DH in. As soon as they did the spinal, things started to happen quickly. The nurse and aneastesiologist kept telling me what was going on. The anaestesiologist had a periscope that I could look through to watch the delivery, which was pretty cool.

Right after the delivery, I was brought into the recovery room and was able, and encouraged by the nurse, to nurse right away. I felt fine.

Comparing that delivery to DD#1's delivery, which was also a c/s after an attempted VBAC and 12+ hours of labour, the scheduled c/s was an easier recovery, initially. With DD#1, I had developed a fever during labour and felt so miserable and shaky after the c/s that I needed a good 10-15 minutes before I could even attempt to hold the baby or nurse.

Good luck!

06-14-2010, 12:39 AM
reading other responses reminded me that dh was not allowed to come in the OR with me until after they administered the spinal. he was also asked to leave (with the baby) after the procedure was finished while they were preparing to move me out of the OR.

i also would request sutures rather than staples, only because my dr told me that scarring can be worse with staples. i had staples the first time and sutures the second (different doctors, different preferences), not sure that it made a difference. i might even say that the first scar wasn't as bad as the second.

another thing to look into is requesting that your uterus be double sutured. i don't know if all doctors are willing to do it, but i put it in my birth plan. now that i think about it, i have no idea if the doctors actually did it or not either time.

06-14-2010, 12:55 AM
Pretty much all of the above.

DD#2 was scheduled, DD#1 was an emergency. What a cakewalk in comparison! 6:30am admitting, 8am OR time (ended up being 30 min late). Went in, got settled in my Labor/Delivery/PP room. IV hooked up. Finished the paperwork (most of which I had to complete and return 1w prior, along with bloodwork 1w prior). Walked to the OR. DH waited outside the OR while I had my spinal. Conferred with OB on what music I wanted (um, dude, you got the scalpel, you can pick!).

With both girls, the nurses held the baby to me while I was in recovery (so still laying prone). I was out of recovery MUCH faster with DD#2, though.

The only major difference with DD#2 (spinal) over DD#1 (epi) that I recall was that I was majorly itchy as the spinal wore off, but they gave me benadryl and I was good within minutes.

Scheduled ROCKS. Emergency sections, not so much.


06-14-2010, 05:56 AM
Does your hospital do a "c-section tour"? Ours does and it was helpful.

Much of what happens will vary from hospital to hospital, and even somewhat from OB to OB and anesthesiologist to anesthesiologist. They all have preferences for how things are done.

The only major difference with DD#2 (spinal) over DD#1 (epi) that I recall was that I was majorly itchy as the spinal wore off, but they gave me benadryl and I was good within minutes.

The meds used in an epidural/spinal often have this side effect. Unfortunately, I am super sensitive to benadryl, so they can give other meds if this happened to you the first time.

06-14-2010, 07:49 AM
The anaestesiologist had a periscope that I could look through to watch the delivery, which was pretty cool.

That is so cool! I watched via a mirror to the side, but they really thought I was very odd for requesting that!

06-14-2010, 08:10 AM
I had a wonderful c-section experience with my DD in November 2009. She was transverse breech and I was scheduled at 39 weeks but knew I was having a c-section for 2 months. (She was 9 lbs and couldn't turn).

I was the 1st c-section of the day. I was admitted with my husband right away. After 1 hour I was brought to the waiting area in the surgery area and taken in after an examination and ultra-sound. After the epidural, my husband was allowed in and withing 5-8 minutes our daughter was born. I got to see her within minutes of her being born.

My recovery was excellent. I was on solid foods by dinner that night and I was walking around the next day (very painfully). I was discharged a day early. Within a week I was able to bend and lift (I tried to take it easy). I have a low horizontal incision from the c-section.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I wouldn't hesitate to have another one.

(I have heard some horror stories from people having c-sections, but all of them were from unplanned emergencies. Anyone I spoke to with a planned c-section didn't complain too much).

Good luck!

06-14-2010, 09:57 AM
My son was an emergency c-section and it was really awful--13 hours of labor only to have him get stuck, then at the same time I popped a 104 fever due to a staph infection I picked up while all this was going on...

Anyway, needless to say, my second c-section was much better. I did go into labor on my own four days before the scheduled c, but the only issue with that (because as soon as I went in they told me I was getting another c, which I wanted, anyway) was that I had to wait four hours because I'd eaten recently. They gave me an epi, so this was not a big deal.

I was much more coherent during the surgery and noticed the pressure and tugging and discomfort of the epidural (when it first went in), which I didn't recall at all with the first one. And I also got super itchy. I did ask for morphine after the surgery, too.

That being said, my daughter nursed right away and with no complications, I got some restful sleep in between nursing her in the hospital--it was a million times better!

This time I am again scheduled but would not be surprised if the little guy decided to arrive earlier. I don't seem very good at keeping babies in place for the full 39-40 weeks!

06-14-2010, 11:14 AM
That is so cool! I watched via a mirror to the side, but they really thought I was very odd for requesting that!

Yes, he was very proud of this "innovation" of his. He told me that he always stands by the patient's head, updating on what is happening and wanted to make the mothers feel more part of the experience, even for a c/s. He was such a nice guy! I was so excited when I found out he was the anestesiologist on-call when DD#1 was born. I couldn't remember his name, but when I saw him, I said to him - your are the Dr with the periscope. He found that very funny.

Also, just to clarify, I did not see any of surgery part, just the child being lifted out.

06-14-2010, 02:29 PM
Thanks for all the responses ladies!!

I really want to do a hospital tour this time around, since we didn't make it the first time (DD delivered on a Tues, tour was the next day!) I will have to check and see if there is a special tour for c-sections.

I believe I had stiches the first time....because I didn't have to worry about them after...they just disolved on their own.
Is there a differenence between and epi (epidural?) and a spinal?? I think I had an epi last time beause I went in with everyone planning for a vaginal delivery.
DH was also in the room with me when they gave it to me.........which was very comforting as I was having a contraction as they were putting it in!
Do you think it would be a big deal to have him in the room with me for all of it??

I am really excited about **hopefully** getting to hold DD2 right away. Last time, with DD1 being so early they went through all the special NICU stuff to make sure she was okay..........and then I was shaking sooo badly I was aftraid to hold her because I was worried about dropping her.

Thanks again for sharing your stories!!

06-14-2010, 02:59 PM
I had 3 c-sections...1st one was an emergency after being in labor for 14hrs and the last 2 were scheduled.

My story is pretty much the same as everyone elses...

We did take a "What to expect with a planned c-section class" and it was great!

My DH did get to stay in with me and hold my hands while I got my epidural...With the last baby I had to have 2 epidurals..Not fun...

And of course he was in during the c-section and watched it all, took pictures of both babies being pulled out then was able to videotape each baby being weighed and cleaned and then was able to give them their first bath.

I got suturing instead of staples.

Mama to 3 boys...19, 4 & 19mos