What to expect when having a csection? While all csections happen for different reasons, I thought sharing some things would help decrease your anxiety if you are having a planned csection or if you find yourself having an urgent or emergency csection.
Neither of my csections were planned but neither of them were urgent or emergency csections so this is not necessarily an across the board experience with csections.
Once the obstetrician decided I needed a csection, they consented me to the procedure. They described the risks, benefits, reasons for the csection and alternative courses of action. I then signed the consent form. With our first, my husband turned to the OB and said ok so when will the csection be, thinking he would have some time to process the information and the OB said, “now” as the nurses came in to organize my transfer. Usually once a csection is decided upon, the wheels will start turning quickly and they try to get you into the OR as soon as possible. My husband was shocked. He then had to pack up all of our belongings, put on a gown without a shirt underneath for skin to skin, booties on his shoes and a hairnet. Then they wheeled my bed out into the operating room while I said see you soon to my husband who was sent to wait in the recovery room (a room next to the operating room).
I was wheeled into the operating room- a sterile, bright, cold room with lots of people organizing their equipment with masks, gowns and hairnets. It was hard to know who was who, luckily I recognized many of the nurses and doctors from my residency. The nurses and anaesthetist introduced themselves to me as they transferred me from my hospital bed to the very small, cold “bed”. It’s a very narrow bed, so you have to keep your arms close by and the nurses strap you to the bed to keep you from falling off. I had already had an epidural, so the anaesthetist just increased the amount of medication in my epidural so that I was completely numb for the surgery from my waist down. The OB and the assistants prepped me with a pink antiseptic (pink is important because during recover you may notice your belly is pink) and then went to scrub in. When they came back they tested to make sure I was completely frozen and when I couldn’t feel any pain, they started the surgery. And then they called in my husband who sat by my face and held my hand.
There was a sheet in front of my face that blocked my view of The surgery. It only takes a few minutes to get the baby out. There was no pain but a lot of women get nauseous . During my first C-section I was very nauseous and vomited but during my second one I felt OK. The second the baby came out, she cried loudly (thank goodness) and they told my husband to stand up and take pictures. And the obstetrician showed me my daughter for the first time above the sheet. My husband then followed the baby to the area where the nurses and respiratory therapist checked over the baby. While I wasn’t able to move, I was able to see the baby when I turned my head. When they were sure that she was healthy, they gave her to my husband and he put her skin to skin under his gown. And then finally I got to give my baby girl a big kiss. The longest part is afterwards as they suture everything back together. Once everything is back together, the nurses transferred me back to a hospital bed and into the recovery room where I was able to snuggle skin to skin with my baby and try breast-feeding for the first time as the feeling slowly started to return to my body.
Did you have a similar experience with your C-section? Any questions about csections?