When you are having a baby, you plan your birth to the letter. You think about natural birth and do all of the hypnobirthing techniques, expecting to push out a baby and feel that “ring of fire” feeling that everyone talks about. Then the big event happens, and Thundercats are not go. The “ring of fire” is still a myth, because you were whisked off for a c-section and the baby was born via the sunroof instead of the side door.
You didn’t expect it, and you didn’t plan for it, but your baby is here and safe – but you? You are sliced and diced and stitched back together. You have an IV line in your hand, you are propped onto a million pillows and you have a bard catheter attached because you can’t pee alone yet. It’s not what you expected, even though you read about a c-section you didn’t think it would happen to you. So, now you’re in the recovery zone and it’s time to think about what you should expect now you have had your c-section.
1)You may forget how to pee. Honestly. When you were sliced in the abdomen to get the baby out, your doctor cut through skin layers, muscle, your uterus and the sac to get to the baby. That’s a lot of layers, and there are a lot of nerves down there. You are also numbed due to the epidural, fitted with a catheter and after a while, the catheter is removed and you kind of lose that connection between brain and bladder. That sensation of needing the bathroom hasn’t quite flickered back into life, and you need to learn to self-catheterize.
2)It’s very hard to get from lying to standing after a c-section. Those layers that the doctor sliced through take some time to heal. Even if your scar on the outside is still fresh and healing, the internal healing is just as long and difficult, and you have to learn to use your arms and legs to get up, not your abdominal muscles. You have to move as early as you are able, but you have to appreciate your limitations and ask for help. You do not want to tear those stitches and start all over again with your healing.
3)A c-section can make you feel so thirsty, but it’s less about the surgery and more about the dry, humid air in the hospital. Sometimes, you can suck on ice chips but really you need to have water.to moisten your lips as much as you can.
4)Your blood pressure and iron levels will be monitored, but they do go up and down. This can lead to the shakes and going in and out of sleep, even when you least expect it. If you feel like this, tell your nurse immediately so that you are not left forgotten about.
5)You are going to get given so many drugs to take – take them! Sure, you may be a trooper, but you need to keep on top of your meds. Why make yourself more uncomfortable than you need to be?