Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two Very Different C-Section Experiences

My Two Very Different C-Section Experiences

 Since tomorrow is my twins' first birthday (how did that happen so quickly?!?) today is the perfect time to share their birth story. It's actually quite uneventful and not very exciting at all. Basically I went in on my scheduled c-section day and had a great surgery. Nothing went wrong, I barely even felt like I had one. The boys ended up in the NICU for 17 days after they were born. Since they were sharing a placenta, towards the end all of the blood started going to one of the babies (Batman) and our other baby wasn't getting any. 

I am so thankful we moved our c-section date up one week because we had no idea this was going on. So Batman was our little reddish baby and Spiderman was anemic and pale for a few months. They thought he might need a blood transfusion but he ended up being okay without one. Our poor babies were poked and prodded and stuck full of needles for those 17 long days but we finally got to take them both home together with no major complications. They were born about one month early at 36 weeks and 3 days. 

I've had two c-sections in the last two years and they were completely opposite experiences. I thought I would share a little comparison of the two. Maybe it will give some idea of what kind of things you might expect if you are facing a scheduled c-section.

My First (Emergency) C-Section vs. My Second (Scheduled) C-Section

1. During my first I was having contractions of course, so I had an epidural put in during this time. During the surgery I was shaking so much I couldn't pay attention to anything else. My second, I had a spinal in the operating room right before the surgery. No shakes. I was able to pay attention and watch everything going on. 

2. The first one I was freezing the whole time and they kept putting warm blankets on my arms to warm me up. The second one, I didn't notice anything like that. It seemed like a normal temperature in the room.

3. With both of them I could feel lots and lots of tugging and pulling as they got the babies out. It doesn't hurt or anything, it just feels weird. And then you feel empty once they pull them out. 

4. With my first, we didn't have a camera and I didn't get to hold him before they took him away. With the twins, my husband took pictures of them being cleaned up and weighed and they let me hold the first one while they were still getting the second one out. With little Spiderman they had to put oxygen on him right away so I didn't get to hold him, but I was able to watch what was going on. I don't remember any of this with my first one. 

5. You can read more about it here, but with my first I had a major ileus afterwards and with my second I had nothing like that. Sure there's always some gas, but I was on top of that with stool softeners and gas-x that I asked for right away. I took these a few days before my surgery as well. I didn't eat for a couple of days because I was afraid of what happened the first time, but when I finally did, everything was perfect. 

6. With the first one, a few days after the surgery, the scar got infected and started leaking pus and blood everywhere. They had to open part of it back up again and stuff gauze inside it. I had to do this for a few weeks afterwards. With the second, the scar healed up very nicely. I think she even cut out some of the extra scar tissue because it's much flatter and smoother than it was after the first one.

7. I used an abdominal binder both times. The first time I couldn't put it on until I got home 9 days later because of the ileus and my swollen stomach, but with the second one I used it right away. It helps with the pain and to pull everything back together. The second day after my surgery (the second one) I felt pretty much back to normal and could walk and move around with no problems. 

8. With my first son I was able to start breastfeeding right away even with all the complications. I did that for two months until I had other complications and ended up with another surgery. I didn't know much about pumping at the time, so my milk pretty much dried up while I was there. With the twins they were in the NICU of course so I started pumping with the hospital pump as soon as possible. I kept pumping every two hours the whole time I was there and my milk came in just fine so they were able to have breastmilk. We tried to breastfeed but they were too sleepy and it tired them out. They never did figure that out. I exclusively pumped for them for the first six months and had an excess of milk, which I am thankful for. It was so much work though!

It's just so crazy to me how different the two of them were. I was so nervous for the second one after my first awful surgery but I didn't need to be, it all went very smoothly. If you have had a c-section, what kind of experience did you have?

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photo credit: Julie70 via photopin cc


  1. New follower, found your blog thru a link up post recently (maybe 5 on Friday?).
    Anyways I had an emergency c section with my first. My epidural wasn't taking completely (which wasn't a problem when labouring on my own) so once in the OR they cranked it up so much I was frozen up to my shoulders, I got to hold my baby aka they laid him in my arms bc I couldn't move.
    The morphine they gave me for pain made me really sick and high, and they didn't give me stool softeners right away so I was very uncomfortable and scared to use the bathroom.
    My staples were too far spread and I had to be frozen to have them removed, and the centre of my incision opened slightly and started draining and got infected.
    Tons of fun! Needless to say 20 months later when delivering my second I opted for a vbac ;)

    1. Oh ya I forgot, bc of all the epidural my blood pressure dropped dangerously low on the operating table I blacked out multiple times and they had to give me a drug to counteract that!

    2. Oh no! That sounds like an awful experience. I'm glad your vbac worked out for you :D I can't imagine being unable to move all the way up to your shoulders :O that's crazy! I love hearing other people's stories, thanks for sharing :)

  2. I had an emergency c-section due to my daughter's heart rate being unstable. She did great through it all. One of the nurses commented that she had a short cord and my midwife said I could have been pushing for a long time and not have her advance due to a short cord. So I'm just fine with the way she was born. It could have been way worse.

    I had an epidural before the c-section and during the surgery I was shaking a lot, too. My incision healed nicely. I'm pretty sure they glued it, crazy, huh? But the recovery process of having had major surgery makes me hope any further babies can be delivered vbac! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    1. That's good that everything worked out. That's the same reason we had my emergency one with my first son (the unstable heart rate). They glued both of mine too, it is pretty strange lol. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow! I never had a c-section... fascinating to read a bit about what it was like, what you felt, etc. We don't plan on having any more babies but I'll keep this in mind for friends who may be considering a c-section.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop)!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story :) I am totally a sucker for a birth story and will be featuring you at the pin it party tonight!! Swing by and link up again!! <3


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