C-section and Hospital Bag

Updated on April 07, 2009
K.W. asks from Allen, TX
55 answers

I want to preface this with some info :) I had my first son 3.5 years ago. He was a scheduled induction, I went in at midnight and had a beautiful bouncing boy at 9 p.m. the next day!
I am now due with my second son in just a week. Having been diagnosed with MTHFR {Clotting disorder} I have been monitored VERY closely during my entire pregnancy [disorder can cause low birth weight}. The GREAT news is this boy is already measuring at 8.5lbs!!!! Because of this my doctor has decided to go ahead and schedule a c-sec for Thursday...YIKES!
So this brings me to my questions for the women that I KNOW will have some great feed back :)
A. Is there anything that I probably won't read that I should expect before or after the c-section?
B. Did any of you measure big? How accurate was the measurement?
C. Totally off subject ~ Is there anything that you wish you had packed...but forgot?

Thank you all!!!

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So What Happened?

O.k...I went into the doctors and the sonographers on Monday. They both are predicting the baby to be
9.5lbs or more!!! After weighing the risks my husband and I have decided to go ahead with the c-section.
We just would never be able to live with ourselves if something happened during delivery because of a
choice we made:)
THANK YOU all SOOOOO much for ALL the advice and ideas!!! The bags are now packed with all the goods and ready for the big adventure! I knew I would be able to get some good info...but WOW!!! I will be posting the update on my blog so if anyone would like to read how it goes send me a message and I can give you the URL!
You are ALL wonderful women! Thank you SOOO much! Say a prayer for us tomorrow :) God is Good!!!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I haven't had a c-section but have had my appendix removed- it's painful! Many of my friends that have had c-sections swear by the post c-section support belt, they all have said it makes it sooo much easier to get around as well as their boppy or my brest friend pillow for doing something as simple as holding the baby and that it's a must for breastfeeding. Lip balm was my number one thing for labor and delivery and a comfy sleep bra!

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

I'm an old mom - my girls are grown, but one never forgets! LOL! I learned quickly after I got home that a girdle WAS a girls best friend (that was all there was 25 years ago). NOW they have this great band you can buy (Mother's Maternity has it) that will hold you around your incision. It is great for the first couple weeks. If you cough, laugh or sneeze...you will want that support! Having a C-baby is not a bad thing! Just take extra care of yourself - take it from a mom who was on the go! Good luck and God bless you and your family - C.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section and it's not just because of my bad experience that I will tell you- DON'T HAVE A C-SECTION. Have you ever watched "The Business of Being Born" produced by Ricky Lake?? You should definitely watch it BEFORE you have this baby. I have a copy loaned out by the library right now if you want to borrow it. I have done extensive research on c-sections and birth options since my c-section 2 years ago, and I can tell you that c-sections are RARELY (as in 1 in 10,000) needed and that it's much safer and healthier to let your body take its course during labor. They completely cut your body open, through many layers and it will leave a scar forever, it's not the healthiest option, that's for sure. Email me if you have any questions!

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A.K.

answers from St. Louis on

K.,

For part B: From what I've experienced, sonogram weight estimates can be 1-2 pounds too high. And even though a doctor may be pretty good at estimating the weight of your baby based on your tummy measurement, they can still be off.

I delivered a 8lb 10oz baby boy last August, and the scheduled induction went just fine! (He was 2 weeks overdue, and my doctor was estimating that he was well over 8lbs at 40 weeks. So I thought he was going to be HUGE at 42 weeks, but that wasn't the case.)

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J.G.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi there!
I had a completely wonderful scheduled c-section. Highly recomend it(LOL) The only thing that bothered me was the feeling,after the spinal block of not being able to feel myself breathing. If that makes any sense at all!!! I am a little high anxiety anyway and just had to calm myself down an d get it in my head that I was actually breathing! I know,probably sounds wierd. Other than that,it was great!

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V.P.

answers from Dallas on

I've had 2 C-Sections (both breach, both 8 1/2 lbs). I agree with many of the previous statements... socks, stretchy pants, lip balm, etc. Several points I think need stressing:
1. Yes, I bought a few pair of "Granny Panties". You really don't want the elastic band of any "bikini panties" around the incision.
2. Be sure to leave all of your jewelry at home. I had a necklace that I wore 24/7 (a special one I received when I gave birth to our first child), that was lost during the birth of my second child. When we were getting ready to go into the OR, they told my husband to hold it. He was already in his scrubs (necessary for him to enter the OR with me), and put the necklace in the shirt pocket. Long story short, it went into the hospital laundry and was never found again.
3. MOST IMPORTANT: I agree with the other readers - You don't want to over do it, but you need to move as much as you can. My 2nd daughter was in the NICU for several days (she's a healthy 7 year old now), and it forced me to make the walk to the NICU several times a day to feed her. I healed much more quickly with her than I did with my first daughter, when I really tried to stay off my feed and rest.

Good Luck!

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R.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section in January, so I just went through the experience. Something that someone told me that I didn't know about was shoulder pain after the surgery. It's an incredibly sharp pain caused by your irritated phrenic nerve being exposed to air during surgery. I experienced it about 12 hours after the surgery. It hit me like a ton of bricks when the nurse was leaning me back in my hospital bed. It literally took my breath away. I had a friend warn me about this and I am glad because I think it would have really scared me if I didn't know about it.

The best thing you can do after your surgery is walk. Even though it's painful, WALK! I also bought some cheap night gowns to wear in the hospital when I got tired of the regular hospital gowns. You will not want to wear pants because of your scar. I just wore the mesh underwear the hospital provided.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

I've had three c-sections (first one emergency with twins) and the second two by choice because my OB said it was safer. I can honestly say that after talking to my sisters and friends who had vaginal births I think having a c-section was easier ( I have a friend who had a vaginal birth first time and c-section the second and she believes the c-section was easier). You are not worn out from labor and I personally think your bleeding is lighter after because my OB cleaned alot out from the inside after the surgery.

Prepare yourself for harder and more painful uterine contractions after the baby is born. My nurses told me that each pregnancy they get worse because your uterus has been stretched out more and has further to contract to get back to normal size. Ask for the pain meds and take them!!!!

As the others have said take the stool softeners the first bowl movement is quite painful because you are trying to use the muscles they just cut, get up and walk ASAP, ask your doctor for a "Pain Ball" they put it in while they are finishing up the c-section and it gives you round the clock pain medicine for the first day, wear the panties they give you because the others really bother your incision, and DEFINITELY ask for and wear the wrap around band around your abdominal area (I wore mine for the first week and it really helps to support that area).

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hey K.!

I had an emergency c-section in January. They gave me a morphine pump that I could push every 6 minutes. Let me tell you, I was pushing that thing like clockwork until I got upstairs and spoke with the nurses. They said that once the morphine is used up, I couldn't get more and that the pain pills they could give me would last longer than the morphine. They were right! I was also shocked at how quickly they wanted me up and walking. They had me up and walking to the bathroom and around the halls less than 10 hours after surgery. The reason is that it helps with the gas. Once you start passing gas again, they will let you eat real food. What I was not prepared for was that I would have to remove my bandage by myself. My c-section was on a Monday evening, by Wednesday morning, they wanted me to take a shower and pull off the bandage. I was very nervous!Pull slowly and gently. Getting it a little soapy helped. They used a clear adhesive tape that reminded me of a more flexible packing tape.

Best of luck to you and congratulations!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hello K.,

I think a scheduled c-section has a lot to do with the doctors opinion. I think it is more conveniet for the doctors to do the c-section VS vaginal delivery. Plus they get paid more. I believe they hurry us up to have these c-section when it is unwarrented. My mother had 4 babies all over 8.5 by vaginal delivery. Too many doctor hurry us into making us think we have to have a c-section because of the size of the baby.....and truth be told it is only for the doctor to be home at night eatting dinner with their family. And the doctors do not to have to do "rounds" on the weekend when they schedule a c-section during the first part of the week. Most doctors have you go in on a Mon or Tues in order for you to be out of the hospital by friday.

Good luck!! Congrats!!

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section in 2007 when my daughter was born. They tried to induce me and she turned around breech, so I waited another week and had the c-section when I was 38 weeks. The doctors tried to induce me early because they said she was going to be a little over 9 lbs. She was 9 lbs. 7 oz. when she was born, so the sonograms were very accurate for me. I also went to a perinatal specialist to get a most accurate size and they said the same as my dr. Now, I'm pregnant and have scheduled a c-section in 2 weeks and the baby is measuring large again! Last week she measured 8 lbs. and I still had 3 weeks to go. Also, I had a spinal...at Baylor Grapevine, they give you a spinal instead of an epidural if it is scheduled so that it lasts for 24 hrs.

As for after the c-section...I don't remember getting up until the next day. It is very hard to move, but if you push a pillow across your incision area, it will help. Also, after they take your staples out, it doesn't hurt as much. But the first time you stand, you will want to hunch over...you have to stand up straight and it will be easier each time you do. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days and took all the pain pills they would give me...I'm a wimp when it comes to pain. You'll need help when you go home, especially the first 2 weeks. After that it's easier to get around and you won't need as many pain pills.

For the hospital...last time I took my boppy pillow and everything on the normal list to bring and I didn't hardly use anything. The boppy is a great thing to have, but don't bring gowns to the hospital, they'll just get blood stained. Just be sure to bring a comfortable dress to wear home and have plenty at home to wear too. I didn't even think of this the first time and my friend had to go shopping for me the day I came home...I'm not a dress person. You'll want nursing gowns instead of the pj bottoms for awhile. At Motherhood Maternity, they have short nursing gowns with a matching robe! Also on my list to take this time...my pillow, robe, slippers, flip-flops for shower. And just take home anything they use on you at the hospital...especially the net panties & pads!

Good Luck! It's not as bad as the articles you read!!!

G.W.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section three years ago and thought it was much easier than my vaginal ten years ago. I guess my experience was a little different than those already mentioned. My twins were born at 8:00/8:02 a.m. on a Thursday morning but my epidural was not stopped until just over 24 hours later so I didn't get up until the next day. I will admit, it was painful - I'd say 8 on a scale of 1 - 10 but once you are up and get cleaned up and sit in the rocking chair in your room, it does ease up. Also, if you feel the pain meds are making you act loopy (the vicodin made me barely able to speak!), you can ask your doctor for something else (naproxen worked great for me). My doctor had me on the liquid diet for the first 24 hours post delivery, not sure if that's the norm. After I got home, the support belt was my life saver for the first week but thankfully, I didn't need any pain meds at all. Once the staples were out five days later, I was pretty much doing normal things again (probably shouldn't have been but twins don't make it easy to rest!). Best wishes, I know everything will be fine!

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A.G.

answers from Abilene on

For me the hospital part was fine, but as it was said, don't forget socks. I just needed more help when I got home then I had planed for. I have had two c-sections and after both I ran fever and felt so bad. Both times it was just a UTI and I was over it fast. So, drink a lot of water and make sure you have help at home for about two weeks. Also, make sure you have easy meals for you older son, so you do not have to do a lot of cooking. Standing for a long time is not easy at first. Good luck. I will be thinking about you and God Bless you and your family.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Take your own ziplock bags for holding ice - the hospital we used charged a crazy amount for that kind of thing. You might also want to take a hot water bottle.

Seems like I was too tired to read or do anything, but got somewhat bored. Take a book on tape, or music to listen to.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

The biggest surprise was the amount of bleeding afterwards. You still expel copious amounts of blood through your vagina, although, you won't feel it for awhile due to the spinal. It's a bit unsettling, but the nurses will be able to help you. Also, it's very difficult to get out of bed to urinate and such. I asked to have the catheter remain overnight to ease the pain, and they allowed it (Baylor Grapevine). It was all worth it and I would have another Csection.

Good luck to you!

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

I have to really discourage you from trusting the weight projection of the baby that they give you from doing sonograms. I am a very small person and they told me that my baby was 7 1/2 pounds. I had a few minor problems that made the doctor suggest that we induce early. They were not life threatening, just somewhat concerning. Since I was a week away from my projected due date, I reluctantly agreed having been told that I had a 7 1/2 pound baby. I thought that was plenty big enough and felt that it was okay to agree to the induction. I was induced and delivered the baby, who was healthy. Unfortunately, she did not weigh they 7 1/2 pounds that I was told she would, she instead weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces, which was very small and in my opinion way off from the projected 7 1/2 pounds. I was so upset. I felt like she needed to have stayed in there as long as she wanted, she needed to grow more. I think that almost a 2 pounds difference if huge. If you are solely doing to early for the size/weight reason, I would not go early, but if there is anything life threatening or dangerous, go for it. Just know that the weight projections are nearly useless as far off as they can be. Good luck.

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P.R.

answers from Dallas on

Congratulations! I have had 2 c-sections and am having my third on the 15th! Like the others have said, just make sure you get moving ASAP, and do take your pain meds if you need them. Lotion is good to have because the last thing you want after a c-section is itchy skin. Also good socks with the no slip stuff on the bottom. Good Luck!

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M.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

The one thing no one ever mentioned to me was the gas pains. I didn't really have much pain from the incision, etc...but the gas pains were unbelievably painful. They are because your abdomen is open, air gets in there and they close you up. The air/gas has to disperse...well I would get these incredibly bad, sharp shooting pains in my shoulders...and was told after that these were gas pains from the surgery. It took about a day and a half for these to subside. Other than that, the c-section was a piece of cake. :) Good luck to ya! Oh...and as for the measurements, my hubby is s nurse and he has seen them off by a pound give or take. He's seen them c-section babies that were thought to be 9 lbs already, when they were actually about 8...and he's seen them taks a baby they thought was IUGR (low birth weight/growth restriction) and it has been a pound or more heavier. The scans are not an exact science. Good luck!!!

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I never dilated, etc. so I got an u/s the week before she was due. They said she was at least 8 lbs. and since nothing was starting to happen, we might need to do a c-section. They said the test could be off by 1-2 lbs. either way.

I ended up putting off my c-section b/c my mother said all babies in my family have been late and that I shouldn't rush it. I scheduled it for a week later, but then had what I thought was a water leak, so the doctor said I had to deliver that night. I didn't have time to get my bag together. She wanted me in the hospital asap. So my husband threw something together and I can't even remember what was in it. I'm sure he went home afterwards and brought other stuff back, but after all the thought I had put into getting that bag together, in the end, I really only needed some slippers and a gown.

As for the u/s measurements, my daughter ended up being 9 lbs. 14 oz. and 22 inches long. So much for the 8 lb. estimate!

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

hi K., i have two boys and both were c-section. my first one ended up as an emergency because the doctor didn't want to give me a c-section earlier during the day and for my second boy he was a c-section because i had a c-section the first time. i know your scared but you will be fine. my advice to you is when the nurse puts in an i.v. have her numb your hand first, if she can't do this, my nurse said she couldn't and preceeded anyway i told her to find a nurse who did. when the nurse puts in the i.v. when your hand is numb isn't as bad as when it's not numb. my second advice is take comfortable dress for when you leave. you want to be as comfortable as possible. my other advice is after you have your surgery and you will feel terrible do simple exercises in bed asap, like grab the bed bars and pull your self to your sides, do this many times it will hurt but it will help. when you get out of bed put a soft pillow up against your abdomen, this helps with the feeling that your innards are going to fall out. move your legs this will help with circulation. walk when you can and don't hurry, walk like a snail. if you have help after you come home this will be great. wear the underwear they give you with pride because you just went through major surgery. take a gentle showere because this will help you feel better. don't over do it, don't stretch toomuch. you'll be fine. if you need to talk write to [email protected]____.com. i have two boys and one husband, as a result i am raising 3 boys. lol

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S.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hey K.,
My son turned 3 when my 2nd child was born last july. Both were C-sections. My first baby was breach, and they told me he was measuring 9 pounds. Ha! He was 7 lbs 8 oz. They haven't a clue. My second one, they also wanted to hurry and schedule the C-sect, but she was about the same, both were healthy, and to be honest, I may not have needed a C-sect both times. I think it's more convenient for Doctors (and probably more money) to have C-sections. They get to schedule them for one. But I got 2 beautiful kids out of the deal, so I shouldn't complain!

I think the most important things to pack are the things that make you comfortable (favorite jammies or robe, socks, nursing bras, etc) I was rushed into my 2nd C section (as in the morning of the day she was born, I was told I had an hour or so to run home and get my things and come check in to the hospital). I forgot to think hard about the first outfits she would wear, and the blankets to bring, etc. So I think it's important to have something cute for you and the baby to wear for pics. (while you are laying so glamorously in bed, ha ha)

Anyway, congrats! Try to enjoy the process as much as is possible. Blessings to you and your family, Stephanie

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

The first time you pee, there is SO much blood. Also, you will need help getting up and down from the toilet and taking a shower. It will feel weird the first time you stand up straight. I felt like I was going to rip my tummy open. I've had 3 c-sections. I was never scheduled and went hours with non-medicated labors, so I was extremely exhausted after surgery but still so "high" from having my baby. They is nothing like bringing a new baby into the world. No one never told me how much water weight I would gain after surgery. My legs looked like stumps (where are my ankles!)

I did measure big with all my babies and the doctor was very accurate on the weights.

I wish that I had packed a nursing nightgown that was long enough to cover my big butt. I over estimated how much weight I was going to lose after the baby.

Congratulations to you and your family.

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K.A.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c section 12-26-08 and it was pretty quick... u wont feel anything but some pulling and pushing but no pain at all. they will moniter u until u can go pee on your own which is surprisingly harder than it sounds.. took me like 4 tries before i could. and it might be up to 3 days before u can have a bowel movement... they told me it was normal but !do not push to go! u can blow your insision open. and laughing too lol laughing made me pop a staple. try to not do ANYTHING that strains your abs at all for like a week. and when u get home take it slow trust me. good luck

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

All 3 of my boys measured big.

you will probably get very constipated so make sure thye give you stool softners and mylecon tablets for gas.

socks with treads on the bottom are great and a robe for walking the halls...

Good luck!
A. J

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I can honestly say that you don't need anything when you go in for a c-section. My water broke 4 weeks early with my second child. I walked out the door with nothing but my purse! (I had not even packed yet but had only gathered the baby's things on the changing table.) The one thing we found out that we wish we had brought was a camera (luckily my husband had one on his cell phone so those are the only pictures we had at the beginning.) We then found out at the hospital that the baby was breech, so I ended up with an unexpected c-section. Afterwards, all I needed was a robe, some socks, and some slippers. I had decided that it was easier to nurse in the hospital gowns, so I did not ask my husband to go home to get my own pj's. They will want you to get up and walk the halls later as you recover so a robe, and slippers are nice. Other than that, I did not need anything from home until the day I left.

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section with my second pregnancy (boy). I did not have one with my first (daughter) she was only 6 lbs. 3 ounces. He was measuring at being over 8 1/2 pounds, but only turned out to be 7 lbs. 2 oz. he was 10 days early. So they were off with the size, but either way I had a hard time with my daughter's delivery so opted for the section. Don't regret it a bit the best thing I every did :).
As far as thing they don't tell you I didn't know that you could not eat until the next morning after the c-section. I was starving, but made it through :). Take your boppy makes it easier to breastfeed (if you are going to). Make sure to take pants that will stretch. I brought yoga pants because they were the most comfortable for me. The scar will be very tender feels fine in the hospital, but once the good meds are gone it does hurt. Same thing with panties make sure they will not touch your scar. I was up walking around a couple of hours after. Make sure to do this because the more you move the easier it is for you later. Also once you are home probably around 3rd day you will feel good and want to stop taking your medication or at least ease up on taking so much. DON'T!!! I was in the worst pain thought I would have to go back to the hospital. Give yourself enough time to heal. Best of luck and congrats on your new baby!!

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C.H.

answers from Amarillo on

I had my son 5 years ago, they thought he was appoching 9 lbs he wasn't he came out 7 lbs 12 oz. They thought he was breach he wasn't I just had so much fluid he had not dropped down in the birth canal.

Anyway... Bring these things for sure
Something comfy to wear something you could wear now, I made the mistake of thinking i would fit into something smaller when I left the hospital no no no I had to wear what i wore to the hospital.

Slippers after your csection they make you walk the halls!!!

A cute outfit for baby to wear in pictures
you can bring stuff for the baby but most hospitals will supply diapers and wipes and formula and binkies for your baby --- but check with your hospital

Also you will be there for up to 4 days so bring stuff that will keep you comfy maybe music magazine what ever

Good luck with your baby and congats

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K..
Congratulations on your new baby! I had a c-section and had an easy recovery (not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be). The only information that would have been helpful would have been to start taking a mild laxative immediately. Not to be gross, but it was 1 week and 1 day before I could go.....and that was after 4 days of taking a mild laxative. Go ahead and prepare for a bit of constipation. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.-

I have never had a c-section. But with my second, I had sonograms every 4 weeks to check for kidney issues(first daughter had urinary relfux) My doctor induced 2 weeks early because she was a "big" baby. She was only 6 pd 2oz!
So the measurments and the sonos were way off!

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

I have MTHFR and had a C-section in 2007 and had no problems. I was at Presby Dallas and all you really need are comfortable shoes to walk the halls, nightgowns, robes and your toiletries. I got a couple of little robes that stop at the waist. My mom calls them "bed jackets". They are great for covering up those hospital gowns when you have guests. They are essential before you can get up and shower. Mine came from Dillards. Of course you will want a long one to walk the halls in, and they will make you walk.

I agree with the other ladies about taking home the net panties. Extremely gross, but functional! Get out of bed when they tell you to. It gets easier after that first shower. I got to keep my epidural for a couple of days with pain killers going through it. Do that if it is an option. They took my staples out before I came home. That surprised me, but it didn't hurt.

My baby measured about like yours, but she actually weighed 7lbs.10oz., but she was perfect just like they said.

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

My son measured over 8lbs. and the doctor said my amneotic fluid was low, so they scheduled an induction weeks before my due date. When he was born, after an emergency C-section, my induction went horribly wrong he was 7lbs. exactly-this was days after I was told he weighed over 8lbs. which means he was actually 6lbs. something and the fluild was probably not low at all. I had an extremely healthy pregnancy and doctors treated me like something was really wrong and in turn made a mess of what nature was doing just fine. I'll never go to that doctor again. All doctors should tell you THERE IS A TREMENDOUS MARGIN OF ERROR WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR "MEASUREMENTS".

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S.C.

answers from Omaha on

I didn't have a scheduled c-section- it was an emergency one but they measured the baby the day before to be around 8-ish pounds. (they did an ultrasound to get measurements) but the next day he came out 9 lbs. 10 oz......so, much bigger than their measurements.
I wouldn't bother packing your own gowns or anything...they get messy. I had my husband go home and get our boppy for nursing the baby...I wish I had packed it. Also, we brought a take home outfit for him but he didn't fit into it because he ended up being so big so my husband went home and got something bigger....so maybe pack two different outfits: one small and one a little bigger.
There were lots of things that I didn't read about c-sections because I didn't think I was having one. But since you know in advance, I would just read up on those, specifically. I don't think there is anything I could tell you because everyone is different and has a different recovery and stuff. With mine, I was in a lot of pain for 4 weeks. I didn't expect that. I was thinking maybe 2 weeks. Just make sure you take your pain meds if you need them.
Best of luck!

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hi! I had two c-sections, first one I just wouldn't dilate past a 4, and they were starting to worry about my son's heartbeat etc., so they called a c-section. I was completely upset. BUT looking back, it was totally fine. It just wasn't what I was expecting. My first son measured pretty close to what my doctor had expected, he was 8.5 .

I don't think there is anything more to expect, in fact, I didnt' read up on it b/c I assumed I wouldn't have a c-section. The worst part about it is the day or 2 after, once the epidural wears off and you have to get up for the first time and use the bathroom. You don't realize how many ab muscles you use to get up and walk. But once you get up and take that first shower, you feel better. Just do what the nurses tell you to do and you should be fine. I ended up requesting a c-section for my 2nd son b/c I had the option since I had a c-section the first time. The only thing that was harder about the 2nd time was not being able to pick up my 2 year old for 6 weeks. You need to be VERY careful after you are released from the hospital and not pick up any heavy things b/c you can rip some of those stitches you had. My only suggestion is to take all of the extra goofy panties that they give you to wear after you have your baby. My friends that didn't have c-sections weren't as huge of a fan as I was of those. But they are great for those that have a c-setion, there is bearly any elastic in the waist. I took the extras and wore them for a couple of weeks after I had the baby. As ugly as they were, they didn't bother my scar area. Speaking of my scar, I can bearly find it, so I wouldn't worry at all about that!!

You will be fine! From my experience, try not to be nervous and just know you will soon get to see you new baby boy!! Good luck!!
K. :)

About me: Mom of 2 boys, 5 and 3, married for 9 years.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

I've had 3 C-sections, the first one 32 years ago. I was certainly not prepared for that, although I knew it was a possibility. I thought I was going to cry the next day when they got me up and put me on the scales. I had only gained 17 pounds and my son weighed 7 lbs 8 oz, so when the scales showed I weighed more than when I came in.....oh my. I know now it was the swelling from surgery. It did go away quickly, just not that day.

Also, as a side note. I had an OLD nurse who started pushing apple juice down me right away. She said that after surgery, although the doctors don't say this, that apple juice helps "new mom" keep from getting a urinary infection and from running fever. That is important because if you run fever and the baby is staying in the nursery they won't bring him to you.

Take your baby scissors with you to the hospital so if you need to cut his fingernails you can.
Good luck.
J.

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D.W.

answers from Tyler on

K.,
Are you really small? Not sure I understand the need for a C-section. I am average, my second son weighed in at 8lb 10oz and his was a very easy birth. I could see if perhaps you are a very tiny lady.

But a c-section is a very major surgery- although routine- if it can be avoided it should. So I would say unless there is absolutely a solid reason why you really need surgery- why not try naturally and have the c-section as backup.

Just a thought. Wish you and your family the best as you welcome your newest memeber.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

I've had 3 c-sections (1st unplanned, 2 planned) and will have a 4th eventually.

Things you might not read about:
They will restrain your arms during the first part of the surgery. It is probably more important due to your complication to begin with. Some people work themselves up over being restrained during the surgery and I thought I would freak out. Honestly, over half of your body is immobilized anyway, so it didn't even phase me. I didn't even know I was restrained until they released me after the babies were born so I could hold them. Don't psyche yourself out over this.

The anesthesiologist is your friend!! They are your advocate in the OR. If something doesn't feel right, you are nervous, you feel nauseous or feel like freaking out, let them know. They can help you. Also, they are willing to chat with you to take your mind off of things if necessary.

Planned c-sections are much more relaxed than the emergency ones. The doctors may chat or put on music and people will generally be chipper and upbeat. That's a good sign! You may find a bit more business-like manner given the reason for your c-section. Recovery from planned c-sections (in my experience) was much easier too. Bleeding is a lot less after c-sections because they are able to "clean you out" a lot better.

Something no one told me about child-birth for babies after the first one is that the afterbirth pains are worse with each child. This being your second child, the pains will feel a bit stronger than they did with the first child. You will have these pains even though you won't experience labor because they give you a small dose of pitocin to help the uterus contract after surgery. They last a week or two and usually occur during nursing.

The spinal/duramorph usually causes itching (particularly the nose) as it wears off. Be prepared to ask the nurses for some benadryl to relieve the itches or you may very well rub your nose off for all the itching.

To pack:
NO bikini underwear. They sit right over the incision site and will not feel good on a fresh incision. Same for low rise maternity pants. Get some granny panties and some loose sweats/yoga pants to protect your incision from rubbing seams.

The usual packing list for the hospital applies. Chapstick, etc.

L.

B.C.

answers from Dallas on

Pack plenty of socks. Big, thick socks! I brought my robe, slippers, pajama pants, nursing pads, magazines. Lip balm is a big one! Bring something super moisturizing because your lips will get very dry and they wont let you eat or drink.
My C-section went well. I was in the hospital for 3 days. Shortly after your surgery, they will make you stand up and walk around. It is pretty painful, but nessesary. Just make sure that you're going to have lots of help because the first week that you're at home it'll be hard for you to get around well. I lived in the living room for the first week because I was surrounded with the boppy pillow (very important to use after surgery), my pills, water, diapers, wipes, etc. I never had to get up! lol!
Congrats on the new blessing!

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K.F.

answers from Dallas on

Just had my first baby, Mary Elizabeth, 3 weeks ago via c-section. My sister is a labor and delivery nurse, so she gave me a lot of advice:

- make sure to ask for a stool softener with your pain medication. that first bowel movement is PAINFUL. i thought she was kidding. she wasn't. buying stool softeners, NOT laxatives, after the birth was the best money ever spent

- you're going to think that you can just bounce back, but c-sections are different than vaginal. someone will need to help you the first couple of days with even changing diapers because you won't be able to get in and out of bed easily.

good luck!!!

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hello I had 2 c-sections. The one thing I packed for the 2nd one that I wish I would have for the 1st is a compression wrap for your tummy. You can get one at Babies R Us. The ride home is very jiggly. Watch your stictches or staples which ever the Dr. gives you. With staples I felt very numb near the incision. The 2nd was stitches but one broke and I had to go back to get it taped. Cleaning the area and making sure you wear loose clothing helps.
God BLess

N.O.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,

I've had 2 C-sections and the first one was harder than the second one. At my hospital (Dallas Presby) I had great post op nurses which really helps with recovery. My doctor was giving me percocet, toridol and some motrin pill for pain after the epidural wore off which helped with pain control. The actual surgery itself is not bad at all.....just recovery is. I didn't feel a thing during the surgery and the epidural does not hurt if you get a good anesthesiologist put it in.
Like another post said, you really don't need to bring much at all. The hospital will provide you with all food, snakcs and drinks needed and just stick to wearing the hospital robes while you're there. Yes they are not flattering but they are much easier to move around in and you don't want to bring a pair of clothes to just bleed in because the bleeding does get VERY heavy.
My hospital allows you to stay 4-5 days if needed for recovery and take as many days as you can there because once you go home it's back to the real world and you no longer have the help from the hospital. Bring a small pillow to firmly place over your tummy when they make you cough because it helps with pain and they make you cough a lot to prevent blood clots.
Also, every sono I had was very accurate with my babies weight. I had big babies as well and each sono was right on the measurements so don't underestimate it because it's probably very accurate.
Good luck to you and congrats on your new baby boy!!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.! Congrats on your baby! I haven't read all the other responses, so I don't know if these have been mentioned already, but here are the two things that everybody was too polite to tell me before my c-section, but it would have been nice to have known:
1) I had TERRIBLE TERRIBLE gas for the first 2-3 days. Walking helps A LOT with this, even though it is painful to get out of bed. But seriously, if you walk and the gas gets out, you'll feel MUCH better. It's a bit embarrassing, though--my husband LAUGHED and LAUGHEd b/c I was passing gas so long and so loudly! So you might want to be careful that this happens just in front of your nearest and dearest, and not, for example, your pastor!
2) You should get several pair of big, black granny panties to have on hand after you get home. My regular undies, even maternity ones, were all low-rise, so the elastic was right on the incision. I sent poor DH to the playtex outlet, and had the salesgirl on the phone, so I'd have something to wear once I got rid of the mesh ones they give you in the hospital. Black is key, 'cuz you WILL stain them, since you'll still be bleeding.
Sorry if this was a bit TMI, but I wish someone had told me these things before it happened to me! GL!

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

With my son, I went in for a scheduled induction, but labor stopped progressing and he was facing the wrong way and getting stuck, so we had a c/s. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly I recovered. It wasn't as painful as I expected during recovery. The thing I hated the most was how groggy I felt right after, so those first moments with my baby I was a little out of it. I think my mom was more nervous and scared than I was when the doctor said I needed to go in for a c/s. Just remember to take it easy the first few weeks. I have a friend who had twins (one born vaginally, the other an emergency c/s), and also had an almost 2 y/o son. She developed a hernia and had to have surgery to repair it b/c she did too much too soon after the c/s. So take all the help you can get the first 6 weeks so you can recover!!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

I had a c-section in Dec. '05, so it's not as fresh to me as to others... I would recommend loose fitting clothing (specifically pants) for when you're ready to go home. I was pretty swollen and really tender right at the sight of the stitches. I was REALLY nervous, but everything turned out great and the scar is really tiny. I do still have some numb spots around the scar where I can feel pressure, but no longer have the sensation of touch. Before I went in for surgery they told me my son would be about 10 lbs. (Only a few days prior they were saying around 8 1/2 lbs.) my son was born 8 lbs 15 oz. I had a great c-section and would recommend it any day (mind you, that was my only pregnancy, so I've never experienced natural birth.) Good luck and hope all goes well!

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, it's surprising that a c-section is scheduled because of an estimated 8.5 pound baby. That's a pretty average size baby to jump straight to a c-section when you had a successful induction the first time. Ultrasound measurements are known for being up to 2 pounds off of the estimated weight, especially when it's a late term ultrasound. Some are right on, but not always.
If you do decide to opt for the c-section, you can make some requests about the procedure and care of your baby, such as allowing pictures to be taken, baby given to your husband to hold next to you as long as everything is ok (there is a higher chance of respiratory problems in the baby because of a c-section, so usually there are NICU nurses in the operating room and they'll want to check the baby right away). Most of the women I've been a doula for who have had c-sections are really tired after the c-section, so make sure you have some support (husband, parents, etc) that will be there with you to help you hold your baby and begin breastfeeding if you plan to do that. Also, as soon as you are able to get out of bed, do it; I know that seems counter-intuitive, but it will help you heal faster and feel better after the surgery if you move as much as you are able. Being in bed will make you feel more sore and tired. (I'm not saying to over do-it, of course!! You are definitely going to need to rest and take it easy..but with my clients who had c-sections, they have felt better faster if they move around as soon as they are able, as well as rest when they need). I hope that makes sense!
If you have any questions or anything, just send me a message - and I hope you have a great birth!!
J.

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

Congratulations on the coming of your new little angel.....even though I'm glad it is you and not me! lol! I just wanted to tell you that the measuremens were ALL off for me when I was expecting my first child. They had all kinds of "stuff" on hand to resusitate what was to be a VERY small baby boy. I'd even been ex-rayed! To make a long story short, he weighed in at 8lbs. 3 1/2oz. I had only gained 9 lbs. during my pregnancy! Anyway, I had two other children, each larger than the first and the last weighed 9lbs. 15oz and non were c-sections. Please talk to your doctor and ask why a c-section is recommended and ask if a vaginal delivery is possible. You have to be CONVINCED it IS necessary and understand the reasons why it is not.
The one thing that you may not read or be told, if you have ANY incision, is the underlaying scar tissue problems or nerve damage in that area that may occur.
I hope you have a wonderful delivery. After you see that baby, it somehow makes you forget how it got there anyway! lol!

P.

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A.P.

answers from Dallas on

Everyone I know (including myself) has had a smaller baby than what the doctor measured...so I don't know how accurate their measurements are.
My advice for c-section recovery...you HAVE to get up out of bed and move. It hurts like heck, but it makes the recovery SO much better!!! Also (*gross warning!*), I had NO idea that you bleed after a c-section just like you do after a vaginal birth...so be prepared for that.
Good luck! A c-section is no fun...but they do deliver pretty babies! :)

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter was emergency c-section and my son a scheduled c-section. I was really worried and it was nothing to worry about. The worse part is the gas. With any surgery, since your body is opened up, you get air inside you and it has to come out. You will have uncontrollable gas and it can be very painful.

Wished I'd packed: books! Not as many visitors with kid number two and I was bored!

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Good luck! I had two c-sections. One emergency, one scheduled. The scheduled one was incredibly easy and over in 30 minutes. My second pregnancy was also monitored closely as I had incredibly low amniotic fluid. Worried about developing lungs, and other things he was delivered 5 1/2 weeks early - he was actually bigger than my son born at term.

Don't fret, make sure you have good stuff to read. And don't hesitate to push the pain button afterward. Also, get a belt for your tummy for when you come home.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

I had. C-section two years ago because my daughter was breached. I will tell you the epidural hurt because you're not in labor to not notice it. When you first sit up, do it very very slow. It can be deceiving laying in bed on good you might feel. I sat upright too fast and threw up so they wouldn't give me solids until I went 24 hrs without throwing up. I threw up twice which I didn't even feel coming. Also when you first get out of bed, the blood from your body will rush to the incision area and I will tell you that it does take your breath away. It's also very hard to get back in bed because of the incision being sore. Once I was home I opted not to take the pain pills because it made me too drowsy and when you're nursing you'll be so tired already to have drugs make you more tired.
You will be surprised on how much you use your ab muscles once they've been cut.

Nursing did help me heal faster and I was feeling better after a week and a half. You'll k ow your limitations and pain treshold. Best of luck in your recovery and congratulations.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

Congrats!!!
The one thing I forgot at my C-sec was lotion!!!
Hospital air and the pain meds made me soooooo itchy!!!
Take a good thick lotion and make your hubby rub it on you all the time!!! wink wink!
My C-Sec was one year ago, and I got up and walked the next morning......mine was a piece of cake!!! (knock on wood!!!)

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D.E.

answers from Dallas on

My angel came into the world with a c-section because she kept having a low blood pressure when I was turned to my side. It wasn't what I planned, but all worked out great. It wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. A few pieces of advise is to get up and move asap after you give birth. It will help you get back to yourself fast. I have never prayed to pass gas before in my life, but did then! (when you pass gas they know your bowls are working again, just in case you didn't know. Another thing that my nurse told me was to use a thick maxi pad with sticky side on my panties to cushion your incesion. When they took off my gause, I was scared and wanted something there. It was great advise. Take your own pillow so you can have one to brace with when you get ready to go home and make sure you have either a gown or a flowy type dress, one without a waist band. Hope some of this helps!

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

All three of my kids measured big, they were all 9 lbs, but the doctors thought they were probably 10 lbs. My niece was 10 lbs and they thought she was going to be 12 lbs. I had only one c-section, I didn't have gas; however, I had to walk so much to see my son because the hospital in San Antonio messed up and said he had to go to NICU, long story short, I had to walk down a floor for 3 days for them to tell me all test results were fine... Anyway, maybe all the walking help me recover sooner... I also had my tubes tied at the same time, I was so concerned about my son I didn't have time to worry about myself... Isn't that typical of us parents???? Anyway, Congrats on another baby, continue to enjoy your life!

R.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,

EVERY body is different so you won't know until it happens how your bodys going to handle the C-section. I've had two and for me, my first was very hard and my second was much easier. With my first, it was a VERY painful recovery but my second was so easy it was almost like a vacation! : )
HOWEVER, I had a different doctor do my epidural the second time around and I think he placed it much better than the first time around because it did NOT hurt what so ever going in and worked great for helping with the pain control because you have a little pump you can squeeze when needed and it releases the numbing medication which will help you with pain control. IF you are scared for the pain (like I was) make sure you discuss that with your OB and have him/her put extra meds if needed on your chart because once your in post op care, the nurses HAVE to go by what your OB put on your chart and it's a pain to have them get ahold of the doc if you need more.
Also, you can't eat solids until you start passing gas (Usually 24 hrs) you won't feel hungry though and they'll give you lots of jello BUT once you do get to eat solids, make sure you eat LIGHT because I got very nautious the first time I ate and it's no fun throwing up after major surgery.
I recommend sticking to the hospital robes and NO pants because it's very uncomfortable trying to pull anything over your belly and the nurses will check you (down there) a lot to monitor your bleeding so you don't want to be going up and down with those pants. Make sure you have someone stay with you at least the first 24 hrs because you will need help with just about "everything" until you can stand up on your own.
I measured 10/3 with my son and he was exactly 10/3 when born so I'm sure your sons measurements are accurate. Yes, the nurses will encourage you to get up and move BUT don't let them make you do "anything" you're not ready to do. If you can get up and walk around, that's great but make sure to do after a dose of pain meds so it's not so hard. I usually just did one very slow lap around the hospital floor while holding on to the babys bed thats on the rollers to have some support and I did that twice a day. You shouldn't need to do more than that unless you feel you absolutely can but don't push it. Theres these new things the nursed put on your legs (at least at my hospital they did) that squeeze your legs tight to help prevent blood clots. MAKE sure you keep those on as long as you can because blood clots are deadly and very common after C-sections. They do not hurt but are a little uncomfortable. Take your time with recovery. You probably won't feel completely pain free for a good 2 weeks so hang in there. It is hard but you will get through it and make sure to get all the help at home you can get. You don't want to overdue it and have your incision come open from doing too much or you'll end up right back in the hospital. I wish you the best with your new blessing!!
Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with.

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S.C.

answers from Little Rock on

Hey K., I am a labor and delivery nurse and I have had 2 c/s (1 just 4 months ago). The wt measurements by ultrasound are not too accurate. They can actually be a lb off in either direction.
If they give a choice between a duramorph(certain type of long acting morphine) spinal and an epdiural for pain control afterwords, take the duramorph spinal! I had an epidural with my first and the duramorph spinal with my 2nd, there was no comparison between pain control.
You will have a foley cather until they let you out of bed. DO NOT stay in bed for more than 12 hrs. The longer you lay there, the harder it is to get moving. I have heard of places allwoing pt's to stay in bed for 24 hrs, this makes recovery very difficult. Once your up, slowly stand up ALL the way, no c/s huntching over. Don't do too much, but make sure you keep moving regularyl. I also found that a heating pad helped with the burning I had on my incision from the 1st c/s.
Good Luck and congratulations!
S.

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N.C.

answers from Alexandria on

i had two c sections. the 1st was an emergency and i had already been in 15 hrs of labor so my recovery was harder than most c sections. my 2nd was planned and it was a breeze. i was terrified b/c i couldn't feel anything but i knew i was being held down. the pressure from the c section felt weird but nothing to freak about. just make sure no matter how much you hurt, take the medicine they give you after recovery and walk around. you're shoulders will hurt from all the gas in your body. walk. it helps. i tried to be tough and didn't ask for pain meds and i should have swallowed my pride and asked for them sooner. it will help the recovery go faster. good luck and congrats!!!

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