My C-Section Experience + What I Wish I Knew!
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a medical professional and this blog is NOT intended to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor on any of the information shared in this blog before trying.
If you’re not familiar with my birth story – Tati came into the world be an emergency C-Section. I had always planned on a vaginal delivery.
In fact, having never been under the knife before, C-Sections were a huge phobia of mine. Undergoing a major abdominal surgery, oh, and by the way, you’re awake for it? That’s a HARD pass for me, but thanks.
Plot twist; God had other plans and this mama had to face her fears when baby girl got stuck in my pelvis, her heartrate spiked, and we had to get her out!
I was so sure that being the manifesting optimist that I am, a C-Section wasn’t even a remote possibility. So I did ZERO research on the recovery process and as a result had ZERO clue what I was in store for.
So here is the rundown on my C-Section experience and what I WISH I knew going into it.
The Procedure is a Breeze
Honestly, if you’re like me and scared shitless over the idea of having a C-Section, I’ll go ahead and let you know that you have nothing to be afraid of.
I was terrified and once we got through it, I was shocked by how pleasant the whole experience was.
Some things that I believe created a more positive experience are:
- Have your phone playing music close by to drown out any of the noises or chatter that could create anxiety.
- Hold your partners hands. Try to zone in on them and even talk to them through it. I remember Trav and I were just like “wow, we are literally seconds away from meeting our daughter!”
- Get someone in the room (I asked the nurse who was monitoring my epidural) on standby for allllll the pics so that you can still have documentation of that special moment. (I LOVE the look on Trav’s face when he saw his little girl for the first time in the pic below… even with a mask on, his eyes say it all.)
Doing those 3 things really made it a beautiful memory, but again, the procedure itself was quick, literally painless (it’s trippy how numb you really are), and not NEARLY as scary as I envisioned it being.
It’s the recovery process where shit got real. Wow, did that take me by surprise!
Here’s a few things I wish I knew…
You’re Gonna Be Gassy
Better leave your pride at home, girl, because for the first week after your C-Section, you are going to have a LOT of gas.
Apparently that’s what happens when you’ve been opened: air gets in your body, and it turns into gas that has to come out. So, not only are you bloated beyond belief, but you’re burping and tooting up a storm.
I was so embarrassed, I actually asked Trav to leave for a few hours so that I could toot and burp in peace!
To get over the gas I highly recommend ordering some Star Anise. Steep it in water to create a tea, and drink it like crazy. I liked drinking it room temperature so that I could just chug it down (because it is not that tasty, tbh) – but chugging a few glasses a day for those first few days helped my body break it down.
Very much like fennel, star anise tea can help to eliminate excessive gas, reduce intestinal spasms, ease heavy digestion and relieve stomach aches.
It Might Hurt When You Cough, Sneeze, or Laugh… A LOT
Brace yourself. The worst part for me was the feeling of having to cough, sneeze, or laugh. It literally would feel like you’re about to rip your incision open. Obviously, you aren’t, but the feeling is 100% not a good time.
The best thing to do is always wear some type of belly support so that it supports your stomach and incision. I also would push a pillow into my stomach anytime I felt a sneeze or cough coming on for some extra support, which helped manage the discomfort.
Getting Out of Bed is Going to Be Hard
And so is any other movement that engages your core. I recommend getting one of these bed rails to help you get up and down.
Also, I physically would not have been able to get into bed without a step-stool. Lifting your leg to climb into bed if you’re a shorty like me, is a no-go.
You Are Still Going to Bleed
You’d think that not having a vaginal delivery would mean no vaginal bleeding, right? False.
Luckily, I was prepared for a vaginal delivery so I was already prepared for that, but I was surprised to find out I’d be experiencing 4-6 weeks of bleeding post C-Section so make sure you’re stocked up on plenty of pads.
There’s No Nobel Prize for Overdoing It
I had my husband and my mom (who stayed with us for the first two weeks), there for my every single need and maintaining all of the house chores. It didn’t take long for me to feel guilty and want to try to be up and contributing around the house.
The result was unnecessary pain, and extended time for me to get control of the swelling. You really do have to surrender to the process, listen to your body, and take it slow.
You cannot compare your recovery time to anyone else’s. Remember there is no Nobel Prize for pushing yourself too far and creating a longer recovery for yourself.
Literally every single one of us recovers differently. One of my husbands friends told him she was recovered in a week… so my pride pushed me to want to do the same. But the reality is, I am not one of those people. It took me 5 weeks to start feeling normal, and sometimes it takes others longer.
Take it slow. Listen to your body. And trust the process! In the end, it’s all worth it.