what a c-section feels like during & after

My Experience

I didn’t elect to have a c-section – it was actually the last thing I wanted.  But unfortunately I had to have one as I got stuck at 7cm and had no more energy after 30 hours of labor.  Randomly my two closest friends have also had c-sections – my one friend already had two babies that she delivered by cesarean (one elective and one emergency) and my other friend was pregnant while I was but due a couple of months later.  She had some complications with her pregnancy and elected to schedule a caesarean to eliminate some risk to the baby.  So since I had just recently had mine she asked me what it was like so she could be mentally prepared.  After her surgery we spoke and she told me that I described it perfectly so this is what I told her.

You’ll get your epidural to numb you from the waist down but you are awake and can still feel pressure.  At first it feels like someone is drawing a line on your stomach with a pencil.  Then you will feel some compressions and pulling/tugging – I felt like there was an elephant standing and stomping on me which was the most discomfort I felt.  The stomping probably lasted a couple of minutes at the most.

It felt like it was only 5-10 minutes and she was out.  Then it felt like I was lying there for an eternity.  I think it took another 45-60 minutes to sew me back up and I was not expecting to lay there for that long.  I couldn’t feel anything else I was just so sore in the neck/back/shoulders from my labor that I was uncomfortable and in serious muscle pain.

How I Coped

Before we decided to have the emergency c-section I spoke with the anesthesiologist and the surgeon.  I already knew the negatives and complications from having this major surgery so I didn’t feel like I was being blindsided or talked into something I didn’t want.  I probably shocked the doctor with my line of questioning that included:

  1. how long have you been a doctor?
  2. how many Caesareans have you done?
  3. how big will my incision be?
  4. will you count the instruments when you are done so you don’t leave anything inside me?

He seemed taken aback but answered everything and probably chalked it up to me being American as I’m not sure many Brits would be so forward!

What I did:

  • Pre-natal class – this gave me enough background on my options and positives/negatives for each drug and delivery method
  • Expecting Better – this book again is fantastic it helps you understand statistically what the risks are and whether you are okay with them is up to you.
  • Ask questions – ask the doctors everything you want to know beforehand I had the time to because my baby was never in distress so I felt like I had time to properly discuss and debate what the best options were for us at every decision.  Don’t be afraid to ask anything it’s your body, your baby and major abdominal surgery.

To find out what it feels like with a c-section after the operation – How to Survive the Critical Six Weeks After a C-Section

To find out what happens in general after you give birth no matter natural or c-section – What Happened to My Body, & Will Probably Happen to Yours

Have you had a c-section as well?  Let me know your story below or what you think of my explanation  . . .


#c-section #cesarean #expectingbetter #questionsfordoctor #baby #newmom #millennialmom