Possible c-section concerns

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2007
Possible c-section concerns
Sat, 04-12-2008 - 12:38pm

I may end up having to have a c-section next week and have several concerns and questions to ask.

I've been reading the c-section board, but want to hear from the "over 40" age group with their experiences.

Things that I'm concerned about:

After reading about having an epi or spinal and the effects:

The epi will numb the muscles around your heart, which makes you feel like you aren't breathing b/c you are using the upper part of the lung and not breathing from your diaphram.

Laying on your back it's hard to breath while pregnant and you will be on your back for delivery, which the weight makes it even harder to breath.

Feeling the heartbeat pounding really hard.

Drop in blood pressure/heart rate.

Blacking out during the procedure.

Severe shakes after the baby comes out.

Among other breathing issues I've read about are just scarring the crap out of me.

Other weird questions I was wondering about:

Are you confined to the bed for awhile after the c-section?

Can you take showers? If not, how long do you have to wait? (I LIVE for showers. lol)

Can you go up and down steps after you get home? (My bedroom is upstairs)

How long do they keep you in the hospital?

I've read sometimes it takes up to a year for the scar to heal and sometimes it doesn't heal right? You feel the pain still in the scar for a long time.

Do you still bleed vaginally like you do when you deliver normal?

Do they actually tie your arms down during the procedure?

Is it like any other surgery were you can't eat past midnight the following night?

How long is recovery usually?

Just so many things are rushing around in my mind and I think I'm going to go nuts over this weekend...or have an anxiety attack.

I'm sure there are more things that I was wanting to know, but I'm just so overwhelmed right now to think of them.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2008
Sat, 04-12-2008 - 2:56pm

I can only tell you about my own experience.

Avatar for carolbc2003
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Sun, 04-13-2008 - 12:01am


I'm sorry that you're having to prepare yourself for the possibility of a C section.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2007
Sun, 04-13-2008 - 11:33am

Yes, that's exactly how I did the Moxa sticks. I read up on it and found instructions line by line online on how to do it. It didn't work for me. At this point, I'm so worn out, can't sleep, I've been having pains that feel like menstral cramps and I just want this all over with one way or the other. I'm almost greatful that she isn't flipped b/c that would mean that I would be waiting even longer (possibly another couple of weeks) and I can't even imagine that at this point. At least this way, I know it's going to be all over with in a matter of a few days one way or the other.....Ahhhh.

Thanks for all the questions you've answered. It's helping me put things into perspective. I'm just trying to find out what to expect. My husband just started a new job and they know that I'm due to deliver any day now. But we just got the news Friday that they would be scheduling me by Tuesday or Wednesday. He feels a little leary about taking time off work, but of course he will need to for delivery day. I want him off for at least the week, but I don't know if that's going to happen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2008
Sun, 04-13-2008 - 9:16pm

C/sections.....(my disclaimer being that this is based on my personal experience with #1 being born by c/s due to breech presentation and this is how it is done at my local hospital). Take my, and all, the information given here and on other sites as an educational opportunity. Ask your caregiver for the specifics of your hospital's policies!!

1. The epi only numbs muscles from the waist down. Unless there is already one on board because mom is laboring and then a c/s is needed, a spinal is usually preferred for a scheduled c/s. Spinals will numb from the breastbone down. It does NOT numb the muscles around the heart affecting it from properly functioning. Be careful what you read online - it's not always correct or presented accurately.

2. Although you do have to lie flat during the c/s, it goes very quickly and baby will be out within minutes of it starting. The whole procedure may take as long as an hour but for most of it, you won't be pg anymore (your bundle of joy will already be here).

3. I'm sure in the history of c/s, someone has had this experience but I've never heard of it from the MANY c/s moms that I've talked too (and didn't experience it myself).

4. Drop in bp and heart rate - you will have an iv to make sure you are well hydrated and you will be closely monitored making sure it doesn't happen (also, unlikely).

5. Blacking out could be due to the drop in bp and heart rate or it could be stress induced. Again, HIGHLY unlikely.

6. Severe shakes is a possibility whether baby is born vaginally or by c/s. It's sometimes a side effect of the anethesia (epi and spinal) also hormones can bring it on. If it happens (IF), it's harmless and short lived.

7. Stop reading about breathing issues online. Again, info on the internet can be helpful but too much out there is inaccurate or presented VERY unfairly.

As for your other "weird" questions...

- At my hospital, before the spinal catheder is removed, an intrathecal narcotic (ITN) is administered. Provides terrific pain relief for up to 24 hours. Within 6-12 after the c/s, you would be out of bed even if just to walk from the bed to a chair in the room. Before the ITN wears off, you'll be given a script for Percocet/Tylenol3/etc. for pain relief. They should encourage you to walk as much as possible (within reason) because it will greatly speed up your recovery.

- Day 2 the doc should give the go ahead for a shower. (They'll want to wait till you have you sea legs back before they trust you in a hot shower.

- Once in the morning, once at night initially.

- 3-4 days in the hospital (vs. the 1-2 days for a vaginal delivery).

- People love sharing their horror stories. I didn't have any problems. What does take up to a year is getting total sensation back to that area. It does come back eventually but you won't be ticklish there for a little while.

- You do still bleed vaginally. Sometimes they'll suction some of the blood out while doing the procedure but you can expect to bleed just as if baby were born vaginally. (The blood is from a few things including the "wound" left behind from where the placenta came away from the uterus.)

- 1 arm is restrained because of the bp cuff.

- Depends on the time of the c/s but yes, food will be off-limits for probably 12 hours prior.

- Totally depends patient to patient. You'll be walking a little slower than normal for a short time and you'll want to use a pillow on your tummy when you laugh hard or sneeze but you will really be surprised with how much quicker you'll recover than you think....if you keep walking (again, within reason) and stay on top of your pain meds (keeping comfortable will keep you moving around).

Don't do anymore "research" on the computer. It's just going to shoot you into a full blown panic attack thinking the worst. Talk to your midwife - or better yet, the doc that will be performing the surgery. They'll be able to best answer your questions since they know the hospital's specific policies.

Hope this helps......


Edited 4/13/2008 9:23 pm ET by loofagirl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2007
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 1:04pm

Congratulations on baby being here soon, um, by any means necessary.

I just wanted to say, I've worked a lot of places and I've been a boss, and there has never been a problem with a new employee having to take time off for something like this. It actually made us feel good to help. The new employee was always so nervous, but everyone was always very supportive, and there was NEVER back office talk, like, can you believe so and so just started and is taking time off? So everything I am sure will be okay with the new job! And coming back with baby pictures is a great way for him to bond with the new co-workers!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2007
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 1:17pm

Thanks for your comment.

The problem lies with he was laid off last year and was having problems finding a job and finally just went to a temp service. They just placed him at this job (which was only suppose to be for 1 month) and then they were going to have to find him somewhere else to go. But, he's done such a good job there that they told him they would keep him around for hopefully 3 months and if he's still there, hire him on. Which is a good thing. He's making more money than he did were he actually worked before and it's about 5 min away from the house and he loves the work. I'm just afraid that since he's a "temp", they will try to replace him. I'm sure he won't loose his job at the temp service...they can always get him something else. But, he just doesn't want to loose the job they have placed him at. That's what our worries are at the moment.

Just thought I would explain.

Also, isn't there a FMLA (Family Medical Leave of Absence) law that you are not allowed to loose your job for a pregnancy? Even the father? Of course, I don't know if this will apply to a "temp" job.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2008
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 2:30pm

Yes, there is the FLMA law that guarantees your position will be waiting for you when you return, but with one caveat - only up to 90 days.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2007
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 8:01pm
Thanks for your imput. My husband doesn't want to take the entire 12 weeks...just a few days and that was his concern. I did do a search on the FMLA and it did say something about you had to be an employee of the company for 12 months and the company had to employ XX amount of employees (I think it was around 60 or so) in order for it to apply. Which neither one applies to him. So, I guess we are still in limbo about it. He did tell them that he was going to be off this coming Thursday (for the version procedure) and then once we find out whether or not it worked or if I'd have to schedule a c-section next week he'd let them know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2008
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 9:05pm

Oh, wow!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2007
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 9:23pm
Yea, that's the plan...the version and if that don't work, we'll have to do the c-section. I'm willing to try anything instead of the c-section. I had a friend that died a few years ago due to a c-section and it scares me to death. I know it's not the norm, but when you know someone like that, it really hits close to home and puts things into perspective. Not to mention I have several things going against me health related and I'm just truely scared.