Shaking, anxiety on the table...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Shaking, anxiety on the table...
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 1:38pm
With our dd, I had a c/s after induction failed. I had an epidural, and was fine until I scooted onto the cold operating table. I started shaking, cold, scared, hormones, whatever. I felt them "pushing" around on my belly - no pain at all. But while they were stitching me back up, I felt very faint and out-of-body-ish, like I was dying. My husband had disappeared with the baby. I told the anesthesiologist how I felt, but he was cold and unsympathetic. He said my vitals looked fine. I visually focused on a part of the wall and "mentally held on." I honestly FELT like I was clinging to life! I said something to the anesthesiologist, and he puit some drug in my IV that knoked me out, Thanks. I don't remember the next 4 hours. I woke up in PAIN, but couldn't have anymore pain killers. I had been shaking for the whole 4 hours, my body was tense and it really hurt.

After those first hours, I started feeling better. The only scary thing was sleeping on my back - I kept waking up unable to breathe because my tongue was sliding back into my throat. ???!!! My husband was sleeping in my hospital room with me and says I kept making weird sounds... I was choking on my tongue!!!

Anyway, the rest of recovery was fine. I was eating, using the bathroom, walking around only 24 hours after the c/s. I was a big wuss about having the bandage tape pulled off my sensitive skin - OUCH - but saturating it with oil helped.

Sooo, here we are again, with a *planned* c/s this time, and I'm a little nervous. I have a new ObGyn now, but haven't talked with him yet about my concerns. He is nice, but tends to think I worry too much as it is. So I try not to tell him ALL my worries!

This time might be a lot better - that's what I'm telling myself. No induction meds, no labor, no epidural - Spinal this time.

What do you all think? Can you relate to any of my last experience? Do you think it will go better this time?

(I have several health complications, including type 1 diabetes, which means birth must be induced or c/s'd at 38 weeks... the placenta starts to deteriorate, our dd was only 5#12oz.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 2:10pm
Me again - had to hurry away, but wanted to add...

I know shaking is common after giving birth, for various reasons. And I've also learned recently that anxiety is very common immediately after a c/s. I just want to avoid these this time, if I can!

I think if I had someone with me, after dh disappears with the baby, than I would feel calmer. But I'm afraid this isn't allowed?

I mentioned that I have type 1 diabetes. Well, immediately after the birth I had an insulin reaction, and told the nurse.... They DIDN'T have blood-glucose monitor in the OR, so she had to go find one - I didn't see her again. They went ahead and pumped glucosae into my IV without checking my bg level. The faintness I felt might have been due to a severe insulin reaction, with the loss of blood and fluids.

Another concern I have is a *severe* skin sensitivity to IV antibiotics. My skin peels off - deeply, not like a sunburn... like severe skin burns - down to raw red under-skin on hands and feet. I went ahead and had them last time, for our dd's sake - I tested positive for strep B. But this time I really want to avoid them. I'm expecting trouble, though, from my Ob. Aren't IV antibiotics standard for a c/s? I am hoping they will let me do oral antibiotics, if necessary.

Well, I feel like the biggest Whiner in the world now, but these are honest concerns. If anyone could offer reassurance, I would be so grateful. Thanks. (planned c/s on Sept. 24th.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 3:25pm
A good friend of mine had a similar reaction. She was shaking really bad on the operating table. I believe they actually had to give her a tranquilizer, because her bp was so high they were afraid she was going to have a stroke. She said she would have swore her bp was low, because she felt like she was dying. She was told this reaction is fairly common, especially in those who are alone during the procedure. She said a nurse stayed right with her and talked her through it, which helped.
Avatar for hfrazey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 5:17pm
HUGS to sounds like you've been through a lot with your first csection!!

I must say that I too felt like I was dying during my first c/s....I can remember telling them when they were wheeling me to recovery that I thought I was dead. I think my feeling was due to sleep deprivation (I had been awake for 3 days or so by then) and also just the strangeness of being numb from the waist down. So I can relate to what you are talking about.

My biggest suggestions would be:

--Hire a doula. We had a doula for our first birth and she stayed with me while DH went to the nursery with DD. We are having her again this time for our planned c/s. At my hospital, it is up to the anesthesiologist as to whether you can have two people in the OR with you. My doula has been practicing for three years and says she has never been kept out of the OR. But even if the anesthesiologist says no, your doula can still "scrub" and be waiting outside the OR...then when DH leaves she can come in. Having someone sit with you and talk to you, someone who is caring and understands what an important time this is for you, will make a WORLD of difference I think. I also think it's extra important in your case with your medical history, your doula can help you advocate for yourself in recovery if that's what you need. Although doulas don't perform medical procedures, she can be a second pair of eyes and help you communicate that you need insulin or that you're in pain. My doula is a very strong woman and would stick to a nurse like glue until she got me the help I needed :-) Your doula can also help you with the baby in recovery and right afterward. It may be surgery, but it's still a birth!

--Once you have a date for your surgery, I would recommend that you meet with someone in the anesthesiology department at the hospital. My hospital offers this to all csection moms, but if yours doesn't, you should still be able to set up a consultation. Write down your questions and fears and ask them for answers. Take your doula with you if it would help! If you let them know your concerns ahead of time, and you ask respectfully but firmly, they should give you some answers and help you when the time for your csection arrives.

--You could also call to arrange a private tour of the hospital. Bring all your csection questions, even the really silly ones, and ask them. Often these tours will be led by childbirth educators (who should be pretty sensitive to a mom's fears/concerns) or a nurse (ditto), so that should help too.

--I understand about your OB, but you should communicate with him too...let him know you have some concerns that you want him to know about, is this a good time to ask them or should you schedule another apppointment for next week? Write things down and bring your list so you don't forget anything. I think your concerns about the antibiotics and your blood sugar level are VERY important. Your OB should know about what happened last time and tell you what he plans to do to keep that from happening again.

I hope this helps! And congratulations on your pregnancy!

Take care,


DD #1 6/22/00, DD #2 csection scheduled for 7/1/03

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 6:05pm
Thank you guys so much. This brings up more questions, about doulas, which I think might be worthy of a new topic... But I'd still love to hear from anyone else who had similar problems, or advice. THANKS
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:39pm
Hi life is sweet. I am having my third c-section around the end of October, beginning of November. I too had bad experiences with my first two. With my first one, I shook on the table, and I was so drugged up afterwards, they couldn't even wake me to wiggle my toes. I had the problem with my tongue swelling up and I kept gagging. The nurses laughed when I told them that, but later found out that I was allergic to penicillin, which is what they gave me. (would like to see them laugh now, lol). Anyway, the pain wasn't all that bad, but it wasn't a piece of cake either. For my second child, I tried a VBAC, and failed after about 30 hours of labor. I had an enormous amount of pain and I had an epidural, so I actually felt him snip me when we first started. That put me in panic mode and I was a basket case there after. I was in surgery for about an hour more than usual because I had tore my bladder and almost ruptured my uterus while in labor, so I had to be "reconstructed". Once they switched me from the surgery table to my bed, that is when the pain really hit. The sad part is, the epidural was still in me for another 24 hours, as I requested. I thought it would help with the pain, but it didn't. By the time I was in my room, I was literally grabbing the nurses by the neck of their smocks, begging for pain meds. They took their time and "had to get me situated first". I was screaming so loud that I scared neighboring moms. OOPS. It took me a while to recover for this one though. I was in so much pain, they think was from the "reconstruction" part of the surgery. Who knows. I am going to schedule an appointment with the anestetic dept. at the hospital this time to see what the standards are for a patient in so much pain. And see if maybe someone else can be in the room too. I am petrified this time as I have a new doctor because mine is now out of the country and a new hospital. I freaking out now and I still have four months to go. I am hoping the third time a charm! Well, good luck! Let me know how things are going. If you find anything out to make me feel at ease, please let me know as well.

Thanks, Jamie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:13pm
You will probably do much better with the spinal. With baby #1 I had a spinal and felt nothing during the c/s. With baby #2 I had an epidural and felt way too much for my taste. Didnt' hurt, but I didn't really like the sensations I could feel (cutting, tugging, etc). I did recover much faster with baby #2, but I was very scared on the operating table. it did help that a good friend of mine was my nurse and the anesthisiologist was a collegue of my dad's so I at least trusted their judgement. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:16pm
Oh, one more husband stayed with me the entire time. He did not go off to the nursery with the baby. He decided that at this point the baby had tons of good care and he knew I was freaked- I appreciated that.