This is a guide for any one having a planned section. Whether this be your first or second or more having a section can be a scary thought. You can read on the NHS about c-sections but I find it is nicer to read from someone who has actually experienced it.
I had my first section in 2011 and this was an emergency. I will write more about this is another post, today were concentrating on Mummy’s to be having a planned section. Also this is great for Daddy’s too so they also know what to expect. It can be just as scary for the man as it is for the lady.
So I had my planned section in September 2014 so its still very fresh in my mind.
DECIDING ON HAVING A SECTION
People have sections for many different reasons. This can be due to previous complications, previous section, medical conditions making you unable to deliver naturally. You will discuss this with your consultant to make sure you are making to correct decision. Once you are 100% sure a section is the way forward you will sign a consent form to say you are aware of the risks. You will then choose your section date, usually this will be in your 39th week of pregnancy.
3 or 4 days before your section you need to go in for your pre-op. Here the midwife will ask you to take swabs from your mouth, behind your ear, in your groin and under your arm. All you do is rub a cotton “like” bub on these areas. This is to check for MRSA and to make sure you are not carrying it. If you are found to be carrying it you will need to attend a local hospital and shower yourself in a special liquid that kills the MRSA. So no panic if it comes back you are carrying it. They also will take blood from you. This can be your chance to ask any questions you may have, any worries, any concerns. The appointment takes between 15 to 30 minutes depending on if you have a lot or little to talk about. You will also be given a prescription for 2 tablets that you need to take the night before and the morning of your section. These tablets help to settle your stomach acid. You will also be told not to eat or drink from midnight the night before. This is in case you are sick from the Spinal block used in the section. This is a side effect and can make you sick so no eating or drinking is very important. You will then be told what time to arrive on your section day.
THE DAY OF YOUR SECTION
- You will arrive at the time you were told at your pre-op, usually around 0700. There will most likely be other people also having a section on the same day as you. You will be taken to your room usually in a large room with 3 other people. You will then be told where on the list you are so 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. If you end up being 3rd or 4th you may have a little wait so take something to keep you entertained just in case.
- Once it is your turn you will be asked to get your gown on and walk to theater. Your partner will be getting his scrubs on in another room whilst you are being prepped. My Mr came in with me as I was so scared I asked and they said yes no problem. You will walk into theater and I’m not going to lie it is very daunting. Lots of people there doing lots of different things, lots of machines to monitor everything. This is all to keep you and baby safe so try to relax. Easier said than done I know. If you have taken an Ipod in with you with your music on give it to the Midwife now so they can put it on for you.
- You will then be asked to sit on the edge of the bed. You will be fitted with a cannula so you can be given fluids and drugs through out your section and afterwards.
- Once your cannula is fitted you will be given an anesthetic in the base of your spine, this is so you do not feel the spinal needle going in. I’ll be totally honest in everything I say, so I will tell you the anesthetic does sting. It feels like a bee sting that last about 15 seconds. You will then be given your spinal, with a spinal this is just a needle that injections the fluid into your spine. It’s not like an epidural where they put a thin wire in your back. Once the spinal fluid has been inject you have nothing in your back at all. You will then feel a warm sensation going down your legs and will be helped to lay down on the bed. Usually at this point they will bring your partner in.
- You may be given an anti sickness drug or you may be told to say if your feeling sick the anesthetic will give you the drug straight into your vein.
- Once all of this is done you will be fitted with a catheter as you are not going to be able to get up for a wee for around the next 10-12 hours or even more. By this time you should be numb so will not feel this at all.
- You will be sprayed with a really really cold spray up and down your legs and belly to make sure your numb enough for the start of the section. You have to just say when you can and can’t feel the spray. If all is good once all of the above is done, you are ready to start the journey to meet your baby which providing there are no complications, should be around 5-10 minutes.
- Your partner will be sat up near your head and you will be able to talk the whole way through. You will feel some pulling and tugging but I promise it does not hurt. It’s a weird sensation knowing your wide awake and cut wide open but the excitement takes over. You will be told if all is OK with baby he/she will be held up over the curtain for you to see for a few seconds. If baby is for some reason not well he/she will be whisked straight off.
- Once your baby is out and you have been shown and told what sex the baby is, the baby will be taken to be weighed, given an injection with your permission for vitamin K, wrapped up in a towel and then providing Mummy is Ok baby will be handed to you to have a cuddle. If you have taken your camera in with you there is opportunity to take pictures and the nurses may take pictures for the 3 or 4 if twins or more of you.
- Once you have had a cuddle with baby, you will be being stitched back up. Baby will then be passed to Daddy who will walk up to recovery with baby and wait for you. Once you have been stitched back up you will then be wheeled back to be with your partner and your baby.
- You will then be kept in recovery for a minimum of 6 hours. You will be closely monitored with a pulse monitor on your finger at all times. You will also have a blood pressure monitor on which will keep taking your blood pressure every 15 minutes or so automatically. Also be warned the spinal can cause you to shake. This is a very common side effect and happens to a lot of people. Its nothing to worry about and is totally normal. Whilst in recovery you may be offered a bed wash, something to eat or drink after a couple of hours. A midwife will come round every half hour or so to check all is OK. You will also feed and dress baby here.
- After 6 hours if all seems OK you will be taken up to the ward where you will spend the next couple of days. After 12 hours ish your catheter will be taken out along with your cannula. You will be encouraged to try to get up and take a small walk. Please take note… This WILL hurt, It WILL be un-comfy and it WILL feel very weird. You may walk almost bent in half, my best advice is try to straighten up as quick as you can otherwise your back and tummy muscles are going to hurt like hell. Take it from someone who knows.
- After a couple of days on the ward after being dosed up with drugs and having bloods taken you will be allowed to go home. You will be given injections to take home that you have to inject yourself into you tummy. You can get some one to do this for you if you are unable to do it yourself. It is important you do these though as they are to thin your blood.
- Enjoy your baby back at home!!
- TOP TIPS
- Buy big pants so they don’t rub on your scar
- Try to be as mobile as you possibly can
- Try to straighten up as quick as you can
- Buy some comfy lose joggers so they don’t rub on your scar
- Buy some thick maternity pads as you will bleed quite a lot
- If you feel like you cut is opening when you straighten up (which it probably isn’t just feels like it) hold a maternity pad on your cut it feels so much better.
- Get air to your cut as much as you can
- keep your cut dry for a few days
If you have any questions about anything I have spoken about please do message me. I am happy to answer what I can. I am by no means an expert. I am just a normal Mummy who has had a planned section and can remember it clearly.
Part 2 to come… The emergency section. This can vary in each person’s experience quite a bit, I will however talk about my experience on the blog very soon.