Prior to having my first baby, I was plagued with fear at the thought of having a c-section. I don’t know why, but as someone who had never had surgery before, the idea of slicing my abdomen open was absolutely terrifying and unnatural and painful. I had made up my mind that I was lose my ever-loving mind if I ended up having to have one, which was great, because, now, 5 years later, I’ve had 3 c-sections total and it ain’t nothing but a thing. I don’t know what it’s like to have a natural birth, but I can tell you everything I know about having a c-section.
1. The spinal is weird.
I’ve had both an epidural and a spinal and although I’m not 100% on the difference between them, I know that my spinal was less painful but equally weird and uncomfortable.
2. You’ll be numb up to your neck.
It never failed that with all 3 of my c-sections, I was numb just about to my collar bones. It’s such a weird sensation to feel so numb but I’d rather be numb up to my eyeballs than not numb enough!
3. You won’t be able to walk for a while.
This part is really frustrating. After your spinal wears off, you’ll be encouraged to get up and move. But by “move,” they really mean shuffle to and fro because that’s about all you’re going to do, at first. For some reason, walking after your c-section will have you hunched over and unable to lift your feet. But, each day it gets better.
4. It’s easy to overdo it when you’re medicated.
I finally learned with my last baby to actually take it easy for a bit, because with my first 2, there were a couple of instances where I was medicated (felt great!) and did too much- cleaned the house, went up and down stairs, etc. and what happens is you end up in pain, even when medicated because you’ve overdone it. And it’s rough. So, mama, chill.
5. You may never get the feeling back around your scar.
There were 3 years between my first 2 kiddos, and even 3 years after my first c-section, I still didn’t have feeling around my scar. Now, 3 kids later, I feel like I may never get that feeling back. But, that’s a small price to pay.
6. You’re going to need support.
More than support from your family, you’re going to need support for your belly and not a weight loss corset, but an actual postpartum support band. Not only do they help you heal, but they feel so much better than going without one!
7. Your milk might be delayed.
With all 3 of my kiddos, my milk was slightly delayed, which I’ve read is common with c-sections. I had to supplement, at first, with all 3, which was never an issue (lucky me).
8. You won’t be able to shower for 24 hours.
To me, this is the worst part. The day that I went into labor with my first born, it was 11pm at night. I had taken a shower that morning, but I was in the hospital and laboring until 6pm the next night. Not being able to shower until 24 hours later was awful! I hated it that my hair was dirty, as everyone was coming to visit. I was begging my nurse to let me shower or wash my hair somehow. She was awesome because she ended up going to another floor and bringing back a shampoo shower cap, and she washed my hair for me. With my next 2, I was more prepared and brought plenty of dry shampoo to hold me over.
9. The scar is surprisingly small.
It still amazes me at how small my scar is, even after 3 c-sections. You’d think that pulling a baby out of your abdomen would yield a massive scar, but modern day science is amazing. My c-section scar looks better, straighter and smaller than my gall bladder removal scars!
10. You will love your catheter.
You know what it’s like in that last trimester, when you’re constantly feeling the need to pee, but can’t? That drove me nuts! So, having a catheter was beautiful. That is, until they remove it after your legs are no longer numb, to encourage you to move.