6 Things I Wish I’d Known About Having a C-Section

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c-section

My first son was delivered via c-section at 35 weeks after an ultrasound revealed he ceased growing due to placenta previa. I knew early on in my pregnancy that it was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to deliver vaginally, but being in denial, I never bothered to ask what the recovery process was like if I did indeed go under the knife.

I figured, by comparison to pushing a baby out and getting ripped from the rooter to the tooter, a c-section would be a cake walk.

Sitting in my OB’s office, hearing that I was heading over to surgery and would have a baby by happy hour, I was scared and ill-prepared.  I didn’t know what I was in for, exactly. I just figured they’d wheel me in, I’d lay there like a corpse, and then hours later I’d be sitting up in bed, holding a baby, looking glowing and happy in an adorable robe like Rachel in Friends.

Sucker.

This is, after all, major surgery. I mean, my husband saw my intestines being pulled out, for crying out loud. If that doesn’t buy you a night out by yourself when the baby is older, I don’t know what will.

If you’re thinking that a c-section is a possibility for your next birth, perhaps my ignorance can spare you a few headaches and worry. Here are some things I learned:

1. The operating room is as cold as the polar ice caps and the stuff they put in your IV only makes it worse. With my first c-section I was shaking so much I was convinced the anesthesiologist would miss his target with the spinal block and I’d come out of surgery a paraplegic. I had absolutely no idea my body was capable of shimming that fast. Watch out, Shakira, those hips don’t lie. They’re scared shitless.

2. Think you won’t feel a thing? Think again. While you won’t feel them cutting or feel pain, no one told me I’d feel all this tremendous pulling as they pried my son out of my body cavity. My OB warned me “Okay, you might feel some slight pressure.” Slight? This is not a flu shot, people. I don’t call the sensation of someone yanking a bowling ball out of my loins a slight sensation.

3. Don’t say no to drugs. They get you pretty doped up in surgery and at first I willingly took the hard core pain meds they give me. But at around 28 hours post surgery I felt pretty good and thought, “Nah, I’ll skip meds this shift.” Bad idea.  Worst idea I’ve ever had. You’re not only dealing with the pain of getting your insides ripped open and sewn back together, but you’ve also being visited post-delivery cramping because the baby isn’t paying rent anymore. They tell you to stay one step ahead of the pain. I prefer to be a football field ahead.

4. Your ability to laugh like a normal human being will be put on hold. Ditto for sneezing, pooping and coughing.  The advice is to hold a pillow over your incision if you need to perform any of these actions, and though it may help a tiny bit, you’ll still find yourself making modifications. Your sneezes will become the tiny, restrained kind that only Disney Princesses can attain. While in the hospital with my son, my husband cracked a hilarious remark that caused my body to produce such a high-pitched hyena snicker that the nurses went running to call the psych ward.

5. Think your intestinal tract was screwed up when you were pregnant? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. With my son, I didn’t take a dump for seven days. SEVEN. POOPLESS. DAYS. Mass quantities of fiber didn’t get things moving along. Five days after delivery I finally got the urge and 50 sweaty minutes later, I came up empty. It was as if the kids climbed up the ladder of the high dive, tip-toed out to the edge of the board, took one look down and said “No way in hell, lady” then made the slow, shameful climb back down. Arm yourself with some goodies like apricot nectar and prune juice.  Think “retirement home beverages”.

6. The area around your scar will never, ever, ever get feelings back. The skin around my incisions still has very few nerve endings, four years after my last c-section. That area will still get itches that I can’t scratch, but I power on, digging at it like a meth addict. I have high hopes I might regain sensation, but at this point, I have as much chance as Lindsay Lohan staying out of jail.

Yet, despite knowing all this, after my first born, I still had another baby via cesarean. Being prepared for what was to come definitely helped ease my jitters. That, and sneaking a case of prune juice in my overnight bag.

Related post: I Refuse To Feel Shame Over My C-Sections

Comments

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    • 2

      Nicole says

      That was funny!! And true. I’ve had four C-sections. It did get easier with each one. I can’t imagine doing it any other way now. Pushing a bowling ball through my Vajajay never sounded like much fun. Thanks for the laughs.

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      • 3

        Sonia says

        I had 2 c-secs and I was told I shouldn’t even consider any more as it was too risky putting my body thru that one more time. And you had four. Besides the obvious, did you feel any ‘more than normal’ complications with your last two c secs? just wondering cuz I am contemplating another baby but my chances of normal delivery are close to slim…

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        • 4

          vanessa says

          I had 3 and with my first did no pain meds after leaving hospital but needed it with my third. Other then that there were no complications on my end. I just think my body was more tired.

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        • 5

          Alayne says

          Sonia, I’ve had three c-sections with no complications and easy recovery (relatively speaking). Only your doctor can tell you what is safe for your body. My doctor was very upfront from the beginning and told me that he would tell me if it was no longer safe to put my uterus through another c-section delivery. If you doctor has told you it is no longer safe for you, I would be extremely cautious about another pregnancy. If you’re body isn’t capable to carry another pregnancy it could be serious for not just your baby, but you as well. Maybe ask him/her again, or take your records to another ob surgeon for review.

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        • 6

          Susan Martin says

          I had 4 c-sections. First was emergency due to distress. Second was 2 days of induction with nothing and return next morning for c-section. Third & fourth were scheduled. I’ll tell you that about the only thing I found true was that the first was HORRID. The second wasn’t too bad. The last two were easy. I recovered quickly and I do have sensation around the incision area…Guess my nerves reconnected.

          However, I’m glad I had the tubes tied with #4 because the uterus was so thin that when they touched the scalpel to it, it basically peeled open with very little help. Be sure that isn’t a concern before having another child. Talk with the doctor. See another doctor for a second opinion. Be open to adoption or fostering if you cannot carry another child to term.

          Good luck!

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        • 7

          Allison says

          I had two emergency ones and the 3rd was planned (even though the baby wasn’t). After 2 c-sections my doctor said that I wouldn’t ever be able to try to birth naturally…further c-sections were never a problem. I say to go for a third if you want one. Just know that you’re at a higher risk, be watchful and prepared.

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        • 8

          says

          Sonja ‘ my doctor told me the same thing after my 2 nd c -section, but I had 2 more c -sections after that ..it was harder on each one with scar tissue and it took me longer to recover after but I wouldn’t have wanted any other way

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        • 9

          Theresa says

          I had 3 c-sections, followed by two natural deliveries. Not saying everyone can do this, it depends on the reason for the c/s to being with and having a good Dr who is willing to work with you. However if you need to have a c/s to deliver and you want more, unless more than one doctors gives you compelling, reasonable evidence as to why you should not, go for it! We have a doctor here who has had six c-sections herself. Best wishes!

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      • 10

        Tracy says

        Agreed As a mother who has had 3 c-sections, this article is over-the-top drama. Like her, our first had to be delivered by c section due to partial placenta previa, and considering the risks of the alternative (vaginal) delivery, the c-section experiencem and recovery is SO WORTH IT and PALES in comparison to the nightmare that could have been giving birth the “other way”. THANK GOD for this method, as we have three AMAZINGLY healthy children, and while that little spot around my incision is numb….. BIG DEAL!!!! I LOVE my “Scar of life”. This article is ridiculous.

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        • 11

          Amy says

          I think it is meant to talk about a serious topic in a light hearted way. Lighten up – she didn’t say it wasn’t worth it, she just said she didn’t know all these things and was naive…Mummyhood isn’t a competition.

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      • 12

        Karen says

        I had my first the normal way and then 3 c-sections. I must be a weird person to say it was easier for me with a c-section. I healed so much faster. With my first it was still hard for me to sit down 3 weeks later. I don’t know why for sure. My second child was only 8 pounds and 6 ounces and they said he was pretty much to big for me to have to maybe my first was to big for me in a way.

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    • 13

      Jenn says

      I’m jealous! I’m guessing it was the pregnancy itself that did me in, as I can’t sneeze, laugh, or cough without leaking, and it’s been 3 years since my last baby was born (they were both c-sections).

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      • 15

        Jessica says

        Same here….I was fine after my vaginal birth. I looked a little different, but everything else worked well. After my c-section, not so much. It’s been nearly two years and I still haven’t totally regained my bladder control.

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        • 16

          Nicole says

          Right there with you sister! 3 vaginals, and the fourth one was an emergency c-set. Worst experience EVER! 7 years later, still no feeling in my lower (thank you c-section) “pouch” area, permanent tube of bizarre fat from hip to hip like a sausage roll smile and the winner winner…Extremely weak bladder!

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        • 17

          3LittleBirds says

          I also pee when I sneeze/cough/laugh/run and I asked my OB/GYN about it since I had 3 c-sections. She said that when they do a c-section, they actually have to move your bladder over or take it out of your body (keeping it attached) to get to your baby, so it can actually be damaged MORE during a c-section than with a vaginal birth. Totally explains my problems!

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    • 18

      Melissa says

      YES! I totally agree with you Jen. I had my son via C-section and my husband says as am tight down there as pre baby. I also have never once peed when I sneezed or coughed. Those are the ONLY consolation prizes tho. I too have no feeling in my stomach 3yrs post partum & get the “itches you can’t scratch” b/c there is no feeling. And I’m left with a glorious fat over-hang that is prone to topical yeast infections along my scar during hot weather. Sexy.

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      • 19

        Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

        The itch thing drives me crazy. While I don’t have the shelf of skin over my scar as badly as I thought I would, the fact that I have no feeling there gives me the willies.

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      • 20

        Mary says

        See I had my son vaginally and the funny part about that is, I was the only woman in the whole Maternity ward that did so. I was also the youngest. Even funnier, I tore a little bit in delivery, and afterwards? I was TIGHTER down there than Before, AND i got to avoid that nasty incision scar, keeping all my tummy nerves in tact. The myths about vaginally delivery? mostly just that, myths.

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        • 21

          Nicole says

          I didn’t tear at all during my delivery, and I’m still plenty tight too. It looks a little weird, but the elasticity didn’t change at all. Basically, I’m agreeing with you.

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        • 22

          Ann says

          Mary, that’s so awesome that you’re able to dispel all of the “myths” surrounding vaginal delivery after that one vaginal birth you had! I guess all the women experiencing the “hotdog through a hallway” phenomenon, loss of bladder control, etc are just saying those things for no reason.

          I read your comment to my husband and he teared up. Our first son was born by C-section after a very long, failed attempt at a vaginal delivery due to misdiagnosed deep transverse arrest, and we were lucky that there were only minor complications. As my husband said, “I’d take those ‘myths’ any day over what we went through.”

          Also, you can take your “nasty incision scar” comment and shove it.

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        • 24

          Christina says

          Why are you so defensive? It’s not like most of us choose to have C-sections to save our lady parts. It’s usually to save our babies… can’t we just have one thing that might be better than a vaginal birth? Kudos to you for having a tight hoo and no major surgery. It doesn’t make you any greater of a woman than those of us who took a knife (four times in my case) for our children.

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        • 26

          Shannon says

          I didn’t have nearly these issues with my two c-sections. There are insignificant pluses and minuses to each, all my friends have told me they were never the same again down there, and I have a numb strip on my abdomen. Who cares, we all had healthy babies…are we REALLY trying to make each other feel bad because our vaginas are tighter or loser?! I thought only male jerks did that to women!

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        • 27

          Steph says

          The only reason Mary said anything about being Tighter is bc so many were bragging about that being an advantage of having a c section. Geez! And you can’t just add an “extra stitch” to make it tighter lol That’s only the point of entry. Its whats inside that counts ;)
          I’ve had 5 children, the first being via c-section, the others vbac. There are advantages and disadvantages to Both. They both change you in different ways. AND we don’t all experience the same things. I, myself, would personally go vaginal given the choice.

          Hoorah to all the awesome babies we have and the awesome moms we are!!

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          • 28

            Tammy says

            I agree. I don’t see what was so offensive about the comment. I have delivered both ways, C-sec first. I have a scar, but the term “nasty” didn’t bother me. The reality is, it will never be called a “cute little scar”. Some are being overly sensitive. I only experienced some of what the article stated, not nearly as bad for me. It was a last minute decision due to a breech baby. I had no clue what to expect, but was not too scared or nervous. Perhaps being calm and having faith that all would be well, made it easier. If I had read this article before, I would have been more worried. It sounds much scarier than the reality, for me at least. 3 years later, I delivered vaginally. It was not very difficult. All in all, both deliveries weren’t too bad for me to say one was worse. But, if doing it again, I’d prefer vaginal.
            .

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        • 29

          Bluehalcyon says

          Mary, I was a 9lb 15oz baby. Needless to say, my mother’s vaginal birth did not go well. She ripped from vagina to her anus. At one point, the doctor told her not to push because my head was stuck and if she pushed, she would have broken my neck. He had to put BOTH hands inside of her vagina to move my head. Be glad a baby is all you had to deal with.

          I tried to go vaginal with my son, but at one point he wouldn’t make any progress and started to go into distress. One doctor told me later that I might have managed a baby closer to 6lbs, but not a child as large as both of mine ended up being.

          Not everyone has a pleasant experience with the vaginal births.

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        • 31

          Shayla Hicks says

          I agree with you Kay!! I have had each of my 4 kids vaginally….. husby says I am perfectly fine in that area… No difference. Sex is still great. I guess everyone is different! ;)… Blessed I am!!

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        • 32

          3LittleBirds says

          You say that like you think we CHOSE to have a c-section. After pushing for 3 hours and my baby going into distress and not coming out, it was my only choice. But great for you for being the only woman (and young to boot) on the maternity ward that was able to push out her baby! You win the (non-existent) birth contest!

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      • 33

        says

        So true in the summer the dunlaps as my mom calks it causes so many topical yeast problems I could scream but there is thus stuff called eltaseal that us absolutely perfect gets rid of it un 24 hours

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    • 37

      HappyMommy says

      I’ve had two babies vaginally and my husband says that I am tighter…might be because of the small tears I got and being stitched back up, but there are no complaints.

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      • 38

        Erin says

        Agreed. I KNOW I’m tighter…I can tell when I have sex with my husband after a few day dry spell and I feel like a virgin again. I also had a small tear, so maybe that makes the difference.

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        • 39

          keelye says

          I agree! I didn’t tear though. It’s just a myth to make sections feel better. I’m not saying that in a mean way though so don’t misunderstand. Every single person I know that have had sections ALL say ‘at least I’ll still be tight’. It’s just not true though. At least not after a couple kids. I dunno how it goes with lots of little ones.

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          • 40

            Eliese says

            Well, I had two vaginal births, and I had a little tearing/episiotomy (stage 2) with both. And I am here to say that tightness/looseness is all just a matter of personal experience paired with your personal body characteristics. After my two children, I can no longer use a regular size tampon. It would just come out too easily! Too small for me now! And my babies were both pretty average size–7lbs 15oz, and 7lbs 11.5oz, though both were early and would have been bigger had they gone all the way. You just cannot compare one woman’s experience with another’s because they are all different. We have different babies, different births, different bodies, and they all affect each of us differently. Perhaps age at delivery makes a difference, too. I was 38 and 40, so perhaps that affected things, elasticity being somewhat compromised by age? I don’t know, but it makes sense.

            Anyway, if we had healthy, living babies, or we have healthy living children now, we should just be grateful to have had whatever experience we did. Some women are not as lucky. And it’s likely that, for many of us, even if we did have the type of birth we had hoped for, it may not have been exactly as we would have wished. Yes, I am grateful to have had two pretty easy vaginal births, though both had to be induced, for different reasons, and I ended up having epidurals for both. First one I was able to hold off for a little bit, but then the contractions became too much for me (whether from the pitocin or not) and I asked for meds. The second one I got it because they hoped it would help lower my blood pressure some, as it had spiked during the last weeks of pregnancy and forced the induction. I had hoped to have at least one birth without so that I could experience the whole sensation. But, in the end, I had two beautiful, healthy babies and I am just thrilled about that. So, before you are so quick to judge another woman’s experience, consider what she may have gone through, and how she might be different than you. Then, try not to belittle her experiences. It’s kind of like putting more importance on your wedding than your marriage. After all, isn’t it really the baby that matters?

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          • 41

            Sadie says

            I had my son vaginally and I am as tight as ever “down there” also. I don’t know why so many women are oblivious to the amazing elasticity of the a vagina.

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        • 42

          Brandy says

          I agree, as well. Had an 8.5 pounder vaginally and no problems whatsoever! I’ll take having babies the ‘natural’ way over getting my insides ripped out any day and any time lol

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          • 43

            Marcia says

            Some of us didn’t have that option, but thanks for making it clear that the way I had my baby was “unnatural.” Fortunately no one in my daughter’s life will make her feel that way.

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          • 44

            Julie says

            ‘Natural’….ok. Natural to me means the safest way each individual woman is able to have their baby. Some of us aren’t given the option to have a vaginal birth. Women – please be kind to each other…we are all strong in our own right and we should stand behind each other. A baby born happy and healthy no matter how he/she comes out = AWESOMENESS! End of story.

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      • 45

        Patti says

        Well said Eliese! A voice of reason! I agree, each person is different. Each baby is different. I have lots of friends that have four or more children. (6-7) and of course Mrs. Dugger had 19 kids, some c-section, some not. She looks great. I had two c-sections. The first was due to early water breakage, and non progressive labor. (33 hours on Pitocin, follwed by surgery) The second, at age 42 was due to my own fear of losing my precious child if I had a v-bac and ruptured. I knew the risk was minimal, but I wasn’t willing to take that risk. I do believe recovery from vaginal birth is easier by far. (have friends who had both and say so.). I REALLY wanted to have natural births. I just wasn’t an option for me. As far as the physical changes. Everyone is definitely different. I do know you can effect change with Kegels and other exercises. Some bodies just aren’t as elastic as others. But my tendency to suddenly have a strong urge to urinate didn’t come til after menopause. It is rare tho.

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    • 46

      Amy says

      While you are laying down after delivery be aware that alot of afterbirth will come out. Always rub your incision while heavily medicated. I’ve had two and have feeling all around my scar which is only 1 inch long. Use plenty of vitamin E oil! REST while you have nurses there to help. Take your pain pills and stay ahead of the pain. Especially for the trip home! Ask for glue instead of stitches. I cleaned and vacuumed two days after getting home rested then went dancing at my brother in laws wedding. Every c section is different pamper yourself while you can! :)

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      • 47

        Courtney says

        I totally agree with you Amy. I had a csection 3 yrs ago and was up moving around 2 days later. I didn’t have most of the issues listed in the article. Every csection is different. I was actually up hold my daughter within the hr she was born. And taking a shower by myself in 24 hrs. I too stayed a head of the pain meds and rested when the nurses were in. During surgery there was slight pressure but not horrible. Over all i had no choice she was breach and i would have one again.

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        • 48

          Janet says

          I agree — my c-section was a breeze. I was up and walking around, showering a day later. No major pain, and I healed pretty easily. The procedure was a snap, too. Yes, there was pressure, but it wasn’t a bad feeling. Do not fear the c-section!

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          • 49

            M says

            I have had one of each. With my 11 lb son it was a cinch. Recovery and all. Didn’t feel more than very mild pressure. Quick overall recovery. Though he was in the nicu because of his heart…. so I didn’t see him for 24 hours other than for a few brief moments. My 9 1/2 lb daughter…. she was a complete opposite. I felt immense pressure with every cut. Taking the baby out was “oomph” but wasn’t as bad as the cutting and stretching. I was moving my legs much quicker with her… only in recovery for 30 minutes. I was able to move right out of surgery….. I also got an incision infection on day 4.

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      • 52

        Heather says

        YES!!! Ask for glue!! I haven’t had one bit of a issue!! I actually didn’t have any of the issues this blog spoke about but maybe I was just lucky to have a easy recovery. I will say I’m planning a VBAC for our second child. :)

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      • 53

        says

        I agree each c-section is different. I’ve had three c-sections and each one was different.

        I was warned beforehand that my pelvis was very small and I may not be able to deliver naturally. I was in labor for nearly 24 hours before complications sent me for an emergency CS. I was knocked out until they actually got my son out so I didn’t feel any pulling. My recovery wasn’t too painful and I was off pain meds within 24 hours and was completely pain free in 2 weeks. I remember thinking c-sections were EASY!

        My daughter’s c-section was completely different. This time I had a spinal (First time it was epidural), I was shaking severely, and also threw up just as they brought my husband inside. My daughter also decided to be stubborn and literally flipped as they were making the first incision and burrowed under my ribs so it took nearly 5 mins for them to actually get her out. The pain was much much worse the second time around. I had lost alot of blood from hemorrhaging so I was extremely weak. 6 days after her birth she ended up back in the hospital for an infection that nearly killed her. I almost started hemorrhaging again and literally the peds nurse threatened to send me to the ER if I didn’t stop running all over the hospital.

        Third c-section was once again different. This time we were prepared for the possibility of me throwing up (Didn’t happen until after the baby was born luckily), and I was given meds to prevent Hemorrhaging. That time I wasn’t surprised by the tugging and pulling, but instead of getting my baby he got rushed to the NICU for his breathing. Pain wasn’t so bad that time around but I did get a giant bruise along my incision which was a huge surprise. I was actually more traumatized by my third child’s birth (despite it being an ‘easy’ c-section) because he had to go to thew NICU. Luckily he stabilized pretty quickly and I got him back 8 hours after he was born.

        So even for an individual each c-section can be a very different experience.

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    • 54

      Heidi says

      I had three C-Sections and I think the only thing in your article that I can relate to is using a pillow to cough or sneeze while the incision was still healing. Other than that mine were not anything like what you described and I was up walking around the same day, with meds of course. The pressure wasn’t anything painful or scary it was just some pressure. Totally disagree with this article scaring ppl of C-Sections!

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      • 55

        elanazagasty says

        I experienced most of what the writer said to an extent. When I first came out the morphine want keeping up. I also couldn’t walk on my own for about a week and for about two years it suddenly feel like my scar was ripping open and I would hit my knees. It’s not numb but there is a burning sensation if that area gets touched. Also, for anyone reading this that hasn’t had one, morphine went through my milk and effected my daughter. Try talking to your Dr about what they give you.

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      • 56

        Lori H says

        Agreed. Not that big of a deal for me. And it drives me crazy when people bitch about c-sections because of silly reasons! You have a healthy baby!! Who gives a shit if you couldn’t go natural…the alternative is visiting a gravesite.

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    • 57

      Stori says

      I didn’t think that C-sections were so awful horrible till my 3rd, when my uterus ruptured. Holy Mother Of God!!!!!! I literally lost vision the pain was so bad. That was some freaky stuff. I just always wondered if vaginal deliveries kept you bleeding like C-sections do? It’s the period that doesn’t know when to gtfh!

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      • 58

        keelye says

        I’m not sure how the bleeding goes with section but I had a lot after vaginal delivery. Like gross jelly in my pants! Ew! I stole so many of those giant hospital pads they give you for your period lol

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    • 59

      Jessi says

      In all honesty.. i’d MUCH rather prefer a c-section. I don’t care about having feeling around my incision… yes i’ve had two done, yes i still have a numb sensation around the incision and yes i’d choose c-section over vaginal. My husband likes the non-vaginal birth too… he rather enjoys having that “tight” sensation still hahaha. #justsaying.

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        • 61

          Jenn says

          What Mommamoody said! I’ve had 3 kids vaginally and my husband says (and I can feel it too!) that I am as tight as ever! Just depends on your body! And it is the pressure of the baby pushing down on your nether reigns for 9 months that makes you looser down there, not giving birth vaginally.

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    • 62

      Jess says

      I delivered a 9.5lb baby vaginally and my husband say it feels just as tight. I also recovered from giving birth pretty quickly. I’m due in 3 weeks with another big baby and unless it’s absolutely needed. No c-section for me thank you!

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    • 63

      Chandler says

      Not going to lie…. My vag is definitely tigter after birthing vaginally. I’m pretty sure the pushing toned me pretty nicely, lol! That or I got a honeymoon stitch ;)

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        • 67

          Tammy says

          Unless you have delivered vaginally, you can’t possibly know what it will do to yours. The myth is, that EVERY woman loses tightness. It seems most testimonials I’ve read here on the matter, are from woman who haven’t had a vaginal birth. This makes their pov pure speculation. I’ve had both, c-section first. I found no difference after either.

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      • 68

        Eliese says

        As I commented above, the myth is that all women are the same; thus, all women experience the same things after childbirth. There are so many factors that can affect what happens to our bodies after giving birth, be it vaginally or C-section. We all have different bodies, different experiences, different babies, and different recovery tactics. Some of us have very long, protracted labors that may even end in C-section. Some have nice, short ones with relatively few problems. Too many variables to compare equitably. So please, instead of trying to make someone feel “less” because she didn’t experience the same thing that you did, or proclaiming that just because you did not experience “x”, “y” or “z” it must be a myth, consider the other woman’s experiences/body/many other variables were just different and just be glad that she and her baby are still alive and happy to be that way. It’s not a competition, where whoever claims to have had the best or worst experience is a “winner”. If we and our babies are still here, then we all win. Thanks!

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    • 70

      Jen says

      I have had 3 sections and am anesthesiologist and if your husband saw your intestines during your C-section, they were doing it wrong. There is no need for your intestines to be involved in a C-section. Also, shaking happens during a vaginal birth, too. It’s from the hormones that are released during labor and delivery–even C-section mothers get those hormones!

      And their are risks and benefits to both C-sections and vaginal births. I had 2 friends that were ripped pretty much stem to sternum with a vaginal birth and both needed reconstructive surgery afterwards. My C-sections were easy peasy.

      3 sides to every story and that includes birth stories.

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      • 72

        Cierra says

        I remember shaking so much with my second from nerves and hormones and crying that the nurses thought I was freezing to death during the epidural procedure and drowned everything but my back with heated blankets. I thought I’d heat to death. I was super against and scared of a second section because of the experience I had with the first. I even went out of town to get a VBAC-friendly doctor and hospital. However, second baby wouldn’t drop and my cervix wouldn’t thin, so they scheduled me. I was terrified. Happy to say, now, that I had it, though. She didn’t drop because the cord was wrapped twice around her neck. Also, like so many people told me beforehand anyway, and like so many people have expressed, the second was so much easier. Didn’t hurt nearly as much, especially once the staples came out.

        Also. 7 years after the first and the only sensation there is numbness and a really weird tickle with the right brushing touch, and still have issues pooping. And 3 1/2 months after the second, I still sometimes have to hold my incision with at least my hand to cough hard with this upper respiratory infection. I still think I might try a VBAC if I have another go-round, but… We’ll see.

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      • 73

        Tammy says

        Thank you, I thought seeing intestines sounded very odd. I can’t imagine why that would happen. Doesn’t sound like something normal. My husband did however, look at me wide eyed and asked “you don’t feel that? “. He later said it looked like they were playing tug of war with me. And no, I didn’t feel it. Just some movement from being rocked as they tugged, no pain.

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    • 74

      monica says

      I’ve had two csections. My first was a very ruff experience. It was emergency as I had been in labor for 26 hours and the lil one couldn’t handle it anymore. Well by that time my epidural had long worn off and I had to be put to sleep. Didn’t get to see my baby born, and by the time I came to it was 5 am and I was totally out of it. Was in a lot of pain after sx. My hubby had to put me on and off the toilet because it hurt so much to bend over. He had to pull me up to get off the sofa. My second csection was scheduled a week before I was due but a week before that I went into natural labor, so I had another emergency csection. This one was a breeze. I was awake, I did not feel a thing. No pulling no pressure, nothing. The day after the surgery I was walking around, could get my self in and out of the bed, or off the toilet with little discomfort. And, I asked for suppositories from the get go so I never got plugged up. Way better the second time. But I knew what to expect too and that helped some. I have heard from others that the 2nd time is easier. and in my case it was. As for the scar, I still have no feeling there either. And every now and then it itches and it just drives you crazy that you cant scratch it and get your fix. lol

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    • 75

      says

      Wow, I couldn’t have put it better. I thought my experience was unique. But you brought back memories from 11 years ago. I wasn’t planning on having a c-section. My shaking was a combination of nerves – once I realized they were going to cut me open – and the cold room. But that was SPOT ON!! And the nerves around the incision have never recovered…sometimes that area itches something awful. I took one Vicodin and didn’t like the possibility that I’d sleep through my baby’s crying. Thus, I ended up flushing about $200 of street-value down the toilet. Thanks for the memories of one of the most memorable events of my life and the laugh…

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    • 76

      emma jo says

      I would just like to point out I have had 3 kids my first 2 were bang on 8 lbs n my 3rd was 6 lb 13 oz all natural delivery I had to be cut with my for St and tore with my 2nd so had to have stitches and I’m proud to say everything is the same down there as it were before even having kids probably due to the fact I actually bothered to do the pelvic floor exercises that help re strengthen the muscles and tighten everything back up I don’t have a weak bladder if I need the loo I can still hold it in for a gud 2 hours before I can’t hold it any longer and I can also sneeze without leaking I can laugh without leaking in fact I can do everything without peeing myself I don’t think that’s down to if u have c section or natural birth it’s more to do with the strength of ya pelvic floor muscle wich is what holds your bladder n everything in place and weather or not ya can be bothered to do the exercises the midwife tells u to do after birth to keep em strong

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    • 78

      CATHY CAPPEL says

      I have four children all delivered a different way
      1. epidural
      2. natural
      3. emergency c-section= actually I was told my baby was dead…my miracle is 32 yrs now – c section saved my babys’ life
      4. planned c section- no matter what tubes were going to be tied 4 children was enough

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    • 79

      Nicole says

      Yes…I have 3 vaginal births. One 9 lbs 1 ounce, one 7 lbs 10 ounces and twins 6 lbs 7 oz and 5 lbs 10oz…..my vagina is the same….and no leakage when sneezing, coughing, laughing or anything like that…

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    • 80

      RT says

      You won’t have the luxury of sneezing without peeing forever… just so ya know. I had 5 C-sections. All cool. But everything she said is right. With my last one, I had the pleasure of a hysterectomy at the same time. Smartest thing I ever did!

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      • 83

        Tammy says

        It probably has more to do with age than anything. I believe this to be the case with me. I have leaking issues, but it started when I got around 40, long after giving birth twice. 1 c-section and 1 vaginal. This is a very common issue for women as they age.

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    • 84

      Natalie says

      I had two c-sections and I did not experience any of this during mine except for the part at the scars not having feeling. I had such a successful one that I opted to have my second one c-section. Every c-section is different just like every pregnancy is different.

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  1. 85

    Nuts about food says

    Yup, had two of those myself. All sounds familiar.
    I remember the first time, the day I was supposed to leave the hospital (Christmas day by the way), I didn’t take the laxative I had been handed because I thought I was already overmedicated and didn’t want to take yet another thing. When the dr dropped by to sign the papers to let me go home he asked me (in front of a roomful of people) if had… ahem… evacuated. I said no and he told me I wouldn’t be allowed to go home until I did, probably the next day.
    The hormones were already taking their toll and images of another sleepless, painful night in the hospital and of the whole family waiting at home to celebrate Christmas lunch with us started the tears. I wailed so much a nurse came in and passed me a glycerin suppository when no-one was looking so an hour later, I was out of there! So yes, drink all the prune juice you can.

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    • 86

      Julie says

      The worst is that they don’t let you eat until you either pass gas or poop, and like the blog author, it took me DAYS before this happened. If not for the immense pain searing through my lower abdomen, I would have murdered a few nurses! My second time around, at a different hospital, they actually TRIED to get the process to move faster by giving me laxatives and all that, whereas the first hospital would do nothing of the sort.
      It’s also a good idea to keep taking the laxative as long as you are on the pain meds b/c those actually cause constipation, which can be equally as painful as the c-section at times!

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      • 87

        Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

        After the 2nd delivery, the nurse happened to explain casually why they won’t let you eat until you’ve passed gas. And I was terrified to eat a meal after that. What if I hadn’t actually farted and now my intestines were all a jumbled mess? Horrifying…I left with stool softeners, laxatives, everything short of an enema.

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      • 88

        Tara says

        I think the ‘not leaving until you poop’ thing is dependent on the hospital. Along with no food thing. I had an elective c section with my third after my first two almost died in vaginal delivery, due to their cords. Surgery at 8am and I had a late lunch around 2p. Went home 48 hours later.

        Best bet for anyone thinking about choosing or being told they have to have a c section.
        Ignore all and any advice from anyone you don’t know personally. Everyone has different experiences. And we, who have had the choice of method of delivery, all have our own reasons for those choices.

        I personally bounced back faster, physically with my c section. I also recommend low planks and crunches to be rid of the “c section pouch”. (Mine is gone after only a year)

        Good luck to all and God bless your families.

        :)

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  2. 89

    claire says

    Thanks for the morning laugh. After my last C-section, I kept asking for blankets. Since they keep their blankets in a warmer, I left the ER with three covering my still-numb, still shaking body.

    And every time someone made me laugh after my section, I always yelled out “STITCHES Ow!”

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  3. 90

    Zooy says

    Ah this brings back memories. My stomach still has very little feeling down near the scar.
    Also I was stupid and tried to recover too fast, this probably didn’t help my post partum depression but I was determined to not have anyone look after me. If I have to have a csection next time, I’ll be doing things differently.

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  4. 91

    Ange says

    I didn’t have a c-section & I have no issues with “tightness.” For all the reasons above and others I’ve read about, I’ve very glad I had the midwife I did & she was able to avoid a c-section for me (my labor wasn’t progressing well at first and it looked like it was going that way.)

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    • 92

      keelye says

      I agree. As does my husband. Just bc someone has a vaginal delivery, doesn’t mean that they’re not ‘tight’ anymore. It’s laughable really lol. A lot of women give birth and go right back to their pre pregnancy bodies. Not all of them of course. Still think after the process of pregnancy that women should be rewarded with perfect bodies lol. Anyways! Why can some women go back to great bodies and then still have WOMEN think that they won’t go back to their tight little vaginas after childbirth? I mean maybe after popping a few of them out maybe it takes a toll but not like 2?! And I’ve never peed when sneezing, coughing, or laughing! Well maybe when laughing but that was before kids lol!

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      • 93

        Rachel says

        I know of many women who have birthed multiple children vaginally and claim to have no problems with tights…..it is crazy that people assume that…..I actually don’t know of anyone who has complained of such a thing. I wonder if it is just an ignorant assumption that people make, or if it actually happens. I have had 3 children naturally and my vagina snapped right back. I just assume they are meant to, never thought anything else.

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  5. 95

    Liz says

    I hear you, people talk about getting a c-section because it will be so much better than pushing a baby out. Are they crazy, I would have given anything to not have to pull or roll myself out of bed. Just when you think you get to sleep relatively normal again, forget it, I couldn’t sleep on my stomach even without a baby in there, totally sucked!!!

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    • 97

      Brandi says

      I had 3 kids vaginally, and was planning on my fourth but he came early with placenta previa so I had to. IT was a nightmare. I would not have chosen it if I didn’t have to. But the Dr did a great job and the nurses at the hospital helped me get back on my feet pretty quickly. I do say it was not fun, but I am just glad he is here and safe.

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  6. 101

    Melissa says

    Well my original birth plan was a joke!! I wanted to deliver vaginally but it just wasn’t happening. After being in labor for 3 days my Dr finally decided to perform a c section with my first. I was so terrified that something like that might happen again (although I had a different OB/GYN and a different hospital) I didn’t even bother asking about a vbac for my 2nd!! Not to mention with baby #2 my water broke 2 days before I was scheduled to have him and for the 8 I sat in the triage waiting for my dr to get me into the OR I didn’t have a single contraction!! So I just came to the conclusion that my body doesn’t want me having babies through the va-jay. And I’m ok with that, especially since I had my tubes tied while I was on that operating table.

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    • 102

      Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

      My OB did ask me when I was open if I wanted a tubal ligation, but it all felt too new and raw to make a decision. In retrospect? One stop shopping sounds kind of nice…

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      • 103

        Melissa says

        The hospital I had #2 at is a Catholic hospital and I had to have approval from the board of Nuns before it could be done, so my tubal was planned months before I had him. My husband and I both discussed and thought about it for a while and just knew that 2 was enough for us. I don’t have any regrets =). Everyone’s different and for those who want more than 2 kids (and actually take care of them) more power to ya! After already having one (who was 3 when #2 came) and knowing the costs of having another baby, affordability was a big factor in our decision. I looked at how much it will cost us to put 2 kids through college and about pooped my pants! I’m glad we just had the 2. =)

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  7. 104

    Jenny says

    Mine was an emergancy section and was terrifying, I’m now 40+ weeks with number 2 and have to go on friday for a section if this lil girl doesn’t show up.

    I wish I hadn’t been so blind to the fact that I could wind up having a section the first time and done some reading about it. I’m not looking forward to the new scar itching at all :(

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    • 105

      Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

      Good luck! I think it’s easier the second time around, knowing what to expect. And I think recovery was easier as well. Still, it took 5 days to poop and 4 days for my milk to come in. I guess there’s just some things my body is slow to react to.

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    • 106

      Mercy says

      My first was also an emergency and I had not read up on it or prepared myself so it was a terrifying experience. I agree that it is easier the 2nd (and 3rd) time around because you already know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.

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      • 107

        Jenny says

        I’m still holding out hope that she’ll come before Friday but she seems to be stubborn like her mummy :)
        The strange thing is that the only thing I’m even nervous about is the epidural/spinal even though I’ve had one and didn’t have any issues with it the first time O.o
        I guess your mind just picks one thing to focus on and that is mine.
        Fingers crossed this time will be a bit easier :)

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        • 108

          wendy says

          3 words for you, Jenny- castor oil milkshake! Yes, you’ll get the shits, but man, does it ever get that labor going! I did that with my second child, and once it kicked in, she born in two hours! I tore a little because she came so fast, but, generally speaking, such an easy birth!

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  8. 109

    Bridget says

    I guess everyon’es experience is different. I felt NO pressure (even though I thought I would), my scar feels fine these days (11 months pp) and I took very LITTLE pain meds. However, I did have TERRIBLE nausea and can agree 100% on the “modifications” you’ll make to things like laughing or coughing. And standing up straight for the first week.

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    • 111

      shanna says

      same here, my first one was an emergency and i was pretty drugged up so i don’t remember much but i never had that much pain, my sec one i had almost no pain and was trick or treating with my older daughter a week later. the only problems i had with both c sections are the bowel obstructions after but i know now that a laxative and enema will take care of that problem

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  9. 113

    Starla says

    I’ve had two, the first was emergency and they had me so drugged up there are a couple of days where I only remember just tidbits, I was there for a week after. But something that happened after the second that I do not remember from the first, is the nurse massaging your uterus…HOLY SHIT LADY I JUST HAD SURGERY DOWN THERE!!!! Pretty sure the last time it was done, right before they discharged me btw, that BITCH was trying to make my belly button touch my spine! That was def. The worse part of the whole ordeal, for me anyway. And the incision did seem to stay sore longer the second time around.

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    • 114

      Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

      My nurse had me doing that as well. It’s supposed to help, uh, expel all that “stuff” that would have come out during a vaginal delivery and help get your uterus shrink back to size. Hurts like hell, but I think it helps in the long run.

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  10. 115

    Mary says

    I used to be embarrassed about having 2 emergency C-sections (as if I could have controlled the circumstances of our children’s development and my body’s reaction to them) until I heard a comedian describe his own Cesarian birth this way, “Most folks use the door, I used the window”.

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  11. 117

    Lizzy says

    I really didn’t think a c-section was bad, at all. No tearing, no pee accidents, and I was driving and walking around within a week without issue.

    I describe the c-section baby removal as feeling as though I was a purse someone’s rummaging through to find keys at the bottom. No pain, just weird feelings.

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  12. 125

    Rebecca says

    It’s all true. Nevertheless, we love our babies no matter how they get here.

    I had a lonnnnggg labor with my first baby (as in two days long) so I had to have a c-section. Even if I could have pushed her out, I was too exhausted to do so. But that tough labor and c-section made the initial few weeks soooo hard. I couldn’t lift the baby myself. I was in a lot of pain. The surgeon had nicked my bladder and made me wear a catheter for TWO WEEKS! I think the trauma was part of the cause of the pain and difficulty I had getting breastfeeding started. And the emotional trauma of the whole thing affected bonding and caused some postpartum depression.

    I just had my second baby and am so blessed to have had doctors who supported me in getting a VBAC. (I’ll admit in the middle of pushing, I was tempted to forget all of the above and tell them to “just cut the baby out of me” though!) My recovery has been insanely better. Emotionally, physically, everything…I didn’t even begin to approach recovered until 8 weeks postpartum with first baby. At six weeks postpartum after second baby, I feel great.

    That part about the poops though…those are perhaps even more painful with vaginal childbirth. Holy hemorrhoids, Batman! Nevertheless, there are so many other benefits to vaginal delivery that I’ll take it!:-)

    I hope your post won’t scare ladies who HAVE to get a c-section. If you’re prepared for what it’s like and have a good support system, it can be ok. You get through it. You do what you have to do. But avoiding major surgery if you can is always a good idea.

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    • 126

      Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

      I agree. Vaginal delivery wasn’t an option for me, but up until I had that defining ultrasound, I was armed with my birth plan. And I hope this post doesn’t scare people either. I was alone and unaware of ANYTHING, so all of this came as a shock. Looking back, I wish I’d done more research about c-sections. I guess I just figured if I kept my head down and kept preparing for a vaginal birth, my will would make it happen.

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  13. 127

    Lauren says

    I have to say, I did have a c-section (not by choice) by my experience wasn’t as dreadful as yours. Maybe I just got lucky. I have the best dr in the world and he made it as stress free and pleasent as a surgery could possibly be. I was up that night going to the bathroom on my own. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t tickle but obviously everyones experience is different.

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    • 128

      Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) says

      I do think that the situation you’re in makes a difference. With my second,I knew I was going to have a c-section, and it wasn’t an emergency situation, so the energy about it was different. As was the recovery. With my son, he was in the NICU and I couldn’t nurse, which probably didn’t help with hormones either.

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    • 129

      pamela says

      I am like you my first who is 33 was vaginal….my second who weighted 10 pounds 9 oz ..is 25 …He was my c section ..i do not suffer from any bladder conditions…and do not pee my pants [I am also a runner]..I did have the itchy thing and God only knows when it stopped because I don’t remember when it did …lol..The feeling does come back not sure when that happened either…I too must have had a GREAT Dr. …I will say I do suffer from a little pouch that hangs over and bothers me but I buy swimwear to hide it…lol…And to compare the two neither was dreadful ..or as I stated earlier I have FORGOTTEN…also my babies are 9 years apart….

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  14. 130

    TheMomFactor says

    I had 3 vaginal births and was back on my feet within an hour of each. I was bored and walking around the Maternity ward for two days trying to make the nurses and other moms laugh. I don’t envy the ladies that get c-sections. My vagina won’t ever be the same, but I think I got it pretty damn easy.

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  15. 131

    Tisa says

    Eek, don’t forget the (evil) nurse who comes in to give the deep tissue “massage” to the incision area to make sure uterus is shrinking and avoid clotting.Evil winch. I know I’m deep down thankful but that is the part that makes me whimper and cry remembering. I don’t get to take the good pain meds (deathly allergic). I remember the pain with both kids, well. :-(

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    • 132

      Jessica says

      I had general anesthesia for my c-section, and when I woke up, I had the nurse’s wrists in my hands, and she was pleading for me to let her go! Even before I woke up I was trying to stop that massage!

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  16. 134

    Aging Darling says

    So true! Mine was an emergency C-section in another country and they wheeled the shiny silver incubator up beside me so I could see everything happening on the other side of the curtain. I remember looking over in horror thinking “Oh my god are those my intestines piled up on my chest?” They were. They sent me home 22 hours later with just Advil and penicillin. Thankfully I had no clue what could go wrong. Ignorance is bliss. As I’m preparing for a second in a couple months everyone promises it will be better in America. Fingers crossed!

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    • 135

      Natalie says

      I just wrote a post below about my sister in law having a c-section in Germany just a few days ago. Read it. It’s number 28. American c-sections are so much better. Do not refuse the pain meds.

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  17. 136

    Liz w says

    My spinal wore off too soon with my last c section! i felt way more then just pressure it was not cool. Add to that having a cough from post nasal drip!! My doc had me on pain meds and cough meds. The nurses had no idea how I was not crying with how much I was coughing and nearly crapped themselves when I got out of bed and got dressed 5 hours post c section.

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