6 Things I Wish I’d Known About Having a 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.


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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.

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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

About the writer

Gina holds the titles of wife, mom, former dancer, blogger, butt-wiper, paper-airplane maker, princess costumer, snack connoisseur, pillow fort architect, and house D.J. You can read more of her babbling at Full of it, follow her on Facebook and Pinterest, or holler at her on Twitter @totallyfullofit.

From Around the Web


Karen 2 days ago

Oh and I had 2 C-sections…first one emergency and not planned…I have 2 healthy, beautiful children who I am thankful for every day…and who cares if I can’t feel a section of my stomach?

Karen 2 days ago

Jeez get over it! You had a healthy baby! If it was 100 years ago both you and your baby would have died….

Loralie 1 week ago

I’m glad I’ve had surgery before! Whenever you’re on painkillers post-op, prune juice is a must.

WHAT A BS! 2 weeks ago

This is total bullshit! I don’t know what kind of doctors she had, but here in EU they are super competent and do their job correctly. I didn’t feel a thing and I was told to walk 6 hours after the surgery, I was pooping the next day and my scar is barely there and feels just like if there weren’t any. !!! I will choose more C-sections if I ever want more kids, which is WAAAY better then torn vagina and anus!

Melpub 3 weeks ago

I had three C-sections. The feeling around the scar is that of the jaw a few hours after you’ve been to the dentist–when are those nerve endings going to feel something? Nevahhhh! This is a very accurate description of the process. I gave birth in German hospitals and they made me do exercises, for which I hated them, but they were right! So right! Do ’em, gals.

Lyndzai 3 weeks ago

Spot on! The yanking and pulling during delivery, the shaking so bad I wouldn’t have even been able to hold my baby even if she hadn’t been rushed to NICU, the ripping feeling while laughing and total fear of pooping. (Take the stool softener pills they give you!) I demanded a vbac for a second and danced out of there after she was born. Compared to the c-section it was a walk in the park!

wendy G 3 weeks ago

Oh and if you can have a full anathestic, its much better

wendy G 3 weeks ago

Had ac section 28 years ago and still have no feeling in or around my scar, os take note, it never ever comes back

Anonymous 4 weeks ago

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Lady T 4 months ago

Lol this really made me burst out laughing…. This is my first time having a c-section and I am beyond scared…No one mentioned to me the very cold room and all the tugging of my body ..man I dnt think I’m ready for this, but while reading ur description of things, I’ll be sure to take notes and prepare myself

jamie 4 months ago

“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.”

I don’t really get how these article is supposed to “spare the worry”. Everything here was dreadful. I’d be worrying more after reading this post.


shylin 5 months ago

after 1 year 4 month im starting to feel pain and pressure in my scar

Tracy clissold 5 months ago

I had a Emergency C/Section @ 39 weeks after 10cm dialated & two hours pushing, my son was caught in my groin. I relate to the stories of the other women & I must say that your scar never gets feeling back, my son is now 13 1/2 years old & when it is cold weather my scar is sore.

Brooke 5 months ago

God bless you for this! I laughed so hard I cried! Goodness knows this is sooo spot on! But for me, it was 3 warm blankets and and getting put to sleep before my baby got removed.

Ashley 5 months ago

Im 33 weeks pregnant and they wanna do a c section with this one because my 1st was so large. 9lbs 5oz and 2feet long. I straight told them no. I did it once, i can do it again. But this article made me laugh so much! And i didnt poop for 7 days after giving birth vaginally either. When i finally did… i damn cried because it felt like i was giving birth out my tooter. Holy hell! Nope not a doing a c section.

Tanya 5 months ago

I have had 3 c – sections The first was an emergency & the other two were planned. I was fine and my youngest is 7 years old and I have all my sensation back where the scar is! It take years but it does come back! A week after my surgery I was back to normal with all 3 and continued all my normal day to day stuff with absolutely no medication. Everyone is different but I’m glad I had c-sections

Fiona Ryan 5 months ago

Oh my days, this is hilariously accurate!! Thanks for making my day. So glad I didn’t read this in the first few weeks post op, or I’d have been back to theatre to re sow the stitches!
Surgical stockings post op- another fetching side effect no-one pre warned me about! No need for the nurse to ask me about what contraception we use when wearing those beauties!

tammy 5 months ago

*** I was stuck in one hospital while they took my baby to another to have surgery because of my csection that was something i learned.
I had 2 vag 1 premi 1 i was bed ridden from 3 months n in n out of hospital but made it to my due date & 1 premi csectiin delivery this blog is good for women who never had any other health stuff ever but in my case i had already not had bm 1 a week and still dont ibs issues so that wasnt a suprise or different, i had tons of surgerys so for all of u the surgery room will always be cold so for future if they ask if u want a warm blanket take it even if your hot on topic of pain meds same thing always stay ahead for 2 days the 2nd day will be the worst with any surgery a lot of people think they will do better the 2 nd day this is actually wrong because your surgical meds are wore of n it is hitting you!
But also i know first hand a number of mothers who choose csections for the pain meds so that bugs me. I will say it was my spinal blick (tthats what it was called back when i had it) was how i g ound out i had bone spurs in my back bec as use they kept hitting them now days if i have a shit pinal tap i have to have it under ultrasound/xxray but this is very uncommon which most of my sittuations r


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