Now the countdown for baby #3 has gone from months to mere weeks I’m starting to get ready for what’s to come. After two C-sections (one emergency, one planned) I have a until a certain date for this baby to arrive under its own steam before we start talking about a third caesarean. Having been there and done that before it isn’t something I’m too bothered about (you can read what I think on my personal blog). There is one advantage of having had two c-sections and that I have a good idea about how to get ready.
There are countless places telling you what to put in a hospital bag for you and your baby. These are the things I’d say are a must for a c-section delivery:
- Dressing gown – may seem like a no-brainer but as you walk to theatre in an open-backed gown you’ll be glad I reminded you.
- Night dress – post-op you’ll have a catheter and wound drain which means you need the open bottom for a day at least (I’m taking PJs for after they come out).
- Maternity pads – easy to forget but still very much necessary.
- Food – hospital food is grim. It has taken me two post-natal stays to realise they have a microwave on the ward so this time I’m taking along some microwave meals including some Innocent veg pots.
- Sports cap water bottle – you need to keep drinking water post-op but sitting up all the time isn’t easy so I always have a sports cap bottle on hand.
Beforehand, aside from relaxing, there are a couple of things you can do in readiness:
- Personal grooming – you’ll need to whip off your pubic hair before you go in if you want to avoid a dry shave with a bic razor pre-op. If it’s an option then I’d go for a salon wax as the easiest and neatest way. Right now, at eight months pregnant, I could no more lift my leg up than I could lie on that table so I’ll be taking the DIY route. My top tip here is: don’t leave it until the night before or you risk ending up with a comedy muff-hican. Do it in advance and then tidy up the night before.
- Prepare to be sent home – if the unit is very busy or there are several emergency c-sections you could get sent home for another day.
Things to remember after:
- As soon as you can, get up and move around. It helps your recovery loads more than if you lie in bed all day. Make sure you ask for support until you feel steady on your feet.
- Shoulder Pain – if you get a stabbing pain in your shoulder, it is trapped wind. Weird I know but it is referred pain. Don’t suffer in silence, the midwives can give you peppermint oil and hot water to help clear the wind.
- Drugs – having been both fed the morphine intended for the woman in the next bed and forgotten about for 12 hours I will be asking what I should be having and when. What I learned from these incidents was to always ask if the drugs were intended for me but also that I might not need everything I was being offered. Second time around I took far fewer pain killers as I realised I had been taking them on auto pilot whether I needed them or not.
- First poo – not a pretty subject! Eat food which will help make it soft like pears. Whatever you do, don’t eat egg sandwiches three days on a row *ahem*. Always worth asking if there is something they can give you to help.
- Bladder – your bladder can go a little numb after a c-section so in the days and weeks following make sure you go to the loo by the clock rather than trusting your senses.
Those are my top tips, what would you add?
Image credit: Tammra McCauley.