To C-Section or Not?

Alexandra Peill

Posted on May 08 2020

To C-Section or Not?
One of the things I'd debated a lot about since finding out I was having twins was whether to opt for a c-section or try having them naturally and I really was 50/50. So at 34 weeks when I had to bite the bullet and get booked in for either an induction or c-section come 37 weeks, I finally decided on a c-section rather than naturally like with my son 2 years prior. Once the decision was made I found that there wasn't really that much practical information about the recovery and afterwards in general or any advice or tips about the reality of it all.
So since having my twins recently, I wanted to share some things that no one tells you about a c-section that would have made the aftermath a lot more bearable for me. The operation itself was actually as OK as can be expected but it was afterwards that was the hardest.
It goes without saying this is only my experience - I'm aware that not everyone's experience is the same. I'm not a medical professional but just wish that I'd been aware of a few things before hand:
1) Pain Relief - make sure you're discharged with adequate pain relief. I was discharged after 24hrs with only be on paracetamol so the pain after the first night at home hit me like a bus. It's so important to make sure you stay on top of the pain relief for a while otherwise it won't be bearable and your newborn baby needs you to be OK!!
2) Constipation - this was by far the worst. I'd been warned that I might be a bit 'windy' after the operation but 'windy' was a huge understatement. No one told me how bad the constipation could be! Being totally honest it was nearly as bad as the after pain from the operation, so much so that I genuinely was contemplating manual evacuation after I split some stitches from the 5 day long intense pushing! I would definitely advise taking some precautionary laxatives as soon after the op as possible and keep a maintenance dose for a while because I'd have rather have done that and risk being a little loose than suffer the worst constipation. It was really grim!
3) Weeing - (bit odd I know but hear me out..) the first few days after, it was really hard to physically lower myself up and down on the toilet. So after the first few days of struggling, my husband made me a 'she wee' type tool out of a plastic milk bottle that gave me so much relief so I could wee standing up! Bit vulgar I know but honestly wish I'd have had it as soon as I came home. Might not be for everyone, but something to think about if you're really struggling with the pain.
4) Hospital stay - I gave birth amidst the COVID-19 peak which was unfortunate as it meant (amongst other things) that I wanted to get out of hospital ASAP and so pushed for discharge after 24hrs. But I was not physically ready, and if the pandemic had not been a factor I would definitely recommend staying in at least 2 nights especially if you have other children at home. It's such big surgery that you really do need to take it easy especially in the days immediately after which for me was quite difficult to do coming home so soon to a toddler who I didn't want to feel pushed out.
With this week being maternal mental health week I wanted to share my story incase it might help some of you. If I'd been more mentally prepared for it all I think I might have not been so hard on myself afterwards.
I'm not saying c-sections are terrible because actually after about a week or so I began to feel relatively normal again, but it's good to talk.
What were your experiences like? Anyone else had anything similar or want to share any other tips and help us Mamma's out?

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