Naughty Breech Baby – Preparing for your c-section
I was at work when I got the phone call for our c-section date, I was smiling to myself whilst the midwife told me all the details and what would happen on the day. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell Jack, it suddenly feels so real once you have a defined date of when you’ll meet your baby. Instantly I felt nervous knowing I’d be going in for what is a major operation in a few weeks time. It was easier to get my head around the fact I was having a c-section as everything was organised. I’m a happy person in general when there’s a plan in place and this was as much of a plan as we were going to get.
We only shared the date with our parents, with a natural birth you can surprise friends and family when your baby arrives as they tend to make an appearance on a completely different day to their due date. We wanted to try and keep that element of surprise and anticipation by not telling many people when I’d be going into hospital. Another big surprise was that we hadn’t found out whether we was having a girl or boy so this was something that was nice to add to that feeling of letting everyone know on the big day. One of the main elements I was gutted about was not having that excited feeling of my waters breaking and everything that follows like you see in the movies.
As Jack and I had already written our birth preferences for a natural birth, there was nothing to say we couldn’t use some of them with a few slight tweaks for our c-section. So we discussed some things we still wanted to happen during the birth and changed a few bits of what we needed to take to the hospital. You can find lots of lists online on what to take in your hospital bag for a natural birth or a c-section, I may even write a post on this if people are interested in what could be needed but for now I won’t go into great detail. I have three main must haves from my experience that I couldn’t have done without whilst in hospital so I have jotted them down for you below.
Three must have items to take into hospital for a c-section:
- Cotton pants that come up above your waist, these were a godsend! Normal pants would rub on your c-section scar, I wore my waist pants for weeks afterwards and they were so comfortable, didn’t aggravate my scar at all.
- Baggy clothes, extra clothes are a given on any hospital list but packing baggy or oversized t-shirts i’d say is your best item. You won’t be able to wear anything on your bottom half really for the first 12 hours as the effects of the epidural continue after the operation and you still can’t feel much down there. You’ll also have a catheter in for a similar amount of time as well so wouldn’t be able to wear bottoms anyway.
- Chewing gum or peppermint tea, the wind after a c-section is something else, in my experience I was in more pain with trapped wind than my scar! As soon as I started drinking peppermint tea my bowels got to work and the relief of passing any wind felt like heaven.
Theatre room preferences
There’s not a lot of decisions you need to make during preparation for a c-section or whilst you’re in theatre but there are small things we did to make the experience feel special and to feel more in control.
You’re only allowed one person in theatre with you for the duration of your c-section (may be different at other hospitals), this is less than the amount you’re allowed to have with you for a natural birth. Jack and my Mum Beverley were going to be my birthing partners originally, once we knew a c-section was the most likely path we’d be taking we made sure we discussed who would support me in theatre. I knew that person was going to be my partner Jack which obviously meant I wouldn’t be able to share it with my Mum. For some people their choice is an easy one and for others it might be more delicate. It’s a preference that needs a little thought and may mean someone is left disappointed which was definitely the case for me but my Mum was very supportive and understood.
We discussed having music as I thought it would help me relax during a natural birth, we hadn’t got as far as deciding what our playlist might include and when we found out I’d be having a c-section we didn’t know if that was still an option for us. In hindsight this is a question we should’ve asked beforehand, luckily our midwife asked if we wanted the radio on once I was fully prepped on the bed. Even though I don’t remember any of the songs played, it really made the whole experience so much more relaxed. If music is something you would’ve had on your natural birth preferences, definitely think about if this is something you’d want to have during theatre as it can make all the difference.
I 100% wanted skin to skin contact as soon as our baby was born and Jack knew he wanted the same as soon as he was able too, so this is something I made sure my midwife was aware of in the theatre room as long as baby was ok. It’s quite a big one that you may assume would happen but it’s nice just to confirm so everyone’s on the same page.
Taking a phone or camera in for pictures, we knew we wanted to capture those first special moments as soon as our baby was born, so Jack had his phone in the little chest pocket of his scrubs. The nurse in the room kindly let us know when the obstetrician was about to hold up our baby briefly which meant Jack managed to take a picture as they was lifted over the sheets! We also had a picture of all three of us with our baby on my chest whilst still in theatre which was amazing.
So we were all prepped, as much as we thought we could be with a week or so to go. However, babies tend have a mind of their own and in our case it was no different. Next I talk about dealing with the unexpected and the big scary (not so scary) theatre room.