Experience with C-section birth, anyone?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Bob McLaughlin, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    My wife has just been told by her doctor that she will be delivering our baby via C-section on Wednesday, September 21st. I have no idea what to expect.

    Has anyone (or their wife or life partner) gone through this? What can I expect? How long before she is up and about? How painful was it? If anyone has any experiences, please share! Thanks.
     
  2. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    It's probably less painful than the alternative (regular birth).

    Still it's gotta be weird (for mom) to see your stomach cut up open while you're awake.

    It's as routine a procedure as they come, I wouldn't worry about it.

    --
    H - I know my je m'enfoutisme isn't helping, sorry.
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I'm sure there will be detailed accounts from Britney Spears on the subject. I now defer to people who actually have useful information [​IMG] Best of luck to you and your wife though. I'm sure everything will go smoothly.
     
  4. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Paul has the times right. It takes a while for your wife to recover, but the process itself is routine. She won't be able to see, but you will. I didn't look much, until they pulled my son out. It leaves a pretty large scar, and you'll have to take care of her for a bit, plus the baby.

    Life is tough...wear a cup,
    Chuck [​IMG]
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    At least the child will be able to perform a military coupo against any military dictator who achieved his office by means of dark magicks.

    Otherwise its a very safe common medical procedure. I wouldn't worry about it anymore than having tonsils removed.
     
  6. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    My wife has had 2 c-sections. Once for my son who decided to turn around a week before due date and not budge from his spot, and then an emergency c-section with our twin girls (starting to go into distress).

    Anyway, yes, about 45 minutes in the OR, thats from getting the gas to wheeling her out. There are two different cuts they can do, one which is harder, but less visible scar is called the bikini cut, a horizontal cut across the abdomen, this is what my wife got the first time and they ran out of staples so she was actually closed up with thread.

    The second time, it was the quick cut vertical to get the girls out asap. She got closed with staples, they did not heal/close properly, so I got the fun job of "packing her wound" for about 3 weeks (I'll spare you those details and hope that you never have to do it)

    Your wife should be up and walking around within a few hours. No lifting for a few days (except the child of course) and within 2 weeks should be about back to full.
     
  7. Raasean Asaad

    Raasean Asaad Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, if they have to go with staples then recovery doe take a bit longer but it is really a routine experience.
     
  8. Jamie Goff

    Jamie Goff Agent

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    My mom had a C-section, I came out fine.[​IMG]
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    My only C section experience was the one being excised from the womb, and I didnt' like it one little bit. One minute I'm swimming around in this nice dark place, the next minute some smelly doctor is grabbing me with rubber gloves and yanking out into all this bright light... [​IMG]
     
  10. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys! Maybe I should bring some staples in case they run out! Unbelievable.

    I think my wife is actually relieved that there will be less randomness and drama since this seems to be a pretty routine procedure. We have a couple questions for the doctor regarding breastfeeding if my wife has to take pain medicine. I hope I still get to cut the cord but all I really want is a healthy baby and a healthy wife!
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    When my first wife gave birth (in 1979), it was through C-section. The birth itself was smooth, but Linda had something of a rough time. After a couple of weeks, though, things slipped back to normal. Over time, the scar was barely visible (like a "smile" underneath her belly).
     
  12. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Same for me, Jack. My wife, when she was previously married, had delivered her first child, my stepdaughter Rachel, via C-section a few weeks early because of potential toxiemia (sp?), and she had one of those bikini scars as a result.

    Then last year, when she gave birth to our Lily Grace, that was also C-section but mainly because of her age and the fact that she had Rachel via C-section. That was quite interesting indeed! The doctor had originally scheduled Lily's birth for January 5th but saw how well she was developing and moved the delivery date up to December 30th then again up to December 28th for a 3 p.m. delivery. Two weeks before April started having serious contractions that resulted in going to the hospital - twice! - but both times turned out to be false contractions. On the day of the scheduled delivery, April began having major contractions, and you'd have thought she was going to deliver in the car on the way to the hospital! We got to the hospital and found out that her contractions, on a 1-10 scale, were way off the chart - Lily Grace wanted to come out! We had to call the doctor to get him down to the hospital ASAP, and they had to anesthesize April just long enough to slow down the contractions. Believe it or not, Lily Grace arrived a half-hour ahead of schedule! I didn't get to cut the cord, though, but I got to take her first pictures after delivery. I was crying like crazy, so was April. And walking her down the hospital corridor for the first time, you'd have thought I was flying like Superman! Is that a wonderful feeling or what? [​IMG]

    Of course, it took April a couple of days for her to recover and slowly walk with assistance, and she was like that for the first few days after the delivery. But she and Lily Grace have been doing wonderfully ever since, and now Lily's eating solid foods and has five little teeth! [​IMG]

    And I was floored to find out that I was also born via C-section. That was because my mother was in her early 40's at the time.
     
  13. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I've only been a party to two C-sections; but in those they don't let the patient directly see the innards.

    Which reminds me of my favorite part of my wife's event - at about 10-15 minues in, when the surgeon had the insides spread out like I do when I work on my car, my wife says to me "have they started yet?". I broke up! And I could tell the surgeon had to really focus to keep from cracking up too.

    And because they had tried to induce for 12 hours first and failed; my daughter came out looking like one of the SNL coneheads.

    So now I get to tease both of them with one story - they just love it when I bring it up!
     
  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Now that's good medicine. [​IMG]
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    If you're squeamish, don't read on ...

    My wife had two C-sections, both voluntary. We were given the option of either my wife having the procedure done under full anaesthetic or under epidural - we (or correction, she: I wasn't going to force any opinion on this) elected for the latter, which also meant I could attend the birth.

    I don't know how they do the procedure in the US, but in the UK the patient gets the epidural in the spine (according to my wife, it feels strange rather than painful) and then she is wheeled into the operating theatre . The lower half of the body gets covered in sterile cloths with a gap where the incision into the tummy will be made. A small screen is placed across the patient's chest so that she can't look down (my wife has a degree in anatomy and was a bit annoyed at this). The partner is then allowed in and sits next to the patient's head with his back turned (but you can look around if you want).

    Although you logically know it's nothing like that, your gut instinct is to expect there to be blood spurting everywhere, weird smells and noises, etc, etc. However, it's nothing like that. It's remarkably quiet apart from the surgeon chatting away to the nurses, etc. The only strange noise you hear is a strange slurping noise as the amniotic fluid is sucked out. It may be different in the US, but over here it's the anaesthetist who does the talking to the patient and partner and we chatted away about things like what we were planning to call the baby, etc.

    Be warned that as you can turn round you almost inevitably will have the urge to look. It probably isn't going to be as bad as your imagination tells you. Practically everything is covered in sterile cloth, so what you see is in a sense divorced from being a person's body. My thought the first time I turned round was that I was looking at a piece of steak (no, I don't have weird cannibalistic fantasies - apparently this is fairly normal reaction).

    The birth itself is remarkably quick. You are usually told when the baby is coming out and then I defy you not to look. The first sight of our first born (who was stuck in the breach position) was his bottom. The first sight of our second born was her face (I have never seen a more annoyed expression before or since). After that I think the procedure varies from hospital to hospital. We got the baby to see straight away and then were asked if we minded the paediatrician doing the routine tests. We told them to do them straight away and then we got the baby back in about a minute.

    And trust me, after that, the surgeons could be doing anything - you won't notice. [​IMG] However, generally the sewing up takes rather longer than the opening up. I'm told this is because each layer that has been cut through has to be stitched up separately.

    The aftermath of a C-section was in our experience more a matter of common sense than anything else. Avoiding lifting heavy objects (obviously this didn't include the baby) bending or stretching awkwardly, etc. However, my wife said that it didn't pose any huge problems.

    One piece of advice - you may be asked if you have a choice of music to be played during the operation (this seems to be fairly common in the UK, but I don't know about elsewhere). I suggest choosing something that without sudden bangs - you don't want to make the surgeon's hand jump with the shock. [​IMG]
     
  16. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] You are so right [​IMG].

    --
    H
     
  17. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Andrew gives an excellent summary of the procedure.

    This is a timely topic for me, as I am in the midst of a rotation in OB/GYN as a third-year medical student. I have observed four cesarean sections (including one with twins) and assisted with another.

    Most c-sections will be "low, transverse," meaning that the incision is low and horizontal. Only one of the patients I saw had the skin closed with sutures--the others all had staples. This may have been the request of the patient, but was likely due to physician preference. If your wife wants sutures instead of staples, be sure to request that specifically and remind the surgery team during the procedure.

    As far as I know, only emergency c-sections have a vertical incision for speed. Thankfully, I haven't seen any emergency sections yet, although I have two more weeks left before moving on to my next rotation.

    The general recovery time is stated to be six weeks, but will vary from patient to patient.

    Generally, c-sections are very safe, comprising about 25% of births in the US with an extraordinarily low mortality rate of about .01%.

    If you have any specific questions, fire away. If I don't know the answer, I can find out.
     
  18. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Ask lots of questions. C-sections are generally considered "overprescibed" in the US and you can actually check the stats from hospital to hospital. Make sure it is the right decision.
     
  19. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I was going to post this and I'm glad CRyan beat me to it as it only backs me up.

    When we had our first kid very early on the doc was tossing the C word around, and very casually. "...and then we'll just schedule a C section." My wife was dead set against it. Not suprsingly, shortly after the due date passed our doctor was pressing us for a C section. We refused unless necessary and a few days later she went into labor and delivered normally.

    Once we started getting pressured (that's too strong a word, but it was clear our doc wanted a C section) my wife started polling neighbors and co-workers with children. To our shock the vast majority of them had C-sections. We were gobsmacked.

    Our second one was late, and was looking to be a big baby. We went in for an ultrasound to check the size. When we went into see the doctor all she said was "he's looking good, I've scheduled you for a C-section at 7am tomorrow." My wife was in tears because this wasn't even discussed with us, they just went ahead and scheduled. We argued the point and the doc's arguement back was that the ultrasound showed the baby to be extremely huge. We counted that, if this were true, wouldn't it have been clear before now that he was that oversized? We eventually got out of her that these ultrasound measurements can be wrong by as much as 20% - which is quite a lot. An 8lb baby can appear to be 10lbs.

    In the end the head doctor agreed to let us try induced vaginal birth, but the moment it doesn't look like he'll fit they're going in.

    All of the nurses agreed that we did the right thing, and one said based on her experience, there was no way that measurement was correct.

    He came out normal, and the measurement was, in fact, about 18% off.

    We saw a news story not long after about C-sections. But it claimed most WOMEN are the ones to insist on a C-section, and it's the doctors who disagree with it. They say this way "busy women can schedule when they give birth, and that's just not right". Very few of the women we knew chose to go for a C, and those that did, quite frankly, were the type who would relish being waited on by their husbands while they laid in bed for two weeks so we weren't suprised.

    The reality is more likely that the doctors would rather schedule the C so they don't get woken up at 2am.

    You don't say why the C was scheduled. Make sure it's a valid reason, and more importantly that it's right for your wife.

    Oh, and congratulations whichever way it goes!

    -paul
     
  20. andrew markworthy

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    FWIW, in the UK, there is far less pressure in my experience. The 'default option' is conventional birth with choice of painkillers (or none, if you want natural childbirth). And our success rate is on a par or even better than the USA. In our case, in the first pregnancy my wife was carrying a large baby stuck in the breach position and she's 5 ft tall. We were given the relative risks of each option and we chose the elective c-section as being the safest in the circumstances. However, if we'd chosen a 'normal' birth, there would have been full appropriate support from the hospital. There has been some misguided talk in the UK press of rich mothers choosing a c-section because they are 'too posh to push' but I think this is both hurtful and gives the wrong impression that a c-section is the 'easy way out'.
     

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