Question for the Mommies- Concerning Cesarean Sections


9 Years
Jun 3, 2010
Since there are so many mommies on this forum, I thought this would be a good place to ask a few questions. I've had two other kids before my newborn son, Declan, but both were not delivered via Cesarean. With Declan, I had to have a emergency c-section because he was completely wrapped in his umbilical cord, was hanging on to it with a death grip and wouldn't drop, which of course was causing massive heart decels with each contraction. We also found out mid c-section that he was posterior in position and most likely wouldn't have gone under the pelvic bone in that position anyway. So, I felt then, and still feel now it was a necessary procedure to get my little guy born safely.

That being said, I'm having a hard time coping with the sheer trauma of the situation. And to be honest, the brutality of going from being in "normal" labor one minute and sliced open not five minutes later. I mean, I am a person that has never even so much as had a molar pulled, or any surgery what-so-ever in my whole life. So I'm a little shell shocked even now and am having a hard time processing the whole thing. I've blocked huge portions of the whole experience. I also think back to before the birth and feel very sad and somehow cheated. I can't help but feel I did something wrong to cause the c-section. Worse than that, when I think of going into labor, instead of feeling reminiscent, I feel angry. Like if only I had not gone into labor then, maybe things would have turned out different.

I'm also really mad because if I hadn't had a Cesarean, I'd be back to "normal" by now (at least in the topical sense of "normal"). But with a big old hole in my belly, I'm benched for weeks and weeks! I can't even pick my son up in his infant car seat, I can't vacuum, can't work in the garden. For me, that's unbearably frustrating and hard to deal with. All my work is just piling up and there is nothing I can do about it. It's driving me insane.

I know all this is utterly illogical, and honestly-- silly. I'm grateful my son is born and healthy, no matter how. But those other feelings are plaguing me. Anyone else have a similar situation with a c-section delivery?
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There isn't anything illogical or silly about it. Both of my boys were born by c section, and it was NOT fun. The older one was a 9 lb sunny side up complete breech baby, but I did manage to get my Dr. to wait until I went into labor instead of just scheduling his birthday! I worked SO hard and so long with my second, I really didn't want another c section, but my labor was getting me nowhere, and he ended up being in a complete transverse breech anyway. He wouldn't budge, and he is still that stubborn to this day.
The recovery time from a section is ridiculous, and I remember going out of my mind with boredom and miserable about not being up and about. I am grateful though, that I had those surgeries available, because in another time or place, my older son and I could have died if it weren't for the doctors. It did kind of ruin the experience for me though! Now, they are 13 and 8 and making me nuts, but I love 'em more than anything.
Having a c-section can be traumatic, especially when you didn't plan for one.

My DD was born that way. Her HR went from 130 to 69 during a contraction.
The scariest part for me was after they got her out there was no crying.
She spent a week in NICU.

As for the "big hole" in your belly it is really not that bad. This coming from a woman who has had 2 major surgeries, not including the c-section. One of which involved an 9in verticle incision.
I was only laid up for a week after the c-section. Over 2 weeks with the other one.

If you are still having a hard time dealing with this talk with your doctor, they might be able to get you to a good counselar to help you deal with it better.

Read above post edit.

My doctor told me to not drive and just take it easy.
I was walking 3 blocks from where I was staying to the hospital every day for the entire week DD was in NICU.
This was just 2 days after the c-section.
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I ended up with two c-sections after hard labors with both of my kids. 36 hours of labor including 3 hours of hard pushing with the first, and a very similar time frame with the second. The first time I was very depressed, as though there was something I could have done differently or "better". There wasn't. The second time, my OB told me that there is likely something different about the shape of my pelvis that caused both babies to get stuck.

It was frustrating to me to see my best friend have her baby three weeks after my first, and be up and around and perfectly normal two days later. I can admit I was very envious of her.

It is especially hard not being able to do the things you normally do. One thing I did a lot of was plain old walking - that strengthened up my stomach and alleviated a lot of the pain very quickly. And it's okay to be angry that things didn't go the way you wanted and annoyed with all the work piling up around you - don't invalidate your feelings. Just remember that it will get better.
I suspect postpartum hormones might still be making things weird. I haven't had a c-section, so I can't speak from experience, but I suspect that the hormone storm might be worse, especially having gone into labor. The labor hormones go in a natural progression, and change after birth; I would think that a mid-labor c-section short circuits things. Talk to your doctor about it, and ask if the limited activity is really required. It might be a CYA situation for the doctor in terms of limited what you can do.
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It makes perfect sense to feel cheated, but the reward and reassurance comes from seeing your beautiful healthy baby and knowing you both made it home alive.

My first born was over 9 pounds, and same as your situation he was posterior so instead of his face against my spine...the back of his head was. He was 2.5 weeks late (still bothers me they let him go so long) and they had to induce me. After 24 hours of nasty back labor and 3.5 hours of pushing (and having him get stuck...they tried forceps and suction thingies) I had to have an emergency c-section. It was an all out nightmare. My doctor told me if I had tried the "all fours" position of pushing he might have turned around. I loved her, but resented that comment. It has lingered in my brain that it was something I did wrong, or could have prevented. Grr.

For my 2nd child I opted for the scheduled c-section. She was born a day before her brother's birthday (3 years later) and everything went fine. However, I notice that 7.5 years later it STILL hurts to do sit ups because of the scar tissue, and I haven't been able to concieve or grow a baby since. We've tried and had several miscarriages...we think it is the scar tissue preventing me from carrying past a certain point.

You will be vacuuming and carrying your carseat bundle in no time. Let the "stuff" pile up and don't worry about it. You'll get to it, and do what you can for now. If anyone judges your dishes, carpet or dirty laundry piling up, you go post partum insane on them!
You are a super mom without having a Martha Stewart house. Relax and delegate duties to others and recruit lots of help. You are allowed to. I hope you have a swift healing and can relax and enjoy your baby. No reason to guilt trip yourself over something that was out of your control. Count your many blessings and let the piddly stuff go to the wayside. Congratulations momma!
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I had two c-sections, the first was an emergency with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and my blood pressure was way too high. The 2nd was scheduled because the doctor would not let me deliver due to the fact he was unsure how I was cut and the hospital only keeps minimal records after 10 years. My DD is 18 and my DS is 7. I never listen to Doctors and do what my body tells me I can do because I had to do it. I didn't drive and stuff like that, but I did do cleaning, washing, cooking as I felt like it. I was the sole care giver for my son and there was no relief available. I was very tired and for 6 months and I felt like a zombie with no sleep and working and keeping up the house. The spectrum could be way worse, but do talk to someone if you have it available to you. If there are relatives that can keep your child and you could get with some friends and do your gardening together and clean together. Do what you can and let them do the things you can't. That way you feel you have accomplished something.

Of course this is advice, and we (I) do not know your (whole) circumstance, and if you feel this is postpartum depression, please seek help. I know our local University offers counseling on a sliding fee scale and postpartum depression can be very serious. Even if it's not, talking to someone about it (a professional) could may be help you turn around your experience and focus on the positives and make it a more wonderful memory.
mom'sfolly :

I suspect post-parteum (sorry about the spelling) hormones might still be making things weird. I haven't had a c-section, so I can't speak from experience, but I suspect that the hormone storm might be worse, especially having gone into labor. The labor hormones go in a natural progression, and change after birth; I would think that a mid-labor c-section short circuits things. Talk to your doctor about it, and ask if the limited activity is really required. It might be a CYA situation for the doctor in terms of limited what you can do.

I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on TV
, so take this in the spirit it's intended: The dr.'s restrictions are mostly for worst case scenario people, such as those who were in poor physical condition before their pregnancy and c-section. If you feel good enough to do some vacuuming or pull some weeds, go ahead. But listen to your body - it will let you know when you need to rest. If you overdo it and tear your abs or worse, you'll be laid up a whole lot longer than six weeks.

I did carry my babies in their car seats because I had no choice when I had to go somewhere. I also carried laundry baskets, etc. but I made sure they weren't too heavy. You can always split a load and make two trips rather than hurt yourself.

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