When my doctors recommended that I should have a C-section, I had no idea of what to expect or prepare for. I decided to make a list that may help women out there know what to look forward to. I had a great experience, but I wish I knew ahead of time the things to expect. I tried to compile these points as they came along during delivery day.
1) You cannot eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the procedure.
2) You have to shower with an antiseptic soap the night before and the morning of your C-section. (Soap is usually provided at your prep appointment)
3) After your IV is setup, you are cleaned from top to bottom by a nurse. Although you may have showered with the anti-septic soap, the nurse will go over you again, this time cleaning your nostrils, ears, and nails. You will also have to brush your teeth with the antiseptic soap as well.
4) For anesthesia, you will be asked if you want a Spinal injection or Epidural.
Spinal:One time injection with a narcotic (My injection was DuraMorph- long acting morphine derivative). This anesthesia takes seconds to minutes to work. You may or may not need additional anesthesia. I ended up needing additional and fentanyl was given IV.
Epidural:Continuous anesthesia via catheter placed in spinal area. This anesthesia takes several minutes to full effect.
5) Your Blood pressure and oxygen levels are constantly monitored.
6) You will be whisked away to the operating room before your spouse or significant other.
7) Once there, a catheter is placed in your urethra to allow your urine to flow into a bag. This may or may not be before you enter the operating room. The catheter is removed after 24 hours.
8) If you asked for a Spinal, your anesthesia will be given at this point (in the operating room). An epidural is given earlier in the prep room since it takes longer to numb the area.
9) A cap will be placed over your hair.
10) Your spouse will be allowed to enter the room with you shortly and will also be prepped and place in hospital gear.
11) You are allowed to wear contacts. I kept my contacts on during the procedure. I was not asked if I had any on, and I didn’t say anything. I’m sure they are allowed, however, I decided not to mention them at all. After all, I wanted to see everything in the operating room clearly.
12) The average operating time is 45 minutes. (First 5 to 15 minutes, your baby is delivered. The rest of the time is to remove the placenta and close your incision.)
13) You and your spouse are behind a closure with an opening so you can see your baby once born.
14) Because it is a surgical procedure, your spouse cannot cut the umbilical cord.
15) Once the procedure begins, you will smell your flesh burning.
16) You will also feel tons of pressure. Pressure is different from pain. If you feel more pain than pressure definitely let your anesthesiologist know. You will feel the most pressure when the doctors are moving your baby out of your uterus. A LOT OF PRESSURE!
17) You will have to wait 12 hours before getting to walk.
18) It takes 6 weeks to heal (longer internally)
19) You will be in the hospital for 3 days. Before leaving, your urine output will be monitored, you are encouraged to shower on your own and also have a bowel movement.
20) Cost: It costs 2 to 3 times more than a vaginal delivery (Vaginal can cost $7,000 to $15,000 vs. $14,000 to 45,000 for C-section). The cost will vary depending on your state, your hospital, and your insurance.
Lastly, when you get home, take it easy. Focus on your baby and let everyone else that can help you do everything else. You cannot lift anything heavy for the 6 weeks you are healing besides your baby. It is also very important to keep your incision clean and dry to prevent infection.
Hope this helps and you can look forward to your C-section with ease. Just think that you will see your beautiful baby in the first 5 to 15 minutes of the procedure. It will all be worth it.