@Janna – I am sorry to hear that the birth is not going to happen as planned but sometimes that can be for the best. As you may have read from my birth story, I wasn’t planning on having a c-section either but the baby wasn’t fitting past my pelvic bone so we made the decision to have a c-section.
I think the other ladies hit the nail on the head. The surgery and up to 24 hours later are pretty pain free because of the drugs you are on, so you will be more relaxed and can focus more on the beauty of the birth without the pain.
I obviously cannot speak for everyone but my recovery went pretty well. Of course once the drugs wore off, I was sore all around the incision. The most pain I felt was actually in my neck and shoulder area. Sounds weird, I know. From what the nurses and doctor’s have told me, it was from gas (not really the gas you are thinking of) generated from the surgery that traveled to my neck causing that area to stiffen up like. Since I had that pain as well, I just made sure I was on top of my pain by getting the meds (percocet & motrin – alternated every 4 hours) as needed. One week post-op, i didn’t need them anymore.
You just have to make sure you take care of yourself. You will need to walk around to prevent clotting but you don’t want to over do it. I know a day or so after the surgery my swelling disappeared and it was wonderful but it didn’t last. By the time I came home, the swelling came back and was worse than what I went through with the pregnancy. This is fairly common. It will get worse before it gets better but it doesn’t last long.
What I didn’t see in any of the above posts (sorry if I missed it), you will bleed for 6 – 8 weeks post-op, so have plenty of pads on hand. It is pretty heavy the first two weeks or so but then lightens by the end. I am about to hit 6 weeks next week and today was my first day without a pad (yay me!). I don’t believe this is the same as a vaginal birth but I know nothing about that right now.
Also a word of advice from one of the nurses, she said because we can feel numb around the incision for months or even a year you should stay away from or be very careful when wearing pants with zippers. She said there were numerous times where women had zipped themselves up because they couldn’t feel it… Ouch!
As for the baby, because he/she will not be born vaginally, they will have more fluids in their lungs because with a vaginal birth the fluids are actually squeezed out of the baby. As a result, some c-section babies have to spend some time in the NICU. Because my DD was full term she didn’t spend any time there but about 2 days after her birth she turned blue on us twice because she was choking on the fluid. Luckily our nurse was in the room and helped her immediately. That was pretty scary but the doctor and nurses checked her to make sure her airflow wasn’t blocked which is wasn’t. They did let us know that it could take up to 48 hrs for this fluid to be released. A relief but it drove my hubby and I bonkers.
I know my post is all over the place but these are a few things that stuck out to me.
Just make sure you do some research and ask your docs and nurses all kinds of questions. This is the best way to feel some comfort when you go through this.
Best of Luck Janna!