Nervous About Your Scheduled C-Section? 5 Truths You Need To Know

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c-section scar on mom

Inside: Are you wondering what to expect for a scheduled C-section? Learn what to expect from your scheduled c-section as I share my experience in the hopes that it will help someone!

In a little less than two weeks, lil man will be a year old. I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was arriving at the hospital for my scheduled cesarean section (C-section). I was a ball of nerves. I had all kinds of thoughts racing through my head.

This might not have been my first birth story, but it was my first c-section. My other babies were delivered vaginally and up until 30 weeks into this pregnancy I was pretty sure lil man would be delivered the same way. Well, he had something else in store for me.

We found out at our 30-week check-up that lil man was breech. Because of my age and my health issues, my doctors wouldn’t allow me to go past 39 weeks.

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That gave me nine weeks to figure something out. No matter what I tried, Moxibustion, hypnobabies, spinning babies, a chiropractor, it was all in vain. Lil man was not budging.

I was definitely having a C-section at 39 weeks.

Are you are planning on a scheduled C-Section?…I’m about to share with you how everything goes from my personal experience.

A C-Section is a Birth

First, I want to get this out. You may hear some less than informed people say that a C-section isn’t a “real birth,” whatever the heck that means. I have even heard a C-section is the easy way out. Yeah ok, because major surgery is the easy way out of childbirth.

A C-section is MAJOR surgery folks. And it IS a delivery; it IS giving birth. It is the surgical delivery of your baby, but a delivery and birth nonetheless.

As someone who has had two “natural births” and a C-section birth, if anyone ever tells you a C-section is anything less than a birth…piss on their less than informed opinion. Sorry, not sorry, for the colorful language ladies- but I am passionate about this.

What is the C-Section Procedure Like?

Before my C-section I scoured the internet searching for information about what the procedure would be like if you are squeamish like I am DO NOT watch a C-section video. If you can handle that stuff then by all means Google away.  Otherwise, skip the video and stick to words on a screen. You can thank me later.

No Food Before A Scheduled C-Section

Because of the anesthesia, the last meal before your C-section will be about 8-12 hours before your scheduled surgery. So eat up mama and have a good-sized, healthy dinner.

No matter how great it sounds as you are passing the Dunkin Donuts. Don’t stop and grab donuts on the way to the hospital. It will only delay your surgery.

Arrival

pregnant woman checking into hospital for scheduled c-section

Plan to arrive about 2-3 hours ahead of your scheduled C-section. This is to allow time for check-in and prep. You will change into a stunning hospital gown, go over your health history, sign some paperwork, have blood work done, your IV started, and baby will be monitored.

Your hubby or plus one will be in a waiting area while you are getting prepped. Try and relax. They will bring them back as soon as you are all ready. They’ll even have some nice scrubs of their own!

The anesthesiologist will swing by, go over your health history again, explained everything in detail, and answer any question you have. Your anesthesiologist will be in the OR with you, monitoring you the entire time.

Note: This is an excellent time to let them know if you get sick from anesthesia as I do. They can give you medicine ahead of time to help minimize nausea.

Your doctor will stop by and may perform one last ultrasound to see if baby has changed positions. They have been known to turn in the 11th hour magically.

Not in my case.

It’s Go Time

Once again you will leave your husband or plus 1 for about 15-20 minutes while you are wheeled into the OR for final prep.  

The anesthesiologist will begin the spinal block to numb you from the waist down. I will be honest; it isn’t the most awesome feeling in the world. Just make sure you curve over in a C-shaped position, don’t hunch, and hold real still.

spinal block c-section

Once you are numbed, you will lay down, and a nurse will insert a catheter, shave your bikini area, and do a once over cleaning down there.

Yup, ladies you can shave prior if you want, but they will go over it again most likely. This is to minimize any chance of infections.

The OR will be busy with your entire care team. You probably won’t remember any of the names you are given. I know I didn’t.

You will have compression sleeves placed on your legs to improve blood flow. They inflate/deflate every few seconds.

Your arms may be loosely strapped down to the table. Try not to panic as I did. They do this so you won’t accidentally breach the surgical area.

About this time your husband or plus one will arrive.

A final check will happen to ensure you cannot feel anything.

It’s time!

Meeting Baby

Once the incision is made it is only seconds before baby is born. Though you won’t feel the incision, you will feel some pressure as they are making their way to baby. BREATHE!

I remember feeling pretty nauseous at this point! I kept telling myself to breathe.  

Be sure to communicate with your anesthesiologist so they can provide you relief!

The doctor might explain that you will feel some tugging as they pull the baby out. Let me tell you, it felt like the table collapsed under me, and a big whoosh like an elephant was lifted from my body.

This is normal!

Ah, baby is here!!! You did it, mama!

The doctor may hold baby up over the curtain for you to take your first peek before baby is taken over to the warmer, monitored, and cleaned up.

Ask your doctor or hospital about gentle C-section or family-centered procedures. Some hospitals allow for a clear drape for better viewing, your arms to be free from straps, immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and breastfeeding. Each hospital will have different policies. My hospital allowed for a few of these options but not all.

The doctor will now begin to get you to put back together. If you are feeling up for it, some hospitals will allow skin to skin once baby has been assessed.

I was feeling pretty shaky so the nurse held lil man to me so I could have some sweet snuggles. Make sure your plus 1 has the camera so you can capture all those special first moments!

c-section mom meeting baby

Now, one thing I want to prepare you for that I never read was the shakes that can occur with a C-section. These can happen anytime during the C-section procedure. I remember my whole body trembling after lil man was born. My teeth rattled so hard, and I thought they would fall out of my head. And I was so cold.

My anesthesiologist had warm blankets put on my upper body and talked me through them.

Recovery Room

While the doctor is closing you up, the baby and your plus one will be taken to the recovery area to wait for you. I met baby and hubby there about 20 minutes after.

My hospital required I stay in the recovery area until I was able to move my feet around and feeling came back. We were there for about 1-2 hours.

While we waited in the recovery area, the nurses helped me to position and breastfeed lil man. There were lots of baby snuggles and photo ops.

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The recovery nurses will also check your incision area for bleeding and reinforce the waterproof dressing if necessary. One thing that isn’t pleasant that deserves mentioning is when they push on your tender stomach to aid the uterus in contracting.

If all looks well and the effects of the anesthesia have begun to wear off, you will make your way to your hospital room where you will stay for the next 3-4 days and start your C-section recovery.

Having A Scheduled C-Section?

Maybe it isn’t your ideal way of giving birth, like in my case. Or perhaps you love the idea of having it all planned out, and you are 100% ok with having a C-section.  Whatever your situation is my advice is to make sure you ask as many questions as you need to until you feel comfortable with your C-section delivery.

For me, the unknown is what sends my anxiety into a tailwind.

I had a fantastic group of doctors and nurses. Though a scheduled C-section wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned when I first learned of my pregnancy, I am just relieved and blessed that lil man came into this world safe and sound.

Are you scheduled for a C-section? Or did you have a scheduled C-section? Comment below with your questions or your experience. I would love to hear from you.

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pregnant woman in hospital


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