Saturday, January 17, 2009

2 Hours Leading Up to a Scheduled C-Section


UPDATE:  

In 2016 I updated this article along with pictures.  Visit my new website at Morgan Lang Photography to learn more on what happens during the 2 hours before a scheduled c-section!



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Someone recently asked why you are supposed to be at the hospital 2 hours before a repeat c-section and wondered what goes on during that time. This is a great question! I wanted to share my response on here in case someone reading this blog is anticipating a scheduled c-section. I will describe what happens during those 2 hours as they happened at the hospital I delivered at, so there may be some variances depending on what type of hospital you go with.

First they check you in and take you to your room. If there's any more paperwork you need to fill out, you'll do it then. The nurse will lay out your gown, and socks and ask you to change. You'll change into it and go back to your bed and maybe catch some TV while you wait for the nurse to come back.

When she comes back, she'll put the wrist band on you and your husband that will match the baby, then she'll put an additional one or two on you. She'll start the monitoring on you- contractions & heartbeat, draw some blood, and get the IV going. If they need to shave around where the incision goes, then it would probably be somewhere around this time.

They'll monitor you like this for a while. After an hour of being there or maybe more, the nurse comes back in with some nasty bitter stuff to drink- anti-nausea stuff. The anesthesiologist and your O.B. will both come back and talk with you and see if you have any last minute concerns. You may get a chance to talk with your baby's nurse (the one who will be responsible for getting him cleaned up, weighed...). This is a good time to remind them what you would like in regards to getting to hold the baby, keeping the baby with you, breastfeeding, ect. After talking with the docs., it's getting real close.

Your nurse will come back in and have you put on a hat and ask your husband to go and change into scrubs and a hat.

Then they will have you walk to the O.R., there they will start the spinal (after this is started, they'll allow your husband back in) & catheter, and then it's been about 2 hours! Time for the baby to come out!

*You'll probably find a scheduled c-section to be more layed back than with an unplanned or emergency c-section. Everyone is calm, relaxed, and not very stressed. You actually WALK into the O.R., (or at least are given the choice t0) instead of being rushed in on a hospital bed. Things are nice and smooth and no one is in too terribly of a hurry. This is nice not only because it helps calm fears a little (vs. when people are running around nuts because something is wrong), but it's also nice because it gives you a chance to go over any last minute concerns or requests regarding the birth and the baby.

Knowing for weeks that you going to have surgery can be scary, but do know that repeat c-sections go so much smoother than emergency ones!

24 comments:

  1. What a PERFECT description! Both of my c-sections were scheduled (breech yen repeat) and they were as smooth as you described! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. wow thanks very much for a great description :) i really enjoyed reading this it eased my mind and i had a c section the first time now it is scheduled :)

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  2. I really appreciated reading this! My c-section was an emergency c- section after 5 hours of pushing with no progress and while we want a big family I've been a little freaked out since then (actually more then a little). Reading this makes me feel a little bit calmer! At our hospital (1.5 hours from our house) they don't do VBACs, so I think my next will be a c-section. Thanks!

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  3. This all sounds *very* familiar....ha!

    I have had c-sections at four different hospitals - all over the country - and I have ALWAYS had my catheter put in *before* my spinal. I always wondered when I read other mommas talk about having that put in AFTER their spinal/epidural....cause I *really* hate the catheter! I have to request a pediatric cath, as I guess I just have a small urethra (sp?).

    So anyways, I wish that icky part could happen when I was numb down-there....*sigh*

    I will say the worst part for me is that time when I walk into the surgery room, WITHOUT my dh, to get the spinal. Here I am, cold & alone (well, I feel alone with my dh), leaning on some nurse that I don't really know - who is trying to comfort me as I get this final rush of emotions: anxiety, fear, excitment, etc. Plus, I'm mostly naked in this room full of people! That's just the hardest part for me.

    Once my legs start to go numb, and they help me swing my legs onto the surgery table and I get all situated - then my dh walks in and things really get going! From then on, I'm excited! I enjoy talking to the nurses & docs, especially my anesthesiologist (sp?) as he/she is right there by my head and can see all that is going on.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing all that! I know c-sections can seem really scary for a first-timer - but like you said, the scheduled ones are fairly calm and controlled.
    ~Lori

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  4. Thanks for this post! I had an emergency c-section under general anesthesia back a little over a year and a half ago, and everything turned out fine- but for some reason I'm getting a little freaked out at the thought of my scheduled c-section looming ahead in 9 weeks! It helps to have an idea what to expect.

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  5. I am having a scheduled C-section in 9 weeks. My first was an emergency and definately was not calm and relaxed. My husband (my daughter's step-dad) is a little nervous about being there with me and was asking what it would be like. Since I've only experienced the rush and nerves of an emergency C-Section, I couldn't describe it very well. This is perfect for him to read so he will have an idea of what is going on. Thanks!

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  6. Thankyou reading tis helps bigtime as i am having my second c-section in a months time and have been very nervous since the first was an emergency and very caotic. Thanks Kato:)

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  7. Wow! Thank you bunches for posting this! I am a first timer and having a scheduled c-section in 2 days! I am filled with mixed emotions and anxiety, but I feel a lot better now knowing that things will most likely be calm and relaxed. I've never had to be in the hospital for anything and never had surgery, so the thought of a c-section is kind of ominous, but I'm glad it's a happy kind of surgery where I'll be able to finally meet my daughter. Thanks again for the posting!!

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  8. Thank you so much! I am having a scheduled c-section and I wasn't sure what to expect but I feel a little more prepared now. Still a little nervous but sounds much easier than my first emergency c-section.

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  9. I was wondering what any of ladies experienced having a c-section under general anesthesia? I have had 15 surgeries due to orthopedic issues and this is my first surgery that is going to be for something other than that. I am so nervous-don't know why. Any thoughts?

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  10. I had an emergency c-section under general anesthesia because...

    I had pre-eclampsia and was sent for an emergency c-section. After two attempts at an epidural I FREAKED OUT on the table and insisted they do general. It was not cool. I'm pregnant again and am really working on these issues with anxiety. ;-)

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  11. I just found your blog, and this will sound really corny, but I feel like it's a Christmas present! Thank you for posting all of this info on c sections. I've had 2, and it's so comforting to read that others have similar thoughts and experiences -- and go on to have more healthy children! Thank you for all of this and please know that your blog is very helpful and encouraging.

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  12. That answers what ive been wondering, Im so scared I thought it would be easier to do the unexpected for some reason, because waiting makes my anxious/nervous im going to have my section tomorrow ahhhhhhh, after having one 11 months ago with my son, well wish me the best!

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  13. I realize you posted this quite awhile ago, but wanted to thank you just the same. :-)

    Going in on *tomorrow* now for my second c-section & this one is planned. I heard it was more relaxed but after a horrible first experience with the last one, I've been nervous none-the-less. Thx for letting me know what to expect this time, I really do hope it goes as smoothly as you have posted! :-)

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  14. Thank you as this was posted a while ago..... I will be going soon and i was a little worried and wanted to know what happens. Thank you once again for this post :)

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  15. I'm having a scheduled c-section in 5 weeks. I was wondering do they induce your labor and do you have to sit there until your contractions are a certain amount of minutes apart before they walk you down to the operating room?

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  16. I'm scheduled for a c-section in 5 weeks. Do they induce your labor and do you have to sit there until your contractions get to a certain number before they walk you down to the operating room?

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  17. I'm having a scheduled c-section in 5 weeks. I was wondering do they induce your labor and do you have to sit there until your contractions are a certain amount of minutes apart before they walk you down to the operating room?

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  18. With a scheduled c-section, labor is not induced because there is no reason for it to be. An induction also brings a higher risk of uterine rupture for women that have had previous c-sections.

    So, no inducing. You will probably be prepped in the room you will recover in (just depends on the hospital), and then you will walk into the O.R. when they are ready to get started with the c-section (which is where the spinal takes place too).

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  19. Thank you so much for posting this up because I am having a c-section in 2 days and I have no idea what to expect. I will make sure to tell them to put the catheter in after they numb me up first. Thanks!!

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  20. Do u have to get a spinal or epidural for a cesarean. Or are there other options? I'm scared this is my second time but the first was emergency. So I was put to sleep I kinda want to be put to sleep again someone help me!!!!

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  21. A spinal or epidural is what is usually done. To my knowledge, there are greater risks with general anesthesia (putting someone to sleep) than with the spinal, so they generally try to avoid that if they can.

    It is scary knowing you'll be awake during surgery, but it is kind of nice too. You'll be able to hear your baby's first cries and be able to hold Baby before long after surgery. You'll also be able to breastfeed a lot quicker. I was able to nurse my baby as soon as we were back in our room to recover, which was less than an hour after birth.

    Talk with your doctor about your fears. He or she may be able to help you not be as scared and may give you options on how to make it a good experience.

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  22. Thanks. This REALLY helped calm my nerves. My son was born 3 years ago in emergency C-section and there was no thought about the surgery or epidural. I really wasn't sure what to expect on this day, looming near in 4 weeks. This is very helpful, thanks for posting.

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  23. This was SUPER helpful! Thank you! I am having my 3rd c-section in 3 months, but this is the first one that is actually planned. So I really didn't know what to expect. I love your birth plans, too. Gave me all kinds of ideas for having things the way I want. I am glad that even c-section moms can go pretty "natural" these days. I am even getting my placenta encapsulated this time, and my OB was just fine with it.

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