Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weird Things that Can Happen During a C-Section

This is a list of weird/unexpected c-section side effects that I wish someone would have told me about before I gave birth. For those of you that have had a c-section before, did you have any of these things happen? If so, were you scared? Have any of you had any other unexpected side effects during a c-section?

*Uncontrollable Shaking I had no idea that shaking was normal when I had my first c-section. I started to panic a bit because I thought something was wrong. I was really glad to hear that this is normal, okay, and even something that happens to tons of c-section moms. Know that the shaking goes away as the spinal wears off.

*Being numb all the way up to your chest and being unable to feel yourself breathe With each of my c-sections, I have felt numb in my hands and face, and it is very scary, but it's only been really bad with my first two c-sections. The anesthesiologists did the spinal a slightly lower with my last two babies and that seemed to help a little.

*Still being able to feel your legs during surgery, but having no pain I've only had this happen once. It wasn't a bad thing at all, but it was a bit of a surprise.

*Feeling really cold, even with a pile of warm blankets on you. It goes away as the spinal wears off.

*Really really bad pain in your shoulders, arms, and other various places.
You can blame trapped gas on this one. I was very scared after my first c-section when my arm started hurting really bad. My nurse informed me that it was from gas, but I had no idea how common it is for c-section moms. With my 4th. c-section, I had really bad pain from the gas in my shoulders, but remembering that it was normal helped me not get scared that something could be wrong.

*Itching like crazy EVERYWHERE! It's bad, and it's happened for me with every one of my c-sections. With my last one, the antihistamine they gave me didn't work. Then they tried something else, still didn't work. They told me the only other option was giving me something that would wipe out the itching, but would make the pain med. stop working. I opted to continue itching but be pain free.

If any of these things do happen to you during a c-section or recovery, tell your nurse/doctor/anesthesiologist. They can check and make sure everything is alright and help you feel better.


  1. Hey I like your blog background! I'm using the same, but tweaked it a little. Enjoyed reading your blog.

  2. The one thing I do remember mostly was the intense itching on my face during my 1st c-section. I remember feeling scared about it at first, thinking I was having an allergic reaction or something. But the anesthesiologist explained that it was a normal side effect. It drove me nuts though!!

    I was knocked out for my 2nd c-section and what I remember from that one was my throat hurting pretty badly from the breathing tube they had put down my throat. I felt like I had something stuck in the back of my throat for like two days.

    Oh and the one thing I wish so much that someone had told me was how much it would hurt if you sneezed or coughed (or even laughed) right after a c-section. I had to cough really bad and I could barely cough due to the pain!

  3. Thank you Kas. The black and white print is fun- I've seen it on other blogs too : )

    Helene- The pain when sneezing- that reminds me of something I think I will write tommorow. Ugh, that itching though, just thinking about it makes me feel itchy even now!

  4. I had horrid gas pain in my shoulder after my 2nd. I have to say, even at that time, I would rather have another c-section then to go through that kind of pain again.

  5. When I had my emergency c (i'll be having a scheduled c in 2 weeks), I woke up with unbearable itching, it was so bad my skin was flaking, they told me it was from the Morphine, when they transferred me to a higher level hospital, i was still itching so badly i couldn't rest. Finally a nurse said she was going to call my Doctor to approve a shot of NUBAIN - what a Godsend! it stopped the itching and let me rest finally.
    That was 5 years ago, and i was so thankful that the nurse told me what it was that i will never foret the name and will be requesting my doctor to preapprove it for this c-section! Hope this helps someone else in the same predicament:)

  6. I would just like to add, my worst c-section moment (I have had 3) was during my 1st spinal. I was sure they had cut off my legs, LOL. I MADE the nurse lift up my legs and show them to me before I let them start the c-section. I'm not even a drama queen, but boy, you really miss them when you think they're gone!

  7. Wow! Who knew there were so many bizarre side effects! I am glad c-sections are available for moms who need them, but equally glad I didn't have to have one!

  8. Thank you so much for all of the useful information on your blog! A couple of weeks ago I had my second c-section, and had bad shoulder pain. (I think I had already read this post, but must have forgotten the reason why this can happen.) I think I shook a lot more than I did with the first one. The darn anesthesiologist told me to try to hold still but I absolutely could not. Thanks also for writing about cloth diapering. I have just begun (for my first child I just used disposables).

  9. AMEN! My first C-section I was in major pain in my shoulders. I had to have my husband massage them a lot too. It's so weird that trapped gas can do that to my poor shoulders.

    My second one I had the major itching. Mostly my face but it was everywhere. I couldn't stand it. I also was very cold. My husband got to be the first to have skin on skin contact with our son. I was kind of sad that he got it before me but I wanted our baby to have that so my DH got to do it. He was in heaven.

    I also hated the feeling of being so drugged that my eyes were tripping out. All I wanted to do was sleep to make it go away.

  10. At my c-sec the spinal started to wear off before they were done stitching me up (owwwwch) anyway so they put Ketamine into my IV yes ketamine (AKA date rape drug) I couldnt see anything around me except white..I was thinking though and I couldnt hear anything either...I thought maybe I was dead. As it started to wear off I could see my IV pole then the rest of the Operating room...but apparantly when you are under the influence of ketamine you can say all sorts of things...things you probably wouldnt ever say aloud....I guess I told the nurses when they were straitening out my hospital gown "What? Is my boob showing?" Something I can ASSURE you I would've NEVER said normally! Yikes

  11. I completely agree about the gas pain. It was so strange! Luckily my mother, who is an RN, quickly identified the problem. She was all "Oh, radiating pain in the shoulder area? You just need to fart." Strangest side effect ever!

  12. Just had a C Section 8 days ago and experiencing the horrible arm/shoulder pain from referred gas. NO pain medication has helped. Does anyone know what to do to alleviate the pain and get the gas out of there?

  13. Leah-

    I'm sorry you're having gas pain. I remember how awful that feels!

    Moving around and walking, heat pads where the pain is, and lots of rest is all I can think of.

    Give your doctor's office a call and see if they can suggest anything else.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  14. After my 1st csection all I had was extreme shaking and twitching and LOTS of gas. (Lovely when you have a room FULL of visitors and you cant stop tooting!) LOL After my 2nd one I vomited over 10 times the day of the csection..just from ice chips! Totally took me my surprise since with my 1st csection I ate solid food 3 hours after the birth and was just fine! I also had horrible gas pains after my 2nd!

  15. I had horrible itching after my first c-section- it lasted for almost 36 hours! The only cure was shots of nubain every few hours, which worked great- but left me very sleepy. For my 2nd c-section I had a long chat with the anesthesiologist and he said it was probably caused by the Duramorph... a drug you get that gives you long term pain relief for AFTER the c-section. He told me I could refuse it, so I did. I didn't have any itching at all! It was a much better recovery!


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