10 Things You Might Not Know (Or Want to Know) About a C-Section

The useless curtain, the eerie numbness and the vacuum effect: the c-section process is a surreal experience.
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10 Things You Might Not Know (Or Want to Know) About a C-Section

The useless curtain, the eerie numbness and the vacuum effect: the c-section process is a surreal experience.

-Cathy Hale, MommyQ

Woman in hospital

When I had my first child in 2004, I was in labor for about 12 hours and only 4 centimeters dilated. I was running a fever of 102 degrees and things were getting complicated quickly, so my doctor decided to perform an emergency c-section. It was the first time I had ever been admitted to a hospital and the first time I’d ever undergone surgery. Let me assure you, I wasn’t mentally prepared at all.

The most vivid memory I have from my first c-section was how incredibly fast they got my son out and how it seemed like an eternity for me to get stitched up. While I’ve heard tons of horror stories about the epidural, mine wasn’t painful because I was in labor. The whole sitting still thing during active labor was much worse than the pain of the shot. Well, the first time I had the shot. Yes, I’m one of those lucky ladies who had to get two epidurals, because they missed the first time. I think my husband was much angrier about that than I was.

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A few years later in 2007, I had my second son and he came into this world via a planned c-section. Now I’ve had two – one while sick and painfully in labor and one with a fresh pedicure, styled hair, make-up and no pain. So which was worse? Well, they were surprisingly similar experiences.

1. Creepy Numbing Sensation
One of the wackiest and most uncomfortable aspects of the c-section was the fact that after the epidural starts working, you can move your upper body and wiggle your toes, but you can’t feel your legs or midsection. At no other point in your life do you want to move your legs more. Trust me. As soon as they tell you your legs won’t move, you really want to move them. I found that paralyzing sensation quite disturbing and awkward. It’s not something some of my friends remember as vividly, but it really bothered me.

2. Just a Flimsy Curtain
The next thing I noticed as they were prepping me for surgery was the only thing standing between me and the ickiness about to ensue below was a flimsy curtain. It wasn’t even thick like wool or a tapestry. I would’ve felt better if it had been some kind of brick partition or possibly a door like you’d find on a wall safe. I like my organs just fine, but I don’t like them enough to be that close to them when they are visible.

3. Don’t Look into the Light
I discovered another odd thing as they were prepping me for the c-section, which other moms have also noticed. When you are on the operating table (flat on your back), there is a big light fixture overhead. The doctors and nurses move that light around as needed. If the angle is right, the light acts as a mirror and you can actually see the reflection of your body in the light fixture. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s very possible to see things you don’t want to see. Hence the advice, don’t look into the light.


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4 thoughts on “10 Things You Might Not Know (Or Want to Know) About a C-Section

  1. barbsc61 says:

    i have had 3 c-sections and i have to admit they were quite a few years ago and i am aware that things have changed since then were talking 82-87-90 the first 2 i was awake for the 3 i went to sleep beside i had them tie my tubes at that time also the first was really easy and back then they perfered you to stay in the hospital 10 days i told the dr. my baby is ok and i am ok you’ve removed my stiches i want to go home after all I was in the hospital for 14 days anyway as it was wasnt staying anymore. the 2 was not nice I was given the shot to numb me about 7 times before i felt it take and when they got him out and weighed him i understood he weighed in 10 lbs 6 oz and was 23″ long the 3 one i cant say anything about it except that i was back in my room before i had woke up and to be told that i had i red headed girl by my husband when he was trying to make me laugh but i actually did have a big baby he was 10 lbs 15 oz he looked like a baby sumo wrestler when he was born cant tell now

  2. islandgirl says:

    I think the hardest part of the C-Section is the ugly glob of fatty tissue it left around the area. I have a naturally chubby tummy and being that this area is more or less dead after the C-section, it makes it impossible to lose that flab after the baby. Does anyone else have this problem?

  3. hotmommy5 says:

    I loved this article! I have had 5 c- sections and all were not pleasant to put it mildly. Thank God for all of them being healthy babies as a result. A c-section is terribly non personal as I have been told by women who deliver naturally. But oh well how would they know? It’s invasive, scarey and bonding is so short like you said. I kept my eyes shut once i had looked into the light I did not care to see more! The dough pouch we c-section warriors deal with is impossible to lose after the 4th for me. I am tight and toned and small in the middle but I have that pouch now! Number 5 was the worst! I can’t lose that little dough roll but want to thank you for talking about this subject! All the women in my family don’t know a thing about what us section girls go through. It’s tough! Tough on the mind and body very much! Sit ups and crunches have lessened my upper toso abs but nothing ther than surgery is gonna get rid of this , what I call my C-Roll!

  4. hotmommy5 says:

    I loved this article! I have had 5 c- sections and all were not pleasant to put it mildly. Thank God for all of them being healthy babies as a result. A c-section is terribly non personal as I have been told by women who deliver naturally. But oh well how would they know? It's invasive, scarey and bonding is so short like you said. I kept my eyes shut once i had looked into the light I did not care to see more! The dough pouch we c-section warriors deal with is impossible to lose after the 4th for me. I am tight and toned and small in the middle but I have that pouch now! Number 5 was the worst! I can't lose that little dough roll but want to thank you for talking about this subject! All the women in my family don't know a thing about what us section girls go through. It's tough! Tough on the mind and body very much! Sit ups and crunches have lessened my upper toso abs but nothing ther than surgery is gonna get rid of this , what I call my C-Roll!

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