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C-section and a toddler - recovery

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#1 avocado toast

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:34 AM

Hi all
I'm pregnant with my second and my DD will be 21months when baby arrives. I had a third degree tear and an episiotomy  giving birth to her (forceps) which resulted in operation and blood transfusion shortly after the delivery. It was a long recovery where I couldn't sit down or walk more than a few metres for 2 weeks (had to lie down constantly) and then sex was painful for almost a year after. Also had some incontinence issues. Everything is fine now but I don't know if I can risk going through it again.

So I'm considering an elective c this time around.

I'm concerned about the recovery with a c section and having a toddler. What are your experiences?

Edited by avocado toast, 25 June 2017 - 09:58 AM.

#2 liveworkplay

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:46 AM

I didn't have a toddler when recovering from my elective c/s. I would say I had an easy,quick recovery, but it still took me maybe 5 days before I was able to walk to the end of the street without exhaustion/pain. Your biggest issue will be not being able to lift ypur toddler or move quickly. I still got pain in my scar site weeks later if I moved too quickly in certain ways. The biggest thing to remember is that you are healing from the outside in. It is really important that you follow your care providers advice and not over do it. Do you have someone who can stay with you for the first few weeks? Also you will not be able to drive for those first few weeks. Many people do, but there are insurance implications if you are involved in an accident so check your policy for exclusion time after abdominal surgery.

I had a vbac with my second when DD1 was 26 mths old. I tore and had a episiotomy with failed vacuum and a forceps delivery (no other complications though) It was a much easier revovery and remember walking 2-3km less than a week later, something I could never have done after my c/s.

Edited by liveworkplay, 25 June 2017 - 09:53 AM.

#3 AdelTwins

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:50 AM

Experience with a planned c section was brilliant. So good that I am wondering if I should even try for a VBAC this time!

Get your catheter out as soon as you can. Then IV after you have shown you can pee the required amount! I delivered at 8am and had both out within 24hrs.

Then lots of gentle walking around the hospital. I had tubie grip from the physio to support my belly and stop pulling on the incision (twin belly).

Take all pain meds given and focus and on moving asap.

I can't speak to the toddler issue, as I just had the twins. I was driving after 10 days (with OB approval) but only short distances. You would have to change nappies on the floor for your toddler and if they are in a cot with sides you will have trouble lifting them into there. Getting the twin pusher out of the car was fine. Just take everything slowly and one step at a time.

#4 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:52 AM

You can drive if you get the ok from the OB - they will give you a letter for insurance purposes.

I had a very easy recovery but that was with my first so I didn't have to do anything but look after the tiny baby. The advice on not doing much house work is really important - things like lifting a full washing basket and vacuuming are really not a good idea. Cooking is fine.

But I will follow for other tips even though mine will be 3.5yo by the time number 2 arrives - she still loves being picked up.

#5 Lallalla

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:54 AM

I had a 22 month old toddler after my planned c-section. The recovery seemed very quick, in comparison to my emergency c-section anyway. I think I did slow it down a little bit by picking up my toddler when I was under instruction not to. I just found it too hard to never pick her up.

#6 lazycritter

Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:28 AM

My first was a vaginal birth. Then the next two were cs.

Cs 1 I had a 20 mth old
Cs 2 I had a 26 mth old and a not quite 4 year old.

I had a fair bit of family support around but I honestly found the recovery for both pretty easy.  

I would almost go as far as saying they were on par with my first vaginal birth and I didn't have any stitches with my vb.

Everyone is different though.

#7 eilca

Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:47 AM

My second c-s involved a 17 month old toddler, and like the first, it was a positive experience.  I did have my husband on hand for the first 2 weeks, but I heal very well, and despite warnings and the like, I was still able lift, cuddle and change nappies of the toddler.  I would adapt by asking her to hop up on the bed, or the change table (safe).

If sore, and she wanted lifting or a cuddle, I would ask her to follow me and hop up on me as we sat down.

Even at 17 months she was very good at understanding that Mum had an ouch.

But as I said, I heal well.  Do not be afraid to keep pain relief at a constant in the first week or so to help with movement, bending and healing.

I was back driving at 4 weeks- okay by my insurance.

Good luck.

#8 Soontobegran

Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:21 AM

I can't imagine you'd be in much more pain with an elective C/S than you first vaginal experience.
I think some people are unaware just how painful large vaginal and perineal tears and episiotomies can be for weeks and then you have to sit on them, wee over them and poo past them.
My DD had a similar experience, her elective C/S was a breeze to recover from, she drove in under 3 weeks. She works in insurance, it is not a problem unless you are given a strict ' you must not drive' from your doctor and they don't do this, they know each person is likely to wait until they are comfortable to drive before they do.
Good luck with your decision.

Edited by Soontobegran, 25 June 2017 - 11:22 AM.

#9 c.sanders

Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:53 AM

Planned c-sections are great! And since you are rested you recover much better.
Pro tip: make sure you take all the meds on offer for any pain. Don't try to be strong especially the first few days.
I also recommend lots of vitamin c and fibre.

#10 Riotproof

Posted 25 June 2017 - 12:24 PM

I didn't have a toddler either time, but I did recover quite well from both of my csections.

My advice is to walk as soon as they encourage you, keep up the pain relief and be very sensible about lifting. It's going to depend on your 2 year old but mine still likes to be carried a fair bit, so I would try and line up after birth support for that. Though if you get to full term, i imagine you'll start winding back at late pregnancy anyway.

#11 HolierThanCow

Posted 25 June 2017 - 12:49 PM

I've recently had my second c/s and have a 23 month old and 9 year old this time (I had a 7 year old after the first, so no lifting issue).

I'm finding it ok to lift my toddler from the floor to my knee for stories etc. if she helps and mostly climbs up (so, we're talking more a 10cm lift from a bent-over position to give her the idea she's being lifted, then she does the rest herself). I wasn't able to carry her in late pregnancy due to a back issue so was already crouching down to cuddle her and holding her hand to go places before the c/s. It's more the lack of time I have to spend with her that is the issue now; she wants to hold the baby and feels left out when she can't, has decided she wants to be breastfed again (whaaaaaat???) and is jealous that the baby can be and she isn't... so, general issues from a new baby with a toddler rather than anything really c/s related.

In terms of recovery, I had an easier recovery after my first c/s two years ago, probably due to a couple of relatively minor but annoying complications this time. One was definitely c/s related, the other was probably related to my bad back. I lost a moderate amount of blood during surgery due to there being two blood vessels right under the incision they needed to make to break the amniotic sac, and I wasn't able to get up the next day as I did with my first due to feeling dizzy. It wasn't enough to warrant a blood transfusion so not really serious, but it did delay the recovery a little. The other thing was a pulled muscle in my side. No-one knows exactly how or when it happened, but having that on top of normal incision pain has been more challenging than my first c/s, but again it's not really serious and I can still walk around. It was most awkward over the first two days, before the incision pain started to subside and I realised that the pain I was experiencing was from a different place. Had they realised sooner, I would have been given more anti-inflammatory medication to deal with it.

For what its worth... all the women I know personally (not on the internet!) who have had complicated vaginal births and uncomplicated c/s have all preferred the c/s. I know a couple of people who didn't exactly regret their VBAC, but thought in hindsight that a repeat c/s would probably have been better in terms of long-term damage (pelvic floor issues in both cases). I had an uncomplicated vaginal birth with my first and to be honest I would call it about 50/50, probably a little in favour of the c/s despite the complications after this one (very minor ones in the grand scheme of things, admittedly). I hated the uncertainty of the vaginal birth, hated being induced, hated pretty much all of it. I had the option of a VBAC for my third and was encouraged to have one, having had a previous vaginal delivery and an uncomplicated pregnancy, but really preferred the elective repeat c/s option.

#12 Cocoa Trufflespice

Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:12 PM

I had an emergency c section first time (failed vacuum and forceps) recovery was excellent. I was up and in the shower at 10 after delivering at 2 am. I'm sure that getting up and movingly sooner rather than later was a good thing.
I had an almost 3 year old when I had ds2 by elective c section. This time I was in bed for almost 24 hours with flowtrons? (Compression bags around my legs) I would rather have not had them and been encouraged to get up. Anyhow that recovery was very good as well.
DS1 was very good and we just had to remind him to be gentle when cuddling me.
Both times I was driving by 3 weeks, hanging out washing by about day 7 and going for decent walks by day 10.
I really wanted to avoid having a c section before having DS1 because I had heard so many horror stories. I can honestly say it was so much easier than I had ever expected. Everyone is different though.
Good luck with whatever you choose!

#13 Starletta

Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:21 PM

3 csections, my recovery was easier each time and with the 3rd I had a 3 year old. I found spending the time I had in hospital focusing on moving around properly helped and I was walking the dog and pram as normal within about 8 days.

I also recommend the SRC recovery shorts, although they are expensive. I felt held in and supported and comfortable with them on.

#14 avocado toast

Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:20 PM

Thanks all
I'll definitely have help from DH and mum/MIL so this should be doable.

#15 little lion

Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:45 PM

I've only had elective caesars and I think they sound much easier to cope with than your first birth. So please don't be scared!

#16 rosie28

Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:48 PM

My planned c section was an absolute breeze, I just needed a cushion handy if my 2 year old wanted a cuddle. My emergency c section with accompanying massive bleed was a lot harder. As long as you have some help for the first couple of weeks you'll be absolutely fine.

#17 newmumandexcited

Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:17 PM

I had twins via CSection and a two year old. I hated the recovery frankly. Is your partner home much?

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