10 Things I wish I knew before my c-section

Having a c-section was something I was not prepared for- even though I actually had a scheduled one back in 2017 with my first daughter! I “researched” but honestly the only thing I “knew” going into it was that I should find high waisted leggings and underwear for recovery. 

A lot of the things that happened to me were not things I was expecting. At all. I thought it may be helpful to share some insights. Not to scare anyone! AT ALL! But to help you feel empowered and to know what could *possibly* happen! Remember, everyone’s story will be unique. And that is what makes birth so incredible- we will all have our own story to share.

10 things I wish I knew before my c-section

Here are 10 things I wish I knew…  

  1. Anesthesia can cause you to shake + shiver uncontrollably and feel very nauseous. After my surgery was over I was throwing up and felt so sick. I didn’t realize until after this was something that could happen. 
  2. It is a bizarre feeling to not be able to move anything from the waist down. I had a small panic attack because it felt so strange. Your legs feel like dead weight once you have that spinal block. 
  3. A lot of people may be in the room. I was not prepared for this at all. In comparison to my vaginal birth it was about 4 times as many people. There isn’t really anything you can do about it, but I really wish I wasn’t so surprised that so many people had to see me in all my glory. 
  4. You bleed. Yeah, this was a surprise to me. I guess I just figured since the baby wasn’t coming out “that” way that I wouldn’t bleed. But you do! And I think I had more postpartum bleeding at home after my c-section than I did with my VBAC, believe it or not. 
  5. Birth via c-section is STILL BIRTH! 
  6. Society sometimes makes us believe that having a c-section is “the easy way out.” I have birthed babies both ways and let me tell you. It’s not. I felt “less than” at the time because I had a section. I felt judged and having to explain WHY I needed a section. But I realize now birthing looks different for everyone. We all have our own story. And it is ours to own! There is something powerful in that. 
  7. Prescription pain medication makes it even harder to “go” – even more than it does in general after giving birth. I wish I had known to take Colace a few days before my section to help move everything along afterwards. 
  8. It can take weeks to heal. I guess I sort of knew this- but I don’t think I truly grasped the fact that this was MAJOR surgery until after the fact. Being sliced open at the abdomen and then being sent home to care for a newborn is HARD. I felt really crappy and it was hard to do anything for myself. I think if I had just mentally prepared for this it wouldn’t have been such a shock. Try to be kind and patient with yourself during this time. 
  9. You can get gas trapped in your chest. AND IT HURTS. I had NO idea about this (I had never had another surgery in my life!) but apparently this can happen. The pain from this trapped gas lasted for about 5 days and I found it hurt more than the pain from my incision. The solution is to try and get up and walk around as soon as it’s safe + possible after the surgery. 
  10. HAVING A C-SECTION DOESN’T MEAN YOU FAILED. You are an amazing mom no matter how you birth! Please remember this!

I hope this list is helpful. I am in no way saying I am the “expert” or that these things will also happen for you! I am just sharing my experience and hoping to spread awareness. I also think this list helps any expecting moms, whether or not they think they may have a section. Sometimes we just never know! You may have an idea (like maybe if baby is breech) and other times birth results in an emergency situation where a c-section is needed.

I am a big believer that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to birth!

I’d love to know something that happened during or after your c-section that you didn’t see coming. Please share in the comments! 

Meet Steph!

Hi! I'm a mama to two little girls, a wife to my husband Chris and a makeup artist by trade. We live in New York (born + raised!) pretty close to NYC! My hope is that you’ll find this blog a place of helpful information, positivity and fun ideas that enrich your life and bring you joy. You are welcome here! And I hope you feel comfortable enough to come as you are! Let’s celebrate that.

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