ELCS recovery - how long did yours take?

(58 Posts)
Angelico Fri 12-Oct-12 22:44:06

Hi smile Had ELCS just over 2 weeks ago for first baby. Having had previous surgery (but not abdominal) I was shocked at how painful it was, especially the first week after. Wasn't helped by crap painkillers because of breastfeeding hmm

Much more manageable now - can cook, clean, look after baby (bathing her is hard so letting DH do that) but walking for more than a hundred metres is sore and wouldn't dare push buggy etc or walk with baby yet - probably another week or two for that.

Just wondered how long it took others to recover and before you felt 'normal' physically?

Angelico Tue 27-Nov-12 20:54:45

Well, back to update - meant to do it a few days ago. I had started feeling a good bit better between weeks 2 and 3, then got sore again week 4. Long story short - I had a blood clot in my womb which was causing low level infection. Didn't realise this at all (GP didn't pick up on it at visit at 4 weeks for big gush of blood although in fairness she knew I would be going for PN check up). Perked up week 5 when I had some blocked ducts and because of low level sweats / fever / nausea OOH doc thought I had borderline mastitis and gave me ABs. Had a second course of ABs the following week (week 6)and felt great, out and about, lifting things, driving etc.

As it turned out the infection wasn't in boobs at all but in uterus. Had PN check last Thurs (at 8 weeks post CS), had a scan as never stopped bleeding and large clot was just sitting in womb. Had to have a D&C to remove it and think they also scraped uterus out. Apparently this is less common after a CS than it is after a VB but there were 3 of us in having it done that day at a small local hospital so fairly common.

Anyway moral of story: if you start feeling better then go backwards you might just have overdone it (as I thought I had) BUT you might have infection. My incision is perfect - the infection was inside and thus invisible and if you are BFing and getting boob issues that can confuse things as GPs etc tend to immediately blame the boobs and assume it's mastitis.

Wishing everyone speedy recoveries from CS thanks

newby2 Tue 27-Nov-12 17:18:08

Gosh ladies, there are some cautionary tales out there. I had a emerge c sec 2 years ago and don't remember any out of the ordinary pain. I honestly had no problems at all. I think the pre-eclampsia took over and I was so focussed on keeping my baby alive (and me) I completely forgot about myself.

Due elec section in 2 weeks, have read through this thread so don't get lulled into false sense of security with the first one. Will take it easy!!

elizaregina Sat 24-Nov-12 12:15:34

whatever any of you do due after a section - take it very very carefully when turning and moving, i didnt get the leaflet on how to turn until three weeks after surgery !!! if i hadnt made a stupid big turn - which was probably a really forceful twist i wouldnt have had any pain or problems AT ALL.

the bed was really really soft and i fell into the middle of it - and had to struggle to move in it - hence the dramatic big turn!

also read your notes and make sure they are correct - the mw - didnt write down the turn - and that it took me ages to inch back to my back! I did though.

you can MOVE after op - wiggle toes - rotate ankles - lift torso up and down just dont twist.

RarelyUnreasonable Fri 23-Nov-12 21:56:00

I had one today so this thread is v useful! Just waiting for the meds to be brought around and could not contemplate getting out of bed!

Angelico Thu 22-Nov-12 20:51:56

Bumping this as want to update but need to feed DD! smile

Angelico Sun 04-Nov-12 23:18:40

Carrie don't freak out - you can see that people have had a real variety of experiences, some heal very quickly. I also think that people who already have kids probably have to just get on with it more - but do accept whatever help you can get. If you read what meglet wrote up above you'll see she made a point of allowing herself to heal. I'm hoping that although I've been sore I'll heal well for the longterm (ie no hernias etc).

This thread is making md panic, had stitches with both dc sore but up doing half hour school run walk the next day. I have no partner to help and no help other than if I send other dc yo childminders everyday fur s few weeks (v expensive whilst in mat leave) or is thus something I should be considering doing ?

Frightened if a section thus time (due to s medical condition grr) didn't even blink really at it last time but reading this starting to freak out somewhat!!

Angelico Sun 04-Nov-12 14:01:08

How are you doing Eliza? Hope you're home and feeling a bit better, MW sounds like an idiot making you turn from side to side as there is a definite knack to it post-CS hmm

Nearly 6 weeks now and things definitely turned the corner last week thankfully. Still being careful with lifting but am comfortable most of the time with just the odd couple of hours where I twinge / burn etc. Hoping the worst is over... Fingers crossed!

elizaregina Tue 30-Oct-12 20:49:53

Hi Angelico, i have had my section now and have been really taken aback by extraordinary pain in one side.

I was fine until later on in the evening after the op - a MW came along and said I should be turning from side to side and that they got ladies on thier feet six hours after op now.

I then made a really really clumsy turn and have suffered flare up burning pain ever since, i am furious with her - since then I was on ward and all ladies round me had been left alone - and not moved much until the catheta came out. They all had really nasty emergency sections and were all walking better than me!

Angelico Sun 28-Oct-12 20:43:55

Thanks Rosanna. And hello to Blonder congrats on your baby and glad they are giving you proper painkillers post-CS! Hope the GD has gone too? Come over to the Oct PN thread smile thanks

blonderthanred Sat 27-Oct-12 12:08:25

Hello, this is interesting to read as I had a CS yesterday after failed induction (hello Angelico). Surprised to hear I will be going home tomorrow. Was given oral morphine yesterday which was good and today co-dydramol which has made me very sleepy.

My friend was an up-and-about in town a week later type and now has a hernia. So I am going to be taking it easy. Lucky to have lots of support from DH.

RosannaBanana Sat 27-Oct-12 10:38:19

Hi, the symptoms of my infection were some soreness and lack of healing in one area. Also had a stitch that didn't dissolve there. The MW and HV kept saying it didn't look infected but the doc said it smelt dodgy- yuck! Then she swabbed it and it came back with a mega infection.
Hope this isn't the case for you.

Angelico Fri 26-Oct-12 13:02:49

You're lucky Floral! I've had lots of surgery before and seemed to have a high pain threshold (recovered from apparently painful ops v quickly and pain relief free, thought I was some kind of medical freak grin) which is why this one has taken me by surprise confused

At least the bleeding and cramping has stopped again...

Floralnomad Fri 26-Oct-12 11:42:54

Hi I think I must be a freak as well , I had an elective section and was driving after a couple of weeks ( as soon as allowed ) , waddled in the mums race at my DS sports day at about 2 weeks and was completely back to doing what I would normally do . I had one dose of paracetamol post op and no more pain killers after that . Having said all that I do have a high pain threshold and I also think a lot of it is how you approach it . I approached it as I've had a baby ( which is a normal thing to do ) rather than approaching it from the I've had major surgery points of view. But everyone is different and obviously some people have complications. I had lots of problems with my scar / incision but I just don't let health things worry me . Good luck with your baby .

Angelico Fri 26-Oct-12 11:33:54

Thanks ladies. Can you buy co-codamol over the counter? I feel fine in the mornings if I've had enough time lying down overnight but it's usually by evening I am getting sore after a day of lifting baby.

Rosanna thanks for that, it's reassuring. How did you know you had an infection? What were the symptoms? Everyone keeps admiring my incision which is apparently beautifully cut and healed and GP didn't swab me the other day internally as everything looked so good on the outside and she was able to press my tummy without pain - apparently no blood trapped beneath surface and temperature was normal. I don't think I have an infection, just think the internal stitches are taking longer to heal and nerves are growing back - alas I seem to get the burning sensation rather than numbness! smile

RosannaBanana Fri 26-Oct-12 08:39:23

Hi, just wanted to say that I felt like I had a pretty slow recovery too, but 9 weeks on am feeling so much better- I really felt like I turned a corner at about 6 weeks. In my case I had an undiagnosed infection - even though my incision didn't really look dodgy at all. Might be worth going to get checked out- and do ask for more Painkillers if you need.
Oh, I also bled on and off for 7 weeks. I felt like I would never feel better but I have pretty much no pain at all there now- just a little bit of itching.

bishboschone Fri 26-Oct-12 07:35:40

Yes I agree, I had pre eclampsia and was given co codomol while pregnant so it can't be that bad . The first few nights I literally couldn't sleep for the pain and they have me morphine on the post natal ward. Again the girl next to me refused when the drugs lady came round . We are all different . Go back to docs and ask for something you can have if you are worried . My gp prescribed me boxes of co codomol , literally boxes !

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 23:40:53

angelico you need to go back to your GP and insist they give you some better pain relief advice. The more pain you are in the more you will tense up which makes you feel even worse.

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 23:38:35

I did start driving at 6 weeks both times. But the first drive was a short drive around the block without the baby in the car, just in case!

Gym at 12 weeks both times, but TBH the grannies were working harder than me. I was just glad of the peace and pottered about doing easy things for the first few visits. As I was able to lift a baby then lifting a few easy weights wasn't a problem.

I do remember that I was 'training' for Race for Life 5 months after my EMCS (ie; 15 min jog around the park) and the scar hurt like hell for the first run so I took it very easy again for a bit. I'm sure I wouldn't have had pain for such a long time after my EMCS if I had stayed on the sofa for a fortnight after the op.

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Thu 25-Oct-12 22:39:50

Hi, thought I would post as I'm in your position, 5 weeks post section now. Felt amazing after section, only had paracetamol as pain relief but stopped it after 4 days when I started doing the school run driving 5 miles to school with baby and 16 month old in tow. Did my supermarket shop with all kids after a week or so when my partner returned to work. Now I'm paying the price! I have an infection behind my wound which is quite localised to one part of my scar but only showed itself at week 4. It's painful but luckily we have school holidays this week. I am able to do less now than I could on leaving the hospital. When school starts next week I will need help doing school run so I feel really silly for overdoing it, if only I had taken it easier at the start, just the first 2 weeks, I believe I would have been perfectly fine by now. I'm no longer smug and feeling like superwoman. If your wound starts weeping pus and blood maybe ask them to swab it for infection but be warned - it stings like a bitch. I started gushing blood also so they did an ultrasound to check for internal infection but as I had no other signs of infection they reckon its a period. My post has been really self pitying but no one in real life has given me any pity, only "I told you so"s. Feel better soon.

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:35:24

Thanks also meglet and others! And Bish I have exactly 7 co-codamol which is all the bastards would give me because of BFing and was terrified of taking it, even though friend was given armfuls after her CS. MWs made me feel like some junkie for considering taking it when BFing - they are still in the drawer...

Angelico Thu 25-Oct-12 22:33:11

Thanks smile I think I overdid things last week when feeling better, then set myself back and have kind of stopped even going for little walks - think I need to start again as sitting (esp at computer ironically blush) seems to make pain worse. Think I also need to admit defeat and take some painkillers again sad Might try another session of acupuncture as it helped a couple of weeks ago.

Really appreciate you posting Bish - Dr Google seems to throw up either superhumans who leapt tall buildings after 3 days OR people who have been permanently maimed confused Good to know there is something 'normal' in between! smile

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:31:52

Exercising was more like 6 months but from 7 days I was walking ( albeit very slowly ) to get dd from school . It's a long walk .

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:30:41

I drove at 3 weeks as ds was in scbu . It was a mistake . It put me back a week or so . When I was in scbu a girl next to me had no pain 2 weeks after her cs . She couldn't understand why I couldn't get up from the chair holding ds. Have you for co codomol ? I couldn't have managed without it . If it wore off I was I'm so much pain. If like to think I'm not a wimp either .

bishboschone Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:48

It eased off , definitely getting better day by day but slowly and surely . I have a flat stomach again now and the scar is almost invisible and pain free 16 months on . I had a huge tummy for ages too !!

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