I am pretty petite, and when I was preggo lots of people told me I would have to have a c-section but for whatever reason, I didn't really research it or think about it much. I am small, but I have some hips so I thought I wouldn't have a problem delivering vaginally. Needless to say, I wasn't really prepared for the surgery and the after effects, so if you end up having one, here are some things I wish I had know before hand:
You can hear everything during surgery
You can hear the doctors talk abut their kids, what they had for lunch and what they are doing tonight. It really weirded me out, but The Husband thought it was a good sign, at least they are calm and relaxed!
Those first few days I was pretty helpless, and to rely heavily on The Husband
Let's just say I am glad we have been married for 5 years. He not only had to help me with the baby and getting in and out of bed, but some pretty personal stuff too. The first time I tried to take a shower on my own without the little plastic chair in there I didn't quite make it through alone. If you aren't comfortable with that you will either a) get comfortable really quickly or b) ask your Mom to stay and help.
That I wouldn't be able to do everything I wanted
Sometimes I would want to get out of the hospital bed, but couldn't really get my body to respond and move and just do it, no matter how I tried. As a perfectionist over achiever, this was hard. I am not used to being limited!
That I would feel sad about not being able to jump up and care for my crying baby
This one was probably the hardest for me. I wanted to help the baby, get her from that plastic bassinet at the foot of the bed and care for her, but I just couldn't. I couldn't get up quickly enough. Luckily The Husband was great, getting her up and bringing her to me for feedings and then swaddling her and putting her back to sleep. But I cried at the hospital because I was sad about not being able to be the Mom I wanted to be. Little did I know that I would get that opportunity all day when we got home and I recovered. And all night too. Ha!
That I could weight the same when I got home as when I left
This one was brutal. I was so full of IV fluids that my legs looked like an elephants and my feet looked like Fred Flinstone. It did start to drop off after a few days but if I were you I would just resist the urge to get on the scale. Oh, and those pictures you took of you bring the baby home? Just save them for yourself and don't put them on Facebook if you look huge. You will thank me later.
That my bed at home was too tall to get in and out of comfortably
Luckily this occurred to my Mom while I was still at the hospital and she went and got me a little stool from the hardware store. I only needed it for the first week, but it was a lifesaver!
That it could take 8 weeks for the swelling and puffiness of my belly to go away
I thought this was probably an exaggeration when the doctor told me, but I think it is true. My belly is pretty much back to flat-ish, but I did some power shopping for a few hours the other day and boy did it swell the next day. So don't feel too bad about it feeling or looking like jello for a bit - they tell me that will go away!
**Update: I also think that it takes longer to lose the baby weight after a c-section that a regular birth. I was still feeling really puffy and doughy for up to 5 months afterwards. I have friends with a similar experience, and I think it is just swelling that lingers for a really long time.
**Also, someone asked me about what to pack to wear in the hospital if you know you are going to have a c-section. I would recommend a cute hospital gown and a nursing gown/robe combo. I would NOT suggest pants!
So, these are just my experiences and everyone's are different, but I wish someone had told me more about the real after effects!