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My first c-section was completely unexpected. And for my second baby, I had the option of scheduling a c section or trying for a VBAC which is a vaginal birth after cesarean.
I would feel more at ease in a way with a scheduled csection because it would be planned and I’d be prepared to take care of my second c section incision. I say this because I bought a ton of postpartum products thinking I was going to have a vaginal birth for my first birth (not thinking a c-section was a possibility).
On the other hand, I really wanted to experience a vaginal birth even if it meant potentially ripping from front to back.
Second C Section Delivery Day
On February 21, 2022, I came in for my routine NST (nonstress test) and OBGYN appointment. And unexpectedly got admitted to the army hospital’s labor and delivery unit due to my baby having heart decelerations.
Since I wasn’t at least 36 weeks pregnant, they had to transfer me to a different hospital better equipped with a maternal fetal specialist and NICU for the new baby.
So they transferred me via ambulance (my first time being in one) and got admitted there from the 21st to the day I got discharged on the 26th.
After speaking with the maternal fetal specialist on the 23rd, she decided that a cesarean delivery was medically necessary for us because there was very little blood flow (nutrients) going to baby. And she was under 1 percentile in growth so she was considered severely IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction).
Therefore they scheduled a repeat c section on February 24, 2022, at 9 AM and at 9:24 AM, Kennedy Raine was born. She weighed 3lbs 5oz and was 15.16 inches long.
And without any skin-to-skin time, baby Kennedy was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit immediately after delivery.
Baby girl was sent to the NICU where she would be in an incubator until she was weaned off. Throughout her two week stay, she went through phototherapy to reduce her bilirubin levels and she gained weight to be able to come home.
She was discharged from the hospital on March 11 and weighed a little over 4lbs.
Prior to getting discharged, I drove to see her about two times a day most days. And once a day some days to make sure she had breastmilk.
It was a long commute for me like a little over an hour each trip.
I was up and about as soon as I was discharged from the hospital and I felt like this helped me recover quicker the second time around.
Something I learned about recovering after a cesarean section is that you need to move around to heal.
According to WebMD, walking within the first 24 hours of your procedure is a great way to lower the risk of post-op complications such as blood clots and get your bowels moving.
Repeat C Section Experience
My second c section experience was a lot different than my first c-section (very much like the two pregnancies were).
For one, I didn’t experience labor pains like I did with my first pregnancy. I was 39 weeks and 6 days and super ready to pop and even dilated to 9 cm. You can read about my first c section experience here.
So for this somewhat unexpected scheduled c section, I was all in my head. I was anxious and full of nerves because I didn’t have labor pains to keep me occupied.
Instead of an epidural like I had the first time, I got a spinal block which is basically a shot in your spine. And that was pretty painful but quick.
The c section surgery itself was also a much different experience than the first time.
There was a lot more tugging and intense pushing because baby girl’s head was stuck. She was breeched and since I was having so much pain from being pushed on, they had to administer more pain medication through my IV.
And once baby girl was fully out, I was so out of it and in so much pain that I felt like it took away from that joyful experience I had with my first.
Don’t get me wrong, I was over the moon about her. But the pain mixed with pain medication put me in a daze.
I was ready to fast forward to being able to hold her (which wouldn’t be for another 35 hours).
This c section experience was just very exhausting and my husband was crying because he saw me in an incredible amount of pain. But the thing that kept me going was telling myself that this time, this pain, and this discomfort was all temporary.
And I’d soon be able to hold my baby and recover. It would be uphill from here on out.
Post C Section Hemorrhage
And of course along with a complicated pregnancy and an uncomfortable c section delivery, I hemorrhaged. I’m thankful I didn’t have uterine rupture or have major blood loss to the point of getting a blood transfusion.
Gotta count your blessings, right?!
I was too exhausted to truly remember every detail of the first hour after birth, but I do remember soaking through pads every 15 or so minutes.
There were several nurses that came in to massage my fundus to harden the uterus to prevent hemorrhaging. And my goodness, I was screaming in so much pain. They pushed so hard I was bruised up and the bleeding would not stop.
The nurse contacted the OBGYN and he came in to check where the bleeding was coming from. There was just an unbelievable amount of clotting that I was rolled back into the operation room.
They gave me another spinal block. And the OBGYN had to do a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove all the clotting inside of my uterus.
After the D&C, I was rolled back into the room for further monitoring before I was sent to the mother and baby unit.
At this point I think my poor husband was traumatized seeing me in incredible pain during my c section and then basically bleeding out (lol).
I am so thankful for my nurse who truly advocated for me at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital. Without her diligent care and constant watch, my situation could have been life-threatening.
Second C Section Incision Recovery
After a few hours, I was admitted to the mother and baby unit where I would stay until I was discharged.
They had my c section incision covered up like the picture and it would be covered for the entire week with a pad to prevent it from rubbing.
The first 24 hours after my c section, I was in a lot of pain. I think I was more sore than anything from all of the pushing that was done on my abdomen.
The next day I was able to have my husband take a picture of my incision. And it didn’t look as bad as I was expecting it to look.
You can read about my first c section incision recovery here from the day of my surgery to the year mark.
That night after a shower, my husband and I both noticed something weird about my incision. It almost looked like I had a very small incision on my left side (right side if you’re looking at the picture) above the actual incision.
But it was just my skin that was taped down weird and not an actual incision. And I’ll show you what it looks like without the tape (keep reading).
Days 1-3 were the worst of my pain and I started feeling much better when I got home. I highly recommend staying on top of your pain medications that are prescribed to you. And make sure to set a timer for each medication.
On day 4, my c section incision didn’t look much different. I could tell it looked better each day and I felt much more relief.
I was still taking pain medications like ibuprofen and oxycodone to manage my pain.
2 Weeks and 2 Days
I’m not sure why I waited until I was 2 weeks postpartum to take another picture but this is how my c section incision looks without the tape. And I think I peeled the steri strips off right at 2 weeks postpartum because the OBGYN said if it’s still attached by 2 weeks, to take them off.
And as you can see, there’s an indent above my c section incision (what I thought was a mysterious incision haha). I’m guessing it’s because the doctor sewed me up a little tighter on the inside or it’s related to scar tissue.
I plan on bringing this up at my 6 weeks postpartum appointment and I’ll update this post then!
By 2 weeks postpartum, I felt pretty good. I was moving around a lot. This is mostly because baby girl was still in the NICU and I was up and about visiting her.
The pain subsided by 2 weeks and the bleeding was very light.
4 Weeks and 2 Days
Here’s an up close image of my repeat c section incision. It looks a lot worse than my first one. You can see the indent again above my c section scar and how it pulls upward.
It’s not painful or anything but I do feel a lot of tightness and pulling on that side.
Here’s a photo of my first c section incision 4 weeks postpartum for reference. You can read more detailed c section recovery and my c section scar progress in this post.
This is the side view of how my repeat c section incision looks currently. Like I said earlier, it feels and looks like my incision was maybe sewed too tight or deep.
8 Weeks C Section Incision
*Updated on August 9, 2023
My second c section incision is definitely not as pretty as my first incision. But it healed up very well externally.
It takes a lot longer to heal internally.
And guess who didn’t make it longer than 2 months postpartum without getting pregnant again? ME!
Quick C Section Recovery Tips
Currently at 4 weeks postpartum, I am feeling really good. Although my experience this time around, both pregnancy and c section birth has not been the smoothest ride, my recovery has been much better.
I highly recommend walking and moving as soon as you can. This will aid in a faster recovery. And I can most definitely attest to that.
Walking and moving around quicker this second time around is probably one of the only things I did differently during this recovery process.
Also, always drink a lot of water and don’t forget to nourish your body with healthy, nutritious foods.