I'd be lieing if I said the C section was a walk in the park. I think everyone responds differently. I felt no pain whatsoever during the surgery and after in recovery they pumped me with pethadine which made it very hard for me to stay awake and as I was on my own immediately after the surgery in recovery, I desperatley had to fight the grogginess to remain awake. I wanted to see my babies!
The pushing and pulling feeling you experience is a little weird. Not painful in the slightest but I did find it uncomfortable and grunted and groaned my way through it (my DH filmed the whole thing so I have re-lived it several times already!) It was a strange sensation but one that they prepared me for. It's like a tugging of your insides..hard to really explain. They then have to do the same thing to get the placenta out after but honestly, it's over so quick that it's only a few minutes of discomfort.
I went into my C section quite blindly, thinking I'd be up and about with minimal pain the next day. Well the first day after was the worse. My uterus was very low and creating a lot of low pressure and I could only lay on my back. After the first initial few steps, I could not physically walk straight and was in substantial pain. I needed to have a nurse shower me and it was difficult. Remember though, I refused to have pain relief as the pethadine wiped me out, so I was doing the pain live! I had panadeine forte and found actually getting up and walking around (although slow and painful) the best thing to recover quickly. I also had a fluid drip in my arm, was hooked up to a catheter for 2 days and still had the spinal injection in so they could administer more pain medication if needed. I must say it was a relief to get the catheter out as I was then more mobile.
My female parts also had to be packed with ice as I had substantial swelling which was caused by fluid draining from my tummy to my private parts, creating an engorged vulva, so they made me keep the catheter in longer. This was caused by odeama? Fancy word for swelling. Soon went down and the ice relieved it.
So, the first day after surgery was no picnic but the good news is that by the second day I was almost 90% better! Up and dressed and walking around. Needed to take panadeine in the evening but found a glass of wine with dinner helped just as much ;-P
The scar is minimal and on the day I got out of hospital they removed the stitch and everything was back to normal. I'm driving, doing sit ups and wearing high heels, so I'd say overall, it's not that bad if you can just get through that first day after surgery. Take all the time you need, lie in bed and be pampered. I found it hard with 2 babies in my room and not being allowed to have DH stay especially seeings as I could not get up for the first 24 hours and they kept leaving my babies at the end of my bed so I was helpless! Silly really. Soon got that sorted out
It's not all that bad but prepare yourself for some discomfort after and allow yourself as much recovery time as you need.