With my first c-section it was elective because my son was breech. I had a spinal block and was very lucky that my female anethatist was very experienced. It didn't fail and I was numb, but I did have some pain towards the end, just up under my ribs. This was uncomfortable until the elevated me a little while they stitched me up and it eased. I recovered over at my mum's house so I had constant care. It probably took me a couple of weeks to get back to moving around well.
My second I tried for a VBAC and failed progress past 5cm dilated because of scar tissue from previous c-section. I ended up having an emergency c-section after a very exhausting 24hrs of no sleep. I had been given an epidural at about 11pm. Then it was topped up before I went into theatre at 9am. They were all unprepared because no-one had bothered to tell theatre staff I was coming. So they were rushing around. The anethatist this time like I said topped it up and did the test with the ice to see if I was numb all over. I was absolutely stuffed by then. Got into theatre and they began to cut, I couldn't fully feel it but it was bad. The anethatist seen my face and realised I was feeling it. He yelled "stop, stop, she can feel it". He topped me up and I went numb fully. But because of this I had a bleed and was very weak after. Took me a couple of days to pick up and I also ended up with an infection, so was on horrible anti-biotics too. Again went over to mums to recover. This time took longer and my wound broke down badly, so anti-boitics again. Probably took a little longer to recover because of the wound. Now I do want to say this, my VBAC failed because the person that did my first c-section made an absolute mess of it internally. The Dr that did this c-section had to do a clean up inside and outside too. So even know this was traumatic. I would still try, as the other girls have said the vaginal birth is much easier to recover from. I was so glad I gave it a go. Looking back I would still have done it.
My third birth I decided that I just couldn't go through that again and my dr told me that the likelihood of it happening again would be high. I decided to go elective and get a tubal ligation at the same time (I was 38yo). I didn't even think to ask was I going to have a epidural or a spinal block. When I got into the room where they put the epidural in I was faced with this young Anethatist and friendly male nurse. They were stiring eachother about football. The needles went in fine, but the banter went on, it was distracting. I had a really lovely midwife who stayed with me and held my hand. My husband wasn't at the birth, but my mum was this time. I was relaxed when I was being prepared for the Op to start and I was sure that I was numb. But a when they had me opened up I started to feel things and then they pulled DD2 out of me and it was a horrendous feeling and I must have pulled a real bad face because the Midwife asked me "are you ok, did you feel that", I nodded and the tears started. She let them down the other end know, they showed me DD2, mum got to cut the cord and she brought her over to me. While that was happening they must have been doing my tubes. I don't remember much from there, so I think they must have put me under full anaesthetic. I woke up with those pressure stockings on and a machine that helps the feeling come back to your legs quicker. I didn't have that the other times, it was fantastic. I had more pain and every complication you could imagine after this birth. I had pain were the epidural went in. When my catheter came out of my bladder, my bladder wasn't emptying properly and caused major pain. So I had to have it reinserted for 24hrs and then taken out. Then after first trip to the toilet, the needle part was reinserted to see how much urine was left (all I can say is "OUCH"lol). They didn't check that I had done poo for a couple of days and I ended up with an impacted bowl because of the pain medication, which ment an enema. I was in 7 days. A few days after getting home I found I had an infection in my uterus and had to go on some nasty anti-biotics. Got over that and then my wound kept breaking down in small spots and took ages to heal completely, also ment more anti-biotics. I was out of action for the full six weeks.
Now all of this may scare the living day lights out of you. But remember this is me and it will most likely not happen to you in any way. Like some girls that have horrendous vaginal births, they sill go back again. I went back 3 times. No matter what birth you have, it's the only pain and trauma that gives you the most precious gift of all. I've gone into some detail here and usually I don't. I have 3 beautiful, healthy children, who I love with my heart and sole.
What ever decision you make is the right one and good luck with it:) ((((HUGS))))