Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life After C-Section

Here is what I have discovered recovering from a c-section:

1) Take your pain meds every 4 (6, 8) hours regardless of how you are feeling at the moment. Keeping the drugs in the system make it easier to control the pain later, when it will really hurt. Waking up after a nap/sitting in one place too long can make you very stiff and very sore. You will be happy you woke up at 2 am to take your pain meds when you have to get up at 6 am to feed your screaming infant.

2) Take it slow and easy, but don't be lazy. A big part of recovering from a c-section is moving. Keep moving (slowly) and you will feel better and be able to do more and more each day. It's a challenge at first... that first day getting out of bed is a bitch, but it honestly gets easier the second and third time and so on & so forth.

3) Even if you didn't give birth to a 9+ lb baby, holding a baby constantly puts a lot of pressure on an already sensitive area. A pillow works great to help support your little bundle of joy. Also, having your spouse/grandma/BIL/any one with hands hold the baby for even 15 minutes is a welcome and much appreciated relief.

4) It is a surgery, so you probably won't walk out of the hospital weighing less than when you went in, even if you were kept on a liquid/clear food only diet. Normal body response to surgery is to retain and hold on to fluids to help replenish the damaged tissues. (for the record, even though I had a 9 lb baby and was on clear foods for 48+ hours, I actually weigh more than I did at my last prenatal appointment.)

5) Your medications WILL make you sleepy. So that whole "nap when the baby naps" thing is super important here.

6) Feel great about what you CAN do instead of what you aren't able to do at the moment. For instance, today I took the dog outside. We had to go really slow up and down the stairs and it required a lot of patience from both Max and myself, but we did it. I also took a shower! I felt super great after that.

7) It will hurt for a while, even after the staples are removed. I haven't gotten mine out yet (Monday!) but speaking from past experience, that area will still be tender even after the tissues have sewed themselves together again.

8) Check the incision frequently, but don't pick/touch. If it's clean-great! Suit up and leave it alone. If it's weeping/bleeding/crusty, call your doctor. An infection on top of a surgery on top of being a mom to a newborn would be pretty much the shittiest thing ever, so don't risk it. (Add "postpartum depression" to that list, and you're pretty much at rock bottom)

So there you go. If you are wondering how I am doing, each day gets better and easier. Brian is super super helpful. I feel bad being only able to do so much, but he says he worries he isn't doing enough. I laughed (which hurt) because today alone, he did a load of dishes, a load of laundry, took out the trash and the dog (multiple times) fed and held and changed the baby, AND he took a shower and shaved. He also works 8 hours tonight. So... yeah, he's doing plenty. :) He's adjusting to this whole sleep only a few hours at a time thing and getting better at it. I think the caffeine helps him too.


  1. You could have read about this in books, but the experience is are learning so much and I'm sure your followers that have child bearing in their future will appreciate it!

  2. Sounds fairly similiar to my ovarian removal surgery - as far as recovery goes. Sure, they took an organ out, not a person full of their own organs, but I remember all too well the rule of thumb when it came to those painkillers! You're right on! Drink LOTS of water and listen to your body when you can! You've got the right spirit here. :)

  3. So glad you are coming along.

    And don't feel guilty if you don't hold baby all the time/enough. Seriously-he'll still bond & love you if you prop him in a bouncy/swing near you.


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