Sunday, May 25, 2014

Recovering from my C-section

The c word that so many women fret about! I had to have an emergency c-section dur to my uncontrollable blood pressure levels. And I honestly do not see the big deal. I am not one of those women who absolutely had to have a natural child birth. I honestly was hoping to have a c-section, just not as early of course. There was no way I could see myself pushing a baby out of me with no mess and I was so afraid of the recovery process of a vaginal birth. I was actually afraid of recovery,  period! But nothing in the process was as bad as I thought it would be. Women have been doing it since forever so I could handle it! Here's a few things that I learned from my experience that may help.

1. There Will be Pain - There will definitely be pain and there is no way of getting around that! Cesarean sections are abdominal surgeries. Your abdomen is cut open in order for your baby to be removed and stapled back up so you will feel it. Specifically when getting up, standing while showering (which they allowed me to do on the 2nd day, yay!), adjusting yourself in the bed, and anything else that requires you to use your stomach muscles. Walking is hell if you do it on the same day as your surgery. But the sooner you begin to walk, the better the healing process will be. Even walking around the room or down the maternity ward hallway will be good (wheelchairs will be available if you do need There will also be meds that you can ask for at anytime. I was sent home with ibuprofen and percocet. Most of the pain subsided after a week when my staples were removed. And I stuck to the Ibuprofen after about day 3 of being home (I was discharged 4 days after birth).

2. There Will be Blood -  well duh, but I wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was immediately given a catheter which I did not feel at all so I did not get up for the entire day until it was out. I was nervous about having a nurse come and check my bleeding and changing me but once it was being done who cared! Bleeding is very heavy and clotty for the first 2-3 days but it then becomes lighter and lighter. The hospital gives pads, which I used, and they worked great! They also gave me disposable underwear which worked great. Some women complain and say bring your own but i had NOTHING prepared at 29 weeks so i had no choice and it all worked out fine. The bleeding stopped completely after 2 weeks for me and it was definitely manageable.

3. Your Bowels will be Funky - this is what I hated the most! The doctor will send you home with a stool softener and you must take it or you will be in trouble! Before you are discharged, the nurses will make sure that you are passing gas and able to have a bowel movement (which was pretty easy for me in the hospital). Now when I was home, the struggle began. I was going days without a bowel movement and getting them out was terrible!  The stool softer helps if you continuously take them which I didn't because I didn't think I needed to. Boy did I learn!

4. The Incision Site - everyone has a different experience with their incision. Mine was closed very neatly and healed very well. It was rather itchy especially once the staples were removed. I had no drainage, which some people do. The bandage covering it is removed on the second day and the incision is left uncovered to heal. It hurt really bad to cough, sneeze or laugh but putting a pillow up to the site may ease some pain when doing any of these. Once the staples are removed,  usually a few days later it will feel 1000 times better. My incision was very numb and still is a little now 8 weeks later. But I was overall good after around week 5.

5. Listen to your Body! This is the most important advice that I can give. We all have different bodies which means we will heal differently. Over exertion is very harmful and your body will tell you if you're doing to much. When I was up, moving around too much I would be in pain the next day. And I know it's difficult to just sit around and heal but doing too much can prolong your healing process.

I am 8 weeks post c-section now and doing great. My incision is looking really good, my stomach muscles are getting stronger, no more pain or pain meds, and I am back to my usual activities!