There are countless things I wish I knew about pregnancy and postpartum life. So I’ve decided to start a series where I talk about these things. I am basing these posts around my personal experiences and I am not a medical professional. This particular post is Things I wish someone told me: C-Section Recovery
This topic is the reason I started this series. I had always known C-sections were supposed to be extremely difficult to recover from, but I never knew what that entailed. I think I expected it to be hard for a few days and then magically back to “normal.” I’ve never had another surgery prior to the C-section, so I wasn’t entirely sure how my body would react. Typically, I react very strongly (and painfully) to most procedures and medication. That should’ve been my hint right there.If you’d like to venture into the world of my brief knowledge, you can read the other posts here:
Once the adrenaline wears off, you pass out
Not actually pass out, but as soon as I saw my son for the first time and they told me they were taking him to the nursery, I almost immediately fell asleep. I remember waking up at one point and asking if it was okay to sleep and the entire staff laughed. I was just so exhausted from my previous induction adventure and all the medication that I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. My body started to shake and I knew I just needed to sleep. This was after I threw up on the table, which is a super common and perfectly normal thing to experience during childbirth.
Your very sore stomach will be pushed on
The first thing I remember when I woke up in the recovery area was the nurse pushing on my stomach. I still had some of the epidural in my system, so it didn’t feel that bad, more just pretty uncomfortable. The next few times various hospital staff did this, I screamed. Basically they have to make sure everything goes back to where it should and it isn’t pleasant. Also, they hold you there for 2 hours.
Everyone will have to hand your child to you
I so badly just wanted to pick up my son. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pick him up on my own for a while. I chose to breastfeed as well, which meant every time he ate, someone had to help me get set up and precisely hand him to me. It was 3 in the morning the first time I fed him and I was nervous and sore but he needed to eat so I needed to suck it up.
You cannot eat right away
I hated this part, as I hadn’t eaten in over a day. In fact, by the time I was able to have an actual feast, I think it had been almost 2 days since my last meal. I was exhausted and delirious and this made walking difficult.
The first walk sucks
As part of that wonderful, difficult recovery, the hospital staff wants you to walk around every so often. I had a small goal set by nurse to walk around the nurses’ station. I only got halfway through before I started feeling faint and seeing stars. I was in so much pain that they had to wheelchair me back to my room. I cried because I felt like I failed. I didn’t. Looking back I’m really proud I even made it more than 10 steps. I achieved walking much faster and better than the first poop.
The first poop sucks
Maybe this is TMI but if you’re about to have a C-section, you’ll wish you knew this. I think mine might’ve been a little different than other women but I thought I was dying. I was already home when I had my first BM and I was screaming in pain. I had so many drugs when I was in labor that the combination of everything made me so constipated. It took several days to get back to normal but this was by far the worst and I mean absolute worst part of my recovery.
Walking up and down the stairs, trying to get in and out of the car, sitting down to eat, breastfeeding my child, the list goes on. These were all super painful until I was about a month post-natal. Nothing could touch my scar until I was about 3 and bit months post-natal. I threw my back out at one point and almost opened up my scar. At 4 and a half months currently, my scar is super itchy, but healing. My doctor told me it could take between 6-8 months before I feel mostly back to normal. I’m thinking it’ll be 8.
The pain made the first two weeks emotionally suck
It’s common and always advised that the “Baby Blues” will be in strong force for the first 10-14 days after birth. I cannot tell you how inadequate I felt. I cried everyday and thought I was the worst mom in the world. I think the pain made these emotions even worse as I felt like I couldn’t handle being a mom.
Knowing I’ll probably have to have another one
Yes, VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) are possible. But there are pros and cons to both. When the time comes for Little Love’s younger sibling to show up, I’ll have to have a long talk with my doctor. Chances are, the second one might be bigger than my first and then a repeat C-section might be the only way to go. I feel better knowing that I have conquered it before, but I’m still not looking forward to it. At least that’s not for another 20 years.
All the pain and emotion pushed aside, I do not regret having the surgery. If it wasn’t for it, my Little Love might not be here today.
Happy days and see y’all soon