My C-Section – Post 2 of 2

Posted on February 23, 2013
"you must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. "
~ friedrich nietzsche

Here now is the continuation of the previous post about my c-section, please go there and read that first before this one, at least the disclaimer portion if you just wandered here from google or something. :)

Ok so, I last left off at the moment they separated me from my baby and I had to camp out in the recovery room while my husband hovered around our daughter while the nurses did whatever it is they do with newborns… check their blood glucose and stuff like that. I thought I'd only be in recovery for an hour, but I think I ended up being in there for at least 3 hours (nothing went wrong, I merely had to wait there for all the numbing sensation to wear off), I was so upset about that. How horrible it is to be apart from your newborn right when you want to see her the most.

I wasn't able to sleep at all in recovery because there were lots of people walking around tending to other patients, and I was constantly wondering if I would be able to leave soon. In retrospect, if I had known what I know now, I would have tried to fall asleep there.

When I finally got wheeled to our private room the first thing I saw was my topless husband holding our newborn (he was attempting to have skin-to-skin contact with her in my absence, because that is supposed to be good for babies, especially newborns). They had ended up having to feed her from a bottle because I was in recovery and they wouldn't allow me out to breastfeed her in there. I was kinda pissed about missing that as well.

I was still semi numb and had painkillers going on, and was asked not to try and sit up or anything like that, so at first I was not in any pain. They put these squeezey things on my legs to help prevent blood clots. For the first several hours, maybe the first day, a woman would have to come in periodically and and clean me up (after birth, even if it's not a c-section, your uterus is shrinking and ejecting lots of blood and leftovers). I still had the catheter in because I was not yet able to get up to go to the bathroom on my own.

For the first whole day I just looked at her (my baby) talked to her, fed her (periodically, breast feeding consultants would wander in and see if I needed any guidance). DH had to manage all of the diaper changes at first since I wasn't able to get out of bed. It was really a nice room, private (just us), pretty spacious and there was a separate cot for DH to sleep on, with the little hospital bassinet between us.

The following day they took out my catheter and it was time to try and get up and walk to the bathroom myself. I felt super weak in my abdomen, and I was timid because I had no idea what it would feel like. It wasn't really painful, as I am recalling, it was more of a really extreme stiffness. Like, imagine if you sat on your legs for a couple days, and then tried to move and stretch them. It would feel really stiff and tight and uncomfortable. That's how it felt. It felt uncomfortable but also kinda good at the same time.

I felt like I was half bent over like an old lady at first, but then I got myself to a corner of the room and used the walls to slowly and carefully straight myself up into a more normal standing position. I was told not to stretch (or else it might pull on the incision too soon. It felt like I was stretching it, but I don't think I was, because I hadn't yet been fully standing.

I did not, at any time, feel like I was in very much pain in my uterus or at the incision. I had plenty of general discomfort, but I cannot say I was in pain, other than some mild aches as the meds wore off each time. But even then, I didn't really notice a very big difference between the ache during those times; Very slight.

The surprising thing that DID hurt -and this hurt A LOT and I was almost to tears- was my shoulder. I thought at first that maybe it was "referred pain" but a nurse claimed it was gas trapped in my body. Whatever the hell it was my left shoulder FUCKING HURT. And yes, that f-bomb was necessary. I was literally saying to them "This is ridiculous, I have no pain anywhere else, can you please do something to ease my shoulder pain?!" and they said they couldn't. I still do not understand why. All they said was "walk more." My shoulder hurt for days. It was finally gone a week later, but then I would periodically get sudden shoulder pain for a moment in the months following the c-section. It's gone completely now.

I think it was around day two that they wanted me to poop. LOL… I needed some help with that but it eventually happened and… ugh, without being too graphic it was kind of a scary feeling (having just had your abdomen open and then to go #2). They indicated that I shouldn't push, but I didn't have to. I felt a lot better afterward; I didn't even know there had been discomfort there until it was gone. Haa… around the same time, actually maybe more like day 3, they allowed me to shower but said not to wash the incision area.

The meals were kind of interesting. The first day there I was only allowed to eat clear liquids… so clear broth, water… some other things I can't remember. I begged one of the nurses to bring me coffee and she agreed, but she said "I'm giving it to you black, NO MILK OR SUGAR!" and I was like "Oh god, yes, thank you that's fine, anything!" lol the next meal was also liquid-y or semi-liquid… like jello or a fruit cup I think? After that was oatmeal, and them finally I got to have pancakes and bacon for breakfast and I think chicken and veggies for dinner near the end.

On the 5th (my birthday) my parent's both showed up to meet their grand daughter and brought me some flowers and a cupcake. Before that some balloons and a bunny for my baby had been in the room, requested to be put there by my oldest sister who lives on the other side of the country and couldn't be there. I was exhausted but it was so nice, and my mom had to say the cliche, "our baby had a baby!" lol

The nurses had also continually offered us pitchers of water in our room. The stupid thing was, I was ordering iced water several times until a nurse finally says "you should ask for room temp water with no ice, cold water causes gas." I was like "That would have been nice to know earlier…"

Backing up a bit, the other thing that happened was that basically every hour or two a nurse was barging into the room to take my blood pressure, or check the baby's glucose, or whatever else. As such I got NO SLEEP for the entire (I think it was 3 or 4?) few days we were there. That was probably the worst thing about it all. Everything else was so amazing and pain free and smooth, and me and my baby were as healthy as we could be… but my shoulder killed unceasingly and I was (actually my husband AND I both were) becoming severely sleep deprived.

We tried to get the nurses to leave us alone so we could sleep, but that didn't pan out very well either. The next time I will try sleep masks and ear plugs and see if that helps at all. As soon as we got home from the hospital we all slept for several hours and woke up feeling a MILLION times better. You're supposed to wake a newborn yourself for a feeding if the baby sleeps for many hours in a row, but guys… seriously, we had NO SLEEP in days. We were both literally starting to get batty. It was only that first night back that we didn't wake her in the middle of the night for a feeding. She was still pooping and peeing on schedule and all was well. It was a great relief.

Being home and being able to get some solid sleep finally made everything all better. I was refreshed, happy, and I was able to walk and do things right away. We had been worried I would be bed ridden, but it wasn't like that at all. The only hard part is when you first have to sit up and get out of bed, you have to do it slowly and carefully, and there's a little bit of pain. As soon as I was on my feet though, I was fine, just took it easy and didn't try to rush it.

After two weeks I was able to go for walks outside. I would eventually feel fatigue in my abdomen and had to stop, but it seemed like things were healing and getting back to normal really fast. I've always been a fast healer, which was one of the reasons I felt good about choosing c-section, I knew my body could handle it. I'm still worried about the next one, but I think that's normal… who is NOT nervous about a major surgery?

I had no complications and no infections during my healing. I have felt like my old self for several months now (it has been just over one year). I feel like I healed very fast in the first couple months, I was actually back up to brisk-walking 2 and 3 miles a night after my 6 week checkup.

I have some very very mild numb spots near my scar (which is very pale and white [I am very pale], and almost gone now). When I was first home I felt like the entire scar was completely numb, but month by month sensation came back, and now it's only mild spots that have less feeling than I remember. It's not a big deal and I don't notice it unless I'm purposefully feeling around there to check.

Did I mention I'm pregnant again? :) I got pregnant again just days before my daughter's first birthday, so my uterus has had one full year to heal. I have heard that this a safe amount of time in between, and the baby is not due until September. You may remember if you've read the older posts, it took us over a year, and the use of clomid to get pregnant the first time. This time we got pregnant with no meeds, from having unprotected intercourse… *wait for it* … ONE. TIME. We both cannot get over it. We literally had sex without protection ONCE… to be honest we weren't really trying yet, and we figured one time would be ok… NOPE! For the past few weeks we periodically look at each other, shake our heads, smile, and say "once…" in that *I seriously don't believe this* way. lol

That is not to say that our second baby is an oops, we were planning to have another. We wanted them maybe two or two and a half years apart, and would have been trying again in a few months anyway, it just happened a couple months sooner than planned. As it stand now, the second baby will be born about three/three and a half months shy of our first child's second birthday, so we are about a half a year early for number two. It happened so easily though I actually prefer this, we got to find out sooner that this time would be effortless to conceive. It's better than having to try and try and try, as we had to before. :)

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