Miss Bella is now three weeks old. Like everyone says, it is amazing how the time flies. I wonder where the time goes each and every day. The time between “waking up” (I call waking up whichever waking is closest to 9 am and is followed by breakfast) and Lance getting home from work seems to disappear each and every day.
But anyway, now that I’m a little more removed from Bella’s birth, I think it is a good idea to share a few insights from my c-section recovery…both for my own memory and to help anyone who may be facing one in their future.
First, let me lead by saying it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Everything I read ahead of time made it clear that a c section is major abdominal surgery and should not be taken lightly. And I’m not saying it should be taken lightly, just that my experience really wasn’t that bad. For me, the very worst part was probably being wheeled into the operating room. I was so nervous and scared that I was shaking and Lance wasn’t allowed to be with me at this point. It was the middle of the night, I was having contractions, and I was immediately greeted by the anesthesiologists to prep me for my spinal. I was scared that my shaking was going to mess things up with inserting the needle, but I guess I held it together enough. I really think that this anticipation of the unknown was the very worst part.
I’ve already detailed the rest of the c-section in her birth story, so I’ll skip ahead to my recovery. In the first hours after surgery, I was basically just waiting to regain feeling in my legs. Until that happens, you are confined to bed with the catheter still inserted. It took a few hours, but the feeling gradually returned. It seems backwards, but the feeling returns in the abdomen first and then eventually makes its way until you finally regain feeling in your feet and toes. I was so relieved when the tingling sensation made it to my toes, as I was really looking forward to being able to get out of bed!
I thought that regaining feeling would lead to horrible pain, but I really had very little constant pain. The most difficult part for me was just getting out of bed. I had read about needing to hold a pillow over your abdomen when coughing or laughing, but I honestly had none of that pain. It was just very, very difficult to get up and down for about three days. For whatever reason, my nurse the first night would not give me prescription-strength meds unless I asked for them by name…when I asked for “something stronger” I was just given an extra tylenol. That lesson was learned the next morning. Extra tylenol was not strong enough for moving around. From then on I asked for the stronger stuff by name, and my pain was reduced greatly!
Once I was discharged, I only needed to take the prescription meds for a few more days. I gradually weened myself onto just Motrin, and by a week post-surgery, I was med-free. By ten days post-surgery, I was essentially pain free. Not what I was expecting. At two weeks after, I began walking a mile around the neighborhood, and the other day I was able to push Bella in her stroller a mile and a half.
I’ve been really pleased with the way recovery has gone. I do have a fairly large scar, but it is hidden where it will never be visible. I feel good enough to begin physical activity, although I know that I need to wait until my doctor’s appointment in two weeks so that I don’t risk opening my incisions (there is an internal incision and an external incision). I’m lucky that the easy recovery has allowed me to devote all of my energy into getting to know this adorable little girl that we have been blessed with.