April is c section awareness month and I know a thing or two… or three about c sections. And you probably have heard about the c section process, but what about recovery? Let’s explore, shall we?!
1. After being wheeled into a recovery room immediately following surgery, you are reunited with your newest little love. And if you’re really lucky like I was, you’ll have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and vomit on your child before they ever get the chance to vomit on you.
2. Once in the recovery room, you are only allowed to leave if you regain movement in your toes. If the anesthesiologist did a real bang up job with your spinal, this could take hours.
3. When you’re finally wheeled to your actual room, you won’t be able to get out of bed until the next day, probably because of the catheter and the massive abdominal surgery. But be ready to walk, pee on your own, bathe, change diapers, and run a marathon the next day.
4. Everyone you know will come visit to see the baby. You’ll just have to politely ask them to side step your pee bag and ignore the fact that you look like you’ve just been hit by a bus.
5. For me, and this probably isn’t true for everyone, but because my babies were born via c section and two of the three were at 39 weeks, my body was like “What is happening? Oh really?! You expect me to produce milk for this child? I didn’t even know this was scheduled for today!” So my milk supply never really came in for two babies, but that didn’t stop them for unleashing their super sucking powers upon my nipples, leaving them battered and bloody.
6. You’ll have to wear compression cuffs around your lower legs. It get sweaty and hot in there, but don’t fight it. By baby three I just closed my eyes and imaged I was the lucky recipient of a free calf massage.
7. Once day two rolls around, and it’s time to start functioning as a human again, it’s imperative that you get up and start moving. I honestly believe the quicker you get up and start walking, the easier the recovery will be. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t royally suck, but it needs to be done.
8. Don’t sleep on the mesh underwear and hot/cold packs. Of course these amenities are meant for women who bring children into the world vaginally, but they are amazing for c section Moms, too! Mesh underwear: stock up on them. Ask every nurse you come in contact with for extras. They fit above the incision site and are super light and breathable. I wish I could wear them every day. The cold pad meant to ease the pain of an episiotomy can also ease the pain of a seven inch long incision. And the hot packs are for your oh so tender breasts. That’s a tip everyone can enjoy!
9. Don’t be a hero. Take the medication prescribed to you… well some of it. Generally, you will be offered three drugs. An enormous Motrin, stool softeners, and Percocet. Keep up with the Motrin and stool softener. You might have to remind the nurses, but you don’t want to miss a dose, because then you won’t be able to function. Personally, I didn’t take the Percocet because it made me vom, but also I honestly didn’t feel like I needed that level of pain killer.
10. When it’s time to leave the hospital, you’re given several instructions. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby, no driving for at least one week, and try not to go up the stairs more than once a day. Let’s all take a moment to collectively laugh at these instructions. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
C section recovery can be a real “b,” but it’s worth it to bring that sweet little life into the world safely. And remember… mesh underwear. Always mesh underwear.