10 (Fun) Facts About C Section Recovery

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.

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Cecilia the Fierce

With all the time we spend managing Piet’s blood sugar and spreading awareness about type 1 diabetes, our girls sometimes take an unintentional backseat. But Ceci deserves some spotlight because homegirl is somethin’ special.

First of all, she never stops talking. Like, ever. She’s been able to articulate in full sentence format since she was 15 months. This is no exaggeration, just a painful truth. So painful that I haven’t had a silent moment in two years… TWO. YEARS.

Here are some notable comments made by this sweet, small lady:

⁃ I can’t even deal with this right now. (A smart tablet)

⁃ Put this bow in my hair so I don’t look homeless.

⁃ I don’t want to wear the Sofia jammies. They’re the worst! They’re garbage!

⁃ This place is a bust! (5 Below) Let’s get out of here so we can eat some lunch.

⁃ First I need to drink my coffee before I can get anything done.

⁃ ACTUALLY, my answer is no!

⁃ Mommy, where do pine cones come from?

She is obsessed with makeup. If I am getting ready, she will INSIST on helping me. I hand her multiple makeup brushes and old foundation bottles, and she pretends to apply her makeup, narrating the entire process. If I get ready without her knowing, when she sees the final product, she is immediately offended. “BUT MOMMY! I want to do MY makeup! And where are we going?”

Same with nails. She must always have her nails painted. And do not even think about rushing through the task. If there is even a centimeter of unpolished nail, she will unleash in a way that will make you feel one inch tall.

Some of her favorite things include blind bags, Vampirina, lollipops, playing outside at the playground, and spending time with her cousins and friends. She doesn’t do anything that she doesn’t want to and is well versed in the art of manipulation. I sincerely hope she uses her powers for good and not evil, because it’s a coin flip between a life of unbridled success or a life of crime, disguises, and deception.

Despite her unbelievable sass and unwavering confidence, she has a serious soft spot for her little brother and sister. She never complains when I ask her to help them, even if it means stopping what she’s busy doing. And there is no shortage of hugging and snuggling with her.

She is 3 going on 24, and wise well beyond her years. Parenting her is never dull or uneventful. I cannot wait to see the places this little girl will go, because I truly believe there is nothing this human cannot do. Cecilia, our fiery Ceci, I love you and please stop asking me questions I don’t know the answers to.

Household Chores & Wine Pairings

You know what would be the most practical wine pairing for every day mom fun? Pairing wine with household chores. Because what says “let’s get down to business” like a chilled glass of white?

1. Folding Laundry & Rosé: What do you pair with that never ending pile of dirty clothes from your filthy family? Rosé… Rosé all day. And also laundry all day.

2. Loading the Dishwasher & Pinot Grigio: Need something light while you dump heavy dishes into the dishwasher? Pinot Grigio’s got your back!

3. Cleaning the Bathroom & Champagne: Nothing works better together than Scrubbing Bubbles and popping bubbly.

4. Vacuuming & Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir pairs nicely with many things, much like the array of food particles that are scattered on your carpets.

5. Cleaning Up Toys & White Zinfandel: While you’re on your hands and knees, crawling around, collecting toys, your mind might start to wonder to a place of carefree happiness. And what says carefree quite like college? And what says college quite like White Zinfandel?

6. Washing Dishes & Moscato: Bitter that you either don’t have a dishwasher or the dishes your washing don’t fit in your dishwasher? Sweeten up your mood by pairing this dastardly chore with Moscato!

7. Sweeping & Sangria: Is that a new hit song, or just our next wine pairing? Don’t worry if you accidentally drop a fruit chunk on the floor. You’re ready for it! BROOM! (Like “BOOM”… you get it.)

8. Dusting & Merlot: Merlot is like the Ranch dressing of wine. It goes well with everything. So let’s pair it with something that never gets done and maybe someone will actually dust for once!

9. Wiping Down Counters & Riesling: Drinking white while wiping counters is a must! We all know how hard it is to buffer out dried red the next morning.

10. Making Dinner & Cabernet: Cabernet will take you to a foreign place where elegant pasta is on the menu, not the Easy Mac that you’re currently stirring.

Raise your spirit while you raise your glass. Happy pairing!

We Put The FUN in Fundraising

As of right now, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. This autoimmune disease takes constant monitoring with no vacations or rest. It is exhausting and frustrating and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We need a cure. We deserve a cure.

But when we fundraise, we don’t just focus on a cure, because there are so many facets of type 1. We raise money for unbelievably expensive supplies and welcoming new families to ease the pain of the transition. We raise money for diabetes alert dogs who are trained to detect highs and lows before they happen and financial assistance for kids who want to attend diabetes camp.

We attend fundraising events to meet other type 1 families and together we create a community bonded tightly by one common goal, keeping our loved ones alive.

Our main fundraiser is through JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It is a fun filled three mile walk, and I am one huge emotional mess the entire day. What an intense feeling to be in a place where everyone understands. No one even gives a second glance as I poke and stab my 2 year old, because it’s our norm!

Another organization that I feel very passionate about supporting is the ModSquad. We are one enormous, worldwide, online group that communicates daily. They are who I go to for daily support and strength.

Now for the upcoming fundraising fun events!

1. Wine Tour for a CURE! – In the early fall, we plan to take a bus to four wineries in our area! Of course we will be wearing matching t-shirts… because why wouldn’t we?!

2. Softball Tournament (for a cure-nament?… just kidding!) – This summer, Jacob will be organizing a softball tournament for a day of fun and games to support our little man!

3. Walk T-Shirt Sales – This year’s walk, our team name is “Piet’s Mates” and we will be dressing like pirates the day of! You are not going to want to pass up on this awesome t-shirt and joining our team!

4. ALL Sewn Goods Soft Prezel Sale – My generous sister is planning two fundraisers 6 months apart. The first one will start in the next couple weeks and benefit the ModSquad. In September, she will have another to benefit the walk! She is going to (locally) sell homemade soft pretzels and also raffle off her hand sewn kitchen goods!

Keep a lookout for upcoming events! We sincerely hope you’ll consider supporting our family, especially Piet, as we take on type 1 diabetes!

EGG-cruciating Egg Painting

(Take note of Jacob’s face. It says “I hate nothing more than dying these eggs.”)

You know how doing fun and creative things with your children always sounds like a really great idea? It’s not. Like really, really not.

We decided to dye Easter eggs together as a family to gear up and get excited for the holiday weekend. Of course we needed eggs and also egg dye, so I picked up the first dozen and dye kit I saw. Upon arriving home, I discovered that I didn’t purchase the regular old dye kit… but instead it was a dipping kit with stickers to decorate the eggs. That was fine… no big deal…

Until both toddlers needed to have THE DARKEST BLUE DYE I’VE EVER SEEN in front of them. As they fought over the glass cup, blue dye is splashing and flying everywhere. “EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIT DOWN!” I hollered as I strategically placed all six colors out of reach of anyone who can’t successfully make it through the night without urinating on themselves.

“Mommy is in charge of all the dipping!” And I handed them each a festive sticker sheet to decorate the dry eggs… the very, very dry eggs. This system was working out just fine, minus having to peel off each and every sticker for both kids, because although they can scale the outside of the staircase, they can’t figure out how to pull a sticker off a piece of paper.

At one point, the eggs weren’t drying fast enough, so Ceci thought that this would be a really great time to crawl onto the kitchen island and vigorously shake the pink dye.

Me: Why?! Why?! Seriously, why?!

Jacob: You were told not to touch the dye. Now you have to sit in timeout. (Much more articulate than I am)

Next came the dramatic “what me? I can’t possibly need to be disciplined for doing the exact thing you told me not to!” act. There was a lot of flailing and wailing, and during those three ear-piercing, painful minutes, Piet grabbed a pink egg and smashed it on the island, shouting “BALL!” Does this sound like chaos? It should sound like chaos. Finally Ceci was able to re-enter the “fun” having area.

And apparently the stickers weren’t living up to Jacob’s standards. “Do we have Sharpies?” “YEP!” I responded like a total fool. I handed each child a marker and the very second I gave Piet his, he swiped it right across the top of the island where it will stay forever to commemorate this joyful experience.

Me: OK! That was so much fun! But, that’s it! *Collects markers and starts dumping dye down the sink*

Ceci: But Mommy, there are more eggs!

Me: *Snaps the egg carton shut and shoves it into the fridge* Nope! Wasn’t that so much fun!

But it wasn’t fun. It was the least fun ever.

My Baby Tried to Kill Me

It was 2017. I was pregnant with my third kid in three years, so I was pretty familiar with the process. She was due in May, and I already knew her birthday would be the 15th.

Flashback: Two weeks after my due date with baby one, I was induced. I labored for 30 hours before that child needed to be brought into this work via csection.

Flashback to one year after the first flashback: Because the second baby was born too soon after the first baby, it was highly recommended to me that I have a repeat csection. So, I did!

Back to 2017: So this is, of course, going to be another csection. But at about 34 weeks, I started feeling this intense, stretching pain. I knew it wasn’t contractions or kidney stones because I had experienced them both previously. It was the kind of pain that doubled me over and would happen about 2-3 times daily.

Obviously I didn’t say anything to the doctor about it, because I was a professional baby maker and knew they’d be like, “Oh honey, those are just pregnancy pains! Make sure to take one Tylenol each day to alleviate the pain!” Yeah… that’ll do the trick. Amiright?!

Fast forward to 37 weeks pregnant: I was still having having the crazy pain, but now my ankles started to itch intensely. I thought “Well, this is new!” So I consulted my number 1 doctor bestie… the internet. She told me to call the doctor immediately because I could die and so could the baby and also anyone who ever has come into contact with me ever.

I picked up the phone and speed dialed the doctor right up. They were a little scary urgent and told me to go get blood tests right away and also make sure my hospital bags were packed. WHAT IS HAPPENING!!

It turns out I had something called cholestasis, which is pregnancy hormones effecting the bile flow in the liver, and it can be danger for the baby. My levels were borderline, take the baby right now or just monitor the remainder of the pregnancy. We decided to monitor her and I had multiple stress tests the last two weeks.

Now, the cholestasis had nothing to do with the searing pain, but it still plays an important part…

The day finally came for us to meet our sweet Kamden English. They took me through the preparation routine that I was all too familiar with… but this time as they cut me open, no one spoke and before I knew it, the baby was out and crying. Jacob followed her for the checkup/cleanup process.

The anesthesiologist turned to me and said, “WOW! That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen them deliver a baby via csection!” And I didn’t really think anything of it until I heard my beloved doctor say, “I should have taken this baby two weeks ago when she was diagnosed with cholestasis.”

WHAT?!

After I was sewn back up and my fulopian tubes were removed (because no thanks on the more babies) the doctor came up to me. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. Your uterine walls were so thin, I could see the baby through your uterus. If you didn’t want me to remove your tubes, I would have done it anyway. There is no way you can have any more babies and I’m just happy everything is ok.”

All those intense pains I was feeling were from Kam standing straight up in my belly, literally ripping my uterus.

Since then, she continues her attempts on killing her mother from lack of sleep, falling and smacking her head off things, and putting every possible choking hazard in her mouth.

Who Had a Better Honeymoon?

To really have an understanding of this week’s Type 1 Tuesday post, we have to do a quick review of what causes type 1 diabetes. Here we go!

What causes T1D? A HUGE misconception is that diabetes is just from eating too many sweets or not taking care of yourself. In the case of type 1, this is just 100% NOT TRUE. What they are pretty sure happens is after fighting off a virus, the immune system will confuse the beta cells in the pancreas for that virus, and kill them off as well. Beta cells are in charge of producing insulin and insulin’s job is to carry the sugar in the bloodstream around the body for energy. Type 1’s do not produce their own insulin. This is very different from type 2 diabetes, but they often get confused… BUT that’s a whole other thing.

WOW! That was a lot of learning and also A LOT OF FUN!!! Now, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? I’m going to compare a type 1 honeymoon to our honeymoon using the 5 W’s!

Who?

T1D: A newly diagnosed person with type 1 diabetes, looking ahead to their life that has forever been altered.

Ours: A newly married couple looking ahead to their life together.

What?

T1D: Of course this varies, but on average 20% of beta cells are still kickin’, and continue to produce insulin. Things that could happen include unexpected low blood sugars, less need for corrective insulin doses, and just straight mayhem… because nobody really knows when those beta cell-rat bastards want help out!

Ours: We spent a romantic week in paradise to celebrate our love and commitment to each other!

When?

T1D: This small amount of insulin could keep on keepin’ on for weeks, months, or even years until the immune system wipes them out, too.

Ours: Immediately following our super classy, super warm, super dry wedding! (If you need to catch up on that muddy mess, check out our wedding story posts!)

Where?

T1D: Everywhere! T1D honeymooning doesn’t need a special place to spurt out a little extra insulin.

Ours: At the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Why?

T1D: When the immune system attacks the beta cells, the few left over can’t keep up insulin producing and surrender by going into a hibernation state. Once insulin is reintroduced in injection form, the cells wake up and start helping again.

Ours: Apparently we went on our honeymoon to prepare us for everyday marriage. We did vow to love each other “in sickness,” right?!

So, what do you think? Does a type 1 honeymoon sound like a day in paradise to you?! Yeah, me neither. Maybe it should have another name, like “the whirlwind phase” or “the puberty phase.” Those make more sense, for sure.

Our Haywire Honeymoon: The Rest

If you’re just hopping into the story now, don’t forget to catch up in part 1! Our Haywire Honeymoon: Day 1

It’s an unbelievable feeling to wake up and be greeted by paradise. We had the whole week ahead of us, and Jacob and I were going to soak in every last second of sunshine and sweet love on our honeymoon.

We did a pit stop at a grandiose breakfast buffet before hitting up the beach. My first thought, “MIMOSAS!” I poured my first glass and spooned some fruit onto a plate and sat down… but only for five seconds, because I needed another mimosa. Early morning speed drinking might not be my sport, because as I poured my second glass, the bottle hit my champagne flute, smashing it into one million pieces. Good start.

After breakfast, we found two chairs nestled under a sea of palm trees and decided that this was the perfect spot for some relaxation. We pulled out our young adult fantasy fiction and embraced the scenery and serenity.

A hotel worker kept frozen, coconut drinks coming and it was perfect. After awhile, we decided to eat a little lunch and take on our ultimate mission of the day, finding pants for Jacob. We were directed to shops on the resort and we sifted through them until we finally spotted men’s linen pants. They were see through, had a drawstring, and were $90, but Jacob deemed them his “vacation pants” and really embraced the island look.

(Vacation pants)

While we were shopping, my stomach began to churn. “Jake, I don’t feel great.” We chalked it up to day drinking and the sun, and kept it moving. I mean, it’s not like I drank the water… but what about all those frozen drinks?

That evening we had a spectacular, special honeymoon dinner and Jacob proudly wore his pants. We even had shots they lit on fire! And man, did they burn going down! (See what I did there?) After dinner, we hit up another show and then called it a night. The entire evening, my stomach never felt quite right.

Once we were back to the room, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “I’m going to be sick!” I ran to the bathroom and became violently ill. All the things were happening. And then I remembered that two measly pieces of glass were all that separated me from my new husband, who I was trying to keep the romance alive with. I looked up and saw him, not peering in at me, but just the fact that I would see him and also my disheveled self made me wildly embarrassed. “JAKE! You have to sit on the floor! Just please sit on the floor! No questions!”

For the rest of the week, we ordered a lot of room service, played Rummy in the hotel room, and stayed at the pool closest to our room “in case of an emergency”. By day five, Jacob no longer needed to sit on the floor, but instead we were able carry on full conversations through the two panes of glass. Really brought us together.

(I’m sick here. Jacob apparently thought it was a good photo op.)

Because we kept it low key the rest of our trip, we never saw the couple who blew us off again. I mean, it’s probably for the best. I’m sure they wouldn’t have appreciated the level of comfort we were displaying in our room anyway.

When the week came to an end, we were sad to leave paradise, but so happy to head home and back to our life as newlyweds, where the water was clean and the bathrooms were private. We took the death shuttle back to the airport and had an easy flight home. Jacob’s brother, Luke, picked us up from the airport and we experienced a car trip equally as terrifying as that of the resort shuttle. Finally we were in the comfort of our own bathroom… I mean home.