I am currently two weeks postpartum as I type this post and I am finally starting to feel myself again. I had a rough recovery so far and I want to share my story and experience so I can look back on it and to hopefully help you gain some insight on how recovery really is in case you are going to have a c-section too. Just a little warning, I may sound negative when explaining my experience and that mostly comes with how much pain I was in, but I am thankful I was able to deliver a healthy baby boy another way other than vaginal. I had a vaginal delivery with Oakley and my recovery with that was far better than this recovery and that’s how I’m comparing the two births. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer or scare you, but I wish I was told about some of the things I experienced, so I hope this post can be used as a resource!
The worst week you will experience as far as pain goes. My pain started about 20 minutes after surgery when my numbing medication started wearing off. I felt the most intense cramping that made it so I had to hold on to the railings on the bed to get through them, and on top of that, a nurse was pushing on my uterus every 15 minutes. So when the cramping subsided, she was pushing on me again, so I barely had any relief. It was horrible. Eventually the pushing went from 15 minutes to every hour, then 4 hours, then they were done. I was not expecting that and it was so uncomfortable. My pain got worse on day two and I needed stronger meds so I could actually hold Easton. I felt an intense ‘burning’ sensation on one side of my incision and it would hurt if I walked or got up from a laying down position. It wasn’t constant, but it was another level of pain I was not expecting to experience. I could barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom that day and I’m not exaggerating when I say it took 5 minutes for me to physically get up out of the bed. I was miserable and felt so weak. Once I was up, I had to hunch over just to walk and I was going at a turtles speed-well more like a sloth’s speed. The car ride home was sketchy too with every bump in the road. I was not in a very good mood at all and I desperately wanted the pain to stop.
My stomach was still very swollen for the first week even though I lost pretty much all of my baby weight already. I got stretch marks with Oakley that re-appeared and I’m pretty sure I got a couple new ones with Easton and my stomach looked kinda unrecognizable without a baby in there. I am actually okay with the process it takes to “get your body back” and I knew my experience this time around might look different.
Things were getting better and I was able to stop taking my pain medication completely by the second week. My incision still burned at random times and my lower stomach was still so sore and tender. The hardest part of coming home in such bad shape was not being able to care for or hold Oakley. He wanted me to hold him so bad a few times and it was heartbreaking to have to tell him I can’t right now. It was also hard trying to keep my distance from him so he doesn’t accidentally kick or hit my incision. This was also the week that I decided I was NOT going to get a boob job like I had planned for when I’m done having babies. Surgery is not for me and my pain tolerance is so low haha.
My stomach was deflating more and more and I officially lost all of my baby weight this week. I gained about 27 pounds this time and I have been chugging water like it’s running out of style haha. I’m trying to up my calorie intake to keep my milk supply thriving as well. I haven’t done anything to lose weight except pumping. I drink a lot of water and have just been eating when I’m hungry. Speaking of pumping, I’m exclusively pumping as Easton’s latch wasn’t the best and I am so proud of all the milk I have in the freezer haha. Last time I barely had a stash and when my milk supply was starting to diminish, I barely had anything saved. This time I’m almost running out of room in both freezers and I might need to donate some of the bags. Pumping sucks, but Easton is a slow eater and this is just what is working for us right now 🙂
I’m also dealing with night sweats this week too and it’s so bad haha. I don’t look forward to it each time I’ve been postpartum. I wake up drenched and I have to change pajamas in the middle of the night sometimes. I know that will go away soon, but it’s just once more lovely thing postpartum life will give ya!
I’m feeling so much better this week and have been able to do things around the house again. I can lift Oakley from time to time and I’m able to drive now too. I have nerve sensitivity on my lower stomach above my incision but lower than my belly button. It’s a weird feeling that feels uncomfortable when my clothes touch it. It’s very sensitive and I hope it goes away. I haven’t tried wearing jeans yet, but I can wear lounge pants comfortably if worn above my belly button. My stomach is still bloated looking, but gets smaller everyday and I’m still bleeding a little. Overall, I’m doing so much better and I’ve been feeling more myself each day. All I’ve got to say is I am happy that I’m a great candidate for a VBAC and I pray that can happen for my next and final pregnancy.
If I could choose the top three things you will need after a c-section, it would be:
-A family or friend to help out: My mom was able to come for 3 weeks to help with Oakley and it was the best thing I could of received after giving birth to a newborn. She entertained him and made all his meals and snacks while also making meals for me while Tanner was at work. Tanner was such a huge help too and helped me get out of bed, cleaned bottles for me, took extra breastmilk down to freeze in the middle of the night, got Easton out of the bassinet and changed most of his diapers the first few days. They both did so much and I seriously don’t think I would have made it without their help.
–Comfortable low-rise underwear: I wore these everyday and they didn’t come up high nor rubbed against my lower stomach. They covered my incision so it was protected from my clothes. Some might prefer high-waist panties, but for me, these were the most comfortable and ones I gravitated to the most.
–A good nursing/pumping bra: This bra is both for nursing and pumping and I find it comfortable to sleep with. I honestly hate wearing a bra to sleep, but I don’t notice I’m wearing one at night with this one. Having my hands free while I pump is important since I have a rowdy toddler and this helps me keep my peace of mind.
I will write another blog post of all my postpartum must-haves, so it’s all in one place 🙂