Recovering from my C-Section

I didn’t expect to have Keira by C-Section. Sure, I joked about it before-hand when my doctor told me our baby was a “good size”. But I was all prepared to labor through the pain and push this baby out. However, after weeks of false labor and days of real labor, little Keira had decided she’d had enough and the doctors recommended C-section. The C-section itself wasn’t so bad. It went a lot quicker than I imagined that it would be and little Keira was born into the world, healthy and green.

The hard part was the aftermath of the C-section. For 24 hours, I couldn’t move from my bed. Every time little Keira would scream, Jason would have to jump up to retrieve her. Meanwhile, I would be fighting against my aching body to sit up in order to nurse her, pulling and tugging on the hospital bed bars. Poor Jason felt like he could never leave the room in case the baby would start crying and we would both be stranded. Not to mention, the hospital’s policy that new babies couldn’t stay alone with a C-section mom until mom had demonstrated she could get out of bed. Since we weren’t prepared to let Keira out of our sight, that meant the only breaks Jason got were when my family showed up to meet Keira. And then of course, it meant they would be handling Keira when I couldn’t get up to help them.

My first time walking post-birth consisted of me slowly edging to the side of the bed, trying to get up on my legs and then sitting right back down from the dizziness of the pain. I waited a moment and then gradually took 4 steps to the rocking chair in my room. The nurses were proud. I felt helpless.

Coming home from the hospital was more of the same. The doctor put me a 2 week stair restriction, meaning I could only go up and down the stairs once a day. Since bed was most comfortable and Keira’s changing area was upstairs, that meant I stayed upstairs all day. I was at everyone else’s mercy, waiting for people to bring me food or come up and keep me company. Dinner was my only chance to go downstairs and be a part of the family. I could sit at the dinner table and afterwards retiring to my downstairs recliner before finally slowly ascending back to my Mommy Cave. It was incredibly lonely when you’re used to living with a large family.

What surprised me was how long it took for me to heal. I expected that since most of my restrictions were 2 weeks out from the surgery that I would feel semi-normal by that time. I figured I could start getting dinner prepared or doing laundry for our large family of 5. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Every time I attempted to push myself a little farther, I was met with terrible pain later on. It was one step forward, two steps back. Around 5 weeks postpartum, I decided enough was enough and put myself on “house rest”, which meant no trying to go shopping, no trying to meet up with friends, no trying to out do myself. But even the process of walking up the stairs to change Keira several times a day was painful.

I did accomplish laundry, only by making Jason sort all the clothes and then grabbing the kids whenever they came in from playing to carry a laundry basket up or down. I truly just don’t know how I would have done it without all my family’s help (grandparents included!). This definitely wasn’t how I imagined my maternity leave would be.

At my 6 week postpartum appointment, my doctor asked me jokingly, “So you think you’ll have more kids or was this too traumatic for you?” I was awe-struck. I couldn’t even think of the possibility of trying to go through this again with another baby and trying to manage FOUR kids while feeling this way! I quickly changed the topic and responded, “I think three is a great number.”


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:18:54

    *big hugs*

    It’s so hard to learn all there is to learn about being a new mom when recovering from major surgery. I totally understand those feelings of helplesness and isolation.


  2. Trackback: Finally Healing « Domestic Deeds

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