I was asked by Cami in a previous blog post comment to write about how I have found recovery after my emergency C-section, I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you it’s a wonderful passage to life being born because it’s not. It’s bloody horrid at the time and it’s not much better now.
Of course I am so grateful for the safe arrival of my baby and in that moment in the delivery room the midwife and doctors made the decision that was needed and they were able to deliver my little girl healthy and screaming her lungs out. For that I thank them and I do not look at my daughter with any kind of resentment at all but if anyone were to dare utter that a c section is the easy way out I would not be held responsible for my actions towards them.
In the immediate days and weeks after my section I was in so much pain I couldn’t climb the stairs in our house, I was unable to get in or out of our bed on my own and even had to ask my husband to help me but my giant pants on after a shower. I spent the first two weeks sleeping in our downstairs spare bedroom on my own with the baby in her basket because it was the only bed I could get to.
Trying to feed her was a nightmare, my stomach was so painful that I couldn’t bare for the baby to lie near my tummy and even the weight of the breast feeding pillow was uncomfortable. I was unable to play with her the way her daddy could as I couldn’t sit on the floor or lay down with her, I couldn’t kneel over her while her little arms and legs kicked and thrashed on the floor. I felt like I was watching from a distance whilst they bonded and I was popping pain relief tablets and taking blood thinning injections.
Things started to improve when the midwife removed my dressing, it freed up some of my movements and I was finally able to get into my own bed and move our new family all into one room. The positive was short lived unfortunately. I developed a skin infection around my wound, caused by (and this where it gets really sexy) my droopy baby belly folding over and getting hot and sweaty along the incision line. The skin around my wound became red and sore so I was given cream and powder to apply to try and heal this which took about a week to be successful.
I am now four months postpartum and the scar area has healed really well. The incision is long but thin and I’m fairly sure that if I were ever to brave a bikini again you wouldn’t see it.
So am I healed? Absolutely not!
The skin on my tummy from my belly button to my scar is numb but not completely numb. It’s painful to touch and feels disconnected somehow. Like it’s someone else’s tummy on my body. If I am playing with Amelia and she kicks me in the tummy I sure do know about it and I still can’t lie on my stomach to sleep or play with her. I’ve been warned by my doctor that the sensation in this skin may never return and the discomfort I have there could last forever. If I’m honest this makes me really pissed! I know it is no one’s fault, there was no medical error made and no one made a bad decision, it is simply how my body has reacted to the spinal anaesthetic but at 28 years old I really don’t like the idea of this being how my body will feel for ever.
My stomach muscles are almost not existent, don’t get me wrong I certainly wasn’t in great shape before getting pregnant but I am still unable to roll over in bed without having to do it in stages. It’s like still being heavily pregnant and having to turn to the middle before you turn over. That’s still my reality and is partly due to my mattress being super soft and squishy but also because my tummy muscles are so weak I can’t flip myself over like I used to.
I’ve also found it super duper hard to lose the baby weight, or any other weight for that matter. In the first two weeks following her birth I lost a total of 23lbs and I thought this is brilliant. Keep this up and I’ll be back to my pre-pregnancy weight in no time and then I can focus on the additional weight I’d like to lose. Well that was November and it’s now February. I’ve lost a total of 24lbs, yep, 1lb lost in four months. Yes I could be trying harder with my diet but any new mum will tell you that you just eat when you can grab when you can grab it and I’m so sick of my weight loss being at a stand still but I can’t seem to get it going again. Add to that the ‘mummy pouch’ as I’m calling it is still firmly attached to my front and showing no signs of reducing either. I’m currently resorting to placing gauze bandage material against my tummy to prevent any further skin infection. This is not glamourous, or sexy, it’s not even mumsy at this point. It’s just pathetic and most days that’s how I feel.
I want to get my old wardrobe out, I want to try my old clothes on again but I’m currently still wearing maternity tops (and nursing tops) because they cover the pouch. I want to throw out my pillow pants as they are loving referred to in this house and go back to wearing normal underwear but I can’t because the seams rub on the sensitive skin and it hurts.
I’m whingeing, I know I am and I know there are so many women who would give anything for the safe arrival of their baby. I suppose I just never expected it to have this effect on me, I kept telling myself it takes 6 weeks to heal and it will get better. Those 6 weeks soon came and went and I’m now adjusting to a new reality but every time I look at my gorgeous little girl I don’t think about how my body has been affected by her birth, I don’t care that I have a road map of stretch marks on my belly and her beaming smile does make the pain and discomfort worth it but if anyone offered me a C-section again, no thanks! Not on you’re bloody life!
Sorry for being so negative but I can’t tell you it’s all roses and rainbows when it has been really hard for me, I’ve always promised to tell you the truth. To cheer you up; here’s a picture of my little darling and her beautiful smile. Worth it!