Today is 6 weeks since Taya was born by planned c-section so I thought I would share how my recovery is going this time around. I did something similar when Amelia was born so if you want to read that I’ll link it here. It was very different since it was an emergency section, and I’ve learnt that it makes a HUGE difference.
I can hand on my heart say that other than feeling the strain in my (destroyed) stomach muscles I feel completely healed now after 6 weeks. The first week was rough going as you would expect after major surgery but once the dressing came off on day 5 I felt so much better.
I word of warning about the dressing removal; get it wet! As wet as you possibly can before they remove it. i was able to do this the first time as the support worker turned up in the afternoon and I had been able to shower but this time she came at 9am and I had barely gotten out of bed from feeding Taya when she arrived. She removed the dressed dry and MY GOD did it hurt. More than I remember it hurting the first time. I cried like a baby and I’m not sure if it was the glue pulling on my down-there hair or if it was pulling on the scar area but I the removal of the dressing was probably the most painful part of the whole thing.
Once the dressing was off I found that my movement became a lost easier and unlike the first time I was able to get in and out of bed, turn over during the night, climb the stairs, get in and out of the shower and put my own clothes on. It’s the little things that make you feel normal after a section and not needing help to put my knickers on feels like a really big deal.
When asked how I’ve been feeling my answer has been simple, I feel great! How I felt after the first week was how I felt after about 5-6 weeks with Amelia and that’s definitely a result of the section being planned and time being taken when in theatre.
I was honestly surprised by how well I felt after the first couple of weeks that I had to keep reminding myself it had only been a short while and not to over do it or pickup anything heavy so as not to hurt myself. It was so hard not being able to pick up or carry Amelia and she really struggled with me saying no to her for a while. I’m so grateful that my movement was easy as I was able to kneel down and give her a proper cuddle instead of picking her up.
Not being able to drive is a pain in the arse! I knew it would be because I’m so independent that I can’t stand not being able to go out and do what I want or need to so after 4 weeks I decided to give driving a try. I know it’s earlier than recommended but Kev was due to go back to work and I couldn’t imagine being home on my own with both girls and not be able to drive or leave the house other than to the small park we could walk to.
I think I waiting the right amount of time before driving, remembering not to overdo it and it’s been fine. small trips to local places to get me started but now it feels completely normal to be driving again.
The hardest thing at the moment is the car seat and the pram; they’re so freaking heavy! Even picking Amelia up doesn’t feel as strenuous as lifting the car seat into the car or heaving the pram frame into the boot. I know car seats have to be strong and sturdy to withstand accidents but jeez they’re so heavy even with a tiny month old baby in them. How people carry them around like a bag on their arm I will never know!
I’ve had a slight skin infection around the scar, the same thing happened after Amelia but it affected me a lot more then than it did this time. I asked my midwife to check it when we were discharged and she confirmed that the scar itself had healed perfectly and the infection was just bacterial in the skin around it where my bump has deflated (like a balloon) and there is a ‘fold’. If you’ve had a section already you will know the ‘fold’ well, I call it my pouch but whatever name you give it, it’s unsightly and it feels horrible but it’s very common after a section. The skin infection is clearing up with cream the midwife recommended but I’m going to ask the GP for something stronger at my 6 week check up tomorrow to give it the final push to clear up.
The only other area of discomfort I have is the skin on my tummy. It’s so sensitive and painful that even Taya’s tiny feet hurt when she kicks me during nappy changes or when she lies on me to feed. When I had Amelia I was so concerned and upset by this pain that I went to the GP about it, this time I’ve been prepared for it and whilst it might not fully go away I know it will start to feel better as I lose the baby weight as this is what happened last time.
I’m in a weird place with my body image at the moment, I feel so well in myself that I want to wear ‘normal’ clothes but nothing fits me. My maternity jeans are dropping off me now the bump has gone down but regular jeans are either too tight or too painful on my tummy and scar area so I’m stuck living in maternity leggings that are making me feel fat and frumpy. I did buy some jeggings that technically do fit me but they’re very tight and uncomfortable to sit down in. They’re ok if I’m going somewhere and want to look nice but for sitting around the house or at friend’s houses I’m still opting for leggings and any bagging top that will cover up my saggy post bump belly.
Then I remind myself, it’s only been 6 weeks!