I can't believe I'm writing up this post with so much positivity :) Prior to and during my pregnancy, having a c-section was one of my biggest fears. I was terrified of needles, let alone abdominal surgery. But I am happy to say that I had the most comfortable and positive birth experience via a c-section.
I was also concerned about the recovery - when could I start walking again, will the pain be unbearable, can I hold my baby, how will I function when I get home. All these questions got me feeling really anxious, but so far, my recovery experience has been much better than I had expected!
My video below goes into a lot of detail so below I will jot down the main points about my recovery:
Recovery in the hospital
- Day 1 in the hospital was not too bad. The first few hours post-op, the spinal block was still in full effect and I didn't have to go to the bathroom as I still had the catheter in.
- Once the spinal block wore off, I was already taking oral pain meds so I didn't feel any pain at all unless I moved, coughed, sneezed or laughed.
- The nurses kept asking if I had passed wind as this was a sign that your insides were still in working order. Prior to any wind I was only provided with clear foods such as jelly (yum!), clear soup, water, tea, lemonade etc.
- I passed wind in the middle of the night which meant I was able to eat normal food again! Huzzah!
- My catheter was taken out (not painful at all) and so this meant I had to walk to the bathroom...yes it was painful to walk there even though it was about half a metre from my bed...
- The nurse assisted me in getting up from bed and walking to the bathroom to shower. Even sitting up was difficult, the monkey bar above my bed helped!
- Everyday I made an effort to walk to the kitchen at least once or twice a day - this was about 25m from my room, return-trip.
- I showered everyday and I managed to do it independently, although I still needed help to dry off my legs as I could not bend down.
- My stitches were taken out (not painful at all!)
- Chloe and I were given the ok to head home :)
- Walking was pretty easy for me now, not painful at all, however it still hurt to get up from bed.
Recovery at home
- Dr's orders were not to drive, no strenous physical activity including exercise and housework (yay!), no heavy lifting (nothing heavier than Chloe, who was about 4kg at 3 weeks old), and limited stair climbing.
- The first couple of weeks it still hurt to get out of bed, I had to use my arms to get up and out. I still use a lot of my upper body, but it does not hurt anymore.
- Went for a walk in the park (about 1km) with Chloe at the 3 week mark, and felt great.
- The tape on my incision is still on, I plan to take it off eventually lol.
- 4 weeks post-op, I'm starting to feel normal again. Although every now and then I still feel a bit of pain in my belly just above my incision.
Tips for a smooth recovery!
1. Stay positive! You will become stronger each new day
2. Ask for help! Your parents, family and friends would be happy to help - housework, food, looking after the baby
3. Be patient with your recovery process - give your body enough rest to be able to recover.
4. Eat nourishing food and drink lots of water (esp if you are breastfeeding!)
5. Communicate your feelings - it is a time of huge changes in such a short span of time. Let it out!
6. Start walking as soon as you can, don't stay bed ridden (but don't be walking cray distances!)
If you are planning for a c-section or if you end up having an emergency c-section, good luck and all the best for a speedy recovery!!