Monday, December 9, 2013

C-section Survival and Tips

PREFACE: Some of this post may be a bit TMI for some. For just the C-section tips, scroll to the bottom.

Let me preface by saying that I really never considered having a c-section. I just assumed
that, like most of my family around me, I would be able to have a "normal" delivery and recovery. Pop that sweetie out and have a couple weeks of discomfort. I could handle that, right?

The old saying, "We make our plans... and God laughs" comes to mind.

I was right on track with my first sweet girl. My pregnancy was easy {for the most part} and 8 days after her due date, I was induced to begin labor. Even the labor went well. My assisting nurse said that I was a good pusher. I was pleased. Forty minutes later my sweet girl arrived, and I was elated.

Little did I fully realize then that I had a fourth degree tear. It would take me a full three months to recover. Click here for more on that journey. Side note: If you're in that storm, don't give up! You will come out of it! If you need more encouragement, email me!

So, needless to say, I was a little bit petrified of going through that whole experience again. a little over a year-and-a-half later when I found out that I was pregnant with my second sweet one, I asked my OBGYN for advice. After a lot of prayer and thought {I mean, like up to my eighth month} we decided on a c-section.

Honestly, this world is tough for moms. I got a lot of, "You're what?!?" from my friends about my decision. Some people that I didn't even know questioned what I was doing. That'll make you think, folks. I had to constantly turn to the Lord and be reminded that this was the right choice: for me, for my Sweets, for my entire family. I trusted Him. The Lord knew what He was doing even when I was unsure of myself. This was the path that He had chosen for me.

Questions people asked:

Why would you choose to have surgery?  
My FULL recovery time was 6 weeks instead of 12
{and I felt really good for most of that time}

Don't you think it will be bad for your baby?  
Sweets arrived perfectly healthy. Ate well, slept well... always has.

Won't you feel guilty that you didn't TRY to have her vaginally?
No, I didn't. I got over the "Mommy guilt" when I couldn't breastfeed my first. Sometimes it tries to come back to haunt me. It rears it's ugly head when the laundry's not folded or Scoot didn't get to go to the park. It tries to say, "Look, you're not as awesome a mommy as _______" At those times I reach for Jesus and I ask myself these questions: Is she fed? Is she clothed? Did you love on her today? and {hopefully} Were you able to show her Jesus today?

K. We're good.

C-section was a choice that I made and I'm really glad that I did. The before was nerve-wracking, but once we were in process, I was so glad that we had chosen this path. Here are a few tips for those who may be considering this procedure:

At the Hospital:

1. If you think that you may get nauseated under anesthesia, ask your anesthetist for medicine to help beforehand. He'll have it ready, just in case. You do not want to be throwing up when your little one enters the world.

2. Once your epidural wears off, you will feel a bit like your insides are falling out whenever you stand up. Buy one of these to wrap around your abdomen during recovery. LIFESAVER... seriously. I put this guy on after my shower at the hospital and wore it for the next few weeks. It was incredibly supportive and reduced the pain a good deal.

3. Walk, walk, walk. When you think you're done... walk some more. Get out of your hospital bed as soon as you can and walk several times an hour. The more you move, the less sore your muscles will be.

4. If you can send your little miracle to the nursery then DO IT! You need the rest, your hubs needs the rest... I promise! You will be doing it all for that sweet chunker in just a few short days at home, so take the time to rest!

5. Bring a loose nightgown that buttons up the front to the hospital. I chose a light cotton long sleeve night gown from Target. I'm hot-natured and it was fine! It was great for nursing and comfy around my middle. Ideal choice. Some recommend yoga pants. Those worked well for me later, but not in the hospital. 

Once you get home:

1. You will need granny-ish panties {at least for a bit} I bought these from Walmart and they worked really well. I was able to place one of the ultra-thin pads against the inside with the pad facing my scar for extra comfort before I wrapped my abdomen with the Dale wrap. Very supportive... and I loved it.

2. Set your alarm for your meds. For a few weeks, I alternated Motrin and Loratab. Be sure to take the next dose a few minutes early so that the pain doesn't get too intense before the medicine can kick in.

3. When showering, be gentle with your scar and make sure to pat it completely dry when you get out. This will help to prevent infection. 

4. Ask for help and let people help you. You won't be feeling 100% for a few weeks. Let others take some of your load!

5. If you have little people, do not lift them until you hit the 6-week mark if you can. This was a tough one for me. I was so used to lifting my 2-year-old into her bed or into the car. Well, she learned to do it herself. It didn't scar her to learn to do it. She fine, and I healed correctly because of it. 

6. Try to shower every day {or every other day} and walk outside at least once a day. It will make you feel a ton better, even if it doesn't seem like it! 

Just a few thoughts from my journey. For me, it was such a great choice! I was able to get out within the first couple of weeks and felt totally normal by week six. I wouldn't change a things. Some women are labor and delivery Rock Stars... not this chick. The Lord chose to give me a different view of things, and that's ok. I'm still fearfully and wonderfully made... as are my babies.

Thank you, Father, for carrying me through this journey called life.

There's no place like your arms.

1 comment:

  1. I had an emergency c-section for my first (after 3 days of induced labor, I was still only dillated to 2 cm) and chose to have a c-section for my second. Everyone and I do mean everyone said I should try for a VBAC. Me? I felt that I knew what to expect with a c-section, it wasn't so bad (I was climbing stairs 2 days later - obviously everyone heals differently but for me it was fine), and to be frank, that part of my body was already mucked up, why muck up another part of my body? I agreed with the OB-GYN that if I went into labor on my own before week 39 I'd go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) but I was also confident that wouldn't happen - my cervix just didn't like dillating - and I was quite happy when I reached the 39th week and scheduled c-section date without labor. The difference between an emergency c-section and a planned one was immense - everyone was so serious during the emergency c-section, and they didn't seem nervous or anxious, but it was clear we were dealing with a very serious situation. Whereas with the planned c-section we were joking and laughing; my child was born into a happy, loving, laughing room. Everyone will make the choice that is right for their own body; but for me, I loved my c-sections and am so, so grateful we live in a time when it's even possible.


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