My C-Section recovery, week 6… last post!

My C-Section Recovery, Week 6… last Post!

I just passed the six-week mark and I had my postpartum OB-GYN visit – so this will officially be my last blog of this series.

So, thankfully none of my organs fell out. That would have been a very failed experiment.

Getting back into activity soon after my c-section definitely worked in my case – but of course, each case is different. I was really careful to back up when I felt any weirdness or pulling, regardless of what I was doing.

The best news this week: I finally made it across the monkey bars again – which felt impossible last week. It’s nice to see that things are still moving forward even if at times they feel as if they’re not.

Day 1 – Had a much easier time at parkour today. Still avoiding the planks but feeling pretty much healed. I feel like my upper body strength and agility has come back a bit. A bit. Still a long uphill climb ahead but I’m a few yards up.
Day 2 – Did 12 x 100m on the track tonight pushing a double stroller. Ama loved the speed and I loved working a bit on my form and stride length (as much as possible pushing a small SUV).
Day 3 – Short walk today with my folks – and my daily chin-up and push-up routine of course.
Day 4 – St Patty’s 5k in 21:32. It was a bit hilly but since my parents were here to watch the kids, I got to run without the stroller. It felt so good (and so very not good) getting out there to push again. I certainly have a long way to go before I break 20 again… but at least all that stands in my way is a lot of hard miles.
Day 5 – Stair Climb for Clean Air today: a 48 flight race up the Sheraton Wall Centre. I did 6:21 last year but added a full minute to my time this year. Thankfully, it was still good enough for the win. I learned that my legs are much weaker by about floor 10… I had to haul myself up the next 38 flights using my arms and my heart. Still, I am nearly 20lbs heavier than last year – I would be curious to see how I would have managed with a backpack that heavy last year.
Day 6 – Did my bootcamp with the group today save for the sit-ups. It’ll be a while before those feel normal I think.
Day 7 – Ran with my run group and did a few steady miles with the fast pack. My calves need a little love… having thrown them into the fire, they sure are stinging. Finding time for stretching and myofascial release has not been easy – but tonight is a good reminder that it’s critical to staying sound.

And that’s it… not that six-weeks is some magical barrier of recovery – but at least I’m hitting the ground running… thanks to a forward thinking OB-GYN and a fairly active pregnancy.

Movement is Medicine.

My C-Section recovery, week 2

My C-Section Recovery, Week 2

Research shows that almost six times the women get post partum depression following a c-section over a vaginal or forceps birth. One theory is that the hormones responsible for preventing post partum depression are suppressed in the surgical process.

To me, it seems crazy to think that someone who comes out with a healthy baby and body would experience such debilitating depression. But depression isn’t rational. And you can’t think your way through it.

I feel the more challenging and isolating recovery process from a c-section is neglected in this explanation. Often these ladies spend a couple months house bound, with little to no activity. Exercise has been demonstrated as more powerful in fighting depression than many anti-depression medications. And to make matters worse, deconditioned post c-section mommies probably have a much harder time resuming activity and find less enjoyment in it. That, and they are way more likely to be lonely, bored and socially isolated.

Just speaks to the importance of taking a walk each day in the fresh air with a friend if you can.

Onwards. Here’s my recap for the second week.

Day 1: My first walk! My daughter decides we should go to the closer park (4k) instead of the more exciting park (8k). I’m glad she did. Pretty pooped by the time I get home and a big hill with a heavy stroller to finish. It was good to get the wrap out and remember how to use it. I feel more free now.

Day 2: Passport photos for the little ones, baby’s first doctor appointment and visit to my husband’s work to show off the cutie. I asked the doctor about increased bleeding with exercise – as all the forums seem to suggest that any increase in bright red lochia means you’ve over done it. He disagreed. He described it as channels being left open that were super active prenatally – and that vigourus activity shakes some blood loose. He said the golden rule of soaking through more than one pad an hour is still the most important thing to note. I’m nowhere near this critical point so I feel better.

Day 3: Baby is starting to sleep bigger stretches in the night and I am correspondingly feeling more human. I clean the house… which feels great! Ah… the simple pleasure of a clean house. I spend rest of the day digging, pushing and pulling… trying to recover all of my regular clothes and putting all my maternity stuff in boxes. Lifting feels fine to a certain size rather than weight. If it’s too big and off my axis I can feel my core engage. Ama and John go skiing in the mountains – and of course, the baby sleeping more at night means more awake time during the day. I end up singing to her the entire time from a fort of boxes.

Day 4: Repeat day 3. I have way too many clothes. But despite being a lot snugger, I can fit into them… which makes me happy. Never complaining about this little piglet breast feeding like a champ again.

Day 5: Today’s the day. The weather is gorgeous, the kids are at home and on the way to the store I run 10 sets of stairs. I am rewarded with a little lung burn (oh how I’ve missed you). I am looking to defend my title in this year’s stair race up the wall centre tower not even 6 weeks postpartum. I also find the stairs are a gentle way to functionally get my heart rate up, since the stairs come up to meet your feet. I focus on staying relaxed and supporting with my transverse abdominus. I also throw in 30 raised push-ups and squats for good measure… which feel surprisingly OK… although my butt is up in the air. To top the day off, some of my favourite friends come visit me in the evening. They bring me organic nuts, soup, vegan chill, organic fruit, homemade muffins, and salad.

Day 6: Due to yesterday’s delicious bounty, we eat like kings today. We wait until the hail stops, and then go for a walk in the heat of the sun. You just never know with the weather here. My husband is sick so I teach my bootcamp. Surprisingly, demoing squat tuck jumps and lunge switches doesn’t hurt. Although I only attempt one or two and land quietly so as to not push my luck.

Day 7: Rain, rain go away. I decide to give the rebounder a try and go back to running as gently as possible. I also throw in some exercises to strengthen my hips in all planes, my calves and my core.

And that’s week 2. Looking forward to getting back into health and fitness. Starting my journey back to my race weight is my big goal for week 3.

C-Section recovery week one

C-Section Recovery Week One

It’s funny… I can’t believe that I had a c-section before, let alone a baby. It feels like I somehow forgot everything despite it only being a 3 year gap between the last time that I experienced both.

I wanted to share my experience in recovering this week for all those mamas who are going in for a planned caesarian and want to know what it was like for me.

One caveat: my OB-GYN gave me advice I have never heard before: do whatever the heck you want. Lift anything regardless of how heavy, vacuum, go running, and climb stairs as soon as you get home. He assured me that I could not bear the pain involved in ripping the stitches and that I would stop long before anything happened. He basically warned against me going home and sitting on my duff for six weeks, which to that point is the only advice I heard.

I guess the instance of “wound dishescence” is fairly uncommon and only occurs in like 0.37% of cases. It also seems to happen mostly from infection and the body needing to release fluid back out of the opening. In fact, some of the major factors include obesity and diabetes.

I can also see how I wouldn’t be able to bear the pain of tearing them. Even as an pain loving endurance athlete, the pain is unembraceable and I back off immediately.

Any who… I appreciate the advice every time I sneeze and the panic sets in that I have just launched my organs through a baby-sized hole in my stomach. Although if I do blow my stitches, I am sure I have some, “I told you so”s coming my way.

Here’s how my week went:

Day 1: Can’t even move my toes. Have a catheter and IV in. The biggest change was being able to wiggle my feet by night time.

Day 2: They remove the catheter, IV and let me have a shower and walk around my room. I feel terrible. Maybe my entire body being frozen wasn’t such a bad thing. I’m not sleeping at night but I don’t care, this baby’s so cute I could stay up forever.

Day 3: They release me back into the world. This is maybe the worst day pain wise as I have went from an epidural and morphine to advil and tylenol and I’m moving lots more. I worry I might never recover. I am glad that my boobs aren’t engorged this time around. That pain stuck in my soul.

Day 4: My boobs are so engorged. So engorged that the baby can no longer eat. I long like I never have before for small saggy boobs. They must have grown the gamut of cup sizes overnight. I can’t believe I ever found pregnancy uncomfortable. I lift various things the nurses told me not to: like the baby in the car seat, some suitcases up a flight of stairs, etc. I feel fine but I do lift with my back. I hope to goodness no one ever sees my lifting form right now. But at least I don’t feel like I’m using my abs at all.

Day 5: Why won’t the baby just sleep? In trying to get ready, I run up and down the stairs numerous times and it feels just fine. I feel a bit silly for setting everything up on our main level so I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs to get anything. Except everything I know want but forget when I am upstairs.

Day 6: Family outing to IKEA. I push the cart and carry my newborn. I lift my toddler once. That feels gross so I don’t pick her up again. I finish the breakfast I could hardly finish last week when I was pregnant and want more. So much for the vision of a pregnant woman bringing a buffet to it’s knees. Breast feeding, however, makes me insatiably hungry! I also lift a box of books to organize and decide it’s too much to carry back. I make my husband move it.

Day 7: My husband takes my daughter to school and I watch Dexter while the baby sleeps. Hey, she’s tired from waking me up all night and Dexter’s insanity soothes me at the moment. It’s also my first day off meds and I feel pretty OK. I do feel like I should get out for some walks starting tomorrow. But it is nice to have a lazy day with a snuggly baby.