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 5

My C-Section Recovery, Week 5

Day 1: Went to my first session of Parkour today. Wow, it’s much harder than I thought it would be. Or, perhaps more to the point, I am more of a sissy in real life than I am in my head. One of my first exercises was to leap across a wide gap and grab onto the top of a wall – the floor being a substantial distance away. All I could think was about the potential ways it might really hurt. I can’t imagine getting from where I am today to where the advanced class is… but I figure signing up for six months ought to help. It scares me in a good way so I figure it’s worth doing.
Day 2: Arms day. Got to get these things working.
Day 3: Trail run day! It was gorgeous out and the mother-in-law had the kids so I popped into the car and headed across the bridge to the North Shore. I had forgotten how much fun it was to bomb down the trail. I turned around just as my back muscles started going into spasms and thankfully, they were debilitating at first but went away quick. Too much hunching and an old back injury is a bad combination.
Day 4: The babies first month celebration was tonight, which meant long hours in the kitchen. Just before the guests arrived though I managed to sneak off for a quick park workout on the monkey bars and some hill sprints in the rain. I took a soggy downhill too fast and ended up sliding down a muddy hill into a chain-link fence on a busy road. Several cars pulled over. I was fine outside of some yucky pants and a wedgie. My run went great… unfortunately the upper body not so much. I sure have lost a great deal of strength and agility – I could hardly hang on to the money bars. I committed to putting it all into my daily chin up and push up routine.
Day 5: Ran a 10k race today pushing both girls in a double stroller. Would have done the 5k but there was a bit of off-roading and I’m only comfortable on smooth paved path with Seren at this point. I started off near the back and was really encouraged by all the people I passed. All but a few of the men even were super supportive. I ended up finishing in just under 48 minutes… which was below my B goal of sub 50. My first goal of course, was to just get back out there and have fun working hard again. And I was happy to feel strong after yesterday’s painful realization that my upper body has gone to pot. Oh and remembered that 10k is actually pretty far.
Day 6: Took the day pretty easy and went down to the beach with the girls and dog. Probably got in a good 5k walking, some meandering with my three-year-old and some carrying both girls at a good clip (better get home in time for nap!) so I figure it balances out.
Day 7: Ran to toddler Parkour gym time with the girls but the gym was closed so we hopped a train to do some errands at the mall and then ran home from there.

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.