My C-Section recovery, week 3

My C-Section Recovery, Week 3

Week 3 and I’m feeling better and better. It’s hard to believe I was an absolute train wreck only a few weeks ago!

Day 1: I don’t manage to get out until the end of the day so when my husband gets home I have him watch the girls while I do a quick pre-dinner workout. I end up running at a decent clip to the train station. I planned for 10 sets like last week but 10 turned into 20, and 20 turned into 30. I considered 50 but managed to rip myself away while I was still sensible. I did 3 minutes of bar hangs and 30 pushups with my bum up in the air to round the workout off.

Day 2: It was a gorgeous day so we took advantage and walked the 6k to Science World with the stroller. I jogged a bit on the downhills and was feeling pretty darn good. As a bonus, Ama loves the double stroller bus. At least for now.

Day 3: I have a CPR class this morning. First time away from the baby. It does get easier with the second. I decide to run there… it’s only just over 4k. But the fact that it’s all uphill makes up for it a bit. I manage a 6 minute kilometre pace. Nothing to write home about – but that’s a decent easy run pace. Plus, I feel fine indeed.

Day 4: I head out for coffee with our running group. Both children are snatched from my arms and I have some nice social time with two hands. I plan to walk back with Ama in the rear pack and the baby in the front wrap but I don’t quite get the wrap right. I don’t make it very far before my husband picks me up after he gets off work.

Day 5: My husband spends the day skiing in the mountains and then comes back to get us for the evening. Baby’s first snowshoe! We don’t go very far before I remember that I haven’t fed her. We do only about an hour in total including the time our 3-year-old was walking – in the deepest snow possible, of course. But I enjoy the familiar lung burn of hill climbing. I also get in an arm workout before we head up and since my husband watches the baby and the older one is napping, I get to do 30 minutes of pull-ups, push-ups and weights uninterrupted! I am also surprised by how easily I can do band pull-ups and chin-ups. I guess last time I did them I had a huge belly to lug up.

Day 6: I spend the day in the passport office and taking the train to and from (and to and from again since I forgot my older daughter’s birth certificate). It’s a good walk but I still feel like I have some energy to burn. I do a quick 20-minute stair session after dropping the girls off and before teaching my bootcamp. I only get half the snow cleared from the walkway… but in this case is the optimist’s view that it’s half empty?

Day 7: We go for a hike around Burnaby Lake today. At just over 10k, I can run it in about 40 minutes. It takes us two-and-a-half hours. It has been snowing an unusual amount in Vancouver (so that’s what happens to all that rain when it’s below zero!) and it has covered the trail in half-a-foot of slush. Plus, I am carrying a ten-pound baby in the front and a 30-pound toddler in the back. Still, it’s great to get out and everyone is still in a fine mood when we get back to the car. Just a little hungry… lunch tastes so much better that way.

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.