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.

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.

My C-Section Birth

My c-section birth

Today was definitely full of learning.

The birth of my first daughter was a failed attempt at natural birth due to a fused pelvis post-fracture. I could feel exactly what was happening in the c-section although it didn’t hurt. This freaked me out more than a little going into c-section number 2.

There’s a blessing in not knowing when the baby’s coming. Trust me. I hardly slept a wink last night – covering every possible scenario in my head. Every possible one… outside of the smooth and relatively painless delivery of a perfectly healthy girl.

I was doing some light reading, as I do, on labour and delivery outcomes in the United States. It’s a decently well known fact that maternal and infant deaths are on the rise in hospital settings and that their track record is comparable to the better performing countries in the developing world.

Few people though realize that infant and maternal mortality are also on the rise in home births.

Though quality of care and existence if unnecessary intervention is obviously a huge part of the problem, I think it’s pretty clear from the statistics that there is a third factor.

Maternal health and fitness.

One of the major factors leading to a Caesarian birth is maternal obesity.

It would be interesting to look at the outcomes for natural and medical births for women who are healthy and fit. Everyone always assumes that “healthy” ladies pop a baby out natural in twenty minutes and then go for a jog. But in reality this is not always the case.

Fit women still have difficult births and face difficult situations. They are just better prepared to handle them.

I’d be dead right now if not for medical intervention. I’d probably have survived the crash that broke my pelvis – and just ended up very very disabled. But I’d never have survived childbirth… and neither would my two beautiful children.

My big epiphany today, if you can call it that… is to be grateful to modern medicine but never take it for granted. You never know what tomorrow brings, so be in the best form you can to confront it.

The freezing worked much better this time. No pain or sensations until the doctor started pulling the baby out. I couldn’t figure out how I could hear her crying since they didn’t cut a hole.

Which leads me to my second thought if the day: healthy moms make healthy babies. Even if birth did go sideways I’d hope she’d be better prepared to take it on.