Thursday, February 21, 2013

My C-Section Recovery

Wow. Holy C-Section recovery! I have had minimal surgeries in my life - the tonsils, the wisdom teeth, and then the D&C last year...but the C-Section recovery was way more painful than I had anticipated.  

The night Stella was born I felt great because I had a constant morphine drip plus the adrenaline from finally holding my little girl...BUT the next day was really awful physically and emotionally.  When they came in to remove my catheter, they said "This is going to hurt" and after it was finished I smiled and said "Um. That was NOTHING compared to what I went through yesterday!" But THEN they made me walk to the bathroom and I couldn't sit or stand up to even get out of bed. In my mind I was thinking... Seriously? Haven't I been through enough after yesterday???  They had to help me stand up (and even then I was hunched over like an old woman) to escort me to the bathroom. I still remember dying to take a shower but I physically was not able to bring myself to do it for 2 days.  Stella on the other hand had her first bath, diaper and clothing changes, a vision test, and an initial appointment with the pediatrician and I had to stay in the room for all of those "firsts" because I wasn't able to stand up or walk.  It was really hard emotionally feeling so disconnected on top of the language and cultural barrier.  If Stella cried in the middle of the night I couldn't even get up to pick her up from her bassinet.  It broke my heart that I was failing her as a Mom and that Logan had to always be the one to pick her up to soothe her or check on her.  Honestly just sitting up in bed was a 10 step process for me. Oh how I longed to bounce my baby around and hold her while standing up.
Day 2 was a bit better.  Something I was not expecting was all of the air that got trapped inside of me when I was cut open... this was not your typical gas... this was AIR that had been in my body that needed a way out.  It was really painful and I felt similar to a balloon! People have asked if I felt the painful uterus contractions and I am not sure that I did.  Maybe it was masked by the other pains I was having or maybe it was part of those pains and I did not realize it? On Day 2 I finally brought myself to take a shower and made my way across the hall to the nursery to watch Logan change her diaper.  Up to this point I hadn't even seen my little baby naked! I loved studying all her little features but after a few minutes I felt a burning sensation right around my scar. It started to feel really hot and the only relief I could find was sitting down...  BUT it was progress.  
By Day 4 I was finally able to walk around more and stand up straight for longer periods of time. I even accompanied Stella to another floor for her hearing test.  I was able to bend over to help bathe her even though the bending over motion was a bit painful.  Something I figured out on Day 4 was that laughing, coughing, and sneezing was BRUTAL.  I seriously felt like I was going to pop a stitch... So anytime my Mom and Logan were laughing about something I would snap at them to please stop and this typically didn't work and I ended up laughing so hard I cried...but out of pain.  Note: No stitches were actually popped. :)
We were released on Day 5.  That morning the nurse came by to remove all of my stitches which was uncomfortable but not overly painful.   Upon release we were told that I needed to take it easy for the first month- no housework or lifting anything other than Stella. I haven't exactly stuck to this but I have tried. I asked my doctor if he was sure it was only 1 month and not longer ;)

By Week 2 we ventured out on a family walk with Gigi and Opa.  It was nice to get out of the house and walk around, but I was pretty exhausted by the time we got back. Baby steps I suppose :) The only medicine I was on at this point was the same Tylenol equivalent I took while I was pregnant- they couldn't give me anything stronger because of breastfeeding.
I also had to have a daily morning shot in my thigh to prevent blood clots.  This started the day after she was born and lasted for 3 weeks!  They sent a nurse to our house every morning to give it to me and my legs stayed black and blue from all the bruising for a few weeks.  It wasn't overly painful, just more a hassle.  I am happy that part is over!
I am not sure why my recovery was so hard initially. Like I said, I cannot imagine being released from the hospital the day after or even 2 days after my surgery.  Any other C-Section Moms out there have a hard recovery? Was mine different than most? I am sure part of my pain and exhaustion was due to the 16 hour labor and all that came along with that but I am just happy things are getting better. I still have soreness and try to take things easy on a daily basis but I am amazed at how far I have come in a month!  She was worth it :) 


  1. I can't speak for everyone, but your recovery sounds relatively similar to mine. I also had to have an appendectomy about 4 years before my C-section though, so I think it was a little easier because I sort of knew what to expect since the surgeries are pretty similar. I was prepared for the trapped air/gas, but MAN was it still painful - I honestly think that is the worst part! Oh and the laughing/sneezing... I remember crying in the hospital because my dad wouldn't stop making jokes, and the laughter was killing me!

    As for the daily shots to prevent blood clots, I haven't ever heard of that. I'm sure it served a purpose though!

  2. Sounds very similar to mine too. I had NO idea how hard it was! The gas bubbles, the moving around (I didn't shower until day 2 either and had to be walked into the shower by a nurse and Matt had to shower me...ha!), and just doing normal things like sitting up and laughing! I seriously didn't feel all the way normal again until 8 week postpartum and I still have an area on the left side of my incision that hurts sometimes. We stayed for 3 days in the hospital, but I would've gladly stayed 5!

  3. Girl, I'm impressed you got up and went on walks so soon!!! I didn't even walk in the hospital much. C-Section recovery was AWFUL. At least the first 2 weeks, after that I turned a corner. I was in the hospital for 4 days. I guess we checked out on day 5. But yes the air and gas was horrible. Eating always upset my stomach. Honestly the worse part for me was trying to get in and out of the bed and getting in and out of the car.

  4. Sounds similar to my recovery! Walking did hurt but keep doing it!!! I took pain meds for like 8 weeks!! Still have some pain and tenderness near the incision 20 weeks later. That air/gas bubble was TERRIBLE!! I couldn't eat real food till I met my goal of "passing gas" and it took 2 days!! Ahhh!!! Ahh sneezing and laughing hurt for a while!
    Praying for a good 2nd month!!! It is well worth it like u said;)!! Love ya!



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