I was in awe of how many people had an opinion when I told them “I’m scheduled for a c-section.” Responses included things such as, “don’t let the doctor bullying you into a c-section” and “my brother’s sister-in-law’s best friend’s hairdresser was also told they would have a big baby and he/she was 7 lbs, you should try to have a ‘regular’ birth.”
I generally took this advice with a grain of salt but pregnant women are dealing with enough, being supportive is the best course of action! For me personally, I have an autoimmune disorder which can cause fetal heart complications. I was getting ultrasounds about once a month to check Mr. Bear’s heart function. He was measuring big the whole time. I was enormous, huge, a house… a topic for another blog… because Mr. Bear was a in fact a big baby. He came 2 weeks early and was almost 10 lbs, his head was in the 98th percentile. Both my OB and my perinatologist recommended the c-section, they recommended it early on.
I started researching c-section preparation, I wanted to get ready learn what I could. What I found was a lot of articles dealing with the guilt of having a c-section. The problem was, I didn’t feel guilty; a lot of that probably had to do with mine being planned and not being an emergency. Even still, where was there here is what you should do to prepare if you scheduled a c-section blog or article? It felt like it was frowned upon, like I should feel guilty. Almost as if I should feel guilty about seemingly choosing the easy way out. And there are women who do feel guilty or have trauma surrounding an emergency situation, birth can be traumatic.
With that, I wanted to share my guilt free experience. I will say, it was harder than I thought it would be. I had never had a major surgery before and guess what! It really is a major surgery and for me, my recovery was hard.
Food prep – I didn’t do this. I read all of these pinterest posts of stocking your freezer full of meals but that’s all I did, read them. I wish I had invited a few friends over a month out to help make freezer meals. The first two weeks home, I was pretty certain my abdomen was jelly/possibly had been removed and standing for long periods was a challenge. Popping something in the oven would have saved us money and time. After I wasn’t in so much pain, I found Hello Fresh a nice option.
Cleaning – Again, I didn’t really do this. Mr. Bear came 10 days early and I thought I had another weekend to prep. In hindsight, I wish I had paid for a housekeeper to come because I was huge but also pretty lazy. B-rad went out and bought paper plates, which I know are not eco-friendly but are tired-new-parent friendly. Do whatever you need to to make life easier, which for us was paper plates and cleaning when we got around to it. And see if you can get the housekeeper right before. Or add this to your registry! Babylist.com allows you to add things like cleaning or food or cash when creating a registry. Groupon usually has some good cleaning deals as well.
Pain management – some women recover quickly from surgery. They don’t need pain medication and they are back to as normal as can be expected. I’m not one of those people and I definitely used the pain medication. After my spinal block wore off, I was pretty convinced someone not only removed my son but also my entire abdominal wall. I could not pull myself up using my abs and my whole insides felt like jelly. Adjusting the way you push yourself up from sitting or laying down will help. Roll to your side and push up using your arms, not your abs. Moving and walking will help, but make sure you are going slow.
I also used a belly binder, ask the hospital for one. It holds everything together and makes you feel less like jelly. I also really liked the postpartum leggings by BLANQI. They also held everything together and made me feel put together, because I was wearing pants! Motherhood Maternity also makes v-cut underwear I found more comfortable to wear. These type of underwear will not rub the scar or dig in. They also have c-section recovery underwear, I found this comfortable a few months after.
Scar Care – There are several different ways your incision can be closed, mine was closed using glue. The nurses and doctors will check your incision while you are in the hospital. You want to make sure you are following whatever instructions you were given. I am very lucky to have B-rad, he was an excellent incision checker. If you are alone, you can use a mirror to check the incision site to make sure it is clear of infection.
Many websites suggest massaging the scar area once everything is closed. Some also suggest using a dry brush. I didn’t do either of those things. Your scar might feel weird at times, mine still does at times even two years later. My stomach is also not the same, I have some lose skin and stretch marks. While I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight; I went up a pant size and my weight is in different places (aka all in my stomach). I found belly oil to help with the stretch marks and learned that my scar is kind of awesome.
Guests – Do not have people over who do not bring you food or help clean up. You are allowed to refuse guests and blame it on the baby – even if everything is fine. We were lucky, all of our guests brought us food even if it was bribe which allowed us to eat and them to hold Mr. Bear. My mom came to visit and was the biggest help ever, I’m still crying about her living so far away. Not everyone has helpful people around them and you certainly don’t have to have them over. I welcomed guests and other adults to talk to, you might not. You are under no obligation to have anyone over 🙂
**DISCLAIMER** I am not a doctor. This blog represents my personal experience and may vary greatly from yours. You should always seek advice from a medical professional and this blog is not intended as medical advice.
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