Healing After My C-Section: Three Months Later

Blake is 12 weeks today. He is “officially” no longer a newborn according to some statistic I read online.. So you’re probably wondering why I am still healing from a quick little surgery after almost 3 months. Did the doctor do a bad job? Were there complications? No. In fact he did such a good job that after not even one week I was going up and down the stairs to our bedroom, able to shower without feeling like passing out, going out, and shortly after that driving. I’ve had others tell me it was weeks before they were feeling better. When I was leaving the hospital the nurse even told me to expect it to take at least two weeks until I was able to do things like go up the stairs again, and she insisted I have my Rx for stronger meds filled even if I didn’t think I would need them because I may. I never did though. I healed extremely well, physically. Emotionally though? That hasn’t happened so quickly.

I knew I wanted a natural home birth but I didn’t realize just how bad I wanted it until it didn’t happen. And I haven’t wanted to say anything negative about it because in the end Blake & I were healthy. Whether I had him naturally or he was cut out, I still gave birth to my son. Things could have been much much worse. I know all these things. And everyone has reminded me of them. That is why I feel guilty and selfish for even writing this. But, I’m hoping those who have been through worse situations will understand that even though this isn’t the worst thing in the world it was (and is) still hard for me. I hope those who think having a c-section isn’t that big of a deal and think that it would probably even be easier or nicer because you don’t have to do any “work” will understand that’s not true, and I hope those who have been through this and maybe feel the same way will understand that I understand.

A few myths about C-sections…

  1. You won’t be able to bond with your baby the same as having him naturally. No one said this to me directly but I know some people were worried this would happen. I’m not sure if I would have had an even stronger bond with Blake if I did have him naturally because that didn’t happen, but I can’t imagine the bond I did feel being any stronger. Yes, it was hard having to puke right after I saw him for the first time, it was hard not being able to hold him as much as I wish I could have just because he was in his bed sleeping, Stefen was sleeping in the chair, and I was stuck wide awake in a hospital bed not able to walk over and pick him up. It was hard when they took him to the nicu because he was “dehydrated”, it was hard because deep down part of me was ok with it because it hurt every time I held him anyway. It was also hard having to get out of bed and into a wheel chair to then be wheeled down to see him. Every bump and crack in the tile that I went over hurt. Feeding him hurt, holding him hurt. But I didn’t mind any of it. The first couple nights in the hospital I slept with him on me all night. I held him constantly unless someone asked to hold him or lay him in his bed, I wasn’t going to ask someone to take him from me, even when I knew I needed a break.  The night they took Blake to the nicu I was still pumping every couple hours so I could take it down and feed it to him. There was a shirt of his next to my bed and it had his amazing new baby smell. Every time I would pump I held the shirt and smelled it. I sound crazy, and I even looked at Stefen while I was holding it one time and said something like “am I stupid?” He said “no” and didn’t even make a weird face, like what I was doing was completely normal. Blake being away for only one night made me bond even more with him once I had him back in my arms. I am one of those “first time moms” that other moms with multiple children laugh at because I believe every cry he has is for a reason, and if it’s because he wants to be held I will hold him all day long even if it means getting absolutely nothing done around the house. I can clean late at night when he and Stefen are asleep. He usually eats every 4-6 hours but the days he wants to eat every hour just because, I’ll feed him. I’m the parent that although I’m fine with anyone holding him, when he’s crying because he wants me and not someone else, I want my baby.
  2. C-Sections are easier. This doesn’t bother me when someone who hasn’t had kids says this, and for those that have had kids maybe it is easier for them. To be honest, I’ve only had a c-section so I don’t even know! But I have had moms who have had a c-section and a natural birth tell me that overall giving birth naturally is so much better. I know I was blessed to have a very quick recovery but right after I had Blake and for the first few days I kept telling myself “if I have to do THIS again, I don’t think I can do this again”. I thought for a second that I may only have one baby. Although I had a good experience for my situation, it still wasn’t a great experience. Of course one week later I was telling myself I could definitely do it again and didn’t care how hard it would be. I can’t imagine having to go through all of that a second time though, having to leave Blake at home with someone while I’m in the hospital. Stefen didn’t leave my side for days while I was there and I know he wouldn’t be able to do that next time. I also know people who have done this and I think they’re awesome! Maybe I am just a wimp..
  3. Repeat C-Section is the safest option. I know I may get some hate on this but, I’ve done my research and I don’t believe it is safer. One of the biggest risks you will hear of when you mention a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is uterine rupture. This is a risk with vbacs but it is also a risk with c-sections, and although the risk is higher with a vbac, it is a small risk either way. “The risks associated with a vaginal delivery are lower than the risks associated with a C-section overall — as long as you can deliver the baby at a facility equipped to handle a C-section in case of emergency — and the recovery time is faster……… It’s also important to consider future pregnancies. If you’ve had one C-section and you’re certain this is your last delivery, the difference in risk between VBAC and a second C-section is probably minimal. However, if you’re planning more pregnancies in the future, VBAC becomes a better option with each subsequent delivery.” –Roger W. Harms, M.D There are risks either way. My sister just told me she had a friend that recently had a uterine rupture and she was having a rcs. Here are a few comparisons of the risks between the two. I do believe that a vbac will be the best decision for me if I am able to. The doctor that performed my c-section told my midwife, Sizzly, right afterwards that I am a good candidate for a vbac, and Sizzly is willing to help me make it possible. I also believe that everyone is different, and mom -in most cases- knows best. *a cool side note: when I first told my family I was pregnant and that I chose Sizzly as my midwife, my sister, Tanya, had said “I heard she does vbacs. That’s really big, most doctors won’t even allow vbacs”. I of course didn’t think anything of this except that it was one more reason I had a great midwife. I didn’t realize how important this would be to me in the future though!*

While I was in the hospital Sizzly had said, “you can have a vbac but you have to wait 18 months”. 18 months between your first and second child doesn’t seem that long at all. Most people want to wait longer than that. But shortly after having Blake (and when I was feeling a little better) I was ready to try this again. While I was pregnant Stefen always joked that I would be pregnant again in December (Blake was born in November) because he wanted to have all of our kids close together. I thought he was crazy even though he was joking, but soon I was the one sounding just as crazy. As soon as I was not pregnant I missed being pregnant. I also love seeing Andrew, Blake’s cousin, and Blake together. Obviously Blake doesn’t acknowledge him yet but Andrew who is only 13 months older than Blake thinks he’s pretty cool.

Another part of me wants to get pregnant right away just so I could do things “right” this time. Though, I know I shouldn’t look at Blake’s birth as “wrong”, but it still wasn’t the way God intended us to have babies. Part of me wants to prove to everyone that I’m not broken, I’m not a failure, that I can give birth to a baby naturally and with no medications in the comfort of my home. Part of me is jealous of the women who have this same goal and succeed. And for those reasons I’m glad I’m not “allowed” to get pregnant right now. I want to have another baby because I want another baby, not because I want a better experience than I had with Blake, because every moment during Blake’s birth was just that, his birth and I love every moment of it for that reason. 12 weeks

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