Now let me begin by telling you that not many people truly reveal to you what it’s like to have a c-section. I’ve never heard about any of my friends’ real experiences. It’s almost like some people are ashamed of having to go down that route - as if it’s a cop-out. But let me tell you, from my experience, I have the utmost respect for you (as well as also having it for those of you who give birth vaginally).
This is all about my c-section recovery so far.
First of all, I was told by the midwife that having a c-section is in no way easier than a vaginal delivery. In fact, it is major abdominal surgery. People tend to forget that. Previously, I was guilty of believing in the whole “too posh to push” phrase. How silly and naive was I?
Nearly eleven weeks post-partum, I have pretty much fully recovered, however do still take it easy when it comes to lifting heavy things. The recovery in general has been great and I’ve been lucky not to have any complications following the birth and surgery. But ouch, it isn’t half sore the week or two following the procedure!
I was so nervous when I found out I needed a c-section, as I wanted one of those completely natural water-births - I know, I’m crazy. It didn’t even cross my mind how much it might hurt the few days after or how tricky the recovery may be.
After the surgery, once I was back on the ward with George and Greg, it wasn’t long before the nurses wanted me to get up and out of bed. I’m sure the pain varies for different people (I was having paracetamol but wasn’t allowed Ibuprofen due to my blood pressure and the preeclampsia - whether this made a different to the pain or not I don’t know), but the pain was really quite intense. The only way I can explain it is like a burning feeling. I couldn’t stand up straight and had to shuffle back and for the toilet, which I’d leave until the last minute because I really didn’t want to have to get out of bed. I did have tears quite a few times. Basically any movement than involved my abs, nope, I didn’t want to do it, such as getting in and out of bed.
I was told I could go home the following morning, which the two other ladies in my ward did, but I have no idea how they managed it. I chose to stay another day as the thought of climbing the stairs in my house was enough to make me pass out (I’m not being dramatic here haha!).
The advice I was given by the midwife was to keep the wound clean, don’t drive for six weeks, lift anything heavy or put the hover round. I left the hospital with two weeks worth of paracetamol and ibuprofen (which I could have by this point), which really did help, so make sure you don’t miss any doses!
Once I was at home, the midwife came to visit various times to ensure I was healing well. During the surgery, I was given a new bandage which the NHS were testing out. It was completely waterproof for seven days and was a bugger to remove. It was amazing to be fair, I had three showers before it was removed by the midwife on the fourth day following the procedure. Even then it didn’t want to come off. It was like having a wax!
When I was brave enough to look at the scar in the mirror, it had pretty much healed. The body is amazing. Over the next few days I began to feel better and better, and could do more and more. By the second week the pain had gone and it would only ache if I overdid it during the day.
I have to say that the only time I really struggled was when the “baby blues” kicked in a few days after I got home. As well as having the blues, the pain was really getting to me. It was hard not being able to properly care for my new baby boy. I couldn’t even lift him out of his Moses Basket or carry him around the house, let alone get out of the house for some fresh air.
I was driving by five weeks, as was going slightly stir crazy staring at the four walls of my living room. I was confident that I was more than ready to drive and become independent again. At six weeks, I had my review and the nurse was happy with my recovery and the way I was progressing with becoming a first-time Mummy.
Overall my recovery has gone really well. I’m extremely thankful to the surgeon, midwife and team who helped me bring my baby boy into the word. They did a great job and I’m so pleased with how everything went in hospital and with the aftercare.
A special thank you also goes out to my husband for taking on the role of new Daddy as well as Carer, Nurse and House-Maid. I don’t know what I would have done without him over those few weeks.
Let me know if you have any questions about the c-section. I’d be more than happy to provide you with advice or info based on my experience.