The thing that concerned me most about a c-section (CS) wasn't the actual operation but the long recovery process everyone tells you about. I was really worried that I wouldn't feel like a proper mum as I didn't just want to hold and feed Albie but do his nappy changes and make his bottles and give him a bath, everything that being a mummy entails.
I've been home from hospital for just over a week now and Albie is 11 days old. I don't want to tempt fate too much so I'm touching wood as I type, but so far my recovery has been so much better than I expected it to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm not quite jumping up and down on the trampoline just yet but as each day passes I feel better and better. My scar is very discreet, you would never see it in underwear or a bikini (if I ever wear one again that is)
By day 5 post op, I was able to get down on the floor and change Albies nappies and clothes. Before this is I just put his changing mat on the sofa. I was able to do all his night feeds from the day I was home from hospital (damn that!!)
The only things I hadn't done at this stage to do with Albie was bath time so we waited a week and just top'n'tailed morning and night, much easier for me. We bathed him together, he loved it, Daddy held him and I washed him, I wouldn't risk carrying Albie up and down stairs either.
It's now day 11 and I can bath Albie by myself if needed, as long as the bath is high up, I can also carry him up and down stairs.
My recovery so far hasn't been flawless and I never expected it to be. My scar has been weeping the last couple of days, however when we went for our ten day check the consultant had a look and said it looked fine and no signs of infection. It is a bit sore but that's to be expected. I'm still taking paracetamol and diclofenac (when I remember )
Mr.C has been so helpful with everything I can't do, he's kept on top of all the washing, hoovering and cleaning for us (slacking a bit on the ironing though) I think he's getting the idea of how much is involved, he can't believe you have to Hoover every day hahaha!!
I have been on a couple of walks around the shops, in desperate need of some clothes! I have been able to visit friends and family, and were are even walking to get brunch this morning. (Yes friends and family, I will be taking it easy!!!)
Now the worst part of my recovery has nothing to do with the CS, on day 5 my milk came in and I am not exaggerating when I say the pain was excruciating, I couldn't touch them, my boobs were swollen and rock solid, and there is nothing you can do about it apart from leave them alone. Even sleeping on my back was painful due to them being so heavy. I had to show all my friends them as I didn't think you would believe them until you saw them, it's fair to say they were gobsmacked as well as a little amused that I just got the girls out! They took about three days to go back down to normal size, and it's soooo good to see them back to their old selves, I feel so slim on top. My nurse told me to wear a sports bra or non under-wired as to not cause mastitis. I did use the 3M direct breast gel pads to cool them down, ill do a review on these shortly.
Fingers crossed that my recovery continues like this, it's been very smooth. If my scar is still weeping tomorrow I might go to my doctors just to stop any infection developing. Oh and bleeding has been minimal and has now pretty much stopped, apparently they give you a bit of a clean out during surgery. My feet are also still a little swollen but nothing compared to pregnancy. (I managed to get converse on yesterday)
My Essential items for post CS
- peppermint oil : very good for trapped wind which is quite common with all the painkillers and also after surgery. I took peppermint tea in with me and it really helped. I haven't suffered from this, possibly due to the peppermint, I know some people thought this was worse than anything else. So get down Holland and Barrets and purchase some of the oil, it's pure so more effective than tea bags.
- a grabber; yes an OAP style grabber, this has been my lifeline, pinched from my grandparents, it's so handy. I do of course bend over to pick things up but if my scar is a bit sore in the evenings then I will use this to give myself a rest, it gives you independence as you aren't constantly asking your other half to pass you things. I don't think my Grandparents will be getting that back!
- A place to keep everything downstairs: the last thing you want to do is keep going up and down stairs, so nappies, wipes, change of clothes etc.
- Big knickers: Bridget jones style if possible. You want to keep everything away from your scar so although not the nicest in the world they are essential. Although high waisted undies are totally 'in' the M&S pack of 5 do not fall in to this category. They do help to hold your mummy tummy in though!
- Maternity leggings or tights. I wouldn't risk wearing maternity jeans as although they can come up over your bump the seam still sits quite low and I think they would irritate the scar. It is much easier for me getting dressed now than it was with SPD. I have also bought some patterned trousers, that are tight at the bottom and loose at the top, these are great when you have had enough of leggings!
- Somewhere to keep all your essential products; I keep all mine in a little wicker basket with handles that I keep on the sofa with me and take to bed, you can see everything I have in there in the picture below. I also take Albies night bottles up in this and keep it next to my bed. Once I'm up and about a little bit more I plan on doing his night feeds in his room on the arm chair.
I'll keep you updated on my recovery process as the weeks progress!!
Any questions please do ask me.