I'm out of my semi completely not permanent blog hiatus to link up with Megs for Tips and Tricks for Mom Tuesday. This week's theme is labor/delivery tips. Since I had two c-sections, I thought I'd talk about recovery.
Whether you deliver your baby naturally or c-section, there's an enormous amount of soreness the next day. For a c-section, it's your entire abdomen. I don't want to say PAIN because it's not like a stabbing pain, but it's a continuous ache in your midsection. Be aware that nurses will need to press on your stomach to ensure your uterus is shrinking. THAT HURTS. But it doesn't last long and it's necessary.
My best advice for post c-section moms? Sit up straight. Stand up straight. Move slowly but get yourself upright. The sooner you start getting those muscles back to upright the better. It really does hurt but each time gets a little easier. Remember, you are going to be taking care of an infant extremely soon and you can't carry a baby safely hunched over. Start by sitting on the edge of the bed. Then a chair. Then standing. Then walking to the shower. Take it slow and do it with help. Don't shower alone, have someone stay in the bathroom with you. With Trace, I got really lightheaded in the shower and my sister had to help me sit down. I could have been in serious trouble if she hadn't been there.
Take your pain medicine on schedule. With both kids, I never needed the narcotic pain medicine, I did fine with the large doses of Tylenol. I took them on the schedule the doctor told me for the first three or four days afterwards then as I needed it. When I kept on schedule, I had minimal pain. I also used a heating pad a lot and made sure to keep my waistband off my incision. The pain is totally manageable. I've had much worse pain before for sure.
Listen to what the doctor tells you as far as lifting is concerned. There's a huge risk of tearing your incision, tearing your already injured muscles or developing scar tissue in bad places that will have to be surgically removed. My solution for Rory and Trace was to put the car seat in the car without the baby in it and leave it there. I carried them in and out of the car each time for the first week or so. I also used little stools by Rory's crib to stand on to lift her in and out after Trace was born. It helped me lift with my knees and not hurt myself. I know I wasn't supposed to lift her period but I had to. Dave had to work! She couldn't stay in her crib all day. :)
Dealing with a toddler post c-section will be a post unto itself. Yikes!
Rest as much as you can. By this I mean sit with your feet up while you are feeding the baby, spend lots of snuggle time on the couch, just take it easy. Don't try and clean your entire house, don't worry about dishes in the sink. Ask for help. You just had major abdominal surgery! It's okay to ask your mom to come down and run the dishwasher for you. Trust me, people LOVE to help, especially new grandmas. It makes them feel needed. :)
Don't expect your abs to ever be the same again. For real, my entire mid-section is like bread dough. I'm taking it slowly getting back in shape because I still have some residual pain when I do ab workouts. Two c-sections in 17 months will do that to you. Expect this. Be prepared and take it slow!