What to Expect Post C-Section

This is my story.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting; What to Expect The First Year; What to Expect The Second Year; What to Expect…wait. Nope. There is no book on “What to Expect Post C-Section”. I mean, I’m sure there is, but let’s face it, it’s not on your list of books to read when you’re pregnant. Never mind the “What to expect when you fully dialate and push and need an emergency C-section”, as was the case with my delivery with Maxton. I was there! Pushing! Moments away from meeting my baby! Boy? Girl? It all changed when his heart rate spiked and the doctor informed us that he had become distressed, and was stuck because he was too big, so off to the OR we ran. THANK GOD he was delivered safely and once I was aware of what was going on, I finally got to meet my 11lb baby boy.

I honestly skipped over the C-section part of all of my books (so did Steve). I was so focused on how to allow my body to open like a “flower” I didn’t think much about it. (Despite the fact I was a big baby and delivered via C-section). I also didn’t want to put the idea out in the universe. (Go ahead and laugh.) In the end, it was the safest thing for myself and Maxton, and due to the tearing he caused my uterus, all future pregnancies would be delivered by C-section as well – which is why Miss Everly was a planned C-section. Do I feel cheated? Sort of. In the sense that my number of kids has to be limited because I must have a C-section every time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I want 5 kids, but still. I remember my OB giving me the “all clear” during my C-section with Everly, letting me know things looked good, and we could have a third if we wanted to. I felt so stupid lying there, wondering if she would say I could have another baby, when I had literally just had a baby seconds before.

Recently, a Mommy friend of mine had an emergency C-section with her third baby. She had two vaginal births in the past, so not only was this a shock, but a completely different post-partum experience. Unless you have had a C-section, there is no way to describe how difficult the recovery is. I understand some women can tear badly, which can be extremely difficult to recover from I’m sure, but I am talking about the whole “abdominal surgery” part of it. Her story really got me thinking about how I felt after Maxton was born, and how angry I felt as all the Moms bounced out of the hospital carrying their carseats, while Steve carried ours, and I shuffled along the wall. When I was pregnant with Everly, my sister-in-law told me she was running through a parking lot to the pharmacy the day after having her third. I almost cried realizing it would be weeks before I would be able to walk normally never mind running a simple errand alone.

It’s painful. You feel like your abdomen has been run over by a truck. Nursing is also painful because the slightest pressure on your abdomen is torture (imagine resting an 11lb baby on it minutes after). You can’t get out of bed to get your baby, you can’t bend over to change your baby, it takes 10 minutes to walk to the washroom only feet away from your bed, and getting out of the hospital bed and walking to the door to “move around” causes excruciating pain. You have no muscle strength to get momentum to sit up, and when you finally do, you want to lay back down from the pain.

The gas pains. Oh the gas pains. They were so much worse after having Everly. I was in tears as my sisters and Steve watched, feeling helpless. My stomach sounded as hallow as a drum when my OB tapped it. The only relief I was told would be moving around. Seriously? Pain + Pain = Pain.

I think it took me like 20 min to walk from my room down to the car, and Steve drove ever so slowly over each bump, to keep me from wincing.

Getting up off the couch, sitting on the couch, getting into bed, getting out of bed, walking, going up and down stairs, coughing, sneezing: pain. Every day it gets a little better, and after a while, everything feels “normal” or what you think normal is, and you forget, and want to do it again.

Recovery after Everly, was so much different. A friend told me I would “bounce back” faster the second time around. I am not sure that’s the case, rather, you feel like you NEED to. I remember my OB coming in the day after my C-section, and I asked her: “How long until I can pick up my 22 month-old son?” “Wait at least four weeks. If you feel pain at that point, wait two more.” How do you tell a 22 month-old you can’t pick him up when he looks up at you, arms stretched out saying “Mama pick ee up.” It broke my heart. Steve took some time off work, and my Mom took time off to help me. To take Maxton out of his crib, put him in it, put him in his booster, take him out of it, put him in his car seat, take him out of it. All of those simple every day tasks you take advantage of. It broke my heart.

The guilt consumed me for weeks. I felt like I was half the Mom I should have been to him during those weeks of recovery; but I know now, if I had rushed anything, it would have done more harm than good. My OB advised two weeks before driving; which I waited with Maxton, but I drove after a week with Everly. I needed to do something normal.

I had staples with Maxton, which I thankfully I didn’t have with Everly. They stung and pulled my skin, and because I chose to have my GP remove them and not my OB, he was over-cautious and they stayed in too long and started fusing to my skin, so they were basically ripped out. That was awful. With Everly, because the C-section was planned, my OB chooses not to use staples, so I was happy to avoid that extra pain this time around.

Every day, is a step on the road to recovery; but it takes great patience. In the end, having a healthy baby is so worth it, but no one tells you just how hard it is after having a C-section. Emotionally everything is a whirl wind, your life completely changes, and you struggle to be the best Mom you can be, while trying to recover from major surgery. Never carry anything heavier than the weight of your baby (which I laughed about when I carried my 11lb newborn around), move around – but not too much, rest, keep your incision clean, don’t lift anything to avoid the risk of tearing your incision. GAH!

There is no “easy” way to have a baby. Every baby is a blessing and a miracle, and it wouldn’t be as special without all the bumps (pardon the pun) along the way. However, to all those Mama’s out there (like my own) who only had or will only have C-sections, I admire you all for doing it more than once; because the older you get and the more kids you have at home, the harder it is emotionally and physically to recover from. Power to all the Mama’s out there.

Maxton and Everly, I would do it a million times over, for each of you. xo

 

Three Months of Everly

My little pumpkin is three months old today! It feels like I blinked and an entire month went by. This maternity leave is going by a lot faster than it did with Maxton – but I am twice as busy this time around!

Everly is so alert these days and full of smiles! Her smile reminds me a lot of Maxton, but girly (if that makes sense). Steve and I always say her voice sounds so girly and sweet.

– She HATES tummy time, just like her brother did. I really don’t give her much tummy time at all…

– She started to laugh last week – it takes tickling her to get her going, but she is always very smiley

– She usually sleeps a 6 hour stretch, sometimes she will go a little longer

– She isn’t a great napper (Maxton has something to do with that) – sometimes if I have run some errands she will stay asleep in her car seat for a couple of hours when we get home

– She is beginning to show interest in toys you put in front of her face. She smiles when I show her one of her little dolls

– She has started to coo and tell little stories – very cute. She will wave her arms and kick her feet when Steve or I talk to her

– She always gives Mama a big smile in the morning when she wakes up

Here’s my girl at three months!

DSC_0607DSC_0609

Of course with Halloween being tomorrow, she was sporting one of her Halloween outfits!

DSC_0615DSC_0620DSC_0632

Happy three months, Everly! xo

Mommy Guilt Part II

Shortly before Everly was born, I blogged about the guilt I was feeling about sending Maxton to daycare while I was home “preparing” for the arrival of a new baby.

Well – that guilt has been taken to a whole other level.

When I came home from the hospital, I felt so guilty that I couldn’t lift Maxton, and that Steve was spending most of his time tending to Maxton, while I was tending to Everly, and “resting”. On top of that, I felt bad that I was sending him to daycare, while I was home with his little sister.

Then came the guilt of not being able to play with Maxton the moment he wanted me to, because I was nursing or rocking or changing Everly.

THEN came the guilt of having to stick Everly in her bouncer chair while I played with Maxton or made him food. Sometimes she would tolerate a wrap, but she has bad reflux (which I will blog about soon) so that would often end in her vomiting, which really didn’t help anyone. I would think how Maxton always had 100% of my attention all the time as a newborn, while Everly only gets 50% of my attention most of the time. I felt as though Maxton was more attached to me by this point; but he was also colic, so he was a whole other kind of baby. Everly is so mellow and content and just goes with the flow the majority of the time.

Maxton is in daycare Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so that gives her and I some one-on-one time for the day. Yet, then I feel guilty for feeling happy it’s just me and her for a change, which leads to me to feel guilty for sending Maxton to daycare. Here we go again – it’s an endless cycle of guilt.

I am learning to manage my time, to make sure both of them get as much attention from me as possible. Evenings and weekends are more manageable when Steve is home to help. Now that Maxton is home with me Monday and Friday, I am really learning (and I really do mean learning) how to be a good Mom to both of my kids.

At the end of day, I can only do as much as I can do, and I hope that Maxton and Everly know how much I love them.

Second Blogiversary

Yesterday (October 17) marked my second blogiversary. I meant to throw a post together yesterday for it, but completely forgot, to be honest. I seem to forget a lot of things these days. I will blame it on the million things going through my head on a daily basis, and my “mommy brain”.

It’s hard to believe I started this blog two years ago! Two years and two-hundred-and-something posts later, I think I am a little more patient, a little wiser, but am still baby stepping my way through motherhood.

Blogging is a great stress relief, although these days when there is a gap in my posts on account of just being busy, it bothers me and I feel the urge to stop everything and start blogging. Life is definitely 100x busier with two kids, and once I fall into a better routine, I will be around more. Until then I have 10 or so half-completed posts, and tons of pictures to go through.

So thank you readers for sticking with me, and I hope I am semi-amusing in year three!

The reason I do this…

324

Check back later today for a peek at our Thanksgiving!

Helen xo

Two Months of Everly

This post is a few days late – should have been up September 30! I tried but was unsuccessful.

I have so many posts half completed and I really need to finish them up this weekend!

So…my little girl is two months old!

– She had her two month appointment on Monday, and she was weighing in at 13.9lbs (13lbs 14.4oz) and 23 5/8 inches. She is quite the chunky monkey!

– With her two month appointment, came vaccinations. Maxton was never bothered by them, in fact, he slept 5 hours after his – Everly was a different story. She did not sleep well the rest of the day, was very fussy, and developed a fever. The following day her fever hit 101.2, so I called the doctor just to make sure it was okay (never had to deal with it with Maxton). He assured me it was common and if she still had it after 3 days or it got higher to bring her in. Thankfully that was the end of the fever and she was back to her normal self. (She also threw up the oral vaccine in the doctor’s office – haha.)

With all of that, she was not willing to break out any of her sweet little smiles for her two month photos.

DSC_0449DSC_0450

Poor girl.

– She is sleeping well at night for the most part (don’t want to jinx it) – 5-6 hour stretches usually. (The last two nights she slept 8 hours…) Fingers crossed she stays on this path!

– She is very smiley and responds to our voices

– She likes to suck on her pointer finger knuckle when she makes a fist

DSC_0454

– When I am putting her to sleep (usually around 10:30, she won’t go down before then), she likes to be rocked under our vanity lights in our bedroom, on low (they are on a dimmer). She just stares at their little glow until she falls asleep.

– She likes her car seat and being in the car and the stroller (again I don’t want to jinx it). We went to a wedding last weekend that was about 1.5 hours away, and she slept all the way there and all the way home. Maxton hated the car. They are very opposite with almost everything.

– She loves the bear mobile in her play yard, and the lamb mobile in her crib (Maxton also liked them).

She is just the sweetest little girl.

Happy 2 Months, Everly! xo