I don’t know about you, but I have been seeing so many posts and videos about postpartum. How your body looks. How it is so different from how it was before you were pregnant. How no one told you that it was going to be like this.
People would tell me that they were back to pre pregnancy weight and activity with in a few months. “Oh you will bounce back, real fast,” was the phrase that I heard over and over again. One or two told me their story, and let me tell you it wasn’t a few months. Here are a few of the stories that I heard before #1 arrived.
Before I had N I ran marathons and ran every day, even while pregnant. I started running about 4 weeks after delivery and was back down to my pre pregnancy weight and body about 6 weeks after delivery. It was amazing! I have not looked back.
-JM, talking about her daughter
So, after having this conversation I was all excited. “Great, this is awesome! I will get rid of the extra weight and get back to normal with little work!” I said to my self. Because the internal dialogue makes total sense.
Then I talked to another friend and all of my dreams were shattered.
I had such a hard time with A. I had so much pain that I had a hard enough time just getting out of bed and making sure that A was fed and diapered. I just couldn’t think about what I needed beyond eating what people shoved in my face and the bathroom. It has been 4 years and I still have yet to lose the baby weight no matter what I try. I have all but given up
So, after #1 arrived I was just hoping to get back to where I started. Then reality struck! My feet were now a 1/2 size larger and a bit wider. Clothes just didn’t fit the same way anymore. Things just didn’t look right, or fit right, or feel right for that matter. I just pushed it aside and figured that IF I could just get a work out in it would be fine.
Sure that should work.
Get to the gym and work out.
This might be a good time to give you a little bit of background about my delivery and the immediate postpartum period with #1.
I was 5 days post date (5 days late) and the Dr.’s did not want me to go much longer due to my gestational diabetes. Guess what that meant….Induction time.
26 hours later with no progress and little miss having too many decel’s (deceleration of the heart rate i.e. slowing down) an emergency C-section was planned. You know it is funny because both myself and the hubby were emergency c-sections and I told my OB group that lil miss would more than likely be an emergency c-section as well. I do not have birthing hips! That is for sure!
C-section went well with no complications. I had a spinal and couldn’t feel my legs for hours. I had so much pain medication that my heart rate was dipping into the 30’s on the monitor that first night (which I had to keep silencing). The next morning was so strange. I felt great! I was trying to get my bag down and get some things out while everyone else was sleeping.
The real trouble started a few hours before we were going to be discharged.
I was in the bathroom getting dressed while the hubby is packing up all of the stuff (ok Crap) that the websites say that you need to have with you in your bag that I never touched! I bent over to pull up my pants (very carefully mind you, the pain from the c-section finally set it) and my incision busted open. Kool-aid looking fluid was all over the floor and I had a washcloth covering the incision.
I yell out to hubby to push the call light and ask the nurse to get in there right away, not wanting him to see what was going on. Next thing I know…..”why?” he says as he is walking to the bathroom.
“just push the call button and get the nurse in here now,” I call back.
Crap, crap…I can’t clean this up. He is going to see this. Can I hide this? What is going to happen when he sees this.
The internal monologue going through my head. I have no idea how the hubby is going to handle what is on the floor, that the incision has opened up, that this is an emergency.
I see him enter the bathroom and the look on his face said everything. Horror, worry, panic, scared and the unknown all run over his face in the matter of seconds. He turns and rushes to push the call light and with an unwavering voice I hear him tell the person that answered the call light that we needed help NOW!
A nurse rushes into our room. It is a new nurse that I haven’t seen since we have been here and since it is the after 3pm they had just changed shifts and I was supposed to be the easy patient. I mean my IV was already out. I was supposed to be going home! I was not supposed to turn into an emergency for a nurse who does NOT do emergencies.
The OB was paged. Thankfully one of the OB’s in the group was on the unit still.
“I am going to have to open this back up to see what is going on,” she tells me. The look on her face lets me know that this is going to hurt and she feels horrible. Actually she feels worse than horrible that she has to do this with no pain medication on board. She tells the nurse to go get lidocaine so that she can open my incision up to see if she can tell what happened.
Wow! This nurse has no idea how to handle this. I am calming her down. I mean damn, hubby is calming her down as well. What the F is going on. Ok here we go. I need a drink and something to bite down on. Oh, hubby’s hand….that will work. What is taking this nurse so long? Doesn’t she know what lidocaine is? I wonder if she crawled under the desk and is hiding. Ok, seriously, where is she.
Ok, this hurts! This hurts more than is ok right now.
Tears are streaming down my face now and hubby is having an internal struggle of where to focus his attention. Does he focus on me and the pain that I am in or does he focus on the incision and what the doctor is doing? He is trying. Trying to focus on both. I am crushing his hand and finally after what seems like an eternity the nurse returns with the lidocaine. The doctor pauses so that she can administer the lidocaine and give a small amount of relief.
After a lot of poking and prodding, the doctor lets me know that she is going to close me back up.
This isn’t the end of this story though……unfortunately.
We get home and on top of trying to take care of our first baby and it being after a c-section and complications…I am oozing and a lot.
I call the doctor’s office and they have me come in immediately. The doctor takes a look and I am healing but in the process a tunnel has been made in the incision under the skin. I seem to be healing in the opposite direction. Usually you will heal from the inside out……not me……just have to be different.
Hubby has to pack the incision with Iodaform. Medicated fabric that gets stuffed into the incision twice a day. This was not fun or pain-free.
Finally, after a week of packing the wound and lots of bandages, I started to heal properly.
Oh yeah, and all this time I am trying to breastfeed and do right by my daughter and give her the best start. So I would feed, take my pain meds, and then have hubby pack the incision.
Thankfully things got better. I was super hesitant to do much physical activity. It was also winter in Chicago…….one of the really bad ones with temps constantly in the negatives.
Once I got cleared for physical activity I was at the gym (thank goodness for the childcare). By no means was I up for anything crazy. But walking on the treadmill and the elliptical did me some good.
But what no one ever tells you about a c-section……..
Weeks, months, and even years down the road you might still have pain. Shooting pain. Try to massage the incision when you can and try to break up some of the scar tissue that forms.
Everything is much better now by the way.
Check out my next post for my list of essential hospital items……..and how to not have 1 million things to pack!