At just over three weeks since giving birth, I'm a little more than halfway through the standard recommended recovery time for a c-section. I thought I'd take a minute to let you guys in on what that "recovery" has been like for me, both emotionally and physically (note: this is not meant to be a "this is what recovery from a c-section is like for everyone" post).
I feel like I have been incredibly blessed in the "physical" aspect. Within a week, I could walk about 6 blocks without any pain (I probably walked slower than your 90-year-old grandmother, but I could walk!). At two weeks, I got the "okay" from my midwife to start exercising (no Jillian Michaels or Insanity - just simple things). At three weeks, I can comfortably jog 2-3 blocks and briskly walk 1-2 miles.
Exactly one week after the c-sectionThat first week, though? Let me tell you about it.
For the first 24 hours, I could barely move. The nifty hospital bed was the only way I could sit up or lean back. I couldn't laugh, sneeze, cough, or pass gas because it hurt so badly. I was drugged out of my frickin' mind - first it was morphine via the IV, but when that wasn't killing the pain, they switched me to 2 percocet every 4 hours. I was still hooked up to the catheter (thank goodness, because I don't think I could have gone to the bathroom if I'd tried!) and every two-four hours, a nurse would come in and push and prod my tummy, dangerously close to my incision. It hurt like a beep.
After about 72 hours, I could get up from the bed with help from Michael. I could go to the bathroom... with help from Michael. I could walk through the halls of the hospital... with help from Michael. Are you sensing a pattern, here?
Once we came home from the hospital, it took virtually all of my strength to get from our bedroom to the bathroom. There was one point where it took me 20 minutes to get from point A to point B, and that was AFTER I spent five minutes getting up off the bed. Once again, I couldn't do anything without, you guessed it- help from Michael (thank goodness his boss gave him a week off).
For me, the first week was definitely the hardest. I still get frustrated that I'm not 100%, but I keep reminding myself that a c-section is frickin' major surgery!
This brings me to...
I was (and still kind of am) a wreck. For two weeks, I felt virtually every emotion imaginable. I was happy that I had a perfect, healthy baby girl. I was pissed that I couldn't do a dang thing for myself. I was disappointed that I didn't get the birth that I wanted (and can never have the water birth that I hoped for). I was sad that I had to have a c-section. I felt an immense amount of love for both Mike and Elsie. I felt hurt. I felt cheated. I felt annoyed. I felt weak. I felt frustrated. I felt like I wasn't good enough - like there was something wrong with me and my body. At one point, I even blamed Elsie for the way things played out. That was the limit.
The problem with me feeling all of these emotions? I am a bottler. I bottle everything up, then I let it explode. Lucky for me, Mike could tell that something was seriously wrong before I reached the explosion. I honestly don't know what I would do without him. One night around midnight, he laid with me in bed, trying to get me to talk through all of my emotions. Eventually, after me saying, "It's nothing, it's not a big deal," about 500 times, everything just poured out. I cried and cried and told him how I felt like a terrible, weak human being for feeling this way. He was there for me - he held me close, told me how strong I was, and told me that it was okay.
Those are the moments I am so thankful to have these two people in my life to remind me that God is good and everything happens for a reason.