Recovering.

Happy Monday!!

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).

Physically

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-section
That 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...

Emotionally

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.
It didn't all get better right away, but after that night, I didn't feel quite so bad. Since then, every day has gotten better. I still have moments where I'm frustrated, I still have days that I cry because I will never be able to experience birth the way I want to, there are times when I look in the mirror and wish that I was physically capable of a good, hard workout, and, yes - there are days that I am disappointed in myself and wonder if there was something I could have done differently.

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.

19 comments:

Ali Mills said...

You are seriously so strong! I'm completely serious. Considering all that you had to go through that you didn't want to go through and how well you took it is incredible. I know you've been frustrated but I want you to know that I think you're one of the strongest, bravest, most awesome women in the world and who knows? You may get a birth closer to what you want later in life.

I love you so much! Text or call me anytime!

RadiantKristen said...

Girl, my heart aches to know you have been going through this. I hope that your emotional healing catches up with your remarkable physical healing, and that you can fully embrace the present. You are an amazing woman, and a wonderful mom! Kudos to you for being brave and sharing this.

Just like Ali, you can call or text anytime. Really, you can. Even at 2am. It's okay.

GAPOL DE said...

really enjoy it, this are the best moments of life. Best wishes :)

What will happen later, you can see on the bolg momscam. I like it too.

Greta said...

That is so AWESOME that you are already able to work out!!!! I am itching to -- I can't wait til my 6 weeks are up!!! And thank you for being so open about how difficult things can be emotionally for a new mom. With my first babe I had the baby blues and my hormones were making me a total basketcase. Just remember the way you are feeling is totally normal, and I promise you the hormone levels will balance and it will be so much better. Also, if you are sleep-deprived that probably doesn't help. ;) Hang in there! One of my friends kept telling me, "At eight weeks it is a whole world!" And it really was - so hang in there! :D

ifs ands Butts said...

Gah you are so strong! I'm glad to hear recovery is going well and I know it will continue to get better!!

Kim @ Slice of Life said...

yayyyy good husbands!! so sorry that you've been feeling all these things but glad that you have mike there to support you. just out of curiosity (and you don't have to answer!) is it because you had a c-section with elsie in the future you can't have a water-birth?

my sister had to have a c-section too and she was DEVASTATED. i was like, who cares, just let them take him out that way but when i saw her afterwards how drugged up she was, she said she felt like she was on fire, and all the pain she was in, i was like yanno what, rethinking that whole thing!

i bet once you can start really exercising you will feel a lot better too! endorphins!!

Breenah said...

So happy you have Mike there. I can tell that he is amazing for both you and Elsie. You are so strong!
I do hate to tell you, but the crazy emotion thing doesn't fully go away (at least, it hasn't for me yet and Quinn's almost 2). However, it gets funnier (sometimes).

Alana Christine said...

Thank you for sharing. I have never had a baby (obviously), but I have a feeling that your emotions and thoughts are completely normal!! I do have to ask, did you get staples or stitches?

Sarah Shumate said...

You guys are such a strong couple. When one is down, the other not only picks up the slack, but offers support and reassurance. You guys will be one heck of an example of a good marriage to Elsie when she's old enough to realize it!

Sending healing juu juu your way!

Leslie said...

I am so glad you are starting to feel better emotionally. I went thru a rough few weeks at first too...not for all the reasons you did, but I totally understand. And can I just say I am totally jealous you are running?!?!?!? Connor arrived 1 month ago and I had an easy, vaginal delivery but I was told not to do anything but walk for 6 weeks!! Ughhhhh.

Genna said...

I'm not a mom and I probably won't be anytime soon, but this words really struck a cord with me. First, I've basically been stalking you for a year now and I know how much the birth you wanted meant you. But God had bigger plans and the hardest part of Him switching things up is accepting it.
My heart aches for you, but I know you're strong. Look at how far you've come already! Running less than a month after having a baby?! Get it, girl!

Casey said...

I have had a few friends with the same after c-section feelings that you are having. They know the important thing is that they have a healthy baby, but they are still disapointed. What you are feeling is completely normal. I will tell you that another friend of mine just had a waterbirth. Her first kiddo was a c-section and everything went perfectly.

Kassi Mortensen said...

Aw friend. I am sorry it was not everything you'd hoped it would be... But I'm also glad to hear you're taking it in stride, realizing that it's ok to be disappointed and trying to move on. Seeing that you've been able to do it, and knowing how committed you were to a water birth and what not... It really does make me feel better about whatever type of birth comes my way in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing!

Deidre said...

I can't even imagine - well kind of. AFter I have abdominal surgery it took me FAR longer to recovery. I wasn't walking very far after 2 weeks. and it took me a good 2 -2.5 months before I could do any kind of gentle exercise.

I also was really emotionally and no doctor's really warned me about that. I stayed emotional for about 6-7 months...yeah, it wasn't pleasant!

barlow.stephanie said...

High highs and low lows. You are not alone in the way you have felt in the last few weeks. I am glad you talked about it. It is important to talk to someone when those feelings come up. Soon your body will heal completly and this will be a memory. But now in the momoent take each hour or day as it comes. You are strong and an awesome Mom so hang in there.

rooth said...

I am super glad that you are healing both emotionally and physically and that you have your family (yes and new little Miss Elsie) there to help you along the way. Don't forget - we bloggers have got your back as well!

Kym said...

Aw, Alyx, that sounds so incredibly tough to deal with. But even though this seems like a great big terrible awful right now, I'm sure in a few years time you won't even think about the c-section anymore and you'll just be thrilled that it was a small price to pay for your beautiful, healthy, happy daughter!!
xo
Kym
bitty.and.bunny

Mgmt., The Park Ave. Pub said...

You are so brave to be this honest about the emotions surrounding the birth of your daughter -- I love it. Most people, on their blogs especially, when they're in public, talking to strangers, etc... will say, "Yes, it's the miracle of life, everything is amazing!" But you admit that not all of it is -- not only to yourself, but to all of us. It's very refreshing to see, thank you.

RACHEL TaoOfPoop said...

I'm so glad you were able to let the floodgates open. They need to. I didn't have to have a c-section, but I had a post-partum bleed and ended up on a different floor than my baby the first night. I had to beg them to bring her down to breastfeed even. It was excruciating and, even as I write this, I still feel horrible that I was without her for her first night on the outside. But...life brings us different things than we expect. We don't have to like them, but there's nothing we can do about them!