take apart your bones and put ’em back together

So this c-section thingy marks the first time in my life I’ve ever had any surgery beyond your everyday tonsillectomy or wisdom tooth extraction, and it turns out I don’t have the patience or the common sense to allow my body to properly heal.

I did a lot of reading about c-sections and received guidance from my doctor, so I do understand on some level that recovery time is going to be 6-8 weeks, but I was still surprised and pissed off when, after three weeks, activities like sitting down, standing up, getting out of bed, getting into bed, rolling over in bed, bending over, holding the baby, picking up the baby, carrying the baby, showering and walking were still causing pangs of agony deep inside my gut.

Somehow I thought I’d pop Percocets for a few days and then be as right as rain. I even called my doctor last week and asked if it was normal to still be hurting. He was very nice to me but probably laughed his ass off after hanging up. Um, you had a HOLE cut through you skin and uterus and then a baby got pulled out of there.

And in spite of all my efforts to delay recovery, I’m also ironically paranoid about getting some kind of infection and dying. Every day I anxiously examine the incision, expecting to see the telltale signs: angry red lines, weepage, the stench of death.

I selflessly relinquished my body to the growth of the kid for 10 months, and now it just seems unfair that I should be expected to wait two MORE months to let the incision heal. Today: A routine trip to the grocery store exhausted me. We had a few days of snow and tornado-force (ish) winds, and I was really looking forward to finally getting out in the cold sunshine and going for a short walk. (Like, really short. Fifteen minutes, tops.) But when I got home from the store I decided that was exercise enough for one day. I’ll try again tomorrow.

I want to do planks, goddamn it. I want to lift something heavier than 10 pounds. I want to run until I puke. I’m sick of waiting, and I’m sick of feeling like an invalid.

Oh, and I’m also sick of my blog SUCKING. (Like, more than usual.) I feel like when I’m able to start running again, I’ll have some new thoughts to share and maybe my brain won’t be quite so mushy anymore. But, no promises.

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20 thoughts on “take apart your bones and put ’em back together

  1. Ohhhhh….girl. Even though I did not have a c-section my surgery was basically a c-section. My incision is in the same spot and the same size as yours. My doctor told me about a month to heal, but as you’ve seen it’s been closer to eight weeks for me.

    Please, please, please take the time to let yourself heal. I tried to do a little too much too soon and possibly prolonged my healing. I’m around 10 weeks out and still have some swelling and slight aches when turning the wrong way or something. I tried to do crunches yesterday and it was dumb.

    Those first three weeks were painful. After that, it just aches but if you turn the wrong way or anything it’s murder.

    Good luck and if you have any questions, let me know.

    • YOU UNDERSTAND. And you’re right about being cautious, I think I am, but it’s just so frustrating that it still hurts getting out of bed and such. I still have to wear yoga and maternity pants because NOTHING can touch the incision. And it’s all swollen and unsightly. gah…years from now we’ll look back at this and laugh. Just kidding, we’ll curse. But thanks, and I’m glad to hear you’re doing better, somewhat. Are you running again yet?

      • Yes. I’m finally running, but it’s REALLY difficult. I’m extremely out of shape and can’t even run 2 miles without stopping.

        Also, just a heads up – your incision area is going to remain numb for a LONG time. Mine is still numb. I finally shaved to take a look at it and it was the oddest feeling. (Unlike you, I refused to look at my incision for weeks. I was terrified of it. I’m weird.) It’s also still a little puffy and my stomach is still swollen. You might not have that, though. For my surgery they had to fill me with air or something and that’s why my tummy is so puffy.

        Just this week I can finally sleep on my stomach. Anytime I did earlier I would hurt for days so try not to roll over. And if you need to cough or sneeze put a pillow on your stomach. It helps you not feel like you’re coming apart at the seams.

  2. I’m pretty sure my favorite part about this post was when I noticed this little gem of a Tag: I’d kill you for a beer.

    And just relax, momma. You’ll heal up real nice soon. (That last line was both part A. C. Slater and hillbilly. Pretty sweet combo if I do say so myself.)

  3. I have no personal experience to add on the baby front but I know it took my sister in law quite awhile to feel normal again after her c-section. About 18 years. (I’ll be here all night, folks). Seriously, it took her awhile.

    • Yeah, I was way too optimistic going into this that I’d be some kind of crazy bionic woman and heal overnight. Which is funny, because in all other areas, I’m just fine with being an underachiever. Damn you, irony.

  4. C-section person here, too–I *promise* it only seems slow right now because of all the stuff you’ve got going on with the baby and you’re wanting your mental release from exercise. The 15-minute walk was a great idea–that’s how I started back–and the rest will come.

    Here’s a book I recommend (also for non-c-section types): Lose Your Mummy Tummy by Julie Tupler.

  5. As you know, I’ve had a few surgeries in my day and every time I would freak out that I wasn’t up and back to normal within a week. EVERY TIME! “I’m special. I should be healed by now. GAWD!”

  6. I like to think of myself as an abdominal surgery efficianado, having undergone 3 in 9 months time. They blow – but they’re a fantastic excuse for laying on the couch watching movies for 6 weeks straight. Of course, I didn’t have a baby. And I was supposed to be gaining weight so I got to pig out. So not the same thing.

    Still – I feel your pain. Literally. I remember the inability to wear real clothes, the trouble getting comfortable in any position, the lack of any meds that really work. and the sheer – yet inexplicable – EXHAUSTION at trying to do anything other than lay on the couch. I remember wondering how a trip to the mailbox could wipe me out for two hours straight. It gets better. That’s really all I can offer you. At least you have a cute kid to play with; I got a homemade large intestine out of the deal.

    Wait till your scars heal over and you can feel the strange sensation of touching the skin where the nerves have been cut. Very weird. And if you’re planning on scarring-out at the beach this summer (I let mine hang out), just make sure you lotion that shit up. Scars are new skin, like your baby’s skin. Seriosuly – SPF 50 frequently. It’s like, still, something people harp on me about.

    Any other questions holler at a girl. We should start a tummy surgery support group.

    • Yes…yes…YES! You get it. And I have a whole new admiration for anyone who’s had this kind of surgery. People always act like a c-section is somehow easier…you don’t have to push, you leave with your vag in tact, but all that would definitely have been preferable to this! Thanks for the tip, I definitely plan to let it hang out as soon as humanly possible. =)

      • Yeah I know jack squat about birthin’ and I used to assume c-section wasn’t so bad. But the vag is MADE to shoot out a baby and the abdominals/uterus/other shit inside you isn’t. Makes sense I guess. ouch. heal up soon!

      • omg yes, I am so mystified as to why people minimize the effects of a c-section. It is a serious medical procedure, it’s painful, it takes time to heal. . . nothing about it is “easier” than a vaginal birth. It makes you kaputt in a whole different way, is all.

  7. I had a laproscopic appendectomy (3 tiny incisions) and I couldn’t believe how deep/long-lasting the pain was- so I can only imagine how insane a C-section must feel. Hang in there, and don’t try to do yoga before you’re ready like I did. eeps.

  8. Your blog is awesome now. Except that I don’t think drinking requires any excessive movements or lifting. So please try to incorporate that more. Otherwise, don’t fuck it up with exercise and running unless you’re gonna break a suture or something cool.

    My mom had 4 C Sections, starting with me. I don’t have the courage to tell her those are because she couldn’t finish the delivery. Probably better that way. Oh, oops. Talk to you later. 🙂

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