It’s a strange thing knowing the exact day and time your baby will enter the world. It also makes for a really tough eve of her birth. I was terrified the night before the c section. I slept maybe an hour, which is not a good way to start motherhood. Luckily I was in good hands. While the first 48 hours after my c section were a bit tougher than I expected, I am so thankful for the amazing care I received.
I tried my hardest to be brave when they walked me into the OR and numbed me up. Chris had to wait outside until I was fully prepped. (For those of you who don’t know, you’re awake during a c section. A curtain blocked my view of my body so I couldn’t see the gory details.) When I finally saw Chris walk toward me I lost it and started to cry. I tried so hard not to sob (from excitement, fear, nerves, you name it) because they say the best thing to do is to remain calm, but man it was hard. He stayed by my head and talked me through it until she was out.
It was less than 10 minutes after the procedure began that I heard my sweet girl’s first cry. Then in a matter of seconds she was being lifted over the curtain that blocked my view and her little hand was touching my face as I lay there unable to move an inch of my body. It was surreal. Immediately Chris followed the nurses to the other side of the room, where they revealed she was breathing, pink and had her daddy’s long eyelashes and huge cheeks. She was healthy. Thank goodness. Man was I terrified for nine months that I had eaten the wrong thing, taken the wrong medicine, put my baby at risk. Though I was experiencing some pain as a result of the procedure (in my shoulder, don’t worry, I could not feel anything below my chest), I can’t describe the relief I felt that my baby girl was healthy.
I don’t want to get into too much of the yucky stuff, but I got sick in recovery from the aftereffects of the spinal and for 24 hours my skin all over my body itched so much I wanted to rip it off. For the first 15-ish hours I was laid up and in very little pain, just feeling sore, but when the pain kicked in it was debilitating. Nonetheless, I was on a mission to get up out of bed the second I was allowed so I could start walking around and begin the recovery process.
To say that Chris took incredible care of us is the understatement of my life. He was amazing. He changed every diaper, tended to her every time she fussed, swaddled and reswaddled her and woke up round the clock to help me nurse her. I couldn’t move much, so my amazing husband did everything. Already he was wrapped around Isla’s finger and it made me love him even more than I ever thought possible.
Most nights I just stared at her while she slept in awe that she was ours (ahem, I still do this!). And that an 8+ pound baby was somehow inside of me just hours before! I could get all mushy on you now but you know the drill. She’s perfect and amazing and the love I feel for her can’t be put into words. I already feel so protective of her and feel this urge to be a better person and the best mom ever, as cliché as that may sound. The most shocking thing about this whole becoming a mother thing is how comfortable and calm I already feel with her. I was terrified I wouldn’t measure up. How do I keep her alive? What will I do when Chris goes back to work? How will I know when she’s hungry, has a dirty diaper, has an upset belly? Good god I was terrified. But let me tell you, you just know. There’s no other way to describe it. Needless to say, we are seriously smitten with our little bumblebee and our little family feels so perfect and complete already.
As for the c section, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s scary and the recovery is very painful, but here I am, two weeks out of this major abdominal surgery and I have only minor aches and pains and I’ve been off the heavy pain meds for about a week (ibuprofen only). I’ve walked to the grocery store a few times, I’m handling the stairs well, Chris and I had our first sushi date in nine months (though I nearly cried the entire time and we rushed home after an hour because we missed our little nugget!) and I’m close to feeling like my old self. I’m trying my best not to push it though.
So here’s my advice for those having a c section: 1.Take the meds they give you and don’t be afraid to tell your nurses exactly how much pain you feel. 2. Get up and walk the second you are allowed, even if it means you’re hunched over like an old lady and walking -100 miles an hour. Walk the halls, walk to the bathroom, stand up and stretch. It makes a world of difference in helping you heal not just in those first few days but in the days that follow. 3. Take a shower and put on something comfortable of your own. But do it after you take your meds for the morning, not before. I made that mistake! I felt so much more like myself when I was clean and in my own clothes. 4. Drink lots of water. Trust me on this one. It helps with lots of “issues” you might have later. 5. Bring a husband or someone who will take care of you. You cannot do it alone, though I assume the nurses take extra care of people who are alone, I could not have done this without Chris. Not for one second. 6. Cuddle that baby every second you get. She makes all the pain go away!
So here we are and that’s the story of how our daughter came into the world!