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Post Cesarean Recovery – make sure you rest!

February 12, 2020

So to continue on from my last blog post.  After being on the recovery bay for a few hours to be closely monitored we then moved down to the labour ward.  As my hospital was very big & busy it took a while to be seen which was a little daunting as I was unsure when I should start feeling my legs again, if/ when should I be moving, was everything ok with Clara & when would I be getting medication & having my catheter emptied..

Luckily having Adam there meant he could focus on Clara & from the cesarean not being mobile I felt a bit useless.  I couldn’t really move so he had to get me everything & pass her to me for feeds.  I would say this was probably the hardest bit as all I wanted to do was jump out of the bed & lean into the cot to cuddle her.

You will have a catheter put in whilst in the op, this isn’t painful but a few things to be aware of, depending on your hospital & time of op they may remove later on that night or next morning.  I had mine removed the next morning & I had to pass a certain amount of urine twice before this could come out & I could be discharged.  I was so scared about the first wee after it being removed – I felt a little bit of pain which made me scared to go but actually once I did it went & I felt good.  Just make sure you are drinking enough so you can easily go, I had lots of water, Innocent refresher ( lemon & ginger) drink & coconut water, I decided to avoid anything fizzy or tea that could dehydrate me.

With regards to the feeling coming back in my legs, later on that afternoon after the op (which was 11am) I starting rolling my ankles, then bending my knees.  Just be really carefully not to strain or do anything that puts pressure on your abs/ stomach muscles.   After around 5 hours I started to get a lot more feeling in my legs & a later on that evening I felt I could stand.  It was a weird sensation but just to stand up & then sit down again & then back up a few times felt like a huge achievement.   I then did a few steps around the bed before midnight when we changed rooms.  I found it such a balance to not over do it but then feel like I was capable to move felt good. I was eating like normal (I had an egg sandwich, fruit & oat bar, vegetable soup with quinoa & some blueberries that afternoon & evening)  I didn’t feel that hungry but I wanted to make sure I got my bowels moving.  After a night of no sleep, a combination of wanting to stare at the baby constantly to make sure she was ok & just being a little uncomfortable.

The next morning I was determined to go home and I had the catheter out, passed the amount of urine I needed too & could get myself out of bed and move very slowly about.  Clara was breast feeding well & passed all the checks she needed too.  So early that afternoon we left the hospital & headed home.  Although it was painful to move & very very slow the painkillers were helping & just to be in my own bed was the best.  My parents were at mine with Colin (the dog) & the first night went well. Colin was initially really overwhelmed & wouldn’t leave her side but I think it helped that he had her scent (from a baby grow that we gave him the night before).  I had Salmon, rice & veggies with some fruit & oat cookies in bed (as I wanted to make sure I could go to the toilet the next day).  Some people really struggle for days with this so I was mindful that I needed to make sure it was possible.  I was back on my Symprove probiotic that morning (which has always helped me with regular bowl movements).  I had it in my head that if I strained it could open up the wound so with the help of lots of water, good food & probiotics + some prunes I was absolutely fine to go the next day evening.  In my hypnobirthing session with Tahnee from Bump & Mind we did this breathing exercise (for labour) which you can practice before when having a poo – so this came in super useful to breath one out (honestly it was needed – from all the drugs you feel blocked up & that it’s impossible to go).  To be honest through everything I learnt the important of relaxing & breathing techniques it can quite literally get you through everything!

In terms of sleeping I slept on my left side ( with cushion in between legs) & a little upright on my back, but you will know what feels comfortable for you.   Everyone said rest is the most important part to recovery & they weren’t wrong, you need to make sure you ask for help.  Eating & drinking regularly (& right) is super important for recovery, your energy to repair, for breast feeding & to feel human! So make sure you have all snacks on hand & food prepared beforehand.  I couldn’t lift her up or bend over her cot for about 2 weeks, which was so frustrating but you feel like you could just open up the wound, so be aware this is normal! Twisting, lifting, moving quickly are no no’s it is ‘major abdominal surgery after all!  Next day I had a shower, well Adam had to shower me as I felt exhausted & bending around with soap wasn’t possible but the following shower the next morning was much better, you just have to take everything really slow.  Anyway, please remember we are all different & will feel/ recover differently but my biggest advice is get as much rest & nesting in to begin with as possible.

What I read before about the recovery & how hard it is really scared me but I think if you look after yourself, don’t over do it & manage it well you will be absolutely fine.  Ask for help (something I am so bad at).  Each day gets easier, the bleeding gets less, your strength & mobility increases.  As does the tiredness but so does the love – quite literally life changing, so having to slow down & nest with your baby isn’t such a bad thing trust me it’s actually the perfect excuse 🙂

Hope this is helpful & any questions feel free to message me on instagram.

Lots of love,

Tess x

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