I picked out the relaxing music, my favorite blankets, health magazines and stuffed animal to get me through labor, but I didn’t prepare for a c-section when I was pregnant. Looking back on the birth of my youngest of two sons, I just didn’t entertain the idea. I had heard most people have a c-section because their first child was delivered that way. Since I had a vaginal birth with my first child, I didn’t think I’d be in labor for three days the second time around. I didn’t think the doctor would order an emergency cesarean section. I have told many people that the recovery for my c-section was actually more painful and distressing than the labor itself, which I endured for three long days. My doctor and several nurses offered me tips that helped me with my recovery. It also helped me on an emotional and spiritual level when I saw an angel as the nurses brought me my son in the recovery room.
Walking as soon as possible
I didn’t want to get out of the hospital bed after my c-section. However, a nurse prodded me to move around since she said it would help me avoid blood clots. I made sure I had the help of other people since it was extremely difficult to stand up. I experienced bleeding for several weeks after the c section.
Being careful about diet
I had a difficult time going to the bathroom after my c-section. I regret not being more careful about what I ate before and during labor. I should have listened to the nurses who recommended fruit, yogurt and smoothies. Since I’m sensitive to gluten, I should have avoided breads and pasta, but red meats are also difficult for me to digest.
Having finances in order
Having a c-section threw my finances into chaos. Not only was I not expecting such a high medical bill, but I wasn’t planning to take so much time off of work. Worrying about finances made it more difficult to focus on my recovery. As a freelancer for a local newspaper, I took an assignment covering the school board meeting just a few days after giving birth. I could have avoided the pain and discomfort by having money set aside in an emergency fund for my emergency c-section.
Asking for help
Even though I am the kind of person who likes to do it all, I needed to ask for help after my c section. My older sister flew in from another state so I could focus on my health. She took care of the laundry, cleaning and answering the door as well as babysitting. Without her help, I would have been extremely stressed. My sister was the real-life angel who came to my rescue.
Getting back to normal
It took a few weeks before I started feeling well again. I got back to normal by gradually increasing how much time I spent walking even though it was just around the home. By the third week, I could go on short walks outside. I created a new routine so I would not get overwhelmed by having a newborn in the home along with a toddler.
I still have the scar from my c-section, a vertical line that extends from my belly button to my lower abdomen as well as stretch marks. To make my skin feel better, I still rub light lotion on my tummy. It never made the stretch mark disappear, but it feels nice. Although I wasn’t expecting a c-section or an angelic visitation or vision after my pregnancy, I am glad I had the experience because it gave me a great son.