When I was pregnant with Johnny, the last thing I thought I would ever have is a C-section birth. I mentally prepared myself for a “natural” birth. Natural in quotations because lets face it, pushing a watermelon out of your change purse will require all the drugs.
Johnny was 2 weeks overcooked. I was completely done being pregnant, but I wasn’t dilated, I showed no signs of labor coming anytime soon and so my Doctor had told me that I needed to be induced.
I went into the hospital on a Monday night and they inserted a “cervidil” to kick start my labor. It looks like a really long tampon and it hurt like a bitch! They then gave me a sleeping pill to help me relax and I was out like a light.
The next morning, my Doctor came in to remove the Cervidil to check how much/far I had dilated and to everyones surprise, I was still at a ZERO!!! A big fat 0. NOTHING was happening down there. I was then told I had 2 options. Option A was to insert another Cervidil and then start pumping me with Pitocin or Option B was a C-section. I asked my Doctor what the right decision was, and his answer was a C-section. Being that literally NOTHING was happening the way it should, it was the better choice. Once I agreed, everything happened SO fast. I was told I had a half hour until surgery, started signing all the papers and was screaming to my husband to get my makeup bag to put my face on because if I was to do this, I wanted to look good doing it!
The rest of the day was a blur. I remember being wheeled off into the O.R, my ex wearing his scrubs and being asked what kind of music I wanted to listen to during the C-section. The Epidural was this huge needle coming at me, the table was freezing cold, my hands were strapped down, there was a blue screen put up, and I was telling my doctor not to cut into my tattoo. It was 2 days before Thanksgiving so I remember the doctors talking about their plans with their families, the smell of burning flesh, not being able to feel anything but the shaking and pulling of my body and then the doctors saying that he’s here. A beautiful baby boy.
I knew nothing about C-sections, the recovery or what to expect because I was not expecting it! I had packed cute recovery pajamas, a matching going home outfit for me and the baby and I wasn’t able to wear or use any of it. I basically wore hospital gowns the 6 days I was there and went home in pajama pants. My mom had to go buy me button down nightshirts for when I got home because all pants sucked. I didn’t want anything on my belly due to the incision, underwear included! I think I wore those mesh hospital underwear for a good month after having Johnny, talk about sexy!
My tummy was bloated, I couldn’t poop because of all the drugs, I couldn’t walk, my legs were swollen, I couldn’t change his first diaper and it hurt so much trying to hold my baby. I was a mess! But it was all worth it and I did it all over again just 4 short months ago.
By far the hardest thing to do after your C is getting out of bed and walking. Every time I got out of bed I felt like a knife was ripping my incision open. The pain is real. With Johnny, I didn’t want to move. I don’t think I moved except to shuffle back and forth to the bathroom. So when I had Xander, I wore my belly binder and walked up and down the hallways of the hospital the minute I was allowed to get out of bed. This made a HUGE difference in recovery! I guess sometimes those doctors and nurses are right in telling you what you should do in recovery?!
When it came to my second C-Section, I more or less knew what to expect and what I would need. I did my research this time around! Listed below are some of my much needed/favorite items:
A Belly Binder. The #1 thing that I wish I had with my first C was a belly binder. No-one I knew ever had a C-section so I was not told about this and it was not offered to me at the hospital but it was a drastic difference in recovery having it for my 2nd C. I felt more “secure” with it and it helped in letting me walk around. I found out about the belly binder in doing my research in preparation for my 2nd C. Because it wasn’t offered to me the first time, I bought one for the second, just in case.
C-Section Scar Strips. These strips made me feel better because it felt like a big bandaid on my incision. It also helped with the healing process.
High Waisted Pants. These pants were a life saver. There’s no inseam rubbing against your incision and they’re super comfy.
High Waisted Underwear. I basically stole and wore the all the sexy mesh underwear they give you in the hospital for about a month after. I then wore Hanes high waisted undies for the next couple of months. I may or may not still be wearing them..they’re that comfy. Victoria Secret who?
A Hospital Gown. Because I lived in my ugly, used 100 times over hospital gown the first time, I wanted to look and feel better this time around. I found these Happy Mama Gowns and they were perfect. I wore them while in the hospital and for the next couple of months after. They are comfy, have easy snaps for nursing and are loose enough in all the right places.
Stool Softener. Take these!!! The pain killers make you extremely constipated so these are SO needed.
Pain Killers. Don’t be a hero. These are needed, especially if you have a toddler at home!
Maxi Pads. I had no idea that you bleed THAT MUCH when you have a C-section. Definitely stock up on these.
The Halo. Getting in and out of bed is no fun after your C so this bassinet is perfect. It adjusts to the height of your bed and the arm of it reclines down for an easy reach to your baby.
A Maternity Pillow. If you were using one already, keep it in your bed! I literally slept sitting up for the first month and this helped in keeping me comfortable.
Nursing Pillow. I found this Luna Lullaby Pillow on Amazon and fell in love. Its nice and big, wraps around you with room to spare and the cover washes well.
New toys for brother/sister at home. If you’re like me and have an active toddler at home, stock up on new toys, books and games. This was genius of me. Probably one of my smartest ideas yet (lol). I gave Johnny one “surprise” a day to keep him occupied and it definitely bought me at least an hour of “peace”.
Meals Prepped. My mother in law prepped and froze some meals ahead of time for me and I’m so glad she did! They were a huge help.
Help. You’re going to need help, especially if you have other kids at home.
Between the newborn snuggles, the sleepless nights, running after a toddler and trying to recover, you will think this stage sucks, and it does but it doesn’t. You may smell from having baby spit up all over you, be completely exhausted and may or may not have showered in a day or two. Just keep reminding yourself, “The days are long but the years are short”. Johnny is now 3 and Xander 4 months old. I feel like if I blink again, they’ll be in College and I’m most definitely not ready for that! SO, kiss those sticky cheeks, cuddle your babies tight and remember to breath it all in.