Hi, I’m Chantal- wife of Steve, Momma to Natalie, Layla & Olivia, Photographer, Blogger, and Dreamer. I started blogging in 2017 to find fun, local family gems in Alberta. I love inspiring families to create memories with the activities I find and appreciate the insight I gain through the parenting stories I share. I am a stay at home mom in the prairies and I help with my family’s toy store business. I believe in supporting local businesses to keep our communities vibrant.
C-Sections: Recovery & Reflection
By Chantal Aird
If you have ever been to a party or work function, you may have played an icebreaker game called, ” Have you Ever.” A game where each person takes a turn asking a question beginning with the words Have you Ever…the question goes around the group and people answer I have or I have not. It can be a fun way to get to know one another and see who shares our experiences. This game can also provide moms with a sense of solidarity and reassurance when they discuss their childbirth stories. While each birth story is unique, we also experience many similar symptoms, feelings and outcomes. In my case, my question would be, “Have you ever had a Caesarian Section?” For those that have, my experiences will resonate with you. For those that have not, here is an open view of my 3 C-sections in 4 years.
My first C-section was an emergency. It was not planned, nor expected. After being in labor for quite some time, my Dr finally recommended a C-section as baby was facing upwards. It was scary, but I wanted baby to be safe and knew this was the right thing to do. When my daughter was born, she was not breathing. She was whisked away to ICU and I could not see her until the next day; I was a mess of emotion. Through the night, I felt like a failure and I doubted my choices leading up to her delivery. Once my daughter stabilized and I could see her, I finally started to feel better. Although my healing took longer than I thought and my feet were swollen to the size of beach balls, I knew I had done my best in the situation and she was here now, safe and sound.
For my second C-section, I planned it. I scheduled a time, date and discussed the procedure with my Dr. beforehand. I knew more about my options and how my body would react and heal. My second experience was entirely different than my first. My second daughter arrived with no complications! I got to see her right away. I felt like I could do cartwheels after she was born, that was how good I felt! My feet did not swell up due to wearing compression stockings and I wasn’t exhausted from being in labor beforehand. I thought to myself, “I can do this again if I need too, I got this!”
My third C-section is still a mystery to me. I thought I had this thing all figured out…third time to the rodeo, I was a pro! Like my second C-section, I planned this one. I didn’t want to risk what had happened to my first daughter and I was prepared for the healing process and procedure. I also knew how to pack my hospital bag like a pro! (My top comfort items would be slippers, a loofah with a handle and moist towelettes). My third daughter was also born with no complications and she had chubby little cheeks. I got to see her right away too. After seeing her, I was taken to recovery so the anesthetic could wear off and I could be monitored. I started throwing up and I was extremely itchy as the wearing off process took effect. This was a first. Other times I had no issue with the anesthetic; my nurse told me it is pretty common and not to worry. Once I got home I also found my back very sore and tender. Again, this was a common side effect of the epidural given to me. I managed to figure out how to control the pain and just enjoy my new baby girl. If I learned anything from my other C-sections, it was to figure out self-care in order to care for my kids.
After settling in at home, I got to reflect on all of my experiences. Here is what I learned:
- You only get to eat “liquid” food after your C-section until you pass gas (my brother snuck me in a cheeseburger because I was so hungry…but you will pay for it in the form of a stomach ache)
- Try and move around as much as you can – it helps with recovery
- Bring loose fitting clothing and a few heavy flow pads
- You wouldn’t be able to go in a fancy “theme room” for recovery
- Keep your incision area clean and dry – watch for signs of infection
- Take the time to heal. Don’t rush it
- The love for your new baby makes all the effort worth it!
In the end, I’ve realized that motherhood is a journey. Our paths will be different, but our hearts will be open. We will discover our strengths and overcome struggles. Each of us has a story, don’t be afraid to share it.
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