I love being a mom. But I can tell you that c-sections flat out suck.
The recovery is hard and painful. I coughed in the hospital and cried. I laughed when we brought her home, and it sent me reeling in pain.
Nursing hurts because not only is it a painful thing on its own at first, but it also hurts to have the pressure on your incision. So you have to find creative positions in which to feed the baby. Which is especially difficult when people come over, and you want to be modest.
But then, six weeks out, you just start to turn a corner. It hurts less. And eight weeks out, you feel like a different person.
Since then, I’ve only had to use ice packs a couple of times. I still feel pain sometimes when or after I exercise, but I’ve been told it will take until 6 months from the date of surgery before I feel 100% again.
So, when things began to turn around, I started to look in the mirror and judge.
Loss of muscle tone? Check.
Belly hanging over my scar? Check.
I won’t even go into my weight.
I waver back and forth between self-loathing and pride. I hate how my body looks now, but I am amazed at what it accomplished. I grew a baby – a mammoth baby that was too big to fit through my pelvis- and brought her safely into this world.
I might have stretchmarks, but I sure as heck earned them. I carried a 9 lb, 2 oz, 22 inch baby in my 5’2.75″ frame. DANG. I don’t like the stretching, but I’m proud of what it represents.
I carried a life. I grew a strong, beautiful daughter. I intend to do it again (and again) someday. I don’t regret what I gave up.
But then I look in the mirror and compare myself to the other moms I know that are tiny and fit within weeks of birth. Even some who had c-sections.
At first I felt sorry for myself. And then I decided I was going to kick this fat to the curb now that I was physically capable of doing something about it.
So I started the couch-to-5K program. I hate running, but it seems like I am jealous of every runner I know, so that’s the body I want. This program has actually made it manageable for me so far, though I am doing it on the treadmill for now, thanks to allergies and Georgia heat.
Then, when we went to the mountains, Tom and I went hiking a lot. If you would have told me a month and a half before that I’d be hiking all over while carrying a 15 pound baby girl, I would have laughed you out the door. But it happened!
I’ve also changed my diet, both for my sake and for Josey’s. I’ll go into more of that later. I told Tom that if I don’t get healthy and fit doing this, I give up. It’s donuts from here on out. haha
So, here I am. Three months and some change from having my abdomen sliced open and a watermelon sized baby pulled from it. It’s nice to know that it really does get easier after the first several weeks.
It’s still a mental, emotional and physical battle to get back to a body I feel comfortable with, but I’m making the strides.
And I’ve found that as long as I’m doing what I can to be healthy, I give myself a lot more grace for the fact that I don’t look just how I want yet. I know I’m doing what I can.
If you’ve got a c-section ahead of you and haven’t gone through it before, take heart. It’s hard. But it gets better.
And it’s definitely worth it.