Life After C-Section

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.

Stretchmarks? Check.

Flab? Check.

Scar? Check.

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.

~Meghan

 

8 Comments

Good for you! Life’s way too short to compare yourself to others. :)

I always remind myself that this is the youngest I’ll ever be, today. So I look at myself like I’m 60 and getting another chance to be 26. It definitely helps. I start to actually enjoy and appreciate the smaller things, like the fact that I can be out and heavily active for hours. Or that I don’t get tired easily yet. That I can see well. That my skin is soft and my hair thick. It’s almost vanity after a while. :P It’s pretty great to look at yourself from that lens especially when your usual personal lens likes to filter out all the people that look “worse” than you, only see the people who look “better” than you and then make you feel bad for being on the bottom of that sorted list.

Screw you, brain!

Anyway, I thought you’ve looked pretty great in your posted photos for post-pregnancy. I know lots of moms who put on like 50 lbs and can’t get it off. You barely look like you just had her. :)

    Thank you! That is sweet of you to say. I don’t feel like I look that way, and I have had to get some bigger sized shorts/pants and shirts to wear. I still wear my maternity yoga pants and one pair of maternity jeans! haha

    You are so right, though, to look at it that way! I look back sometimes at old pictures where I remember thinking how awful I looked when they were taken. Now I look at them and think I would LOVE to get back to that size! haha It’s a moving target, I think. I should be grateful for a functioning body that CAN work towards better health. And I’m trying to have that attitude!

    I’ve never heard that before, and I love it! Words to live by.

      My code didn’t work for blockquote – I was referring to “I always remind myself that this is the youngest I’ll ever be, today.”

To your friends who might read this too. I would say that sometimes it isn’t that bad. You had a much harder recovery than I did because within about a week I felt just fine. And after talking to natural delievery moms, I was actually doing better than they were. I think every body is different and you just have no idea how your body will react until you go through it. But as you said you do recover to a new you and have an amazing accomplishment to show for it.

I have to say..you’ve looked beautifully put together in every single picture I’ve seen of you via fbook. I think the biggest thing is the happiness you exude. Weight comes and goes..but the happiness that radiates from within you shines through all of that!

Keep up the hard work with the Couch to 5k! I’ve done the Couch to 10k track before and loved it.

    Thank you, Milli! That is so encouraging! I really do LOVE being a mama, and I’m glad you can see that. She fills every day with happiness, and Tom is just the sweetest daddy. I don’t think I could ask for a better life.

    And look at you! Couch to 10K! DANG! My next milestone in the program will be running 10 minutes straight, and I think THAT is an accomplishment. hahaha You go girl!

Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>