Friday, January 29, 2010

Realities of Recovery After a C-Section

I haven't read much about all of the pain that goes on after birth from a C-Section--and it's not that I want to scare anyone and I know everyone's experience is different--so I'm writing this because I need to document what I went through/am going through.
This post talks about poop. You've been warned.
***I started this a couple of days ago but haven't had time to finish writing and posting***

For me, it's not been so much the cut itself, but the pain from the gas.
That overrides everything else. If I take pain meds, like perco.cet, to deal with the radiating pain coming from under my shoulders and traveling down to my lower back, well that makes my back feel better but that drug makes you constipated plus it could be decreasing my milk supply. (I kicked the Per.cocet to the curb upon finding this out and am dealing with the deal through Motrin now.)
Add that to the extra iron they've thrown at me because I'm severely anemic from too much blood loss during surgery and you've got yourself a puffed up Puffer that hasn't pooped since 2 hours before her C-Section.
That would be a week ago (Thursday).

Thursday was so bad I spent half the day and all evening/night on the toilet. We disinfected everything in the bathroom and I set up a station in there because I COULD NOT sit down without extreme pain. Since the pediatrician had me on my new strict, every 2 hours pumping schedule, I ended up pumping on the toilet and eating two meals on the toilet. I even put a small pillow behind my back and got real cozy with the toilet.
Chicken went out and got everything she could think of: prune juice, stool softeners, a huge salad, smooth move tea. Nothing moved. I could tell it wanted to, hence the extreme pain, but nothing would exit.

At one point, I ditched all efforts as nothing was 'happening' and got into a hot bath. I haven't had a hot bath in EIGHT months and it was heavenly. It was the only thing that gave me any relief.
After this I was at least able to get into the bed for an hour and sleep on my side--a major accomplishment as this is the first time since birth that I haven't had to sleep flat on my back.

At midnight, as the pain was only getting more intense, Chicken made me a double espresso latte and around finally around 2am.... what can only be described as something that crawled out of Mexican city prison sewer, was expelled from my body. Totally vile and disgusting. Nobody ever talks about this part of recovery.

Thank god I have no inhibitions because for days my mom and Chicken have had to see me in nothing but the lovely hospital mesh panties (complete with giant maxi pads) and my tits hanging out ALL the time and now THIS. Sometimes I wear a robe they gave me in the hospital, but I find it gets in the way, so mostly I just let it all hang out. It's pretty, I assure you.

In spite of it all, I just keep starting at these two little perfect boys and I know that it's worth all the pain in the world.


N said...

They are so, so gorgeous.

Heather said...

i recall that i also roamed the house in nothing but my undies for those first days. (who am i kidding? WEEKS. it was definitely weeks.) looking back, i don't know why it would've been so difficult to put on a shirt, but at the time, it so was. :o) i nearly forgot about the mesh panties! those things were great.

your babies are beautiful! (we have those same jammies with the giraffes on the feet for our baby girl.)

CD and SP said...

so worth it! i think your experience back home in recovery is quite common. rest assured, you have every right to let anything at all you want to hang out, night or day! glad relief finally came to you!!

cindyhoo2 said...

Oh my, your "no go" experience sounds really awful. I am glad you wrote about it: I'll bet many women have the same thing. Talk about an unpleasant surprise.

The mesh panties without a shirt does sound totally hot. :)

the boys are so beautiful. The first 2 are fabulous but I love how blissed out they look in the bottom pic.

mamaandmummy said...

Oh, but they are the most beautiful babies ever, and they look just delightful all swaddled up with their elf hats. I mean, come on.

Caragh said...

I am a huge lurker but I had to say.. your boys are just so beautiful and your so brave for sharing the ugly side of your c-section recovery.

nutella said...

Glad you got cleared out and hope you won't ever have such trouble again. I spent most of the first week home wearing sweat pants and a button up cardigan. Which I would tear off during a sweat or while breast feeding. It will all be a distant memory soon.

And those boys are beautiful!

anofferingoflove said...

Oy, I remember the mesh panties, mega maxi pads, and tits hanging out days. It will end, I promise. Well, not the tits out part so much, but the other stuff does.

The boys are beautiful. Beautiful!!

Jen said...

Ah, the mega maxi pads! I had to use those for nearly three weeks!!!! I had nothing of the experience that you did with the gas pains- sounds just awful but my most unpleasant experience was the post-partium night sweats! Have you had those?- absolutely nasty and uncomfortable. No one talks about the gross stuff and I have to admit that I forgot to with everything else going on.

Anonymous said...

Well I have to tell you. You are one brave girl not many will tell that side of the story but I have to agree its terrible to go through my handsome boy will be 30 in a few weeks and I still rember not going for 2 weeks after we came home from the hospital.Those babies are just perfection.

loveinventsus said...

Oh Puffer. We are thinking about all four of you. They are unbelievably beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh Puff. I love how you keep it real. My wife has had 3 surgeries in the past 2 years and the gas pain in the shoulder (and everywhere) has been one of the worst parts of her recoveries each time. As well as the post-op constipation. It always took her about 1 week for things to get moving again as well. It is a common side effect from anesthesia and surgery.

I hope the mesh panty days end soon. Man are those boys beautiful.


tireegal68 said...

You're a brave and honest blogger and I admire your courage and endurance. Yeah, really, it would be horrible to endure that without the reward of one ( or two) beautiful babies at the end of it. The poop issue sounds very trying, gas pains in the shoulders? Who knew?
As a twin I'm curious to know how your boys are different or similar or asserting their individuality :)
chicken is a rock star! That double espresso sounded good! Hang in there - or hang out there!!!
And the boys are so gorgeous - great pics. Keep em coming:)

Growing up Clangley said...

I hate that pain medication. it always causes constipation. can you lower your dose or stop taking it? it sounds like a catch 22, you are in pain because your constipated and your constipated because you are taking pain meds. Anyway, hang in there, those boys are gorgeous!

Bella said...

I am so sorry. I was insanely constipated after my thyroidectomy and that was by far the worst part of the recovery. The pain of the incision itself was nothing. I can't imagine having that constipation after a c-section, though, when that region is still so very tender. I hope things stay "loose" and stay on top of those stool softeners! Your boys are beyond precious!!!!! ((HUGS))

jessie said...

Glad you finally got some relief! Whew. They are amazingly handsome - you're very lucky!

I walked around with boobs hanging out every too. MUCH easier that way!

Libberal said...

What beautiful baby boys. Thanks so much for the honest post. There are SO many things that I feel I have questions about in this whole process, that people rarely talk about. Congrats on (ahem) working it all out. Hopefully the rest of your recovery will be less painful.

oneofhismoms said...

First of all... CUTE! They are so squishy and peaceful. Sigh.

Ok, make sure you are drinking lots of water. When you breastfeed, you need to drink 8 oz every time you nurse. I didn't know that. Since you are nursing two, you should probably just get one of those camelbak backpacks and keep the water tube in your mouth at all times. It will look sexy with the mesh panties.

My PT says that avoiding constipation has several parts: eating fiber (you already have prunes), exercise (yeah, right. You are excused from that right now,) having some kind of oil in your diet and drinking lots of water. I guess the water is the one you have the most control over right now. I know for you right now it is way more complicated than regular constipation, and I know you didn't ask for my advice, but I've been a little obsessed with, er, stools lately so I couldn't help myself.

Meredith said...

Your boys look snuggle perfect!

Thanks so much for posting about your experience. Janet will be having a c-section, so I had her read your post.

The mesh panties must be fabulous!

insertmetaphor said...

Those are cutey cute boys.

I'm glad you got some things moving! Your story gave me flash backs to when I was about 13 and I babysat for this family. The mom had given birth within the last week and I came over to watch the older boy for a while. I walked in and the dad was on the phone with the doctor's office explaining the details of the mom's constipation. I was so embarrassed. But then the mom, sitting in the bathroom off the kitchen (door ajar) yelled out, "Bill! It's right there, I can feel it but it won't come out! Ask him if I should reach in and pull it out!"

That memory is seared into my memory.