Friday, September 25, 2009


While I was pregnant a lot of people asked me how I thought I'd deal with all the life changes I faced ahead. They wondered how I'd feel about working out less and scheduling activities around a child. I didn't know, I still don't know, I just know it's all changed now.

I was not planning to have a c-section but that's the way the cookie crumbles. One of the tough aspects of a c-section is the recovery, it's longer and maybe a little harder on your body.

While I was in the hospital I felt much less mobile than usual but the nurses laughed at me a bit, telling me how well I was actually doing. On the first night, my torso and below were 100% numb. One of the nurses asked me if I could roll over towards my side at all. I pushed down on my arms and shifted my entire body to face the side wall.

"How did you do that?" she asked in complete amazement.

"I don't know, I just used my arms. You asked if I could roll on my side."

She started to laugh, "You have no idea... most people can't move at all."

Here are a few of these changes / limits and my perspective on them 1 week after Leah's birth...

Pain Meds - There are a lot of pain medications prescribed to c-section ladies. I'd been told by others to stay ahead of your pain medication, it's tough when you get behind schedule. I listened to this advice but I also wanted to get off those things as quickly as possible. By the second night after her birth I started having some really bad dreams and my body was retaining a lot of water. Plus, I can't imagine those things are good to have in your system. So I've been doing my best to clear this stuff out.

Driving - No driving for at least 2 weeks, longer if I was still on the pain medication. I get cleared to drive again at my first postpartum appointment. Although this limitation makes it difficult to go run errands I'm perfectly happy to have Michael do all the driving. It almost feels like having a personal chauffeur since I sit in the back next to Leah.

Laughing, coughing, sneezing, etc - These activities are among the most painful of all, the incision sight is not a fan. For the past week I've been begging Michael not to make me laugh. Every time he says something funny I do my best not to laugh. When something gets in my throat and I need to cough I grab water and hope I can wash it down. The other day I cried a bit and realized it hurts to blow my nose. I've put a kibosh on all emotions.

Water Exposure - no swimming, no baths, no water applied to the stitches for 6 weeks. The swimming and baths is to decrease the chance of bacterial infection to my inside as well as my incision location.

Exercise - 6 weeks with no exercise. Everyone just kept telling me no heavy lifting and no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. The OB on call during the weekend told me I could walk as far as I wanted. I finally started to tell the doctors I needed more details to prevent me from unknowingly doing too much.

Heavy Lifting = 10+ lbs
Walk as far as you want = You should not want to walk more than 1 block
Strenuous exercise = Yoga, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Weight Lifting, etc

Of course, I do admit, even a short walk through the hospital seemed like a tough workout at first. This video makes me laugh every time. I was so out of it that day. Too bad it hurts to laugh.