So you had a c-section. It happens to even the crunchiest mamas among us. Things don't go according to plan, you end up with some severe something, lives are in danger, and cesarean it is. It can be a hard reality for some women, but we can't rewind to do anything differently so we have to press on ... and find some sort of humor in it. Because laughing does help -- though good Grover it's going to hurt like heck if you laugh too hard.
Grab a pillow, especially you c-section mamas still in the recovery stage, and hold it softly against your belly because there may be some chuckles here mixed into the list of the things I think you should never ever do after a c-section.
- Don't waste 32,446 hours lamenting over the fact you didn't have a vaginal birth.
- Don't make the anti-cesarean-no-matter-what crowd get you down. There aren't a lot of them -- they just are loud. Not even midwife and natural birth advocate Ina May Gaskin, my personal hero and inspiration, thinks all c-sections are unnecessary. Sometimes they just are.
- Don't think driving home from the hospital is going to be awesome. Yes, you are going home and that's fantastic but every bump the car drives over will inflict a dose of pain you didn't even know you could have. Have whoever is driving go slow, and cushion your belly with a pillow.
- Don't you dare get sick because if you have to sneeze while recovering from a c-section that pain in your incision area will hurt like heck. Pillow must always be handy to soften those blows.
- Don't cough either for that matter.
- Don't eat anything that is going to give you gas.
- Don't eat anything that is going to make you constipated.
- Don't brag about the perfect shape head your baby has because she wasn't a vagina baby.
- Don't ever say "vagina baby" out loud.
- Don't lose your sense of humor. Ever. But ...
- Don't laugh unless you have that pillow handy.
- Don't forget to have a lot of pillows around you at all times. You need them to protect your incision area for any coughs, laughs, and sneezes, but also to prop you up all nice and cozy at just the right angle so nothing hurts as you heal.
- Don't cry in the shower wondering when you are going to feel yourself again. Okay, you can cry, but not too hard because your incision will hurt if you end up sobbing.
- Don't get angry at your OB/GYN for not working some magic to make your stomach flat again since she was prodding around in there to get the baby out. I think the bump is good so you can't see your incision. Speaking of ...
- Don't screw around with your incision area. Don't even look at it. Let your husband check it to make sure it's okay.
- Don't expect the numbness to go away right away. It's been 3 years and I still have numbness.
- Don't think the doctors forgot to put your abs back in place. They're there ... they will just take a lot of time to feel like you can use them again.
- Don't bother with housework. Let friends and family who offer to help out do the cooking and cleaning so you can focus on recovery and not rush things to derail your progress.
- Don't climb stairs. If you have two floors, set up camp on one of them.
- Don't forget that pain meds are your friend. Of course don't take too many, but just enough, around the clock if necessary, so you aren't in pain and you can enjoy your beautiful baby ... or babies for my multiple mamas.
- Don't ever think for one second that your c-section makes you less of a mom or that you didn't birth your baby. Baby just came out of a pocket in your belly, unwrapped like a gift.
Solidarity, my c-section mamas. May you heal quick!
What would you add to this list?
Image via AndrewEich/Flickr