Thursday, December 23, 2010

10 Days Post-Cesarean

I didn't know what to expect in recovering from a c-section. It turns out... they're not that bad! I still think natural birth is a better, safer method, but if your baby's presentation or other factors necessitates a c-section, it is not the end of the world. ;-)

After the surgery I was moved to a temporary recovery station to wait for the spinal to wear off enough to be able to raise my knees while lying on the bed. This probably takes 1-2 hours.

When my private post-partum recovery room was ready (Sharp Mary Birch in San Diego - nice!) they wheeled me away (babies in arms) to the sixth floor and we settled in for our 3-day stay.

I was given IV Motrin every 6 hours for pain management and this was sufficient. The most difficult (painful) movement is getting in and out of bed. And twins around-the-clock calls for a LOT of in and out of bed! Any other movement is relatively pain-free as long as you keep your movements slow.

After the first 24 hours I'd had two bags of saline with pitocin (pitocin to keep the uterus firm - probably not necessary with breastfeeding, but good luck with that argument!) and they removed my IV and catheter. Yay! Freedom! Walking was a piece of cake and I did several laps around the 6th floor that evening. Why? Change of scenery, and..... gas.

I got this truly intense pain in my shoulders which one nurse said was gas pain. Yeah right! (That was my inward reaction.) Later I was told the same thing by another nurse, and that I should try walking. Well, if two nurses say it's gas then maybe they're right? So I tried walking, but it didn't help. Another nurse said to lay in bed, all the way flat, and raise the feet. This did help!

Now I'd been assuming that they were talking about gas in the digestive system causing shoulder pain. But now in hindsight I think it might be air bubbles that enter the body during surgery. Those bubbles actually COULD travel to the shoulders and lying down with feet elevated could make them rise out of the shoulders and relieve that pain until the body is able to absorb the air. Hmm.

Day 2, the goal is to pass gas (the regular kind). Only in the hospital do you get a Gold Star for farting! :-) My doctor recommends using an abdominal binder during recovery. It helps support the muscles and it also helps put the intestines back where they belong. The hospital has the abdominal binders but I had to ask for one - I think it's not a standard practice to give them out. (These are a consumable item, so it's new when you get it and it goes home with you.)

Around Day 7 I was able to get in/out of bed without pain (still taking Motrin every 6 hours) and last night I discovered I can sleep on my belly! I am a total belly sleeper, so this is awesome! I put a little pillow below my boobs but above my incision, to take away the pressure.

Bleeding still happens with a c-section. But it's much lighter than after a vaginal birth because the doc has removed most of the material.

My waist has shrunk from 44 inches to 35 inches. My boobs have grown from 36 inches to 39 inches. :-) I'm hoping another week will reduce the belly to 30 inches. I didn't put on very much flab this time around so I should have a nice figure soon, I hope. I'm off the Motrin and resuming my normal activities (laundry, dishes, etc.). No baths, no sex, and no lifting heavy objects, until the 6 week check-up.


  1. I wish my doctors would have told me about the belly binding long ago, ah well! And you're right about the gas . . I had horrible pain in my chest and shoulders. Isn't it crazy?

    I also agree with you on the c-section not being so bad . . . although it helps not having to care for a baby for weeks of recovery! :)

    Great job! I'm glad you aren't trying to exercise, etc right away. Your body needs to heal and I hate when I hear surrogates trying to conquer the world after a c-section.

    Hope you didn't get the blues too bad.

  2. I had no idea about that belly binding thing'y!!! Definitely something I will be asking for this next time around.

    How are you feeling otherwise? Hope all is well!!!


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