Last week, I shared our twin’s birth story. While we did get a beautiful result out of everything that happened, being these two sweet babies of ours, the road to recovery has not been an easy one.I don’t know what I expected out of a c-section recovery since it wasn’t anything I had ever planned for or even expected to happen. But, it did. These are some of the c-section recovery tips that helped me through.
Unfortunately, that was not the case for our twins.
My mom and sister had come into town the day that we were being released from the hospital. After an uphill climb trying to get both of the twins’ sugar levels up and make sure that they were eating okay, I was glad to go home and try to get back to a somewhat normal life.
“Thankful” does not even come close to how I feel about my mom and sister being there. They were such a huge blessing and help in those first few days at home when things were so crazy. They were life-savers.
The first day or two at home were really tough for me emotionally. I could hardly walk on my own, I couldn’t reach over to pick my babies up, I couldn’t hold my older girls, and I pretty much had to be waited on. My sweet husband even got a taste of what it will be like when we are 90 and he has to bathe me, considering I could hardly move and he had to help me shower. I can say that this entire experience has brought us closer than ever and we look at one another with a much different level of love and respect.
I get it, I had major surgery. But for someone like me who is very independent and used to just handling everything on my own, these feelings of helplessness were the polar opposite for me.
On our third day home from the hospital, I woke up feeling terrible. My husband had gone somewhere with my sister and it was just my mom and I home with all of the kids, which would’ve been okay normally… until I started to faint on the couch. My mom was holding the babies and trying to entertain the older girls so that they didn’t see that their mom was losing consciousness on the couch. I had my husband rush home and we spent the next few hours trying to get my blood sugar and levels back up. I am stubborn and did NOT want to go to the emergency room.
But, that’s where we ended up that afternoon. I was sent home after fluids and medicine with a diagnosis of severe dehydration and anemia. With the surgery, exclusively breast-feeding twins, and trying to flush my body of all the medication that it wasn’t used to, I was just done physically.
The next 24 hours were pretty scary for me as I tried to eat every 1.5 hours, make sure that I was constantly rehydrating myself, and dealing with the side effects of the surgery that I had never felt before.
No one tells you that you’re going to feel constant pain from where the spinal was injected, or you would have the worst tension headaches from having to sleep sitting up for a few days, or that you may have tingling in your arms and legs as aftermath from being completely numb, or that you would feel foggy and light headed all the time during recovery.
This is not what I signed up for.
In everything that I had read, there were a lot of people who swear by the ease of c-section deliveries and recoveries. For me personally, as someone who hardly even takes medicine for a headache, this could not have been farther from the truth.
The day after the ER visit, we had to take the twins in for their first check-up. They had both lost a little more weight than the desired level, so I committed to the fact that I would wake them up every two hours to make sure that they were feeding. Their blood was also checked to make sure that they were not jaundice, which was not even a thought since their levels were both so low at the hospital. Our pediatrician called us a few hours later saying that Annabelle’s levels were extremely high and we needed to have her admitted to the hospital that night. Talk about an emotional break down moment.
I was tired of leaving our girl’s and spending the night in the hospital. I was tired of feeling like crap and not being able to do anything for myself. Just tired.
My mom and sister were leaving that night, so we dropped them off at the airport and headed to the hospital. It only took 12 hours at the hospital to get her levels down and we were out of there. I woke up every two hours with the both of them in the hospital to feed them, and I made sure that there was not going to be any reason to go back there. When we got home, they spent the majority of the next day in front of the window to make sure that they were getting natural light and keeping those levels down.
Recovering from a C-Section with Toddlers
When it comes to my older girls and this recovery, I know it has been difficult for them as well. Seeing their mom be immobile and the complete opposite of herself must have been extremely hard for them.
My emotional three-year-old really had a hard time the first week with not being able to sit on my lap, play with me, all the things she was used to. Plus, she is old enough to know that the in-and-out of the hospital was not a good thing. Being around grandma and nana and papa more than mom and dad had its effect on her attitude as well. She went through a few days of “I’m not listening to my parents at all”, probably out of rebellion for this whole new baby situation. As I am slowly recovering now, I see her normal self starting to come back out again as well, thank goodness.
Our 1.5 year old is actually doing much better than I thought. She loves that babies for a few minutes and then just ignores them. She has a very independent attitude and doesn’t seem to be that effected by all the craziness that has been going on, which I am so thankful for.
The day after we got home from the hospital for our jaundice issue, the girls started throwing up. They both had a perfectly timed case of food poisoning… the fun just never ends! My husband was up all night with them while I was up with the babies. We had them quarantined in our room the whole next day while we made sure the girls weren’t contagious or had something other than food poisoning.
I think the recovery battle peaked about a week and a half in, although I am still just taking it day by day. Nothing about it has been easy or fun or some wonderful experience that I had experienced with my other recoveries.
Physically, I am healing and starting to feel a little bit more like myself again in terms of the ability to move and actually do things on my own.
Emotionally…. It is an every day struggle. Because of the way that everything happened at during their birth, my emotions have been on the verge of crazy it seems. Some days, I literally think I am losing my mind. Others are filled with flashbacks of those intense minutes before and during surgery, which leads to tears and breakdowns. Some days are good, and I can smile watching my four kids knowing that they are safe and happy. The emotional scars are something that is going to take a long time to heal, and just like the physical scar I have now, may not ever go away completely. But, it’s one day at a time:)
We now have four beautiful, healthy children that have absolutely stolen our hearts. Any and all of the struggles in this recovery are worth it because of them.
Next week starts the postpartum series where I will give monthly updates on my own recovery as well as the twins’ growth and change for the month.
Did you have a c-section? What was your recovery experience like?