When I was pregnant with my girls I was so confident that I was going to have natural, un-medicated births. I may have even zoned out a bit during the C-Section portion of my birth classes. But as fate would have it, here I am status post C-Section x 2. Perhaps if I hadn’t been so confident I may have heard the discussion about the amount of pain that comes with a C-Section. My post is not meant to scare anyone. But I’m hoping that by sharing my experience with pain, those of you who go through a C-Section are a little better prepped for the pain than me.
1. There will be burning
You know when you go to the doctor and have to rate and describe the pain that you are having? I cannot describe C-Section pain any better than searing, burning pain. To me, it felt as though the edge of a hot pan was sitting on my incision. Cue: ice packs. I cannot explain the relief that came along with an ice pack. Believe me – when they thaw out you will be asking the nurse for a new one.
2. Laughing is no joke
PSA: Do not watch the Ellen show within the first two weeks of having a C-Section. I really think that this should have been written on my discharge instructions. If you so choose to watch Ellen or whatever show makes you bust a gut (no pun intended) then please make sure you have a pillow close by to hold against your incision for support. Your belly will thank you.
3. Fundal checks really suck
Here is one of those topics that I’m sure was reviewed in labor class. The nurses are required to check the status of your fundus (the top of your uterus). The nurse and/or doctors press down on the belly (HARD) make sure your uterus is shrinking and firm. News flash: you don’t get out of these checks just because you have a C-Section. So when you see them coming at you, make sure to take a deep breath and grin and bear it.
4. Back to my back
When I was pregnant I wanted nothing more than to be able to lay on my back. Once my babies were born it felt amazing to lay on my back again, but you can only stay in one position for so long. So, I attempted laying on my side. Until I tried this, I didn’t realize that I had a big mound of floppy skin where my baby once was and when I laid on my side it pulled down on my incision. OUCH! Within a couple of days, I was able to maneuver laying on my side with a pillow tucked under my belly.
5. Painkillers are a pain
A lot of people are adverse to taking painkillers for whatever reason. In my case, I really had never taken painkillers before so I was more than willing to take whatever my doctor suggested to keep the pain at bay. However, within a couple days of being home I realized that I felt so lousy and dopey on the painkillers that my doctor and I decided that I should try to wean off of them. Over the course of a couple of days I switched to taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I felt so much better after that. I would highly recommend that if you are not tolerating your pain regimen to talk to your doctor. They want you to feel GOOD!
6. The pain is temporary (for the most part)
I was very surprised by how quickly I recovered from a C-Section. This is a MAJOR surgery and it is important not to rush the recovery process. I would say that within two weeks I was feeling pretty good. One year later I will still continue to have very slight twinges of pain, but I have been told that is the nerves figuring out how to reroute themselves.