What No One Tells You About C-sections

The first week or two after Dominic arrived was tough. I was in a lot of pain, but we realized (after talking to some other C-section moms) that my pain relief was minimal, so it was changed to include a new med that a reader told me about (Aleve in the U.S. and THANK YOU, Begonia!). It helped immensely! However, there were a few surprises along the way that I never found in any literature about C-sections, so I thought I?d do a quick post on what no one tells you about C-sections.

1. Your feet get even more swollen. I went into the hospital with swollen feet, eager to lose that particular symptom. Imagine my surprise when I got home and had feet even MORE swollen than when I went into the hospital. First thought, kidney problems. But no, apparently this is normal after a section thanks to the extra liquids in your body combined with the IV solutions. It takes up to 2 weeks to go away. (Note: My swollen feet turned out to be postpartum pre-eclampsia, so if you notice headaches, pain in your shoulder or dizziness, you should ask your doctor about this.)

2. Your doctor doesn?t know you?re in pain. You?d think it would be obvious, but nooooo. Or at least, not always. So speak up when you?re in pain to make sure you get the meds. Pain can prohibit the breastmilk from coming in, so it?s actually better to take the meds than to just deal with it.

3. Talking gives you gas. I can?t verify this one, but this is what I was told repeatedly during the surgery and for a day afterward. Like you aren?t going to talk the first time you see your baby. I did try to restrain myself during the actual surgery except to ask if Dominic was ok, but after  . . . well, I didn?t get too much gas and Irving chalked it up to the doctors not realizing that I was made to talk. ?If you talk half your usual amount, that?s more than most people and you probably wouldn?t get gas and nausea,? he said.

4. You feel like you have a bladder infection. Remember my worries about the catheter? Well, it turns out, I had no idea they even put a catheter in because they took it out again before I could feel anything. So I was not impressed when I figured I had a bladder infection! When I mentioned it to the doctor, he said it was irritation from the catheter. sigh. My fears were justified, it was awful, but went away in a week on its own.

5. Your back will hurt. Who knew? In retrospect, it makes sense that when your stomach muscles are unable to take on the job of stabilizing your body, your back muscles will do the job and they get tired and sore FAST. A girdle really helped with this.

6. You might not realize something is wrong. I had no clue that my scar was infected or had a bad reaction to the treatment for the infection. My advice? Get a mirror and use it. It?s not fun to look at the scar, but you do need to know if something is wrong. I falsely assumed I would feel it if there was an infection, but I didn?t . . . the nerve damage numbs you enough that you might not feel everything like normal.

7. Weird lumps appear in your abdomen. The inside stitches (holding together layers of muscle, fat, abdominal membranes and your uterus) can get irritated and turn into this really weird, hard lump in your abdomen. I had it right above my scar, my friend had it below. I have to admit, I kind of panicked. It felt like something was seriously wrong in there! It fades over time.

Anything else to add?

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