With not one, but two emergency c-section experiences to share with readers, Mai has a wealth of advice to share with c-section Mommies… particularly those who have to recovery while taking care of another little one.
Her first emergency cesarean was a must after 39 (YES, 39!!!) long hours of labor with no progress in the birth and an onset fever. Yikes! Reading this is yet another reminder of, “What did we all do before the dawn of life saving c-sections?” Luckily, with surgical intervention, she had a healthy daughter named Tuyet. (Loving this name, btw.)
Mai’s second pregnancy was intended to be a planned c-section with promises of being an easier delivery, but at 35 weeks she went into labor and had to have another emergency cesarean. She had a baby boy, Tau (just had to drop another cute name here…seriously love Mai’s kids’ names!)
Each of Mai’s recovery experiences had its challenges. Although she says that the first recovery was fairly easy, although slow, she did have quite a bit of swelling. Like many c-section patients, the recovery process is so much slower than that of vaginal birth. Swelling doesn’t dissipate as quickly as the body is slower to react and adapt to the “after birth process” and the use of necessary medications can further aggravate this.
Her second birth recovery was much more difficult. At that point, she lived farther from family and her hubby (like most hubbies) could only take a week off of work. Tending to her toddler and caring for a newborn proved to be extremely difficult. Mai’s incision opened up again and she was forced to return to the hospital for a couple of days. Afterwards, she says she “took it easy and didn’t try to overdo it. It took a little over 4 weeks to recover.”
Her advice to c-section Mommies? Naturally, to take it easy on yourself and not to “feel guilt for just resting.” Even with other little ones at home, you can only do so much. “Your body has gone through major surgery and you need time to heal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you’ll feel so much better to have someone around for support.” I find that often we Mommies try to bear so much of the burden ourselves. While our intentions are good, many aren’t prepared in knowing just how serious a c-section surgery really is on your body.
She adds, “don’t push yourself physically too hard.” She learned to listen to her body and respect her limitations before taking brisk walks or lifting anything too heavy.
“Lastly, a supportive control top underwear will also help your incision area feel better as it holds you in supporting your stomach.” I’ll be ordering mine now before next week’s c-section. Cesareans leave Mommies without feeling in their now weakened stomach muscles for up to years at a time.
Listening to Mai’s story truly makes you appreciate just how much c-section Mommies go through and how remarkable they are!