With my first baby, I labored for over 18 hours, dilated at a 9 to 9.5 for over 4 hours with the baby never dropping down far enough to get that last bit of dilation or begin pushing before I was moved into surgery for a c-section. This experience started on Monday, went through the night and finally our baby boy was born Tuesday morning. It was a rough way to discover that my pelvic bone is tilted and while wide enough, not round enough to pass a little babe. The good news is that we knew all that going into delivering our second child, which was a scheduled c-section with no laboring beforehand.
So, in preparing for baby #2, I'm was also prepping for another c-section (something I didn't get to plan for before). C-sections definitely come with a harder recovery, and will be especially more challenging this round with an almost-two year old I won't be able to pick up. But going into one, planned and avoiding the labor before hand has been a much easier recovery so far. Obviously, this is not something everyone gets to plan for, but in case you find yourself needing a c-section or end up with one, here are a few ways you can prepare for recovery at home post-surgery:
1. Bring things in closer to you. You'll be doing a lot of laying down and siting as you recover, plus snuggling up with a new little baby. I found that it's harder to lean forward and reach for things, so bring those items (drinks, laptop, baby bottles, etc) closer to you with the help of a c-table (my fav I've already been using a ton) and tray.
2. Tummy and back support. With any abdominal surgery, you'll need some extra support so you don't end up throwing out your back. Last time I tried this belly wrap and I hated it and pretty much never wore it. It was too stiff, hard to relax or sit in and like a corset - just not very practical. This time I'm excited to try this Bumped tank that allows for nursing while wearing. It's a softer form of support that also helps smooth your midsection and hold up unbuttoned pants (until they can button again).
3. Find comfort when sitting with pillows! Try this backrest pillow to keep you upright. One of the great things about the hospital is the bed you can control, at home you most likely don't have a bed that can be adjusted at the touch of a button. I've been using a big wedge in bed to nurse.
4. Walk it off. Though you might not feel like it, doctors recommend trying to get up and walking (even just a little) in the first 12-24 hours to get things (i.e. your bowls) moving again. Try to do a little walking every day in the days following, too and more as you feel better and better.
5. Stock up on meals prior to surgery (you might want to do this whether having a c-section or not). We start doubling our recipes when cooking dinner so we can freeze some for easy dinners post-baby. Nothing hurts more than bending over a counter post-surgery, nor will you have the energy to do so with a new baby in tow, too! Try this easy soup that is great to freeze and get yourself some reliable freezer containers.
6. Stool softeners... ya, not the sexiest thing ever, but this will make going to the bathroom way more comfortable. I remember having the worst pain ever after coming home in this area, bringing me to tears!
7. If you have a toddler at home... stock up on some seated activities that you can do with him/her. Thankfully Liam has really taken to drawing lately. So we'll be doing a lot of coloring at the table. Reading books, playing with blocks or Legos, gently rolling a ball back and forth, etc.
8. Stock a diaper caddythat you can keep on every different level of your home as to not have to climb stairs too often for the many, many diaper changes newborns require! We used ours especially at night, sat next to the bed for easy midnight diaper changes and feeding sessions without having to get up.
Any other c-section tips out there? I'd love to hear the things you did (or didn't do) to a speedy recovery?