5 Things No One Tells You About a C-Section

By 12:37 PM , ,

Well today our girl is three weeks old which means I am 3 weeks post-partum from my c-section. And boy oh boy was I not prepared for it. I felt like I had done a ton of research on c-sections prior to mine, asked tons of questions of both doctors and friends who have had them, and even watched one on Youtube but I still was not prepared.  The good news is that I have learned similar to vaginal births everyone's experience is different. Some recover faster than others, etc. 

However that being said there are a few things I learned through experience that I wish someone had told me.

Here is my list of the 5 things no one tells you about a c-section:

1. The worst part is when they transfer you from the bed they operate on to the recovery bed. 

Literally one of the most painful moments in my life. You are still hooked up on your epidural and can't move so a team physically lifts you up and out of one bed and lays you on the next. Remember your insides have literally just been pieced back together. It's as awful as it sounds. Make sure you have plenty of drugs in your system before this happens. My drugs had run out. Big mistake. 

The other thing that surprised me is that one side will hurt more than the other side for weeks as far as pain. This is because the surgeon stands on one side of you and that is the side they pull all the tight knots, etc. when sowing you up and putting you back together. Again didn't think about this prior to my section but good to know. 

2. Recovery is a lonnnnggg process.

For someone like me who loves to be on the go all the time the recovery has been a long, slow, hard process. You are physically forced to spend days and weeks laying around doing nothing. They tell you that you are able to drive again once you can get off the Periciot (for me this was around a week), and the harder part, can stomp your foot very hard in case you need to slam on your brakes. What they don't tell you is they want you to wait 6-8 weeks before lifting an infant car seat in or out of your car or a stroller. So basically you can drive but you can't get out anywhere with an infant. They also don't want you walking stairs, bending to do laundry, working out, etc. for 6-8 weeks. If you break the rules you will feel it in the evenings and worse, run the chance of getting your wound infected or separated and having to have surgery to repair (yes this did happen to my cousin). Terrifying I know. Best advice I can give you is to accept any help offered and be OK with take out and a messy house for a while. Remember it is only a season. And enjoy the extra baby snuggles you get instead of cleaning up or cooking. Listen to your body. It will tell you when to slow down. 

Have dad or a friend on hand to help with the up and downs at night when feeding a baby. For me this is still the most painful as sitting up and laying down tug on my incision and send a pain through my side. 

3. You will bleed. A lot. 

Expect to bleed for 8-10 weeks post surgery. I seriously have bleed so much more after my c-section than I did in a vaginal delivery. Was not prepared for that.  On that note go ahead and purchase a few pairs of c-section underwear on Amazon. You will thank me later. As ugly as they are they are the only underwear you will be able to wear as you won't want anything hitting your incision. 

4. It might take a little longer to bond with the baby. 

Again was not prepared for this...I am not sure it is the same for everyone but it certainly took me a little longer to feel that bonding connection with my baby born by c-section than my son who was born via a vaginal delivery. I am blaming it on the immense amount of pain I was in during surgery when they took her out (again not normal see prior post). The good news was as soon as I was out of surgery and able to nurse the connection immediately was there. 

Another tip for surgery that seemed to really help me was to bring music into the operating room. Anything to calm you and ease your mind is a great help and music really helped me. 

5. You may have a flap of skin over your stomach that doesn't go away from surgery. 

Better known as the c-section shelf it is an extra section of skin that hangs down over your c-section scar. Unfortunately I was not prepared for this...the other thing that surprised me is that it is recommended not to do ab workouts for 6 months prior to surgery as you can do permanent damage if you are not healed. Instead as soon as you can start walking the better off you will be. Again just listen to your body. If it tells you enough and to sit down obey and sit down. 

All in all the good news about my c-section is that 1) it got my daughter safely to this world 2) my recovery (while more intense) is going to be shorter I have a feeling than the recovery I experienced after the significant tearing with my son (six months later was still having repairs made). You just have to force yourself to take it easy and enjoy those extra baby snuggles. 

You Might Also Like

Our Birth Story

By 11:49 AM , ,

As promised here are the details on our birth story of Ms. Brighton...

Brighton was scheduled to be born March 1st by a scheduled family c-section, however, she ended up being born February 20th at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and 19.5" inches long. Here is how it went down...as I have previously posted this angel baby is a true miracle to us from God. After being told by fertility doctors that we would not be able to have another child we were shocked yet OVERJOYED to find out we were expecting this little miracle back in early July. 

However due to complications with my last birth of our little guy and high blood pressure in pregnancy (pre-hyper tension) it was agreed that it would be best both for baby and my own safety to plan on a c-section delivery. After a little debate around what my true due date should be (made even more complicated by the fact I switched doctors and hospitals at 35 weeks but that is another story) - my calculations showed 3/1 but baby's measurements in early ultrasounds showed 3/8, we agreed upon a due date of 3/8 and a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks on March 1st. 

Throughout pregnancy I was treated as a high risk patient and beginning at 34 weeks was required to come in twice a week to check on baby. Once for a NST non-stress test to measure baby's heartbeat, movement, and contractions and to meet with the doctor and then again later on each week for an ultrasound and to meet with high risk doctor again. While it was a little annoying (I joked I was moving my work office to the doctor's office) we loved knowing our baby was growing and progressing on track and getting to see her weekly on the ultra-sound was an added bonus. 

Our doctor ended up wanting to see us for a third time the week of February 18th due to swelling I was having and the only doctor that had space to see us in the practice was not my doctor (the only doctor I had been seeing since I was planning on planned c-section with her). My sweet, sweet husband up to this point had not missed a single pre-natal appointment and was swamped with work as we were (or so we thought) a week and a half out from having baby girl so I told him he didn't need to come and could miss this appointment to get caught up on work. 

As far as my Tuesday I went in to work and had a few meetings, worked on emails, etc. and then headed to my doctor's appointment. An hour or so before leaving I ran into a friend and co-worker of mine who asked how I was feeling. My response to him was that I hurt and just didn't feel great. 

Fast forward 20 minutes and I am hooked up on the NST machine to monitor baby. My sweet hubby surprised me by showing up and when I asked him what he was doing there his response was a little strange. He just had this gut feeling that he needed to be there. Strange but sweet. Turned out to be a God thing.

All was good on the NST test, baby was moving a ton (nothing unusual for her), heartbeat was good, I was having some contractions but nothing crazy more Braxton-Hicks. However, when they took my blood pressure they found it back in the pre-hyper tension arena 147/something (I can't remember the lower number but it was nothing completely out of ordinary for my pregnancy). My feet and legs were also crazy swollen but again had been that way for the last couple of weeks. That is why we were shocked when the doctor (whom I had never seen before) walked in the room and the first thing she said was "yeah I am sending you guys to the hospital...we are having a baby today." As you can imagine I think both of our chins fell to the floor...we were shocked. After LOTS of conversation and questions and insisting we speak to our doctor who was actually at the office but just had a busy schedule which is why we weren't supposed to see her, both doctor's agreed that due to my blood pressure, swollen body, and pain I was feeling (remember my comment that I hurt) the risk outweighed the benefits of keeping baby in my body any longer. Unfortunately my doctor was scheduled to be on call the next AM so this meant a last minute change up in doctor's. 

This was about 2pm...they told us they would like us to be ready for pre-op by 4pm. There was only a few problems: 1) I had eaten a large lunch at 1pm not thinking I was going to have a baby today and they like there to be 8 hours at least before surgery, 2) our son was still at school and we did not have childcare lined up for him nor was he prepared mentally for his sister to be born this day, 3) both my hubby and I had work meetings scheduled for that afternoon and 4) we hadn't packed. 

We left the hospital in our separate vehicles in shock and both started into action...first off I cried. Then I prayed. Then I called my boss to fill him in on the change. Then I drove home, sent off about a dozen or more emails to cancel all the work meetings I had setup for the next week and half, set my out of office, took a shower, and packed my bag. Meanwhile Dad went back to his office to print our birth plans, inform his work, and then drove to school to pick up our little guy. We all meant back at our house and I filled our son in on the news that his sister was going to be born today. My Dad came to pick up my son and we packed and headed to the hospital. We arrived about 5pm. Sure enough due to how much I had eaten they didn't want to take me back for surgery until 7pm so they hooked me up again on the NST and doctors and nurses started coming in and out to start paperwork, talk to me about surgery, etc. The funny part?!? All of a sudden real pretty intense contractions started for me. I guess my body was in agreement it was time. I was warned that due to there only being 6 hours between eating and surgery there was a chance I would get sick in surgery. Sure enough they were right. 

Warning: here is where it gets a little graphic and pretty intense...if you are wheezy you may want to skip this part...

At 7pm they rolled me back to begin surgery. They inputted both an epidural and spinal, prepped me, and began operating. I was throwing up a LOT which let me tell you, it is not fun to throw up when your stomach is cut open...45 minutes after they had taken me back they FINALLY brought my husband into the room. When he walked in he said it was hard not to cry. They had originally told him they would get him 15 minutes after they took me back so when that 15 turned to 45 (turns out my blood pressure was so high that they were trying to get me stable before bringing him back) you can imagine he was a nervous wreck having no idea what was going on...he walked in to find my arms strapped down to tables, lying cut wide open in a freezing cold operating room...it was pretty intense to say the least. VERY shortly after my husband arrived in the room they said ok Dad get your camera ready and told him to lean over my blue screen to take a photo. He did and quickly responded, "no thanks." It was apparently that intense even for a man who doesn't usually get grossed out by that kind of stuff. My hubby did bring in our Bluetooth speaker and started playing music for me which was a huge help mentally. 

Baby Brighton was born at 8:15pm. They took the baby over to the side of the operating room and starting checking her out. Meanwhile they continued my operation and shortly after I started yelling in pain. Long story short the surgery had taken longer than anticipated and my spinal had worn off, epidural was not working (not a huge surprise since my epidural with our first child didn't work either in our vaginal delivery), and they were unable to give me anything else as my blood pressure was 197/not sure of lower number. As I was screaming and yelling in pain the operating doctor asked the anesthesiologist to please give me something else as I was screaming at the appropriate times and she said I could feel it. The anesthesiologist responded he couldn't due to my blood pressure. About this time my hubby disappeared to go try to get me my baby (in our original planned c-section we had agreed with our doctor that we could do skin to skin in the operating room and this was a big deal to me) however we had a different doctor, different team, etc. so it took some major convincing on my hubby's part but he ended up making it happen.  My HERO. 

HUGE praise....baby was perfect. No need for any special treatment or nicu which is a miracle in itself for a c-section baby especially one born at 38 weeks and a few days. They laid the baby on my chest which was wonderful. While I was so thankful by this point the pain level I was experiencing was INSANE. The anesthesiologist told me the only other option he had was to knock me out but if he did to know I would be out for about 3 hours. Which meant I wouldn't be able to hold my baby and they would probably have to give her a formula bottle. I breastfeed. My doctor said there was about 20 minutes left to put me back together and I decided to try to hang in there. Ya'll I can't even describe the pain but with prayer, scripture, and God's grace I survived. They wheeled me out of surgery and into recovery about two hours after they took me back for surgery at 9:18pm. 

I thought the worst was over. I was wrong. This is when it got REALLY bad. The contractions were so intense I couldn't hardly cope and I was on no drugs. Come to find out they had me on Pitocion to increase contractions. To be honest I am still not exactly sure why I was on Pitocion but for anyone who has every been on this drug before you know that contractions are no joke...they basically exaggerate your contraction to make it more intense to contract your uterus faster. I was in recovery for about 4 hours before they got my blood pressure in enough control to move me to Mother/Baby. Just them making me change beds and wheeling me down the hall was the WORST. I remember yelling and crying at some point to please, please give me something. They couldn't because of blood pressure. Ya'll it was terrible. 

The next 24 hours altogether were pretty terrible. The first time I got out of bed, the drugs, my iron being incredibly low, all of it made for not so great of an experience. But praise the Lord our sweet girl was perfect and we weren't ever separated once she was laid on my chest in surgery. 

We ended up having to stay in the hospital 4 nights and 5 days due to my low iron and blood flow and baby had some low levels of jaundice. 

Thankfully, Saturday afternoon, 2/24 we were finally able to go home. Saturday and Sunday from a pain perspective were bad at home and I had to sleep in the recliner as I was so sad to find our bed was much to painful (no ab support). Monday was the first day I felt like I was making progress and I have felt a little better every day since praise the Lord. I haven't taken Periciot since Wednesday and while I still am on prescription strength Motrin and still in pain it is slowly but surely getting better. 

It's hard to believe our little girl is already a week and a half old. We are in total love and praising God each and every minute for the sweetest gift and miracle He has ever blessed us with! If this little lady isn't a testament to faith and power of prayer I don't know what is...

Here are some more photos of our little lady:

You Might Also Like

Announcing the Arrival of Our Daughter + Giveaway Winner

By 9:41 PM , , ,

Well it has been a BIG week in our household. We are THRILLED to announce that our daughter, Brighton Abigail, surprised us by making a week and a few days early arrival last Tuesday, 2/20 (which is even more surprising considering we were planning on a planned c-section this upcoming Thursday, 3/1). She was born 6 lbs. 9 oz. at 19.5" inches long and is perfect in every way!  We are so incredibly thankful to God for this sweet, precious miracle baby! 


She is the sweetest baby and it's already hard to imagine life without her in it. Don't worry I plan to write her birth story with all the details around her birth and her early arrival later this week. In the meantime I am laying a little low and soaking up every minute of cuddles with our sweet girl (while recovering from a c-section myself and boy is it a recovery). Big brother could not be more thrilled about her arrival! More to come on that later as well...

However, I had to jump on and announce the winner to the 3 months of date nights...

Congrats Maggie! So excited for you! Hope you enjoy your 3 months of dates. 

Stay tuned later this week for our birth story for Baby Brighton.  

You Might Also Like

Valentine's Date Night-In + GIVEAWAY

By 2:30 PM , , , , , , , ,
"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life."
-The Notebook

Valentine's Day. The day people either hate or love. While I understand why some people are against the holiday I have always loved Valentine's Day. Any day to celebrate love I am all about...yes I completely agree with those of you who say you should celebrate those you love everyday of the year and not just on this one holiday but I also know sometimes you have to be really intentional or good intentions don't happen so I am all about a day dedicated to celebrating love. Whether that love be for your spouse, kids, or friends I hope you get a chance to tell/show someone how much you love them today.

This year I am so thrilled to celebrate my 13th Valentine's Day with my man and my 4th Valentine's Day with my little Valentine. We try to make the day really special for the little guy complete with lots of sweet treats, cuddles and kisses, and fun. For us that means a day that starts with heart shaped donuts from Dunkin Donuts, followed by lots of sugar and fun, and complete with pizza and Charlie Brown Valentine's Day movie. 

As far as my sweet hubby and I each year gets a little harder to make sure we celebrate us. But truth is he is my first true love and should always remain my #1. That's why this year (especially being 38 weeks pregnant and swollen) I am SO thrilled for our date night-in thanks to #NightInBoxes

Tonight we are so excited for our fun plans for our Date Night In Box after we put our little guy to bed. This is our first month receiving this date night box and this month's box is all about "Our Story." The night starts out with a delicious suggested menu complete with appetizers, main course, dessert, drinks, and even a mocktail recipe (which this pregnant Momma really appreciates). After that we get to turn on the suggested playlist of music, and follow the instructions in the box for our date night. Since this box is all about our story it has us start with a photo scavenger hunt with an included disposable camera (should be interesting I honestly had no idea they still made these), next we make Oreo pops together, and lastly (the part I am most excited for) we get to create the story of us using the notebook guide we were provided. We are so excited to spend this special evening together!


Great news! In honor of Valentine's Day I am giving away a 3 month subscription for your own set of date night in boxes so you too can have the perfect at home date night. All you have to do is click on the link below to enter to win! 

Enter to win HERE

You Might Also Like

Baby Girl's Nursery Tour

By 1:59 PM , , , , ,
I am so excited to finally let you in today on a nursery tour of baby girl's room. Hard to believe she will be here in just 16 days. Please note the room is about 90% finished. The only thing left is her curtains and curtain rods that my sweet mother-in-law is helping me with. I will be sure to post photos of the curtains once they are complete. Without further ado here is the rest of the nursery:

Crib - Pottery Barn bought from a yard sale
Monogram - hand-made by Dad
Sheets and bed shirt - Target
Blanket - Marshalls

 This is the view of from the door coming in - like I said curtains still to come

Chandelier - Pottery Barn
Bookshelf - Joss & Main
Laundry Basket - Amazon

Rug - Ross
Bed skirt - Target
Frame - baby gift
Laundry basket - Amazon
White Furniture - Chalk painted existing furniture 

Wall decor - Hobby Lobby

Chandelier - Pottery Barn

Lamp - Hobby Lobby
Glider - Walmart (re-purposed from our son's room) 
Blanket - Target

Wall decor - Hobby Lobby

White furniture - chalk painted old furniture and spray painted hardware gold
Changing pad cover - Target
Lamp- Hobby Lobby
Diaper Genie - Target
White Wall Shelf - Marshalls 
Wall decor - Hobby Lobby 
Basket and blue frame - Marshalls

Little Ones to Him Belong - Hobby Lobby
Some days you just feel like a princess - from my room when I was growing up

White organizer - Target
Blue and pink storage pull-outs Target
Blue and pink baskets on top shelf - Marshall's 

Can't wait to show you guys the finished product with curtains! 

You Might Also Like