If you're anything like me, in the days and weeks following your cesarean birth, your cell phone was your best friend. (Well, your cell phone and your sweet, sweet pain killers.) Staying at home because you have a tiny, fragile human who constantly needs to eat, because you're unable to drive and because you might feel as though you'd been gutted, makes your phone one of the only gateways you have to the outside world. The texts c-section moms send during recovery have a delightfully universal quality to them that essentially highlight the unique challenges and annoying pitfalls of bringing your baby into the world via the sweet advances of medical science.
Of course, there is no one way to feel after a cesarean birth (or any birth, for that matter). Some people loved their c-section experience, feeling empowered and in control of what can be a very scary event in a woman's life. Others hated their c-section experience and felt cheated, tricked, or just stuck in a painful recovery process that is nothing short of annoying. Any of these feelings are completely valid and those experience need to be respected instead of criticized. Still, while there are no universals, there are a great many aspects of c-section recovery that lots and lots of c-section moms will sing out in chorus.
In the name of said chorus, here are a few text messages every recovering c-section mom probably sends, because she's stuck at home and in pain and taking care of her baby and thank you technological advances for the saving grace that is our phones.
Pondering The Great Mysteries of Life And Basic Physics
My son was born via c-section almost 5 years ago. He was a long, solid chap (over 8 pounds) and to this day I cannot fathom how such a robust child came out of an incision that is now a four inch scar. Even if he had been tiny, it would still blow my mind. Like, at best I can imagine something the size of a sandwich maybe fitting out of that particular exit. But a baby? Witchcraft.
Discovering New And Exciting Ways To Be In Pain
This is a particular form of torture that all c-section moms know well. I'm not the praying type, but while I was recovering I prayed not to get a cold, because coughing, sneezing, or throwing up is absolute agony when you're rocking a still-healing abdominal incision.
Lowered Expectations Somehow Leading To Renewed Optimism And Confidence
You seriously feel like a damn boss once you are able to do certain things on your own again. Every mom will heal differently and at her own pace, but what is universal is the excitement over any progress, whenever it happens.
Wistful For Wheels
It's like being a teenager on the cusp of getting your license, or coming off of a particular long (and frequent) grounding. Either way, unless you're in a city where you don't require a car to get around, driving restrictions post c-section can feel like a punishment.
Lifting Ban Paranoia
This could also be a text from a first-time pregnant woman who takes her maternal care provider's warning not to lift anything to heavy a little too much to heart. Just to get this out there, while you shouldn't be lifting furniture over your head while recovering from a c-section (or probably any time if we're being honest), guidelines for lifting after a c-section generally state that anything around the weight of your child is probably fine.
Come At Me, Judge Judgeypants...
C-sections are the most common surgery among women in the U.S., constituting about 33% of all births. So you'd think, by now, we'd quit judging women who have c-sections, but no, that's not the case because we're lucky enough to live in a time and a place where every woman gets judged about how she chooses to give birth by someone no matter what she does. Home birth judgement! VBAC judgment! Judgment about any kind of pain management you do or don't do. Hooray! How wondrous to be a woman! But c-section moms know all the snarky passive aggressive (or overtly aggressive) digs about a c-section by heart and within days of birth. (Never mind that most women who have a c-section do not plan to.)
It's sort of like when you get a paper cut on your thumb or something and it's only then, when you're constantly irritating it, that you realize how much you use that finger for. Your still weak core muscles, coupled with scar tissue, make you really pay attention to just how often you use your abs.
Unseen Consequences Of Simple Actions
Every. Damn. Day. It was the worst. You think you plan exactly how you're going to be able to sit to facilitate getting back up again (which is hard when you're recovering from abdominal surgery) but you always fail. Don't take it personally. This is just all part of #csectionlife
Knowing When You Have To Reach Out For A Helping Hand. Literally.
I can't tell you how many times my partner got this text from across the house.
Fascination With Vaginal Delivery
My son was an emergency c-section. After having him, I was probably even more fascinating by vaginal birth than I had been when I was planning for one. I knew the experience I had, and it had felt right to me, like that was the way he was supposed to be born. So, I wanted to know what other women experienced as well.
Weird New Sensations
Most moms report a pins and needles feeling post c-section around their incision. I'll level with you: sometimes that feeling doesn't completely go away for years or ever, but it gets better. In fact, sometimes all regular sensation comes back as if nothing ever happened. As with anything else, everyone is different. Point is, for many a c-section mom, this sensation (and wondering about its persistence) is very common.
Staring Into The Medical Adhesive Abyss
Many doctors tell new moms to let the tape used to patch them up (at their incision site) fall off on its own. This usually happens over time and after enough showers, but there are other times when it just sticks around* for what seems like forever. When that happens, you're like, "Okay, it's been three weeks. Surely I can pull this off now, right?" but then you get paranoid that something awful will happen so you sit there with gross, gummy medical tape all over your pubic region until your six week postpartum appointment.
*HA! No pun intended, but I'm sticking with it... that pun was intended.
Contemplating Your Abdomen's New Look
Hey, it's a change. Some people will love it, others will hate it, others will have evolving feelings over time. Personally, I love the thing, because it reminds me of the first time I got to meet my son.
Hear Me Roar
Because damn, girl: a human was cut out of your body and you lived to tell the tale. You've hit the ultimate level of badass, and have earned the right to tell absolutely everyone about it.