Thursday, March 25, 2010

Staples and Stitches

I had 2 c-sections. One was an emergency c-section, with my oldest daughter. The other I felt was forced. I do realize though that it was my fault for not being able to stand up for myself and thinking that doctors always know best. I didn't want the second one. Honestly, I was terrified of the epidural more than being sliced open.
Go figure. I've got 8 tattoos, and the thought of an epidural that TAKES AWAY PAIN scared me. I've had rubber pucks shot 90 miles an hour at my face (granted, I had a helmet on, but still... something hitting you that hard makes your head ring for a minute or 2). I've fallen off of horses and right on to my head. I've taken a softball to the mouth that I'm surprised didn't take out my front teeth. And I'm scared of an epidural.
Anyways, I digress.
Just a few pointers for those of you who maybe have been told you're having a c-section, or you've elected to have one, or even those of you who want a vaginal birth...
Just like with a vaginal birth.... you will bleed. It will look like you've been stuck and hung upside down like a pig. But don't worry about it. I know it's tempting to be self conscious and to worry about what everyone thinks. Don't. It doesn't matter. Worrying won't stop the bleeding. Won't change the fact that the pads they put in those funky mesh underwear feel like diapers. It probably won't change the fact that someone you don't know is going to have to help you walk to the bathroom and will more than likely see you naked in the shower when you're finally able to take one. Believe me, people understand.
Even when the pain meds have kicked in and you're feeling good.... take it easy. Yes you need to get out of bed when you can and walk around... but don't over do it. No need to run marathons. A day or two after I had Lydia, I swore I couldn't feel a thing. I was going down the hallway to take a class on one thing or another (I honestly can't remember what it was about, fat lot of good it did me eh?) and I was feeling oddly.... normal. And from what I was seeing, I looked like the only one who did. I wasn't taking my time walking around. I was up and down like I hadn't just had a body pulled out of my abdomen.
Let. Me. Tell. You.
When the pain meds had worn off a bit... I was one sorry you-know-what. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. And then that bus had shifted in to reverse and then backed over top of me. And then threw it back in to drive and rolled over me again before driving off. And THEN a car that wasn't paying attention had slammed in to me from behind and I flew in to the back of the bus.
Yes. It was that bad.
So take it easy.
And the squirty bottles they give you to use when you go to the bathroom? They are your friend. Take it with you when you go home. Along with the little pillows they have you put over your stomach for when you cough.
Don't let your pride take over. I hated not being able to sit up on my own. And having to have people help me stand up. But again, let me tell you. It's better to have people help you than to hurt yourself. If you have to, if you absolutely DO NOT WANT anyone to help you out of bed, do what I did when no one was in the room. Use the bed controls to help you sit up enough so that you don't have to use your stomach muscles to get yourself up right. Use the bedrails to situate yourself. Turn slowly. Don't move too fast.
With Alanna.... my "help" was passed out on the sofa and wasn't responding to her crying, pillows being chucked at his head, threats of violence. So I figured if he wouldn't help, I'd do it myself. Forget the deskful of nurses outside my door. So I pulled myself up. Went over and got Alanna. Sat back down. Turned. So far so good. I went to go lean back on my bed, which I had NOT put all the way into the upright position. I stuck my elbow out behind me to help me kind of guide myself back into the semi sitting up position.... and I missed. I fell backwards and slammed into the bed (as hard as you can slam in to a bed). It felt like someone had ripped my stomach apart. And I didn't have the bonus of the epidural on board.
Moral of the story... don't be stupid. I know it sounds harsh and normally I would apologize for that, but not here. Pride cometh before a fall and I just cannot stress how much you have to put that behind you. Well, at least pride in the sense where you're all "I can do it myself. I don't need help. I'm fine without anyone. I've got everything under control. Leave me alone." Be safe. Don't cause yourself anymore unnecessary pain. I promise you, while it may be uncomfortable in that moment, you won't regret it later on.

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