You may be thinking it's the last day of the month, "who cares?" I get it. I didn't care prior to 2013. I just felt sorry for "those ladies."
Then comes February 2013 and I become a C-Section Momma.
I almost didn't write this blog because it seems pretty personal, but then I thought "No, somebody might need this....do it." So hear I am. Sharing my honest thoughts and opinions about being a C-section Momma. Let me start by saying it does not matter how you have your children - by C-section, vaginally, adoption, fostering, etc. Children are children. And we are all women. And we are all Mommas. And we are all strong Mommas - no matter what. Some of you may have no issues with your C-section and can't understand why it was such a big deal to me. Others may be a C-section Momma hoping for a VBAC. And some of you may not even be C-section Mommas at all. There's no right or wrong way. It's what God has planned FOR YOU. These are just my thoughts and opinions on my journey.
As I shared back in February, when Landon turned 2, he was Frank Breech and had to be delivered via C-section. We had no idea he was in that position (which is butt down, feet and head up) until I was at the hospital, in labor, dilated to 5 and water broke. It was devastating.
I remember the C-section part of our hospital class. It was seriously probably 10 minutes long and just kind of "in case of emergency" situation.
I also remember when we were getting our bags together the morning I was in labor, Ben asked me how many clothes to pack. I said "well you'll just need 2 because we'll be home in just 2 days." Then I kind of joked and said "worse case scenario is 3 days but that's a C-section and that won't happen."
I'm not sure why I felt immune to it. I've thought about it and I think it might be because I had such a great pregnancy and I just assumed everything else would go that same course.
The emotions I felt when I was told I'd have to have an emergency C-section was intense. I bawled my eyes out and felt stupid for crying. Ben was sweet and reassured me it wasn't stupid because it was a major surgery. I didn't have a birth plan at all so that wasn't it. I'd planned on an epidural from day 1. I even knew a C-section might happen but it'd be the last resort because baby had to come out. I just didn't think it'd ever be a possibility. I had a couple friends who had C-sections and I just knew it was a big deal surgery and recovery was tough. I also knew it made things difficult for any subsequent births. I think that was a lot of why I was so emotional. I'm sure a little of it, too, was grieving this idea of the "typical" birth. Like I was missing out on something.
I will say though, I felt intense contractions, worked through them for almost 6 hours at home in bed - so I know the pain of contractions and the need for relief. I'm thankful I got to experience that, as crazy as it sounds.
Landon came into the world and I remember hearing him cry, hearing my doctor talk about his long eye lashes, and seeing his squirmy slimy body as they lowered the sheet for me to see him for the first time. I remember kissing him on the cheek when they brought him over to my face and I remember thinking "he's here, that's all that matters."
My recovery was TOUGH. I'm not sure why. I've been told it could be because my muscles were so tight and healthy that it was a lot of trauma to them. Healing was really tough. I feel like it took a good year before I felt normal again.
Exercising post C-section deserves an Olympic Metal. It is HARD. Exercising after pregnancy and child birth is intense and then when you add the fact that your midsection was cut through, it's pretty intense to work through and build endurance. But I did. I dug in deep, pushed through, and determined to get back to the way I was.
I was naive. I'll never be back to that point. My body just isn't capable of it. My insides feel different. My outsides look different and I've come to terms with it. It's not to say I'm not happy with where I am, physically. Or that you can't get your "pre baby body back". I think you can. I just think everybody's body is different. And every woman handles pregnancy, birth and recovery differently. Plus, everbody's body reacts differently to exercise too. I'm extremely happy with the progress and strength I've made. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at my 6 week check up and I was back to my pre-pregnancy endurance and strength abilities around 1 year. Now, I feel as strong as I did before. In fact, I think I am stronger. I can lift heavier and push myself harder. My only limitations are some core exercises. I just have to modify bits and pieces because my lower back and lower abs are just really weak. I work really hard at strengthening them! I feel stronger because of what I went through. Because of the TOUGH days and those moments when I had to dig deep to get it done. I tell myself often "You totally have this....look at what you have done!"
Ben and I do want more children and we will more than likely go for another C-section. Part of me has peace about it and the other part of me wants to scream and cry and yell "It's not fair!!" And then the majority of me just says "Becky, calm down.....you did it before, you can do it again....God is in control." And I remind myself over and over the joy and blessing of a healthy baby (and Momma) is FAR GREATER than any surgery.
So there you have it. I'm a C-section Momma and some days I love that and some days I hate it. But what I am constant in is my love for my son that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for that fact.