The truth? I think you never recover.
I remember when I was growing up, I wondered why my mum always touched the lower part of her tummy and it was always cold. I often asked and she said, “it’s always been like that since having you”. I didn’t really think anything of it, but I think that was because I didn’t really understand.
I used to see articles or hear of other people who had c-sections and think ‘oh yeah my mum had two, no big deal’ after all, my mum is literally a super hero, so if she had two and was okay, then why do so many people moan, complain or say how hard it was. My mum never really did. She just got on with it. All I know is her tummy is always cold to touch and no matter what, she can’t lose that little bit of belly fat where the operation happened and didn’t quite fully heal.
Fast forward to me in May 2018, fast forward to my C-Section. The day I had to give consent to pretty much put my life at complete risk. The day I put my son’s life ahead of my own and reflect on this every single day. I am still recovering and I know everyone heals at different rates, I know some mums who bounced back after just a few weeks and others like myself who still find certain things hard, I guess it is just a luck of the draw, we will never know.
Will I ever heal? I hope so. Will I ever feel the same? I hope so. Will I ever love my body again? I am working on it.
There is so much to talk around c-sections and some of the stories or ‘things’ I have heard literally breaks my heart.
1. You haven’t even given birth
2. Easy option
3. Are you not over it yet and recovered?
Can you believe what you have just read? Nope, me neither and these are things that were said to me and to others.
A C-Section for me was never planned but deep down inside I had a feeling I would have to have one. I was induced after a few occasions of non-movement, which in itself was actually okay, the process started and 72ish hours later I was holding my baby. The student midwife didn’t listen to my needs and after I was literally laid up on my back for most of the afternoon, she made a poor decision to turn me resulting in my baby deciding to turn. Before I knew it, events escalated quickly and I was on an operating table being told lots of things and all I wanted was my husband. After what felt like a very long time and lots of talking there was a sudden force put upon me and a heavy weight, like someone literally sat on my chest, was pushing down on me. I heard my husband cry and I remember hearing a noise, a cry I will never forget for as long I can remember. I held my son. I was numb.
The recovery wasn’t any better, 12 hours after ‘giving birth’ I had to beg for painkillers and beg for someone to help me off of the bed. But literally, from the time he was born which was quite late to the next morning, we can not remember what happened but all I can remember is the pain.
“You have to get up, you have to go for a walk, you have to wee”: I have just had major surgery and you want me to do all of this. I was in so much pain, I just cried a lot, I couldn’t look after my son as it hurt so much. I couldn’t feed him because I physically had no energy, I was given limited food and I was shattered, all this after a c-section. All of this when you are a new parent and you really do not have a clue. So please don’t tell me that having a c-section makes you any less of a mother to your child, I would like to know if you think that or have been told that.
One story I do want to share with you is the next day, I finally got up from the bed as I was allowed and got some help, I had to beg for my canular to be taken out. I spent too long crying in pain. I sat there waiting for my mum to come and visit after she finished work. When she finally came, I remember just telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was. For the first time I understood what she had been through having a c-section and having me. It was heartbreaking understanding that pain and understanding that love. We sat for a moment, she had her cuddles with my son and I then had my time with my mum. She took me to have a shower and I stood there, vulnerable and helpless, as she cleaned me and held me. I will always be thankful for my mum being there for me and I now understand the pain a mother has to go through to have a baby. This moment has brought us closer together and created an even stronger bond between mother and daughter. She understood my pain and wanted to support me.
A c-section isn’t easy, it isn’t a quick recovery – it can be slow, painful and traumatic.
If you want to talk more about your stories or you could help others I have set up a Facebook Group – The Unlikely Mummy Empowering and Supporting Mums .Or you want to say hello, I would love to hear from you.