What C-Section Recovery is Like

I’m no stranger to surgery, even when that surgery is a Cesarean Section. Why? Pregnancy #2 ended a bit dramatically, culminating in a Traditional C-Section. Turns out one’s not allowed to labor after that.

This Ol’ Pregnancy Rodeo happened a few years after the others, however, so I’d forgotten a few everything. So what have I learned so far?

  1. It hurts.
    What hurts? Everything. My stomach is tender, my uterus aches, my intestines can’t quite figure out where they’re supposed to end up, and my nether regions are trying to remember how to function.
  2. I can’t bend over.
    I can, but am certain that action’s bringing on the rupture of something I need later, like my bladder. Mostly I shake my fist at everything that drops and curse gravity.
    Right after my first C-Section, I remember trying to dust the furniture in the living room. I did one table before collapsing on the sofa, ready for a nap. I’ve had even more to do this time and am therefore entirely dependent on chocolate and threats to my other children.
  4. Babies don’t sleep.
    Well, they do sleep A LOT. If the baby boy’s not eating, he is only content to be asleep. Still, his schedule’s enough to make Buddy the Elf want a nap. This is true whether I had a C-Section or not, but makes Side Effect #3 that much more difficult.
  5. Babies need stuff.
    From diaper changes to laundry to walking around, the baby’s needs are tricky to meet when you consider Items 1-3. Just holding the little one to nurse and burp involves dexterity in order to avoid my midsection.
  6. I’m fat.
    In the space where the baby once occupied there’s a big, squishy void. It hurts (see #1), it can’t firm up yet, and it makes me feel like Totoro since I put on an extra 50 pounds during pregnancy.


The upside of the whole thing was scheduling exactly when I would deliver. This came in handy for arranging babysitting and planning out the month’s events afterwards. I also didn’t have to deal with labor pains or tearing during delivery.

Now, someone may be reading this when she didn’t schedule surgery. My second, unexpected, emergency C-Section fell into that category. No, there’s no scheduling. Still, this can give one a handy guide if she’s wondering what’s normal and what’s not.

Hang in there for a relaxing six weeks, buy a belly band, and accept any and all offers to help. And have hope: this is my fourth time recovering, and I’ve always bounced right back to bending and sleeping. I even lost the extra weight …eventually.


Photo Credit: Image by manseok Kim from Pixabay


©2020 Chelsea Owens


17 thoughts on “What C-Section Recovery is Like

  1. This post is so real. I for one, am tired of seeing what celebrity started working out two days after her C-section. Or which model got back to work three weeks after their birth. Who really care. THIS. 👆🏻 Is real. It’s what women should expect. Thanks for helping normal women feel… normal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had three – my first was the same as your second. Wasn’t planned but necessary. I remember someone making a joke I thought was HILARIOUS after one of them – and I sat there so long just taking deep breaths because I knew that if I laughed it would feel like my stomach was ripping open (I had already made the laughing mistake before). You got this! All in good time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 True that. I’m sorry yours was emergent, but it’s a great blessing that we have the technology!

      And I hear you on the laughing! I picked up a cough in the second or third week and it was AWFUL.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. C-sections are torture! I had to have an emergency C-section as my son turned breech and wrapped the umbilical cord around his neck. I remember the surgery itself was a breeze, and quick for me. The aftermath was so painful! Don’t dare try putting the baby in the crib if you’re a shorty like me, and won’t be able to reach over the side rail without it going into your stomach and re-organizing your insides once again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes; this! I’m not short, but noticed the baby’s ‘bed’ in the hospital was just at the right totally inconvenient height that I couldn’t get him out…

      Liked by 1 person

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