Did You Go Swimming Today? and Other Post-Delivery Fallacies

Hi, Mom.

“Hi, honey! Were you sleeping?”

No… (I was. I try to sound perkier.) What’s up?

“Oh! I’m at Wal-mart, and all their Christmas stuff’s 75% off!”

That’s great… but I’m not schlepping around yet.

“Oh… okay. I just thought you’d want to know.”

Okay. (I try to sound grateful and happy.) Thanks for telling me…

My mother’s a great person. I’m indebted to her for everything, beginning with the gift of life. However, I’ve noticed she’s not really aware of what I’m experiencing this time around the pregnancy and recovery loop. That exchange is just one example; though, to be fair, she called around 10 a.m. and not earlier. Odds are I was probably awake. She just happened to forget that I couldn’t go shopping yet since I’m STILL HEALING from a C-Section.

She’s not the only one, either.

A neighbor of mine asked if I was going to attend a Christmas choir concert about a week after I’d delivered. I responded:

No, Carol*. C-Section.

Just today, my husband took the other boys to a swimming pool with their grandparents. A friend texted, asking if I was going. As in, asking if I were swimming.

No, I can’t.

*Not supposed to?*

No, and don’t feel like it.

That’s the beauty of the C-Section recovery, I suppose: while I’m not allowed to do certain activities, I also don’t FEEL up to them. Heavy-lifting? Too tired and weak. Picking that diaper up off the ground? My sore stomach region says, “No bending.” Swimming at a pool? Can’t fit into a suit.

It’s not just me recovering, either.

“Hey, Mom!” (It’s my son that loves fun, just before going to the pool.) “D’ya want me to get the car seat?”

The baby’s not going to the pool.

“Why not? He has a suit.”

(I smile.) That won’t fit him quite yet. Also, he’s too little and would get too cold right now.

“Okay!”

Maybe by the time summer comes around, both the baby and I will be up for more. We’ll at least both fit into our swimsuits by then.

lubomirkin-XKpPsuuGE_Q-unsplash.jpg

*Name changed

Photo Credit: Lubomirkin

©2020 Chelsea Owens

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.
  3. I am SO EXHAUSTED.
    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.

totoro-980324_1920

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

I Had My Baby!

Just a little heads-up: I delivered my fifth baby boy on December 2, 2019 at 1344. He weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz and measured 19 inches long.

Baby Five Top (2).jpg

He’s much smaller than he seems in the picture, but we’re a month along and doing fine.

Morning Mom, a poetic parody

You better sit up;
Better open your eyes-
Better get up
‘Fore you get a surprise.
Morning Mom is stomping the ground.

She’s opened your blinds;
Yelled at you twice-
Gonna come give you sched’ling advice.
Morning Mom is starting to frown.

She knew when you weren’t sleeping,
Staying up to read, instead.
And now she’s leaning over you
And her breath could curdle bread.

Oh! You better sit up;
Better open your eyes-
Better get up
‘Fore she brings in the ice.
Morning Mom is layin’ it down…

anger-18615_1920

Photo Credit: Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

©2019 Chelsea Owens