Tag Archives: c-section

5 New Things That Surprised Me After Giving Birth

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When I first started writing this blog, I had wrote a post on 5 things that surprised me after giving birth to my daughter.  They included what my stomach looked like, people asking if she was a boy or a girl and a few others.  So when I gave birth to my son, I thought “Hey, I know what it will be like.”  Wrong-O!  Like every pregnancy is different, every post-pregnancy is different too.  So here are my new 5 Things That Surprised Me After Giving Birth.

  1. My Skin.  All throughout my pregnancy with the Rainbow, my skin was perfect.  Nary a blemish to be had.  As soon as he graced us with his presence, my skin went haywire.  I started breaking out in full on teenage zits.  Every day there would be new ones and I would be saying “What the hell is going on.” Turns out, hormones are to blame and my doctor said once we stop breastfeeding it will all clear up.
  2. My Hair.  After my daughter was born, hair fell out.  I could run my fingers through it and cat sized hair clumps would be in my hands.  My stylist said that was normal so I this time I braced myself for the inevitable hair loss.  Nope.  This time my hair didn’t fall out.  It went greasy beyond belief.  Need oil for your car? Not to worry, come take some from my hair free of charge.  Again pesky hormones are to blame.
  3. Weight Loss.  I gained a whopping 40 lbs with my daughter and lets just say I still have that baby weight hanging on like a bad boyfriend.  However, with my son, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a week.  Granted I only gained approximately 10 lbs with him but I lost it fairly easily and quickly.
  4. My Appetite.  After my daughter was born, I found my appetite diminished.  Perhaps because I was adjusting to life as a new Mom that I barely remembered to eat.  The complete opposite with my son.  Good Lord, as soon as I gave birth I was begging for food.  I have never been so damned hungry before in my life.  All day I am hungry.  If I don’t eat, I get what I like to call “hangry.” A cranky mix of hungry and angry.  I chalk it up to breastfeeding a very hungry little boy.  Breastfeeding can burn up to 800 calories a day so I am blaming the increased appetite on that.
  5. The Recovery Time of a Second C-Section.  I’ve had 2 c-sections and I was luckily given advice from my aunt that post surgery, try to get up and stand straight up as soon as possible.  With my daughter, it took my a least a month to be feeling somewhat normal.  My scar took forever to heal, but I only had 1 baby to worry about so my days were fairly easy going. When I had my son though, I was feeling back to normal within 10 days.  The nurses gave me grief at the hospital because I had my surgery at midnight and by noon I was asking them to unhook me and let me get up and move around.  Generally for a c-section you have to stay 3 days in the hospital, I was released after 1 day.  I was still slow moving the first week, but I was healed up by that Friday.  It still sucked going from laying down to standing up for about a week, but with my second c-section, I was up and going pretty quick.  I think it was because I had 2 children to chase after.

Baby Boy is Almost Here!

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So it looks as though our Rainbow will be finally making his appearance soon.  Originally we had intended to deliver him via VBAC however life doesn’t always go the way you plan.  At 37 weeks, my doctor ordered an additional ultrasound as I was measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule and he wanted to ensure that the baby was in the correct position and determine his weight.  Well, boy oh boy, he is big!

At 37 weeks gestation, our Rainbow was estimated to weigh 9 lbs. already and was in the 90th percentile for babies of his gestational age.  My doctor has been very supportive in our decision to attempt a VBAC, but after the last 2 check ups, things have changed.  Turns out that our Rainbow is so big that he is unable to drop into my pelvis thus not engaging and triggering labour.  Our doctor said that if we truly wanted to do a VBAC, he would let us go to 41 weeks, but he warned me that it would likely be a long, hard and complicated birth that may end up in a C-Section anyways.  He also said that since our boy hadn’t dropped yet, it wasn’t exactly a good indication of things to come.  So after much deliberation, we have booked a C-Section for next week.

I was hopeful that we would get to have a natural birth, but I also do not want any complications causing undue harm to myself or our baby boy.  We have been through so much just to conceive him that putting myself and him in a situation that could cause complications, uterine rupture or him getting stuck and then having to make emergency decisions in the throe of things seems unnecessary and not in our best interests.  I’m not overly ecstatic about the idea of a C-Section, but with all things considering, it’s the very best option.  Thankfully Hubby will be taking 2 weeks off of work to stay home and help me with our Rainbow and Princess as well as letting me recover.   Also, by mere coincidence, Rainbow will be born on his due date.  Now how often does that happen?

Birth Plans

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I am now 32 weeks pregnant now and the birth planning has begun.  From day one, I knew I wanted to attempt a VBAC.  I had an emergency C-section with the Princess and I would be lying if I said it was an enjoyable experience.  A botched epidural lead to an improper block which caused me to feel the doctors cut me open and ultimately being put under.  It took hours to come out of the anaesthesia and I wasn’t able to hold my baby until she was over 5 hours old.

When I became pregnant with the Princess, I perhaps foolishly assumed that I would deliver naturally, no drugs and tough it out like many of the women in my family.  My sister, who is a nurse, warned me not to become so rigid in my birth plans in case something were to happen and things didn’t turn out the way I planned.  Those prophetic words still hang with me today.  Needless to say, I was devastated by having a C-section.  That isn’t to say that I’m not grateful for the Princess being born safely.  It upset me that I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days, that I gave in and had an epidural, that I didn’t deliver my baby the way “nature intended.”  I felt like a failure.  And it’s not that anyone else made me feel that way, it was a pressure and expectation I put on myself.   Somehow I had convinced myself that I was in control, that I would labour and deliver my baby.

Now that we near our due date, I am finding myself having those expectations again.  And I am fully aware that my ability to deliver naturally is only 50/50.  Not really great odds.  Perhaps it is out of fear of another botched C-section (despite going to a different doctor and hospital) and the fact that this pregnancy has been a relative breeze compared to my pregnancy with the Princess that gives me the unrealistic hope that this time, this time I’ll do it.  With a  VBAC however, there is a chance of uterine rupture and often doctors will suggest an epidural in case a C-section is necessary.   Also, if I have to be induced, like I was with the Princess, a C-section will be the only option.  I can say with certainty I really really do not want a C-section.  I’ve already spoken with my doctor and I have made it quite clear that if I do have to, I want to be out.  He is aware of what happened last time and seems to be in agreement.  At the same time, I have to weigh the possibility of uterine rupture (which is rare) and the consequences of that.  My doctor seems confident that I am a good candidate for a VBAC and I may get my wish.  I am trying my best not to get my hopes up and just take things as they come, but things are easier said than done.

To my Hubby

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Happy’s Father’s Day to all those great men out there! I have one very special man in my life and the last 6 years together have been a true blessing in my life. And not to mention he has been the very best Dad to our wonderful Princess!
I remember when I first told him that we were expecting. Him and I were only 21 and 22 respectively, and I was still in school. We lived 5 hours away from each other, so how would we make this work? Needless to say the decision was easy, we were having our Princess. I ended up moving to Toronto at 6 months, but prior to moving, Hubby made the 5 hour trip on the weekends. He took me maternity clothes shopping, was present for the ultrasound and all the necessary cuddling.
He held my hair during my 7 months of morning sickness, helped indulge my cravings, fetched the Tums for my heartburn and cried when we almost lost the Princess when I was 3 months.
The Princess had trouble coming into the world. We had spotting at 3 months, I went into early labour at 7 months and when it was time to deliver her, she went into distress and wrapped the cord around her neck. It took only 30 minutes from the time they told us to when I was being prepped in the OR.
My c-section was no regular surgery either. The epidural gave me an improper block so when they cut into me, I felt everything. Hubby could hear me screaming and crying from the waiting room. The nurse came out and said that he needed to say goodbye to me. He was stunned, he thought he would be able to be there to cut the cord, hear her first cry, but instead he was left out of the loop as to what was happening. Before he was allowed to enter the room, the nurse stopped him at the door and said these words;
“If we have to save one, which one do you want us to save?”
He choose me, but before people get upset and assume he didn’t care for the life of his child, he wanted both of us to be ok. This is a big question to put onto the shoulders of a 21 year old. Either his wife’s or child’s life literally hung in his hands and he was forced to make a decision. We both came out fine, but despite the Princess being born at 7:56 am, I didn’t get to hold her until 1 pm. The anesthesia took forever to wear off, so it was Hubby that took care of the Princess. He gave her the first feeding, held her and calmed her, all the while watching over me. For this alone, I am eternally grateful.
And in the last 3 years, he has been the very best father and husband to us. He has changed diapers from day one, burped, fed, gotten up in the middle of the night, woken up early, worked his butt off to provide for us, cooks, cleans, and even let’s the Princess work her make up skills on him. His toes are currently a beautiful shade of red from the latest nail polish the Princess received.
He picks up the Princess from daycare, goes to her school concerts, he is the very best Dad to our daughter and she loves him more than anything. She is the spitting image of her Daddy and both of them have my heart.
I am dedicating this post to my Hubby, you are the most wonderful husband and father and our Princess is so very lucky to have you as her Dad! Happy Father’s Day <3!

The Bio-Oil Challenge

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I know I earned my stripes!

 

Raise your hand if you have stretch marks as a result of being pregnancy.  Mine is.  And I am proud to say it too, although that wasn’t always the case. For quite some time, I was embarrassed by these marks and wouldn’t dream of wearing anything that was revealing.  My stomach was locked up tighter than Fort Knox.  I was 5 months pregnant when I first noticed them.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I began to show very early on, and by 5 months I was asked if I was carrying twins.  It wasn’t until I was down visiting my parents when I first noticed them.  I had gotten out of the shower and was standing in the mirror getting ready when I saw those dark purple lines sprawling up my abdomen.

 

“Gah!!! What the hell?  Where did they…oh my god, when did they?  Aaahhhh!”  I was turning over and over in the mirror, finding more and more lines running up from places and directions I never thought they would ever come from.  They looked like the Evil Ghost’s hands in a horror films, reaching up to capture the youthfulness of my skin.  My mother heard my shrieks and came running.

“What’s the matter?”  She asked, her breath ragged.

I pointed to my stomach, looking for some sympathy.

“Oh wow,” she said.  “I never got stretch marks when I was pregnant.”

Kick me while I’m down why dontcha!

While my mother was blessed with incredibly, even freakishly pliable skin, those genes clearly skipped me in utero.  I was even more distressed after my daughter was born and the incision from the c-section horizontally sliced the vertical lines.  My stomach was now the crudest road map of downtown Toronto!

“The C-Section scar is Bloor Street, the long line to the left is University Avenue and this line over here is Bay Street.  Oh this line, see how it gets thinner here, yea, that’s Yonge Street in rush hour!”  Hey, you have to laugh at yourself sometimes.

While I have now come to terms with them, even find the humour in them, I still want them to be less noticeable.  So when I was given a bottle of Bio-Oil, I thought, why not make it a Bio-Oil Challenge?  On the bottle, it says that if you rub the oil on your body, twice a day for three months, in circular motions, the marks will become less noticeable.  The stretch marks will never go away and results vary from individual to individual, but the product claims in time, they will fade.

In a study done in 2010, it found that on day 15, that 95% saw a significant improvement and by day 57, 100% saw improvement more than double that at 2 weeks.  So I am trying my own challenge and see if this stuff actually works.   I will say that I am not getting paid to do this, and I am purchasing the bottles myself, granted the first bottle was given to my by a family member.  The oil is peachy in colour and the smell isn’t too bad either.  You will need to wash your hands after rubbing it, otherwise you will have oil everywhere.

I will write back in 3 months and let you know how it goes.  No fibs, no exaggerations, just honest consumer opinion.  Now, I won’t be posting any before and after photos as I don’t wish to give anyone nightmares or scare women off getting pregnant.  So while my stomach is a crude map of downtown Toronto, it is a road map I took to motherhood and a trip I was glad to make!

The 5 Most Surprising Things that Happened to Me After Giving Birth

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Recently, Yahoo posted an article about The 5 Most Surprising Things that Happen to you After Giving Birth.  In it, it states that insignificant weight loss, breast pain, bleeding, bathroom complications and the inability to drive as their Top 5.  While I must say that insignificant weight loss, breast pain and bleeding were not surprising to me, I have listed below my personal Top 5.

  1. The Appearance of My Stomach.   Oh good grief, I wish someone had prepped me for what my stomach would look like after the baby was out.  I remember when I first got my belly, it was cute, and people couldn’t stop touching it.  That was at 3 months.  By 5, my mother asked me “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”  By 9, I was a walking, talking house.  But regardless, that belly housed my princess and I wouldn’t change a moment of it.  Now perhaps I was naive, or even disillusioned that my stomach would return neatly and smoothly to its pre-baby shape, but after 4o lbs and a c-section, this was not the case.  After giving birth, it looked like a withered leather satchel.  No longer round and cute, it was just there, staring back at me, mocking me for being so foolish.
  2. My Feet Were Still Swollen.  Again, another lovely side effect of pregnancy are swollen feet.  My feet were not only swollen, but the size of holiday Butterball Turkeys.  My daughter was born in November, and by January, I was still sporting flip-flops.  Out of the 40 lbs I gained, 15 of them went to my feet, the rest being spread out to my butt, belly, hips, chest and face.
  3. How Many Times You Are Asked “Did it hurt?”  I was blown away by how many people asked me after my daughter was born, “Did it hurt?”  Perhaps it was the “are you serious?” expression I had on my face or the blank stare, but needless to say I didn’t respond to many of the questions.  So for all of you who asked and received no answer, this is my final answer.  Yes, it hurt . It hurt a lot.  It felt like someone had one hand down my throat with the other up my bottom, pulling my organs from either end all the while kicking me in the spine.  Why do you think all those movies of women in labour, they are screaming?  Would you think your body expelling a 7 pound human through a very small opening would hurt?  Don’t you think having your abdomen sliced open would hurt, just a little?  So please, please, do not ask a woman if it hurt giving birth.  Happily assume yes.
  4. The Slow Healing of My C-Section Incision.   The doctors were nice enough to give me dissolvable stitches when the sewed my back up.  I had heard horror stories of staples and having the pulled out, and I was praying that wasn’t going to be me.  So when the doctors informed me that it would heal in 7 days, I was impressed.  The human body is a wonder after all.  However, 3 weeks later, it was still healing.  Every time I had a shower, I would grimace when I looked at it.  It was tender and numb, and it still hadn’t fully healed.  Now I’m not usually the squeamish type, however, since this was my first time ever having stitches and it was only my already gross looking belly, I dreaded every moment of it.
  5. How Many Times I was Asked if I had a Boy.  I totally understand when babies are born, when in nothing but a diaper, it is almost next to impossible to differentiate between boys and girls.  However, when they are wearing dresses, pink and Disney Princess outfits, let’s just say it’s a girl.  But nope, it was unreal how many people asked what our son’s name is.  Instance number one.  I had to be put under for my c-section and when I awoke, still drowsy from the medication, I held my baby.  I knew ahead of time that it was going to be a girl.  So when I was counting all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, I read her baby bracelet which read “Boy”.  I flew into a panic.  “No no, I had a girl.  This isn’t right.  I had a girl.”  I ripped open her diaper to find that I was right and the hospital had labeled her the wrong sex.  Phew, I had all girl stuff and what was I going to do, dress my boy in pink?  Instance number two.  My husband was walking with our daughter to the grocery store, her firmly seated in the baby carrier in her pink Minnie Mouse Snowsuit.  A man, his wife and children approached them and the husband said, “Oh what a cute little boy you have.”  His wife replied, “That’s a girl hun.”  All he could muster was “Oh” and walked away in embarrassment. So word to the wise, when in doubt, ask this “Oh wow, what a cute baby! What is this little sweetie’s name?”

So I ask you fellow bloggers, readers and mommy’s alike, what were the 5 most surprising things that happened to you after giving birth?