notes on recovery

October 12, 2009

• When I said I wasn’t scared to have a c-section, I meant it. I wasn’t scared because I hadn’t thought it through. I didn’t think about the fact that I would be sliced open and that I would have a scar. I didn’t think about the fact that I would take a heavy dose of drugs that would mess with my body or that I would have pain in the first place. No, none of that had really dawned on me. Had I thought of those things, I probably would have panicked, so I guess it’s for the best.

• Recovery is humbling. Before beginning my slow journey back to pre-pregnancy normalcy, I took a stop in post-surgery purgatory. I was no longer tossing and turning in bed to find a comfy position. Now I could barely move without feeling sharp jabs in my side. I wasn’t waddling around anymore. Just standing up was a chore. I didn’t have to pee all the time. I couldn’t even pee at all. Every step back to normal felt like a triumph. Sleeping on my right side. Taking a very slow stroll around the hospital floor. Peeing on my own. I celebrated each time I accomplished the littlest of things.

• Some physical changes occurred faster than others. A few days after coming home, I woke up in the middle of the night to pee. While on the toilet, I looked down and saw my ankles, which had been swollen to Miss Piggy proportions just hours before. I came to bed in sheer bliss. “Rama, look!” I exclaimed, lifting my legs to show him. “My ankles! Remember these?”

• I knew I couldn’t do everything, but it was hard not to do anything those first couple days at home. I wanted to run to Henry’s side when he cried. I wanted to rock him to sleep. I even wanted to change his poopy diapers. But I wasn’t supposed to bend over or lift too much, which meant having Henry brought to me when it was time to nurse and letting Rama and our families do the rest.

• I got better at accepting help, though. My mom stayed with us the week after Henry was born and then Rama’s mom came for two more weeks after that. The grandmas—our mothers—were godsends, not to mention all the rest of our family who came to visit. Thanks to their kindness and care, Rama and I were able to eat, sleep and laugh the first month of Henry’s life, and I am incredibly grateful.


  1. lisa s says:

    christie, there are so many similarities to our story… i had a c-section too… although my little was 6 weeks early and so she had to stay in the NICU….

    reading this brought back the day after and how i could not even envision how i was going to get out of bed… or pee…. or walk….

    they took my gurney into the NICU too…. i can so clearly remember her little eyes peering at me from under a hat. i couldn’t stop crying….

    hugs to you dear one…

  2. stacy says:

    This brings it all back for me too: trying to stand, walk, pee. Ouch. Then when I did finally pee how it felt like gallons and that lovely feeling of seeing my ankles again — I thought they were gone forever.


  3. mary catherine says:

    hope you are feeling better and enjoying every minute of motherhood!

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

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