The Aftermath: Things I Learned

Mostly, this is just a reminder to myself for when I do this again, since I am a C-sectioner from now on.

1.  The epidural is a delight.  C-section drugs are a delight.  Being able to push a button and get more drugs is a delight.

2.  The first time you get out of bed is horrifying.  They make you call a nurse to hoist you up and help you to stagger to the bathroom.  Your ass is flapping out the back of your gown, and you try to pretend that your husband isn’t watching you hunch over to the can.

3.  They don’t let you eat while you’re in labor.  They don’t let you eat after a C-section until you’ve farted.  I was starving, and I may or may not have lied about farting.  I said, “I think I felt a little one.”  Whatever, I wanted a burger.  I am not accustomed to not being fed on a regular basis.

4.  The nurses are the world’s best swaddlers.  It’s amazing.  Every time the baby comes back from the nursery, she’s a little burrito, and no matter how much you practice and how many times you see them do it, you’ll never be able to get it right with a blanket.  You’ll have to use the swaddles for dummies that have velcro.

5.  Sometimes C-section babies have a little extra stuff in ’em because they didn’t get squished out.  Sometimes babies have trouble swallowing in the beginning.  Sometimes both things happen at once and your baby chokes and turns blue faster than you can think, and you won’t know what to do, and your husband will run out into the hall and get a nurse who will go all “Code Red” and come running in and manhandle your baby until she starts breathing again, and you won’t realize until afterwards that you’ve stopped breathing, too.  I don’t wish this on anyone.  It happened so fast, and I was so tired and on so many painkillers that it didn’t occur to me to be scared until afterwards, but there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about it since.

6.  Standing up straight will be pretty painful for a while.  It’s like tearing off a Bandaid, though.  Once you straighten up fully, you feel better.

7.  During the car ride home from the hospital, you will become convinced that you live in the city with the worst roads on the planet.  Every crack you drive over will make you gasp.

8.  Not being able to drive anywhere is a suckfest.

9.  Being able to accept help is the most important part.  It is okay to stay in bed after a C-section.  It is okay to sit down most of the time.  It is okay to just snuggle with the baby and let people bring you things.

10.  Even if you don’t have the birth you wanted, or consider what you did giving birth at all, it is worth it, because you end up with this:



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