As I’m typing this out, I’m realizing there are SO many components of this topic that I want to touch on in this post- so be prepared- it’s going to be a long and winding one😂! I’ll divide it up into sections to try and organize my thoughts and make it easier for you guys to follow!
My second pregnancy:
First off, I HIGHLY recommend doing a total home renovation while pregnant- kidding, but not really!! It honestly kept me active, distracted, and was like, the ultimate nesting instinct-satisfier, if that makes sense. To be completely transparent, we found out I was pregnant literally the same week we decided to list and sell our old house, so as per usual for us, everything started happening at the same time at 100 miles per hour- which is kind of how we like it!
My first pregnancy with Nolan was very easy, as was my second. With Nolan, I think I remember a few more/longer headaches and being tired more in the first trimester; with Eamon, there was barely any of that- although I’m not sure if I can chalk that up to all the distractions of selling, buying, moving, renovating etc. Either way, I’m extremely lucky to have had another easy, problem free pregnancy- and it just FLEW BY!
First vs. second C-Section:
So my first c-section with Nolan was an unplanned, emergency surgery due to a 16 hour failed induction (he was 10 days late!) – he wouldn’t budge, and his heart rate started going nuts which prompted the docs to call for an emergency c section within what seemed like minutes. I honestly don’t remember as much from the actual surgery bc I was so exhausted from a long and unsuccessful labor, plus wayyy more out of it bc of all the drugs etc from the induction. I do remember though, that my recovery was way more painful, difficult and challenging both mentally and physically than my second one with Eamon. With my first, I didn’t feel good walking until probably a week after the surgery; despite the fact that the docs and nurses make you do it, it was extremely painful and slow. TMI, there was A LOT more post partum bleeding after my first, way more swelling in both my abdomen and legs, and I remember having way more intense hormonal headaches.
With Eamon, I decided to have a scheduled c-section instead of trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section), because in my opinion, the “devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” if that makes sense! So we chose the day after his actual due date, February 5th, and with all the craziness of selling our house, buying and renovating our new one, having at least one “scheduled” thing in our life felt good! The week before the surgery, I did the presurgical testing at the hospital and they gave me alllll the specific directions to prepare for the surgery- and if you know me in real life, you know I don’t always follow directions if I don’t want to!😂😏 There was a special soap I was supposed to use the night before the surgery (didn’t ) and Gatorade I was supposed to drink on the way to the hospital the morning of (def didn’t!)- I figured that with Nolan, I had no “preparation” for the c-section and everything turned out fine, so…
Anyway, two nights before the scheduled surgery, I started having what I knew were contractions- even though I had never went into actual “labor” with Nolan, my gut just told me that was what was happening- the contractions weren’t painful or frequent enough to warrant going to the hospital so I just kept going about my business, hoping to make it 36 more hours to the scheduled c-section! The night before the surgery, our sliding shower door was actually getting installed, as one of the last items on our renovation to-do list- it was so funny looking back with me curled up on the couch in the “fetal” (haha) position having contractions while the poor shower door guys looked at my horrified while working tirelessly upstairs to install the shower door so that everything would be ready for us when we got home from the hospital! We went to sleep that night (Nolan slept at grandma’s) with our bags packed, me contracting through the night, just trying to hold on a few more hours!
The morning came, and Tim and I drove to the hospital. Knowing what was to come was wayyyy easier this time around; we were packed and prepared to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days, we knew what to expect with the surgery and the recovery etc. when we got there, we checked in and they took us right away. They started me on the IV – WHICH I SWEAR IS THE WORST PART- WORSE THAN THE SURGERY ITSELF!- (I actually almost fainted from the IV insertion lol), and the doctor came on to talk us through what would happen next. I was nervous, sure, bc after all, it is surgery- but the docs and nurses are all so calm and give you this feeling like it’s just another day at the office – which for me, if very comforting. Then, they walked me into the operating room to insert the epidural and get the ball rolling. The epidural, which numbs you from the midsection down, is basically a giant needle they put into your spine, and an IV-like drip stays there for 24 hours after the surgery to prevent you from feeling both the surgery itself and the subsequent pain. When they put it in, you lean forward into a hugging position onto a nurse (very intimate😂) so that the anesthesiologist can have access to your spine and you won’t jerk around while they put it in. Really, it isn’t that bad. It feels like a sharp pinch and pressure- it’s more the mental component of picturing what they’re doing that makes it worse that it actually feels! Within moments, your lower half goes numb and you’re laid down on the operating table. A sheet is put up across your midsection to prevent you or your partner from seeing anything too horrifying lol- then Tim sat next to my head where he was able to talk to me the whole time. You can sort of feel tugging and a cool sensation as they wipe your lower half down and begin the surgery, but they don’t actually say “ok here we go!” Which is good bc it’s happening and you kind of don’t even really know it? I could feel the same tugging and pulling – which is NOT PAINFUL AT ALL) that I felt with Nolan’s c-section, but to give you an idea of how not bad it is, Tim and I were able to talk and laugh through and entire conversation with another nurse/anesthesiologist about how we met in middle school and dated in high school!!! All while being cut open and my insides moved around! It’s crazy, really. Then, we heard the doctors say “here he is!” and you hear THE CRY… and your heart just melts ❤️… they showed us the baby over the curtain and quickly took him to clean him off and check him before they gave him to us to hold- I could only for a second bc they had to sew me up (which you also don’t feel and isn’t bad at all)- that took about 15 min or so and then I was wheeled into the recovery room, where Tim was brought back in and we could finally meet and hold Eamon!
We were kept in recovery while they ran more tests on the little guy; also you aren’t taken to your actual hospital room until you can feel, move and lift your legs slightly. Again, so different than my first c-section- I was able to feel and move more, better and sooner than the first time! Then, you’re wheeled up to your hospital room, your “home” for the next 3-5 days, depending on your health, insurance and individual situation- we knew we’d be there for minimum four days. The epidural was still going strong, which made everything very bearable- honestly, I didn’t feel much pain (maybe a 2 on a 1-10 scale) the first day. They make you get up and walk the night of the surgery; which totally seems crazy, but IS THE KEY TO RECOVERY- all the medical professionals say, and I have to agree with in my experience. It’s painful to walk the first time, like a burning, sensation in your abdomen and back, but really, while the epidural is still working it’s magic and you’re on the Motrin-like pain killer, it’s no worse than a 5-6 on the pain scale.
The next day, though, when the epidural is removed, was the toughest. I almost had this false sense of security like “oh I’m fine look at me strutting along” then BAM the second day sucked- more like a 4-5 all day on the pain scale. They offer you plenty of options for pain killers, but I opted just for the Motrin bc I’m a big baby and the idea of OxyContin scares me😂. I took one Oxy at nighy the second night to help sleep, but it just made me feel weirdly loopy which i didn’t like, so from that point, I just went with the Motrin, which really was fine for days 3 and beyond, where I really did start to feel fine. I was able to go to the bathroom by myself, blow out my hair, get dressed alone, all by the second/third day at the hospital; yes, you walk like a 99 year old, hunched over, but every day, you see a marked improvement. By day 5 (they kept me an extra day bc my blood pressure reading was a little high), I was able to walk (almost upright) and even help Nolan down off the hospital bed (we had him come stay with us the last night there bc we missed him so much and had to stay longer than anticipated!). Oh, one more thing- my incision wasn’t nearly as painful recovery wise as was the epidural insertion site on my back!! For some reason, I felt SO bruised and sore in my back on the spot where the epidural went in- I don’t remember feeling that after the surgery with Nolan; with him, the c-section incision itself hurt more.
When we got home, I continued to improve so much faster than I did the first time- again, I’ll chalk it up to (and the docs agree) that planned is easier than an emergency- your body isn’t in as much shock. I was able to walk up and down stairs the first day home (slowly and awkwardly though!) and pretty much do basic things around the house. Also, I swear by the belly binder (I think it’s actually called “abdominal binder” ) that they give you at the hospital post-surgery (you can also order off of Amazon – a good one HERE!) – it just makes you feel stronger, more secure- like your insides are held into place or something! For the first week, I wore it 24 hours a day, which I think really helped, taking it off only to shower. After that, I wore it at home and sleeping the second week, and by the third week, didn’t really need it anymore. After week three, I would say I felt 90% myself- sure I can’t run or work out yet, but for the most part I feel physically great! The swelling went down within a few days of being home, which felt great too. Now, at 5 weeks post partum, dealing with juggling two kids is more painful than the recovery ever was ! (JK it’s really not that bad lol- just a new normal, which I’ll get into in another post!)
Ok so I think that’s it- if I missed anything you guys have questions about, please let me know via comment here, on insta, or though DM or email! Happy to share whatever can help a mama out!