"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

C is for Cesarian

My C-section, like many, was not planned.  In the moment, it was definitely necessary, and I know it was the right choice.  But I am having some feelings about it.

First, I have to say that I'm grateful for hospitals and doctors.  I haven't really given a lot of thought to my delivery or birth experience since coming home with Abbey.  In part, I think, because I didn't really want to remember some of the details all that much.  But I am really grateful that talented physicians, nurses and a clean, sterile environment was available to us.  Had it not been, things could have gone very, very badly.  So, thank goodness for doctors, nurses and hospitals.

That being said, one thing that totally weirds me out about this major surgery is that after all was said and done and I was stitched up pumped full of morphine, I never saw the surgeon who was moments earlier poking around inside of my body.  I work in the humanities.  Granted, I'm a bit more of a business type these days than artsy fartsy, but still.  There's something way impersonal about that.  It just strikes me as strange.  It would have been nice to at least have said thank you to her after I was a little less doped up.

Before going to the hospital, I regretfully didn't read up a whole lot on C-sections.  I know a lot of women who have had them.  A lot.  Most of my friends or family with children gave birth by C-section.  I knew that it was major surgery.  I just didn't really get my head around HOW major it is.  And since it's such a major surgery, I definitely hadn't prepared myself for how difficult and lengthy the recovery process would be.

They say I should be fairly back to normal 6-8 weeks after delivery.  Six weeks puts us at January 1.  With half of my maternity leave used up.  I'm coming up on 4 weeks now, and while I feel a hell of a lot better than I did 4 weeks ago, the pace of recovery is slow, and that's really super frustrating for me.  Turns out I'm a pretty active lady, and this has definitely put a kink in my pace of life.  I walk at an old lady pace.  Too much laughing is a painful hazard (and dangerous in our house because the hubs likes to bring the funny, and I have a Julia Roberts laugh).  But what they didn't say is that it actually takes 6-9 MONTHS before you're really back to "normal".  I guess this is also the case with a "normal" delivery.  The whole postpartum transition takes some time and I get that.  But I won't have all of my nerve endings in my belly back for another 6-9 months.  That's just weird.  Right now, when I rub my belly, it feels tingly - like when your foot falls asleep.

So, while I know that I need to find a new normal in life - especially with a newborn baby to care for - I do long to just feel like myself again and be back in my body.  Maybe Santa will bring me some patience for Christmas.

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