April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Considering I’ve had six of the damn things, I thought I’d take some time to share my learnings. My first C-section was an emergency, and I was not a great candidate for a VBAC with my daughter a mere 15 months later. While I had the easiest pregnancies known to mama-kind, these babies were not going to come out any other way! Here’s my advice for mamas who are facing multiple C-sections.
Remember that Cesareans don’t get harder every time
My experience is that each one is unique, as is recovery. My worst recovery was after my fourth. The fifth and sixth were okay! So, if you had a tough recovery the first time, don’t be too worried that you’ll have the same experience in subsequent Cesareans
Get out of bed!
I found that the sooner I got out of bed after the surgery, the better my recovery was. I thought my nurse was very mean for forcing me out of bed when I was in pain, but she saved me a lot of pain later. Be gentle with yourself, but do try to get moving as soon as possible.
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself
Every time I went for a Cesarean, the surgical team wanted to put the catheter in BEFORE I had the spinal. I advocated strongly to have that order switched around and I’m glad I did! Don’t be afraid to speak up!
Prep your big kids
Prep your other kids. When you are recovering from a Cesarean, you can’t be lifting toddlers into cribs and car seats. Pull out the step stools and train them before baby comes. Get good at ignoring messes. You do not have to pick-up that laundry basket on the way up the stairs. Ignore it. Recovery is more important than a tidy house. Don’t be afraid to get help: accept meals, allow people to take your other children for the day and take up every kind offer that comes your way!
Make a plan to calm your nerves
I don’t blame you! Talk to your medical professionals and get their opinions. Before I was pregnant with my sixth, I had a consult to see what kind of shape my uterus was in, what the plan would be if I went into labour and discussed risks. All worked out just fine.
Ideally, I would have loved it if my babies were not surgically extracted from my uterus, but that was not in the cards for me. At the end of the day, I’m just happy that my six children arrived safely and lovingly into this crazy world.