Longer than… ?

This afternoon, I head to the OB’s office for my six week postpartum check-up.  I know.  Six weeks.  What?  Plus!  I have to go without my wife, who is staying home with a napping RR.  Seriously – who will I sit with in the waiting room and mock the other pregnant ladies and uncomfortable couples?!  Sigh.

Let me just start with saying that it’s no fucking joke when they say that recovery after a C-Section takes longer.  Longer than what?  A vaginal birth?  The ice age?  Since I have nothing to compare it to, I’ll just say that it takes longer… than I expected.  I’m sure some of the issues are the same with any other woman after birth, like the carpal tunnel in my left hand (screw playing the guitar for any length of time) and subsequent swelling and wedding-ring absence still.  Thanks, internet, for telling me that both are completely normal, and that it could have gone away four weeks ago, any time now, months from now, or never.  Recovery, just like pregnancy, is so much different from one person to another.  Duh.

The items… well, item… that is C-Section exclusive, though, is the incision.  I can chat chat chat about how my back still hurts from the spinal block, but where RR made her great escape is right at the top of my complaint list.  It’s not as bothersome as it could be if I keep to my gym short attire all day, every day, but as soon as I put on anything with a button – ouch.  Mostly, it’s because of my body shape, and although things certainly aren’t the same as pre-pregnancy, my actual waist location hasn’t changed.  I can easily fit into a pair of my pre-pregnancy shorts, but the waistband conveniently rubs against my scar.  Short-waisted much?  Before the thing heals completely, I’m stuck with solutions that involve padded gauze as a barrier at the site, more panties, trying to keep my pants hiked up in an unnatural place, and yes, only pants with elastic bands.  Awesome.  Thanks, internet, again for telling me that the scar’s sensitivity could last until RR get’s her learner’s permit.

Other issues include feeling like my abs have been obliterated (oh wait!), residual (and occasional shooting!) back and hip pain, and floaters in my vision.  My short term disability officially ends tomorrow (thanks, work, for those awesome six weeks!) so the next few weeks I have off will be a combination of taking vacation days and “working from home.”  Hopefully some of these issues will resolve themselves by the time I have to look like a human who leaves the house and talks to other people 0n a regular basis, and showers before 5pm daily.

The good news is that RR is a rock star daughter already.  She’s smiling, cooing, focusing, following voices and faces, and balancing a ball on her nose.  Every day I’m reminded of my discomforts, but just after, I’m reminded that they are all so very worth it, and I would take even more numbness and pain gladly in exchange for her grins and giggles.

Posted on August 5, 2010, in medical chitchat. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m 6 months postpartum and my incision still hurts from time to time and my back still goes numb from the spinal block….

  2. Oops– didn’t mean to post that so soon! What I was going to say was:

    ….but I suspect that all this residual discomfort will be a distant memory soon–as it will be for you, too.

    It’s also hard for me to get into my old clothes, and I still basically wear sweats when I’m home… I am sad to give up my maternity jeans, though. Maybe I will just keep wearing them! No one would know, right?

  3. I guess I’d never really thought about buttons and c-section incision scars. Yikes. Hopefully it will heal quickly?

    Just out of curiosity, is your short-term disability leave not slightly longer with a c-section? I know with my employer it’s six weeks with a vaginal birth, eight weeks for a caesarian. (Or zero weeks paid time off, if it isn’t your personal uterus. Because the company recognizes that family bonding time is so important. Or something. For the record, that isn’t even a queer-themed bit of bitterness, since I would be equally cranky about it were I a father or an adoptive mother. )

    I am glad that RR is at least doing her best to make all of the accompanying crap worthwhile. She is quite adorable.

    • Yeah – even before giving birth, I didn’t quite understand the folks who opted for scheduling their c-sections in advance, with no real medical reason to do so. Now I really don’t understand, given the long-ass recovery time.

      My employer used to give eight weeks for c-section recovery, but they only approve six now for c-section, and only four for vaginal. Outrageous bullshit, I say. Even a “doctor’s note” wouldn’t have made it longer – they would have needed my actual medical records to approve more leave. Again, bull. And yeah, don’t even get me started on leave for partners, although we’re really fortunate that my wife’s boss (and leave) allowed her to stay home for so long.

      And thanks! 😉 We’re quite fond of her.

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