Recovering from a C-Section with a Toddler

I held my breath until she was in my arms. It was a bumpy pregnancy—crossing fingers and toes over and over and praying until God was probably saying, “Yes, Paige, I got your prayer the millionth time; no need to ask again.” The experience left me needing to see to believe everything would be okay. I think Hayden being born with Pierre Robin Sequence and a soft palate cleft (which was very, very challenging) had me nervous it would happen to her, too. Good news is she is fine. More than fine. She’s beautiful. I’m so in love. I have loved getting to hold her, love her, be her mom. I can’t take my eyes off of her; she is so sweet. I love that H’s voice gets five octaves higher when he talks to her. He calls her Baby Blue, his baby.

Now, just because he loves her doesn’t mean things are all peachy keen here. People said H would regress, and they were right. Sometimes I sit up in bed and feel like the house is going down in flames with everyone in it and there’s nothing I can do about it. Recovering from a C-section means you have to sit back and let others jump in, which for me is hard. Nobody knows how to keep the house running smoothly and keep H’s behavior at its best like I do. It requires a lot of structure and consistency. Tough to keep structure when everyone wants to come in and make H feel happy and special by saying yes to his every whim. There were so many presents and treats for him that it was overwhelming. What he needed was me. No toy was going to substitute. Some things that helped us were keeping stories by my bed so he could cuddle up with me and read. We watched a lot of cartoons together. I had bought new movies that we could bring out. I also had a snack bowl next to me so he would crawl up and we would snack.

Another thing that was a lifesaver was putting a personal fridge in my room with favorite drinks and snacks. This way I didn’t have to ask for help every time I needed a bit of water, etc. it was also helpful when I pumped to be able to put the milk right in the fridge. I highly recommend pumping from day one and getting the baby used to a bottle. I have tons of friends whose babies wouldn’t take a bottle, and so they couldn’t ever leave baby with anyone to get a good break. If your plan is to nurse for a year, that is a looooong time not to be able to leave the baby. With both births I went through periods of low milk supply due to lack of sleep. I discovered a couple things that helped: mother’s milk tea and fenugreek supplements. Also drinking tons of water and SLEEP. Pumping helped as well. I would pump after feedings.

My biggest tip in preparation for delivery is to stock your freezer with meals so that anyone can jump in and defrost a meal you would like. The last thing you will want to deal with is meals for your family. The other crucial thing is to line up your help ahead of time. It’s a pretty tough couple of weeks, and you are on drugs, which means no driving. So arrange drivers for picking up and dropping off siblings at school. Maybe line up one person to cover dinnertime and another for mornings. Most of my supports I had lined up failed due to getting sick or being pulled out of town. We ended up having to hire extra help. Somehow we got through it all. C-sections do mean a longer recovery, but it’s doable. I’m finally healed now and feeling great. It took about six weeks to be back at my normal pace of life. It’s a bit of a struggle but so, so worth it having these precious gifts from God!

  1. Barbara Morgan says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, advice, Paige. I’m sending them to Dan’s daughter who is expecting twins — she’s also mom to a 19-month-old! Your beautiful babies — and Reagan — are so fortunate to have such a wonderful and resourceful mom!

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