Maybe yours was planned, or maybe it came as a complete surprise like mine did. Either way, hopefully, these will help you survive the days after!
1. Don’t try to be a hero, take the pain meds they offer for the first couple days and make sure the nurses give them to you on time. My nurses tried to dictate how much and how often I needed them, such as telling me it was time to cut them in half and space them out. If you still hurt, stand your ground. I promise you’ll only need them a few more days but you should not have to sit there in tears like I did because the nurses felt you weren’t meeting their timeline.
2. It hurts like hell but was a lot better by the time I went home. I stayed 3 nights because of the pain med fiasco and wanted to be able to self-administer when I felt I needed them, but legally you can stay four if you’d like and if you have nice nurses I would recommend it. Your body needs time to heal and it’s much harder to do when your not being waited on hand and foot.
3. Have help for the hospital. You’ll want to walk around but when you start to feel like you’ve overdone it you also want someone there to help with the baby. I told my husband he could go home on night three and regretted not having him there to help.
4. Go buy Hanes high-waisted underwear and a few maxi dresses. I found some cheap stretchy ones at Meijer that have been easy to pump/nurse with and means I can avoid elastic pants. If your not one for dresses, pack your maternity leggings, though they can be hard to get on and off when you can’t bend to reach your toes.
5. Also, stock up on Advil while you’re there. You’ll want it for when your home and off the hard stuff. Don’t worry it’s breastfeeding safe!
6. You won’t have to do anything with your incision other than letting water in the shower run over it. So don’t touch it or even look at it if you’re queasy like me. I was never so thankful for a not flat belly. I had my husband help me get the gauze off in my first shower because it grossed me out. I was told the steri-strips would fall off on their own but after two weeks they were still attached. I slowly removed them one by one at each shower. Any more than that and I again was queasy and felt like passing out. (Can you tell I have a weak stomach??)
7. Get help for at home the first week. I was so anxious to get home and get things done but I’ve had to realize that it’s not possible and I need to keep taking it easy. It’s so easy to overdo it and then end up going backward in your progress. You might feel great that day but if you overdo it the night will feel awful. By the second week, I was able to tackle cleaning one room a day, minus anything that required heavy lifting, serious bending, or vacuuming.
8. Be prepared for the gas. My stomach was so bloated and uncomfortable after. Walking will help get this out. Once it finally releases I was waking myself up in the night passing tons of it. I was happy my husband is a deep sleeper! Be prepared for back and shoulder pain before you’re able to expel it. And if you know ahead of time start taking Colace. It took almost a week for me to be able to go because the Percocet is very constipating. It honestly wasn’t as painful as I expected it to be, just make sure you don’t have to strain!