Part 2: The Recovery
Let’s just say I drew the short straw when it came to post-natal recovery. It was pretty tough and I thought that maybe I should share my experience. Prior to giving birth, it seemed that everyone only had perfect stories of childbirth (I think women’s minds really do trick them into forgetting the trauma) and although the books ‘warned’ me that it wouldn’t be easy, I feel now that no one really made it clear just how bad the recovery could be.
You’ve read how wonderful my birthing experience was in Part 1. In fact, my entire pregnancy was awesome. I didn’t vomit, I didn’t get too fat, I had a good appetite, awesome hair and skin, and best of all, I could sleep really well and actually looked forward to bed time! Ok, I don’t mean to “show off” but it’s all true! However, they say if you had a great pre-natal experience, you’re bound to have a difficult post-natal time and vice versa. I guess that’s life’s way of making things fair (unless of course you’re a Victoria’s Secret angel, in which case none of the above applies and you cruise through pregnancy and get back on the catwalk an hour after giving birth, without a stretchmark in sight).
I was pretty high on painkillers and still euphoric at the thought of being a mum for the first couple of days and I was actually quite comfortable. I was in a private suite so visitors had their own living room, kitchenette and bathroom so I didn’t feel rimas or bothered when I had to breastfeed or if I wanted to take a nap. The 3rd day when they took the catheter out and I had to get up to go to the loo was when the tsunami of pain hit me. It took 3 nurses, a lot of tears, blood and 20 minutes for me to shuffle the 5 steps to the bathroom every time I had to go. It took another hour for me to use the bathroom, clean up as much as possible and brush my teeth because all this would be happening while the room was spinning and I would be hunched over my c section cut. My amazing husband stood by me the entire time, helping me wash and holding me while I asked him (high on pain meds) to forgive my wrongdoings in an attempt to alleviate the pain. (I figured since my parents already told me they ampunkan all my dosa i.e. forgave my sins before I delivered, my hubby must be the culprit behind my prolonged pain ;p).
But in all seriousness, I could not walk for the 5 days that I was in hospital and when my mum realised how bad it was, she took the next available flight from London to be with me. (Mum lives in London with the rest of my fam…)
I was bedridden at home for the next 2 weeks and could finally walk only 3 weeks after delivering by holding on to the walls. I was on strong painkillers and could not see an end to the pain. It hurt when I moved, slept, ate, used the loo and even when I breathed too deeply! I only held my baby on my own when he was already a month old. That broke my heart but after a lot of tears and also lots of family support from both sides, I finally started to heal and get stronger. Today is the 39th day since I delivered and I’m taking it one baby step at a time towards a full recovery (Insyaallah).
If you’re pregnant and reading this, my intention is not to scare you but to help you be aware of a potentially horrendous recovery period so you can at least mentally prepare for it. So many mums-to-be focus on the actual birth without realising that the after-period could be the problematic time. Everyone tells you to “enjoy this magical time” and “becoming a mum is a wonderful journey” but in reality, it’s a truly challenging phase. Get as much help as you can even if you have to beg, barter or pay for it! It didn’t help that Kate Middleton effortlessly stepped out in heels and climbed into a Range Rover with ease the day after giving birth. In reality, there are lots of people like me who are a long way away from heels and who are just looking forward to the day when everything stops hurting. Just please don’t feel like a failure if you fall within this unfortunate category-it does get better, I promise.
Anyway, talking about heels, as an incentive these arrived for me yesterday. You can get them here
As for Kate Middleton, a friend shared this pic of her taken 3 months after giving birth. It’s official- she’s not human.
Pic credit: Vanity Fair