“You just underwent major surgery. We cut through six layers before we got to your uterus and then we sewed it all back together again. It will take up to six weeks for you to fully recover.
Until then, be nice to yourself. Just relax. Don’t lift anything and get a lot of sleep.
Also, here’s your screaming newborn. Wake up to feed him every two hours, day and night, and never put him down if you want to bond properly.”
The irony of a c-section postpartum recovery.
(Disclaimer: this is not a photo from my surgery. Strangely, the thought of taking photos of the doctors with a professional camera while they were cutting me open didn’t even cross my mind.)
This time last year Jay and I were having dinner in an Italian restaurant. He was enjoying his pumpkin soup and I was breathing through quite painful contractions. On our way out, the waiter who was watching me trying to eat told me I was going to give birth very soon, he could tell. I felt encouraged.
He was so wrong. I had another 9 hours to go.
Don’t trust waiters to correctly tell you when you’ll give birth.
Jay posted on Facebook, for all of our friends (and people we randomly added as friends on Facebook) to read:
Our daughter Molly was born at 03:55 this morning (3,190 g / 52 cm). Iva and Molly are both doing well and are currently catching up on some much-needed sleep after an exciting night. Iva and I are extremely proud and happy, and of course still a little bit confused. Thanks to you all for your love and best wishes.
What he didn’t post on Facebook were the following interesting facts:
-Molly’s expected date of birth was on the 20th of September and we both expected me to give birth exactly then. After that uneventful day passed, we basically just sat around and waited for something (anything!) to happen. We did that for full 7 days.
-at 9 a.m. on the 27th I was woken up by a strong urge to poo. I repeatedly went to the toilet in vain every half an hour until Jay suggested that a need to poo doesn’t usually come at regular intervals and most of the time it actually results in pooing. He cleverly suggested that I might be feeling contractions which was a lot more exciting thought (and way scarier!) than just common pooing.
-I had weak contractions every half an hour until about 6 p.m. We had a wonderful day: went on a long walk, installed a contractions app (or four, on each phone) and cuddled in bed, feeling very relaxed and calm and happy and excited and relieved that something was finally happening.
– around 6 p.m. we went for another walk with Klara and that’s when the contractions started getting so strong that I had to hold on to Jay every time I felt one and breathe through them. That didn’t stop us from going to the supermarket to stock up on snacks and drinks for the hospital. While Jay was getting everything we needed (and more), I held onto a shelf and was breathing through my contractions, very aware of the shocked looks other shoppers were giving me.
-we dropped Klara off at the neighbours’, got into the car and drove to the hospital where they were about to send us home because my contractions stopped and nothing was happening. After I begged them to stay and almost started crying with frustration, they told us to return two hours later but not to leave the hospital. Which we interpreted as: “Leave the hospital and go out to dinner”. So we chose a nice Italian nearby.
– I couldn’t finish my pumpkin soup because my contractions were too painful. So Jay had to eat both of our meals.
The rest is either a blur or too graphic to be described publicly. A lot of… pain / drugs / shouting / cuddles with the best husband in the world / directions in German from the nurses which my drugged up brain couldn’t understand… later and I was holding a strange looking, soft little baby in my arms. Jay cried and smiled and laughed, Molly was falling in and out of sleep and I believe I was in a state of shock and complete confusion. She was inside me for nine months and I was already used to her being a part of me and all of a sudden she was on my chest – a tiny human, capable of surviving outside me, but completely incapable of living without me.
So complicated to comprehend and yet so simple, all at once.
I had just given birth to the most precious creature in the world.