Recovering from a Caesarean: day four onwards

I started writing about my Caesarean recovery last week, but ended up splitting the post into two when I realised just how much I was writing!  You can read the first half here  >>  Days 1-3 following my caesarean

Day 4: Saturday 1st October

When my first lot of pain medication was brought round on Saturday morning, the duty midwife commented that she would like to see me going home over the weekend and that I would probably recover quicker in my own surroundings, rather than being bed-bound on a ward filled with screaming mothers-to-be and crying babies, reliant on a buzzer by my side.  Although I didn’t get my hopes up, and was pretty sure that there was no way I was ready to be discharged (that morning was the first time I had made it to the toilet on my own!) I immediately rang Dan to tell him the potential good news and then I made it my mission to do everything I could to prove I was ready to head home that day, – starting with making it to the Day Room for breakfast.

The nurses hadn’t brought me breakfast for the past two days – merely walking up and down between the bays shouting “Breakfast is now available in the Day Room.”  I hadn’t felt strong enough to walk there on the other days, but was determined to do so now, only to discover that the Day Room was at the far end of the corridor, at least four times as far as the toilet had been (my furthest walk to date!)  I made it though, and despite perching rather uncomfortably on a hard-backed chair in the room whilst I slowly munched on some toast, felt rather chuffed with my accomplishment!

Dan arrived a couple of hours later and we were told that I would definitely be discharged that day.  Along with three other first-time parents, we were sent back to the Day Room to sit in on a breastfeeding and bathing advice session before being discharged.  As I waited for Dan to wheel Oscar’s cot in I got talking to a couple of the other new Mums.  It seemed that I had been in for the longest, with the others only having been admitted the day before, or at the earliest, on the Thursday evening.

Whilst waiting for the discharge paperwork to be completed the ladies from Bounty came round to take pictures of Oscar before we left.  He was a little rockstar and posed beautifully for every position they placed him in.  Although we hadn’t intended on purchasing any photos, we did get one of the smaller packages, with photos and digital images to be posted out to us during the week.

Along with my discharge notes I was offered an extra shot of morphine to help get down the stairs to the car as it would be the furthest I had walked by a long way.  Sensibly, I decided to take the extra shot which luckily kicked in before we were allowed to leave.  I was also given the chat about future contraception.  No need to worry on that side of things – I hadn’t realised how traumatic and painful having a baby would actually be!
I packed up the remaining items from my bed bay whilst Dan drove the car round to the loading bay and started to load up my belongings downstairs in the car, leaving Oscar and Me until last.  For the past three days I’d seen all the other women on my bay leave, carrying their new babies in car seats and loaded up with their luggage to be driven away to their family homes.  When it came to my turn, I couldn’t even carry a shoulder bag, never mind my baby in a carrier, and I shuffled along in pain with every step.

I really wasn’t prepared for just how far the car would be.  Having thought that the Day Room was only just manageable earlier that morning, the distance to the car was easily twenty times as far and involved a lift, a small series of steps and getting myself down to car seat level.  (It was very painful just allowing myself to drop to the height of the seat!)  One of the midwives came out with Dan and I to ensure that we were able to fit Oscar’s car seat correctly, and then we were free to head home!

Today I am going home for the first time card

Getting into the back of the car had been tricky, and I definitely knew about every single bump on the ride home.  I never knew the A45 had so many potholes!  One of the conditions of being allowed to leave on the Saturday was that I had access to a breastpump at home, as Oscar still hadn’t had a successful latch which lasted on my breast by this point.  Luckily, a friend had offered to sell us one a few weeks earlier and so I had sent her a desperate text on Saturday morning to establish whether or not it was still up for sale.  It was, and so we headed for home via Northampton (which is in not on the way home!)  Lindsay popped out with her little boy to meet Oscar whilst Dan popped the pump into the boot.  As we turned out of Lindsay’s drive I realised the route Dan was taking before it was too late…he turned down the road with the most speed bumps in Northamptonshire!  Agony!

Dan had been in a hurry to get Oscar home as Wolves were playing on TV that evening and Dan was desperate to sit down with his son, who would be wearing his first Wolves top to watch the game!  We didn’t quite make the start of the match, but once I’d fed and Dan had changed Oscar, he managed to catch the second half with Oscar snuggled up to him on the sofa!

Knowing that we would be seeing several visitors over the coming weeks, on arriving home I begun to tidy the downstairs, clearing away the washing Dan had done and hung up indoors the previous day.  I was careful not to bend too much, and tried to keep my traveling up and down the stairs to a minimum, but I didn’t feel as awful as I thought I would.  I unpacked some of my hospital bag and chucked some of Oscar’s dirty things for a wash, clearing away items into his new bedroom before settling on the couch with Dan to watch a film.

And then after the film I went to stand up, and found that I couldn’t.  The sofa in our lounge is low and required the use of all of my stomach muscles for me to get up.  The morphine shot I’d been given before leaving the hospital had clearly long worn off, and once Dan had pulled me up, every step towards the bedroom was agony.  I managed a couple of stairs at a time before having to pause in pain and I was reduced to tears by the time I reached the top of the staircase.  I headed into the bathroom on my way to bed and was not even strong enough to pull the cord connected to the bathroom light switch I was in that much pain.  I really never considered just how many day-to-day tasks require the use of stomach muscles.  Much more than I thought.

Although I had no more morphine, I had been sent home with several tablets.  I was due to take iron tablets twice a day (due to the blood loss that I had in theatre), along with ascorbic acid, to help absorb the iron.  I also had a couple of packs of Diclofenac and Paracetamol to help with the pain.  I was allowed to take one Diclofenac and two Paracetamol every four hours, and did so religiously over those first few days.  Dan also had to inject me each night for the first ten nights with clexane to prevent any blood clots from forming as I hadn’t been very mobile for a while.  I’m not great at swallowing tablets, but the injection was the worst.  Dan would either come at me wielding the needle like an axe murderer, or he would hesitate, by which point I would tense up and then the injection would be painful.

The first night was tough.  In hospital Oscar had never really cried.  He just kind of whimpered a little and I was able to press a button on the side of my bed.  This resulted in the midwives arriving who would automatically know how to stop his whimpers.  Dan and I had aimed to head to bed for 10pm on the first night out of hospital but when Oscar still hadn’t settled by 5am I took him down to sleep in the lounge where we had a moses basket set up so that at least Dan was able to get some sleep, even if I wasn’t!

Baby boy balloon

Things were made doubly tough as I was in too much pain to pick Oscar up yet, and leaning over a changing table and fighting to clean the bum of a protesting newborn was still very much above my capabilities.  Dan changed almost every nappy for the first ten days, and when Oscar wanted feeding, he would bring him over to me so that I could feed him and attempt to settle him.  Despite being at home, I still felt very useless and let Dan take over all the tasks, even after I was feeling a little stronger as it just seemed like he had so much more experience than me, even after just a few short days.

Day 5: Sunday 2nd October

I had been so out of it when returning home the day before, I hadn’t realised that Lindsay had sent a huge storage box of baby clothes back with us in the car.  After dropping her a quick thank you message over Facebook it became my mission to organise the clothes by age and type into piles next to me on the sofa.  It was something I could do to feel productive when I couldn’t stand or walk without pain.

The only thing I had been looking forward to more than a bed with clean sheets was taking a shower, but I wasn’t well enough to attempt one on Sunday.  I must have looked a sight sprawled out on the sofa surrounded by piles of baby clothes we’d been gifted, which I was attempting to sort into piles of size and type.  Dan’s parents came to visit and I didn’t even have the energy to stand and greet them.  I was still wearing my pyjamas, covered by a dressing gown to hide the fact that my milk was leaking a ridiculous amount.

The midwife I’d been seeing throughout my pregnancy came for a routine visit not long after Dan’s parents arrived.  She weighed Oscar (he’d lost slightly more than at Day 3 and weighed in at 6lbs 10oz), did his heel prick test and filled out some pages in his little red book.  Most importantly though, she helped to get Oscar to breastfeed properly for the first time, where he was content to stay for more than half an hour.  I didn’t dare move in case he stopped!  Because I’d had problems breastfeeding during my hospital stay, she booked us a visit from the community breastfeeding support workers for the following day who would be able to assess Oscar’s breastfeeding at home.  Following the midwife’s visit though, we no longer had any issues.

Day 6: Monday 3rd October

Finally, time for a shower!  Dan had to help me get into the shower as our shower is one which is over the bathtub and I was worried about the pain of getting my leg up so high with nothing to lean on once I was in.  Once in, I sent him away to keep an eye on Oscar, with the instruction not to go too far in case I ended up needing him.  Within a few minutes though, I had dropped the shower head whilst trying to open the bottle of shampoo and ashamedly I had to call Dan back to hold the shower head for me whilst I showered as I couldn’t manage it alone.

Bella keeping an eye out for our next visitor! #cutecat #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Mary (@ahealthiermoo) on

From my now-permanent spot on the sofa I could see so many things that needed doing in the lounge and dining room and kept pointing these out to Dan, much to Dan’s annoyance!  It was very frustrating to see all these things and be able to do nothing to fix them!  I pointed out that the architrave round the doors still needed painting, that we needed to put up picture frames heading up the stairs, clear baby items from the dining room table and put Oscar’s cards up on the windowsill amongst other things.  I couldn’t even lean down to the windowsill to put up cards without being in pain.  I did feel so guilty for pointing things out to Dan afterwards, as he was already doing so much.

Welcome home cards for baby Oscar(Oscar was so lucky – his cards literally filled our entire bay window downstairs!)

Days 7-9

Out of curiosity I weighed myself on Day 7 to discover that I had lost all but 6lbs of the weight I had gained during my pregnancy.  I had never been bothered about the weight gain/loss during pregnancy and was surprised to have returned to relative normality so quickly.  I’ve since lost all of the remaining 6lbs and am back at my pre-pregnancy weight again, with no attempt to lose anything.  I’ve changed shape – my stomach is not as flat as it once was, but I’m not too concerned right now.

Excuse the glasses and leafy pavement but this picture was taken one week post-baby. (Last Tuesday) It was the first time I had weighed myself in ages and it seems I lost all but 6lbs of my baby weight in the first week without realising. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost more since and will weigh myself again tomorrow, purely out of curiosity. Losing the ‘baby weight’ was never something I really worried about during pregnancy as I continued to eat as normal and exercise throughout, right to the very end. (Last parkrun was three days before delivery!) I was curious how my body would behave post-baby and other than being in so much pain for those first few days following the section it’s been fairly strong since. Fingers crossed it remains that way for a strong return to running! #postbaby #babyweight #babyweightloss

A photo posted by Mary (@ahealthiermoo) on

It was day 8 before I finally ventured out of the house.  To be honest I was still in an immense amount of pain, but desperate to get outdoors by this point.  To go from running several times a week and ticking off 10,000 steps a day throughout my pregnancy to barely leaving the lounge was incredibly tough mentally as well as physically.  I didn’t want to lose my fitness but I also didn’t want to go insane from staying housebound!  Our first walk was literally around the block and no more than 10 minutes, but it felt so good to be outside.  Unfortunately, as the porch swings round into our house the buggy needs to be put up outside, and I’m not strong enough to carry the heavy duty travel system on my own yet so am only able to head out for walks with Oscar when somebody is able to go with me.

Me pushing the pram

Day 10: Friday 7th October

I’m not sure if it was the high temperature our central heating was now permanently set at (babies have to be kept in an environment at 18-20°), the man flu Dan had been rocking the week I was in hospital, the lack of sleep, or a mixture of all three but by Friday I had developed a fever and was shaking one minute and burning up the next.  I layered up and felt freezing, despite my face seeming to be on fire.  I had gone off food.  Absolutely nothing was appealing and there were a couple of days that I made myself eat a bowl of cereal in the evenings just to make sure I was getting something in and had the energy to be able to feed Oscar.

The lack of sleep was finally catching up with me and it was on Friday that a friend mentioned to me that I should think of each day as 24 hours now, not as separate blocks of night and day.  This helped when it came to my stubbornness of going to bed early and so began the routine of being in bed by 8pm.  Yes, 8pm.  :(  I was up again by 10 for the next feed, but it was hard having to devote my ‘free time’ when Dan got home each evening to sleep.

Dan’s best friend was getting married on the Saturday, so by Friday lunchtime Dan had disappeared off to the Midlands, armed with a speech he had hurriedly written in between baby snuggles and having given me instructions that I was to call if anything happened.  It wasn’t until after he had left that the reality of still feeling pretty useless myself whilst now having sole responsibility of a newborn hit.

Luckily, there were still plenty of people who were hoping to squeeze in a visit and I slotted in one visitor on the Friday night, another Saturday morning, with a couple and their three children at lunchtime and two more first thing on Sunday.  I was relieved when Dan returned though and Oscar went back to being a joint responsibility!  But being forced to step up and look after Oscar over the weekend had given me more confidence and I felt much better about Dan returning to work the following week.

Oscar will be five weeks old tomorrow, and although the last few weeks have been tough, I do feel like we’re finally beginning to get there now, and I’m no longer having to make absolutely everything up as I go along!  Days are completely dictated by him though.  This post was written and all ready to go apart from photos by 5am this morning.  It’s now 3:30pm and I’m finally hitting publish!

Is it my nap time yet?…!

Shit just got real card for baby Oscar

Six Snippets Saturday

It was really draining trying to write three race recaps back-to-back last week.  Probably actually more draining blogging about them than it was running them!  I haven’t felt very inspired to blog much else this week but in fact, lots of stuff has happened just lately.  Summer is coming (three weeks and three days away to be exact) and I’m hoping to improve my time management schedule – some sort of routine for both the blog and life – as once again, life has been all over the place just lately!

Anyway, here are six snippets from my week…

#1.  Colworth Marathon Times.  On Thursday evening I got into a discussion with a couple of other runners from my running club about the Colworth Marathon weekend.  It seems to be the general consensus that the cumulative time achieved by runners at Colworth over the three days (5miles, 8.1miles and 13.1miles) is roughly what they should be achieving in an actual road marathon.  Although the Colworth ‘marathon’ is run over the three days of the weekend and your body has time to recover slightly before attempting the next distance the following day, the courses are challenging, with plenty of hills and technical, rutted ground in places so the difficulty of the event almost cancels out the fact that it is run over three days.
This made me quite happy.  4:37:49 was my collective time for the weekend challenge, a long way under my current marathon time of 5:00:28.  Obviously, the Colworth Marathon Challenge does not count as an actual marathon time as it was run over three days but it gives me an aim to work towards for my next marathon – Mablethorpe in October.

#2.  My Mother-In-Law has lost more than 30lbs so far with a combination of Weight Watchers, C25k and using her FitBit.  I’m super proud of her for sticking at it and she has really noticeably lost the weight over the past couple of months.  She has mentioned hoping to go for a run at some point with Dan and I and I intend on holding her to that!  She has actually lost 33.5lbs in total now since the Spring.

Weight Watches 30lb loss

#3.  House move progress?  On Friday we had a phone call from our estate agents to say that the mortgage had finally been approved for the woman that is buying our house and that we should get in touch with our solicitors to find out more.  Our solicitors didn’t know anything about this yet, as the other set of solicitors hadn’t contacted them directly.  I feel like I’ve been quite pushy with the whole house moving thing – I often ring several times a week to check on progress, but it hasn’t seemed to get us anywhere!  As I left it on Friday afternoon, our solicitors were going to get in touch with our buyer’s solicitors and suggest a date for completion.  I suggested the 23rd July as it is three weeks away (hopefully giving them plenty of time to organise the exchange!) and the first day of my Summer holiday, so hopefully preventing a melt-down from me as it won’t involve moving one night after work.  Dan would happily have signed up to move on Monday if they would let us.  He seems to be oblivious to the amount of work that is required on the actual move day itself!House sold sign

#4.  Running on my own.  A couple of times this week I have headed out on an easy run on my own and really enjoyed it.  I run with others so often that sometimes I forget how nice it is just to head out with my own thoughts and come up with my own route for a run.  I’m still feeling strong (touch wood that this continues!) and was hopeful for a 10k PB at Milton Keynes on Tuesday night.  Obviously it goes without saying that as I am aiming for a PB the weather begins to heat up…

Milton Keynes 10k weatherAt the moment, the temperature is showing as only dropping to 21 degrees by 10pm that evening.  I think I need to wipe all thoughts of a good race from my head immediately.  I don’t hold out much hope of it going well if the weather is as hot and muggy as it appears it is going to be.

#5.  Places were released for the EnduranceLife Gower events this week.  A shout out was made on our club Facebook page and we already have more than twenty members with their names down for one of the cottages we rented out last year.  I had such a good time last year that my name was one of the first back on the list for 2015!  We’ve worked out that the three cottages will probably sleep about 30 people between them at a push (with a few runners crashing on the floor/sofa).  Quite a few runners are bringing partners again this year, but Dan was perfectly happy to let me go on my own and had no intentions of even entering the 10k event to keep him occupied whilst I was out running the marathon again.  He’ll probably spend the weekend at home playing football, watching football and choosing food I would never cook!

Gower marathon crew

#6.  Co-op £10 meals are a life saver.  The majority of our kitchen items are packed away in boxes and have been for several weeks.  It seems a long while ago now that I planned out the last of our food into meals for the week so that we could make sure we had eaten it all before we moved back in May.  Back before the estate agents decided that May 29th would no longer be our moving date…!
Washing up is now done on a nightly basis, sometimes twice a day as we only have two sets of everything left in the cupboards.  Lots of kitchen items we didn’t think we would be using again (such as scales and roasting dishes) have been packed and so I have gone from enjoying planning and cooking our meal each night to desperately working out what is the least effort and requires the least amount of utensils/space in our now tiny living space that is filled with boxes.

We’re not big takeaway people, but a couple of times over the last couple of weeks on nights we haven’t fancied turning around and washing up, using every remaining pot and pan in the kitchen and then clearing space for us to eat we have turned to our local Co-op.

We live in a very small town, but we do have a Co-op within walking distance.  Co-op have been running a £10 meal-for-two deal for a little while now which includes a main dish, a side, a dessert and a bottle of wine.  (Non-alcoholic drinks are also available but I find, if it has been one of those days, then often the wine is what is calling!)  There are usually about three or four varieties of each course to choose from.

This week we went for chicken coated in cheese with crispy sliced potatoes, carrots, green beans, chocolate melt-in-the-middle puddings and a bottle of rosé.Chicken, green beans, potatoes and carrots from the Co-op £10 meal deal

I do enjoy cooking most of the time, but sometimes it’s nice to have something completely different and be told exactly what to put in the oven and when.  I am hoping to try out Hello Fresh as recommended by Anna when we finally move, although I’m a bit wary about doing so yet, in case we need any utensils or more than two plates for the meals!

So, that is my week, summed up into six bullet points!  Work has been rather busy just lately with term winding down and all assessments needing to be marked.  I am so looking forward to the Summer and filling my days with non-school related things.  My weekend this week has been/is in the process of being just as jam packed as the week was and much more fun so I shall recap it in another post.

Do you get many takeaways/meal deals?
Tell me a PB success story from a hot day.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

On Friday night I headed out for an 8.4 mile ‘long’ run on my own after work as Dan was not going to get home until late and I had nothing better to do.  (Well, I probably did, but it was always going to be ignored!)  It was almost dark by the time I set off in the end so I headed out in a yellow reflective Nike jacket and my headtorch.  Every time a car headed towards me on the road I started wiggling my head from side to side so that my headtorch stood out to the traffic.  I got lots of wide births.  Hopefully because the drivers realised that there was something in the road and not just because they thought I was weird!

At the start of the run I really, really struggled to keep my heart rate down in Zone 2 but once I got into the step pattern I could maintain the slow pace much easier and I began to enjoy the run. Heart rate Zone 2 Yesterday I ran an easy 3miles in Zone 2 (130-143bpm) and today I headed on a 10.1 mile route with friends from club not worrying too much about my heart rate.  It’s hard to a) concentrate on the figures and b) stick running that slowly when running with others.  Looking back at my data though my heart rate remained relatively low without the constant watch checking.  I made a point of running much slower than I usually would as we were running with a mix of Group 5 and Group 6 runners (I usually run in Group 5).  One of the requirements when running with friends is that you have enough breath left to be able to talk all the way round and that usually requires a pretty slow pace!  The ten miles went by really quickly.  Not literally, obviously.  It went really slowly, but I was happily enjoying the moment and I had lots to chat about.

Dan and I are not long back from watching the town Christmas lights being switched on complete with firework display.  We only live 5 minutes walk from the centre of our town so we pootled down before dinner to check out the hotdog stand and see the lights before heading back home to work a little more at ticking off our Christmas present shop.  19/24 presents BOUGHT!

I’m all about the online shopping this year.  We had planned to head to Milton Keynes or Corby yesterday afternoon but after watching the ridiculous Black Friday riots on the news we decided it was probably quicker, safer, cheaper and more reliable to order gifts from our couch instead.  I can’t believe how crazy the Black Friday sales got in the UK.  It’s not even a public holiday for us over here so the majority of the population were at work.  It’s pretty scary how people can behave the way they have been behaving – completely out of control.  Way too many people seem to have been let into the shops at opening time.  Every single piece of footage I have seen has shown shops where no-one can move due to the sheer volume of people inside.  It really worries me that there are people in the world who believe that acting the way they have is an entirely appropriate way to behave.

I haven’t really felt very Christmassy at all yet this year.  On Tuesday night (25th November) I nipped out for a quick 3 mile run only to return to my house less than half an hour later with the entire street lit up like Times Square with Christmas lights dotted on all the houses.  On the way home from the light switch on tonight I was actually trying to work out when, or if, we have a spare few hours during a weekend before Christmas.  I’m not sure we’ll be putting our tree up until the start of the Christmas holidays we have that much coming up.

I love traditions at Christmas and one of my favourites from the family Moore is that we never put the Christmas tree up until Christmas Eve evening.  We used to all pile into the lounge to help decorate the tree and room, taking it in turns to dive into the kitchen with any unwrapped presents to get them wrapped ready to place under the tree.  I’d love to keep this tradition if Dan and I ever have children or host at Christmas but at the moment there would not be much sense in us putting a tree up at all if we were to put it up on Christmas Eve as we spend the next two days at one set of parents (two hour drive away), the following two days at the other set (four hours from the other set of parents).  Spend a couple of days back at home again before whisking off to a set of friends for over the New Year.  One day we’ll stay at home… Christmas jumper I did feel slightly more Christmassy today at least and popped on my Christmas jumper to watch the light switch on.  As all of the presents we bought arrive during this week I shall begin wrapping and then we will be freefalling towards the end of term and the Christmas holidays and the rushing from house to house will begin.  “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…”

What are your favourite family Christmas traditions?
Did you brave the Black Friday sales?  Snap up any good bargains?

CrossFit wannabe

Here is a little sneak peak at my wedding dress…

Wedding Dress Back…well, only the back!

But you can see that the top of my back and my arms will be on show on the day and that they’re not particularly toned at the moment!  It would be nice if they weren’t too ‘flappy’ on August 9th…

I have been toying with the idea of CrossFit for a while now.  Several bloggers swear by CrossFit to tone up.  I’ve already said that I’m not hugely worried about losing weight before my wedding, unlike a lot of others.  But I would like to tone up my back and arms before the day.  I have always been weak in the top half of my body and even when I was little was never been able to go along the monkey bars in the playground.  As I got older, I couldn’t complete a pullup despite the least fit of my friends being able to attempt something resembling the move.  In the end I gave up and stuck to cardio exercise.

Last week I sent out a tweet asking if people thought CrossFit was worth the money.  I couldn’t believe that it was £58 per month for the cheapest membership (3 sessions per week) in my town.  That’s not too far off our food shopping bill!  My local CrossFit place has now also set up a pay-as-you-go session which is only £10 a time but I doubt I would get results from one session a week, and that would still be much more than a gym membership!  I think there’s a strong chance I will sign up but a little closer to the Summer, when the nights are light again.

I had a quick scan on youtube for CrossFit videos, as well as reviews on P90X3 vs Body Beast, and there are are a few out there.  I thought this video was quite good at showing the results…

My problem is, if I intend on trying CrossFit from the comfort of my home at some point (for free!) that I will worry that I am not performing the exercises properly and will end up injured, or doing no good.

Have you ever tried CrossFit?  How often did you go?  Did you do any workouts at home?  Any youtube videos to recommend?